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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

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Mr. Mike
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/08/05

Loc: Churchville, NY
A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new
      #6473185 - 04/18/14 08:27 AM

Took short drive to my buddies place who happens to have wickedly dark skies. You know what that means: no messing with planets tonight.... It's time to go fetch me some galaxies. So I did. Here goes:

LEO
M65 and M66 - these aren't tough targets per se but they were looking great tonight for me. Easily resolved, good definition, and with averted vision I'd get some nice wisps and contrast changes. It's mind bending to think what you are looking at here. Two galaxies separated by an enormous distance yet they are in the same field of view in your eyepiece. I bounced between my ES 16mm and Nagler 9mm for the best views.

M105, M95, M96 - a quick sweep to the right landed me on this collection of smudges. Am I mistaken or do all three of these objects fit in a 2.5 degree field of view? I swear I had three light wisps in my view. When I upped the mag it seemed one dropped from view. Either way, I could clearly make these out and thoroughly enjoyed viewing them. As always with steady breathing, patience, and averted vision, I was able to tease out some moments of "wow" where you catch a brighter light wisp or smudge highlight. Awesome.

M98, M99, M100 - when I got in this area, I struggled a bit to get all three of these galaxies. I'm sure I got one and probably two but never three. I believe the pinwheel is the brightest so that's the one that provided the best look. Interestingly, as clear as it was last night there were random clouds hanging around and there were a few in this general area. I wonder if some lingering cloud was hurting my contrast here? Either way, I'm giving myself credit for bagging two of the three although my views of the other galaxies so far had been better.

URSA MAJOR
M101 - yeah. Got this sucker finally after a few failures last week. It was great. Not as bright as the galaxies in Leo but she was there in all her wispy glory. The Nagler 9mm rocked here. Perfect field of view and enough background darkness to make it stand out. I was floored.

M51, NGC5173 - excellent pair here. M51 is a no brainer. Just terrific. That little companion though was also fairly well defined. I'm totally digging these galaxy pairs or threesomes. Freeging awesome.

M109, M106 - always had a tough time with 109 but was able to land it last night. It's a tough one and I probably passed over it a couple times before that moment when you go "ah ha! Like the other objects, patience paid off and I had a few fleeting moments with this bugger. Pretty much the same for 106. It was there and had its moments but has lower surface brightness than some of the others. Still.... I BAGGED it and that's that.

I finished up the night with a couple globulars, M3 and M53 which were fantastic. M3 is particularly thick and bright. It's big too and can take pretty strong magnification. M53 is smaller and is harder to resolve for me but it's bright and pretty nonetheless.

Phew, sorry to ramble but these are the nights that make this the best hobby ever. There I was with my 110mm refractor hunting down galaxies like some space traveler. NO problem..... I conquered!


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MawkHawk
sage
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Mr. Mike]
      #6473565 - 04/18/14 12:12 PM

Great report. Galaxies are my favorite targets. Supposed to be clear here tomorrow night, if you can believe that, so I'll be off for some hunting as well.

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Philler
sage


Reged: 07/15/13

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Mr. Mike]
      #6474416 - 04/18/14 08:27 PM

I don't know if you got to see NGC 4216 a couple of degrees south of M 98, but I think it outperforms M98, 99, or 100 and doesn't seem to get as much attention. I sketched it the night of 3/31/14 and I think it might be the showpiece of this Virgo cluster area and showed some nice detail in my 10" at 68 x and 89 x.

Clear skies and hope you can get out and see more soon.

Edited by Philler (04/18/14 08:34 PM)


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Mr. Mike
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/08/05

Loc: Churchville, NY
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Philler]
      #6474499 - 04/18/14 09:13 PM

Quote:

I don't know if you got to see NGC 4216 a couple of degrees south of M 98, but I think it outperforms M98, 99, or 100 and doesn't seem to get as much attention. I sketched it the night of 3/31/14 and I think it might be the showpiece of this Virgo cluster area and showed some nice detail in my 10" at 68 x and 89 x.

Clear skies and hope you can get out and see more soon.




Ya know - my Sky Pro software showed a bunch of other galaxies in that area but whenever I see an object(especially a galaxy) labeled NGC I assume its probably too dim for my scope. I see you have a 10" scope which collects a heckuva lot more light than mine! However, I shall take your advice and get this guy on my list next time around.

Thanks for the info!


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Mr. Mike]
      #6474638 - 04/18/14 10:39 PM

Hi Mike!

Great report! As you know, my SV110 is arriving late next week hopefully. Great to hear the 'frac can drink in the galaxies from a dark site. I will be at a dark site in two weeks myself and will bring the 110. Hope I can report back as nicely as you have. Clear skies!

John


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Philler
sage


Reged: 07/15/13

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Mr. Mike]
      #6474829 - 04/19/14 01:06 AM

I think you might be amazed at the number of NGC galaxies you can see with your 110mm Refractor, and it looks like you have some first rate eps also.

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blb
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Philler]
      #6475210 - 04/19/14 10:04 AM

Quote:

...but whenever I see an object(especially a galaxy) labeled NGC I assume its probably too dim for my scope.



I see that you are getting a Stellarvue SV110ED next week, there are a great many galaxies to be seen with that telescope from a dark sky site. In fact I have made a list of over 600 galaxies that I can see with my 4-inch TV-102 refractor. With experance, patence and dark skies you will be surprised by how much you can see with that telescope.


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galaxyman
Vendor - Have a Stellar Birthday
*****

Reged: 04/04/05

Loc: Limerick, Pa
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: blb]
      #6475411 - 04/19/14 12:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

...but whenever I see an object(especially a galaxy) labeled NGC I assume its probably too dim for my scope.



I see that you are getting a Stellarvue SV110ED next week, there are a great many galaxies to be seen with that telescope from a dark sky site. In fact I have made a list of over 600 galaxies that I can see with my 4-inch TV-102 refractor. With experance, patence and dark skies you will be surprised by how much you can see with that telescope.




Absolutely, and in dark skies and bit of patience, plus trying a variety of magnification a smaller scope can do well. The first galaxy in each of my videos, most have been while observing with a 4” f/10 refractor, and now some with a new 5” f/5 reflector.

Anyway, great report Mr. Mike I enjoyed reading it.



Karl
E.O.H.


Chesmont Astronomical Society - www.chesmontastro.org
Galaxy Log - http://www.youtube.com/user/GalaxyLog4565
Galaxy Log Blog - http://galaxylog.blogspot.com/
HASB - http://www.haveastellarbirthday.com
Telekit (Swayze optics) 22" F/4.5 Dob
Homemade (Parks Optics) 12.5" F/4.8 Dob
Vixen 5.1" f/5 reflector
TMB/APM 8" f/9 Refractor”The Beast”. One great DEEP SKY achro
ES 6" f/6.5 achro. Good one
Celestron Omni XLT 102 refractor.
Celestron 10x60mm Binos


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Mr. Mike
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/08/05

Loc: Churchville, NY
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: galaxyman]
      #6475463 - 04/19/14 12:57 PM

Thanks to everyone for the comments and NGC encouragement! Not sure why I avoided them I just always thought the Messier objects were the best bet for us smaller refractor guys. But, I should have realized just how good my dark sky site realy is. Even in my lowest power EP - the sky is a blanket of white dots which says the conditions allow seeing very high-mag stars. That in turn means I can see more stuff.

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Philler
sage


Reged: 07/15/13

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Mr. Mike]
      #6476142 - 04/19/14 07:25 PM

Here's what I have learned; I never put any limits on DSOs I can see or any limits on the detail I can see based on what someone else says I can see. I am the guy at the eyepiece and I will be the only judge of what I see or cannot see.
Watch out for those that tell you that you need to at least have this size scope to see this or that object. You are the one looking through the eyepiece, not them.


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Mr. Mike
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/08/05

Loc: Churchville, NY
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Philler]
      #6479321 - 04/21/14 03:01 PM

Quote:

Here's what I have learned; I never put any limits on DSOs I can see or any limits on the detail I can see based on what someone else says I can see. I am the guy at the eyepiece and I will be the only judge of what I see or cannot see.
Watch out for those that tell you that you need to at least have this size scope to see this or that object. You are the one looking through the eyepiece, not them.




Thanks for the reply and encouragement. Next trip Im going to hunt me down some stuff thats really far away, even if Im not supposed to see any of it due to my 4.3 inch scope


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geminijk
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/03/08

Loc: TN
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Mr. Mike]
      #6480029 - 04/21/14 09:35 PM

Wonderful observing report! I usually limit myself to electronic means to observe galaxies, but your report sounds so enjoyable I'll have to try some visual work again.

Thanks for sharing.

John


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npc
super member


Reged: 03/23/13

Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Mr. Mike]
      #6480116 - 04/21/14 10:20 PM

Quote:

Thanks to everyone for the comments and NGC encouragement! Not sure why I avoided them I just always thought the Messier objects were the best bet for us smaller refractor guys.




FYI, using the data in the public NGC database, I count 16 galaxies that are larger, brighter, and have a higher surface brightness than, for example, M91, one of the lesser Messier objects, and are as far north as the southern-most Messier object. Given that I count 29 Messier galaxies (I'm omitting M102), over 1/3 of the galaxies above the "Messier minimum" visible to northern hemisphere observers are non-Messier objects.

According to my log, I've seen 220 distinct galaxies in just the last 11 months using my 5" reflector under green skies. Give them a shot.


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ensign
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: npc]
      #6481105 - 04/22/14 12:19 PM

I was pleasantly surprised at how many galaxies I could see in my Megrez 110. I now have an Equinox 120 and have had it out to a nearby "green site" where I did a little galaxy hunting as well.

I don't know if it's the extra 10 mm of aperture, but I could definitely make out NCG 3628 in the Leo Trio. I detected just a hint with direct vision, but it was unmistakable with averted vision.

You might want to give that a try with your 110. I'd be interested in your results.

A couple of great targets that you don't mention in your report are M63 (Sunflower) and M64 (Black Eye). Also M104 is very doable in 4" refractors.


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KidOrion
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/07/07

Loc: Carbondale, IL
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! [Re: ensign]
      #6481330 - 04/22/14 02:13 PM

Quote:

I was pleasantly surprised at how many galaxies I could see in my Megrez 110. I now have an Equinox 120 and have had it out to a nearby "green site" where I did a little galaxy hunting as well.

I don't know if it's the extra 10 mm of aperture, but I could definitely make out NCG 3628 in the Leo Trio. I detected just a hint with direct vision, but it was unmistakable with averted vision.

You might want to give that a try with your 110. I'd be interested in your results.

A couple of great targets that you don't mention in your report are M63 (Sunflower) and M64 (Black Eye). Also M104 is very doable in 4" refractors.




A great one for this time of year is NGC 2903 in Leo--a bright one that got away from Messier, and one of the best NGC galaxies.


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Alein 1630
super member


Reged: 01/18/13

Loc: Dutchess Count,y NY
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Mr. Mike]
      #6487603 - 04/25/14 11:28 AM

I was planning on taking a trip to a star party but it was canceled due to weather....
This was an opportunity to get out of my red zone and into a green zone...and the chance to spend the night galaxy hunting. That wont be happening


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teelgul
sage


Reged: 09/02/11

Loc: Australia
Re: A terrific evening of galaxy hunting! new [Re: Mr. Mike]
      #6504524 - 05/03/14 05:18 PM

Fantastic report Mike.There is always talk of more and more aperture.Whats important is the aperture we, have and how we use it. Small and simple and portable.Visual at its best.
Cheers
Vaidya


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