CENTAURUS
by Steve Coe
using 17.5" f/4.5

These observations are from one of my best observing nights ever.
On the 27th of April, 1984; my observing buddies, Bill Anderson,
A.J. Crayon and I went to visit the MMT on Mt. Hopkins and set up at
about 6000 ft. The lights of Tucson where to the north, so I
observed the southern constellations of Centaurus and Scorpius until
I dropped from exhaustion. I rated the night 9/10 for seeing and
transparency, a rare and beautiful combination.


NGC 4945 Pretty bright, very large, elongated and much
brighter in the middle at 100X.

NGC 4976 Pretty bright, pretty large, little elongated.

NGC 5102 Pretty bright, pretty large, much brighter in the middle
and elongated at 100X. Reminds me of a miniature M 31.

NGC 5128 Bright, large, round and bright middle at 100X. The
dark band across this galaxy is easy at 135X. There are several
stars superimposed across the face of this object.

36" f/5 TSP 96 40mm Dark lane has thin bright lane with it.
Prominent star at one end. Dark lane more prominent on right
than left. Several stars involved within the galaxy, both
above and below the dark lane.

NGC 5139 Very bright, very, very large, extremely rich, very
compressed at 100X. What can be said about the KING of the
Globulars? This fantastic object was overwhelming from Australia
when I went to visit Jim Barclay while Halley's Comet was at its
best in 1986. The globular filled the field at 140X in his 12.5"
f/6. There were chains of stars that meandered outward in all
directions from a blazing core.

36" f/5 TSP 96 40mm SuperWide, lots and lots of stars, the core
a jumble of stars of several magnitudes, an interlocking web of
stars and behind a finely grained sphere of stars (Brian says
like "grits"). The spider web of stars is light yellow and
the background is silvery.

NGC 5253 Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated, and brighter
in the middle at 135X.