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Virgo Galaxies

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#1 MellonLake

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 10:58 AM

I spent a couple hours cruising Virgo last night with the XT10 at a Bortle 1-2 site in North Eastern Ontario under near perfect conditions. I was viewing at 85X and 3mm exit pupil. I lost count of the number of galaxies I found. I swear it was more than 50, that were easy to find.

How many galaxies are easily identifiable in Virgo with a 10"? I did not take the time to figure out which NGC each one was but may try to do this in the future. Using a manual telescope, it is a bit of a task to figure out which NGC each of these are, any suggestions on a quick methodology?
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#2 vdog

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 11:03 AM

Wow.  I couldn't tell you how many but I'd love to find out.  The Virgo Cluster under those skies must have been amazing.

 

I'm jealous.



#3 clearwaterdave

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 11:14 AM

Try SkySafari.,I made my way through IDing them  as I went last year.,A slow but fun couple of nights.,Some fov's had 4-5 in it.,This was with a127mm achro.,

I did a slow cruise there last night with a 120 achro.w/25mm=40×., lost count.,lol.,Best2all

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#4 MellonLake

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 11:18 AM

I have not had any nights like that before. You could clearly see the star clouds in the milky way between Cassiopeia and Aquila. Not just a glow but the looked like destinct clouds. Had to leave around 12:30 because my daughters were tired so I did not get to see Sagittarius. Maybe tonight, fingers crossed.

#5 havasman

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 11:18 AM

That sounds like a fine session! Congratulations. Galaxy hopping through Virgo is one of the joys of the hobby when you have aperture and conditions that allow it. Keeping your bearings and ID'ing what you're seeing... well I think that's destined to fail at some point 'cause the more and better you look, the more you will see until they do (for me at least) eventually overwash the ability to keep them all sorted.

 

The deepest charts I have used are the Tri-Level Torres charts. A-level is broad, B-level is expanded and more detailed and the C-level charts go very deep. C-level is so detailed that I expand them via zooming and then print the screen view of the small area of concern. They're floating around the interwebthingy. The Spanish university site that held them when I downloaded the .pdf's took theirs down some years ago. I spent >20 hours over 3 sessions one summer trying to id all the galaxies the C-Level charts identified within the bowl of the Big Dipper with a 16" Starmaster. These charts should be helpful in Virgo.


Edited by havasman, 23 May 2020 - 12:54 PM.

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#6 Mike Lynch

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 11:35 AM

How many galaxies are easily identifiable in Virgo with a 10"? I did not take the time to figure out which NGC each one was but may try to do this in the future. Using a manual telescope, it is a bit of a task to figure out which NGC each of these are, any suggestions on a quick methodology?

     Like the majority of people on these forums, I, too, like to identify any object I find by its official name.

 

     However,  the Virgo galaxy group is, as you found, so rich and packed with galaxies, that I would spend time first simply "cruising" them, as you did, and enjoy the simple pleasure of just seeing them. 

 

     I might even go so far as to suggest that you not try to identify them by Messier or NGC designation. Compare and enjoy the varying sizes, shapes, and, in a number of cases, the subtle internal details you can pick up with your scope.

 

     You're on a voyage of discovery, just like astronomers of earlier centuries before there were official designations for these galaxies!

 

Enjoy!

 

Mike

Frankfort, Ky.


Edited by Mike Lynch, 23 May 2020 - 11:37 AM.

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#7 Tony Flanders

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 03:17 PM

I spent a couple hours cruising Virgo last night with the XT10 at a Bortle 1-2 site in North Eastern Ontario under near perfect conditions. I was viewing at 85X and 3mm exit pupil. I lost count of the number of galaxies I found. I swear it was more than 50, that were easy to find.

How many galaxies are easily identifiable in Virgo with a 10"? I did not take the time to figure out which NGC each one was but may try to do this in the future. Using a manual telescope, it is a bit of a task to figure out which NGC each of these are, any suggestions on a quick methodology?

Yes, there are certainly at lest 50 galaxies in the Virgo/Coma Cluster that pretty much reach out and grab your eye through a 10-inch scope under dark skies. I've never tried a comprehensive survey of the cluster, but there certainly must be several hundred visible with a little effort through a scope that size under dark skies.

 

Obviously, you need a good chart to identify them. The closeup chart in the Pocket Sky Atlas would be a good starting point. Or any decent electronic app. I tend to organize them around the Messier galaxies, which correspond quite well to the brightest and boldest. The biggest problem with that methodology is that there are pretty big swaths of the cluster with no Messier objects in them.

 

Whatever you do, it's definitely worth walking up Markarian's Chain, from the M84-M86 pair and their attendants northeast to NGC 4477. There's nothing else like it in the entire sky.

 

And it's certainly worth memorizing the pattern of the Messier galaxy -- minus the outliers M49, M61, and M104 which are far off from the main bunch.


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#8 chrysalis

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 03:43 PM

Under Bortle 2 skies in the Bortle scale on https://www.cleardar.../csk/faq/2.html is the descriptor: " Users of large dobsonian telescopes are very happy."

 

Don't worry, be happy!


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#9 MellonLake

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 03:53 PM

Under Bortle 2 skies in the Bortle scale on https://www.cleardar.../csk/faq/2.html is the descriptor: " Users of large dobsonian telescopes are very happy."

 

Don't worry, be happy!

Definitely smile.gif.  I had no idea!  Anybody who says aperture doesn't help needs to see the Virgo galaxies in a big dob.  Now I wish my 10" was bigger.  I think I have the fever.   

 

I am going to cruise Virgo more again tonight.  


Edited by MellonLake, 23 May 2020 - 03:53 PM.

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#10 KidOrion

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 04:25 PM

The chart you want to use is the 'B' chart in Sky Atlas 2000.0. 17 degrees x one hour of RA; stars down to 10.5 magnitude. Has about 150 galaxies plotted; this will cover the majority of the brighter galaxies you'd find in a 10" scope. My six-night mop-up of the galaxies on the chart is detailed here: https://unfrozencave...ghts-at-virgos/

 

The TriAtlas 'C' chart for downtown Markarian is Chart 238. It's outstanding for identifying all the small, dim blurs lurking in the background, but it's a bit overkill in terms of detail; there's probably three hundred galaxies labelled on it. Somewhat more manageable are Charts D2 and D3 in the interstellarum atlas, which weed out many of the background galaxies beyond the reach of a 12" scope.

 

I'd use the Sky Atlas 2000.0 or interstellarum charts for your basic galaxy-hopping needs, then supplement with Sky Safari and/or the TriAtlas chart for identifying anything deeper. (The TriAtlas C charts are available as an app for various iThings; I find it indispensable for use in the field.)


Edited by KidOrion, 23 May 2020 - 04:28 PM.

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#11 REC

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 01:38 PM

I spent a couple hours cruising Virgo last night with the XT10 at a Bortle 1-2 site in North Eastern Ontario under near perfect conditions. I was viewing at 85X and 3mm exit pupil. I lost count of the number of galaxies I found. I swear it was more than 50, that were easy to find.

How many galaxies are easily identifiable in Virgo with a 10"? I did not take the time to figure out which NGC each one was but may try to do this in the future. Using a manual telescope, it is a bit of a task to figure out which NGC each of these are, any suggestions on a quick methodology?

I just love cruising the "mouth" of Virgo over to the tail of Leo with my 10" Dob with my 24mm 68* FOV @ 52x and then my 13mmT6 82* at 95x.


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#12 jayrome

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 08:34 AM

This was my experience last Thursday night as well. For me, Markarian's Chain is really the center of the Virgo cluster. I always come back to 'The Great Galactic Face' as a 'home base' and jump-off point. From there, it's easy to find M87, M88, M89, etc. It is overwhelming though, and one can quickly and easily get lost as one 'galaxy-hops' from one faint fuzzy to another.


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#13 MP173

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 08:51 AM

How about 102mm refractor in Bortle 5 skys?  What about with a 15% moon?

 

Any idea of what I can expect?

I have a dandy list of doubles lined up in Virgo, just awaiting clear skys.

 

ed



#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 09:01 AM

I did a SkySafari search for galaxies magnitude 12.0 or brighter and 1.0 arc-minute or larger.  There are 162 in Virgo, 51 in Leo and 51 in Coma Berenices. For magnitude 11, the numbers are 71, 23, and 27.  

 

I like just wandering around the Leo-virgo cluster but these days I generally work with SkySafari to identify the galaxies I'm seeing. 

 

There's a lot of them.

 

Jon


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#15 MellonLake

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 09:21 AM

Ed;

  I view in Bortle 8, Bortle 4, and Bortle 1-2 skies.  Bortle 6 is going to be tough on galaxies.  You might see some of the really bright ones but it will only be a few.  Galaxies really benefit from dark skies.  I can certainly see some of the brighter Messier galaxies in Bortle 4 but even then they are washed out.  In Bortle 3 or less you can see many galaxies.  The moon, even at 15%, is not your friend for galaxies, I don't really even try if the moon is above the horizon.   

 

All the best.

 

Rob  



#16 REC

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 02:17 PM

I did a SkySafari search for galaxies magnitude 12.0 or brighter and 1.0 arc-minute or larger.  There are 162 in Virgo, 51 in Leo and 51 in Coma Berenices. For magnitude 11, the numbers are 71, 23, and 27.  

 

I like just wandering around the Leo-virgo cluster but these days I generally work with SkySafari to identify the galaxies I'm seeing. 

 

There's a lot of them.

 

Jon

Hi Jon, How many of these 11-12 mag. galaxies can you get a decent view of in a 10" Dob in your red zone area? I generally use a 13mm T6 for 95x and 82* fov. Should I go lower to maybe 50x EP ?



#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 03:03 PM

Hi Jon, How many of these 11-12 mag. galaxies can you get a decent view of in a 10" Dob in your red zone area? I generally use a 13mm T6 for 95x and 82* fov. Should I go lower to maybe 50x EP ?

 

Not many, a few,  but each ones a project. In a red zone, I think magnitude 10 is a good number for a 10 inch.

 

The 13 mm is a good eyepiece, I would use a wider field for star hopping but to see it, a 13mm or shorter.

 

Jon


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#18 Tony Flanders

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 06:05 AM

Hi Jon, How many of these 11-12 mag. galaxies can you get a decent view of in a 10" Dob in your red zone area? I generally use a 13mm T6 for 95x and 82* fov. Should I go lower to maybe 50x EP ?

It depends what you mean by "a decent view." It's certainly possible to detect numerous Virgo Cluster galaxies with a 10-inch scope in the red zone. But it's arguably impossible to get a "decent" view of any galaxy from the red zone with any instrument whatsoever. Pretty much all you can detect from the red zone is size, aspect ratio, position angle, and degree of concentration. Almost all the details that distinguish one galaxy from another are invisible.

 

Then again, the Virgo Cluster is mostly ellipticals, and elliptical galaxies are usually pretty boring even under pristine skies. What makes the Virgo Cluster interesting is the patterns formed by the galaxies rather than the galaxies themselves. With some exceptions.


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#19 Chesterguy1

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 01:09 PM

I'm in a Bortle 5 zone and I can always spend hours in the Virgo cluster and keep finding galaxies with my 8". I test with a SQM meter and on excellent nights the magnitude above 60 degrees is above 20.1. With the 15" it's almost too much, but it a satisfying way.

 

Chesterguy



#20 rocco13

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 10:59 AM

I remember back when I had my 15" Obsession under dark skies, there were so many Virgo galaxies that trying to identify them became impossible because I was seeing many more than what was depicted on my Pocket Sky Atlas. (I guess I should have bought a better atlas. wink.gif ) Trying to figure out which NGC I was looking at became frustrating but at the same time awe-inspiring. If I wasn't such a stickler of having to identify what I'm seeing I might have enjoyed the experience much more!

 

Perusing the same area at home in the suburbs with my 10" still showed a few more than the PSA, but not so many that I was overwhelmed.


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#21 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 01:38 PM

I remember back when I had my 15" Obsession under dark skies, there were so many Virgo galaxies that trying to identify them became impossible because I was seeing many more than what was depicted on my Pocket Sky Atlas. (I guess I should have bought a better atlas. wink.gif ) Trying to figure out which NGC I was looking at became frustrating but at the same time awe-inspiring. If I wasn't such a stickler of having to identify what I'm seeing I might have enjoyed the experience much more!

 

Perusing the same area at home in the suburbs with my 10" still showed a few more than the PSA, but not so many that I was overwhelmed.

 

This one reason why I use Sky Safari Pro. I can adjust what's visible to the scope and the conditions. And the databases are deep enough that I can identify star fields in the main scope at high magnifications.

 

Jon


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#22 InkDark

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 01:51 PM

I spent a couple hours cruising Virgo last night with the XT10 at a Bortle 1-2 site in North Eastern Ontario under near perfect conditions. I was viewing at 85X and 3mm exit pupil. I lost count of the number of galaxies I found. I swear it was more than 50, that were easy to find.

How many galaxies are easily identifiable in Virgo with a 10"? I did not take the time to figure out which NGC each one was but may try to do this in the future. Using a manual telescope, it is a bit of a task to figure out which NGC each of these are, any suggestions on a quick methodology?

This spring I took some time with my 10 inch Dob under less than ideal skies (Borle 5). Using the Pocket Atlas I identified 37 of the 67 galaxies shown on chart C.

 

The best place to start is m84-86 and than follow the chain, but at some point you will need to make longer starhops, like getting to M49. Lots of fun though!

 

Sketching your way, helps tons.


Edited by InkDark, 29 May 2020 - 01:52 PM.

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#23 Chesterguy1

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 04:16 PM

I must have visited Markarian’s Chain at least 25 or more times with all different size instruments. Like InkDark, I almost always start with M84/86 working my way through the surrounding galaxies then following the Eyes into Virgo A (M87). After that, it’s whatever suits me during that particular viewing session. I never tire of that area.

 

Chesterguy


Edited by Chesterguy1, 30 May 2020 - 04:17 PM.

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#24 Bill001

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 04:42 PM

I spent a couple hours cruising Virgo last night with the XT10 at a Bortle 1-2 site in North Eastern Ontario under near perfect conditions. I was viewing at 85X and 3mm exit pupil. I lost count of the number of galaxies I found. I swear it was more than 50, that were easy to find.

How many galaxies are easily identifiable in Virgo with a 10"? I did not take the time to figure out which NGC each one was but may try to do this in the future. Using a manual telescope, it is a bit of a task to figure out which NGC each of these are, any suggestions on a quick methodology?

If I remember, the Virgo Supercluster was noted to have over 1000 galaxies some years ago.  Now I think that number has increased to 2000 maybe plus.  It’s also relatively close.  I started looking at these superclusters this year.  I also use PixInsight’s plate solver and annotator to help identify those small slivers of light as an astrophotograph can capture so much more then I can see in an eyepiece .  I think there’s a couple dozen superclusters within 1 billion lyrs of us. . 


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#25 ggalilei

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 11:14 PM

I remember the first time I scanned that area with the 10" Dob from my previous fairly dark site in KY, a happy grin like painted on my face: it was an absolutely awesome experience. I did go back the next night and identified about 15 galaxies by galaxy-hopping from charts I had printed. That's just me: I get a kick out of that challenge.


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