Good night. Sept 18, 2019 22:09:46 GMT
Post by kimg on Sept 18, 2019 22:09:46 GMT
Despite the forecast of cloud moving in, the night stayed clear and with the moon rising late enough to warrant the effort, I set up for a modest session. Starting with m57, the smoky ring showed very well as it is now pretty much at the zenith. After a little trouble with locating other stuff, I realigned with a 2 star alignment and as Alkaid was the second star, M51 being nearby was an obvious port of call. All aspects including a suggestion of the spiral nature of the main galaxy were visible. M101 though was less dramatic, looking like a pale but large smudge of light, not many face on spirals look as good as M51.
M81 and 82 were both visible in the eyepiece and are both bright and easy targets, well worth a visit.
M102 being a lenticular type elliptical was just a fuzz, but just to the NE is NGC 5907, a needle like edge on spiral, which was very large and easily seen, well worth a visit if you are in the area!
Next up a little further north was NGC 5982, an elliptical with two striking neighbours, a bit to the west is another needle like spiral, NGC 5982, this is magnitude 13.2 and on a night like this with poor contrast (the moon was now above the horizon) I had no chance of seeing and suggestion of it. To the east though lies a large spiral NGC 5985 at Magnitude 11.1, this was seen best with averted vision. An interesting trio though.
M56, a Globular cluster in Lyra showed well, though as a fuzzy spot with no discernible stars, the sky was very steady, but not very dark, the contrast was poor.
Several doubles were observed including a pair of magnitude 10 stars at 5 arc seconds separation, surely the faintest double I have seen to date, the seeing was rock steady and using a 5mm eyepiece the pair split very nicely at 500X (and less with a 12mm) with no hint of movement at all, just two very tiny dots of light. I cannot recall the stars number right now or where it was, but I did log it so I hope to recover the info later, is was one of Struve's discoveries so had an STF designation. Edit; I found the star, STF 2507 in Hercules, not far from beta Herc.
By this time the sky was washing out a bit too much, so session ended at 22:30.