I have to say that Spring isn’t my favourite time of the year to observe. With the Milky Way low in the sky, there seems to be a lot more emptiness in the night sky from a LP site. But there are lots of galaxies and also plenty of globular clusters to try to find...
Last night I had a very pleasant (and pretty warm - makes a change) 2 hours observing session. I was in my back garden (sqm 18.4, about as good as I get in SW London) with my new c11 edge. I used a 0.7x reducer with a 55mm plossl and night vision monoculars to get about 40x magnification and a 1 degree fov. Stars were really nice and sharp to the edge of the field of view.
I started with an old favourite m81 and m82. Both fitted into the fov nicely, showed decent structure and I could see nice mottling in the middle of m82. Without the night vision I could barely see m82 at all, a very significant jump up in views with the NV tonight.
I also accidently spotted close by m81 a new galaxy for me, ngc 3077, I didn’t realise there was another quite bright galaxy near this pair. Then I went for another favourite, the needle galaxy which showed the dark lane clearly and had some really nice extension filling about half the fov. M104 (Sombrero) also showing the dark lane clearly. Definitely the best views of galaxies I’ve ever had from my back garden.
Given the pretty good transparency (for London!) I decided to go through the April telescope house sky guide (Deep Sky Delights in Canes Venatici)
It was basically a galaxy fest and I spotted all of those listed apart from Ngc 5173 (which I think was just a bit too small to spot clearly for the magnification I was using)
So galaxies observed were m51(whirlpool), ngc 5195, m63 (sunflower), m94, ngc 5005, ngc 4631 (whale- nice shaped galaxy), ngc 4657, ngc 4656, ngc 4244 (silver needle galaxy - lot fainter than the needle it seemed), cocoon (ngc 4485 and ngc 4490, interacting galaxies, very interesting to observe), ngc4449, m106 (nice spiral). So 18 galaxies in all.
Finally I moved on to some globular clusters and, my, they were good last night.
I started with m3 which surprised me by just how bright and impressive it was compared with the galaxies I had been observing. M13 was predictably awesome, propellor sticking out very clearly. M92, m12 and m10 were all clearly resolved as well.
A final quick look at the crescent nebula just peeking over the neighbours roof and then the clouds arrived. But it was past midnight by then...
Edited by Gavster, 26 April 2019 - 02:17 AM.