Observation log, 7th Mar 2012, open cluster and planetary nebula in Gemini

Conditions : Clear skies, breezy, cool.  Full moon.

M35 open cluster in Gemini.

Impossible to see in the finderscope or binoculars, probably due to the full moon.  At x40 power it is revealed quite obviously, although very washed out.  At x100 much of the moonshine is killed as expected.  M35 matches the description of being quite strung out.  A red star is quite conspicuous near the centre.  Overall I can see a 5 point star pattern emerging.  This will be good to re-visit in darker skies.  I looked for the nearby NGC 2158 cluster, but it was not visible.  I was however able to locate the v-shape of stars that point the way to this cluster.

NGC 2392 / Clown Face / Eskimo planetary nebula in Gemini.

Tiny!  Surprised to locate this in the moonlight – what a result!  Located at x100, looking like an out of focus star.  Continues to withstand magnifications all the way up to x312, but not really revealing much more detail – either the reported clown face or eskimo shape.  The star in the centre is pretty clear at x312.  An illuminated mist surrounds, looking best when using averted vision.

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