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Old 11-04-2010, 02:29 AM
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WadeH (Wade)
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Observation report 11/04/10 Bullsbrook WA

Equipment: 200mm Skywatcher Newtonian on EQ5 equitorial mount.
21mm Denkmier eyepiece all night (47X mag.)

Weather: fully clear skies, very good seeing, 17deg. C, and mostly calm.
Reasonably dark skies with some light pollution to the south (Perth).

Brand new 2nd edition SkyAtlas 2000.0

After what seems like an eternity of either bad weather, cloudy skies, too tired, or our old friend the moon it was great to finally get a serious night of dark sky observing attacked!

Also this was my first attempt at using a serious set of star charts other than smaller maps in books or software programs like StarryNight (which I like very much). BTW, I found SkyAtlas 2000.0 very easy to use and lost nothing under red light (I bought the Deluxe version).

Viewing started at about 21:15 and ended around 0:20. Objects observed were for the night:

Saturn: cannot let a night go by without at least one look. Loverly as always. I think that some of the major moons were visable but not sure which as I didnt think to take these of the computer before going out.

Spica: nice and bright, used mainly to get my bearings in this part of the sky.

Leo triplet: M65, M66 and NGC 3628. I just love the way these three all fit into the FOV of this eyepiece. Nice and bright.

M105,NGC3384 and NGC3389: Also in Leo and all in the one FOV. Quite close together, in fact almost overlapping.

M95 and M96: Very bright (for galaxies) and not far from the above trio.

Virgo/Coma Berenices galaxies: Not sure which ones I saw here, just looked at the location on the charts, got overwhelmed with the amount of galaxies shown, and pointed using the Telrad (everyone should have one of these). WOW, never seen so many galaxies just by panning around. Even had at least six in the one FOV at one location.
The were large and bright enough to tell what sort they were but not a lot of detail, impresive.

M4: Nice little globular in Scorpius.

M6 (Butterfly Cluster): A bright and large open cluster. Nice.

M8 and M20: Visablenaked eye.The Lagoon and Triffid Nebula's again.

Omega centauri: Very nice and big. Easy to see naked eye. The only time tonight that I changed eyepiece to a 13mm Naglar. Some of the central stars resolved nicely.

NGC 4755: The Jewel Box. What can be said here, as nice as ever!

NGC 3114: Quite a large and very visable open cluster in Carina, nice.

Eta Carina Nebula: Finished with a bang, lots of detail and fill the entire FOV, beautiful as always.

Well thats it for tonight, had a ball. I was suprised at how visable, big and easy to find the galaxies in Virgo and Coma Berenices were. I must vist them again.

Of too bed now for some ZZZZZZ's.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:40 AM
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MikeyB (Michael)
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Thanks for the report, Wade, you've given me some ideas for my next session. It's good to hear that somebody was observing on such a glorious Autumn night here in southern WA. House guests with two boisterous dogs are my excuse for not being out under the stars too.

Saturn is irresistible to me also, likewise Omega C and the Jewel Box - gotta check in with some of the old favourites or the night doesn't feel complete!
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:15 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Sounds like a good night Wade. I'm a bit envious of your views in Virgo and Coma Berenices. This year my northern horizon seems plagued by poorer transparency than usual. All those wonderful galaxies just passing me by!
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:48 AM
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orestis
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Nice report wade.

i haven't seen any galaxies from that region yet and am terribly excited too how many of them i would be able to see through my 130mm reflector.

Great read
regards Orestis
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:59 PM
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Thanks for the report Wade. It sure is nice when everythings falls in place. THe Virgo area is one region which I never actually spent any reasonable amount of time observing.
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Old 14-04-2010, 03:38 PM
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Good report Wade. Lots of galaxies on view at the moment especially if you have a decent Northern sky.

The attached word doc lists galaxies in Virgo brighter than mag 10. Orestis, you should be able to spot them all, and maybe some fainter ones too.

Also, Markarian's Chain, a line of galaxies you can follow one by one. I was shown it by glenc. Totally cool! Some info below:

http://www.astrosurf.com/jwisn/chain.htm
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Old 14-04-2010, 03:43 PM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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It would be helpful if I attached the list ... duhhh!!
Attached Files
File Type: doc Virgo galaxies.doc (45.5 KB, 12 views)
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Old 15-04-2010, 01:44 PM
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WadeH (Wade)
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Thanks for your comments everyone, yes it was a very good night.

Thanks for the Virgo galaxy spreadsheet Paul, it could come in use one night.
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