On 8th May I was out with the scope hoping for some deep sky rewards, but life was against me once again.

Basically the problem was latitude here. It takes ages for the sky to get dark at this time of year. Nothing I can do about that except move or change my sleeping habits. So, rejecting those options, I looked at Denebola whilst waiting for dark. Denebola is listed as a double by James Mullaney in both of the books that I have authored by him, but there is scant info on this from other sources and I wonder if it’s not a physical double. But it is a grand sight.

The “primary” is a beautiful blue-white, and the 8th mag. “secondary” just above (i.e. south) is red-brown. At top is a greenish 5th mag star also in the field. Really quite a good sight. Stellar, you might say.

There then followed a lot of wasted time trying to track down galaxies in conditions that didn’t really merit it, until at last I spotted HT 68 (NGC 4699), a distant spiral in Virgo.

As you can see this is tiny at low power, and resembles a planetary nebula, but at medium power its galactic qualities shine through. I rather liked it.

That was it for that night, and I rather fancy for galaxy viewing for this spring. It’s been a good season; can’t complain.

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