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Galaxies, amoeba blobs and a dumpy looking Saturn


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A few days ago I had a great night observing which included a couple of new targets I picked up from this forum. Saturn would not be visible until 3am from my location so I had a couple of hours to get in a few objects. My equipment consisted of 12x50 Bins, Maps, laptop with stellarium running & 12” Rev Dob. And I was in my element.

First: A new one

NGC 2683 Wow! What an object this is! A very long and thin edge-on galaxy. I forget who it was but thanks for recommending it. It’s an absolute must & can’t wait to see this one again and again! Averted vision puffs out this galaxy somewhat & makes it extremely nice looking. Very pleased to have found this as last time I looked the sky wasn’t as clear thus didn’t see it. But this time I did! It’s worth hunting down being such an awesome sight! Totally recommend it too! Get out there and find it and you’ll see. M108: Was strikingly thick as was M97 the Owl: being a solidly defined condensed mist. Only a hint of one of the eyes? (I blame this on my limited eyepiece range) Scanning the User major area below M108 & 97 I noticed two extremely faint galaxies, NGC 3718 & NGC 3729, very close together. It was because they were close together that I noticed them at all. These have got to be the faintest objects I have seen through this scope and I would describe them as two small see-through jelly –like amoeba looking blobs. Yes I do get excited about this sort of thing. M106: seemed a possibility on stellarium and sure enough I managed to star hop straight to this one. The galaxy appeared like a squished M108.

Head of Leo gal NGC 2903 Turned out to be two galaxies (also 2905) could only see it as one. Back of Leo NGC 3344 a small galaxy emerging out from behind two dim foreground stars using averted vision all around the object. Couldn’t resist a quick blast at Leo double star Algieba. Just wonderful.

Such a great couple of hours observing the scope just performed better and better throughout the session I didn’t want it to stop. I wanted to get the Leo triplet & M51 but then………… The church bells chimed 3am and Saturn was now just in view. Just a few more minutes and it would be perfect to observe. I thought to myself, if I go in and make a cup of coffee, by the time I come out again Saturn will be ready! (I’m so glad I didn’t do that) I couldn’t resist and I had to have a sneak preview as I’d been up a couple of hours. Straight in at 100x and Weyhey! There she is! Three moons clearly visible. Saturn looks so different now with edge-on rings it shows more of saturn’s waist line. It looks like Saturn has put on weight. It just looked bigger and more dumpy! Doubled up to 200x (this is all I have) I made it out to be blueish one half and brownish the other. Also I see a very thin black shadow following the ring on to the planet. I am not joking only five minutes later I looked up only to see some dark clouds charging across the sky. Within 10 minutes I experienced the entire sky transform from around a beautiful mag. 5+ down to barely a mag. 2! Just crazy! But I have an absolutely great night of observing and I did get a few minutes sneak preview of a dumpy looking Saturn.

8)

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Great report.

You have seen some great objects. I've not seen half of these so once again these are placed on my ever increasing to do list.

Thanks for posting.

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Nice report. You clocked up an impressive list of targets. mag 5+ would be my skies at their best.

I haven't seen some of those NGC's, so something added to my list too.

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Cheers

I get a lot of targets from this forum and others from stellarium while i'm out there. While i have a reasonable dark location my view is very limited to objects that are high up (i guess this helps viewing though) hence why i had to stay up late/early to see these object inc. Saturn which i hadn't seen edge on untill this session! Worth staying up for!

:hello1:

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Thats a great report davo - thanks :hello2:

I'm waiting for my 12" Lightbridge to arrive (due Friday approx !) and your report has really built up my anticipation for a dark skies session with a medium to large aperture scope :D

Cheers,

John

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A brand new 12" Lightbridge. Very nice indeed.

Dobs are simply great. They open up the universe. I borrowed an 8" for a while but have stumbled across many more objects in the 12" inc. NGC 3077 which just popped out to say hello. Great great fun! yet powerful enough to be a serious instriment too. Hope your scope arrives safely and you get some good clear nights of observing. What a lucky bunch we are. Time to check the 'Met Office' i think.

Dave

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When i got the dob in September my first port of call was M81/M82 but without knowing it the first thing i saw was 3077. Couldn't understand why M81 looked so faint in a 12.5. I had only looked at it the previous night in a 6" and sure it was brighter in that scope. Was a bit worried......until i realised i was looking at 3077 for the first time :hello2:

Russ

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Great report, Davo! Next time you're looking at Algeiba, swing straight east about 1/2 degree. There are two, very faint, interacting galaxies there. I've seen them in my C8 and now the 20". They should be pretty good in a 12".

Good luck, and let us know how you do.

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