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Having missed out on a couple of clear nights with other commitments this month, I was glad to get out last night for only the second time this April. At 10:20pm, it still wasn't quite astronomically dark but the sky was already looking very clear. I had planned to skip across Mankarian's chain and search for NGC 4216, NGC 4365, NGC 4486, NGC 4261, NGC 4568, NGC 4654, NGC 4371 in Virgo and NGC 4725 in Coma Berenices but never got that far for getting side tracked with five new galaxies to me on the galaxy hopping route. I started (as I usually do) from Epsilon Virginis toward HD112278 and then moved on to NGC 4754 and NGC 4762, which both showed up quite readily in the 8mm X-Cel eyepiece. I then headed West by Northwest through the bright trio of M60, M59 and M58 before dropping South to see NGC 4564 and the Siamese Twins. I cannot be certain I saw both but NGC 4568 was just about possible. I was unclear how close the core of the slightly feinter NGC 4567 was to the other galaxy and was also repeatedly throw by two nearby stars of magnitudes 11.3 and 12.3. A quick naked eye check on the sky identified a number of stars in Melotte 111. I popped the 15mm eyepiece back in to navigate up to M87 (perhaps the brightest of the night). I switched back to the 8mm once found for a closer look and noticed a feinter galaxy NGC 4478 to the West. At magnitude 11.4, it is close to my limit but after five or ten minutes of viewing, I was seeing it like a football (to coin a cricketing phrase). NGC 4476 was sadly beyond me. Westward again took me to NGC 4440, a much harder target but still just about visible using all the tricks at my disposal. At magnitude 11.7, it is the feintest fuzzy I have seen to date. The two feinter companions NGC 4431 and NGC 4436 were not possible to view. From there, I headed North toward Mankarian's chain. First up were the Eyes (NGC 4435 and NGC 4438) which were instantly detectable. M86 and M84 were bright but I spent some time trying to tease out some of the feinter companions. NGC 4388 made an equiliateral triangle with the two Messiers but NGC 4387 and NGC 4402 were not possible. I then moved back up the chain towards Coma Berenices and managed to find NGC 4461 just before the border and finished with spotting NGC 4473 and NGC 4477: my only Coma galaxies of the night. 18 galaxies in an hour and a half and five new ones included in that made a great return to the night sky. ____________________________________________________________ Observing Session: Monday 30th April 2013, 22:20 hrs to 23:50 hrs BST VLM at Zenith: 5.3 - 5.4 New - Revisited - Failed
I and Wim are doing our best to fill up this forum with what we find to process on the Liverpool Telescope site. But what else could we do up here in Sweden where the night is twilight for several months? Here is today's contribution from me: Two colliding galaxies. Even if this is only 20 subs and 30 min (!) of data I think it stands its ground with the help of 2 m of aperture. Subs used and filters: 5 x 90 s of sdss-r (red channel) 5 x 90 s of Bessell V (green channel) 10 x 90 s of Bessell B + sdss-g (blue channel)