Dates: January to April 2019
Scope: 20” f3.6 Lukehurst Dob with Paracorr (fl = 2089mm & f4.1).
Night Vision: PVS-14 with Photonis 4g INTENS.
Eyepieces: Plossl 55mm (f2 x38)
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
Galaxies are my main interest in the night sky. I have changed my equipment several times over the years and each change is always driven by a desire to see spiral arms in galaxies.
The equipment being used to fulfil my desire currently is a 20” f3.6 dobsonian with PVS-14 Night Vision Device attached to a 55mm TeleVue Plossl giving me x38 magnification and an “effective” focal ratio of around f2.
In early January, I picked up a list of the 200+ brightest galaxies from cloudynights and began working my way through them. The clouds and the moon have impacted my progress but I am now passed the 100 mark so I thought it was worth making an interim posting while galaxy season is still above us, just in case anyone wants some inspiration for their target choices?
As an aside, I have also been observing “other neighbouring” galaxies recently which has resulted in some nice finds, so I am now also “adding” to the initial list as I go.
It is also worth noting that my skies are SQM 21.6 for comparison purposes.
I have graded all galaxies observed from 0 – 3 where 0 means “nothing to see here” and 3 means “spiral arms directly observed”.
Grade 3 galaxies (“Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”).
[spiral arms directly observed]
NGC3728 - given as Mag 14+ in sky safari, but it turns out that its Mag 10+ in Ha
Grade 2 galaxies (“Something In The Air”)
[Arm detail hinted in direct or with averted vision. These galaxies may be a grade 3 on the right night with the best conditions]
"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
Here are some Sky Safari Observing Lists!
Grade 3 Galaxies - Copy.skylist.txt 7.76KB 23 downloads
Grade 2 Galaxies - Copy.skylist.txt 10.42KB 7 downloads
You need to remove the ".txt" from the end of the filename then email them to your device (that has Sky Safari installed), when you open the .skylist in the email app on your device it should ask you if you want to send it to Sky Safari. HTH!
"I'm A Believer"
I know that not all observers are happy about the use of Night Vision technology and do not see it as "visual" observing but the fact that I have stood at my telescope and seen spiral arms/dust lanes (or decent hints of them) in all those galaxies listed above speaks for itself.
As a galaxy man, I can smile as I say that I have "uttered expletives" and "broken out some cheeky grins" over the last 3 months (of galaxy observing ) as the once hidden spiral arms have come into my view!
The only real downside of the NV approach is the lack of magnification meaning that all galaxies are pretty small in the eyepiece but its amazing when you seen the curves of the tiny spiral arms that even these small targets can reveal.
I will publish another (longer) version in the next twelve months as my exploration of the remaining 100+ bright galaxies plus nearby neighbours continues...
Hopefully someone willl find this useful!
Edited by alanjgreen, 11 April 2019 - 12:02 PM.