Jump to content


Another Fine Night of Observing


Recommended Posts

Telescope: Meade 16" Lightbridge

Transparency: no bad - except for the high cloud

Seeing: Pretty good

Quite a lot of fine sights last night. I started with Saturn which was nice and high by the time I observed it. The banding was quite clear on the planet but not much detail on the rings due to how closed up they are. There was also a fine selection of Saturn's moons visible.

The next on the list was Comet Lulin, finely got to see this. Not as impressive as Holmes last year but quite a nice sight nonetheless. It was just siting by Gemini and reasonably faint though very clear in the 26mm eyepiece. While I was in the vicinity of Gemini I thought I might try and get a glimpse of the Cone and Rosette Nebulae. The cluster just above the cone was quite nice, NGC 2264 - though no sign of any nebula. The Rosette seemed dark amongst the cluster with just a hint of nebula around it - no detail though. Back up by the cone and a little to the right is quite a bright nebula, though very small, called NGC 2261, it looked a bit like a triangle.

By this time the Big Dipper was getting quite high so I thought it might be nice to have a look at M51, which didn't dissappoint. The spiral structure was visible as was the link with the other little galaxy next to M51. While I was in the area M108 and M97 were standing out quite well and easy to find, not quite in the same field of view. M97 was quite bright and M108 was also standing out. I had a look at M109 as well, no detail but quite bright.

Scanning back across the sky I had a look at the Beehive Cluster which stands out nice and bright, a bit like M44. Below the Beehive is M67, a nice open cluster that easily fits in the 26mm eyepiece. Moving on from M67 I went back to M94 which is a bright galaxy with a prominant core and less brighter halo, not much structure visible though. M63 looked kind of similar - again with a bright core and halo of stuff around it. Still around Coma Venatici I had a look at NGC 5005 which is a long galaxy with a bulging core. Nearby was NGC 5033 which looks a lot like NGC 5005 but smaller. A lot of galaxies in this area!

The real treat though was NGC 4631 whch was quite large and quite a bit of detail visible, mostly motling along it's length. It looked a bit lopsided as well. The final stop for the evening was in Leo to have a look at NGC 3344 a small galaxy with a couple of bright stars in the foreground to make it easy to find. Finally a clear night and it was well worth it.:)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow what a great night you had. Quite a few of these I will add to my list as I've never seen them. I struggle with the Ursa Major galaxies due to LP but will keep trying.

Great report.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sam, what a fab report, it sounds like you had a cracking time. I love reading your reports, makes me realise why I love astronomy so much, I can follow your report in my minds eye, wonderfully written.

The Beehive Cluster is one of my favourites, I would love to see what it looks like through a 16", I only have binos! Saturn has been wonderful so far, I've enjoyed just knowing it is in full view even when I can't get outside. I think I managed to make out the rings in my binos the other night, not much detail at all, but the small yellow-orange-ish disk of Saturn appeared to have small 'ears'!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Doc, Amanda and Carol.

Carol, yes I had to use averted vision but directly looking at it I reckon it could be seen - but it was certain with averted vision.

Amanda, the Saturn you saw with the small ears is what Galileo saw, quite amazing really - and yes the Beehive is great. I think you would get a better view of it in the Binos though as the entire cluster doesn't fit in the FOV on the 16".:)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.