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Novice Challenge

Some fuzzy delights in Virgo

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It’s been a LONG time since my last proper session, probably two or three months, I’ve just not felt like observing. But tonight the weather cleared and my mojo returned so I went out for a session with the 102ED. It was nice and transparent, but as is normal around here nowadays, the skies were quite bright. However I felt like a stroll around Virgo, so with the 17.5mm Morpheus in place giving 40x, I scanned around the top of the ‘bowl’. I immediately found a large bright galaxy which I worked out was M87. This before I was was even dark adapted, so I was pretty pleased already. Further slow scanning to the west revealed M58, M59 and M60. Scanning to the north showed M89 and M90. And back to the east I found M85 and M86 which make up the bottom of Markarians’s chain. Looking on SkySafari indicated that I should be able to see “The Eyes” galaxies, NGC4435 and NGC4438, in the same field of view. At mag 10 and 10.5 these were more challenging in the murky skies with the small aperture, but when upping the mag to 70x they just became visible. Pretty pleased and if I make it to the dark skies of Kelling next week, I will definitely revisit these and try and get the whole of Markarian’s Chain. 

Screenshots below from SkySafari, the FOV indicator is 1.9 degrees using the Morpheus 17.5mm giving 40x. 





Edited by RobertI
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