I haven’t been out for awhile and tonight’s forecast for was clear skies and no moon so I decided to go out and observe. I have been scouting a few new locations near my house to observe from and I decided to try a new spot, Reynolds Playground on Johnson Street in North Andover. The playground is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. From the dirt/gravel parking area where I setup the east and south horizons are not bad. The trees to the north and west are a little high. There is also a fairly bright light dome to the south-west. I think it is coming from the Stop and Shop plaza on RT114. There are also some street lights, house porch lights and lights on passing cars to deal with. This is not an ideal observing sight but it is convenient and has better horizons than my backyard.
Another reason I was eager to get out and observe was because I wanted to familiarize myself with some of the features of the Celestron 6SE controller. I usually do a two star alignment and it works pretty well. This time I did a three star alignment and the results were much better than the two star alignment. I was able to slew to objects in any part of the sky and the object would be in the center of the eyepiece. I am quite happy with this little scope.
The seeing wasn’t great tonight but I have seen worse and although it was cold, ~24 deg F, the wind was nonexistent so I was able to tolerate the cold for a few hours. I spent most of my time looking at various Messier objects and a few of the more well known NGC objects in the area of Casseopia, Perseus, Auriga and Taurus until Orion and the Gemini Twins rose. I also spent some time with Uranus and Neptune. At 136X the light blue disk of Uranus was easily discernible. Neptune was a little bluer and was more of a fuzzy star.
Not a bad night out under the stars. I am sure I will observe from this location again.