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Spring fuzzies.


oldfruit
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Well after what seems an eternity, the skies actually cleared tonight for a couple of hours. Even the wife decided to venture out with me tonight, though i suspect that was more to do with there being nothing on the telly. :)

To start the night off i pointed the scope at M42 as this never fails to impress. The subtle wisps of the nebula almost filling the field of view at 50x. The wife remarked that it looked almost like a butterfly and i have to say i agree.

Galaxies were next. M81 and M82 were well up so i pointed the scope at them. At 32x both galaxys were in the field of view. M81 was showing a bright core and very faint surrounding glow, M82 looked like a cigar shape. I then used 75x and then 100x on M82 and could just make out some features. Some darker and some lighter pionts along most of the galaxy. I had read about this "mottling" but was happy to have seen it for myself.

M51 was next. Now for such an iconic image as is presented in magazines, this galaxy was to me a bit of a let down visually. All i could make out were 2 very faint roundish smudges, one a little larger than the other. Maybe i should observe this one from a darker site when it is higher in the sky?

M108 came next on the list. When observed at 32x it looked like a small elongated smudge and higher magnification did not seem to resolve any more detail.

Next was M64. I found it east enough and spent a few mins observing at 32x then upped the mag to 75x. I was not sure but thought i could possibly make out the darkening towards the core. Again i should maybe try this one again when its a little higher.

All in all a nice session, and even the wife stayed for the duration.:p

Clear skies.

Mark.

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What a productive couple of hours, you must still have a grin on your face.

I picked out m51 the last time I was out, and saw what you saw, a little underwhelming, I'd like to try it from somewhere darker.

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Time well spent - I know what you mean about the let-down. I find it even worse when you bring someone out to see 'what you've found' and the let-down after seeing the 'faint fuzzy' is palpable. We're spoiled with all the beautiful CCD images we see of the distant galaxies (m51 comes to mind).

Cheers and dark skies.

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It sounds as if you a good successful session of galaxy hunting, and getting the wife to have look and be even slightly impressed is a huge bonus :p I know my mum tries to appear surprised but she sounded a little underwhelmed when I showed her SN2011b a few weeks back :)

I have to say I have always found M51 and its companion a little disappointing. I have only ever made out the two smudges next to each other with an enveloping haze, no detail visible like the spiral arms seen in deep ccd exposures. I think dark skies and more aperture would do wonders for this target, my skies get to just under mag 5 on a really good night but going somewhere with even less LP wouldn't hurt :(

Edited by Hypernova
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Was out again tonight and got a couple more to cross off the list. After checking stellarium i noticed that i had missed a couple of targets last night that should have been easily visible but i had been so wrapped up in my targets.

M81 and M82 were revisited tonight as i had missed NGC 3077 and NGC 2976. Neither comfortably quite fit into the same field of view as M81 and M82 but i saw them both. All i can say is that they were visible as small greyish smudges though the transparency is not great tonight, so as i have said before i will need to visit these targets again when conditions are better.

Next was a planetary nebula i have been wanting to see for ages. M97, again this was a target i had missed last night, though when i found it i could see why. I had been looking at M108 last night and when checking today realised i had missed M97 which was very nearby. Tonight when i did find M97 i was suprised to see it was quite large but very faint, there was no hint of "the eyes" in my scope. That may be due to the conditions or me needing a bigger scope?

Anyway, at this point my partner accidently put our outside light on :) so night vision gone for now but i will be out later if it stays clear.

Clear skies all and enjoy your weekends.

Mark.

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I had a good look at M97 a couple of nights ago in my 12". Needed an OIII filter to get any hint of the eyes. In fact, it was more of a slightly dark apple core really than separate eyes. The OIII certainly made the whole disc brighter though.

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Hi, last night got really clear up to 1am. i've never seen M51 so clear. there was enough detail to keep me there for 15 mins. at x100. Plenty to see in Leo and Virgo. Luckily I face N/E and the constellations rise and move around to the South. The night before the seeing was abyssmal, here's hoping for clear skies.

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First chance for me tonight to use my 16" Lightbridge for 'Spring fuzzies' observing, and I can't wait. Really looking forward to looking at the galaxies you are talking about. Just hope the neighbours security light doesn't get set off by a cat or fox to often! If all goes well, it'll be my first chance to submit an observation report here. :)

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First chance for me tonight to use my 16" Lightbridge for 'Spring fuzzies' observing, and I can't wait. Really looking forward to looking at the galaxies you are talking about. Just hope the neighbours security light doesn't get set off by a cat or fox to often! If all goes well, it'll be my first chance to submit an observation report here. :)

Lucky you, my vans in the garage being mended with my 16" in the back. Doh!:p

Regards steve

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First chance for me tonight to use my 16" Lightbridge for 'Spring fuzzies' observing, and I can't wait. Really looking forward to looking at the galaxies you are talking about. Just hope the neighbours security light doesn't get set off by a cat or fox to often! If all goes well, it'll be my first chance to submit an observation report here. :p

That`s one hell of a scope. Best of luck and will look out for your observing report from your light bucket.:)

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