|Location||Santa Barbara, California|
Beginner astronomer, constant neck-ache, Admin of Astrochallenge.com
I did not believe my luck finding the Leo triplet in such bad light pollution, but I suppose my eyes could be better than I had thought. Inspired, I decided to check out the other group of galaxies in Leo, closer to the center of his belly. That's where I found M95. A small, nearly imperceptible smudge of galactic light.
M66 is part of the Leo Triplet, the three galaxies I unexpectedly found. Really, the three of them look like a smiley face with M65 and M66 forming the eyes and NGC3628 looking like the mouth. This is a very pretty sight in the eyepiece. I'm glad I looked for them.
I couldn't believe it, but I had found the Leo triplet! M65 was one of the 3, and one of the 2 smaller rounder looking galaxies. What can you say really about a galaxy this magnitude in a small scope in light polluted skies? A small, dim smudge. What made this smudge special though was that it happened to be very close to 2 others...
After observing some open clusters in Auriga I decided: "what the heck" and swung my scope towards Leo. I did't expect to find much. I happened to be sandwiched between my roomate's and my neighbour's open windows, with light shining out of both. I've never attempted to view galaxies in Leo before.
I scanned around for a bit on Leo's belly, and behold! 3 faint smudges of light!
I observed M37 after M36 and M38. It is similar to M36 in size and brightness but without the interesting features of a background cluster or a nearby companion (or a satellite, for that matter) but with a nice wide FOV eyepiece this triplet of clusters was easy to find.
|Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian||53|
|Orion Scenix 10x50 Binoculars||2|
|Mead LX200 (Cabrillo Observatory)||4|
|LCOGT 1Meter Scope - Sinistro||8|