Stargazing & Bikepacking

Not-so expensive astronomy and some bikepacking stories

Transparant Uddel, April 23rd

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.

Theodore Roosevelt

Hurray for the 14″ F4.3 I picked up today!

  • NGC 2903 in Leo
  • H44 in Leo, could make out two but it wasn’t that dark yet. I just couldn’t wait to see what a 14″ could do đŸ™‚
  • M51 with the spirals visible when using AV
  • M3 is a nice globular so revisited this one. 14″ does make you see a whole bunch more!
  • Leo triplet: all three in one FOV easily.
  • M95 en M96 pretty bright blobs
  • globular M53
  • tried NGC 5053 and Frans also tried it but no luck there
  • followed Markarian’s Chain and noticed a lot more faint fuzzies than was used to in my 10″ (or 12″ even, let alone the 8 incher…)
  • showpiece of the evening: the Needle Galaxy! Beautiful edge-on galaxy with dust lane easily visible
  • M64 Black Eye Galaxy. For the first time ever I noticed the stellar core. The dark dust lane was easily visible and the coma was huge
  • the beautiful Arp galaxy pair close to Cor Caroli did not disappoint. Last time I visited this pair (I always do…) it was with the 8″ in which you can detect both but any detail or even shape remains very vague. Not so in the 14′!
  • M81 is a large and faint galaxy. I once saw this one in a 12″ from Kollase, spiral arms and all. Since then I never bothered to have a good look at this. At least not from the Nederlands.
  • I used 281x magnification on M82 which showed lots of mottling and the v-shaped darkening of the core became visible if not ever so slightly
  • I think I say a puddyca…. whale galaxy but then where was the hockeystick? Not sure what I saw.
  • Amazed to see Vega rising in the ENE and made a quick stop at the Ring Nebula. Which in a 14″ is a oval shaped nebula, not a ring. Amazeballs!
  • Of course I had a look at M13. Again. As you do. But this time I noticed NCG 6207 close to it with direct vision. Nice!
  • Also had a go at M101 but it was high up and I hate doing the Dobson Dance. So I left it hanging there. Didn’t see it.

Needle Galaxy

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