Both our lads had been taken down by the ‘so called’ Aussie flu. Tudor the eldest, a strapping lad battled it, self regulated his soaring body temp with open windows, kept drinking and trying to eat and was on the way to recovery after 48hrs, his brother Aubrey on the other hand is less beefy not as tough and resilient! It was the evening of Jan 7th 2018 and Aubs was hallucinating with high fever and generally very poorly the NHS was contacted and I had to take him to hospital at 1am. With the panic and concern rife in the household I had only managed to open the observatory and got the scopes tracking before we left.

We returned from the hospital at 2pm and with Aubrey reassured that he would pull through I got out into the observatory. With the scope tracking Regulus I looked local for some new quarry NGC 3153 was very close so I hopped over and took a look, only small at 2.1′ x 0.9′ and heading towards Mag 14 it did however show some pleasing spiral detail via the Watec and despite the gibbous moon pretty close by. I made a sketch that caught it pretty well I think.

NGC 3153 in Leo has a lot going on

I reminded myself that Arp galaxies was what was really on my agenda, so I took a look around for some that were local. Settling on Arp 263 & Arp 43 sitting one above each other and very close. Arp 263 had an NGC designation which allowed my rather limited Carte du ceil goto software to locate it. Wow this was an interesting one! Box shaped, no definite core, a bright star showing diffraction spikes  very much amongst the galaxy from a visual perspective, and with lots of knots and interesting patchiness going on. To the upper left was another galaxy, smaller but more conventional with a definite core. NGC 3239 was listed as mag 11.4 and diffuse. Size 5.0′ x 3.3′ and relatively close at 30Mly and 43,000 Ly’s across. A very interesting Arp, nice one 🙂

Boxy complex and very interesting, Arp 263

Now Arp 43 is only designated as IC 607 which very frustratingly is not in the Carte du ceil database although other IC’s are! What is that about?

So to over come this I looked at the displayed RA & Dec on my handset, looked at the listed co-ordinates, wrote down the very small differences and  applied these to the listed RA & Dec for Arp 43 finding it pretty easily. Boy this was a tiddler, but quite attractive with a central bar much in evidence. Looking very much like a TIE fighter from the earlier Star Wars films. Mag 13.3 and small at 1.8′ x 1.5′ there was some thickening of the outer regions but no sign of the listed “LSB companion” in the catalogue! Still another one seen and quite interesting too.

At 43 looks like a TIE fighter to me!

I now thought of going for a brighter Messier galaxy that I had not sketched, I went for M100 in Coma Berenices (the Maidens hair) I star hopped along the length of Leo and out into the realms of untold galaxies 🙂 I landed on M100, I could see the galaxy at barely a second exposure, so I centred and upped the exposure to 15 seconds. The screen refreshed to grey? I altered the gamma , gain and screen contrast but nothing? I nipped outside to see mass cloud scudding in from the east…grrr the night was over. 03.30 and time for bed. Not a bad haul, now to get that son better so he can get back to Uni and exams!