Sunday, July 27, 2014

The July GL 2014 is posted with something new called Galaxy Log NearView. 

From the video:

Hello galaxy observers. 
Galaxy Log is going through a change, and my wish is you’ll get more out of the videos and the joy of observing these greatest of objects.

What you’ll see with this month’s galaxies is something we’re calling Galaxy Log NearView.

The images will be a close representation of the eyepiece view through the various telescopes. This will be done using notes and some modest sketching to adjust the photo image of the galaxy so that it looks near the actual view at the eyepiece.

Thank you and enjoy the new Galaxy Log.

M-102 NearView with a 7.1" f/6 refractor

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 2014 Galaxy Log posted

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

When I arrived at one of our dark sites called Ds-2 around 8:00 PM and got out of the van, that nasty wind was gone with only a gentle breeze. A CAS member (Lou) was already well into setting up, but I had to say “we should have gone to our darker site (called the Edge)”. Oh, well better safe then sorry I guess. Even so the sky conditions were quite good (seeing also).
I had the 8” f/9 refractor and the 4” f/10 refractor (needed some GL notes).
My initial CGE two star mount alignment proved to be off a bit. So I redid it with terrific results and the mount work perfectly through the night.
Lou’s 17.5 inch dob is a marvelous set-up, and provided terrific views. He should be very proud of that scope, but hey it’s a Telekit with a Zambuto mirror! He also has the complete line-up from 14mm to 3.5mm Delos, which match his scope perfectly.
Lou’s views of a number of objects like M-82 (and dimming SN), M-51, Ngc 2371/2372, and the Eskimo nebula to name a few were outstanding.
As for my night the 8” refractor was hitting on all cylinders, with a first view of M-82 and the SN. Using a 9mm X-Cel LX (200x) gave a very fine view of the galaxy and SN. This is when I borrowed the 8mm Delos (225x) from Lou. The view just blew me away and showed just how good this Beast of a refractor could optically perform. The match of this eyepiece to this high-end refractor was nothing short of perfection. The galaxy showed vivid detail, and the SN standing out very well. The clarity and contrast (black background sky) was off the charts. And I’m thinking this is just Ds-2, and the Edge (we should have gone) is darker of course.
I returned Lou his eyepiece, and went onto other galaxies in the area like Ngc 3675 which gave a very nice view. Also Ngc 2841 (a favorite), which looks like a distant M-31 in the eyepiece. The interacting galaxy Ngc 3690 (GL 04.2013) in my 7mm Pentax (257x) and Meade 5.5mm UWA (327x) showed some nice detail, including a bright stellar nucleus.
Some other galaxies in the area were Ngc 3998 and next to it Ngc 3990. Ngc 3998 showed a round disc and an intensely bright stellar core. The small 3990 was slightly elongated with also a nice though less bright stellar nucleus.
Did some Galaxy Logging with both the 8” and the almost forgotten 4” refractor. Hey, the Celestron Omni 4” f/10 refractor is really a good scope and highly recommended, but when you have a 17.5” dob and 8” refractor to view through, it kind of remains as a secondary observing scope. I will say it certainly did its job for Galaxy Log, and a 4” refractor can indeed show fine views of many galaxies.
Showed Lou a medium power view of M-5 (a favorite), and a must see when in that area of the sky.
Back to galaxies and a nice pair in Canes Venatici Ngc 5311 and Ngc 5313. I think these are going to be future GL video “stars’. In Bootes Ngc 5611 was a nice find, and that also could be a future GL object.
Did some deep viewing with a trio of galaxies in Bootes as in Ngc 5598, Ngc 5601, and Ngc 5603. With a AT 8mm WF the two brighter 13th mag galaxies were easily visible, but I used the Meade 5.5mm UWA and a ES 4.7mm UWA (393x) to glance at the almost 15th mag Ngc 5601, which looked like a dim fuzzy star.

As the night was getting closer to the end, plus some high clouds were coming in. With the 4.7mm still in the scope, I gave a quick look at M-57 as Lyra was rising in the east. I then swung the scope back over to the west to view M-63 and M-106, both providing views to end a great night.

Friday, January 31, 2014

It was a bit nippy (actually damn cold) at one of our dark sites (EL 1350 ft.), but the warm feeling of getting out and enjoying the night kept me and another CAS going later then both of us intended.

The thrill of a new scope no matter of size was also a driving force, and the Vixen 5" f/5 reflector is a fine scope with really excellent optics.

First catching M-42 (naturally) brought out a very nice small scope view of this great object. A quick view of M-35 with Ngc 2158 in the background was also very nice, but I had to go for M-82 and the SN (supernova 2014J).

The view using a 10mm UWF (65x) was better than I thought it was going to be. The SN stood out well within the heavily mottled galaxy.

I moved on to the February and March small scope Galaxy Log video, which the 5" gave a very nice view using powers up to 138x. More details to come in the videos.

At this time I needed to get the 6" f/6.5 refractor going which it didn't mount-wise with GoTo. The extreme cold was just too much, so manual was it for this scope.

Did some galaxy logging for the mid-sized scopes with the 6" refractor.

So as we were nearing the end of our night is when things got a bit more serious with the supernovas (M-82 and M-99).

I put both the 5" reflector and 6" refractor on M-82 and used various magnifications, including nearly identical powers. The 5" reflector did very well, but the difference of the larger refractor was quite evident.

Josh (the other CAS member) was at this time observing M-82 and the SN with his 25" f4 dob. I will say the view was as good or better than most images. The color (pale reddish-orange) of the SN was quite striking when compared to the nearby whitish field star. The detail in the galaxy and the SN being so bright gave it a surreal view. One of the grandest views in a scope I've seen.

The view of M-99 was very impressive…arms and faint SN (2014L)!

Went back to the smaller scopes, and the 6" using a 5.5mm UWF eyepiece (180x). The color in the SN (a pastel orange) was evident. Here the galaxy's mottling and dark lane with the bright SN (though not the view of the 25" of course) was awesome.

I even said to Josh if I was going to have a refractor up here tonight, and though the 6" refractor is a fine scope, I wish this view was through the 8" f/9 refractor (The Beast). I'm quite sure this would have been (along with the view of M-42 from West Virginia) the best of the Beast.

This is a terrific supernova is a great galaxy to observe in almost any scope.

Side note:

Missed the SN (2014G) in Ngc 3448. Plain forgot about it. I'm blaming the cold. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 2014 Galaxy Log video is posted.