Blog for the night of August 20th and early morning of the 21st
I had tried to observe the previous night, that being Sunday 19th, it was a good one and I was eager to pick up on my too long dormant Hickson compact galaxy group quest, but once again my AWR goto set up had thrown an unexpected and unexplained wobbly, and decided it was in the southern hemisphere. I wasted 2hrs under a great sky and achieved nothing, very frustrating!!! Come on Alan Buckman sort your systems glitches out.
A call to friend and something of an AWR system boffin, Andrew Robertson the next evening (20th) saw him talk me through resetting the controls, a very complex procedure. But I was ready to observe again and very grateful to Andrew for his time, especially as he missed out on watching something that he and Amanda his wife were looking forward to!
When dark enough I was off, firstly getting Hickson 87 in Capricornus, that was pretty low, a small group that was tough due to sky glow (a) member PGC 65415 did give a hint of a dust lane though, (a)-(c) mag range was 15.2-15.9 member (d) was tiny and faint at mag 17.6 see my sketch of HCG 87
Hickson 88 in Aquarius was next to be observed and sketch, a nice little tumbling cascade of 4 members starting with an edge on and ending with another at a contrasting angle, the 2 middle members appearing to be face on spirals. Take a look at HCG 88 here.
Next I raced off to Hickson rich Pegasus and caught Hickson 94. This is a large and complex group arranged in a chain extending N-E to SW there are 7 members which is as many as I can remember in any group previously (a) & (b) members are NGC 7578 a & b right down to PGC 70941 at mag 18.4 that comes in as (g) member, the upper most galaxy in my sketch, I didn’t identify but it isn’t part of the catalogued group, I suspect it may be near 19th mag. See HCG 94 here.
Last conquest of the night was again in Pegasus Hickson 95 proved to be a brighter and very attractive quartet of galaxies with a good level of detail much of it spiral structure to be seen in all of the members. See lovely HCG 95 here
Well that wasn’t a bad night’s work, closing up at 2am, not a care as I was off on holiday for the rest of the week and feeling rather euphoric with 4 more Hickson’s taking my tally to 65 or 66 out of the possible 100
Deep Sky Dale