May 23, 2010: RTMC 2010

Jeff Gortatowsky

Below are my observations from RTMC 2010 from Camp Oakes near Big Bear California. Altitude is roughly 2500m. Most of the temps were (-1C to 5C). Winds were light. I looked at many other eye candy objects Like M5, 57, 51, 104, etc... but did not record observations of them as I have observations of them and was mostly showing others the 'sights'.

All observations are with a 45cm f/4.5 newtonian and a TeleVue Paracorr except where I mistakenly inserted a 2x AP BARCON instead. :) All observations are from the 2.5 nights out of 5 that skies were good and dark. Seeing where noted affected some observations. However where not noted, seeing did not play a role as far as I could ascertain.

One other point, not all observations are corrected for accuracy. Only those I just 'had' to lookup on the net as I transcribed them. So PA's, directions, and all manner of things are raw and should not be taken as 'truth'.

NGC 3810 Galaxy in Leo 14mm Explore Scientific 100* (ES) + Paracorr Not very difficult to track down. Non-stellar core but pretty bright. Obvious to see. Elongated 3 or 4 to 1. PA of about 35 or 45. Perhaps a couple of knots of material on the NW edge of the central area. Kind hard to tell. Not much else around it.


NGC 3877 Galaxy in URSA Major 14mm ES + Paracorr Beautiful bright slash of light. Mottled middle core area. Core area seems somewhat offset or one side is longer than the other. PA of about 160 - 170 perhaps. Pretty much seemed to run north to south. Northern end is the shorter yet the brighter extension which to me is what gives it its offset look. Important point is to keep Chi Ursae Majoris which is off to the NW out of the field of view.

7mm Nag + Paracorr So at higher power I can see occasionally a stellar-like core. Also the galaxy appears far more uniform in length however the southern extension is still dimmer than the northern one. Seeing is pretty tough and not getting a great image at this magnification.


NGC3893 Galaxy in URSA Major 31mm Nagler + Paracorr Very obvious and very bright with a bright stellar-like core. Round. Probably a spiral. Lots of mottling and variations even at this low magnification. There is a field star or a detached portion to the west of the galaxy. There is another fuzzy / stellar spot to the east – probably another galaxy.

14mm ES + Paracorr Definitely what I thought could be a field star or a knot to the east is a field star. The view of 3893 is wonderful. Round. Hints of spiral structure. This is especially true on the east half. I would not be surprised if this was a face on spiral. Lot of mottling. Brighter core but not stellar.

NGC 3896 is following to the east of 3893 and is another easy fuzzy spot with a field star embedded in the North West quadrant of the galaxy. Interesting that is has a star embedded very near it and it does not show on skymap pro? 14mm ES + Paracorr Southeast of 3893 is the galaxy NGC 3906. 3906 is a very soft round glow. Just the slightest hint of structure or mottling. Slightly brighter core area but certainly not stellar. Looks like a dimmer field star south – southeast of the galaxy and a brighter one about 10 arc-mins away is to the west. All fits in the same field of view as 3893 and 3896.

14mm ES + Paracorr Still in that same region is NGC 3828 which for some reason is called the Miniature Spiral in SkyMap Pro. It is to the east about one degree east of NGC 3896. It is bright round and easy to see. A stellar like core perhaps 3 or 4 arc-minutes round. No structure seen.

11mm Nag NGC 3828 Not too much more than I saw with the 14mm ES. A little mottling and a stronger central area. It does bring out halo area a little more. So it gives it a more round odd target shape with a slightly irregular core.

11mm Nag NGC3893 Decided to return for another look with even higher power. Gives me the definite impression of a spiral with a field star embedded in the western edge. The north and eastern areas really give the impress of arms that spiral outward clockwise (as if it was spinning counterclockwise). Distinct swirling effect.


NGC3949 Galaxy in URSA Major 31mm Nagler + Parracorr Very obvious and bright galaxy. Oval shaped with fairly large core area that takes up much of the area I can see at this low power. At this low power it is hard to tell but I would hazard a guess of a PA of roughly 90 degrees.

14mm ES At this magnification it looks much less oval and is more irregular but still is elongated about 2 to 1 with a PA of 90 to 100. Much more mottled and an almost stellar core. To me the seems like it may be offset from the center a bit towards east. Definitely irregular and a mottled look. Also I get the impression that west side is longer than eastern and dimmer.

11mm Nagler Still shows to me as irregular in shape with perhaps the northern edge more bloated out than southern edge. Definitely some structure with an almost, but not quite, stellar core. Very irregularly shaped edges. Nothing at this magnification to change my impression of the PA as it is still about 90.


NGC4010 Galaxy in URSA Major 31mm Nagler + Paracorr Really really thin slash of light. Pretty hard to make out anything. A little averted vision brings it out a bit. Pretty low surface brightness. With URSA Major heeling over into the Northwest, putting it in a brighter part of the sky, it’s going to be a challenge. However I definitely see it and hold it most of the time. Hard to take a PA at this low a magnification. Elongated 4:1 when I can hold it. I’d have missed it if I had not known exactly where to look.

14mm ES Still fairly challenging object. Can observe with direct vision at this magnification and now knowing it’s there. Kind of looks like the PA might be 60 or 70. Maybe 45 to 50. Very thin elongated slash of light with the northeastern half being somewhat brighter I think than the southwest half. Occasionally it shows as really quite long. Maybe 5 or 6 to 1. No obvious structure other then the afore mentioned brightness differences.


NGC4995 Galaxy in Virgo 14mm ES + Paracorr Obvious round galaxy perhaps a couple of arc-min in diameter. Has a fairly obvious bright center core area that I would say is not exactly stellar but pretty concentrated nonetheless. Perhaps a hint of structure that pops in and out. Especially get that impression to the South. Seems tenuous. There seems to be more brighter areas towards to the north with the south being a bit more tenuous. Not symmetrical. Fairly bright field star to the northwest. No PA estimate since it is pretty round as far as I can tell.

11mm Nagler I cannot say it helps the view. Seeing is not that good to support the higher magnification. Nothing to add beyond what I saw in the 14mm.


NGC4958 Galaxy in Virgo 14mm ES + Parracor Beautiful edge on galaxy elongated probably 4 or 5 to 1 bright bulge obvious thin extension from the bulge. Central area is really quite bright though not I would say it is stellar. PA of about 170 or 0. When I first looked at it I saw a hint of a dust lane. I could have sworn I saw a hint of a dust lane. But now I am not sure. Very pretty edge on.

11mm Nagler Tiny field star precedes galaxy just to the west southwest. Again I don’t see that impression I got of a dust lane – could have just been wishful thinking. Could be seeing, which is spotty tonight in the cold air. Using avert vision I can extend the southern extension from the core 20 to 30 percent more than direct vision. Indeed it looks to me like the northern extension might be somewhat shorter. No. That is not correct. Moving it around the field of view, that is not true. The sides become equal as averted vision takes over.


Saturn in Virgo 14mm ES + Parracor Getting kind of cold. Seeing is pretty bad. 3 or 4. There is an unusual alignment of moons to the west. Like they are bunched up. Three of them. Inner most just slightly above (south) the plane of the other two making an L shape on it’s side. Not sure if the bright star to the east about 5 times further away than the clump of moon is Titan or not. Can’t tell much more as seeing is atrocious.

7mm Nagler Ok so looking at SkyMap Pro, it is Titan on the East side of the planet. The very tight alignment is actually 4 moons with the 7mm Nagler. But seeing is too poor to really tell a fourth. Sometimes I see something really really dim between the little L shaped cluster and the rings. If there are four in the clump than I can only see 3. If the 4th is the one in-between the clump and the three, then I see all four. (Checking back with SkyMap Pro the dim moon in-between the three, which were Tethys, Rhea, and Dione, was Enceladus. Rhea was the one that was out of line.)


NGC 3190, 3193, 3187, 3185 Galaxies in Leo 20mm ES + 2x Barcon 3190 is edge on galaxy with a PA of about 90. NGCS 3193 is a round bright central core, 3187 soft slash of light near 3190. And 3185 is in same FOV. NGC 3185 is a very very soft glow to the west-southwest of 3190 which is the edge on and then further to the Northeast is 3193 which is the round spot with a good size core area. NGC 3185 very diffuse glow with just a hint of structure. Perhaps a bit brighter center area. Maybe a bit brighter to the north side. Maybe 8 arc-min in diameter. Averted vision brings an impression of a little spiral and mottled and a blinking in and out core area. Could be a field star blinking in and out. 3187 very faint slash of light prep to 3190. Hard to make out. Of the four 3187 definitely the toughest. 3190 should point right at it and all I see is a very diffuse glow. At first I thought I saw it as a slash of light, but now I simply see a glow as I move the scope around. Could be haze or seeing.


NGC 4697 Galaxy in Virgo 31mm Nagler + Paracorr Very obvious and bright galaxy with an oval shape with a pronounced core. Can’t make out too much at this low power. Appears to have an east west PA about 90. Hard to tell at this low of a power. I now tend more toward the 120s but it’s hard. Very bright and obvious. Elongated maybe 2 or 3 to 1.

14mm ES PA about 90. Elongated 3:1 and may be involved on the fringe with a field star to its Northeast. Very stellar like core. A little bit of texture in the outer halo. That halo appears bit brighter to the east than west. Occasionally thought I got a glimpse of a knot near the Southwestern quadrant but that was very fleeting glimpse.


NGC 3227, 3226 Galaxies in Leo – 20mm ES + Paracorr Large of the two 3227 is the southern most of the two the smaller but equally brt 3226 to the NW 3227. Both seem to have somewhat stellar like core enough materal around each to seem touching in the center area. The gal to the south is proably elong 3:1 and perhaps at a PA of 135 or 140 maybe even more like 150 or 160. Cant tell the PA of the N of the pair 3226. It is also obvikous that to the west of those two gal about 30’ yet another galaxy. It’s pretty obv as well. Sure enough it is 3222 so that is also in FOV.

14mm ES NGC 3227 and 3226 have stellar-like cores although 3227 which is the southern most has a brighter amount of knotted material that is not part of core but near it. 3226 does not have that knotted surrounding material. 3226 is mostly round but if I have to guess a PA I’d say maybe 30 or something like that. But it’s mostly round. 3226 definitely is the dimmer of the two. They are fairly equal in size. 3227 is larger but not by much. And they seem to be wrapped in material touching each other (interacting?) NGC 3222 is to the west of them in the same field of view and it is a small but fairly obvious glow with an almost stellar core. But very small. Can’t tell a PA.

Also I am able to pick up on NGC 3213 from my charts which is to the southwest of NGC 3222 and also west southwest NGC 3227/26 by about 30’ or so. NGC 3213 is a very very soft glow with almost no definition whatsoever at this magnification. Very uniform soft faint round glow with just the slightest hint of surface brightness variations.

7mm Nagler 3222 again soft glow surround a distinctly stellar core and perhaps a field start that precedes it to the southwest that I did not see before. Might be another dim field start glowing to the east. Occasionally I get hint of two centers. Could be just my eyesight tricking me. Seeing can’t be too bad as I can use 7mm to fairly good effect. Moving around the field of view triggers averted visions with helps me bring out a little more extension.


NGC 4546 Galaxy in Virgo 20mm ES + Paracorr Very bright obvious galaxy that I was able to pick out in the 20mm ES after a quick telrad point and shoot. Seems like an edge on. It seems elongated about 3:1 with a bright almost stellar core. Probably a PA almost 90. Could be wishful thinking on my part but I see it as having a dark area the cuts through the long axis to the south of the centerline of the of the galaxy. That impress comes and goes a bit but I think there is a dark edge, or some dust, or a dust lane south of the long axis running east west along the galaxy. Preceded by a field star to the Northwest and followed by a bit bright field star to the Southeast which brackets the galaxy at equal distances.

7mm Nagler Definitely elongated about 3:1 with a PA of more like 70 to 80. Definitely an idea of a mottled structure near the core and a darker are or lane south of the core. I had a group of experienced observers drop by while observing and one of them asked "Is the dark lane to the south?" Funny thing is, it has no such dark area. So either this was not the right galaxy, or we both made the same mistake.


NGC 4666 Galaxy in Virgo 14mm ES + Paracorr Seems to be an edge on galaxy elongated 3 or 4 to 1. Thin halo with a bright non-stellar core area. PA of about 90 (almost due east west). With averted vision it extends a tiny bit more on either side. Can’t really see more structure than that. Maybe some slight variations around the core.

To 4666’s South is NGC 4653 which is a pretty obvious little smudge of light with a little clump of 3 field stars in-between it and 4666. 4653 is hard to make our any detail as it has just a slightly brighter middle. Can’t really see a distinct shape. Fairly easy to see however.


NGC 4753 Galaxy in Virgo 20mm ES + Paracorr This is an obvious big bright elongated galaxy. Does not have a distinct stellar, or any other core. It does brighten in the middle but not very concentrated. Elongated 3 or 4 to 1. No other real detail at this magnification.

14mm ES Now it has longer extension on both side so I can call it elongated 4 to 1. On the West side it almost reaches out to envelop a field star. Core area is mottled or irregular in texture. Eastern side is dimmer than the western. Seems to be a PA of about 90. Occasionally I get impression of darkening on the Northeastern edge of what would be the core area. That impression comes and goes.


NGC 4900 Galaxy in Virgo 14mm ES + ParacorrThis is a very obvious galaxy with a very uniform round glow. Two things stand out. One there is no obvious core area. Just very a uniform glow. I can’t give a PA as it is round in shape to me. The other obvious thing that hits you is the fairly bright field star embedded in the east southeast edge

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