[I haven't gotten around to completing this report from 3/19/04 but I figured some real observing might fit on this list as opposed to "fantasy marathons". ;-)] I decided a bit late to go to Vekol Road on Friday (3/19/04). I was packed for observing for a week but the weather has been mostly uncooperative. So as Friday evening got better and better weather wise, I got more motivated to get out. I met up with Mike Mello out at Vekol about 8pm. He was already set up and observing with his 12" Starmaster. The conditions were near perfect. It was a very pleasant temperature and clear. The zodiacal light was so bright I first thought it was haze. I unpacked my trailer and put together my 16" truss dob. I got to use my new Kendrick laser collimator and later my new Herald-Bobroff Astroatlas. The collimator made geting the secondary lined up a breeze even without light. More on the charts later. My main observing program are the DSOs from Burnham's. I'm about halfway done. I also observe from the H400, EVAC 200, Best NGC and Challenge objects from RASC, and I am going through Messier's objects again. Spring is my nemesis. I've got about five hundred galaxies to go. I mostly have just a little clean up for the other seasons. Mike also has extensive lists of object to observe. Our lists often overlap, which adds quite a bit to the observing experience. We had few common objects early in the evening. I planned on observing mostly in Lynx. But before that I observed NGC 2403, a large and bright galaxy in Camelopardalis. This showed a hint of spiral structure and a dim arc leading to the fuzzy path that is NGC 2404. I also wanted to spot NGC 1465, a galaxy in Perseus that has eluded me in my 10" scope as well as in the 16" in less than optimal conditions. It eluded me for a bit until I looked up the exact field using Mike's computer and The Sky. The galaxy is faint, very elongated and very small. I don't know why I had so much trouble with it. Perhaps I should have been looking at higher power. The object was best at 145x with a 14mm Meade UWA. I then moved on to Lynx. My first object was the small and round but bright galaxy NGC 2415. I noted that it was a nice object in a rich field at 145x. Mike then noted that Pyxis was well placed and he had an object to observe in it. Switching gears suited me as Pyxis is a deep south constellation that isn't visible long, unlike Lynx. Burnham's lists seven objects for this constellation and I had observed none before. The first object I observed was NGC 2818. This is a fair open cluster that is dominated by a large and bright planetary nebula. I found the cluster to be rather unimpressive, but the PN was about 1' around and very bright. Apparently the nebula shows a dumbell like shape at high power, but I didn't crank the power up enough. This was Mike's object in Pyxis but I had several to go. Burnham's also lists three other decent open clusters, NGCs 2635, 2658, and 2627. All were easy in not super impressive clusters. It also lists two galaxies. NGC 2613 is large, elongated and bright, about 6'x2'. It showed a bright inner part and very extended outer halo. It is a very nice galaxy. It is the kind of object that keeps me using Burnham's. I usually don't even look at the descriptions at first so I can be surprised by objects like this. The other galaxy was a much more pedestrian type. NGC 2688 is a small (0.5') dim spot with a brighter middle. Mike showed me a nice galaxy pair in Canes Venetici. NGC 4111 is a bright edge on spiral about 3x1'. Directly opposite a fairly bright field star is NGC 4117, a dim round spot about 1.5' across. It was interesting comparing the view in the 12" and 16" scopes. The dimmer object was more apparent in the larger scope, but the view was otherwise quite similar. After all this, I was ready to tackle Lynx. Burnham's lists one globular, one planetary nebula, and 13 galaxies. I also looked at a couple more galaxies that were plotted in the HB atlas. NGC 2419 is an extragalactic globular. It is small but bright and well concentrated. I saw no resolution or mottling. Burnham's list a NGC 2474 as a planetary. Apparently this is a common error. The Planetary is JE1 aka PK 164+31.1. I first looked for it at 145x and saw nothing, even with a UHC filter. I switched to a 22mm panoptic and searched at 90x but still saw nothing. I noticed a very faint large patch with the UHC filter so I switched to a 27mm pano for 65x. At this power the nebula was faint but definitly visible with the filter. Without the filter it was still very barely visible. I noticed no structure even though the nebula is anullar with two brighter concentrations. I am now not sure if I saw the whole object as a faint patch or merely one of the concentrations. [More later when I get a round toit] As a very short review, the HB atlas is a great obseving aid. It is far superior to the SA2000 for my type of observing. Joe Larkin Mike had one object to observe in Pyxis and I had 7 from Burnham's. __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Finance Tax Center - File online. File on time. http://taxes.yahoo.com/filing.html -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list.