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A night with the hunting dogs.


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Inspired by finally finding the eskimo nebula in the early hours of Sunday morning, i fancied a few more "firsts". (my last attempt ended in failure as I was looking in the wrong place!)

Armed with my ST120 i had a gander at M51, not the best i've seen it, but ok. Next onto M97 & M108,both in the same field at 30x.

I was suprised how bright M97 was- its often a struggle to see from the back yard, so i thought i'd try for a new galaxy or two in Canes Venatici.

First up was NGC4449, Caldwell 21, a little north of beta C.V, this was a pleasant suprise, quite bright with hints of detail. It also took magnification well, was up to 92x no problem.

I shall return to this one in due course for a more detailed examination-i recommend a look for anyone with a smallish scope.

Next down to alpha ( Cor Caroli),one of my favorite star names, which i'd forgotten is a pleasant double star.

A few degrees SE of this NGC5005, Caldwell 29 & again in the same field at 30x, NGC5033. Neither as bright as Caldwell 21, but far better than i expected.

Back up to beta C.V & a few degrees trek west to NGC 4244, Caldwell 26, the "silver needle galaxy". This one was a bit tricky, but at a quoted mag of 10.4 that's pretty good going for 120mm from my back yard.

It did live up to its name, & i think its long slender shape helps pick it out from the sky background. again, worth a look.

Finished my time with the hunting dogs with m94& m63, bright but featureless in my wee scope.

A first (& disappointing ) look at Saturn this year,rounded off the night before heading to the warmth of bed at 4am.

Five new dso's in one night- thats pretty good going for me!

Hopefully the experience will inspire me to get to grips with the Coma-Virgo group of galaxies this Spring, as i never really have, quickly becoming hopelessly lost!

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