Now it is dark and time to observe and just as I start - Oh no their back!!!!!!!!!!! my neighbors to the south of SUGS eastern facing backyard are back(seasonal renters). Every light in their home is on, first and second floors, beacon like (no kidding folks) light from their front porch, garage floods my yard. Their light is bouncing off my stucco finished home, neighboring house to my north, even my juniper trees are glowing with a sick ashen green! There is no escaping this invasion. I am just beside myself - months they have been gone and tonight they show up!
Mrs.SUG patiently listens to the plight of her spouse - I ask for nothing more than a roof over my head, clothes to wear, something to eat, and some sky to look at! She says "hey if anyone can see stuff out there it is you so go give it a try and you know how to make the best of it!" She's right I gotta make the best of it or sink. RED is game for the challenge so lets go!
My viewing is around mag 4.2 with the haze and lighting soup over head as I lay back in the lounger with a jar of almond butter and spoon in hand to help comfort me and strenghten me for this endeavor. Lets just hang here for awhile. Funny thing is the more almond butter I eat the more I see. Sometimes I can see mag 5, then back to mag 4 even with the neighbors lights blasting through the slates of my fence. OK I am ready to go with comfort food inside and targets in mind.
Galaxies start falling like flies to RED's crude optics. Stray light is all over the place but we are on a quest and we will not be deterred! Even with this photonic intruder from earthly sources flooding RED's tube and eyepieces we are going to make this work.
Here are some of the highlights:
- M94's core is brilliant with ripples seen just off of it.
- M51 arms discerned - easy.
- M63 delicate haze shows some unevenness.
- M101 haze fills the eyepiece with some dark areas near the core.
- M106 shows a way out appendage like it is being torn.
- M97 the Owl has eyes tonight! with the help of a LPR filter. Nearby M108 is on the threshold of my vision but there in the same field.
- M81-2 are easy. M81 shows hints of its arms and I am seeing a bar?
- Globbies M13, M3, M53, M92, fall captured to RED's mirror net. M3 shows a distinct topaz shine, with 53 giving me a spooky kinda view. I'm enjoying 13's wild star arms and 92's dense star jam.
- M65-66 are easy but NGC 3628 is hiding!
- On to Coma where Melotte 111 and Alpha, Beta, Gamma Com on the threshold of my vision. But it is enough for the hunt!
- M64's black eye is seen with a adverted stare.
- NGC 4565 is a ghost - tap the tube there it is, then gone!
- NGC4889 the brightest of the Coma far flung cluster can just be seen! Not bad!
- On to Corvus and to face my neighbors lighting head on: NGC 4361 Ghost of Jupiter is seen with the help of the LPR.
- NGC's 4038-27 are dots of light but seen.
- M104 is a specter in this sky glow viewing site. Its dark lane is still easily seen and its core is a bold pin point - very cool.
- When it was all said and done 41 targets where acquired, 2 cups of tea downed, 1/3rd of a jar of almond butter consumed with remains on my mouth, gloves and telescope.