Thursday, February 21, 2013

One of my wife's first drawings a couple years back. The temps that night dropped to the low 30's, but she persevered.

Ngc 4565 has always been a favorite, and she capture the view pretty well through the large refractor.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Wrote this in the review of my APM 8” f/9 refractor and what was first official light for the big refractor called “The Beast” in 2006:

Now what will be official first light object? Well, how about the Leo Trio (M-65, M-66, and Ngc-3628).

So I entered M-65 in the hand controller, and the big guy swung right over to the Trio.

I looked into the Meade 5k 32mm Plossl (56x), and was greeted by one excellent view. All three galaxies bright and clear, almost poster like!

I put in a Meade 5k 18mm UWA (100x). Though all three were still in the field of view, I slewed the scope just onto M-65 and M-66. Even at this relatively low power detail was very much evident. M-65 was long with a bulging center. M-66 showed the elongated bar in the center with hints of spiral arms. Slewing to the third galaxy Ngc-3628 I found it was bright with that dark lane very apparent cutting through the galaxy. I was pleasantly surprised how much detail was evident at this power. Switching to an 11mm Nagler (164x) showed M-65 big and bold with a slight hint of the dark lane. M-66 at this power definitely showed spiral arms, and Ngc-3628 was reaching almost end to end in the eyepiece field.

Funny how Galaxy Log has changed my observing planning.

I use to plan by on what I want to view and which dark observing site I’m heading to. Do I want to climb a ladder of sit while observing and so on.

There's been many nights with the 22" dob that I would go to a very galaxy rich area on my charts, and stay there for most of the night just galaxy hopping.

Now I look at our future monthly list of galaxies we are going to do for Galaxy Log, and then need to plan on which (size) scope I need to take. This is in case I need more written observing detail for a particular galaxy for either a small, medium, and large scope. Seems more then ever I’m setting up two scopes for a night though.

I’ve been very pleased that a number of CAS members are involved in the observations for Galaxy Log.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Good to have that old scope out again

In 1993 the late Joe Varady and I built a 12.5” f/4.8 dob around a full thickness Parks mirror with terrific optics.

The 12.5” dob is what I call the “baby of the big dobs”, for in galaxy observing you can have a lifetime of terrific views with countless galaxies in this size scope. An almost 60% jump up in light gathering from a 10” is noticeable here.

This wooden scope is such a pleasure to use, and it’s holding of collimation is amazing. Great to use on these very cold winter nights here in Pa., plus you can use an adjustable observing chair to view through this dob.

This scope paved the way for first light with my 22” dob some years later.

It was a great view in the 12.5” of an Ngc galaxy that is on an upcoming Galaxy Log video, that gave me the idea of “first light” for the large 22” dob.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

About Galaxy Log blog

This is another avenue of the video series.

The monthly video series is about observing galaxies that would be best seen in the upcoming month's dark window or near new moon.

Here we can discuss more about observing galaxies and deep space observing in general.