Photos through Cheshire sight tube and Catseye collimators after Lee has collimated Orion 10″ Dobsonian telescope

The photos below are through my Cheshire colliminating eyepiece sight tube and through Catseye collimators today – latter are 2 x 2″ collimators, one of which at least is a Blackcat collimator. Lee collimated the scope for me on Friday night and I thought it would be useful to keep a record of what the reflections seen through the sight tube should look like when the scope is properly collimated, to help me with my own attempts at collimation in the future.

The wrinkly edge at one side of view is the top of my sofa!

This post follows from the previous one regarding Lee’s collimation on Friday night:

Lee collimates my Orion UK 10″ Dobsonian Telescope


View through Cheshire sight tube:

View through Catseye collimators:

Lee collimates my Orion UK 10″ Dobsonian Telescope

I really need to learn how to collimate my telescopes well – I had today off work and spent several hours attempting to collimate the 10″ Orion UK Dobsonian Telescope…..but Lee demonstrated how much better it could be done.



View down Cheshire eyepiece sight tube after Lee collimated the telescope:

See also the following post which has better photos of view through the Cheshire post collimation today:

Photos through Cheshire sight tube after Lee has collimated Orion 10″ Dobsonian telescope

Observing Log 25/4/2019 @ 23:43-26/4/2019 @ 01:46. Galaxies are us – mostly!

Observing Log 25/4/2019 @ 23:43-26/4/2019 @ 01:46.

Lichfield, 800m from Tesco store, sub-urban location

Andrew Thornett

Galaxy hunting (mostly)


  • Orion UK 10 Dobsonian Telescope
  • Orion USA Premium Linear Binoviewer
  • 7mm and 18mm eyepiece pairs
  • Sky Safari Planetarium Software                                                             

Galaxies in Leo

NGC 2903, UGC 5079, PGC 27077, MCG 4-23-9, CGCG 122-14, IRAS 09293+2143, SDSS 093210.09+213008.2,2MASS 09321011+2130029. Starting at 23:43 my back yard using Orion ten-inch Dobsonian. 18mm eyepiece. Star hopped using sky Safari. Very pleased with ease with which I found this object as previously Damian was expert at finding this galaxy and usually directed me tonight – but alone I did it tonight. When found reasonably bright by direct vision. Entirely star hopping starting with Regulus and moving around the inverted question mark of Leo. Interestingly (and just to prove that one should not get too proud of oneself), when I tried to repeat the star hop, I could not find it!

M 66, NGC 3627, PGC 34695, MCG 2-29-19, CGCG 67-57, Arp 317, Arp 16, IRAS 11176+1315. On a roll! Star hopped straight to this. 18mm eyepiece.

M 65, NGC 3623, UGC 6328, PGC 34612, MCG 2-29-18, CGCG 67-54, Arp 317, VV 308. Easily seen in same field of view as M66.

NGC 3628, UGC 6350, PGC 34697, MCG 2-29-20, CGCG 67-58, Arp 317, VV 308, IRAS 11176+1351. Got this but boy was it difficult to observe. Needed careful start hop from M65 and then once I knew precisely where it should be careful study revealed a very faint slash bought out by nudging the scope (knocking it gently to bounce image around send better bring out faint objects).

M 105, NGC 3379, UGC 5902, PGC 32256, MCG 2-28-11, CGCG 66-18, SDSS 104749.60+123453.9,2MASS 10474959+1234538. Continuing my run of unusually successful star hopping success tonight – in this relatively dark and clear sky for suburban Lichfield – I star hopped to M105 one using the 18mm eyepiece. Larger and much brighter with 7mm Nagler.                               

NGC 3384, NGC 3371, UGC 5911, PGC 32292, MCG 2-28-12, CGCG 66-21, SDSS 104816.91+123745.8, SDSS 104816.88+123745.3. Similar findings for this galaxy in Leo adjacent to last one. Are the two interconnected? In the telescope tonight it looked as though there was bridge between them. Sounds unlikely from what I read on internet that these galaxies are connected – one is thought only to be apparently close to the other by line of sight.                                                                               

NGC 3389, NGC 3373, UGC 5914, PGC 32306, MCG 2-28-13, CGCG 66-22, SDSS 104827.90+123159.5, SDSS 104827.90+123159.4. Try as I might, I could not observe this third member of the galaxy trio tonight with either 18mm or 7mm eyepieces. 

M 96, NGC 3368, UGC 5882, PGC 32192, MCG 2-28-6, CGCG 66-13, IRAS 10441+1205, SDSS 104645.67+114911.8. Found this by star hopping from last galaxy.

M 95, NGC 3351, UGC 5850, PGC 32007, MCG 2-28-1, CGCG 66-4, IRAS 10413+1158, SDSS 104357.69+114213.6. I was surprised to find that this galaxy was approximately one whole field of view in the 18mm eyepiece away from M96, and hence nearly missed it, thinking I could not see it until I moved the telescope a little further to the side!

Leo II, UGC 6253, PGC 34176, MCG 4-27-5. I am reasonably certain that I have seen this for the first time ever tonight but as it required very careful star hopping and was extremely faint there is a possibility that I was seeing what I wanted to observe….

NGC 3607, UGC 6297, PGC 34426, MCG 3-29-20, CGCG 96-21,2MASS 11165465+1803065.Took a bit of moving back and fore but eventually got definite observation of this galaxy with 18mm. I tested idea that magnification helps with faint objects and certainly changing from 18mm to 7mm eyepiece made this galaxy brighter and bigger and more obvious. Testing idea that a binoviewer would help, I changed from single eyepiece to my Orion Premium binoviewer with 2x 18mm eyepieces…. the jury is still out on whether this helped tonight with NGC 3607 and 3608 below….

NGC 3608, UGC 6299, PGC 34433, MCG 3-29-22, CGCG 96-22, SDSS 111658.94+180855.2,2MASS 11165896+1808547. In same field could also see NGC 3608 as well as NGC 3607. These two galaxies are the two brightest in the area. Possible indications of a couple of other faint galaxies in the eyepiece, but too faint to be certain.

Virgo Cluster of Galaxies

Using a binoviewer is more relaxing on the eyes once my eyes adjusted to it and I got the inter-pupillary distance right – more difficult to achieve than it sounds – and the contrast is better in the Binoviewer. However, one eyepiece on its own without the Binoviewer is also clearly more sensitive, making it easier to observe faint objects and detail within those objects – or at least this was my conclusion tonight.

A quick pan across the area between Virgo and Leo identified four galaxies with a single 18mm eyepiece within seconds – no effort required. Spending a few more minutes, I identified more than 20 galaxies – my biggest problem was trying to identify which ones they were!

Ursa Major Galaxies

M108. Easily star hopped to this with 18mm from bowel stars in Ursa Major – sky made this star hopping easy tonight. I think our skies are often so poor that we forget what a good night is like!

PGC 4550815, SDSS 111109.42+553944.4, SDSS 111109.42+553944.5, SDSS 111109.43+553944.6. I saw hints of this feature within M108 tonight with 7mm Nagler eyepiece. First time I have recorded this observation.

Owl Nebula, M 97, NGC 3587, ARO 25, PK 148+57.1, PN G148.4+57.0, VV 59. Although tonight is a galaxy hunt, I could not slip past this area without looking at the Owl Nebula – clearly not a galaxy! Still it is a faint object which is difficult to see as soon as sky loses any clarity, so I was keen to see what it looked like in this good sky (for Lichfield). Not using any filters tonight which help with Owl when used, but still the clear sky meant that I saw a relatively bright and quite easily identified Owl Nebula, star hopping from M108. Some elements of structural detail. Again, through binoviewers, the view was more relaxing (as not having to ignore one eye) but not so bright. The Binoviewer optics degrades the image a little in my view – makes sense = more glass = less light.

M 109, NGC 3992, UGC 6937, PGC 37617, MCG 9-20-44, CGCG 269-23, IRAS 11550+5339, IRAS 11549+5339. I love this clear sky! Not having to strain to see these galaxies tonight. Star hop to M109 and there it is – easily seen.                                                                                                               

Bode’s Nebulae, M 81, NGC 3031, UGC 5318, PGC 28630, MCG 12-10-10, CGCG 333-7, IRAS 09514+6918,2MASS 09553318+6903549. M81 and M82 observed with and without binoviewer, 18mm and 7mm eyepiece. After the relatively faint galaxies I have been observing so far, looking at M81 & M82 was like turning on the headlamps on the car! Big and non-subtle they appeared. On other nights when the sky is not so good, I can only just pick them out – but tonight – how could I miss them? Just goes to show how much sky quality differs from night to night.

NGC 3077, UGC 5398, PGC 29146, MCG 12-10-17, CGCG 333-13, IRAS 09592+6858, IRAS 09593+6858, SDSS 100318.13+684400.2. Located near M81, I have never seen this galaxy before but able to observe it tonight. Nice little galaxy that I recommend RAG members add to their observing lists.

M 101, NGC 5457, UGC 8981, PGC 50063, MCG 9-23-28, CGCG 272-21, Arp 26, VV 344. Unable to find this tonight. 

Canes Venatici Galaxies

Whirlpool Galaxy, Lord Rosse’s Nebula, Question Mark, M 51, NGC 5194, UGC 8493, PGC 47404, MCG 8-25-12, CGCG 246-8, Arp 85, VV 403. The smaller object is M51B or NGC 5195.Tonight, very bright and in 7mm very big with the periphery surrounding both cores. I still can’t see any evidence of spiral arms although some members of RAG claim they can observe this visually.                                                                                 


Ring Nebula  M 57, NGC 6720, ARO 9, PK 063+13.1, PN G063.1+13.9, VV 214. Again, not a galaxy, but how could I not observe this magnificent object? Summer is on its way when you can see the Ring! Splendid view of M57 through 18mm and 7mm but this was where the binoviewer really came into its own. With 18mm eyepieces, the Ring hung in space like an alien warship on its way to Earth. To me, this is the definition of feeling like I am out there with the objects I am viewing – the Binoviewer was worth buying for this view alone!!


NGC 6811. Open cluster. Quite a beautiful object. Don’t understand why I haven’t looked at this before.

North America Nebula, NGC 7000, C 20, LBN 373. Some variation in intensity with 18mm eyepiece in this area that I am sure represents some of the nebulosity associated with this object – not using OIII or UHC filters which would have helped.         

Blinking Planetary Nebula  Blinking Planetary Nebula  NGC 6826, C 15, ARO 13, PK 083+12.1, PN G083.5+12.7, VV 242. Can’t seem to find this tonight.


Hercules Cluster, M 13, NGC 6205. Wow! Wow! Wow! That is with the 18mm eyepiece without binoviewer. Loads of stars resolved through to core. Lot of structure. Even more wow with 7mm eyepiece – loads of structure and many streamers – a Catherine Wheel of light. With the Binoviewer, I don’t think it improved the view although possibly the binoviewer is misting up by now on its various glass surfaces. Certainly, I was less able to get stars in focus in M13 whereas the view of the Ring Nebula previously with the Binoviewer was crystal clear with the same eyepieces.

M 92, NGC 6341. This is a beautiful sight with much more condensed core than M13.

NGC 6207, UGC 10521, PGC 58827, MCG 6-37-7, CGCG 197-7, IRAS 16412+3655,2MASS 16430375+3649567. Another one of Damian’s favourites to finish. A small faint galaxy very close to M13 tonight, more easily found with a bit of help nudging the scope.


I am very pleased with my success at star hopping tonight, although I am indebted to some particularly good skies and the magnificent Sky Safari planetarium software.

Stopped observations and packed away at 01:46am.


Bodes & Cigar

From Sunday Night- there was little bit of darkness before the moon rose and I had a go at the M81/82 pair. This has long been a favourite target visually, and so I decided to have another go at imaging it- this time with my 8 inch scope and with another 15 months imaging experience under my belt.

Capture details: 24x 4mins with IDAS D2 + Darks, Flats & Bias.