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Wymeswold - 25/03/17 - Monthly Meet.


Daz Type-R
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Had a fantastic nights observing on Saturday at the monthly Wymeswold meet, clear skies, not too cold and some good company made for a change to observing in the back garden, on my own, in light polluted skies.

 

Prior to setting my scope up and getting the tea / coffee facilities ready, Mike (Perkil8r) was observing Mercury low down on the western horizon in his bins, at magnitude -0.8, it was really bright and visible naked eye.  Took the opportunity to have a look at Mercury for a moment or two as it was setting fast, but I was surprised that we managed it all, only being 4 degrees above the horizon.

 

With Mercury all but dropped below the horizon, I started setting up my scope, to allow for adequate cool down times.

 

Approximately 30-40 minutes later, twilight all but gone and after a chat to other members and grabbing a coffee, I set about my targets for the evening.

 

As Mars was still up, I had a look at that, with the scope still not sufficiently cooled I struggled to resolve any surface detail, but it was relatively low (11-10 degrees), the scope was not at ambient temperature and the fan was still on full whack, so I was not expecting much.  Still nice to see though.

 

Next up was M42, always a pleasing sight but the hunter is getting low now, marking the return of spring, so only spent a few moments observing M42 both with and without the UHC filter.

 

M45 was next, looking lovely in the 21mm Ethos.

 

By now, it was properly dark, the scope was cool and I had turned the fan down to low, so I set about my main objectives for tonight.  I have always struggled with galaxies in Markarian's Chain at home and tonight proved no different but persistence (and dark skies) paid off.  M84 was first on the list, an elliptical galaxy in Virgo and part of Markarian's chain, at magnitude +9.1 it was difficult, I had to use averted vision and the "wobble scope" method to eventually see it in the 13mm Ethos but it was there.

 

Next was M86, another elliptical galaxy, slightly brighter than the previous at magnitude +8.8 but still difficult to see.

 

M90 was next, a spiral galaxy at magnitude 9.5, again, using the 13mm Ethos, averted vision and the wobble method, managed to bag these elusive galaxies that I have failed to find for many a year.  I now understand why I could never see these from home!!!!!

 

Quick coffee break and another chat to the members before I was about to embark on my hunt again, when Derek arrived armed with his camera, looking to photograph 2 comets.  Intrigued to see if I could find these myself (as I have managed to find a few comets in the past) I set about the first one.

 

41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak was on the list, at magnitude +7.0 it was nice and high in Ursa Major, so set about trying to hunt it down.  This proved just as difficult as the 3 galaxies above, but with the aid of the setting circle and the wixey, we all agreed that I had found it.  Another to add to the list.

 

Next was C/2015 V2 (Johnson), a magnitude +8.6 comet in Hercules, this proved even more difficult than everything else I had observed that night, but I got there and the consensus of the group was, that I had bagged it.

 

As it was starting to get late and a few people had left, I decided to spend some time on some old favourites, so had a look at the following list...

 

M13

M3

M51

M81

M82

M57

Double Cluster

 

There were a few others, but I didn't make note of them and I cant remember what they were :wacko:

 

So all in all a fantastic night and it was a pleasure to get out with other folk.

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Glad you had a great session! It's brill (and increasingly rare) when the conditions are so favourable!

Good company, good views almost down to the horizon, coffee and dark moonless nights, what more could you wish for! ?

Your mixed bag of favourites make for good viewing on any occasion! No doubt that's why they are favourites! Good to bag a few spring galaxies too ?

 

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