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Old 21-05-2009, 09:11 PM
ngcles's Avatar
The Observologist

ngcles is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Billimari, NSW Central West
Posts: 1,593
Good report.

Hi Nathan,

A very interesting report (19th May) mate and going on the news tonight, you might be the only person in QLD who has a clear sky!

Good to see you had a go at such a wide variety of objects. I'd be keeping at M61 -- a 12" will show a patient observer some hints of spiral structure. By no means will it jump out at you but have a photo at the eyepiece so you can see the orientation of the structure. Most notably, M61 is curious because the arms appear "broken" -- some parts of the arms, rather than being in a curving sweep are in segments like they are being bent around a 50c piece.

NGC 3201 is a very underrated GC -- it is bright, nearby, uncompressed and comparatively easy to resolve. I think it looks similar to M55, only the field around M55 is a lot less rich.

Compared to NGC 4945, NGC 4976 is a much smaller galaxy but has somewhat better surface brightness. It should therefore look comparatively small to -45 anyway. One clear night, why not have a crack at the close-by, small faint edge-on NGC 4945A?

It is not too hard to see in 12" (I've seen it in suburban skies). It is only 17 arc-minutes SE of the dead centre of NGC 4945, it has a 9th mag star embedded at the northern end and is also near a small group of 11th - 13th magnitude stars.

Keep up the good work!


Les D
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