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Found 6 results

  1. Having barely enough time to let the ink dry on my last report, here's another from last night. Having missed my opportunity last night, I found an angle to view Corvus through a small gap in the foliage, target:- the Antennae galaxies. This pair were reasonably easy to locate and have a high surface brightness (well, for galaxies). Unfortunately their low elevation was a big hinderence. My semi-rural skies did allow me to see the subtlest wisp with a little persistence but it is impossible to be sure what part of the Antennae that was. This presents me with a small ethical dilemma, namely what do I record in my notes. I most probably saw the brighter interacting area but could only see one 'fuzz' and was nowhere near separating the pair into identifiable elements. The brighter of the pair is NGC 4039 (Caldwell 61) and at the moment, I am going for that option with a caveat in my notes. If I had have been able to discern a heart shape or something similar, I would have entered both. Any ideas? My next target was far less controversial. NGC 5248 (Caldwell 45) was identified by starting at Epsilon Virginis and heading just over the Bootes border. Another subtle and soft galactic radiance but easier to see than the previous object. With a low Southeastern horizon (down to five degrees or so) I next revisited M107 which I have only ever had a fleeting glimpse at. As part of an unmistakable asterism to the South of Zeta Ophiuchi, it is easy to find but once again its poor elevation meant that I was just about able to see it using all the usual tricks. My final challenging object was NGC 5363, a galaxy to the North of Tau Virginis. This was the easiest of the new finds in the session. Fed up with looking at inconsequential blobs, I thought I would turn my attention to more rewarding objects. Given both were now favourable, I did a comparison of M5 in Serpens with M13 in Hercules with the 8mm X-Cel. In my opinion, M13 is the slightly more rewarding to view. I was able to resolve more stars and the Herculean glob seemed to be slightly less uniform and show hints of star chains, as opposed to a large fuzzy ball with some resolution. My only additional comment on M5 was that I though it looked very very slightly elliptical. I finished up with Saturn in the 5mm X-Cel, which is presenting itself in a very aesthetically pleasing way at the moment. Titan and Iapetus were very obvious, Rhea (betwen Titan and the planet) could occasionally be seen directly and Tethys just about peeked through the glow with some technique (moving the planet out of the field of view worked a couple of times). Viewing the moons really highlights just how much poor conditions alter what is possible. Iapetus at magnitude 11.2 was almost a clear as Titan in the outer glow of Saturn. Rhea (at magnitude 9.8) was quite tough in denser planet glow and Tethys (at magnitude 10.3) was only just possible in similar glow, the other side of Saturn. Keep those clear nights rolling! ____________________________________________________________ Observing Session: Friday / Saturday 2nd / 3rdMay 2013, 22:35 hrs to 00:25 hrs BST VLM at Zenith: 5.2 New - Revisited - Failed
  2. xtreemchaos

    M5 22 4 15

    From the album: 2015.

    i spent ages looking a M5 lastnight ,so i got a qwick snap. took with 200p+sony a37.

    © anybody

  3. We had a moonless, clear night here in Sweden on 2016-05-04. Unlikely as it is, the sky was also very transparent and with unusually good seeing, and with temperatures above zero! I promptly forgot how tired I was after work and set out to observe and image. Started with M5, lying low. Nikon D40X, DSLR with Baader MKIII comma corrector, at the primary focus of a 200 mm f/5 Skywatcher 200 PDS newtonian, mounted on a EQ5 dual axis mount. Light pollution won't allow me to take long exposures that low in the sky (images taken at higher altitude on the same night came out much better), so for starters I shot just 10 scenes at ISO800, 6 seconds long each. Pre-processed in UFRaw, GIMP, stacked in Registax, and final touches in GIMP. Here it is, I am still learning, so no jaw-dropping pictures yet! Cheers! Hernán (Cinco Sauces) (This story is also posted in my astroblog: https://epistulaeastronomicae.wordpress.com/)
  4. Snapped this one of M5 after 1 a.m. the good stuff always comes out after midnight right? Had a little spill of light pollution from some distant sodium bulbs coming from the right side.I have an astronomiks CLS filter but am finding it a bit hard to edit out anyone else have issues with it? Please give me your true thoughts on the edit if you could many thanks 25 lights 5 darks 3 minute exposures iso400 stacked in DSS and tweeked in PS5 and LR4
  5. From the album: iOptron ZEQ25GT

    25 lights 5 darks 180 second exposures stacked in DSS and tweeked in PS5 and LR4 Gradient xterminator filter used.

    © Chris Levitan

  6. Last night was the first time I managed to polar align my mount and then try a star alignment using the SynScan handset. I finally worked out how to roughly polar align my mount . After getting hung up with trying to do it accurately I just roughly pointed it north and then lined up the Plough in the polar scope. I then chose to do a 2 star alignment. Something about the way I set the scope up in the mount wasn't right as when it slewed to Alberio it was totally wrong. I just released the clutches and lined up on Alberio. I then went for Vega which was a bit nearer. I was itching to have a look at M13 so went straight for it and to my total amazement there it was bang in the middle of the FOV. I was totally blown away and this is my first ever galaxy ! I was using my 12mm Nagler and could resolve stars towards the center and see a nice pattern to the galaxy. I had a go trying to increase the mag but it got worse in the 8mm BST and was a total blur in the 5mm BGO. I don't actually know what I am doing so was just trying things out. I also tried my 32mm Panaview which was disappointing. I am not getting on with this EP at all but it may just be the time of year/objects I am looking at. After it got a bit darker ~12pm I had another look in the 12mm and wow! How good is M13! After getting really hyped up about M13 I stuck with the 12mm and used the GoTo to take a look at M5. All looked very blurry so tried my BST 25mm and it looked fine but a bit small. Put the 12mm back in and again very blurred. After about 10 minutes I noticed that I had left the clear end cap on the 1.25” adaptor of the EP . After realising how stupid I am I was totally blown away by M5, it looked amazing. Not quite as big as M13 but it was great to see another galaxy. I then realised I hadn't planned to see anything else so started frantically reading posts on SGL and punching numbers into Stellarium. This ruined my eyes and took a while to readapt to the dark. Next I went for M57 and again I couldn't believe my eyes...it was incredible. I always imagined it being tiny but the view in the 12mm was stunning. After viewing M42 last year (my only other nebula) I thought nebulas would not be my cup of tea but after seeing M57 last night I am hooked. I then tried to get cleaver and use the polar realignment function on the Synscan. I must have done it wrong as I didn't find anything else I tried. I whizzed through some of the Synscan tour objects and couldn't see anything. Not sure if my alignment was off or the objects were not right for the seeing conditions. One was the Whirlpool galaxy which I know I probably couldn't see. I decided to realign on Mizar and try the double. Not quite what I was expecting as it was two stars relatively far apart. I went for Alberio next and again it split nicely. The two colours were very nice to see. Went back and absorbed more of M13 and M57 then called it a night. I am totally blown away by the objects I saw and now need to plan what to try next. Please recommend some more ‘easy’ targets! I never could have managed without the GoTo as I am only just learning the sky and how to find objects. In all the excitement I rushed the packing up of my gear and decided to put the tripod legs down with the tripod upside down. Why would I do this? As I released the bolt the leg shot down into the wider tube, off flew the end cap and the leg disappeared ! I quickly turned the tripod over only to be presented with a small bar that the screw clamps against the leg. I now have two pieces to fix back together but I don’t care after that viewing experience. From posts last night I have added M11, M27, the Veil nebula and Epsilon Lyrae to my list of next targets.
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