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Richard Hather

Leo Triplet... well 2/3 anyway.

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Observing Information

DSO - M65/M66

Date - 13/05/18

Time - 23:30

Lunar Phase - 14% Waning Crescent 

Seeing - Good

Equipment - 12” Dobsonian 

Eyepieces - 30 ES 82

Additional info - 

Got to 14:00 in the afternoon yesterday and I realised it was going to be clear last night.

So plans had to made I already had a list of galaxies I wanted to observe top of that list M51 along with of course the Leo triplet Galaxies.

I started of my 2h 30m session with a good observation of Jupiter which showed me some lovely detain and the bands and moons were as prominent as ever.

I then had a look at M13/M3 to try and get my eye in, they were stunning as always both central bulges nice and bright.

So it was with some optimism I began my hunt for M51 a thorn in my side for sometime, alas I was unsuccessful.

Despite trying with different mag filters and jumping on one leg it simply wouldn’t reveal itself to me.

I then decided to have a go at the triplet.

So I hopped straight to Chertan then went approximately 6 degrees below and 1 degree to the right using my beloved telrad for reference.

Then I sat and observed and took in every nook and cranny of that ep I could, I knew I was in the right area.

I couldn’t tell you how much time passed but I noticed slowly but surely 2 small smudges 1 slightly below the other.

I knew straight away I had found what has evaded me for so long an observation of a galaxy (which isn’t andromeda) from my own Class 6 Bortle back yard.

Over time i managed to make out a slight increase in light which was the core but little other details maybe because it was still relatively light out even at 00:00.

I tried to see NGC3628 but just couldn’t make it out maybe when my skies are darker I will have more luck.

But I was happy and decided to sketch my observation.

I used my ES 30mm 82 throughout unfiltered because I found my LP/UHC didn’t add anything to the view and of course with the big fov the 30mm was a must.

So now I know what to look out for which is something which takes a lot of time and effort to see even when your staring right at it.

Definitely worth the effort though and hopefully once our skies get darker again this will be the first/second of many galaxies I observe from my own back yard.

Clear skies ✨????

Richard

7C602BF3-954B-4B86-B996-8FE2856BC128.jpeg

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Nice one Richard.

I tried several times last week when we had the run of clear nights, sadly no luck for me.
But I am using a 150mm scope and its local light pollution that kills it for me some nights.

Nice sketch as always, makes you realise how hard those little smudge critters can be for us observers.

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Cheers Alan I’ve never had I work so hard to observe an object but worth every second spent on it hope it gets easier now but if not I will put in the effort again.

Yeah LP is a killer I know it really makes observing hard for me but not impossible with the dimmer objects do with time and practice and perseverance i will see more im sure.

M51 is frustrating me though I’m sure I was in the right area I will keep trying until I find it as I’m sure I should be able to even with my LP.

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Great report and sketch. Once you've found it once it's much easier and after twice you'll be able to see it straight away. If I've never seen a particular galaxy before, I'm never 100 percent sure exactly where in the field it is even if I'm confident it's there somewhere. The Hamburger is a real challenge (depending on...).It took me four goes before I managed the slightest flat wisp. No wonder Messier missed it.

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18 hours ago, domstar said:

Great report and sketch. Once you've found it once it's much easier and after twice you'll be able to see it straight away. If I've never seen a particular galaxy before, I'm never 100 percent sure exactly where in the field it is even if I'm confident it's there somewhere. The Hamburger is a real challenge (depending on...).It took me four goes before I managed the slightest flat wisp. No wonder Messier missed it.

Good to know I’m not the only one, I think experience and perseverance is key with galaxies hopefully it will get easier with time and patience ?

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