Hickson 44

Well,it appears that our “Nor’easter” has begun to move on past us.It has rained hard for more than a day and a half and the wind has been gusting at times to more than 50+mph.Hundreds of roads are closed or impassable and many thousands are without power. In other terrible news and I stress TERRIBLE.It appears that any possible observing may have come to a halt for me.I went to the hospital today with a searing pain in my shoulder that has plagued me all weekend.Yes,I waited until today to have it checked!.The doctor suspects that it may be a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder.I have to call the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow morning to schedule a appointment.I hope the doc tells me that it is just arthritis and not surgery time!.If the later is the result then I will be down for quite some time and to make matters even worse….I am right handed!.Excuse my mildly rude language but,this just plain sucks!!.Not for the fact of missing work but,mainly for the loss of any possible observing time.If their are any true benefits from this I will be able to practice with my image processing and maybe use the bino’s for visual observations.

Now that I am finished whining…….

Update: The meeting with the doc was inconclusive and I will need another evaluation on May 8th…..

I took this image a few weeks ago when I went on a galaxy quest.The seeing and transparency were pretty good but,started getting worse as the night went on.I had never attempted this group before.I guess it was because I could never see them before and with averted vision,I was finally able to detect them.Once again,this was a test to see if I had lost my ability to see really faint objects after a long down time with the scope.

Hickson 44 is a galaxy group located in the constellation Leo and is a staggering 60 million light years distant or 351,941,760,000,000,000,000 miles+- .All are fairly faint at a +12 mag but with a bit of tweaking using Photoshop Elements and a added PSE plugin named astronomy tools for elements that I bought and downloaded,was able to bring out more detail.Their are more than three galaxies in this group but,because the exposure was only 120 seconds I could only detect 3.Live and learn I guess!.

Image credit: Andrew


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