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Smithysteve

Spring galaxies and other fuzzy stuff...

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Smithysteve

Half a dozen outstanding Messiers's were on my 'to do when the clouds finally parted' list. They were mostly in the Virgo area. Tonight seemed the right opportunity- faint cloud and no Mr Blobby!

I started off with Jupiter, but nothing much happening there I.e. No red spot or transits,  so went on to the Leo Triplet to check out the seeing conditions, M65 and M66 were in plain view, NGC 3628 was there too! I had all three galaxies in my 1 deg TFOV, I took a few moments to wonder at the number of stars and the distances involved... awesome! Love this stuff when it comes together!. 

Ok, lets deal with the outstanding Messier's , they were not difficult objects to find at this time of year, they were just waiting for the right opportunity, conditions and motivation on my part!
M61, Virgo
M98, Virgo
M99,..
Also the double star, M40 in Ursa Major. I identified this from my star maps ok, but the reason this is on the Messier list is intriguing to say the least. Optics must have come on a lot!
M109 which for some unknown reason i have never sought!
I also tried for the glob M68 but failed, it was too far behind a tree! So that's 5 off, leaving 12 todo!
Moving on I went for and saw;
M51
M108
M97 the owl neb,
I moved away from Ursa Maj on to M3, a lovely sight!
I returned to the Virgo galaxies, working my way along Markarians chain of several galaxies, (see below.).. often having 2, 3 & 4 galaxies in the same field of view. 😊, then finished off by visiting on M87, M90 and M91.

 

All in all, a long awaited decent session! 
At 00.30am I shut down the scope and dome and went to bed setting my clock to 6.00 am - I am off fishing today... 😀🐟👍 (and I have caught 2 carp so far!!!)

 

Here is the info on Markarians Chain an unusual line of galaxies that's well worth a visit...
Markarian's Chain is a string of spring galaxies straddling Virgo and Coma Berenice's border. 
I Started at Southern end of the chain and worked my way north and west, 
this is my order of viewing
NGC 4388, mag +9

M84, mag +9.10, a giant lenticular Galaxy M84.
M86, mag +8.89, is a lenticular galaxy in the heart of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. It forms a conspicuous pair with M84.
Next in the chain is a pair known as 'The Eyes' and it was the first time I had set eyes on them 😗, when you centre these two objects in the FOV, they do look spooky! 👀 These were the second best memorable object tonight!... Next!
NGC 4438, mag +9, 
NGC 4435, mag +9,
Continuing on up the chain...
NGC 4461, mag +11.19,
Now moving Into Coma Berenices...
NGC 4473, mag +10.19
NGC 4477, mag +10.39
'Every egg a bod!' so far...
NGC 4459, mag +10.39
NGC 4474, mag +11.50
Finished the chain on M88, mag +9.


Thanks for reading! 👍
Cheers!

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Tweedledee

A lovely haul there Steve and a very nice read. Must have been a really inspiratonal session. :thumbsup:

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stash

I love the Leo and Virgo Galaxies show. Yes there just the ones we can see out of billions. But thats the point we can see them with our kit and in such a compact FOV. Mind boggling really. Nice report. P.S. pity you didn't look for the comet 41P/Tuttle when you were looking at the Owl neb it was "close" by(even closer the other night).

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Daz Type-R

A lot of that is on my list for tonight at Wymeswold.

 

Nice haul you got there.

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Smithysteve
22 hours ago, Tweedledee said:

A lovely haul there Steve and a very nice read. Must have been a really inspiratonal session. :thumbsup:

 

Thanks Pete. A long awaited session! 🙂

It's down to conditions being right and having a plan, or an informative list to work to, (and in my case it's much quicker to find things having a go to system!) cheers!

22 hours ago, stash said:

I love the Leo and Virgo Galaxies show. Yes there just the ones we can see out of billions. But thats the point we can see them with our kit and in such a compact FOV. Mind boggling really. Nice report. P.S. pity you didn't look for the comet 41P/Tuttle when you were looking at the Owl neb it was "close" by(even closer the other night).

 

Forgot about the comet!!! I agree with you about the spring galaxies, with today's amateur equipment they are in reach, and it's good to ponder on the billions of stars and time involved etc.

 

1 hour ago, Daz Type-R said:

A lot of that is on my list for tonight at Wymeswold.

 

Nice haul you got there.

 

Thanks Darren, I hope you have a great session at Wymeswold, it looks promising! 👍

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