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Deer Lick Galaxy group; Jupiter with Io


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The Deer Lick Group is very close to Stephan's Quintet, and was supposedly named after the Deer Lick Gap in North Carolina's mountains (i always wondered why it had such an odd name). Reportedly, someone had their best view of the group from an observing site near the gap, and chose the name by way of commemoration. Very odd name, and a very odd way to name a galaxy group, but i guess it stuck. :(

I'd observed the group several times this summer under better conditions and should have sketched it then. But the scope was new, and i had so many places i wanted to see. The transparency was so-so on the 7th, but all in all the sketch came out ok. The hardest part was sketching while standing on the ladder navigating the dreaded 'Dobson Hole', but it really wasn't too bad.

Admittedly i'm not much of a planet observer/sketcher, but Jupiter's moon 'Io' was due to transit on the 8th and i was anxious to see how easy/difficult it would be to see the moon through the 16"LightBridge. The seeing wasn't the best, but in better moments i was able to watch blazing white Io slip onto the edge of Jupiter and then fade to a lovely peach color as it floated across the planet. Pretty soon it's shadowbite was seen on the limb, and then the full shadow followed behind Io like a little puppy.

Other details popped in and out which i tried to capture, but the view was quite soft most of the time. Two bright spots were detected. The fainter oval-ish one was just above Io and the shadow, and the other was above it, round and more easily seen.

Thanks for reading! :(



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Thanks Mick, you'll definitely benefit from a dark sky. :D I'd seen the fainter galaxies during previous observations of 7331, but was on the ladder navigating near the zenith and chose to keep observing instead of losing the group if i went to get the sketching supplies. In a way, i miss the tracking my scopes have all had for the past 10 years. But the continuous nudging needed to keep Seymour on target gives me a pleasant satisfaction... like the way driving stick gives me a better 'feel' of the road. :)

Bish, if i get a chance i'll try pulling them in with the 8"SCT.

Something tells me i'd be wasting my time, though. :p

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Ok Bish, will do. TBH though, i had one heck of a time managing to pull in a few of the galaxies in Stephan's Quintet with the 8"SCT a few years ago on a night with better than average transparency, so i'm not expecting too much from the Deer Lick group... it'll be a nice challenge to try, though. :D

Thanks, Alan. :) No i've never masked the Dob, how is it done? Usually when the seeing doesn't allow things to be as sharp as i'd like, i just back the magnification down a bit. It makes the image smaller, but it's sharper.

Thanks, Ageless. i like to sketch because it makes me concentrate harder and really study the objects. If i don't sketch, the monkeys running around in my brain get bored and make me run all over the sky like a kid in a candy shop. :p

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Carol thats an excellent sketch of 7331 with friends which was one of the first DSO I tried with my proper 8half inch Newt and could see nobbles of dust with averted vision below nucleus, not obvious on your sketch - was dust picked up when viewing?


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Thanks, Alan. :D No i've never masked the Dob, how is it done? :D

It's very complicated & technical Carol :) - I got hold of an empty cereal packet (shredded wheat I believe, I think the brand is important :p) and cut a 12 inch hole in it and sticky-taped it onto the rocker box. Oh - and I spray painted the underside with black and hey presto ! - more detail on Jupe. (Plus improved double star viewing.)

I have to add that the figure of the outer zone of my mirror is a little off.


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Lovely drawings as always Carol!

I was aware of the Deer Lick group but only through my first Goto telescopes handset on my CG5-GT - it referred to the Deer Lick Galaxy which I duly slewed to and even in a 10" Newt the view from Taunton of NGC7331 was impressive but there was no evidence of anything else.

I guess I need a bigger scope and need to get back out to the sticks again :D


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Thanks, everyone.

Chris, you're too kind. :D

John, i didn't see any 'dust'.. do you mean dust lane structure near the galaxy's core? TBH, i've always concentrated on detecting the other galaxies more than studying 7331 itself, but i'll take a closer look when Luna's out of the way. :)

Not sure if i can handle that, Alan.. i'm quite technologically impaired. :D Actually, i made one a long time ago for the 8"SCT but can't really say that it improved the view... maybe i should have used a shredded wheat box? ;)

James, the galaxy group might make a good excuse for more aperture. ;)

Thanks Seb, try the group if you get a chance. With Stephan's Quintet being so close, it's like a 2-for1 sale. :p

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