[AZ-Observing] Re: March 28 report from Hovatter Norte

  • From: "AJ Crayon" <acrayon@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 10:36:30 -0700

To all, "the center is not in the middle," amazing what I can say during a 
sleep deprived night of great observing!  It was, and still is, a great 
night with my old 8" Newtonian.

AJ Crayon
Phoenix, AZ

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <stevecoe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 8:43 AM
Subject: [AZ-Observing] Re: March 28 report from Hovatter Norte


Paul;

AJ said, about NGC 4656, "the center is not in the middle!".  True, the
core seems to be off to one side.  A strange shape indeed.  And 4631 is
truly massive and very mottled.  Lots of fun.

Steve Coe


> Although the Moon set late and the clouds came in at 2 am, I and the
> coyotes had a few great hours to experience the universe from one of the
> world's dwindling dark sky sites at Hovatter Norte last Saturday night.
> There are always a few views through the 25" that specially jolt me and
> stick in my mind for days afterward.  The latest are:  1) NGC 3395/96:
> the curved wings on 3395 stunned me when I saw and felt the gravitational
> wrenching going on during this interaction. I've seen lots of other
> interacting galaxies visually but none that impart such a visceral
> realization of gravity at work on a cosmic scale! Don't know what's so
> special about this pair, but I'm still thinking about and feeling that
> view two nights later. 2)NGC 4656: A half of a galaxy! There is the bright
> core at one end (!) and an arm streaming out and curving sharply at the
> tip.  A litle averted vision and the vastly fainter arm on the other side
> comes into view, but without any curved tip. Not really a "half galaxy",
> after all.  The strange appearance of this one is gravity again, they
> say--the effect of nearby NGC 4631. OK, let's look at that one: 3) Gasp!
> An enormous edge-on rich in glowing detail.  Goes wall to
>  wall in a 13mm Ethos. Could stare transfixed at this all night. Forget
> photos, you can see and feel this one blazing away. Amazing. The
> wrenching of 3395 makes visible sense you can feel.  But how this big
> galaxy induced 4656 to look the way it does probably requires the usual
> not-so-apparent and probably speculative astrophysics. I surmise a big
> wave of star formation was somehow triggered in that "half a galaxy" by
> the tug of this wall to wall wonder? How, I puzzle, does that work in
> this case?  All these things rummaging around in my mind tonight when I
> should be working on other things. Ah, well, screw the other things;
> those views were a treasure!
>
> Videmus stellae,
>
> Paul Knauth
>
>
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