It was already summer, to be sure; the first days of 90-degree temperatures had come and gone, and perhaps the last vestiges of spring rains had ended at the beginning of the month. This last two weeks of June called for clear skies, to coincide with the Moon-dark cycle, and the cancellation of several days of work (due to being too efficient and finishing the job earlier than expected) meant that it was time to clear the spring slate of Herschel galaxies for the mid-summer Milky Way run. Galaxies to the west, galaxies to the east, with the thick star clouds of summer bisecting the two extragalactic realms.
I had 51 galaxies on the Herschel 400 and Herschel II lists on my observing plan. These included those galaxies in Virgo from Spica (at RA 13h 26m 07s) on east to the Serpens border, and the Herschel galaxies in Draco, Hercules, and Boötes (basically every Herschel in those three constellations that I hadn’t done, with the exceptions of NGC 6058 in Hercules and NGC 6543 in Draco, both planetary nebulae; I’d seen 6543, the famous Cat’s Eye Nebula, numerous times but had never taken notes on it). Accomplishing this, I could either move on into the non-galaxy Herschels of summer, or could use the 18″ EAS Dob to work on galaxies in the Astronomical League’s Flat Galaxy, Local Group, Galaxy Groups & Clusters, and Arp Peculiar Galaxy programs, having decided to keep using Bob the (12.5″) Dob for the remainder of my Herschel work for consistency’s sake.
June 18th was a Sunday night. Bob, my father-in-law, had finished his weekend’s work and was looking for something to do, so he and his 4.25″ StarBlast came along to Eureka Ridge; as my work wouldn’t formally be canceled for a couple of days yet, I’d planned to go to Eureka due to the half-hour drive (vs. the hour drive to Eagle’s Ridge). Jerry was also heading to Eureka, for similar reasons of proximity.
It turned out to be something of a Three Bob Night, as we encountered a bobcat at Simonson Road on the way to the site. The cat ran along the road for about a hundred feet before vanishing into the roadside underbrush. It was my first sighting of a largish predatory animal here in Oregon, but it wouldn’t even be the last of the week.
With work the next day, I didn’t have the interest in a full night’s observing, and having worked all weekend, Bob didn’t either. I got to a good stopping point near 12:30 AM, and so we all called it a night at that point.
MOON: 23 days (43% illumination), rose 2:33 AM
SQM: 21.3 (midnight)
NELM: not checked
WEATHER CONDITIONS: temps in 60s; moderate dew, wind breezy on ridge but not at ground level
Others present: JO, BE
NGC 5493 (Vir): not at all what I was expecting—pretty small, reasonably bright—has a very bright stellar nucleus but not much core—no more than 1.0’ but should be more than that?; sky is still not totally dark—round—looks like, off to P side of nucleus just by hair, an extension of nucleus to P slightly N edge? or double nucleus?—in immediate vicinity (7’) around it, a lot of threshold stars up to about mag 13.5—brightest star (11th mag) in field is N and slightly P by 18’—star has a 13th-mag companion due F by 2’—another 11th-mag star F and slightly S of galaxy by 18’
NGCs 5506, 5507 (Vir): both brighter than 5493—separated by 4’—5506: S-most of pair—quite diffuse—2.5’ x 0.75’—elongated P-F—slightly brighter, largish core region, brightness doesn’t extend down arms, only about middle third of galaxy—5507 almost due N of 5506—distracting pair of bright stars in field—SP 5506 by 10’ is an 8th-mag star—NP by 19’ is an 8.5-mag star—5507: much smaller—very bright substellar nucleus—better defined than 5506—1.0’ x 0.75’—elongated NP-SF by a bit—need averted vision to see it as extended—4.5’ due N is a 12th-mag star—F 5507 by 20’ is a 9.5-mag star—that star and two P the two galaxies make a bright triangle that frames field
NGCs 5363, 5364, 5360 (Vir): 5363: brightest of three—compact and well-defined—more northern of two major galaxies (w/5364)—bright—distractingly bright small core and bright stellar nucleus—2.0’ x 1.75’—elongated NP-SF—NF galaxy by 4.5’ is a 9th-mag star that’s also distracting—due N of galaxy by 9’ is an 11.5-mag star—S and slightly F of galaxy by 15’ is NGC 5364: big diffuse sprawl—brighter core—pretty round—halo is round, brighter central region elongated SP-NF—3.25’ halo—central region runs across halo, about 1.25’ wide—just outside NP edge of halo is 12th-mag star—maybe a faint hint in averted of a substellar nucleus—12th-mag star is about 4’ from center of galaxy—just on NP edge of halo is a threshold star halfway between center of galaxy and 12th-mag star previously noted—P and slightly S of galaxy by 15’ is a 10.5-mag star—just visible NF that star (in line with 5364) by 5’ is a long thin very difficult streak (5360): requires averted—elongated SP-NF—difficult to tell size, very ghostly—maybe 1.0’ x 0.5’?—difficult!—sky not good enough for galaxy—very little concentration, even in averted—stellar nucleus that’s very tenuous
NGCs 5560, 5566 (Vir)—5566 is much brighter of two, 5560 skinnier—5566: has bright bright core and bright substellar nucleus—elongated SP-NF—2.0’ x 1.0’—pretty well defined, not much extra in averted—to P and very slightly S of core by 1.5’ is a 14th-mag star—2’ due F core is a 12th-mag star—5560: NP 5566 by 6’—elongated NP-SF—thinner and more diffuse than 5566—2.0’ x 0.5’—brighter but unconcentrated core—core is half the length of the galaxy—just to N of core by 0.4’ is a 14.5-mag star—P galaxy by 6.5’ is a 10th-mag star—2.5’ NP that star is a 12th-mag star—supposedly another galaxy (5569) on NF end of 5566, but not visible enough here
NGCs 5576, 5574, 5577 (Vir)—5576: brightest of trio by far—smallish, 1.25’ x 1.0’—elongated P-F—very bright core—stellar nucleus that’s also brightish—NP the nucleus by 1.75’ is a 13th-mag star—SP galaxy is 5574: halo as bright as 5576’s but core much fainter, only slightly brighter than its own halo—elongated SP-NF—core doesn’t seem uniformly bright, as if threshold star embedded in SP end—no nucleus visible—separated from 5576 by 3’—N and very slightly F 5576 by 10’ is 5577: elongated SP-NF—pretty obvious—2.5’ x 1.0’—pretty diffuse—doesn’t seem to have much central brightening/core/nucleus—forms a right triangle with 5576 and a 11.5-mag star NP 5576 by 8’—star is SP 5577 by 11’—back to 5576: NF galaxy by 7.5’ is a double star with 12th- and 14th-mag components—brighter is due N of dimmer by 0.25’—due N of that 12th-mag star by 3.25’ is another 12th-mag star
NGC 5668 (Vir): big diffuse galaxy—roundish—2.75’—very diffuse—reasonably bright and obvious—to F edge of galaxy (not quite to edge of halo) is a 14th-mag star that makes it difficult to see if there’s a nucleus; don’t think there is one—3.5’ S very slightly F galaxy’s center is a 14.5-mag star—NF galaxy by 6’ is a 9th-mag star; 2’ due N of that star is an 11th-mag star—NP galaxy’s center by 6’ is a 12.5-mag star; NP that star by 6’ is a 12th-mag star—SP galaxy by 13’ is another 12th-mag star—galaxy’s halo fairly indistinct—not a specific core but some mottling/uneven illumination in galaxy’s interior
I hadn’t really been sure I’d be able to make it the next night, with a number of shifts coming up, but after my morning shift (and a lot of caffeine), I got the cancellation e-mail: we were done with the field study, giving me a full week off. Good for the astronomy, bad for the bank account. There was no sense not taking advantage, though, so I made sure to be out for Night Two of the run.
The sky was already pink to the east as I started setting up; I hadn’t been able to convince anyone else out to Eureka, so it was just me on this night. They missed the huge pink thunderhead low in the southeast, the one that flickered brilliantly with far-off lightning until after midnight. In some ways, I wished it was happening in town; the thunderstorms are one of the things we miss about life in Carbondale (aside from the people, of course).
As I started observing, it was apparent that the sky was pretty much turbulent all over, as the seeing was pretty lousy all night. The air was more transparent than the previous night, with greater definition in the Milky Way, though, and as transparency is more important for deep-sky observing than seeing, it was an okay trade-off.
MOON: 24 days (33% illumination), rose 3:07 AM
TRANSPARENCY: 6-8; Milky Way brilliant at times and in spots
SQM: not checked
WEATHER CONDITIONS: temps in 60s, quite suddenly falling to low 50s; moderate dew, no wind; lightning storm visible on SE horizon
Others present: none
NGCs 5638, 5636 (Vir)—5638: decent-sized galaxy—roundish—brighter core but nucleus hard to separate from core—seeing very poor—1.75’ round—halo seems well-defined—almost like a faint NGC globular; elliptical?—pretty bright—not perfectly dark yet—almost due N, visible in direct but better in averted, is another galaxy (5636): ghostly—a little bit of central brightening, but not much brighter—elongated P (slightly S)-F (slightly N)—very hard to tell due to faintness of galaxy—not much definition—1.5’ x 1.0’, but hard to tell dimensions—transparency decent ATM—NP 5638 by 4.5’ is a 12.5-mag star—F and slightly N by 12’ is a 12th-mag star—a bright triangle N and P the two galaxies; closest vertex is 11’ NP 5638 and is 11th-mag; NP that star by 6’ is an 11th-mag star; due N of first star in triangle by 10’ is third vertex (10.5 mag)—if 5638 centered, there is a 10.5-mag star just on N slightly F edge of field (about 21’ from galaxy)—SP 5638 by 12’ is a large spread-out group of 12-14th-mag stars in irregular shape, take up much of S part of field
NGC 5634 (Vir): Virgo globular (one of two)—long a favorite—terrible seeing, so hard to resolve—hints of granularity, but not much—fairly smooth except in brief moments—cluster is 2.5’ across—bright central region about 1.75’—bracketed by a triangle; halfway in the N edge of triangle—triangle points N slightly F-S slightly P—stars due P and F cluster—due P star is 2’ from center of cluster at mag 12.5—star F is 2’ from cluster center and is 10th-mag—cluster slightly S of line between two stars; third star in triangle is S of cluster center by 4.5’ [super-slow satellite moving through field to SF edge]—cluster seems moderately concentrated; CC 8?—not picking up much resolution at all—just off S edge of halo is a barely-threshold star—0.5’ N and slightly P of cluster’s halo is a threshold star—P and slightly S of the cluster’s center by 2.5’ is a 14th-mag star—NF cluster by 22’ is a 9.5-mag star—NP cluster by 20’ is an 11th-mag star
NGCs 5746, 5740, 5738 (Vir)—lovely group, even in shitty conditions—5746: elongated almost N-S (very slightly NP-SF)—extremely long—necessary to keep 109 Vir out of field to see everything well—5’0’ x 0.5’—has good central brightening along legth, bright core and substellar nucleus that pops in averted—F side is slightly better defined, even in poor conditions—NP-NF of galaxy is an arc of four stars ranging from 10th-mag (NP galaxy) to 12th-mag (due N of galaxy); 10th-mag star is 6’ from galaxy’s nucleus—very well-defined galaxy, very “present”—SP nucleus of 5746 by 9’ is an 11.5-mag star; SP that star by 10’ is NGC 5740: also quite bright and obvious—elongated N a bit P-S a bit F (more than 5746)—much more diffuse, more broadly concentrated than 5746—1.75’ x 1.0’—halo less defined than 5746—brighter core region but no sign of nucleus, core may be too bright—full extent hard to tell in seeing—better than many Herschels—NP galaxy by 6’ from core is a 13th-mag star—P slightly N by 3’ from core is a 14.5-mag star—N of galaxy by 3.5’ is another 14.5-mag star—another threshold star 4’ SP galaxy’s core—8’ SP from 5740’s core is 5738: much more diffuse, difficult in direct vision—much smaller than 5740—very tough—0.75’ x 0.5’—very ghostly—has a threshold star just off F edge, about 1.25’ SF center of galaxy—star makes observation of core/nucleus difficult; galaxy may have a stellar nucleus (or threshold star very close to NP of galaxy’s center)
NGC 5750 (Vir): elongated (slightly S) P- (slightly N) F—galaxy has very obvious stellar nucleus; not bright but obvious—broadly concentrated galaxy—1.75’ x 1.25’—edges are fairly well-defined—galaxy is in middle of group of 12.5-14th-mag stars that occupy central region of field—brighter star SP galaxy by 14’—one SF by 20’—12.5-mag star P and very slightly N of galaxy by 8’—due N of galaxy by 5.5’ is a 13th-mag star which has a threshold star F it by 20”—5’ to NP of the galaxy is a 13.5-mag star
NGCs 5775, 5774, 5770 (Vir)—5775: excellent edge-on galaxy—elongated N somewhat P-S somewhat F—long and thin—pretty well defined—3.5’ x 0.75’—SP and NF center of galaxy are 14th-mag stars; star to SP is 0.75 from center of galaxy; one to NF is 1.25’ from center of galaxy—galaxy is unevely illuminated along length—no obvious nucleus—some “interruptions” in brightness—SP galaxy by 12’ is a 10th-mag star; another 10th-mag star S of that star by 13’—NF galaxy by 20’ is a 10.5-mag star; NF that star is a tiny equilateral triangle of 13th/14th-mag stars about 1.25’ on a side—N and somewhat P 5775 is 5774: much dimmer, still fairly obvious—elongated SP-NF—1.25’ x 0.75’—much more diffuse—very slight central brightening (especially in averted) but no nucleus— to NF just off edge of halo is a 14th-mag star—suspect 5774 is quite larger, but seeing/transparency makes it hard to tell—25’ N of 5775 and slightly P is 5770: pretty round—maybe slight elongation or something near nucleus that makes it look extended slightly NP-SF—halo of galaxy 0.75’ roundish, central brightening elongated?—substellar nucleus with embedded threshold star nearby?—4’ NF galaxy is a pair of widely separated stars of 13th and 13.5 mags; dimmer one slightly NP brighter star by 1’—4.5’ due N of galaxy’s center is 14th-mag star—not poorly defined; tight and compact galaxy, rather obvious but not overly distinctive
NGCs 5806, 5813, 5814 (Vir)—5806: elongated N-S—bright but not as bright as 5813 but more condensed—better defined—2.25’ x 1.0’—has a reasonably bright obvious central region and a substellar nucleus—due N by 4.5’ from nucleus is a 14.5-mag star—another 14.5-mag star SF galaxy by 4’; 15th-mag star P that star by 1.5’—NP galaxy is a small right triangle; hypotenuse is edge closest to galaxy; hypotenuse is 5.5’ long; triangle consists of 12th/13th-mag stars; brightest (12th-mag) is vertex on opposite corner from hypotenuse—S and very slightly P galaxy by 10’ is a 12th-mag star; 10’ S and very slightly that star is a 10th-mag star—SF 5806 by 21’ is 5813/5814 pair—5813: large with bright round diffuse halo—brighter central region elongated NP-SF—has a small but bright core that becomes suddenly bright—substellar nucleus—inside diamond pattern of 12th-14th-mag stars—edges of halo not well-defined—halo 1.5’ roundish—SF 5813 by 5’ is 5814: barely distinguishable—hareder to see now—very small, not even 0.5’—little bit of central brightening and a fainst substellar nucleus—halo is difficult—maybe extended P-F?—seeing very poor now
NGC 5831 (Vir): diffuse, round glow—some definite central brightening—brighter region takes up inner 50% of galaxy—halo poorly-defined—roundish—1.25’ round—bright core and a faint stellar nucleus—N and slightly F core by 2’ is a 14th-mag star—SF galaxy by 24’ is a 9th-mag star (just outside edge of field)—field otherwise fairly barren—S and very slightly F galaxy by 12’ is a 11.5-mag star—chain of 11th/12th/13th-mag stars on S and slightly F edge of field; triangle with extra star on end or flattened kite
NGCs 5854, 5864 (Vir)—5854: very small—1.0’ x 0.5’—elongated SP-NF—sits at SF end of a 20’-long rectangle of stars which is 7’; 9th-mag star on SP end of rectangle; stars in rectangle 9th-13th-mags—galaxy faint and small—brighter central region—maybe substellar nucleus—SF galaxy’s nucleus by 3’ is a 14th-mag star—SF galaxy by 7’ is a 14.5-mag star—NF 5854 by 40’ is 5864: much bigger—2.0’ x 1.0’—irregular central brightening—substellar nucleus in averted vision—elongated P slightly S-F slightly N—off SP tip, just separated from the halo about 1.25 from core is a 15th-mag star—another 15th-mag star just on SF edge of halo that makes reading interior of galaxy difficult—14.5-mag stars 6’ due S of galaxy and 4.5’ NF galaxy—galaxy set inside large triangle of 10.5/11th-mag stars; brightest (10.5) star NP of galaxy by 18’—11th-mag star 16’ NF from galaxy’s center, and has a 13.5-mag companion 0.5’ F; 11th-mag star S of galaxy by 13’—between two N stars is a scattering of 12th-14th-mag stars of irregular shape and spacing—S side of field is much more devoid of stars
NGC 5600 (Boo): round—fairly bright—1.5’ across—not very concentrated—brighter central region makes up 80%—maybe a hint of visible nucleus when seeing steadies—some clouds moving in—galaxy pretty easy to spot—galaxy inside a diamond that is pointing P (slightly S)-F (slightly N)—star to NF is brightest at 11th mag; other three stars in diamond are 12.5/13th-mag—line of 11-14th-mag stars S galaxy by 18’ that runs P-F
The next night was, according to the Clear Sky Chart, supposed to be reasonably good. The CSC was pretty damn accurate, but this day showed the heavy cirrus clearing by 6 PM; by 9 PM, the gunk was still covering the sky. Bob and I decided to head out anyway.
Jerry and Dan R were there already, setting up the TriDob. Bob had his StarBlast, and I spent most of the night observing through those scopes rather than my own. Even better, Jerry, Dan, and Bob provide(d) a pretty astounding discussion group on a huge range of topics. The observing took a backseat to the conversation, as the 80% sky remained socked-in for most of the evening. (The areas that remained socked-in varied; the Scorpius-Sagittarius region was the area that stayed the clearest, and where we concentrated most of our observing.) It was well after 1 AM before we gave up on observing and headed home.
The night of the 22nd was better, in both seeing and transparency, than either of the two previous excursions. The seeing was still poor, but the transparency was as good as it had been so far in the run. The big difference was the constant heavy wind that howled from behind the Ridge; it was much ado about nothing on my side of the Ridge, fortunately, and it wasn’t until I was driving home and rounded the first bend in the BLM road that I found how constantly strong the wind actually was, as it lashed the trees and underbrush into a verdant frenzy.
(The official predator of the night was a weasel of some sort, sitting on the side of the BLM road just after the turn from Simonson Road.)
It was another solo night at Eureka Ridge, as no-one else was free to come out; Jerry was at the Golden State Star Party, and the other Eureka regulars were busy with life.
As I waited for evening twilight to draw to a close, I spent the darkening hours scouring the southern horizon to see how far down in declination I could observe deep-sky objects. I had surmised earlier in the week that NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) would be visible from Eureka Ridge early in May, and I’m now sure that’s the case. On this night, I managed to snag NGC 5896 in Lupus, a globular cluster I’d observed from Carbondale, but which was here down low in the Roseburg light-pollution dome. As I observed the cluster, sitting on the ground (for which I’d often been semi-mocked by the other members of AASI), the sky behind me lit up with a sudden flash, and my shadow was visible on the ground and on Bob the Dob for a split-second. As I spun around and got to my feet, there was no trace of the light source; an Iridium flare could get that bright (as we found out the next night), but would probably still be very faintly visible as it crept out of the Sun’s glare entirely. If the flash was a meteor, it would have been an unimaginably-bright one. Even a query on the EAS e-mail list turned up no other observations of the flasher.
But to work:
MOON: 28 days (2% illuminated); rose at 5:23 AM
TRANSPARENCY: 7; Milky Way bright and detailed but less “resolvable”
SQM: not checked
WEATHER CONDITIONS: temps in 60s; no dew, heavy winds which did not affect observing (except regarding seeing)
Others present: none
NGC 5523 (Boo): not easy for a Herschel—quite elongated—not particularly bright, although some twilight still visible—elongated P (very slightly N)-F (very slightly S)—2.0’ x 0.5’—has some faint central brightening—no real core or nucleus—slightly brighter streak down the middle—not particularly well defined—1.75’ NP from NP tip of galaxy is a 12th-mag star—N and very slightly F galaxy by 9’ is a 10th-mag star—another 10th-mag star P and somewhat S of the galaxy by 6’—almost due F galaxy by 11’ is another 11th-mag star—not easiest of galaxies—P and N of galaxy by 18’ is another 11th-mag star—15th-mag star due F by 4.5’ from F end of galaxy
NGC 5533 (Boo): in field with the very bright A Boö and an interesting wide “double star”—necessary to keep A out of field—A is F and N of galaxy by 24’—galaxy is elongated SP-NF—1.25’ x 0.75’—has a bright not-quite stellar nucleus and brighter central region that becomes suddenly brighter from halo to core—bright galaxy with “presence” in field—NF galaxy by 5’ is a 13th-mag star; N and very slightly F that star by 3.5’ is a 13.5-mag star—NF from galaxy toward A Boö by 14’ is the slightly-brighter component of pair (12th-mag); dimmer is 12.3-mag; separated by 2.5’ with brighter component P and slightly N dimmer component—N slightly P the brighter component by 6’ is another 12th-mag star—those two (double and star NP) are part of a diamond of which the galaxy is to the SP point; third star is N and very slightly F the galaxy and is also 12th-mag—major axis of diamond points NF-SP
NGC 5529 (Boo): razor-thin edge-on streak—elongated NP-SF—2.25’ x 0.3’—not particularly well-defined—ghostly—barely apparent central brightening along length—no obvious core—N of galaxy by 3’ from center of galaxy is a 13th-mag star—S of galaxy by 2.25’ is a 15th-mag star—off SF tip of galaxy by 4.5’ is a “triple” star; brightest of three (12th-mag) is in middle, all in a line; P and slightly N of brightest by 0.5’ is a 14.5-mag star; F and S of brightest by 0.3’ is a 14.5-mag star—N and slightly F center of galaxy by 6.5’ is a 12.5-mag star—NP center of galaxy by 9’ is an 11th-mag star—P galaxy by 10’ is another 11th-mag star—no companion galaxies seen
NGC 5582 (Boo): small, brightish—has a bit of SP-NF elongation—1.0’ x 0.75’—has a bright core and a substellar nucleus—reasonably well-defined—[very slow satellite P-F through field]—SP galaxy by 2’ from core is a 14th-mag star—SF core of galaxy by 5.5’ is a 12.5-mag star—SF galaxy is a 14th-mag star that is 5’ from core of galaxy—F and slightly N of core of galaxy by 1.75’ is a 15th-mag star—galaxy part of a tiny pentagon—F galaxy by 14’ is a 10.5-mag star—NF galaxy by 18’ is an 11th-mag star—NP galaxy by 20’ is an 11.5-mag star
NGCs 5899, 5900, 5893 (Boo)—5899: obvious blur of 2.25’ x 0.75’—elongated S very slightly P-N very slightly F—not overly well-defined although averted helps define halo—has obvious brighter core, perhaps a substellar nucleus—just to NF of the nucleus, still inside halo, is an extra brightening; halo maybe “lumpy”—NP of galaxy by 12’ is a 7th-mag star—P and slightly N by 4’ is a 12th-mag star—due P and very slightly S by 4.5 is a 13th-mag star—S and slightly P that star by 2.5’ is a threshold star—N of 5899 by 9’ is another galaxy (5900): forms a triangle with 5899 and 7th-mag star—very difficult galaxy—averted vision necessary—7th-mag star makes difficult to see—1.5’ x 0.5’—brighter center and a flickery stellar nucleus?—SP 7th-mag star by 13’ and P slightly S of 5899 by 18’ is another galaxy (5893): in a line of 13th and 14th-mag stars—P galaxy is a 13th-mag star and F galaxy is a 14.5-mag star, each 2.5’ from galaxy—galaxy 1.0’ round—slight central brightening but no nucleus—very ghostly, quite diffuse—between 7th-mag star and 5893 and slightly P that (NF galaxy) by 8’ is a 12.5-mag star
NGC 5676 (Boo): bright—elongated SP-NF—2.25’ x 0.75’?—interesting field of stars of many brightnesses—has a large halo—long brighter central region and a substellar nucleus in a core that’s not particularly brighter than rest of central region—core not very large—almost looks at moments to be texture in halo, irregularly bright—well-defined but outer edges of halo a bit diffuse—N and slightly F galaxy’s nucleus by 6’ is a 12th-mag star—another 12.5-mag star due F nucleus by 7’, these form a right triangle with galaxy—P galaxy and a bit N by 10’ is an 8th-mag star—F and slightly S of galaxy by 19’ is a 6.5-mag star—S of galaxy by 16.5’ is a 9th-mag star; F and slightly S of 9th-mag star by a couple of arcsec is a 14th-mag companion
NGCs 5689, 5693, 5682 (Boo)—5689: small, elongated and brightish—elongated P-F—1.75’ x 0.5’—in middle of a region 9’ in radius that’s almost barren of stars, only a couple of dim stars—galaxy set in triangle of which closest star is 9’ from galaxy—bright core and stellar nucleus—reasonably well-defined—in averted, stretches more to P end—“things are happening in this field”—NP galaxy by 13’ is a 12th-mag star—12.5-mag star 11’ NF the galaxy—S of galaxy by 9’ is a 13.5-mag star—14.5-mag star 6.5’ S and very slightly P galaxy—12’ S and slightly F galaxy is another (5693): very diffuse and ghostly—appears best in averted—roundish—1.25’—super diffuse—has a stellar nucleus, no: a threshold star on S edge of halo—very slightly brighter core—2.5’ N of galaxy’s halo is a 14th-mag star—back to 5689—SP 5689 by 10’ is an averted-only flash of a galaxy (5682): looks elongated NP-SF—just a phantasm of a galaxy—size impossible to gauge?—15th-mag star just S of galaxy that’s throwing off observation—no central brightening or nucleus? maybe 1.5’ x 0.5’?? [just under half those dimensions; 15th-mag star “just S” of galaxy might be NGC 5683 to SF of 5682]
NGC 5687 (Boo): weird appearance, stars all over it—elongated P-F—fairly small, 1.1’ x 0.5’—dotted with stars—brighter core region but can’t tell if there’s a nucleus—inside halo is one star on each of P and F sides of nucleus—star to F side is barely threshold—star to P side of core is 15th-mag; another star just on P (slightly S) edge of halo that is 14.7-mag; due S that star by 1.25’ is a 14.5-mag star —S of core by 3’ is a 12th-mag star—F and somewhat N of galaxy by 6’ is a 13th-mag star; 7’ NF that star is another of equal magnitude—P galaxy and slightly S by 8’ is a 12.5-mag star
NGC 5480, 5481 (Boo): 5480: larger and brighter of the two by a bit—elongated N-S—1.25’ x 0.75’—more diffuse of the two—larger core than 5481—large core region, much brighter than halo—pretty well defined—doesn’t have a visible nucleus—5481: small—NP-SF elongation—reasonably roundish—0.6’ x 0.5’—substellar nucleus that’s pretty bright—core not much brighter than halo—less-defined halo than 5480—would’ve thought 5480 was the Herschel object—galaxy cores separated by 4’, due P-F—due N of 5481 by 7’ is a 12th-mag star—F and slightly S of 5481 by 5.5’ is a 13th-mag star which has another 13th-mag star F and slightly N by 5’—F 5481 is by 22’ is a 9.5-mag star—NP 5480 by 16’ is an 11.5-mag star—S of 5480 by 12’ is a 12th-mag star
NGC 5490, IC 982, IC 983, NGC 5490C (Boo)—5490: small, 0.75’ round—[very bright satellite through field]—bright stellar nucleus and small, faintish, but obvious core—galaxy in middle of triangle of 13th- and 14th-mag stars—halo is tenuous—to S by 4’ is a 13th-mag star—P and slightly N of galaxy by 3.5’ is a 14th-mag star—F and slightly N of galaxy by 4.25’ is another 14th-mag star—SF galaxy by 10’ is a 12.5-mag star—N and slightly F galaxy by 11’ is a 10.5-mag star; that star has to P side two tiny glows, one (IC 982) SP by 4’ and one (IC 983) P and slightly N by 2’—glow to SP is a bit larger; both very faint—glow to NP of star has a very very faint tiny nucleus—between 10.5-mag star and 5490, about 5’ N and slightly F 5490 is a very ghostly averted-vision glow (5490C) that offers no elongation/size estimates—ghostlier than ghostly
NGC 5548 (Boo): getting low in sky—roundish galaxy with very bright substellar nucleus—slightly-brighter core region—1.0’ round?—halo very tenuous and ill-defined—not much detail—3.5’ S of galaxy is a 14.5-mag star—N and very slightly F galaxy by 7.5’ is an 11th-mag star that has a 13.5-mag star P and very slightly N of it by 2’—SP galaxy by 8’ is an 11th-mag star [did not see NGC 5655]
NGC 5602 (Boo): small, not particularly impressive galaxy in Boötes’ pipe—elongated N-S—brightish substellar nucleus and small core that’s gradually brightened to—0.75’ x 0.5’—among an interesting field—brightest star in field is 11th-mag star P and somewhat N of galaxy by 11’ and second brightest is 11.5-mag star N and somewhat P galaxy by 20’—S of galaxy is a straightish line that stretches from SF galaxy to almost due S of galaxy and consists of one 12- and three 12.5-mag stars—halfway between galaxy and line is a widely-separated pair of stars; one is due S of galaxy by 6’ and is 12.5-mag; other is S slightly P galaxy by 5’ and is 13th-mag—SF galaxy is another pair; brighter is 13th-mag and is F and slightly S of galaxy by 7’ and 13.5-mag star due S of that star by 3.5’
NGC 5520 (Boo): elongated SP-NF—1.25’ x 0.66’—halo not overly well-defined—brighter core region and substellar nucleus that appears slightly offset to SP—pretty non-descript galaxy—F galaxy are two bright stars; NF by 6’ is a 9th-mag star; due F galaxy by 5’ is an 11th-mag star—SP galaxy by 3’ is a 14th-mag star—14.5-mag star NP galaxy by 6’—brightest star in field is an interesting double that is SP galaxy by 15’; brighter component is 9th-mag and fainter 10th; separated by 0.2’, with fainter SP the brighter
NGC 6106 (Her): pretty diffuse—brighter core region that has “Footprint Nebula” shape to it—galaxy elongated NP-SF-ish—concentration seems divided into two parts with larger part to S end, as if line dividing it across middle—no nucleus? maybe a hint of a stellar nucleus in averted—1.25’ x 0.75’—to SP and S slightly P of galaxy, almost equidistant at 9.5’ from galaxy and forming an isosceles triangle with galaxy are two bright stars; star to S slightly P is 9.5-mag; star to SP is 10.5’; separated by 7.5’—SF galaxy by 18’ is a 10.5-mag star—double star F galaxy by 15’; 13.5 and 14.5 components separated P-F with brighter star to F; separated by 0.5’—13.5-mag star due N of galaxy by 5’
Friday the 23rd brought the observers out in numbers. Randy, his ladyfriend Annette, and her grandson Calvin were there, with Randy’s zero-gravity binocular chair and Orion–the club’s homemade 14.7-inch project scope–in tow; Oggie G was there with his 10″ Zhumell Dob, and one of Oggie’s co-workers, Dan S, had brought his 8″ Schmidt-Cassegrain scope, his daughter Ruby, and their shiba inu… who could only have been (and in fact was) named Doge. My daughter suggested via text that I somehow bring Doge home with me, as if two dogs weren’t enough already.
The seeing was still barely-average, but the transparency was quite good, and the little clearing bustled most of the night. I was less social than I like to be, as I was pretty intent on finishing my list of Herschels before the Moon became an issue. So I apologize to any of that evening’s observers who might read this for any rudeness I may have projected.
TRANSPARENCY: 7; Milky Way bright and detailed
SQM: not checked
WEATHER CONDITIONS: temps in 60s; no dew, mild winds which did not affect observing (except regarding seeing)
Others present: OG, RB, AB (Annette), CB (Calvin, AB’s grandson), Dan S, Ruby S, Doge
NGC 6015 (Dra): really nice galaxy!—elongated S very slightly P-N very slightly F—large, 3.25’ x 1.25’—obvious and bright—has a bright core with the occasional flash of a substellar nucleus—pretty well defined—halo has some mottling or texture—brighter central region is not evenly illuminated—just off S very slightly F tip of galaxy is a 14th-mag star—P the galaxy by 2.5’ from the nucleus is a 13th-mag star—to S of galaxy by 3.5’ is a pair of 13.5-mag stars separated by 0.5’; one S and one S very slightly P of galaxy—SP center of galaxy by 12’ is a 10.5-mag star; another 0.5-mag star due F galaxy by 8’—P and slightly N of galaxy by 20’ is a 9.5-mag star
NGC 5907 (Dra): one of most spectacular edge-ons, a five-star galaxy!—8’ x 0.5’—elongated N slightly P-S slightly F—central 2.5’ much brighter—tiny hint of faint stellar nucleus, but also to P side by 0.75’ is a 14th-mag star—NF galaxy is a scattering of 12th- and 13th-mags; brightest star in group is on SF end of pattern, which is elongated NP-SF; brightest is 12th-mag and separated from nucleus of galaxy by 15’—SP nucleus by 19’ is a 10th-mag star—P galaxy by 22’ is a 9.5-mag star—a group of very bright stars just out of P edge of field—F and slightly N of nucleus by 3.5’ is a pair of 14th-mag stars separated by 0.75’; oriented P-F to each other—off NF end of galaxy, just off end of halo by 5’ from nucleus is a threshold star—off SP end of galaxy by about 7’ from nucleus is a 14.5-mag star
NGC 5879 (Dra): brightish—elongated N-S—2.0’ x 0.75’—bright core and bright substellar nucleus—well-defined halo—is gradually brighter to core—threshold star just P nucleus on outer edge of halo; only visible when seeing “flashes”—6’ F and a little bit N of nucleus is a 13th-mag star; 13.5-mag star S very slightly F that star, separated by 2’; brighter star has a 14.5-mag star F it by 3.25’—brightest star in area is 8th-mag star NP the galaxy by 7’—NF the galaxy by 10’ from nucleus is an 11th-mag star
NGC 5866 (M102) (Dra): extremely bright—elongated NP-SF—3.0’ x 0.75’—very bright core—no nucleus?—ends are nicely tapered—very well-defined halo—just off P end to N and S and froming a little isosceles triangle with core is a pair of 12th-mag stars (one to N maybe 12th and one to S 12.5) each 2.25’ from galaxy’s center—brightest star in field is 7.5-mag star SP galaxy by 11’—NP galaxy by 13’ is a 10th-mag star—11th-mag star NF galaxy by 9’; S and very slightly F the 11th-mag star is a 13th-mag star sepearated from 11th-mag star by 4’—N and slightly F the galaxy’s center by 2.5’ is a 15th-mag star—S slightly F galaxy by 5.5’ from core is a 14.5-mag star
NGC 4236 (Dra): gargantuan—very very faint but pretty obvious—elonagted N slightly P-S slightly F—almost too diffuse to judge size—at least 17’ x 2.5’—very very little central concentration—inner 8’ are a bit brighter, a different “gradient”—a bit of lumpy, irregular mottling along much of N 2/3—P the galaxy halo by 1’ about midway down its length is a 14th-mag star—off S end of galaxy by 5’ is an 11th-mag star—NF galaxy’s N end by 8’ is a 9.5-mag star; two 11th-mag stars S of that star that form an arc that bends toward middle of galaxy; third star in arc (closest to galaxy) is 5’ from edge of halo—off N end of galaxy are a pair of 11th-mag stars P and F N end of galaxy—couple of threshold stars embedded in N outer edges of halo—(difficult observation; no chair)
NGC 4256 (Dra): long, spindly, very nice edge-on—elongated SP-NF—very bright core and substellar nucleus—3.25’ x 0.5’—well-defined—N edge a bit better defined than S edge?—due F galaxy by 5’ is a 14.5-mag star—S of galaxy by 7’ is a 13th-mag star—7.5’ SP galaxy’s nucleus along line of axis of galaxy is a 12th-mag star—SF galaxy by 7.5’ is a 13.5-mag star—those three stars form an arc—N slightly P galaxy by 13’ from nucleus is a 9th-mag star—S very slightly P by 16’ is an 11.5-mag star
NGCs 4210, 4221 (Dra)—very different, very interesting—4210: round and diffuse—no visible nucleus—1.25’ round—might have a slightly brighter central region—N of galaxy’s edge by 4’ is a 12.5-mag star— threshold star on SP edge of halo?—P galaxy by 6.5’ is a 14th-mag star—brightest star in field is 7th-mag star NP galaxy by 12’—galaxy is NP 4256 by 26’; can get both in field together—back to 7th-mag star; NF star by 15’ is 4221: much brighter than 4210—elongated slightly SP-NF—has bright core compared to halo—reasonably well-defined—1.25’ x 0.75’—between 4221 and 7th-mag star is a nearly-equilateral triangle of one 11th- and two 12th-mag stars; 11th-mag star is P and slightly S of galaxy by 6.5’
NGCs 4291, 4319, 4386 (Dra): interesting pair near a 5.5-mag star—4291: tiny round galaxy—0.75’ across—forms a rectangle with a 12th- and two 13th-mag stars—12th-mag star is F galaxy’s core by 2.5’; 13th-mag stars S very slightly F galaxy’s core by 3.5’ and SF galaxy by 4’—galaxy well-defined—no nucleus—just on P edge of halo is a threshold star; star flickers with seeing—5.5-mag star is 14’ SP galaxy—SF galaxy by 7’ is 4319: elongated NP-SF—larger and more diffuse than 4291—has a gradually-brighter core and a substellar nucleus—1.0’ x 0.6’—not well defined—14.5-mag star NP galaxy’s nucleus by 2’—F galaxy by 4’ is a 14th-mag star; S very slightly F galaxy’s nucleus by 4’ is a 14th-mag star; galaxy forms an equilateral triangle with last two stars—NF 4391 by 18’ is a larger, brighter galaxy (4386):—1.25’ x 1.0’—elongated slightly NP-SF—reasonably well-defined—bright substellar nucleus and gradually brighter but not bright core—forms an equilateral triangle with a 14th-mag star to NP and a 13th-mag star NF each by 4’—NF galaxy by 14’ is a 7th-mag star—N very slightly P galaxy by 13’ is a 10th-mag star with a 12th-mag companion NP by 1.5’
NGC 3147 (Dra): nice bright large galaxy—big halo—brighter core and stellar nucleus—classic (brightness) profile of face-on galaxy—2.25’ round—SF galaxy by 20’ is a 7th-mag star—S of galaxy by 15’ is a 12th-mag star—SP galaxy by 15’ is a 12th-mag star—F and slightly S from nucleus by 4’ is a threshold star—SP by 4’ is a 14.5-mag star—N of galaxy nucleus by 5’ is a 13.5-mag star—NF galaxy nucleus by 5’ is a 13th-mag star
NGC 6181 (Her): small, bright—elongated N-ish-S-ish—1.0’ x 0.75’—has a well-defined halo—brighter central region (too big to just be core)—don’t see a nucleus—P galaxy by 3.25’ is a 12th-mag star—S slightly P galaxy is a 14th-mag star 1.5’ from galaxy’s center—occasional flicker of stellar nucleus?—N slightly F by 4.5’ is a 14th-mag star—F galaxy by 10’ is a pair of 12.5- and 13th-mag stars—12.5’ is N of two; separated by 0.75’—NP galaxy by 14’ is an 11th-mag star
NGC 6166 (Her): small, faint, ghostly glow—elongated SP-NF—has a slightly brighter core, not much nucleus—in middle of Abell 2199 cluster but can’t wander too much from task—14’ N is a 10th-mag star—arc of 11th-14th-mag stars SP galaxy that swing from due S to due P—halfway between galaxy and 10th-mag star is a close pair of 14.5- and 15th-mag stars; brighter is SP fainter by 0.3’—NF galaxy by 3.5’ is a 14.5-mag star—straight line of six 12-14th-mag stars F galaxy by 14’ that runs N slightly F-S slightly P in field
NGCs 6548, 6549 (Her): in middle of Hercules edge of Milky Way—near stunning double star 95 Her (equal mag 5 components of bluish white)—6548: roundish—bright substellar nucleus—1.0’ round—very diffuse halo—[meteor through field]—core is quite suddenly bright—SF galaxy by 4’ is a 10.5-mag star—SP by 10’ is an 8th-mag star—N slightly P by 3.5’ is a 12.5-mag star—NP by 2.5’ is a 13th-mag star—6549: between 8th-mag star and 6548, about 3.5’ from 6548—very faint—elongated SP-NF—1.0’ x 0.3’—difficult to judge size—sometimes requires averted to hold—no central concentration— to S and slightly F is a smattering/line of 14th-mag and fainter stars; line passes 8th-mag star to S
The following few nights were also clear, but I only made use of the next. It was a pain to have to constantly control my diet, watching every single bit of food for lactose, and between the slowly-advancing Moon and the tiredness that was inevitable after a week’s worth of pursuing faint galaxies until the wee hours of morning, I was ready for a break. With only a few Herschels left on my list, I was pretty sure this was to be my last night of the run.
The night before, I had noticed a pile of scat on the paved section of the BLM road, and this night, I came nearly vehicle-to-snout with the pile’s likely creator: a rather large black bear, who scurried across the road fifty feet in front of my van as I was taking it down to 3rd for the climb up the road. I had suspected it was a pile of bear residue, but hadn’t expected to meet the bear itself.
Although the nearby presence of a bear wasn’t going to deter me from observing, it was a point of obvious concern. We were still three miles from the observing site proper, so I was less concerned than I might have been had we been closer to where I’d be spending most of the night.
Oggie showed up not long after I got to the top, and was less-enthused about the bear. Neither of us was to be put off observing, though, despite a bit more heightened awareness of the sounds in the surrounding foliage.
I had barely eaten during the day, and my stomach could be heard frequently on the recordings of my notes throughout the night.
I started with a reobservation of a Libra galaxy I’d observed the year before; it was now the host galaxy of an impressively-bright supernova. I also went off-script a bit for an observation of the superb NGC 5409 group in southern Boötes, a group which will get a deeper look with the 18″ scope when I next get a chance
MOON: 1 day (1% illumination); set at 9:37 AM
TRANSPARENCY: 8; Milky Way bright and detailed into Ophiuchus and eastern Hercules
SQM: not checked
WEATHER CONDITIONS: temps in 70s; no dew until after 2 AM, moderate winds which did not affect observing (except regarding seeing)
Others present: OG
NGC 5861, SN2017erp (Lib): galaxy elongated NP-SF— S and slightly P the S end of galaxy by 2.25’ is an 11th-mag star—galaxy pretty large, diffuse—brighter central region but no real nucleus visible—2.75’ x 1.5’—between center of galaxy and 11th-mag star is the supernova—right on SP edge of visible halo—interesting dim double star NP galaxy by 7.5’ from center of galaxy; brighter component of double is 12th-mag; dimmer 13th mag; separated by 0.25’; brighter component is NP dimmer component—NF galaxy by 12’ is a 10th-mag star—SN is 13.5-mag—couple of other 13th-mag stars to S and SF galaxy’s halo
NGCs 5409, 5416, 5424, 5423, 5431, 5434, 5411 (Boö)—centered in and around an arc of three bright stars—N two stars are starting point—from N-most star S and very slightly P between two brightest stars, 13’ S and slightly P N-most star is first galaxy (5409): diffuse—0.75’ round—difficult—not much central brightening—N-most star in arc of three is 6th-mag, second in arc is 6.5-mag—6’ S of N-most star is a pair of 13th-mag stars separated by 0.75’—second galaxy (5416) is SF first galaxy by 7’—slightly brighter than first galaxy and a bit more concentrated with brighter central region—slightly elongated P slightly N-F slightly S—0.6’ x 0.25’—NF galaxy by 5’ is a 13th-mag star—13.5-mag star S of galaxy by 3.5’—F that galaxy by 12’ is another galaxy (5424): elongated P-F—just under 1.0’ x 0.75’—14.5-mag star 0.75’ S of galaxy—also S slightly P by 5’ is another galaxy (5423): roundish—has a stellar nucleus and a small slightly-brighter core—a threshold mag star due P galaxy just outside halo [maybe PGC 50019]—field teeming with little galaxies—F last galaxy is a very faint, tiny galaxy (5431): quite diffuse and may have stellar nucleus—threshold magnitude nucleus—back to N-most of last group of galaxies—NF that galaxy by 7’ is another (5434): slightly larger—1.0’ round—bracketed by two stars to SF and NP; star to SF is 4’ SF and 12th-mag; star to NP is 8’ from galaxy and 10th-mag [didn’t see 5434B??]—back to 5409/5416—dropping S to bottom star of arc, which is 6th-mag—galaxy (5411) is NF that star by 8’—between star and galaxy is an arc of three stars of 11.5- and 12th-mags that bends to the NF from the star—galaxy is pretty diffuse, not well defined—has a substellar nucleus—0.5’ and round—has a couple of 15th-mag stars nearby, one to NF by 1’ from galaxy’s nucleus, one due F by 1.25’—group needs more aperture
NGC 3682 (Dra): not a particularly-impressive galaxy—framed in a field of bright stars—galaxy is elongated P-F—small, 0.75’ x 0.5’—bright core and substellar nucleus—not all that well defined—halo pretty diffuse—bright stars in field: N of galaxy and very slightly F by 22’ is a 9th-mag star; NP galaxy by 18’ is a 10th-mag star—P and slightly N of galaxy by 15’ is a 9.5-mag star—SP and SF galaxy equidistant at 12’ are 11th-mag stars—SP galaxy by 7’ is a 14th-mag star—N of galaxy by 8’ is a 13.5-mag star
NGC 4133 (Dra): brighter than 3682—diffuse, poorly-defined halo—brighter core region but no trace of a nucleus—1.0’ x 0.75’—elongated NP-SF—P galaxy and slightly N by 4’ is a 12th-mag star—due N by 3.5’ is a 13th-mag star; another 13th-mag star F galaxy—NF galaxy by 7’ is a 12.5-mag star—NP galaxy by 14’ is a 10th-mag star—SP galaxy by 17’ is a 9th-mag star; 7th-mag star 15’ S and slightly F galaxy; distance between last two stars about 14’
Here I got careless, reobserving the NGC 4291/4319/4386 trio I’d observed the night before. Having started using Post-It flags to indicate the Herschels on Sky Atlas 2000.0, I’d forgotten to remove the flag for 4319 from the previous night, and spent a fair amount of time that I didn’t need to waste.
NGC 4250 (Dra): roundish—1.0’ halo—quite diffuse and poorly defined—gradually comes brighter to a core that’s not overly bright, but has a bright substellar nucleus—SP galaxy by 15’ and 20’ are 10th-mag stars; more N star is slightly brighter; separated by 5’—S slightly F galaxy by 6.5’ is a 12.5-mag star—N of galaxy by 10’ is a 12th-mag star—NF galaxy by 6’ is a 13th-mag star—NP galaxy by 5’ is a 14th-mag star—SF galaxy by 15’ is an 11th-mag star
NGC 6239 (Her): longish thin streak—1.25’ x 0.75—elongated NP-SF—has a brighter central region and no real nucleus—SF end looks like it turns S a bit at end of halo?—halo well defined—core is obvious—N by 3’ is a 15th-mag star—15th-mag star NF by 2.75’—F galaxy by 5.5’ is a 12th-mag star—[meteor through field]—NF galaxy by 16’ is a 9.5-mag star—P and slightly N of galaxy by 7’ is a 12th-mag star—NP galaxy by 12’ is a 11.5-mag star—S of galaxy is a line of stars running P-F; stars broken into pairs; brightest star on P end, SP galaxy by 15’
NGC 6155 (Her): diffuse—relatively unconcentrated but reasonably obvious galaxy—elongated NP-SF—1.0’ x 0.75’—pretty well defined—has brighter core but no nucleus—SP galaxy by 3.25’ is a 10th-mag star which has a 12th-mag companion to S slightly F by 0.75’—F galaxy by 3.25’ is a 14.5-mag star that might be double—NF galaxy by 7.5’ is a 12.5-mag star—NF galaxy by 16’ is a 9th-mag star—SP galaxy by 14’ is a 9th-mag star—galaxy therefore bracketed to SP and NF
NGC 6340 (Dra): after a long search—round, obvious galaxy with very smooth gradual gradient from halo to substellar nucleus—1.3’ round—pretty well-defined despite diffuseness of halo—to NP by 2’ from nucleus is a 12th-mag star which has a 13th-mag star NP by 15”—15’ SP galaxy is an 8.5-mag star—F and slightly N of galaxy by 8.5’ is an 11.5-mag star—bright star to SP has a trio of stars not quite halfway between it and galaxy and stretching S toward star in an arc of three 12-14th-mag stars—P galaxy and S by 9’ is the brighter of a pair (10.5-mag); NF that star by 1.75’ is a 13th-mag star
With the observation of NGC 6340, I finished the list I’d been working on. It had taken quite a search to find the galaxy, but had been worth it to close out another lengthy list of targets. Along the way, I’d recaptured some of the focus I’d been missing for a while, proving that I could get through a self-imposed list, one more arbitrary than May’s Virgo project.
And now, some summer driving music:
One of the truly wonderful people I’ve met has left this Earth, leaving the world a little bit dimmer and less kind.