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2018-06-02 - ISS - Pinwheel galaxy and NGC 4605 galaxy


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Some sketches of my latest observation at one of my favourite spots! While preparing my observation with Stellarium, surprise! the International space station passed at 21:41 and visible for nothing less then a total 6 minutes, I had to try to look at it, It turned out to be a success with my 200 x 1000 on EQ5. The station was easy to spot in the sky, not too easy to track but far from impossible.

The finder has to be well adjusted and the eyepiece at the right height.. at the exact time, the station appeared in the sky! not far away from Venus.

I had a 18mm eyepiece installed on the tube to give me 55x, naked eye the station itself was quite red, almost has red has Mars but 1/2 the brightness of Venus. It was easy to catch with the finder and the structure was almost visible at 9x.

55x revealed the structure easily! 4 solar panels and a very bright light in the middle (perhaps reflection of the sun on the shiny finish?). The panels were reddish, brownish, the exact color has the pictures we see all the time, they were big enough to see them clearly. With that much success, I had to swap the 18mm for the 9mm, wow! details were even better but the station was now very hard to track.


These sketches were done by memory after the observation, it looked pretty much like the B sketch. The image is from 111x and in reality the object was perhaps 1/2 the size of B in the FOV and crossing the whole 0.5 degrees TFOV of the EP in less then 2 seconds.

--> But, the real photons from the real space station! ? It was worth the preparation.

Next time, 80x would be a better choice then 55x or 111x and perhaps an eyepiece with 82d (or more) instead of 60d would be of great help.


Next is the NGC 4605 a small galaxy in Ursa Major, close to star #76 (or Megrez), with a magnitude of 10.8, according to Stellarium. I found it easily to locate with the 8", of course it's a dim object but visible directly, better with averted, no visible galactic core. The angle was obvious has my sketch, I found it at 29x with 6.8 exit pupil but it's exam was done more at 111x, has well has the sketch.

A nice little faint galaxy.


Then the massive Pinwheel Galaxy ?, usually hard to see at home because of it's very faint surface brightness.. I found it instantly last night..  I think this one is very sensitive to atmospheric conditions.

I had the chance to see how big it was again with maximum exit pupil of 6.8mm No specific details available, only a large gray smooth blob.?

Many stars are missing in the sketch because of the wind I had to hurry... but well, it was nice to look at. Using the 200x1000 Newtonian + 34mm eyepiece.


I hope your liked my sketches!


All these events were really impressive but the very highest point of the night was the Hercule cluster at the zenith?? I never ever saw that much stars in it, it was absolutely GIGANTIC at 111x, 0.5 degrees TFOV in a 60 degrees AFOV a perfect fit in the FOV with an amazing resolution (especially with that much power.) By far the greatest views of this cluster I ever had, doing  "waaaaaee"s alone in the dark. M92 the other beautiful cluster was equally incredible, both showed an unprecedented amount of stars.

111x is truly a perfect power for both of these objects.

Memorable observation, 2018 so far is my very best year (;

Thanks for your time reading this.

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