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Nyctimene

Ursa maior spindles - Arp 18

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Was out this morning with the 8" f/4 near the SE corner of the Dipper's bowl. Slightly sub-average conditions (NELM 5.3 mag) despite 21.2 MPSAS with the SQM-L. Started with M 109, that appeared in the 18mmf/82° ES, giving 44x mag, not impressive (rather low surface brightness), as a 2.5:1 oval, brighter core region. The close by gx 3953 oval (10.1 mag)was almost at par. The faint 5:1 spindle of 3917 (11.7 mag) could only made out with averted vision. Contrasting was 4026, directly visible as 4:1 spindle. In the same field, the Arp 18 group came into view, with the brighter (10.6 mag) spindle 4088 and the faint companion 4085, both "cuddled up" to the side of a conspicuous "Y" of four stars, an aesthetically very pleasing view with 80x mag (10 mmf Ortho). Close by two more spindles - 4157 (11.4 mag; 5:1) and 4100 (11.0; 4:1) All could be made out in the same field of the 18mmf (1.85°). Somewhat tired, I finished with M 81/82, and 3077. Coddington's nebula remained invisible once more (spotted it twice in five decades; the same went with the Encke division in Saturn's rings). Rewarding group of spindles, that I plan to investigate with the 18".

Thanks for reading

Stephan

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