Sunday, May 16, 1999

Joe Roberts here... after reading Pete's session on galaxies in Leo, I decided to look at some of the same ones myself...

Using an 80mm F6 scope with a 4.8mm Televue Nagler (100x), I was able to see NGC 3193 and 3190, but both were faint; averted vision was required to see them. I agree with Pete that 3193 is indeed close to a star; also, to me 3190 seemed smaller than 3193. I also looked at both of these galaxies in an Edmund Astroscan (4.25" F4 scope) using the same 4.8mm eyepiece (93x). Both galaxies were visible, brighter than they were in the 80mm scope. However, the Astroscan star images at 93x are hopeless (the Astroscan has no provisions for colimation). Despite being more easily visible in the Astroscan, I prefered the view in the 80mm scope. I looked for the other two galaxies plotted in this area (3187 and 3185), I could not say that I saw anything. I looked at my past observing records and I have no recorded observation of these two.

"A more interesting area was that of NGC-3227/NGC-3226. My atlas shows these galaxies practically on top of each other. When I viewed the area in my 'scope I saw one galaxy pretty easily. I looked around for the other one, but could not see it for certain. I found a number of "possibles" but nothing conclusive. However, it sometimes appeared that NGC-3227 looked "double." I'm wondering if perhaps NGC-3226 is actually involved with NGC-3227 somehow. I would be interested in checking this area out with the LX10 sometime."

I too saw one galaxy for sure... but I cannot say that I saw the second one. More power would have helped out, but the images in the 80mm F6 are already marginal at 100x so I did not try a 2.4x barlow.

I was also out for about one hour, but my skies suck compared to what Pete has. I'd estimate the limiting magnitude in the Leo area at about 5.2 or so... over near Libra it is more like 3.

I also looked at M3 with the 80mm F6 at 100x. At best it only shows a hint of a few stars around the edge of the cluster. Finding this normally out of the way cluster is not difficult with the 80mm F6 using a 48mm 2" eyepiece (10x, 5 degree true field of view).

I was hoping to go out on Saturday night with the Meade 4500 to check out these galaxies, but there was high thin clouds in most of the sky.

In other news... I finally broke down and ordered a "flip mirror" accessory for my CCD camera. Once I have it, I'll actually be able to finally use the CCD camera without spending two hours just placing the object to be imaged on the CCD chip. I plan to use it the first week of June during my vacation. There will be a very fat Moon in the sky at that time, but many people have told me that this has a minimal effect on deep sky imaging (cool...). If I have any luck with the CCD I'll make a mention here.

Joe R

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