Seriously...air temp was 102° f whilst I was setting up! Nevertheless it was a pretty good night of observing. After dark the winds picked up and the air was fairly dry...no hair dryer the whole night!
I did not have an observing plan as I really did not plan to go observing. With the heat and moon rise at 1am, plus I had a really busy Saturday (starting at 5:00am to look at Neowise), observing was not at the top of my list. However, Larry Mitchell sent me a note that we was going to be out at our dark site and asked if I wanted to join him. Hmmm, hot, humid, loading the scope, 1 1/2 drive, setting up the scope...clear skies. I'm in!
As per my usual observing without a plan plan I picked an area of sky with a few bright stars and opened the matching Interstellarum page and picked a few interesting objects from the page.
Mostly I was observing blind...no idea what the DSO was going to look like. Or if it was even visible.
All observations, unless otherwise stated, are with my 18" scope f/4.5, 20mm Nagler and 10mm Ethos.
My first chart was page 33 which is on the Canes-Coma border. One of the other observers at the site wanted to see the Whale Galaxy (NGC 4631) so I started there.
NGC 4631/4627/Arp281: Galaxy. The Whale. A really beautiful galaxy. Very elongated and easy to see whale like profile. Very mottled. Brighter toward the offset center. Its companion, NGC 4627, was just a smudge with a brighter core and diffuse halo. In my 25" I can see the light bridge connecting the two galaxies. Could not see it in the 18". Here is an APOD image. I could just detect the galaxy in my 80mm finder.
NGC 4656/4657: Galaxy. This is a strange looking galaxy. Pretty large at 6.5' x .07' the galaxy seemed to be missing sections. A fairly bright mottled core with a brighter section on the side of the companion (4657). 4657 is a hook off the end of the main galaxy. Therefore the "Hockey Stick" moniker. The side of the galaxy opposite 4657 is much fainter and took a bit of averted vision to really make out. See APOD image.
NGC 4676-1/Arp 242: Galaxy. The "Mice". For some reason this little pair was pretty tough. Took going across the field several times to find them. Much better with the 10 Ethos. Could make out the cores. No tails. Image
NGC 4395: Galaxy. Couldn't see this one at all. Disappointed until I saw the pic of the galaxy. Will need much better skies! Image
NGC 4244: Galaxy. One of my all time favorite edge on's. Similar to NGC 253 or NGC 4565. A little bit lopsided on brightness. Couldn't see the dark lane (I can in my 25"). Image
By now this area of the sky was getting pretty low. On to page 32. Along the Canes-Bootes border.
NGC 5557: Galaxy. Not much to look at. Just a featureless round galaxy with a faint halo. Moving on...
NGC 5544/5545/Arp199: Galaxy. This one took a little teasing out to see the two galaxies. I had to go to my 5mm Radian. A clearly edge on galaxy butted up against a roundish elliptical looking galaxy. This image clearly shows the "elliptical" is actually a face on spiral...and a neat one to! Image
NGC 5614/5615/5613/Arp178: Galaxy. Not much visually, just a bright blob. Image
NGC 5466: Globular Cluster. Nice glob. A bit ragged around the edges. Slightly brighter core. Image
NGC 5529: Galaxy. Very nice find! Not very big and not very bright but a nice edge on. Slightly warped. Image shows a dark land but I did not see that. Image
Tired of galaxies. On to page 55, Oph-Serp border. Whats the first thing I look at...a stupid galaxy!
NGC 6509: Galaxy. In a pretty rich star field. Definitely elongated with a slight halo-ish outer region. Image
NGC 6366: Globular. Right next to 47 Oph. Pretty nice. Big and evenly bright. Image
IC 1257: Globular?: Visually it was pretty faint and featureless. Because it sits between two 11th mag stars it was not difficult to find. Scientifically it seems to be pretty interesting. It has a Glob designation and an open cluster designation. Paper Image
Abell 42: PN. Couldn't see it.
M14: Glob. Beaultiful! I do not look at this one enough. Highly resolved and a little ragged.
Abell 47: PN. Couldn't see it.
Sh2-68: PN. Couldn't see it.
PC 19: PN. Couldn't see it.
Enough of "couldn't see it"
Jupiter: Planet :o) Astounding! The red spot was well detached and very red in color. The polar bands were all but invisible making the equatorial bands very distinct. Festoons and swirls very prominent. Looking at Stellarium Almathea was well away from the planet. By this time (12:45am) low clouds were streaming in making seeing very good but cruddy transparency. I took a look for Almathea but could not see it.
Saturn: Another planet. Sigh...I wish all astronomical objects could be this amazing!
Through Larry's 20" scope:
Shapley 1: PN in Norma. My goodness...I thought we were going to have to mow the grass to see this one! Could just make out the ring blinking with an OIII. Must be amazing from further south! Image
Terzan 5: Glob. I've seen this one before but still pretty tough. Just a slight haze in a pretty dense star field. It did not look like this image.
That's it. Packed up around 1:15am and was home by 2:30.
Edited by Keith Rivich, 12 July 2020 - 11:02 PM.