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John

Markarian's Chain and more

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A surprise clear sky tonight pursuaded me to get the 12 inch dob set up. Wispy cloud now and then but the impromptu session delivered some good galaxy viewing in the Coma / Virgo area and also Ursa Major, Ursa Minor and Draco.

Nice run down (or is it up ?) the Markarian's Chain with 11 galaxies showing then headed up for the Black Eye Galaxy and others in Coma B. Back to the fringes of our own galaxy for the Messier 3 globular cluster (Messier's first actual discovery apparently).

On to Ursa Major practically overhead so M51 was showing two strong cores and more than a hint of spiral structure. M101 also showing well as a large somewhat unevenly illuminated patch with hints of a knotty structure.

Ursa Minor and Draco revealed more galaxies (didn't note which I'm ashamed to say) but the Cat's Eye Nebula looked very bright and sharply defined with it's central star gleaming.

Hercules had cleared the conifers so M13 and M92 globulars could not be ignored. Both looking wonderful at 199x and 265x - close to their photographic images with the 12 inches of aperture. Backing off the magnification a little to catch galaxy NGC 6207 in the same field of view as M13.

Finished the session with the good old Ring Nebula as Lyra moved out of the Bristol skyglow and finally a Summer favourite - Albireo in Cygnus, with strongly contrasting coloured stars despite it's relatively low altitude.

Post-session Googling found this very recent Sky & Telescope piece on the Markarian's Chain which might be helpful for those who wish to explore this rich area of the sky - and now is the time to do that !

https://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/yanking-markarians-chain/

 

 

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Great report John, what a great time to observe galaxies. Thanks for posting the link- the picture shows what I believe to be the faint galaxy I've seen sporadically- in between and below NGC4425 and NGC4413.

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It's through John, nice report, weather here is not so wonderful, fairly clear but windy days then spoiling itself in the evening.

Alan

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That's whetted my appetite! Markarian's Chain has been on my "to see" list for a year now, and it's beginning to come into my view around 10pm as it clears the trees that have been blocking my view for weeks.

I've been observing the Leo Triplet recently as they have cleared the trees now, Markarian's Chain is following hot on their heels!

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John

It was one of those very transparent nights!

I went out and spent two hours looking at loads of galaxies in Virgo across to Hercules.

Sounds like you had an excellent session as well.

Mark

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Nice one John, a really good session! I went out at about 11pm just to put the rabbits away, and it looked very clear between the patchy cloud. Alcor was as steady and clear naked eye as I've seen it, must have been a great night!

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I came off holiday yesterday arriving home about 9pm. I went out about 11.15pm and saw a very transparent sky showing the main 7 stars of Ursa Minor plus stars to the horizon. Went inside and took out my 15x70 Apollo Binos. Just saw M35 before it set then viewed M65 and M66. Moved over to Leo star 15 and saw M95 (although it could have been M96). Quick view of NGC 2903. Then M53 and M64 before going south. Not sure about M68 in Hydra but I wanted to have a go at M83 being at -30 Dec. I saw this Galaxy in California last year in 12x70 binos although I have only seen it once in the UK. I studied the area for some time and was seeing a glow using averted viewing so I am certain I was seeing M83.

I took in a few more Globulars M3, M5, M12, M10, M13 and M92 and finally ended with  M82 and M81. 

If I had been home earlier I would have taken out the 12" Dob - yet to view the delights of Virgo this year.

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I came home last night at around 2:30 am from counting in our local elections. The sky was superb but I was just too tired to get a scope out. I did sit outside for 15 mins before I turned in and just looked around the sky with my eyes. Nice way to unwind :smiley:

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Nice report - and thanks for the great link too!  Tomorrow night is looking good here, hoping to get out and visit some of these ;)

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