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  1. Date: Wednesday 15th April 2020. 2300-0400hrs Scope: 20” f3.6 Lukehurst Dob with Paracorr (fl = 2089mm & f4.1). Night Vision: PVS-14 with Photonis 4g INTENS. Eyepieces: Plossl 55mm (f2 x38), Panoptic 35mm (f3 x60), Panoptic 27mm (f4 x77), DeLite 18.2mm (f5.8 x115). Introduction. I have been on Supernova duty since the moon went away. I have been out on 11th, 13th and now 15th looking at six supernovae in NGC4277, NGC5258, IC1222, NGC4568, NGC5636 & NGC5157. Yesterday, I identified three further targets in UGC10528, NGC5111, NGC6214 using the rochesterastronomy.org website. The weather was much warmer last night with the temperature staying just above freezing but I found the conditions to not be as good as on the 13th, there were some fainter field stars that I could see two nights ago that were beyond reach tonight. Anyway, here is my observing report… Observing notes. NGC4277/SN2020ftl – SUCCESS. With the Night Vision Device (PVS-14) connected to the Panoptic 27mm eyepiece (x77 magnifiction), the SN was clearly visible and brighter than the galaxy core above it. This is a lovely star field with many galaxies dotted around making for a great vista! NGC4568/SN2020fqu – SUCCESS. With the 27mm eyepiece the supernova was clearly visible within the upper reaches of the large galaxy disk. This supernova however is much fainter that the one in NGC4277 and represents more of a challenge. NGC5157/SN2020ees – FAIL. The best view was with the 35mm eyepiece (use lower power for faster focal ratio and brighter image) where there was a bright dot within the disk. There were hints of a double core but nothing more. I will mark this as a FAIL for tonight but I managed it two nights ago! NGC5635/SN2020fcw – SUCCESS. With the 27mm eyepiece I could see a clear double dot. This is a bright supernova. Time for some comets while I wait for the sky to rotate around the shed (that my scope lives in). C/124P Mrkos – This was a toughie to find (Sky Safari seemed a little off – it was further SSE) but I found it with the 35mm Panoptic (x60 magnification). The comet is tiny with no core. It was faintish but obvious once in the fov. C/2010 U3 (Boattini) – Easily spotted with the 35mm eyepiece. Much larger than 124P. It had a brighter dot core and a fainter halo. C/155P Shoemaker 3 – Best of the bunch. Found in the 35mm eyepiece. It had a large bright core with a small halo and stood out well in the fov. C/87P Bus - FAIL, I could not find this comet Back to the Supernovae… NGC5258/SN2020dko – FAIL. Conditions let me down here, I tried 18.2mm, 27mm, 35mm & 55mm. I saw definite hints of the double dot within the disk but it was not clear. (I did get it two nights ago!) NGC5111/SN2020gdw – FAIL. 27mm eyepiece. The galaxy sits the RHS of a star and has a bright dot core. I could not see anything else. The SN is supposed to be central. UGC10528/SN2020ekk – SUCCESS. Well this one is a bit of a story. I found the galaxy easily enough but I could not match the field stars to my pre-session sketch (that I took outside) no matter how hard I tried. I sketched a star map of what I could see. Then I spent ages trying to tease out a faint star in near the galaxy core (thinking that this must be the SN!). This morning, when I matched what I saw onto an internet image, it turns out that the SN was located on the other side and I had it plotted on my sketch of what I saw! Here is the image of what I saw (the numbers are clock face for rotation purposes). IC1222/SNAT2020enm – SUCCEESS (just about). The best view was with the 35mm eyepiece (remember that lower power = brighter image). I pattern matched the field stars to my pre-session sketch easily enough. The double dot core comes and goes with the gain turned up. NGC6214/SNAT2020gpe – SUCCESS. With the 27mm the galaxy is tiny in the fov. The much fainter supernova glimpses at 11 o’clock. This was another target where my pre-session sketch was hard to match so I drew out another of the actual view. The 35mm & 55mm gave bright galaxy views but no SN. The 18.2mm gave higher magnification but the view was less clear. The wonder of the Milky Way... Its 0345 and I look up to see the Beautiful Milky way sweeping South – North. I removed the PVS-14 from the eyepiece and held it to my eye (at x1 magnification). With no filter attached to the front the view of our galaxies spiral arms from the South and up through Cygnus was breathtaking. The clouds that make up the arms were so bright and stood out against the black hydrogen sections in-between the arms. I added a push-on Baader 7nm Ha 1.25” filter to the front and the nebula patches popped out into view. The Gamma Cygnus and North America nebulas are super bright and clear at x1, closely followed by the Triffid, Eagle and Swan to the South which are small but super bright too. I panned around and noted CED214 (parachute), IC1396 Elephant Trunk, Heart & Soul, Pacman to name a few. It made me smile to think of the summer nebula season to come, night vision is a game changer for nebula and I am still 10 Sharpless objects short of the complete set… Epilogue. I packed up at 0400hrs and headed indoors, my fingers were a little cold and the sky was brightening slightly as the sun headed up in the east. The forecast is more clear nights to come so better to save some energy for another night too... Clear Skies, Alan
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