K-Tec

Galaxy hunting

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10 months 3 weeks ago #105774 by john5
Great night Friday night, unusually clear skies down South so went hunting some deep sky denizens with 12" Dob from suburban backyard with a little light pollution.
Firstly went in search of Leo Triplet but sky not very dark about 10.30 pm so became Leo Doublet M65, M66. About an hour later found NGC 3628 , two became three ! Much fainter than M65, M66, but appears larger and only my second time bagging . Three of them impressive through low power 32 mm eyepiece, the two Messier galaxies especially bright.
Took a trip into Ursa Major and as usual blown away by M81(Bode's galaxy) and M82 , a real Star-Trek thrill to watch through low power as both beautifully framed in a dark sky. For those new to deep sky I would say possibly best galaxy sight in the heavens!? M82 in particular takes high powers well, revealing more detail as magnification increases.
Back again to Leo , this time in search of an often overlooked galaxy NGC 2903 which I only found for the first time the previous night having read an article in an astronomy magazine. Though faint, NGC2903 is an easy find as it resides only a little south of Lambda Leonis . At only 20million L.Y . away it's a relatively close barred spiral galaxy that appears quite large,if faint ,through a scope. Easy find if skies a little dark.
Into the lair of galaxies in Virgo next as a night cap! Got totally lost and as it got darker more and more blobs appeared, some beautifully obvious as great Spiral Galaxies others just visible as faint smudges ! Went looking for Markarian's Chain and fairly sure I found it eventually when I spied a line of galaxies enveloped in a slight haze or nebulosity. Problem with collimation!!! ? Unfortunately didn't hang around long enough to positively identify any, got too cold!
Roll on some more clear skies

John.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Seanie_Morris, michael_murphy, lunartic, johnomahony, Kinch, RandomPillars

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10 months 3 weeks ago #105783 by flt158
I am glad to see you are busy observing John.
I cannot as I am up to my eyes (pun!) still doing census work.
But what an excellent report this is using a wonderful telescope and seeing all those galaxies.
So well done to you, John!

Clear skies to you,

Aubrey.

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10 months 3 weeks ago #105785 by john5
Thanks for that Aubrey.
Am sure you'll be back to giving your wonderful double star reports shortly. Still using my FLT 132 for looking at double stars and planets. Contrast and detail much better I find even with lower aperture. Deep sky benefits from larger aperture though.
Skies clouded over again down here in Deep South!
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