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A Crazy Night on a Hard Target

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#1 rolandlinda3

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 08:32 AM

Star charts show NGC 4236 as very large, which it is, but also warn that it is faint. I had already spent a night with a C8 hunting for this galaxy. Last night I tried with a 12.5 Dob and found it starhopping through the region. It is, as claimed, big but also barely seeable across the eyepiece. With averted vision I could barely detect it across the field.

Then the lightning from a retreating cell to the NE began echoeing off the clouds. Then the wind changed from nothing to 15-25 miles per hour. One minute there would be light reflections off bands of high bands of clouds, then it would clear for a few minutes, then the wind would pound the scope, then it was calm...it never stayed the same.

I hurriedly put in the astro video camera, set it on a pretty high gain and found the target, then modified the integration time to 28 seconds. Under wind conditions, this means I live with the Dobsonian "jostle" that blurs the image, but at least I get the target.

Then a nice long band of cirrus, whose long line was traveling directly over the target, stopped any reasonable image. After 15 minutes, clearing, then 10 minutes of sketching, then the next band. Then the wind kicked up enough that I was afraid the Dob would topple off the platform. A little later I got one more brief look period and called it quits. Linda came and looked at the target at the end but it was not very impressive by that time.

There is a portion of a bible book called 1 Peter that warns of a common condition for a believer: a wide variety of trials but a common faith that can sustain us through them. This evening's observation period reminded me of that lesson. It was a minor many-faceted trial, but a good reminder of a larger more serious truth. (1Pet 1:6-7)

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#2 Kris.

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 02:47 PM

Then a nice long band of cirrus, whose long line was traveling directly over the target, stopped any reasonable image. After 15 minutes, clearing, then 10 minutes of sketching, then the next band.


isn't it curious how often that happens? :grin:

#3 frank5817

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 05:55 PM

Roland,

This is a very fine sketch of this northern galaxy. :bow: :cool: This galaxy was on a list I made of galaxies to observe from a very dark sky site 2 years ago but I never got to it before twilight ended the night. Eventually I'll meet this member of the M81 group.

Frank :)

#4 Shannon s

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 06:21 PM

That sounds like my observing sessions. Still good sketch. :applause:

#5 Tommy5

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 06:42 PM

great sketch in difficult conditions

#6 CarlosEH

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 04:03 AM

Roland,

A very interesting barred spiral galaxy in Draco. This galaxy lies approximately 11.7 million light-years from us. It contains at least three radio sources of which one may be a quasar. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Links;
http://www.hawastsoc...ps/dra/dra4.gif
http://www.starimage...es/NGC 4236.htm
http://www.astrosurf...000/NGC4236.jpg
http://www.lostvalle...gbfinal.kbq.jpg

Carlos






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