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Nyctimene

A fruitful disinformation

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Was out from 01.45 - 03.30 CEST with the 18" f/4.5 Obsession dob. NELM 5.5 mag, SQM-L 21.07, so average conditions, but seeing not at it's best. I started with Keid (Omicron 2 Eridani), the well known beautiful triple system of a 4 mag yellow-orange main star, a white-blueish White Dwarf of about 9.5 mag (the easiest one to spot) and a Red Dwarf of 11 mag close by. The different colours stood out quite well in the 16 mmf Ortho giving 128x mag. I went over to the 11 mag galaxy 1637, a face-on galaxy with little contrast, but a brighter core region. SkySafari showed about 1°15' to it's west a group of three spindle-shaped 12.5 galaxies, 1618, 1622 and 1625. Consulting the (German version only) excellent "Deep Sky Beobachteratlas" by Gerhard Stropek, the Hickson 30 galaxy group was shown at this location, but not the three galaxies. So I spotted 1625 with it's distinctive spindle shape and a 11.7 mag star towards it's NW edge; at right angles to it the 1622 spindle, and the fainter, oblongated gx 1618, assuming all these to be members of HCG 30 (I didn't have a photo at hand). SkySafari pointed me to some fainter galaxies about 20' N; PGC 15620 (13.6 mag), which I could spot with direct vision as a round, uniform glow  NW of a 11 mag star. 3' SE was the fainter PGC 15631(14.2 mag), but also visible with DV. A third galaxy, PGC 15624 (15.7 mag) was at the absolute limit of averted vision. Somewhat exhausted, I finished with the glaring bright Orion nebula M 42, the Flame nebula 2024 (showing dark lanes with the UHC), and an unsuccessful attempt to spot the Horsehead (I still don't own a H Beta filter up to now).

Doing some research in the morning, I was somewhat ashamed - the  three NGC galaxies weren't HCG 30, but the three PGC galaxies! (The fourth,15636, could not be seen). Those are the consequences of starting an observation unprepared after midnight. A glance at the IsDSA companion would have shown the whole scenery quite obvious, but I had not thought of this. But, at least, I had some unbiased looks at this nice galaxy group - and the added bonus of three fine spindle galaxies close by.

Attached a photo from Reiner Vogel's compilation of HCG's:

https://screenshots.firefox.com/srRKrehhetHxcKLF/www.reinervogel.net

Thanks for reading

Stephan

Edited by Nyctimene
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I had a go at ARP 30 on Skye but lack of decent transparency didn't allow further investigation.....nice read and clear skies to you.

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Sounds like a great night despite the seeing. Thanks to posting!

Rob

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