Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Backyard Observing

Anyone do any backyard obesrving last night? I read Marsha's report. I had my 10" f/5.6 out back and was jumping around Messiers up in Leo and Ursa Major. Best view was M81... really nice with a bright core and tenuous but distinct halo. M82 lacked detail. M51, well, two very dim blobs. M65 and M66 were obvious but NGC 3628 was barely a change in contrast. M94 was easy, small, and bright... just kind of looking like a bloated fuzzy star. M63 was good sized, dim and fuzzy. Another good view was NGC 2903, it was probably as large as M81 but more even it its brightness across the galaxy. Found a washed out NGC 4565... the bulge was obvious but the extended spiral edges were quite faint. I poked around a bit, finding NGCs 3607 and 3608 near Leo's poopshoot. There may have been a hint of NGC 3599 there too, but that was probably more averted imagination than anything. Finished up with a fun pair in Coma... nice views of M98 and M100, distinctly different bright agalaxies sitting on opposite sides of a naked eye finder star. Reminded me of how much fun this time of year is.