Stargazing & Bikepacking

Not-so expensive astronomy and some bikepacking stories

A bit better but not much

Another clear night so I tried again on the 31st of March. The transparency was a bit better but not much. I could see the mag 5 stars but the mag 6 stars remained to be seen. A short session of one hour was all I could manage because of the very cold wind that was blowing hard enough to knock the OTA about. I was there with Frans en Ted.

Short list:

  • NGC 2903 showed a bit more thanks to the better transparency. I think this is a fine object under proper skies. NGC 2905 is a star cloud in the galaxy but I could not make it out;
  • M106 was an easy find;
  • M51 showed some mottling but no arms;
  • M63, the Sunflower Galaxy, showed it’s slightly edge-on-ish shape;
  • M94 was a bright circle of light, which was ofcourse the core of the galaxy. The faint halo was invisible;
  • NGC 4485+4490 were easily seen and 4490 showed itself with direct vision (two nights ago it was a averted vision object);
  • NGC 3107 and friend were an easy catch but not much to look at;
  • nothing to see of Hickson 44;
  • The Orion Nebula was low in the Western sky but still a beautiful sight. Frans was properly impressed by the NPB filter which he did not know about;
  • this time a very faint glow of the Milky Way was visible but a far cry from what is possible at this location.

The telescope is performing fine. I do need a 40mm eyepiece though, for 30x magnification and wider views. I lack a finder scope so an eyepiece like that would make navigating about easier. A cheap one will give me a 1.5 degree AFOV, an expensive one will give me a 1.8/1.9 degree AFOV. Not sure what I am going to get me.

On the 1st of April it was clear again but I chose to stay home with the missus. Maybe next weekend.

Image by Tony Hallas

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