Limiting Naked Eye: 5-5.5
Equipment: 16" f/4.5, 35 Panoptic, 20, 13, 9 Naglers, 7 Pentax XL and 5mm Radian
Site: SAS Highway 4 site
When I got there, seven folks were already there and pretty crowded as the site could really handle only 6 or so scopes, and fortunately two of the five were SCT's.
I'll just go straight to my notes, basically cutting through all the talk we had before it got dark.
I've started viewing the standard favorites, such as.
M-51: looked good through the 13 and 7mm eyepieces spiral structure with plenty of detail on the arms.
M-97: Seen the eyes without the filter, thus telling me that this night would be at least halfway decent.
M-82: Looked great as the nucleus region looked very detailed with irregular dark lanes throughout.
M-86, M-84 region: Looked for only 30 second here and saw the usual many galaxies.
M-101: Spiral structure barely seen and numerous HII regions visible. With UltraBlock filter those stood out even more.
NGC 4449: Very irregular and mottled structure. Then I decided to star hop at 262x over to NGC 4460 to the north. I crept across to UGC 7593 and MCG +8-23-39 (both are mag 14.8, and they looked like a double galaxy and fairly bright). Next to them was a pair of 16th mag galaxies, which I could not see. Then I skipped to MCG +8-23-40 (mag 15.1) and UGC 7617(mag 15.3) and saw both of them fairly easily. The former was a round object with a brighter center and the latter was a 4:1 dimension ratio (close to spindle shaped) with an even surface brightness. Finally at NGC 4460: very bright and about 5:1 ratio. Star hopping and all galaxies but NGC 4449 were viewed with a 7mm Pentax XL at 262x
I jumped to my next chart and started with M-94, even very bright featureless round disk. Them jumped straight to NGC 4618, 4625. 4618 had a single spiral arm the looked like a hook going counter clockwise. And 4625 looked like an even surface brightness round disk. Going east to NGC 4655 (mag 15.1) easily seen with a bright near stellar like core. To the north there was IC 3713 (mag 15.3) bright core and almost round. Then I moved south (about 30-40') I had a difficult time spotting UGC 7904 (mag 15.7) but got it with averted vision, appeared even brightness. IC 3723(mag 16.0) to the east was not seen and IC 3726 (mag 15.4) was easily seen with averted vision, 2:1 ratio and even surface brightness. I did not finish this region as I got pulled off to help Gregg with something. All were viewed with a 7mm eyepiece yielding 262x.
NGC 5044: easily seen, round featureless disk. Spotted NGC 5046, 5049, 5035, 5030, 5047, MGC -3-34-33. Did not look beyond the central area. 7mm at 262x
NGC 5079, 5076, 5077 group: All three easily seen: 5077 was the brightest, 5076 was the smallest and 5079 was the lowest surface brightness with a slightly mottled surface. NGC 5072 was seen as an even surface brightness and NGC 5070 was very difficult as it was very close to a 10th magnitude star.
M-104: a classic
NGC 4038 and 4039 (Rat tail galaxies) Both seen, but no streamers was seen as expected as I was already in the SW part of the sky and over Modesto. Scooted over the 4027 and 4027A pair. 4027 showed an obvious hook structure similar to that of NGC 4618. 4027A (mag 14.5) was a little tough but spotted with averted vision. 9mm at 204x.
NGC 4050: Large low surface brightness object with a 2:1 length: width ratio.
NGC 3395 and 3396 (interacting pair): both easily seen and both are connected
NGC 3430 and 3424: 3430: some hints of spiral structure, 3424, long spindle with even surface brightness.
I did not look for any other galaxies in the vicinity and used the 9mm and 7mm eyepieces yielding 204 and 262x respectively.
Looked at NGC 4565, another classic.
That's it for now. I'll try to write up the rest of the program later, about 3 more regions.
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