Preliminary (Report) March Observer’s Challenge Object: Galaxy NGC 2841 in Ursa Major

Mario Motta image via 32-inch telescope: Extraordinary Image for sure!

Mircea Pleancu: Observer from Romania

I observed galaxy NGC 2841 with a 250 mm Dobsonian reflector, and was easy to locate using Sky Safari.

This galaxy was easily seen at 48x, appearing elongated, with the axis being oriented NNW-SSE. When increasing the magnification to 171x, and with averted vision, the galaxy appeared grainy, or mottled, with a bright core and a faint surrounding oval halo.

An interesting feature noticed by myself and my friend Armand, who assisted me in locating the galaxy, and we could see some faint structure.

The galaxy NGC 2841 was well visible in an Omegon 20x80mm tripod mounted binocular. Just the elongated core was discerned but the mag 13 was not visible.

As following:

Rough pencil sketch(s) of NGC 2841 using a 10-inch f/4.5 reflector, from 30 years ago! Pencil sketching technology has changed little in the past 200 years.

My personal reason for wanting to keep the “ancient art of pencil sketching alive” for future generations:

There are fewer and fewer amateurs (each and every year) that visually observe deep-sky objects, and fewer that sketch the objects they observe.

Now you might wonder how I know this, and can make such a “seemingly” definitive statement. A simple IE tool used in industry to quickly access what’s causing most of the problems (or it could be anything) is called random sampling.

So, just go to any astronomy club site, and see what is the most popular subject, or facet of amateur astronomy is being discussed. Maybe….just open any astronomy related magazine, and see what the “primary” topic is.

My preferenceor my personal interest in amateur astronomy:

I much prefer amateur astronomy from days past, and will continue this way all the rest of my “observing” days. And what is that? That would be pencil sketching with supporting notes.

My most fun days were using a 4.25-inch f/10 Edmund Reflector, in a light polluted back yard, during the 70’s….hoping to one day see all of the Messier Objects.

Can’t wait for a clear night, without a moon:

I’m most anxious to see this galaxy again (this month) for a new, and more precise pencil sketch. I would think it would appear more “lens-like” but all of my sketches show something else.

A supernova reported in the galaxy NGC 2841:

My first magnitude estimate based on and using “Thompson and Bryan” search charts. At 13.25, this was the brightest of my estimates and occurred on the night of May 10th 1999.

Supernova on the night of May 15th 1999, estimated SN magnitude of 13.4 and will be getting dimmer in the nights to come.

Supernova magnitudes, as following and with my last estimate at 14.25 which was surprising I could see from my back yard, even despite a moon!

May 10th 1999: 13.25

May 15th 1999: 13.4

May 19th 1999: 13.9 (Required 200x to see, and with first quarter moon!)

May 20th 1999: 14.2 (16mm UO Konig + 2.8x UO Klee Barlow) = 200x “Difficult!”

May 20th was my last night to see the supernova….disappointed to watch it fade away. Never to be seen by the human eye…ever again.

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