Sunday, May 23, 2004

Backyard Action in Virgo

I had my 10" CPT set up out back last night. Before the clouds moved in, I was checking out a good assortment of deep sky object. M51, M88, M65 and M66 along with a no-doubt view of NGC 3628. M3, M5, yes, the seeing was rather soft, but still...

I moved up to Virgo and began poking around. I counted 9 galaxies in Markarian's Chain. NGC 4388 was probably the dimmest, mag 11 visually with a surface brightness of 13. I also picked out NGC 4461 at mag 11.2 and sb of 12.8. The view of M51 was in an 8" scope and it showed the two cores clearly, with a dim disk around the big galaxy and hints of brightening in two places marking spiral arms.

Very cool to see these from the backyard. Not a night for lunar/planetary, but the deep was still good.

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