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niallk

First Night This Year!

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Posted (edited)

Between work/family/really poor cloud cover when I might have gotten out, the sad fact is that this was my 1st night out this year with my 15"!

It has been eating me to see the darkness eroding away and we have the daylight saving time change coming up next weekend... so I was like a kid getting out last night - it was a beautifully clear blue sky all evening.

With my recently washed mirrors, I threw the scope in the car and headed for a little spot on the coast 10mins from my house.  Hmmm... "ceilings" of fog were appearing in my headlights as I drove down - I feared this but kept going.  When I got to my spot I was dismayed by a security light on a house maybe 400m away which seemed to be aimed at me, and there was a whitish glow to the sky due to new cursed LED lighting in a nearby town catching the thin fog.

This was not going to be a night of great transparency or contrast, but hey I just wanted to use my scope!  With a tinge of sadness, I noted Orion low in the west - i never really got to study it this year.

First target: M81 in the 17E, and swapping to the N31T5 for M81/M82.  Hmmm transparency and contrast really wasn't great as expected, but still the views felt rewarding.

On to the Sombrero, M104, with the 17E, and that dramatic dust lane! I swung over to the Black Eye, M64, with the characteristic dark patch showing.

Then I tried for the Antennae Galaxies, NGC4038/39 - quite low in the haze, but could detect the two cores - a first time on this target for me, so chuffed!

After a brief look at M90, I went for the Siamese Twins galaxies NGC4567/68, with NGC4564 nearby.  Another first for me, and I definitely need to revisit in better conditions - looked really good ;)

Then it was up to Makarian's Chain and panning around noting so many galaxies, without trying to figure out their names or list them.  It is just amazing to be viewing a multitude of galaxies in the same FOV around Virgo/Coma B.

Next I went for the Spindle NGC3115, and then the beautiful edge-on, the Silver Needle NGC4244.

At this stage it was increasingly foggy, and I wanted to get back to my wife, and not be too late.  So I started to pack up and switched on my large white torch - wow - I was choked in fog: it's amazing I saw anything!!

Short and sweet session, only an hour long and not fully dark adapted, plus not ideal conditions, but hey, I got out and got to use my scope and saw a few galaxies!! Glad I did it :)

One thing is clear though: I need to find a better relatively local spot to observe from - the light pollution is getting too bad...

Edited by niallk
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Sounds like a good tour of some old favourites. You even managed a couple of new targets too.

The Siamese Twins are a lovely couple. So close to the famous and undeniably spectacular chain; that they don’t get the air time that they deserve.

Paul

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Not done much since October for me so am feeling your pain.

NGC 4038/39 are a great catch not revealing much but still a great bag. Thanks for sharing a lovely report mate, clear skies to you. 

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All things considered Niall that was a great session and a fine report.:thumbsup:

A great pity, the insecurity light at your favoured spot though.

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Great to read these reports. I just love reading other members observations, I feel like it's being there observing for myself, taking it all in and enjoying the moment.

Keep up the reporting folks, it's great! ?

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Great stuff Niall, made to most of the opportunity.

My group are hoping to get to our dark site tomorrow night, weather permitting. I'll take the 14" and hope to get in amongst the Virgo Cluster!

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Posted (edited)

Cheers guys!

Even though it wasn't the best in terms of conditions, while I was stuck in traffic for the bones of an hour this morning, my mind's eye was spanning 10s of millions of light years away back to some of those distant galaxies which I was observing with my very own eyes last night thanks to some beautifully shaped mirrors and glass which were aligned and aimed just right :)

Edited by niallk
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Nice read and such great targets in an hours viewing.

The antennae and siamese twins are nice catches. I like the 17E as it gives great views and a nice step up from the low power views of the 21E. 

Must get out myself and will have a try this weekend if the brief spell of calm clear nights continues.

 

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Yeah I built around 17-10-6 in my scope, then indulged in the 31T5 later.  The 17E was my main EP last night, with the 10E too at times to see if I'd gain any contrast, and the 31T5 for wider context.  This kinda shows my base set of fovs

1515969977_Screenshot_20190329-010816_SkySafari5Pro.thumb.jpg.dea48c0965f63b1c8250c717f0bb0f50.jpg

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On ‎28‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 07:20, niallk said:

On to the Sombrero, M104, with the 17E, and that dramatic dust lane! I swung over to the Black Eye, M64, with the characteristic dark patch showing.

Great report, that dust lane in M104 must have been great.

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Great report Niall. Always a bit frustrating when you make such an effort and the conditions aren't the best, but that sounds like a superb haul for a relatively short session.

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1 hour ago, Eastman said:

Great report, that dust lane in M104 must have been great.

The Sombrero is a real treat - such detail on show.  I had seen the Hubble pics before I saw it for the very first time, and didn't dare hope for such 'wow' views - definitely up there with my favourite galaxies!

36 minutes ago, Whistlin Bob said:

Great report Niall. Always a bit frustrating when you make such an effort and the conditions aren't the best, but that sounds like a superb haul for a relatively short session.

Cheers- you know, it just felt good to use my gear again, and be out there under a big starry sky ;)  Yeah the fog cut it short, but the main goal was just getting out there, and I went home with memorable views etched into my mind.

 

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