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clarkpm4242

Galaxy Feast (the bits I can remember…)

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Feb 28 22:30 – Mar 1 02:30
Location - Low Row Pop up observatory, Swaledale, N. Yorkshire SQM 21.4

16" Alkaid 31 Nag. 13 Ethos.


It must have been 2 years ago when I last had a tour of the spring galaxies!


The weather forecast had been firming up for a good clear spell, though wall to wall cloud at 20:00 had me doubting the wisdom of the essential strong dark espresso.


Leo was well positioned to the south and I decided to revisit Leo I (very) near Regulus.  Thus ensued a frustrating 20 mins as clouds flirted in that part of the sky.  A promising early look at M51 was Whirlpool of calm.  It cleared, in went the 13mm and Leo I ghosted into view.
NGC 2903 is an easy find and showed a promising level of detail.  I star hopped up to NGC 2683 in Lynx.  I must have observed this before however, a beautiful and bright, edge-on spiral brought a big smile.  That’s what I call a cool galaxy.  Some dark detail was visible along one aspect.  NGC 3003 was disappointing.
The M95, 96, 105 and nearby galaxies were a nice group.  The Leo Trio fantastic.


NGC 3184 was easy to find in a paw of the Great Bear.  Another showcase NGC giving many hints of detail.
Another short cloud break led me over to M108 and M97.  Lovely contrasting objects in the wide field of the 31mm Nagler.  Mottled detail in M108 and the eyes of the Owl.


M3 is an excellent spider of a globular cluster.  Compact M53 contrasted with the sparse NGC 5053.
Coma Berenices…NGC 4565, possibly the most perfect edge on galaxy, great detail, central dust lane, spanning the FOV :)
A long star/galaxy hop via NGCs 4494, 4559, 4274 and 4414 ended at magnificent ‘pairing’ of The Whale & Hockey Stick.  Worth an extended browse!
The Cocoon little & large pairing are another easy starting point for another stunning needle galaxy, NGC 4244, razor sharp sliver.
A swath were picked up via M109.

About this time I realised that the persistent faint glow in Leo/Virgo was the Gegenschein on the ecliptic!!


The Virgo Cluster was now high enough and aiming the RDF half way between Denebola and Vindemiatrix finds M84, M86 and Markarian’s Chain.  Galaxies galore!  The Eyes, Messiers, ‘The Chain’, Twins…and a favourite contrasting pair of NGC 4762 & 4754.


The final objects through the 16 were the detailed spiral of M101, the stunning Whirlpool right up in the zenith and a superb wide field and deep view of M81 & 82 together.
Fatigue, cold and shortage of sugar & caffeine suddenly hit and my eyes & brain closed down.
Finished off with the Canon 15x50 IS scanning around for M5, 13, 92, 10 & 12.


A good night!!

Thanks for reading.  Cheers, Paul.

Edited by clarkpm4242
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What a wonderful read Paul.

You took in a fair chunk of the skies and  a fair breadth of the objects in it. Some absolute stunning galaxies in there. 

The chain I have not seen since last spring so I'm really hoping to get a session in and follow it down.

Keep the reports coming as there's nothing like an epic session to reinvigorate everyones passion for the night skies :headbang:

 

 

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8 hours ago, mapstar said:

Keep the reports coming as there's nothing like an epic session to reinvigorate everyones passion for the night skies

Yep, I too get great pleasure reading the observing reports!

Cheers.

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1 hour ago, clarkpm4242 said:

Yep, I too get great pleasure reading the observing reports!

Cheers.

They take some writing, often hours for a decent long session. Brilliant inspiring stuff and really big thanks for taking the time to put it down here I hope more appreciate it. :thumbright:

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