Back to business
Inspired by a recent image by my friend David Davies showing some quite numerous galaxies close to the dazzling globular cluster M92 in Hercules I made a mental note to try and find some of these overlooked fuzzies when I got the chance.
My chance came on the evening of Saturday Aug 8th 2015, it is now getting dark around 9pm. I got into the observatory before dark and opened up, in activity by me and been countered by great activity from an army of spiders! There were cobwebs every where, I nipped indoors and pinched my wife’s feather duster, well the modern equivalent of a feather duster, more like an inedible candyfloss! Armed with this ‘tickling’ stick I banished the worst of the webs and fired up the system, with the sky still light I sent the scope off to Saturn low in the south, I scanned for it in the 80mm finder, not seeing it I left the sky to darken a while longer. Once Saturn was located visually I spent a while getting the ringed planet firstly into the centre of the 6″ refractors FOV and then eventually onto the chip of the Watec camera in the 20″. Visually Saturn was splendid at low power in the refractors but would not stand high power observation, seeing was very poor at such a low altitude, especially after a warm day. With the telescope aligned with the software program I was able to hop all the way to Hercules and M92, I then panned gently north of the cluster, letting the image settle and turning up the exposure time until tiny faint fuzzy galaxies became obvious. My first sketch was centred on PGC 59984 which is the closest galaxy to the cluster, it lies 14′ NW of M92 it has a bright core and extends N-S.
Next I pushed on a fov or so further to the north until I saw more fuzzies, the brightest I identified as mag 13 NGC 6329 which I put in the centre of the field, to the upper right and nearly stellar I could see tiny NGC 6327 which had a star very close to its edge. To the left I spotted a small and faint smudge which I have subsequently matched in Simbad but at the time of writing have yet to identify.
I returned to black on white sketching with inversion in paint to give white on black, this is easier to form accurate drawings than white pencils and pastel on black paper.
And so to bed at midnight, Dale