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Three triplets in Leo's tail


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After a long break, I  finally was out last night with the 18" Obsession to chase some galaxies in/near Leo's tail. Average conditions with NELM 5.5 mag /SQM-L 21.12. The start was the well known M 65/66 pair, showing it's oblong shapes and brighter cores with the 30 mmf/77° Wild-Heerbrugg eyepiece. Framed in the same field of view was the fainter 3628. Switching to the 12.5mmf Docter, giving 164x mag, I was able to make out the central dust lane quite well. Two accompanying galaxies 3593 and 3596. Over to the second trio - the pretty pair 3607 (10.0 mag) and 3608 (10.6), close together with bright core regions. In touch with 3607 was the small and faint 12.5 mag 3605, but readily visible with direct vision. The third triplet was located 2.5° SE, with the members 3681 and 3684 (both 11.6 mag) and the slightly brighter 3684; none of them spectacular, but forming a nice line SW-NE, and all fitting in the same 0.5° TFoV the Docter gives. I finished the observation with some more relaxed viewing of M 98, 100 and 99, moving slowly down to the splendor of Markarian's Chain. After 1h30min observing time, when the street lights went on at 05.00, I was pleased with the three so different triplets and Virgo's galaxy galore, and so to bed for two more hours of sleep.

Thanks for reading.

Stephan

 

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Great report Stephan, your 12.5mm eyepiece is also a favourite of mine- very high transmission and contrast. Markarians chain... what an excellent visual object set, congrats for a fine session!

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