NGC 3619 & NGC 3613 -- Galaxies in Ursa Major
From my suburban backyard, with my 155mm refractor, I had been up and under the stars for
several hours. I had been focusing on observing/drawing several double stars. But the closer I
got to sunrise the more transparent the sky became. By 3am the sky was as good as it gets
from my house. I decided to forego the double stars, not wishing to pass on the quality of the
sky and switch my attention to hunting galaxies. I was not disappointed; I was able to observe
and draw two galaxy pairs in Ursa Major before thin high clouds started to move in and the
inevitable sunrise ended my observing period.
The Elliptical Galaxy NGC 3613 was not hard to spot. Its bright core and stellar nucleus were
distinctive. The nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 3619 was a ghost in comparison. It took a little
effort just to convince myself that it was there. This was nice holiday gift since I had crashed
and burned on seeing this galaxy from my home with the refractor more than once in the past.
It was proof that the sky over me was kind.