When I arrived at Dinosaur Point around 6:45pm, the conditions looked bleak to say the least. The sky was almost entirely covered with high clouds, promising very poor transparency. After a quick setup, we were ready to look at the ISS. I caught a few glimpses of it through my 12″ scope at 95x, and it was pretty big. However, without tracking, it’s sort of hard to see much detail. I should have brought my little Meade ETX 105 as it is able to track artificial satellites.
The sky remained pretty much unworkable until about 10:30pm, time around which it started clearing up nicely. Around 2am, I did a limiting magnitude test in Leo. I counted 20 stars in that triangle (that’s mag 6.3) However, as my eyes were sweeping that region of the sky, I was able to catch glimpses of many more fainter stars, but decided not to count them as I could not reliably keep track of where they were and how many I was seeing. Anyway, as you can see, the conditions were pretty good.
I spent most of the night in Leo, looked at some eye candy through Mark Johnston and Greg LaFlamme’s scopes, talked shop while waiting for the sky to clear up, and caught my first glimpse of M13 and M57 right before packing up. Overall, it was a good night, with 18 new H-400 objects logged. Cheers!
Location: Dinosaur Point [Latitude 37°03'54"N - Longitude 121°10'13"W - Elevation 648ft]
Telescope: Meade Lightbridge 12″ F/5
- Televue Panoptic 27mm (56x - 1.2° TFOV)
- Televue Nagler 16mm type 5 (95x - 52′ TFOV)
- Televue Nagler 9mm type 6 (169x - 29′ TFOV)
- Televue Nagler 5mm type 6 (305x - 16′ TFOV)
(All times are PST)
NGC 3900 GX Leo 11h49m40.5s +26°58’02″ 12.3 mag 10:35p
Elongated N-S 2×1 with a pretty faint non-stellar core surrounded by a very faint uniform halo. Located near the middle of the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle formed by 3 stars of similar magnitude.
NGC 3626 GX Leo 11h20m35.2s +18°18’11″ 11.8 mag 11:00p
Fairly bright almost stellar core surrounded by a much fainter halo elongated almost N-S 2×1.
NGC 3607 GX Leo 11h17m25.9s +17°59’58″ 10.9 mag 11:10p
Fairly bright almost stellar core, surrounded by a roundish uniform halo. This galaxy forms an interesting group with slightly dimmer NGC 3608, located only 5′ N, and much dimmer NGC 3605, located only 2′ S-W. NGC 3599 is located about 15′ W.
NGC 3608 GX Leo 11h17m30.4s +18°05’42″ 11.6 mag 11:10p
Fairly bright stellar core, surrounded by a roundish uniform halo. This galaxy forms an interesting group with slightly brighter NGC 3607, located only 5′ S, and much dimmer NGC 3605, located only 2′ S-W of NGC 3607. NGC 3599 is located about 15′ W.
NGC 3681 GX Leo 11h27m01.0s +16°48’33″ 12.4 mag 11:25p
Round, with a faint almost stellar core surrounded by a fairly uniform halo. This galaxy forms an interesting group with NGC 3684 and NGC 3681. These three galaxies are almost aligned on a N-E/S-W line, and are separated by about 8′ from their nearest neighbor. Much fainter NGC 3691 is also visible, about 10′ E of that line.
NGC 3684 GX Leo 11h27m42.3s +16°58’34″ 12.3 mag 11:25p
Round and fairly uniform, with no obvious core. The halo seems to become slightly brighter toward the center. This galaxy forms an interesting group with NGC 3686 and NGC 3681. These three galaxies are almost aligned on a N-E/S-W line, and are separated by about 8′ from their nearest neighbor. Much fainter NGC 3691 is also visible, about 10′ E of that line.
NGC 3686 GX Leo 11h28m15.1s +17°10’12″ 12.0 mag 11:25p
Elongated 2×1 N-S. It looks fairly uniform, with no obvious core (a slightly brighter central condensation was suspected) A faint superimposed star is visible using averted vision, about 1.5′ S of the center of the galaxy. This galaxy forms an interesting group with NGC 3684 and NGC 3681. These three galaxies are almost aligned on a N-E/S-W line, and are separated by about 8′ from their nearest neighbor. Much fainter NGC 3691 is also visible, about 10′ E of that line.
NGC 3242 PN Hya 10h25m14.7s -18°41’34″ 8.6 mag 11:40p
This nebula is also known as the “Ghost of Jupiter” nebula. At 95x, this planetary nebula appears very bright, round and very uniform. It shows an almost surreal fluorescent blue-green color. At 305x, the nebula loses its color, but starts revealing details, especially an elliptical ring, elongated 2×1 N-S, nested inside the nebula. The central star was suspected during very brief moments. Its visibility seems extremely dependent on the seeing.
NGC 3655 GX Leo 11h23m25.9s +16°32’08″ 12.3 mag 12:05a
Elongated 2×1 N-S with a non stellar core surrounded by a uniform halo. Located about 2′ W-SW of a star of comparable magnitude.
NGC 3489 GX Leo 11h00m49.9s +13°50’55″ 11.1 mag 12:20a
Elongated 2×1 E-W with an almost stellar core surrounded by a uniform halo.
NGC 3628 GX Leo 11h20m47.9s +13°32’14″ 10.0 mag 12:25a
This is an edge-on spiral. As such, it appears very elongated E-W. At 169x, the dust lane was detected, but not easily at all! The galaxy does not appear perfectly symmetrical like some other edge-on spirals do. It looks like its disc is warped a little. A faint superimposed star is visible near the eastern end, 1′ south of the center line. This galaxy is a member of the splendid Leo triplet, which also contains the much brighter M65 and M66, located about 20′ south. All three galaxies fit within a single field of view of the TeleVue Nagler 16mm (95x, 51.7′) and show distinct morphological differences.
NGC 3412 GX Leo 10h51m24.7s +13°21’37″ 11.5 mag 01:00a
Fairly bright, with an almost stellar core surrounded by a faint roundish uniform halo, very slightly elongated N-S.
NGC 3593 GX Leo 11h15m08.1s +12°45’52″ 11.8 mag 01:05a
In the field of view of the TeleVue Nagler 9mm (169x, 29.1′), this galaxy appears pretty faint with a non stellar core surrounded by a faint uniform halo elongated 3×1 E-W.
NGC 3384 GX Leo 10h48m48.3s +12°34’37″ 10.9 mag 01:15a
Fairly bright with an almost stellar core surrounded by a uniform halo elongated 3×1 NE-SW. This galaxy forms a beautiful tight triangle with brighter M105 and smaller and much fainter NGC 3389. The members of this group are separated by only 4′ approximatively.
NGC 3810 GX Leo 11h41m29.5s +11°25’01″ 11.3 mag 01:25a
Pretty faint, with a low surface brightness. The halo looks pretty uniform, with only a slight brightness gradient toward the middle. The halo is slightly elongated 2×1 NE-SW.
NGC 3640 GX Leo 11h21m37.4s +03°10’51″ 11.3 mag 01:35a
Fairly bright and large core, surrounded by a roundish halo.
NGC 3521 GX Leo 11h06m19.2s -00°05’17″ 9.9 mag 01:45a
Fairly bright and large, with a bright stellar core surrounded by a fairly uniform halo elongated 4×1 N-S. The western portion looks slightly dimmer. I confirmed this later by looking at actual photographs. Dust clouds seem to be more prevalent on the western half of this spiral galaxy.
NGC 3912 GX Leo 11h50m35.5s +26°25’28″ 13.2 mag 01:55a
Using the TeleVue Nagler 16mm (95x, 51.7′), this galaxy is hard to find. A good finder scope is of great help! It appears tiny, faint, and elongated 2×1 N-S.