Astronomy

Observing Log for

Session Details


Tillicoultry

56.1574, -3.74906

50m

Notes

A calm clear night with excellent seeing. Another trial run of the OnStep system which performed well.

Observations

The Leo Triplet

The Leo Triplet

M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy

M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy

Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster

From Vindemiatrix I first visited M60 on the outer edges of the cluster. This is a bright patch of light that was easy to see in the 25mm eyepiece. The core was surrounded by a haze of light. I next moved to M87, a very bright galaxy near the centre of the cluster. This is one of the most massive galaxies in our neighbourhood and contains a supermassive blackhole that was imaged in 2019. It appeared similar to M60, a haze of light surrounding a bright central core. I next looked for M86, M84 and the nearby "Eyes" a pair of interacting galaxies that make up part of [Makarian's Chain](https://skyandtelescope.org/observing/yanking-markarians-chain/). Once found this was an incredible stellar sight in the 25mm eyepiece. M86 and M84 are two patches of light, easily seen, whilst the Eyes were best viewed with averted vision. I spent some time enjoying this incredible view. I finally visited nearby M88, another patch of light with a bright core. This was dimmer and more challenging than any of the other Messier galaxies in the cluster.

M3

This compact galactic cluster is bright and holds up well to increased magnification. With the 25mm eyepiece it appears as a grainy ball of light, brighter towards the centre.

M51

The Whirlpool Galaxy was easily located near the bottom of Ursa Major. The galaxy appeared as a two patches of fuzzy light with bright cores visible. The connecting arm was just about visible with averted vision.

Images