Sunday, June 16, 2013

Friday night fights, under Friday night lights.

Well had a nice short, but sweet night at a good dark site with the 8” f/9 refractor (The Beast).

First view of the night was with Ngc 5005 in Canes Venatici, which the big refractor centered in my 24.5 SW (73x). Inserting a 12mm SW (150x) the view was just beautiful with the galaxy exhibiting a large very bright elongated disc, and a stellar nucleus.

Slewing the scope to the SE and 5005’s compadre Ngc 5033, which is another large spiral, though a bit dimmer overall. It showed a large broad oval mottled disc with a large elongated core and stellar nucleus.

Next was M-63, which in the 24.5mm SW looked like a wide-field photo image. Really stayed with this view longer than usual before going up with the 12mm SW. At 150x the galaxy was a large heavily mottled oval disc with a bright stellar nucleus.

Into Ursa Major and a nice bright edge-on galaxy Ngc 5308. Here with the 12mm SW the galaxy was a very nice bright high surface brightness streak. I then inserted a 5.5mm UWF (327x). The first thing I said was “WOW”, for this edge-on was very striking at high power, showing a very bright core area and stellar nucleus, and the ends really stretching out on both sides of the core.    

Next was Hickson 68 in which I first located with the 24.5mm SW. Moving up in power with the 12mm showed Ngc 5350 as a round disc with a slightly brighter center. The pair Ngc 5353 and Ngc 5354 is striking. Ngc 5353 is a bright elongated oval, and Ngc 5354 is bright, but much more round in shape. Also NW of the pair is the small faint Ngc 5355 which showed a small bright surrounded by a faint haze, and east of the pair was also Ngc 5358 that’s just north of a 12th magnitude double star. The galaxy was a faint small slightly elongated disc. Both Ngc 5355 and 5358 were a bit more pronounced with the 5.5mm UWF at 327x.

Before I left this group I slewed to the NE and the wonderful spiral Ngc 5371. I just put in the 24.5mm SW for this view. This nice spiral sits of the edge of a ring of 10 to 12 mag stars, which gives the overall appearance of the largest diamond ring in the cosmos. The beautiful spiral being the “diamond.”    

Did some quick views of Ngc 5907 and Ngc 6503 at just 73x, as I took a 5 minute or so coffee break. Both were quite nice in that large FOV.

Ngc 6181 in Hercules was next, and was best with a 9mm SW (200X). Here the galaxy showed fairly large oval mottled disc with a bright slightly elongated core.

A fainter galaxy in Hercules was Ngc 6485. With the 9mm SW the galaxy showed a round faint disc with a brighter core. The galaxy sits in a triangle of 9.5 to 12th mag stars.

While in Hercules I took some quick peeks at M-13 using 73x to 327x and the views were of course stunning. A large refractor on this object is a perfect match.

Back to before I took that coffee break I observed the very elongated spiral Ngc 5297 and it’s very faint companion Ngc 5296.

I used the 9mm SW (200x) and 5.5mm UWF (327x) to view them. Ngc 5297 was situated just to the SW of a nice 9th mag yellowish gold star. The galaxy showed a faint little stellar nucleus in a larger core region with the ends of the galaxy stretching NW to SE. Then just to the SW of the core area of Ngc 5297 was the small Ngc 5296, which was just a faint smudge. I was enamored by this view I decided to sketch them.

Well, I was not very please with the original sketch at all. So I decided to take my notes and the bad sketch to actually sit down at home to capture the essence of my view which is seen below.  

Note: Ngc 5296 is seen just to the right of Ngc 5297, between the larger galaxy and a faint star. Click image to ENLARGE.

Oh the fight was right before midnight in the woods nearby the parking area of the site. It was between a pair of foxes that were definitely not happy with one another per their screaming at each other. 

Clear Dark Skies,