Observing Plans for June

There is a lot going on.  Great Basin National Park is having their Astronomy Festival this coming Thursday through Saturday.  If you want a great national park to go and hike around and one that has great skies at night and a cave you can tour during the day, then go to the Festival!  I have planned on attending this one all year but a family circumstance has come up that may mean I only go on Friday and Saturday or not at all.  I won't know until Wednesday.

My other plans then are rather up in the air.  If the air settles down tonight (we had a dry cool front come through yesterday and the wind is still up) I may head out to Pit n Pole tonight or the next several nights to get in a four or five hour session.  I am currently making plans on what to observe and right now I will be in Virgo and Canes Bernices  for a while as I have a few objects to chase down there, and then I am doing a combination thing.  I am going to use Sue French's Deep-Sky Wonders to explore some old friends and as a fun way to spend some time this summer comparing my own observations to hers.  I'll also post some finder charts for some of the objects in the book here as a way to help get closer to the objects. I highly recommend that if you enjoy her article you get the book.  My H400 is almost done, though I do have a few objects that I want to observe and sketch, and I want to do a wide field sketch of the summer Milky Way using either visual or binoculars.  On top of that I do have some summer Herschel 400 II items to chase down, but not too many.  This leaves me then with two projects to work on.  One is my dark site vs. home site observing list and the other is taking a constellation and working it and sketching the most interesting visual objects (to me) in that constellation and making my own list.  The goal is not to just make another list, but to make a list by month and constellation of the objects be they Messier, NGC, Herschel 2500 that are challenging to both find and observe, enjoyable to observe and find; some that could fit with the Messier (I dislike that notion, because Charles Messier saw what he saw, recorded what he recorded so I prefer to say ones that could add in with the Messer's) and some that are golden flakes hidden in the river we call the Milky Way.

So for either tonight or tomorrow I am doing the Herschel 400 II objects (after my time in Virgo and Bernices) in Hydra, Bootes and

The objects in Bootes are the Herschel 400 II objects there which are the following NGC numbers:
NGC 5481, 5490, 5520, 5523, 5529, 5533, 5548, 5582, 5590, 5600, 5602, 5660, 5687, 5899 and all are galaxies.  In Sue French's Deep Sky Companion for June on pages 133 to 135 she shares her "Buried Booty of Bootes."  Right now there is another "booty" to be had.  Comet Linear is near NGC 5481 at magnitude 12.2, well worth a peak in the scope and perhaps a sketch. Anyway, the details and observations are well worth it from Sue French's book and the items include two asterisms, Messier 3, NGC 5466 (a Herschel 400 object) both are globulars, one Herschel 400 II object in NGC 5529 and then the galaxies NGC 5557, 5676, 5689.  That should keep me going in Bootes.  Here is a finder for NGC 5557, 5529, 5533.   

Here is one of NGC 5676, 5689, 5660. You can decide which you prefer and let me know.  Let me know if you like having the finder charts or if I am just wasting my time posting them.

The next place will be in Hyrda and in Hydra I will be going after more Herschel 400 II object.  I'll be going after Herschel 400 II items and here in Sue French's book, I believe most of the objects are Herschel 400 II objects so they match up nicely.  The first will be the Draco Trio of NGC 5981, 5982, and 5985.  Next will be NGC 5987 then over to NGC 5907 the Splinter Galaxy then to NGC 5905, 5866and then up to Messier 102, the Spindle Galaxy.  Then on to NGC 6015, 6340, 4319, 4291, 4133, 4250, 4236,  4256 and 3682.  As time allows this week I want to use Sue's guide and the Herschel 400 II to go through both eastern Virgo and then Canes Venatici.  More on this later, I have to go eat, change, load and drive out to set up.  Yep, I'm heading out, even for a short 4 1/2 hour session.  Why not? I don't have work tomorrow.