(IAAC) Object: NGC4565 Instrument:16" Dob

Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate +
Date and UT of observation: 2/4/97 0900 GMT
Location & latitude: 22 miles west of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 5 (estimated),  5 (est)  in vicinity of object
Seeing (1 to 5 - best to worst):  3
Moon up (phase?): Yes, 20%, near horizon
Instrument: f/4.59 16" Dob, f.l. 1839mm, excellent optics, 
96-99% coating, 3.1"secondary
Magnifications: 263x, 175x, 97x
Filters used: none
Object:  NGC4565
Object data: Edge-on Galaxy near Virgo cluster
Description: One of the best sights I have seen in astronomy. At 97x this 
needle-like galaxy which I have never seen before in a larger scope, under good
conditions, was quite pronounced, along with it's legendary dark lane.
Unlike NGC 891
which I viewed a week prior, NGC4565 was not a ghostly, hard to find object
in my 
suburban skies, but instead was very well defined, being more compact (thinner).
Although like NGC 891, it ran about 17 arc minutes long.
The object was most pronounced at 97x, but the dark lane, especially near
the core, 
became more obvious at 175x. At that magnification I was able to see the
dark lane, 
mainly at the core, with direct vision. From my vantage point, the galaxy
was almost
straight up and down in the eyepiece, from 11'oclock to 5 o'clock. The dark
lane on 
the right hand, upper side. It didn't take me long to realize I was looking
at the Galaxy 
"upside down", in this position,  with the dark lane on top, it should have
been on the bottom.  
I cocked my head 45 deg. or so to the left to get the more classic view. 
The Galaxy appears as a very thin, almost needle-like streak of light,
suddenly brighter
towards the center, with an almost star like brightening at the Galaxy's
The Galaxy was very susceptible to the brightening of the field towards the edge
of both the Pentax(10.5mm) and Nagler(7mm) eyepieces, the outer 
extensions of the Galaxy getting somewhat washed away from lack of contrast 
towards the edges. The dark lane at the core was visible with direct vision,
even (in fact
especially at) 263x. However, as I mentioned, the extensions looked best at
lower power. 
There may have been some irregularity to the dark lane as it crossed over
the nucleus, 
I do not recall it being perfectly straight and even.
I believe the best magnification on this scope, under these slightly light
polluted conditions
would have been at around 135x.
- Todd
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