Astronomy

Observing Log for

Session Details


Northallerton

54.3299, -1.44529

10m

Notes

Last night I took the 'scope out just after midnight to take in some views of the late spring skies. With Leo following Gemini into the west and the Summer Triangle rising in the east it is a transitionary period for the night sky. Conditions were clear skies with light haze and drifitng cloud low on the horizon.

Observations

Saturn

My first stop was the ringed planet, which looked magnificent as ever. Slightly hazy skies contributed to a distorted view but from time to time details snapped into view and clouds were evident on the planet along with the shadows of the ring and the Cassini Division.

M104 - The Sombrero Galaxy

This was the first time I had tried for this 104 with my own telescope. Sitting just above Corvus it was only a few degrees above a neighbours rooftop and worse, close to our street light. However, stars were visible so I carried out the simple starhop from the star Eta Crv at the top right of the rectangle of Corvus to find the galaxy relatively quickly.

It looked remarkably like this picture which I found on Google, the dark dust lane was well defined at the bottom, although I could not see any diffuse light below it, but the bright nucleus was clearly visible and the extended regions of the disc certainly gave it the characteristic shape. This must be an awesome object through an 8" scope under properly dark skies!

M53 - Globular Cluster

In the 10mm eyepiece this compact globular cluster displayed ragged edges, clearly showing stars whilst the center remained bright and grainy with no real definition. One particularly bright star stood out on the edge but otherwise the cluster appeared of even brightness and density across its uniform circular shape.

M64 - The Black Eye Galaxy

I've observed this galaxy before, but under bright Moonlit skies so I was looking forward to returning here tonight. I wasn't disappointed, the view much better than last time. At first the galaxy appeared to be an oval, with the bright area pushed over to one side. On closer inspection the darkened area had a distinct edge - this is the dust lane which gives the galaxy its name. At low magnification it appeared like a fat crescent moon, with a pale light continuing round below the dust lane.