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About DavidR100

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    South Manchester, UK
  1. Just as I thought. So it's not just me for whom 2019 was a damp squib!
  2. What good news! Many thanks for sharing your fascinating observations/notes/sketches. As if the lack of Dec wasn't enough, you had an observatory roof to contend with! However you were lucky to get the right conditions at a time and date when the targets were pretty much at their highest. Was your success last year or 2018?
  3. And over two years later... Yep, M22 is a relatively high southerly Messier and quite conspicuous due to its size. M7 and M6 are somewhat lower - in fact your SkySafari image appears to show M7 scraping the horizon, and that's at a lattitude 1.5 degrees less than mine. M69 and M70 that Tim was still hoping to see are as low-lying as M6 and M7 but much smaller and fainter thus posing a real challenge. I've just asked him if he's had any success with them over the last two years.
  4. Over two years on .... I was wondering if you had any success with M69 and M70?
  5. That post is a real eye opener into the "premier league" of deep sky observations! Well, I've been counting the counters' counts... 3 folk make it into the real stellar league having seen over 10,000 objects - Steve Gottleib, Don Pensack and the almost mythical "Il Galassiere" (The Galaxyman of Northern Italy) who has a staggering total of over 17,000! Another 7 observers have counted over 5,000, with Mark coming in a very creditable 18th. Well, you did suggest a league table, Mark! The post was concerned with all types of DSOs; if it were narrowed down to just galaxies I think Mark's position could rise a couple of places. While I wish in no way to devalue any of these fantastic achievements, several observers have benefited not only from very favourable viewing conditions (even mentioned by the OP), but also many decades of viewing opportunities. I even read the word "goto" once... Having said that, keeping the enthusiasm going for so long demands a lot of respect and admiration. I am also primarily a galaxy hunter and in the 4 years that I have been observing I have seen all 40 Messier galaxies (plus all the other Messiers) and I have logged observations of another 298 galaxies, making 338 galaxies in all. Adding in other types of DSOs the total will be a very rough 450. Thanks again to Mark for providing this remarkable insight into "premier league" DSO observing and for making a very respectable UK representation on the thread.
  6. Thanks for the info. I have read a popular post on SkySafari so was going to look into it, though I have so far been very happily paper-based. Not forgetting my plastic planisphere which, although low tech, generally does the job.
  7. What software is this output from, Stu? Also, what is your latitude, as I can't make it out from the image?
  8. Many thanks! Unfortunately I think you might have missed the boat for this summer as I think Sagittarius is now setting too early. I certainly don't mind being proved wrong, though. Good luck!
  9. I just managed to see M7 in late July from North Wales which is the same latitude as Co. Wicklow. My experience is described in my report in the Deep Sky section and it's called "In Search of the Southern Messiers".
  10. I'll second that. It's been my "bible" for the last 3 years. I fact it's so good I've got 2 copies. One ready to go with my gear, the other for perusing at home. I started off with the excellent big red "The Year-Round" Messier Marathon Field Guide" by Harvard Pennigton, pub. Willmann-Bell. Once I 'd completed the Messiers I was at a bit of a loss. I dabbled with Steve O'Meara's "Herschel 400 Observing Guide" pub. Cambridge, but that didn't satisfy me. I looked around, found good reports on the Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas, bought it, and never looked back . More recently I treated myself to Uranometria 2000.0 All Sky Edition and the companion Deep Sky Field Guide. That should be it... As you can see I like my hardcopies.
  11. Very enjoyable report of a magnificent sky seen from a great location. I particularly liked your description of a clearly stunning Milky Way. In all my observing sessions I have only ever seen one fireball and it was a most remarkable sight. Quite coincidentally that was also from a dark site in Shropshire! Armagh Observatory maintains a database of fireball sightings worldwide. I filled in a report form on their website, you might be interested in doing the same. My report was dated 21st Feb 2015. Keep up the good work!
  12. I took this photo of northern Sagittarius with my Canon on 24th July, which was when I saw M7 for the first time in the UK. It shows 11 Messiers - can you spot them all? The "answers" are in the image below it. That's 10% of the whole Messier catalogue in one relatively narrow field of view. I guess that's what comes from looking pretty much through the centre of the galaxy. Photo taken with a Canon 500D, 50mm, f/1.7, ISO 3200, 8 secs.
  13. OK John, you've given me the confidence. 595 and 588 look like a different kettle of fish though. Have you seen them? Ah - I see Harry beat me to it!
  14. Just looked up NGC 604 and Wikipedia says it’s the largest HII region in the Local Group of galaxies. Being able to see an HII in a different galaxy sounds amazing! I’ll certainly look out for it next time out. Uranometria shows NGC 604 has a couple of fellows: NGC 595 and NGC 588 which are smaller and fainter. Back to Wikipedia, these were only observed 80 years after William Herschel saw 604 so I guess we’ve got no chance without a really big ‘scope.
  15. M101 is certainly one of the more challenging Messier galaxies. One night in March this year at my “local” dark site on the Cheshire plain I could only just discern the galaxy with my 10” Dob, though nearby M51 wasn’t particularly impressive indicating below par conditions. I’ve been treating myself to more sessions at more remote dark sites of late and as a result have seen M101 three times subsequently as a “large warm glow”, to quote my notes. I found a distinct similarity with a good view of M33. On a couple of those occasions I also saw close-by NGC galaxies 5473 and 5474 as small, faint fuzzies, much to my satisfaction. These were a little outside the field of view of 57' with M101 centred. I used the same equipment throughout. It sounds like a truism that faint objects will stand out more against a darker background. That fact certainly gets driven home, and very satisfyingly too, when put to the test!
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