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New moon and clear skies


Kon
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Last night the skies were finally clear and with a new moon it meant time for some DSOs. I started with some open clusters in Cassiopeia; C13 and NGC436 showed nice spread of stars and colours. Then I moved to C10 and the surrounding NGC654 and NGC659. C10 looked great and many stars well resolved in the ES68 24mm EP; it almost filled the FOV. I finished from Cassiopeia with NGC189 and NGC225. While in the area I could not resist the Persei double cluster. As always breath taking with white and yellow/orange stars.

I took a quick look at the Leo galaxies to test the seeing for fuzzies; i have seen them so many times this year that I do not need to star hope and I can just get in the area and pan around with my 24mm EP. Leo triplet look great with M65/66 and NGC3628 showing some nice details. M95/M96 and M105 with the accompanying NGC3384 looked great. NGC3367 and NGC3377 were just fuzzy patches of light.

Since transparency was good, I moved to Ursa Major and started from top to bottom; M97 and M108 looked as always great in the same FOV. I upped the mag on the M97 to try make the 'eyes' but not much details. I did not want to bother with the filters last night sicne my hands were completely frozen so I left it there. M109 showed some disk shape. The Whirlpool Galaxy with the interacting NGC 5195 looked great and the arm was much more evident than previous seeing.

New to me where the galaxies in Canes Venatici. I had not observed that area before.  I star hoped fromWhirlpool Galaxy to M63; a nice disk shaped galaxy and fairly bright. I moved to M94 and a nice fuzzy disk was evident. Further up, NGC4618 showed a fuzzy light but no sign of the NGC4625. I think transparency was dropping. I am kicking myself for skipping the Coccon galaxy (it was not on my notes to visit, somehow i completely missed that one!). The highlight on the area and the night was the C26. A thinly elongated galaxy with a nice bright core that was extending quite a bit with thinner edges. On my ES82 14mm EP it was nearly spanning the FOV. I spent a good 20min observing it.

The failures of the night were Sombrero and Antennae galaxies (NGC 4038/NGC 4039), Ghost of Jupiter (NGC3242) due to have in the low S horizon. I had seen the Sombrero and Ghost of Jupiter last year but I was really intrigued by the Antennae and nearby NGC4027. It will have to be later in the season or when S is a bit clearer.

I was already out for 2.5hrs and I finished the session with a look at Markarian's chain. Galaxies everywhere and I was too cold to note what I was seeing but fuzzy blobs while panning around.

A fantastic night after a rather weird week of clouds and snow. I was hoping that in April I wouldn't be freezing holding the OTA but I loved the tranquility and quietness of observing last night.

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Great report kon. 

I too was continuing the fuzzy hunt last night found alot of fuzzys in Markarians Chain in groups of 2 and 3 . Finished with the Sombrero galaxy very low in the sky.

There's so much more you're mentioned I haven't seen but after a few nights out in the freezing cold I think I need a rest.

Dave 

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2 hours ago, Dave scutt said:

Great report kon. 

I too was continuing the fuzzy hunt last night found alot of fuzzys in Markarians Chain in groups of 2 and 3 . Finished with the Sombrero galaxy very low in the sky.

There's so much more you're mentioned I haven't seen but after a few nights out in the freezing cold I think I need a rest.

Dave 

Thanks Dave. It sounds you also had a good night. Yes that area of the sky has so many things going on that you need several nights to appreciate. It is looking clear tonight again but I am staying in 🥱.

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