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First time seeing all 3 galaxies of Leo Triplet

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#1 TienTran@134

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Posted 03 March 2024 - 10:00 PM

   I recently had a trip to a dark sky. It was just a 1-night trip but still a memorable one. I brought along the 80mm f/5 refractor and the Velbon Field Ace tripod; every equipments sit perfectly in a single wheeled suitcase (except the tripod). 

   

   I observed many things in that one night but the most impactful one is the Leo Triplet. M65 and M66 were an immediate sight; I have never seen them this easy, especially with M65 required a good sky from the city to be seen in my 6 inch. It almost as they had the same brightness; I sometime even mistook M65 for M66. 

   Then I started to look for NGC 3628. At first I didn't see it and thought it was too faint for a 80mm scope. But after looking at star map; I focused on the region where this galaxy should be. At last NGC 3628 revealed itself with adverted vision; it was terribly dimmer than M65 and M66. 

   After some practice, I was able to see all 3 in a single FOV at 25x with the Svbony zoom eyepiece. What are lovely sight !!!

 

   Other objects I was able to see that night was M105 galaxy group, M95, M96, Flame Nebula, M42, and tons of open clusters. And M44 could be seen naked eyes as a bright Moon-sized patch of nebulosity.

  

   Thank you for reading and Clear Sky to you waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif !!!

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#2 bphaneuf

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Posted 03 March 2024 - 10:10 PM

What a great session Tien! Capturing a close group like that is very rewarding, as is knowing your persistence was successful in seeing the more challenging member. Very glad you were able to make the most of this opportunity. Can’t wait to see your sketches of these!
-b
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#3 TienTran@134

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Posted 03 March 2024 - 10:49 PM

What a great session Tien! Capturing a close group like that is very rewarding, as is knowing your persistence was successful in seeing the more challenging member. Very glad you were able to make the most of this opportunity. Can’t wait to see your sketches of these!
-b

   Sadly no sketch for anything that night though frown.gif . I thought it gonna be cloudy soon so I left the sketching kit in my room and only grabbed things that I need for a quick observation. I am still in a deep regret even today. 



#4 ButterFly

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 12:16 AM

You may enjoy the Webb Society's Galaxy Trios guide.  Quite a few of the Southern trios may also be in reach.


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#5 Epick Crom

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 06:39 AM

Very nice observing session Tien Tran and congratulations on observing NGC 3628 which is a tough cookie to see indeed!

 

Your skies must have been real dark and transparent to see it through an 80mm scope. I'm yet to see it in my 10 inch dob from my light polluted backyard. Well done waytogo.gif

 

Clear Skies

Joe


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#6 12BH7

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 08:07 AM

Great report and the perfect memory for a trip.

 

There's a magical feeling seeing a double or triple galaxy in the same FOV. When ever that happens to me it brings me back to how I felt when I first started this hobby. 

 

Thanks


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#7 bphaneuf

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 10:29 AM

   Sadly no sketch for anything that night though frown.gif . I thought it gonna be cloudy soon so I left the sketching kit in my room and only grabbed things that I need for a quick observation. I am still in a deep regret even today. 

So sorry, Tien!  Still, you have your notes from which you can relive that great experience, and I'm sure the view is etched in your mind.  That may be enough to create an approximate image that you can continue to tweak as you recall the event, even if it's just for your own use and no one else ever sees it.  And then compare when hopefully you get another chance like this one.  I completely understand the regret, but don't let it take away any of the joy!
 

-b

 

 

You may enjoy the Webb Society's Galaxy Trios guide.  Quite a few of the Southern trios may also be in reach.

Great recommendation.  Another is this guide from Alvin Huey/FaintFuzzies.com.  It's a free PDF download.  Granted, many of these trios are very faint and require large optics, but some are within reach of more modest telescopes.  The guide lists the v mags for each galaxy so a user can gauge what's within reach and what's likely too dim.  The guide pages are very useful for both finding the targets and what to expect when you get there.

 

-b
 


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#8 TienTran@134

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 06:55 PM

You may enjoy the Webb Society's Galaxy Trios guide.  Quite a few of the Southern trios may also be in reach.

   Thanks a lot for the recommendation !!! Most of my observations are in light polluted area so I don't know how much I will able to see from the list. I may save some of them for darker sky. 

   Clear Sky to you waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif !!!



#9 ButterFly

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 07:29 PM

   Thanks a lot for the recommendation !!! Most of my observations are in light polluted area so I don't know how much I will able to see from the list. I may save some of them for darker sky. 

   Clear Sky to you waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif !!!

Start with the all NGC/IC stuff.  Those will be the easiest by far.  The stuff with only one PGC/UGC/MCG component is still probably a duo!


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#10 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 12:49 PM

Leo is directly overhead in my back yard right now. I had one opportunity to take out my 12" dob to look for the Leo Triplet and had no luck. I live in a Bortle 7 zone so my thought is it's not possible. I'd like to hear what those of you who have found it think about that. Also, assuming I do get another opportunity to look for them, will I be able to see all three if I use my Astro Tech 28mm UWA 82 FMC EP?

 

Thanks in advance for the help!



#11 gwd

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 09:55 AM

Two nights ago I saw all three with a 5 inch refractor, but NGC 3628 was just a faint grey streak.    


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#12 havasman

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 11:06 AM

Please be aware that the lists that have been recommended are primarily composed of objects well beyond the range of any amateur scope from a light polluted observing location and even smaller scopes from very good dark sites. Alvin Huey, for instance, is a famously accomplished observer of very far away galaxies with large apertures and access to the very best dark sites. I am very happy you observed the Leo galaxy trio. It is a thrilling set of tremendous objects. As you also saw in Leo, there are many others that can be well seen. I applaud your observations.

 

This is the greatest time of the year for galaxy observers. We here on Earth are rotating around so that we are looking out from the plane of our galaxy into deep space without looking through much of the Milky Way's clouds of stars and dust. We see great swaths of galaxies spaced and often clumped across Leo, Lynx, Ursa Major, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, Virgo, eastern Hydra and Centaurus. Your southern location at 10oN gives you much more of the southern sky's superior galaxy content than we get here in N America. I recommend to you WIKISKY.ORG a great, free website that should help you gain context for your scope pretty quickly as far as what may be available for you. Select the DSS2 survey option from the DSS dropdown menu. Also, you will want to observe M86 as it is a great starting point for seeing Markarian's Chain of galaxies and the whole Virgo galaxy cluster. There, with a good chart and your scope from a good site, you can galaxy hop through an all-night session and come back another night to do it again without ever duplicating an observation.

 

And don't neglect NGC5139, a glorious object just SSE of the tremendous galaxy NGC5128.

 

Please continue to make these fine reports as you expand your observations.


Edited by havasman, 07 March 2024 - 11:12 AM.

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#13 TienTran@134

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 07:05 PM

Leo is directly overhead in my back yard right now. I had one opportunity to take out my 12" dob to look for the Leo Triplet and had no luck. I live in a Bortle 7 zone so my thought is it's not possible. I'd like to hear what those of you who have found it think about that. Also, assuming I do get another opportunity to look for them, will I be able to see all three if I use my Astro Tech 28mm UWA 82 FMC EP?

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

   I have tried the Leo Triplet mutiple times under a white zone with a 6" scope. Here is my experience so far; it may contradict with other people:

 

   You should be able to see at least M66; it is the easiest in the trio. I usually don't have any problem seeing this one with my 6" but it still required a transparent sky. Also there are mutiple mag 10th stars near M66 that can act like guiding stars; they can help you locate M66 in the FOV.

 

   Next is M65. I find this galaxy tougher to bring out than M66 but under a very good sky it still shows up. The problem I have with this galaxy is that it lack a bright guiding stars so it is very hard to pin down this one in the eyepiece.

 

   And NGC 3628 is a no hope under a light polluted sky. I have never seen it. 

 

   I usually start at 75x; these galaxies shows best at 142x. I start looking for galaxies when the NELM exceeds 3; lower than that I don't bother them at all.

 

   Hope this help and Happy hunting waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif !!!


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#14 TienTran@134

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 07:13 PM

Please be aware that the lists that have been recommended are primarily composed of objects well beyond the range of any amateur scope from a light polluted observing location and even smaller scopes from very good dark sites. Alvin Huey, for instance, is a famously accomplished observer of very far away galaxies with large apertures and access to the very best dark sites. I am very happy you observed the Leo galaxy trio. It is a thrilling set of tremendous objects. As you also saw in Leo, there are many others that can be well seen. I applaud your observations.

 

This is the greatest time of the year for galaxy observers. We here on Earth are rotating around so that we are looking out from the plane of our galaxy into deep space without looking through much of the Milky Way's clouds of stars and dust. We see great swaths of galaxies spaced and often clumped across Leo, Lynx, Ursa Major, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, Virgo, eastern Hydra and Centaurus. Your southern location at 10oN gives you much more of the southern sky's superior galaxy content than we get here in N America. I recommend to you WIKISKY.ORG a great, free website that should help you gain context for your scope pretty quickly as far as what may be available for you. Select the DSS2 survey option from the DSS dropdown menu. Also, you will want to observe M86 as it is a great starting point for seeing Markarian's Chain of galaxies and the whole Virgo galaxy cluster. There, with a good chart and your scope from a good site, you can galaxy hop through an all-night session and come back another night to do it again without ever duplicating an observation.

 

And don't neglect NGC5139, a glorious object just SSE of the tremendous galaxy NGC5128.

 

Please continue to make these fine reports as you expand your observations.

   Thank you for your instructive comment !!! I have seen a handful of galaxies under a light polluted sky but they still just a grey smudge so I rarely make sketches or reports about them; they are still very interesting to look at though. Until I had access to a dark site that I fully appreciated their beauty. I love looking at galaxy pairs or groups but that is very tough task under a city sky.


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