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A short but fulfilling session


Kon
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It has been a while since I had been out with my Dob on a moonless night. Unexpectedly,  the skies cleared around 1030 last night and I did not want to waste the opportunity to observe a few targets that had eluded me. Since it was a working day the next day I decided t hand pick 4-6 targets. My S horizon had quite bad haze but I was determined to see two targets there.  I started with the M104, Sombrero, galaxy in Corvus. At low mag it was a smudge of elongated light with a hint of bulging in the middle. Going up with the magnification, it became much clearer with a dark lave in the middle. Beaming with confidence that the transparency is not too bad, I went after my nemesis from earlier this spring; the NGC 4038/NGC 403 (Antennae) galaxies. I spent a good 40 minutes looking for them. I think moving lower in Corvus the seeing was getting worst as the haze made life hard to see anything. I was in the right area but at mag 11 it was hard. Finally, using averted vision I managed to see a smudge of light. I was happy to find them but deflated  by the lack of any details; they were just a smudge of light. Lets hope for better transparency. 

In a previous report, I said that I saw M101 as a smudge of light. Last night, it was right above me with better transparency compared to my S horizon. I could make some of the arms at low magnification which was awesome but without much details. Again I need better skies  to properly observe it 🤣. I then moved to the Cocoon galaxy which I completely forgot to observe when I visited the area a few weeks back. I think that was the highlight #1 of the night. Both NGC4490 and NGC4485 were  observable. NGC4490 was showing some structure at higher magnification whereas the NGC4485 was just a smudge of light. It kind of reminded me of the NGC 4631 (whale) galaxy.

As I was finishing off I decided to look at M13. Always beautiful to see all the stars and with averted vision more stars were expanding beyond the core. Highlight #2 of the night, the M57! Summer is coming and along the summer delights. I spent a good 10 minutes observing it at the mag134 star on the periphery was visible with averted vision.

Overall, I am glad to have got the Dob out and see some of the targets that had eluded me this spring. In typical British weather, it is all clouded this morning.

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Nice report Kostas. Glad you got a session in. Funnily enough The Antennae galaxies have been my nemesis objects too, in my two years of observing they have continued to elude me. My latest failure to see them was 4 nights ago. Oh well, we will keep trying! Wishing you clear skies mate

Joe

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Epick Crom said:

Nice report Kostas. Glad you got a session in. Funnily enough The Antennae galaxies have been my nemesis objects too, in my two years of observing they have continued to elude me. My latest failure to see them was 4 nights ago. Oh well, we will keep trying! Wishing you clear skies mate

Joe

 

 

Thanks Joe. Yes I am not satisfied with what I saw, I want to revisit it before it disappears in the summer skies. I thought it would be higher for you in Australia but from your site you are battling with LP if I remember well; can you see the nearby Sombrero, that can be a good indicator.It is nice to have some of these eluded targets since it makes hunting more fun. Interestingly, the Antennae do not get mentioned often in reports  here.

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28 minutes ago, Kon said:

Thanks Joe. Yes I am not satisfied with what I saw, I want to revisit it before it disappears in the summer skies. I thought it would be higher for you in Australia but from your site you are battling with LP if I remember well; can you see the nearby Sombrero, that can be a good indicator.It is nice to have some of these eluded targets since it makes hunting more fun. Interestingly, the Antennae do not get mentioned often in reports  here.

Yes, Corvus and the Antennae galaxies are higher up in the sky over here. The real killer for me is the light pollution, clouds at night appear white due to reflected light. M104 the Sombrero galaxy looks quite nice from my backyard, I can just make out its dust lane. The faintest galaxies I can see from my site are around 10.8 magnitude. Most galaxies I see in Virgo for example are faint smudges, the ones around magnitude 10.8 are barely detectable. I really need to get to a dark site soon😂. Happy hunting!

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