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2nd / 3rd March 2013 - New Canes and Coma Galaxies


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I didn't realise it was clear until I poked my head out of the window around 10pm. I then scrambled to astro-action stations and the scope was ready soon after 10:30pm.

The sky was ok but nothing special and the horizons were a little misty but given slim pickings in recent times, there was no way I was going to waste this opportunity to view some more galaxies.

I started with M63, a nice bright galaxy which is reasonably easy to find. I simply wanter to make sure I got my eye in before attempting anything more difficult. The more difficult galaxies were over towards the East of Canes Venatici, namely the magnitude 11 pair NGC 5353 and NGC 5354. These are close together and both have a high surface brightness. The former of the two was much easier to view, the dimmer companion took time to separate but gradually it was possible to see both as hazy stars. No other galaxies in this rich area were visible, including NGC 5350 which I did spend some time trying to get a hint of.

Back in the centre of the constellation, I returned to NGC 4490, just beyond Chara. Another nearby galaxy was NGC 4618, condensed and just detectable. A rough continuation of that trajectory brought me to the far brighter M94. This had a very bright core and quite large almost circular halo surround. One of the best galaxies in the night sky.

A little further West, I managed to glimpse the very long milky radiance of another galaxy NGC 4244 (Caldwell 26).

Surprisingly harder to see was the only Coma Berenices galaxy of the night M98. This took nearly half an hour before I convinced myself that I had managed to see it.

Five new galaxies after another long wait. Tomorrow night looks promising. Fingers crossed for another report of more galaxies tomorrow.

____________________________________________________________

Observing Session: Saturday / Sunday, 2nd / 3rd March 2013, 22:30 hrs to 00:40 hrs GMT

VLM at Zenith: 5.1

New - Revisited - Failed

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Neat report. I have always found M98 a tricky one. Some nights it jumps out at you, others it plays coy. NGC 5353 and 5354 are a couple I have not yet spotted, must go and have a look. NGC 4618 is also on my todo list. Maybe the coming night will be clear enough (it is looking very good at the moment).

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Five new galaxies in one night is pretty impressive work :grin:. I spied out M63 and M94 at SGL7 but all I recorded in my notes was very faint and no detail probably because the skies were very milky and I was using my C6-N, although I did mention M94 as having a very bright core. Fingers crossed for more clear skies soon.

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