April 29, 2008 at 5:17 am #4141
We could see all three in the C11, just not in the same field of view, and the third was pretty dim. I'm now technically in Rochester… although my skies don't always pass for urban, they sure have lately.April 29, 2008 at 9:03 pm #4142
M65 and 66 are what I'd call “moderately challenging” in my 10″. They usually require averted vision to locate, but then take direct vision well. I don't believe I've seen them in my 4.5″, though I could double-check my logs if anyone really wanted to know.
On a really good night, I've spotted some 12th magnitude galaxies in Leo that aren't on the H400 list.April 29, 2008 at 9:29 pm #4143ranParticipant
Scott, can you pick up the Virgo cluster's M84/86 and the faint NGC 4388 galaxy that accompanies them from in town?April 30, 2008 at 1:58 am #4144
On 4/14/07 I logged M84 and M86 at 9:07 and 9:11 respectively using my 10″ @120X. M86 was only faintly visible with averted vision. I have no record of the dimmer galaxy, but if it was much fainter, that night the answer would have been no. I rated transparency as below average that night. Only twice have I delved into the Virgo cluster, and the other time was at Eagle Bluff.
I have no record of M65/66 using my 4.5″.
It was my opinion upon completing the urban list (which has both M84 and M86) that 84/86 were the toughest targets on the list and would probably have been impossible using my 4.5″. Most everything else was easier in the 10″ but not impossible for the 4.5″. Perhaps on an exceptional night.May 16, 2008 at 12:26 pm #4145
Hello astronomy fans! I'm sorry that I haven't stayed in better contact since the Astronomy Day outreach, but I've been real busy planting trees.
I have made it out twice since then. On May 12th, I got a few hours sleep and then went out and got in what I call a “1st Quarter morning”. I started observing at midnight and then when the Moon sets, the sky gets nice and dark. That morning I got Crater Piccolomini for my Lunar 100, observations on Saturn, Mars and Jupiter and bagged open star clusters IC 4756, NGC 6709, NGC 6819 and NGC 6823. Check out IC 4756 in Ophiuchus, it's very pretty.
Last night on my deck in town I hammered away on the Lunar 100. I observed craters Longomontanus, Bullialdus, Promontoriums Laplace and Heraclides, crater Pitatus, Fra Mauro, Hippalus, Gassendi and the Clavius craterlets. I also did an extra credit observation of tracking the movement of the Moon thru the stars of Virgo.
I have seven objects to go for the Lunar 100. The same number for the Binocular Deep Sky. I'm getting close.
Thank God for the Lunar 100 for keeping me in the field and teaching me about the Moon. It is a very interesting object. It's helped me up my total to 101 hours for this observing year.May 21, 2008 at 4:08 am #4146Jeff NewlandParticipant
Mars is closing in on the Beehive, be there in a couple of days. Looking at it tonight and just off the edge of the Hive. It's going to to look pretty neat when it gets there. The moon rose around 9:45 tonight and rising later each night, so you should be able to get a good look at that event as well as look at other things without the moon being up. Oh… I guess provided it isn't too cloudy.
Out there about an hour tonight, Saturn, Mars, Beehive and then trying to find things I have found in the past and a few new ones.
Former finds: M65, M66, M81, M82, M13, M44 (Beehive), M104
New for me: M51, M92, M57
JeffMay 21, 2008 at 10:55 am #4147
You found M51, eh? Any sign of NGC5195? I've spotted both from my backyard, but they're little more than fuzzy cotton balls from the city. At the Bluff, I've spotted (and Dean confirmed) the sprial arm connecting the two.
What detail can you spot on Saturn? Those rings are getting tight, so even spotting Cassini's Division is going to get tough. Try your highest powers.May 21, 2008 at 9:12 pm #4148Jeff NewlandParticipant
That's about what I saw, some fuzzy cotton. They were in the area where M51 is supposed to be, so I believe I saw it. Also, think I did pick up NGC5195. Sort of a couple of brighter fuzzies close together with other other light fuzziness around them. Can't remember now if was using 13mm Hyperion or 20mm plossl when I was looking at it. I'll be trying for that again some time. Have stay up later some night and see how things are or get out to Eagle Bluff.
Looked at Saturn first thing and not a lot of detail for me.
JeffMay 22, 2008 at 1:40 am #4149
At the RAC lunch today, Kirk mentioned a brightening comet, C/2007 W1 Boattini. It will be worth trying to make an observation of it tonight.
He later sent a link from Astronomy magazine:
Thanks Kirk! Let's see if we can get some observations of this think posted!
DuaneMay 22, 2008 at 3:09 am #4150
My horizon is blocking the view…May 22, 2008 at 10:19 pm #4151
By Gosh, it's nice to see some astronomy fans are active out there. I wanted to get a look at Mars and the Beehive last night, but a former Post Cmdr. passed away and I had to organize military funeral rites for Sat. morning.
Hopefully I can see it tonight. The CSC does not look real good, but I might get a peek. Tomorrow night looks better, but by then Mars should be exiting M44. Good for you guys to get a great look at a rare event.
I'd sure like a look at that comet. Keep me posted on what you see, because my schedule is limiting my opportunity for star gazing right now.
Like Jack Horkheimer says, “Keep Looking Up!”May 23, 2008 at 11:29 am #4152
I got out Wednesday night for about 30 minutes with my trusty 4.5″. Conditions were poor (still dusk when I started.) Seeing was pretty bad. I thought I could make out one band on Saturn, but no Cassini. Mars was little more than a red “star” near the Beehive. If anyone needs M44, it's visible even in binoculars and bright Mars points the way right now. I tried for M51 and M65/66, but conditions were too poor for either in my modest-sized scope in the city. M3 was a nice fuzzball, though. No real hint of resolution. Tell me again why I still have this scope…? Next time I get out, it's the 10″ or bust.May 24, 2008 at 3:03 am #4153
I sure like that little scope. It's the little scope that could!
DuaneMay 24, 2008 at 8:37 am #4154
I agree. My little 4.5″ Newtonian won't get the “OOHs and the AAHs” that bigger scopes can, but it sure has a wonderfully wide angle field of view. I think that only people that do a LOT of observing can appreciate the potiential of what a scope like that can do. Imagine if Monsieur Messier had a scope of that quality? He had a crappy little 3″ refractor! He would have kicked butt from the Hotel de Cluny in gay Paris! The Messier Catalog would probably been closer to 200 objects.
I got out tonight for four hours. I saw Mars on the edge of the Beehive making its exit. It was spectacular. I wish I could have seen it all three nights, but at least I saw it tonight. What a beautiful sight! I looked at it and sketched it for a full hour in both the binoculars and telescope.
Saturn wasn't real great. Seeing and transparency tonight wasn't the best. I did catch NGC 5824, a spiral galaxy in Bootes for the Herschel 400 quest before the Moon came up. That is a very nice galaxy and I thought I could see hints of structure in it. I'd like to see it in a bigger scope.
I nailed Crater Billy and Gamma Reiner for the Lunar 100 tonight. 95 down, 5 to go. I couldn't see Vallis Schoteri because the sun angle was too high. Duane is right. The Lunar 100 is a lot harder than people think. It sure has my respect. If you don't catch the features you are going after at the right time, it's an automatic two weeks (at best) to a month before you can get them again. The Lunar 100 is a VERY challenging observing program.
I finshed up with Jupiter. The two inner moons, (Io and Euopa) were right above and below each other. COOL!! All four moons were east of Jupiter. What an awesome sight, plus the Moon and Jupiter rose in tandem to the southeast.
It was a glorious night for astronomy!May 26, 2008 at 1:35 am #4155
Kirk and I went south of town and checked out a park in a neighborhood, with a little Jason refractor donated to the club and a pair of binos. It had a good southern view but that stinkin' comet was hiding well below the horizon.
We did have fun spotting constellations in a less that adequate sky and spotted three or four satellites. It's rather humorous when you are directing attention via a star only to find that the star you are using as a guide is sliding across the sky!
I saw a couple of tiny meteors as well. Had the sky been better, they might not have been so tiny.
We looked at Mars near the hive as well. The beehive wasn't that impressive in the small refractor either under those skies either, but a sight non-the-less.
We also watched clouds on the horizon actively display great electrical powers?pretty cool.
Kirk, what else did we look at?
We then proceeded to WistleBinkie's for more astronomy discussion…
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