I got one last observing session in on Saturday July 28- Sunday July 29, despite the short period of time after moonset (2:20) and before sunrise. I was anxious to retry the digital setting circles and manual GOTO, hoping to work out some of the problems I had initially before the next new moon session.
I spent most of time before moonset testing the system, going to different stars and entering their positions, then going to some of the brighter and therefore visible objects to test the accuracy. I was able, in general, to get objects within a 1/2 degree field. I'm hoping to improve this by making sure my alt and az are orthogonal and replacing my platform drive motor which has a backlash problem. Anyway, on to the observations................
Date: July 28 - 29
Equipment: 25" f/4.5
Visibility: 7 out of 10
Transparency: 6 out of 10
Limiting magnitude: 5.0
I spent the short observing session in Pegasus, observing galaxy groups for which I had previously made charts. Despite not being able to see any anything beyond Mag 15.5, the seeing was reasonable.
NGC 169, IC 1559, UGC 354, NGC 160
Two symmetrical and bright mag 6 and 7 stars form a rough boundary for this group of four galaxies. The glare from these stars makes observing a bit more difficult. NGC 169 and IC1559 are two edge on galaxies very close together, appearing to be oriented at about a 30 degree angle from each other, touching at one edge. NGC 169 is the longer and brighter of the two. NGC 160 is almost round, slightly elongated, having a brighter core. I was not able to distinguish UGC 354 from NGC 160.
NGC 214, CGCG479-60, MCG4-2-45, NGC 214
NGC 214 is fairly round, defuse galaxy with an off-center core that appears to be stellar. The only other galaxy visible in this group was MCG4-2-45, requiring averted vision to see. It looks very slightly oval and lies roughly half between a small triangular configuration of stars and a Mag 10 star.
NGC 379, NGC 380, NGC 382, NGC 383, NGC 375, UGC 679, NGC 384, NGC 388, NGC 386
Most of this diverse group of galaxies form a long string, one end difficult to identify from the other. I initially mistook NGC 384 on end for NGC 379 on the other. NGC 379 is slightly oblong with a very slightly brighter core, NGC 380 is smaller and round with a stellar core. NGC 383 and 382 are close together (interacting?), with 383 being the substantially larger of the two with a bright core. NGC 382 appears to be round, although my chart seems to indicate otherwise. Making a slight turn in direction is NGC 386 and 386. These two are almost round, similar in size, shape and brightness. With averted vision, NGC 388 appears very diffuse, but hints at a brighter core. This one is at the end of tonight's spectrum in my scope. NGC 375 is diffuse and round in shape. Perpendicular to the string is UGC 679, with a shape that's roughly 1:3. Both are tough to see.
UGC691 is out of range for tonight. I attempted to spot this razor thin mag 16.7 edge-on without success. Perhaps I will see this one in my dreams: it's time to sleep.
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