|Predominantly a very clear night tonight. Most of the time we can see all 7 stars in the Little Dipper. Only whispy clouds come and go, but there is no fog or thick clouds. The moon is not out, but there is light pollution being refected off of the whispy clouds from Portland to the south keeping the sky from being as dark as I have seen it on other nights. Overall, a nice night for viewing.
Tonight was a particularly fun evening as I spent it with my brother and among other things, we were trying out my new 5.1mm 1.25" Epic ED 2 eyepiece. This new eyepiece gives me a 294x magnification. Pretty powerful, but it keeps a pretty crisp image.
Tonight I saw several new galaxies that I'd like to journal.
M63 - Sunflower Galaxy
Another very faint galaxy. I could barely find it, and could make out no detail whatsoever. In pictures, I see that this galaxy has a small nucleus and large spread out arms. I think because it is a face on spiral and the light is dispersed so far that it makes it very difficult to see. I'm going to pull it up again when I am observing alone and just stare at it to study what I might see with a deep, long gaze.
M94 - Cat's Eye Galaxy
This galaxy is largely white. It seems to have a huge nucleus and small arms. I cannot make out any detail in the arms, but I can tell there is less dispersion of the light on the edges. I'm looking forward to studying this one further.
M101 - Pinwheel Galaxy
Though I have seen this galaxy once before in someone else's telescope, and have known about it's approximate location, I have not seen it until tonight in my own backyard with my own scope.
First, I though since the arms of this one are so distinct, that I would be able to see them better than I did. I did slightly see them, and I am looking forward to studying this object more as well, but they were very faint. The overall galaxy was very faint in the scope and I;m sure the light pollution refecting off of the whispy clouds only made things worse.
UGC 6350 - Leo Trio #3 Galaxy
This galaxy I have also seen once before in someone else's scope. And though I have seen the other two galaxies in the trio a few times, I simply never saw this one until tonight. It's facinating how HUGE it is. At least three times the size of the others, though not necesarily three times as bright. It is actually more faint than the other two and that could be why I have missed it before. On a darker night I would imagine I could see the large dust lane running horizontally through the center of this edge on galaxy, but it's hard to say since the object is so faint.
There were many objects we looked at this night. All of whch are journaled below. The advancement in my observation experience brought the spiral arms of M51 to light a bit more, and we saw one of Jupiter's moons faintly eclipsing on the plant. That was ver cool. Here is the list of other objects we looked at:
M3, M13, M27, M51, M53, M57, M65, M66, M92, M97, NGC 6960, NGC 6992, Jupiter and Saturn.
Quite a night overall. 18 objects total with 4 being new one's for me. That makes a total of 23 objects logged this weekend. Woohoo!