Archive for December, 2017

Christmas observations

This is the second go at this blog, just lost the first before I managed to post it, so now I’m not happy so this one is going to be short!

27th Dec 2017 was snowy, made sure obsy would open in the day after snow stopped. That evening I got out and made 2 observations in Auriga.

First was IC 410 the Tadpole nebula, my sketch using the 20″ and Watec shows some tadpole detail and lots of stars from NGC 1893

IC 410 showing some ‘tadpole’ detail and lots of stars from NGC 1893

After a break indoors I caught a rare galaxy in Auriga, found by W Hershel in March 1793, likely his faintest and most distant discovery. Mag 15, distance 895 Mly. There was also another tiny companion at the end of one arm, unidentified at the time of writing!

NGC 2387 Herschel’s toughest observation!

After nabbing these 2 observations I had a tough job to close the obsy which was very frozen and still snow covered. I had to use pieces of timber to lever the 2 separate roof leaves closed! Not fun at midnight, -5 and trying to be quiet.

Happy New year if I don’t get another chance to observe, hope 2018 is going to be my best ever for observing 🙂 Dale


One from the evening sky and two from the morning sky

Firstly from Dec 14th a lucky observation just after dark and before the cloud rolled in! Very cold. Arp 112 is a delightful trio in Peg. The central galaxy is NGC 7806 mag 14.3 1.1′ x 0.8′ a hint of a spiral arm pointing down can just be seen in my sketch. To the right is NGC 7805 mag 13.3 1.2′ x 0.9′ and to the left the svelte tiny arc of MGC+5-1-26 at mag 16.5 and 0.6′ x 0.2′

Arp 112 a beautiful trio

I next got out a day later but at the other end of the night 5am rather than 5pm! 0n Dec 16th I revisited M90 the bright mag 10.3 spiral in Virgo. Interestingly I had never noted the companion actually attached by a faint arm IC 3583 is mag 13.3 they are actually 100,000 light years apart. together they are Arp 76.

Messier 90 & IC 3583 make up Arp 76

With still time for another observation before it gets too light, I look at the many nearby Messier galaxies, pulling down my Messier file I look through and finding no sketch of Messier 91! Really, I need to put that right! M90 or NGC 4548 is a classic barred spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices. Mag 10.1 5.4′ x 4.3′. 53 MLY distant and 83,000ly across.

Messier 91, a long overdue sketch!

*note the 2 small galaxies above and below M91 right at the edges

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