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Two galaxy fields in Leo

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#1 Astrojensen

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 12:47 PM

Hello!

On April 21st and again on the 24th, 2011, I observed the two well-known galaxy groups in Leo, the Leo Triplet with M65, M66 and NGC 3628 and the group with M95, M96 and M105. Again, I used the wonderful little WO 72 f/6 and Baader Maxbright bino, a match made in heaven! I used magnifications from 21x to 53x on the bino and checked for faint details with single eyepieces from 42x to 84x.

First the Leo Triplet:

Posted Image

Notice the bright southern arm of M66. I've seen this one with a 60mm as early as 1993 and even suspected it with my 50mm Zeiss. In NGC 3628 I could see a dim core a wee bit north of the center of the galaxy and a faint extension to either side. I couldn't see the dust band, though.

Next, the M105 group:

Posted Image

This group, after observing the dynamic Leo Triplet, is almost a little boring, yet it's a nice field and the four brightest galaxies could be held easily in the field at 21x.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#2 JayKSC

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 04:33 PM

Wow, Thomas! That's quite a lot of detail with a 72mm scope. You've given me hope at nabbing the M65/66 group with my own 77mm scope - although I am under severe light pollution. What sort of sky conditions did you have? How dark were the skies?

- Jay
South Florida

#3 IVM

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:11 PM

I like the "combined" (binos+small scope) approach, and this is an astonishing level of detail for 72 mm! I would assume you had an especially dry night. (Which does not at all fit the stereotype I developed having once vacationed on the island of Ruegen south of yours ;)

#4 Astrojensen

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:53 PM

Thanks!

Jay, I live in a small village, but the sky is very good, around mag 6.5 on a good night, which they've been recently. There is a little light pollution, but mostly in form of direct glare from windows and such.

IVM, I only used a telescope, not binoculars. The Baader Maxbright is my binoviewer for the telescope, not binoculars. Yes, the nights were dry and clear. It's not common, but we do often get periods like this in late spring. Tonight was far less inspiring. Hazy skies, appearing flat and with no depth. I got bored quickly and went inside.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#5 JayinUT

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:48 PM

Thomas,

Your detail in these smaller sketches are amazing. I understand how you place the star field but I find it very interesting the amount of detail that you can sketch into your objects. May I inquire how you go about that?

#6 Astrojensen

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:14 PM

Hi Jay

Thanks!

How I do it? Wow, um, I just... draw it, really. Seriously, I never thought it was anything unusual. I print the star field on A4 paper, with the circle being about 16cm (6.1") in diameter. I then draw the galaxies as I observe them, at the telescope. Later I make a cleaned up copy on a identical print, where I carefully draw the details I have observed and sketched in the raw sketch. I also check with photos to detect any possible errors. This happens often. I then reobserve the field again and make corrections. I do not draw details I'm uncertain of after checking with a photo. Once I am satisfied with the observation, I make the finished drawing. In the finished sketch above, M66 is 8mm's long on the paper. I sketch with a rather thin pencil and a very light touch. I blur the details with my fingertip, if needed. I guess it would be much easier to place all the details correctly in a large sketch and get a smooth texture on the galaxies, but then such a field gets very huge and I don't know how to get around that. I am just getting started with sketching deep-sky objects, so I have much to learn. I wish I had started decades ago, but I thought it was too difficult. I was wrong, of course. I could have had a collection of thousands of objects by now. Oh well, better late than never.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#7 Bill Possel

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 06:42 AM

Hi Thomas,

These are wonderful sketches. It's impressive how much detail you can observe with a small scope especially with dark skies.

Bill

#8 niteskystargazer

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 09:09 AM

Thomas,

Very nice sketches of those Two Galaxies in Leo :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#9 frank5817

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 02:08 PM

Thomas,

Good skies really make a great difference.

Excellent sketches.

Frank :)

#10 Rutilus

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 03:31 PM

Amazing detail Thomas. I use to observe these galaxies as part of my supernovae hunting days.
Back in the days before light pollution, I remember observing M65/66 with just a pair of 10x50 binoculars.

#11 JayKSC

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 05:00 PM

Thanks for the info. about your observing location, Thomas! Your dark skies clearly help you enjoy and get great views of these galaxies. Unfortunately it's been cloudy here so I've not had a go at the Leo targets with my 77mm scope. Hopefully I can eventually catch one or two of these galaxies despite my city skies!

Keep up the great sketches.

:) Jay
South Florida






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