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Nyctimene

Cetus fuzzies

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Was out this morning at 03.15 h CEST with the 8" f/4 Hofheim traveldob. NELM 5.5 mag, SQM-L 21.1, so average conditions. Cetus was almost at the meridian, and, as a start, I revisited M 77, the Seyfert galaxy with it's prominent bright core, well seen at 100x mag. My attention then was drawn by SkySafari to gx 1055 N of M 77. The position was easy to find, just S of a pair of about 7 mag stars, but, despite mag10.9, the galaxy was rather difficult to spot, even with averted vision, as a elongated streak, due to a low surface brightness of 13.9 mag. 1073 (11.2 mag) showed round with AV only; 1087 was brighter, round, directly visible,  936 similar with a brighter core region. 941close by was a tough nut, and I needed a 6mm Ortho giving 133x mag to tease out for about 20% of observing time it's faint circular(?) glow (12.4 mag, but surface brightness of just 14.5!)  955 was easy (12.0 mag), a N-S spindle. I finished with 1015, 13.4 mag, but, according to the IsDSA, visible with 8" - and I was able to catch and hold it's glow steadily with AV, using mag 133x. Somewhat exhausted by the swarm of fuzzies, I recovered finally with the glorious greenish glow of M 42 and the trapezium stars. No "great" views, but it was fun, to take a scope of moderate size to it's limits; pleased, and so to bed at 5.00.

Thanks for reading

Stephan

Edited by Nyctimene
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Good going, Stephan.  I'm hoping to explore more fuzzies with the 10" Dob when the nights get longer.

Doug.

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Another good night and report,  thanks for sharing 

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Cetus fuzzies - update Sept. 18th:

Took out the 18" at 02.30 CEST; average conditions with NELM 5.6 mag, SQM-L 21.14. After revisiting 1055's spindle (easy with direct vision), I started to observe the group around 1016 (with 11.6 mag the brightest member; easy, bright, round with 227x mag in a 9mmf UWA). 1004, the second brightest, situated close NE to a 12 mag star, was much smaller and appeared slightly elongated. Much fainter, and better with averted vision, was 1008; round, small, with a stellar core. The following four were tough - 1019 (14.6 mag) was an extremely faint uniform glow even with AV; the 10 mmf Ortho, giving 205 mag, improved the view slightly. The pair of 1020/1021 was likewise faint, but could be separated. 1009 (15.4 mag) could be hold for about 20-30% of observing time with AV. IC 241 close by  (14.5 mag) was, in contrast, easy and directly visible. - Recreation time with the bright splendor of M 77; M 37 (filling the whole FoV; with it's orange central star), and finally with comet 21/P Giacobini-Zinner. A satisfying view - brightness of about 8.5 mag; coma about 4' diameter, "false nucleus", and a nice tail of about 15' length. Finished at 04.15, wondering about that strange "fuzzies addiction" - ok; always the hunt... a Goto is out of the question... etc. 😉

Thanks for reading

Stephan

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A couple of good nights galaxy-bagging! I've observed most of the galaxies you saw on the first night. Here are my observations for comparison:

M77 (observed many times, this is the latest) A very bright and small galaxy. It appears quite round but there is a hint of elongation NS. The following edge of the galaxy shows a band of darkness, possibly a dark lane. I have previously noted in smaller instruments that this side of the galaxy appears fainter than the other. Immediately following is a 10th mag star. (12” Newtonian, x81)

NGC 1055: (Most recent observation) Decidedly dim for a galaxy with a magnitude of 10.6. Presumably this is due to the low surface brightness. It is essentially a featureless glow, elongated almost east-west. No structure, no central brightening. (10” Newtonian, x214)

NGC 1073: Sky background quite yellow and muddy. Large, grey, diffuse and very faint. Not always visible. No structure of any kind. A poor view. Very difficult. (12” Newtonian, x150)

NGC 1087: (Most recent observation) Pretty bright. Large. Very elongated and brighter along its central axis. (12” Newtonian, x150)

NGC 936: Pretty bright, highly elongated and quite large. Much brighter in the middle with a bright nucleus. I suspect I was seeing just the bright central bar of this galaxy. (12” Newtonian, x150)

NGC 941: Very dim disc with no brightening or structure visible. Difficult. (12” Newtonian, x150)

NGC 1015: Never seen.

Of the galaxies you observed on the second night with the 18”, only 1016 is even on my Lifetime Observing Program, the others are too faint for me to bother looking for until I get a larger scope.

Thanks for the report, I enjoyed reading it and revisiting my own observations.

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