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Saturday, June 19th, 2004
The second (and last) night of the Indian Trail Spring star party weekend. The seeing has been phenomenal and the viewing spectacular. Tonight was all new object night. I added about 15 new ojects to my memory list and it was awesome just ovserving the others.

Unfortunately, I did not bring any charts with me. I know that seems silly, but I brought my laptop and Starry Night Pro thinking that was all I would need. The problem was that even in SNP's darkest night mode and with the screen brightness turned all the way down, it was far far too bright. That rendered the software useless. Because of that, I winged it and borrowed from neighboring amateures.

Moon
The moon was really cool. As a 2 day moon it was a tiny sliver of a crescent. Many craters were well defined by the shadows.

Jupiter
Though the atmosphere is a bit turbulent, for the first time I saw the Great Red Spot. Crystal clear storm bands with slight detail within the bands. The Spot resolved as a dark smudge in the lower band.

NEAT C/2001 Q4
Far away but 2 distinct tails. One angled from the nucleus towards 4 o'clock and the other angled towards 6 o'clock. Very cool.

Here is the list of new objects by constellation (* denotes memorized location). I will not comment on all of them.

Sagittarius
M22 - GC
Wow. This practically rivals M13. A large, bright globular with many defined stars within the cluster. Incredible.

M23 - OC

M24 (Sagittarius Star Cloud)
Though I passed through this with the 12" scope, it really was a sight for binoculars.

M25 - OC
M54 - GC
M55 - GC
M69 - GC
M70 - GC


Scorpius
*M4 - GC
What a cool cluster. Not as bright a nucleus as the others, but large and many resoving stars.

M6 - OC
M7 - OC
*M80 - GC
This one reminded me of M71 as a relatively bright, smallish cluster. It finally began to resolve more points of light at 157x power in my 9.5mm.


Cygnus
NGC6888 - Crescent Nebula
I've been waiting to see this for some time. It looked exactly like the picture in Starry Night without the color.

IC5067 - Pelican Nebula
I could encapsulate the entire Pelican Nebula in my 32mm eyepiece. The nebula was completey invisible without the UHC filter. Even in this dark sky.


Cassiopeia
*M52 - OC
*M103 - OC


Draco
*NGC 5963 - Galaxy
*NGC 5965 - Galaxy
Near the Splinter galaxy (NGC 5907) both are in the same field of view.


Hercules
*NGC 6207 - Galaxy
A small fuzzy near M13. I could barely get both M13 and NGC 6207 in the same field of view with my 32mm eyepiece.


Ursa Major
*NGC 3077 - Galaxy
*NGC 2976 - Galaxy
Two more small fuzzies. This time near M81/M82 I could get M81 and NGC3077 in same field of view.

NGC 5474 - Galaxy
This was a tiny galaxy off to the side of M101.


Canes Venatici
*NGC 4631 - Whale galaxy
*NGC 4656


Leo
*NGC 3371
*NGC 3373
*NGC 3379
All three of these galaxies are in the same field of view. It's always cool seeing multiple objects at once.

*M95 - Galaxy
I was hoping to see structure in this one, but it was getting too low on the horizon as Leo is making it's way out of the current sky.

Virgo
This was simply amazing. In slowly scanning the gluster region with my widest fieldof view eyepiece, I saw 33 galaxies total. The most I saw in one view was 6. Most of which were NGCs, but here is the list of M objects:
M49 - Galaxy
M58 - Galaxy
M59 - Galaxy
M60 - Galaxy
M61 - Galaxy
M84 - Galaxy
M85 - Galaxy
M86 - Galaxy
M87 - Galaxy
M88 - Galaxy
M89 - Galaxy
M90 - Galaxy
M91 - Galaxy
M98 - Galaxy
M99 - Galaxy
M100 - Galaxy


Somwehere around 60 objects I logged this night. And that's on top of the 30 different one's the night before. All in all, the best observation sessions I've had in my short amateur astronomy carreer. I'm looking forward to coming to this spot again. Though it's a 6 hour drive for me, it's totally worth it!





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