It was supposed to cloud over later in the evening, which it did, but I had some time shortly after sunset to take the scope out. I was using my set of HD 60 eyepieces. I had some Barlows along, but did not use them. I bought a new wooden stool that is just about the right size for the scope, but I need to cut a couple inches off the legs to allow me to sit in a sports chair I have, with a fold up shelf on the right side and a pocket for a thermos glass of ice tea on the other.
First up was Jupiter. Due to the lighting conditions, I did not have much contrast. I did enjoy making out some mottling in the equatorial bands. The northern edge of the South Temporal Band was obvious, but the southern side of it mostly blended in with the darkening polar region. With Jupiter that far over to the west and as low as it is, that is probably about as much as I can expect.
Saturn was next with the A Ring, B Ring, Cassini Division, and a fairly dark band on the planet itself being noticeable. At Titan was present as usual, and I had at least two of the lesser moons winking at me occasionally.
Clouds were headed my way from the North, so I hurried on to so Messier Objects in Sagitarius. M22, a nice globular cluster ENE of Lambda, the peak of the teakettle's lid. The big grey spot was quite obvious with the 25mm eyepiece. I worked my way down the line of eyepieces, getting the background darker, with a little more contrast as I went along. The 4.5 seemed to win the contest as best. At 100X, the pupil size is 1.1 mm. Some people think somewhere in the range of 1 to 1.25 mm gives the best contrast, and that seems to be working out correctly for the scope and eyepiece combination and my eye. At 100X, there were maybe six stars constantly showing. These may be foreground stars. Additionally, there were up to a couple dozen pin points that were winking in and out. I am sure these were stars in the cluster. I don't know why, but I get more excited about winking stars like that than I do the ones that are steadily showing.
Next was M8, the Lagoon Nebula. The main stars were quite evident, as was some of the nebulosity in the 25mm eyepiece. Again, the 4.5mm gave the best information about nebulosity and stars winking at me. I then went up to M20, the Trifid Nebula. The stars were nice, but much of the nebulosity was hiding from me. M21, which looks more like the tip of the stars of M20 was a different story. This object seemed to be more like a little fuzzy nugget, stuck on the east end of the M20 Open Custer. It is, however, an object itself. At 100x, a nice group of winkers were peeking at me from time to time through the nebulosity that I could see.
All of these Messier objects are fairly low to the South at my location, plus I have some well lit roads and businesses a few miles away in that direction. Thererfore, I am happy with what I could see.
About then, tendrils from the clouds coming in were reaching the area I was observing and the whole northern sky was covered. I decided to leave of and move my things under cover to avoid any of the possible rain that was predicted.
This was a nice little session that left me pleased.
Don't hesitate to post your adventures. It encourages everybody to get out if they can.