|This evening was wonderful. After the phenomenal observation session last night, tonights goal: new objects. Using my trusty Mac laptop and Starry Night Pro, I added 5 new objects to my list. They are all pretty small and faint.
New Object Hunting:
NGC 5866/M102 - Spindle Galaxy
This edge-on was small, and clearly identifiable by the two stars that are on either side of it. I could almost detect a hint of structure, but the light pollution was a little worse than it could have been and washed out some of the detail.
NGC 5907 - Splinter Galaxy
This edge-on galaxy was discovered somewhat by accident when looking for the Spindle. Though very faint, this galaxy is quite large. It definitely looks like a sharp splinter in the night sky.
M109 - Face-on Galaxy
Though images of M109 I've seen have pretty strong spiral arms, they were too faint for me to see tonight. The nucleus was clear and obvious, though the galaxy is small. I'll look for details in the arms another time.
M71 - Globular Cluster
My first object in Sagitta, this is a very small globular cluster hidden within the band of the Milky Way, this globular was somewhat difficult to find for a relatively bright object. This was due to it being hidden in the arm of the Miky Way. Not a very spectacular sight, but one of the few star objects I've found in the Milky Way band.
M56 - Globular Cluster
My third DSO in Lyra. Though not much biggger than M71, it's not hidden in a throng of stars. It required my 12mm eyepiece at 116x power to begin to resolve the small cluster. My 9.5mm at 147x began to resolve more stars, but I also begin to lose contrast.
NEAT C/2001 Q4
Tonight, the comet is below Merak in Ursa Major. Though Starry Night Pro tells me that it's 8 degrees below Merak, it seems more like 12. This is only the second time I've looked at the comet. It really is spectacular. A tight, bright, small nucleus with a huge haze of gas and debris around it and the inverted tail in the eyepiece runing from the comet down to about 5 o'clock was very broad.
All in all a short session, but very productive. Just to make sure I had everything, before I packed it in I ran through all of the objects one more time from memory.