Saturday, 3 May 2008

An hour of galaxies

I only had a short observing session last night due to having to be back at work today at 0730 (I am ditching this bloody job when I come back from Texas in June as the hours are crap) and I spent an hour poking around the galaxies of Virgo again. I didn't make any sketches though, just looking and seeing what was there. So many galaxies, so little time! Like I said in the previous post my 12" shows me so much more than the old 8" ever did - small faint ones, large faint ones, large bright ones, small bright ones, edge-on spirals, face-on spirals, the lot. Wonderful!

I also added M104, the Sombrero Galaxy, in Virgo to my binocular Messier list - I have observed 70 Messiers with my 8x42s to date so I am going to send them off to the Astronomical League for a binocular Messier pin - you need to observe 50 or more to qualify for the pin - and I also attempted M68, a globular cluster in Hydra, but I totally failed to see it properly, probably due to haze and its low altitude. If it clears tonight I'll give it another go.

Constantly wiping dew off the Telrad becomes tiresome very quickly and I spent a lot of time doing just that last night and the night before, so I decided to buy a dew heater off the net. Prices varied, from an outrageous £69 on one site to a more reasonable £9.99 from Telescope House, so I sent off for the latter and hopefully this should turn up by Tuesday (or Wednesday as there's a bank holiday in the way). Buying new gear always guarantees clouds, but surely a tiny, ten quid dew heater shouldn't attract the 'new equipment curse'...?