When you live in a bright sky zone and canâ€™t get away to a dark site, it may yet be worth your while to track down brighter galaxies if the transparency is good. This is what happened to me on Friday evening when I spent about 6 hours enjoying a warm dry summer night under the stars.
After a couple of hours of viewing bright galaxies, I remembered attempting to sketch NGC 5907 in late spring when clouds rolled in at put an end to observing. I returned to that edgeâ€“on galaxy on this evening and after getting as dark adapted as possible and moving the scope back and forth to stimulate averted vision, this is what I sketched. I did detect some irregular condensations of brightness in this galaxy.
This galaxy is about 39 million light years from us and although nearly edge on does not seem to have much of a central bulge. At low power it is a couple of fields of view to the east of the brighter lenticular galaxy NGC 5866 which is also nearly edge-on. NGC 5907 glows at magnitude 10.3 and is located at R.A. 15h 16', Dec. +56Â° 20'. I need about 10 inches of aperture to just detect this galaxy against the sky background on a good night.
In 1788 William Herschel located and described this nebula [galaxy].
Date and Time: 6-27-2009, 4:00-4:25 UT
Scope: 18â€ f/5 Dobsonian. 28mm, 24 mm eyepieces 82x, 95x
8â€x12â€ white sketching paper, 2H, 4H graphite pencils,
blending stump, scanned and inverted
Seeing: Pickering 8/10
Transparency: Average 4.5/5
Faintest stars visible overhead 4.4
Temperature: 26Â°C (80Â°F)
Galaxy magnitude: 10.3
Distance: 39 mly
Location: R.A. 15h 16m
Dec. +56Â° 20'