Viewing Report 6th November 2018 – La Palma

Viewing time period – 21:20 – 23:30

It should be noted that unlike previous trips where we observe all night long then drive down the mountain, we are afforded the luxury of observing from the villa. This means that not only we get some sleep, but also we get to partake in the other part of our trip, trekking through forests and across the mountain during the day.

M15 – At 21:23, I found this beautiful globular cluster, located in Pegasus both through the 100mm binos and the 10” dob.  In the dob you can see the many diamonds of stars, in the Binos you see a small fuzzy shape with direct vision (DV) and a larger fuzzy ball with averted vision (AV). Alan took a photo with the modified Canon 650D provided by member Paul Cabrelli with the 200mm lens. A single cropped image of 1min, 6400 ISO at f/4.5 with no processing can be seen below.

NGC 7217 – This tiny spiral galaxy in Pegasus is extremely small, at 4 arc minutes across it would prove a challenge both to find and to see. At 21:45 I managed to find it in the binos then shortly after, which much nudging of the dob, in the 10”. It should be noted that this is a very, very faint in both instruments at mag +10.1. There was really nothing to note on shape and only really seen with AV.

Stephan’s Quintet – NGC 7317/7318A/B/7319/7320  – I really tried hard to see this cluster of galaxies through the binos, however at 22:04 I gave up. It is not surprising since they are +13 magnitude and although my binocular guidebook says they can be glimpsed as did a recent article on binocular objects in the American Astronomy magazine, clearly they need to remember just how fine this cluster is.

NGC 7331 – On the plus side, whilst searching for Stephan’s Quintet I stumbled across this lovely galaxy which at 10×4 arc minutes was large enough and bright enough at +9.5 magnitude to see. You could tell it was an elliptical galaxy straight away and after the searching that went into the previous galaxy group I was happy to have found this by accident.

NGC 7457 – Another galaxy not too far away  from NGC 7331 and near the bright star Scheat (+2.47 mag) in Pegasus was found and could be seen with AV through the binos at 22:30.

NGC 7479 – Near the bright main star Markab in Pegasus I found this small 4×3 arc minute spiral galaxy but only seen with AV through the binos. Given the trouble with movement of the mount of the 10″ dob I did not try to find it through that.

On reflection, finding objects in the visual range of the binos, so up to +11.5 magnitude is relatively straight forwards. The APM wedge is a delight to use and the 4″ binos coupled with the 18mm eyepieces are divine. The 10″ Skywatcher on the other hand is stiff, jerky and provides a dim view even through the expensive and magnificent 24mm Panoptic eyepiece, which when coupled with my 12″ Officinal Stellare CDK back home provides a beautiful view. Tonights viewing came to end when Alan’s mount kept shorting out through water ingress into the EQ5 handset and my binos and the dob kept dewing up especially after all the rain we had during the day. Something to note when coming this time of year to the Canaries and this altitude.

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