Posted 12 June 2013 - 11:20 AM
Thanks everyone for the thumbs up, this object was one of many I have sought in between periods of heavy rain, milky skies and clouds. The NELM was probably around 6 or so, skies in coastal Alabama are badly light polluted and polluted too. The fourth galaxy was just barely visible at 298X, and I had to strain to make out the long needle shape profile. The other galaxies were easy to spot, even through a 10-inch they are not challenging to see because their surface brightnesses are high. I'm sure I could find them through a 6-inch. That night was unsually clear so I jumped at the chance to try my luck with the 15-inch, I knew NGC-4173 was not going to appear through a 10-inch. As for large telescopes, I scraped together the money to build the structure myself, and buy the optics. If you can weld, and work with wood and metal, building your own large Dobsonian is very feasible. I opted to be conservative with the design, but it is possible to build a lightweight truss-tube that fits in any car, but offers 15 or 16-inches of aperture. Pretty much anything you would ever care to see would appear through a 15-inch from a dark site, only very remote and therefore extremely faint objects require larger apertures to detect. Even at that, detecting them is the prize.