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Double Kick Drum

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Everything posted by Double Kick Drum

  1. I have a 127mm scope and on a good semi-rural night could see it convincingly with a UHC filter. Two points: 1. It is large. I was surprised how big it appeared and like M101 and M33 it is very easy to look straight through it. 2. In my view, the contrast in the centre is much easier to pick than the ever more diffuse edge.
  2. Fantastic and thorough. Top marks for gratuitous use of the 'Dark Side of the Moon' album cover!
  3. Hi. I wouldn't rule out M51 (the Whirlpool galaxy) so quickly. So long as your sky isn't too washed out and depending on what you are using, it is one of the easiest galaxies to view. If you can find them, M81 and M82 make a nice pair of galaxies and are brighter than the above. I have never seen the flame nebula. There are many nebulae that are easier IMO, including M1 (the Crab). To pick targets, I use a combination of magnitude and surface brightness (all laid out in a gigantic spread-sheet) but this is only indicative as 'fuzzies' are not consistently bright. For example, galaxies tend to have brighter cores. Many is the time when I have been pleasantly surprised by being able to pick up objects I thought were beyond me. Good luck with whatever you try to find!
  4. A monster night's viewing. Love NGC 4631 (the Whale galaxy). One of the best non-Messier objects to view. Great write up!
  5. A great night's viewing, sketching and report. It reminds me to pre-draw some scope-view circles so I am ready to do more sketches myself.
  6. A rich area of sky washed out by a bit of haze and light pollution (and I am semi-rural). Thanks for sharing.
  7. So, with the Moon not rising until just after 10pm and the littl'un in bed soon after 7pm, a window of opportunity. I was ready with cooled scope soon after 8pm and began the evening with M1 (The Crab Nebula). A fine sight in the 15mm eyepiece. Quite a large nebula, which appeared rectangular and slightly grainy when UHC filtered. This was the first time I had seen it for over two years. M35 was a lovely sight, with companion NGC 2158 a misty patch to the South of a group of stars South West of the main group. The use of averted vision was not necessary for this but was needed for IC 2157, a slightly more diffuse cluster further West again. Next up was 8 - Flora, an Asteroid well placed in Leo. At magnitude 9.1, it was quite easy to locate nearby to Eta Leonis. Another constellation rising quite high by this time is the magnificent Ursa Major. I managed to identify two more moderately diffuse galaxies which were in close proximity to Gamma Ursae Majoris; M109 and NGC 3953. Both of these required gentle movement of the scope to pick up. ____________________________________________________________ Observing Session: Sunday 8th February 2015, 20:10hrs to 21:40 hrs GMT VLM at Zenith: 5.0 - 5.1 ____________________________________________________________ Monday the 9th started with another clear sky and I was back out there by 8pm. I started with a quick re-alignment of my finderscope after I inadvertently loosened the wrong screws when disconnecting the night before (doh!). I began by going back to check the movement of 8 - Flora from yesterday. Before some light cloud rolled across Ursa Major / Leo, I also managed to locate NGC 2841, a bright and quite condensed galaxy near to the double star 37 Ursae Majoris which sort of makes a pair with the magnitude 8.5 star HD 80566. This is quite an easy find from the signpost stars Theta and 26 Ursae Majoris and is more prominent than a number of Messier objects. With cloud parked across half the sky, I finished the night with the camera trained on Orion for a few wide-angle snaps. I cannot remember the last time I had two nights running under the stars but it is nice to be back in the game. The Asteroid collection is into double figures and is ever growing; 1 - Ceres 3 - Juno 4 - Vesta 6 - Hebe 8 - Flora 9 - Metis 10 - Hygeia 12 - Victoria 13 - Egeria 15 - Eunomia (my first) ____________________________________________________________ Observing Session: Monday 9th February 2015, 20:00 hrs to 20:35 hrs GMT VLM at Zenith: 4.9 - 5.0 deteriorating as wispy cloud rolled in. New - Revisited - Failed
  8. Comprehensive stats. My prediction for what it is worth is 37.76%. I need a weather station! Hours of fun for cloudy nights... of which I predict 62.24% in 2015. Call me Nostradamus but... I also predict South Wales will get more rain than North Kent during 2015. Best wishes.
  9. Lovely report and descriptions. Thanks for sharing. NGC 2903 is one of my favourite galaxies. Not only is it quite large and bright, it is the forerunner to galaxy hunter heaven. The galactic "Announcer" if you will.
  10. Cygnus, Lyra.... fells like summer is here already and we've only just got Christmas out the way. I don't think I've looked at NGC 2301 yet. Thanks for the tip.
  11. A planet and four moons. What's your set up?
  12. I used to be a very regular poster of observing reports but seventeen months ago I became a dad and this has led to a bit (well more than a bit) of a hiatus.... until now. I did have the scope out last week but this was simply to get my eye back in with views of Jupiter, M81 and M82, the Pleiades... you know, the old favourites. I didn't think to write up as it was a bit of a revision session. To show how out of touch I had become, comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy had almost passed me by. Thanks to a quick catch up with some observing posts at SGL, this ended tonight. I set the scope up around half seven and while it cooled down had a quick 15x70 binocular tour, firstly at a few winter open clusters In Casseopeia including my personal favourite NGC 7789 (Caroline's Rose). Then, panning across to the North East of Aries, I couldn't believe how bright Comet Lovejoy looked. I would suggest better than magnitude 4, making it target my number one for the scope. By eight o'clock I was lined up and the view through the 25mm eyepiece (25x) was superb. I could pick up a feint tail pointing North-ish and the nucleus gave away a hint of blue-green that I was not expecting. Jupiter was below par as I was only able to see the two equatorial belts, so I revisited NGC 2392 (the Eskimo nebula). This appeared at its best in the 8mm eyepiece though took longer than usual to find. This is a good one for beginners as it is quite easy to find and has a high surface brightness and so can take a bit of light pollution. Some recent investigations into Asteroid viewing opportunities led me to my two final targets of the night. 10 - Hygeia was beautifully placed close by to 10, 11 and 12 Geminorum and was easy to identify, given it is currently of magnitude 10.6. 3 - Juno was very close to the South West of the head of Hydra. Sadly the position of the telescope meant that my house just obscured it (by less than a degree, I reckon) and so I had to revert to binoculars. Despite this the magnitude 8.2 Asteroid was still possible to identify. A new comet and two additions to the asteroid list. it is good to be back. ____________________________________________________________ Observing Session: Saturday 24th January 2015, 20:00 hrs to 21:50 hrs GMT VLM at Zenith: 4.9 (quite poor transparency, back garden site maximum VLM is 5.4) New - Revisited - Failed
  13. Congratulations on completing the M-list. Those last few are not easy from Northern latitudes. Still have a handful to go myself!
  14. Ahhhh, some great finds and nice report. I must get back out there with the scope. It's been a while!
  15. Double Kick Drum

    A Few Summer Snaps

    Summer Night Sky
  16. Been in my village for over four years. Though not entirely for Astor reasons, it did have a bearing on the move.
  17. Double Kick Drum


    Hi James and welcome to the lounge.
  18. Or if you are impatient, the hour or so before dawn around Christmas-time. I prefer Vindemiatrix as a starter for ten and head toward M60, M59 and M58. You can pick up NGC 4596 on the way. It is right next to Rho Virginis, mag. 10 with a decent surface brightness. Good luck!
  19. Cygnus is a great place to observe. The Veil is my favourite. The Eastern section can be reasonably easy to find, so long as light pollution isn't too bad. Subtle but huge. A whole heap of other great targets there.
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