May 5, 2010: Fremont Peak

Mark Johnston

I headed up to the good-ol Peak last night and am glad I went.

Yes it was soft but there was no wind to speak of from the FPOA pads. I think that this is because the ridge to the north and the FPOA telescope building cut any modest winds.

Seeing was better than I had expected because I had seen the jet stream was begining to hit that area if only for the lower speed winds. Transparency was of course the issue. Light even sheets of poor transparency drifted slowly overhead but left me with 20-40 degree or more wide areas available for targets. Fortunately I had many targets all up and down the meridian so always found something. It was a 'bright night' as it goes with about 20.6 to 20.8 on teh SQM meter. Good enough for Herschel 400 list one objects of which I re-observed about 22.

Here were my highlights for the night that are worthy of mention and made the night fun

Ngc4631, the Whale galaxy, and it's side-kick Ngc4627. This I have always been drawn back to so tonight was no exception. Well worth the look as it is highly elongated but fatter on one end and has some 'clumps' to it. This to me reminds one of a mini M31 because Ngc4627 is off to one side much like M110 although not quite to scale.

Ngc4618 (also has a side-kick of Ngc4625. BOTH of these fan roughly to the south and so the cores of these two face-ons are offset to the north of the over glow. Ngc4618 is a real treat. Lots of odd behavior as it is highly mottled off to it's south. I await a better look hopefully in this or next new moon but got a fair look last night. A Favorite now.

Finally another nice one that only hinted at it's odd arms was Ngc4725. The night did not give up enough on this one and I was only able to detect the brighter areas off to either side of the long bar. So not a good look at this one but enough to tell me it would be nice to re-visit yet again.

I packed up about 12 and perhaps could have stayed but I had left my observing chair at home so felt besides the poor transparency floating by in waves that maybe I should just pack it up.

Glad I went,

Observing Reports Observing Sites GSSP 2010, July 10 - 14
Frosty Acres Ranch
Adin, CA

OMG! Its full of stars.
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