Began: 1/15/13 1:59 AM
Finished: 1/15/13 2:53 AM
Seeing: III. Somewhat stable
Transparency: Clear
Site: Norton, Johnson Rd Farm

I had taken a screw out of my secondary mirror looking for a hand screw at the local hardware store (didn’t find any). After a quick collimation, I took my scope out to adjust to the WX. An hour later, I started viewing. Everything was dim and off color. I couldn’t quite figure it out. Bringing it back in I realized my quick collimation was pretty far out. Not sure how I did such a poor job. I also noticed moisture on the secondary and primary mirrors. I am not sure if that happened because of the warming when bringing it in the house or not. Anyway, collimating the scope, taking it outside and running the fan on it this time made everything work like a charm.

  1. M41 a Open in the Canis Major constellation (also named Little Beehive, NGC2287) observed at 1:59 AM - No mistaking this one. Went for an easy one after failing for 20 minutes or so on the Pinwheel galaxy. Saw this one was easy and setting. It may be called the Little Beehive but it is actually quite a large cluster and bright. - with my Z10 (GR 18mm)
  2. M93 a Open in the Puppis constellation (also named NGC2447,Butterfly Cluster) observed at 2:09 AM - This one took a little bit of finding as it was in a star-rich area. Once identified though, it was easy to come back to. I identified it by browsing, then recognizing 2 brighter stars close together, a squarish group of 5 stars above that and to the other side 2 angled lines both comprised of 3 stars. - with my Z10 (GR 18mm)
  3. M94 a Galaxy in the Canes Venatici constellation (also named Croc’s Eye Galaxy, NGC4736, UGC7996) observed at 2:30 AM - Galaxies are always a lot of fun to look at, especially ones like Croc’s Eye that can be seen plainly. I almost didn’t even try looking for this as I already failed a few galaxies for tonight, but gave it a try and am I happy. I think finding galaxies may be one of the funnest things in astronomy. - with my Z10 (GR 18mm)
  4. M49 a Galaxy in the Virgo constellation (also named NGC4472, UGC7629) observed at 2:38 AM - Found with averted vision. Could barely pick it out while looking directly at it, but while panning it was visible. 3 surrounding stars making a sloppy straight line helped to confirm its identity and its proximity to a brightish star. - with my Z10 (GR 18mm)