Lions, Monsters, and Bears, Oh My!

by Tom Campbell


March 22, 2003

ObserverTom Campbell
LocationIola, Kansas (Long: 95°24'W Lat: 37°55'N)
EquipmentDiscovery DHQ 8" dobsonian
Eyepieces1.25" Plössls - 25mm (49x), 15mm (81x), 10mm (122x), 6.5mm (188x), 4mm (305x)
Time8:55pm - 10:15pm CST (02:55-04:15 UT)
TransparencyMostly Clear (7/10)
SeeingMostly Stable (7/10)
WeatherTemperatures in the upper 50s. There was a slight breeze.

Observing Summary

My only plan tonight was to finish off the Astronomical League's Double Star observing project. I only had one more double left to record.

My observing log is somewhat sporadic. When I set my telescope out right after dusk, the sky was clear. However, by the time the telescope had cooled down, some clouds were overhead. The clouds were periodically appearing and moving off throughout the evening. As a result, there are some unusually long times between observations.

NGC 3521LeoSpiral Galaxy8:55pm CST
RA: 11h 05m 49sDec: -00° 02'Mag: 9.8

This is a fairly bright galaxy, with a stellar central core. The spiral arms fade into the background sky, with the outer edges indistinct. The oblong shape appears slightly mottled. The best view tonight was at 81x.

NHydraDouble Star9:55pm CST
H 96RA: 11h 32m 18sDec: -29° 16'Mag: 5.7, 5.8

This is the last double on my Astronomical League Double Star list. The pair was fairly easy to find by using the wings of Corvus as pointers to the general location.

Both stars appear yellowish, and of a similar magnitude. The atmospheric disturbance from their low altitude causes them to twinkle slightly in the eyepiece at low powers. Although they can be separated at low powers, 81x provided the best view.

NGC 2841Ursa MajorSpiral Galaxy10:15pm CST
RA: 9h 22m 2sDec: +50° 59'Mag: 10.1

This spiral galaxy is easy to find, right on the front paw of the Great Bear. It forms a right triangle with two bright field stars. The core appears nearly stellar, except somewhat oblong. The core is slightly fainter than the closer of those two stars. The spiral arms of the galaxy appears as faint nebulosity and it is difficult to see the boundaries. No other detail is visible.