#1  
Old 16-04-2009, 11:28 PM
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Some galaxies from suburbia

It is sometimes said that chasing galaxies from the average suburban back yard is a bit of a waste of time. Not so. I'm not very experienced and had no real trouble finding these.

Started in Centaurus:
NGC 5128, NGC 4945, NGC 5102, NGC 5253, NGC 5236.

Corvus:
NGC 4261, NGC 4462.
There were also quite a few nearby including NGC 4038, 4039, 4033
and lots more. I was not sure I was identifying these correctly and will
have another closer look with the help of a more close-up map. Hope the weather stays fine. Corvus is well placed at the moment. The galaxy hunt was not helped by a stray ginger cat setting off the neighbour's sensor light ... twice!!
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Old 16-04-2009, 11:50 PM
Rob_K
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Nice going LB, there's some great ones there! Good luck with it!

Cheers -
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Old 17-04-2009, 07:30 AM
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Yeh , Great job!! Have you tried with some sort of LP filter. Theoretically they should help?
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Old 17-04-2009, 07:51 AM
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Thanks guys

Hi Zubenel and Rob_K. The only filter I have is an old "Deep Sky" filter I bought years ago from Astro Optical. It works reasonably well on emission nebulae and planetaries, but kills starlight. So, even though it gets rid of skyglow and adds contrast it tends not to work on galaxies, and colours what you can see of them a nice shade of blue. If anyone knows of a filter that helps bring out galaxies I would be interested to hear of it.

I will have to be more systematic and start keeping a notebook. I am sure I saw more galaxies than the ones I mentioned. They are only the ones I remembered. The wife tends to collect my scribbles on bits of paper and not all of them survive cleanup mode!!!
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Old 26-04-2009, 07:16 AM
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Nicely done! I too tied with my 12" before heading out of town. I could make out NGC5128 up above Omega Centauri, but to be fair it was only a smudge. Good enogh to let me know it can be done from town as you say. I remember thinking, boy this smudge looks bigger that M66&65, but maybe a little softer?...I was bewildered by it when viewed out of town-re my recent Obs post?
NGC4945...good work LB!...I couldn't pull that one off. Must be the contrast as I was positve about it's location. I love the star pattern that surrounds that galaxy! So far it's my favourite. I am going to try and rig up a light shield on the front of my Dob and maybe mod an inside focuser baffle set to the exact focus for some of those galaxies. (I think I got that issue of Australian Sky & Telescope some where.

I would love to try the dark sky out around Woodenbong NSW.(Pop 600) Was brought up round that way...use to do our shopping in Lismore. Not a bad town, but I reackon it's got a few thousand more lights since 27 years ago when I was there....... Still, I can't talk being stuck in Toowoomba...I believe it,a worse here...none the less...after hearing you do well, I'm going to keep trying. Later man.
Dave.
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Old 27-04-2009, 08:33 AM
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Thanks for the reply David. I have been following your posts a bit and it is great to see your enthusiasm. I really enjoy finding galaxies even though a lot of them are tough targets in suburbia. 4945 is pretty easy to see from my place. I am lucky in that the sky is fairly dark overhead. I use a 26 and 18mm eyepiece to find galaxies, and a 12 for a closer look. The 18 is better because greater magnification increases contrast. You are right about the lights. Our area is not too bad though, we are on the northern edge of Lismore Heights and street lights are not a problem. It is good to see someone sketching DSO's as I used to do a few drawings years ago, but yours are much better. It is very satisfying to look at something done with your own hands and skills, rather than with 5 grand's worth of imaging gear. When I was observing in the 1980's I used setting circles to find things, so like you, with a 12" dob, learning to star hop makes finding things a challenge. I can't afford an Argo setup, one day maybe. Cheers, Paul.
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Old 27-04-2009, 11:53 AM
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good stuff. Observing galaxies from suburbia is certainly not a waste of time and is quite rewarding when you can tease those faint smudges from the light pollution.
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Old 30-04-2009, 12:08 AM
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great stuff paul can you spot ngc4976?,, Its close to 4945
(small nudge).. small with quite a bright core close by to one of the three bright stars you pick up in the finder that gives up 4945.

Keep looking Dave .. there is a similar pattern close by that can confuse the issue at times.

Keeping notes is a good idea.. though I'm to lazy to .. and my crafts disease dosn't help either
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Old 30-04-2009, 08:19 AM
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Thanks Graham. I think we spotted it at Glen's the other night, but we saw so many that my head's still spinning. I'll have a look at home when I can.
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Old 30-04-2009, 08:30 AM
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I'll try and attach a map of the field. Have you spotted the small galaxy above and to the right, IC 3896, mag 13?
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 30-04-2009, 08:34 PM
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No I havn't Paul ..mag 11 is about it for me from home .. I guess there a few parts of the sky from home I might get a little deeper .. but
10 /11 seems to show up most things I go hunting for.
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