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Thread: An Evening of Deep Sky in Ursa Major and Leo's Sickle

  1. #1
    Arctic's Avatar
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    Default An Evening of Deep Sky in Ursa Major and Leo's Sickle



    So, a few days ago when the night was clear, dark and moonless, I took out my restored Meade 2080 (LX 2, 8-inch SCT) to view the deep sky. As the handle of the Big Dipper rose above the trees I pointed the finderscope at Mizar and then followed a string of stars toward the location of the Pinwheel Galaxy, M101. In the main scope I could see a small nebulous patch, but it was considerably dimmer and smaller than the M101 I could remember. I was actually looking at one of its companion galaxies, NGC 5474, glowing at mag 10.8. When I moved the short distance to M101 I found the galaxy plenty bright and large, with a mottling of nebulosity outside of the core that would be revealed as spiral arms in a larger scope in even darker skies. When the sky was fully dark I could see M101 in the 8X50 finder.
    Next, I turned the telescope toward the sickle of Leo where I observed NGC 3226 and 3227 just east of Gamma, two galaxies whose outer nebulosity blend together, although the brighter cores are definitely separate. These objects glow at mag 11.4 and 10.3, respectively. Moving north a few degrees, I viewed NGC 3190, 3193, and 3185. NGC 3193 was a small, round fuzzy glow, NGC 3190 was greatly elongated, and NGC 3185 was just a very faint patch of light. These galaxies ranged in magnitude from 10.9 to 12.1.
    Moving back to Ursa Major, I viewed the galaxy M109, a relatively large, elongated glow with a couple of super-imposed stars. I then viewed galaxy M108, another elongated glow, easily seen; and M97, the Owl Nebula—a planetary nebula without a distinct edge. I stared at it at magnifications ranging from 63X to 167X for a good ten minutes in an attempt to see the ”eyes” but without success. The very high elevation of these last two objects made them awkward to find. My skies are a reasonably dark Bortle 3 or 4, depending on the night, but the "eyes" of the Owl have been a frustrating challenge for me to date. A very enjoyable evening of viewing, however!
    Gordon
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    Default Re: An Evening of Deep Sky in Ursa Major and Leo's Sickle

    Nice session Arctic! You grabbed a lot of nice targets.

    A very enjoyable evening indeed. Well done!
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    Default Re: An Evening of Deep Sky in Ursa Major and Leo's Sickle

    Great report and very successful observing session! You've got to love those classic SCT's!!

    Dave
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    Default Re: An Evening of Deep Sky in Ursa Major and Leo's Sickle

    Nice session Arctic. I see you picked up 3 of the 4 members of the compact galaxy group Hickson 44. It consists of NGC 3190 (11.1), NGC 3193 (11.2), NGC 3185 (12.0), and NGC 3187 (12.7). N3187 is always the most difficult to spot because it not only has the faintest visual magnitude, but also the dimmest surface brightness of the group at 13.9. It lies just off the northwestern end of N3190 and appears as a subtle thin glow and with enough aperture you may detect the faint wispy extensions of its spiral arms coming off the ends. FYI, N3190, N3193 and N3187 also comprise ARP 316 from Halton Arp's Catalog of Peculiar Galaxies.

    HCG 44 and Arp 316 - DeepSkyPedia :: Astronomy

    Hickson Compact Galaxy Group #44


    NGC 3226 (11.7) and 3227 (10.9) are the interacting pair ARP 94, and make a nice pair in the eyepiece.

    Arp 94 - DeepSkyPedia :: Astronomy

    Arp 94, two interacting galaxies in Leo
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    Default Re: An Evening of Deep Sky in Ursa Major and Leo's Sickle

    Good night out Arctic! Good job with Hickson 44, too. You'll find it tough to exhaust the number of galaxies in Ursa Major and Leo, so have fun exploring more!
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