NGC 3877, 3893 and 3949, Rush Valley Utah May 14, 2010

Last night was a magical night. I set up at Pit n Pole and waited for the cool down. What had started as a cloudy and rainy day, turned into a wonderful evening. The new crescent moon was very low and hanging between two mountains in the lull between them that is, and was just tremendous. Too dark for a picture. Here are some images from cool down.

It doesn't get much better than that, open skies, open and wide view. Love this site except when the humidity gets up which it did last night.

NGC 3877 Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major
May 14, 2010
11:19p.m. MDT 06:19 UT
Pit n Pole, Rush Valley, Utah
Seeing: II Antoniadi Scale, Clear and Mild
RA 11 h 46m 1s
Dec. +47 30m
Mag. 11.0
Size: 5.1' x 1.1'
13mm Stratus @ 92x

Good object for a dark site. I think in a LP zone it could be detected but details would be lost. This is a spiral galaxy on its side. At 92x I show a very stellar core with a elongated halo around it. Some hint of mottling or a dust lane underneath the core. A nice galaxy to go after at a dark site for a Herschel 400 item. I rather liked it.

NGC 3893 Mixed Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major
May 14, 2010
11:55 p.m. MDT, 06:55 UT
Pit n Pole, Rush Valley, Utah
Seeing II Antoniadi Scale, clear, mild, dew starting to creep up.
RA 11h 48m 6s
Dec +48 42m
Mag. 10.5
Size: 4.2' x 2/3'
13mm Stratus @ 92x

Small bright galaxy. The inner core is clearly seen, though it will appear stellar at first and then comes into view with direct vision. Hint of two arms, no, two arms are obvious as seeing clears. The two arms form a nice small and compact S shape rather going north and south respectively. A 11th mag star to the north and a 12th to 13th mag. star to the west. Very fun object to observe and in the right conditions takes magnification pretty decent. I will be coming back to this one to study it.

NGC 3949 Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major
May 15, 2010
12:18a.m. MDT; 07:18 UT
Pit n Pole, Rush Valley Utah
Seeing: I to II Antoniadi Scale, clear, cold, humidity really rising now. Summer Milky Way is clearly evident to the south-east laying sideways right now as it begins to rise. Awesome looking.
RA 11h 53m 7s
Dec 47 52m
Mag 11.1
Size: 2.6' x 1.6'
13mm Stratus @ 92x

Faint galaxy when compared to the other two I just viewed. Core is stellar and surrounded by a diffused halo. Seems to have an irregular shape to the west, a possible arm? I need to check that out.

I had a few other objects that I returned to that I had viewed from home to compare them at a dark site vs a LP site. That was a fun exercise. Overall, an ok night. Skies are good today and excellent tonight, less humidity so I am definitely heading back out. I should have several days over the next couple to get out so it may not be til next weekend before I post. Life is rather crazy right now, with other demands taking precedent so posting will occur, it just may have to wait for full moon!! Clear skies to you.