After a lot of cloud and snow (!) got home to find a clear moonless night.
Leo and Virgo are now directly outside my back door at 9-11pm.
After alignment (Betelgeuse and Denebola), I like to start an evening by looking at the Orion nebula (M42), I used an Oxygen III filter to examine this and just opposite the 4 massive trapezium stars, I could see the surrounding dust and gas cloud resemble a fish mouth just about to swallow the 4 stars (this is one of the Moore winter marathon objects).
I then went to M51 to check visibility of galaxies – the Whirlpool and its companion were easily seen.
I then went on a tour in the Virgo cluster of galaxies – sometimes there were so many in the field of view (25mm with 60* apparent field of view) it was difficult to know which was which.
M59 Elliptical galaxy Virgo
M60 Elliptical galaxy Virgo
M87 Elliptical galaxy Virgo
M88 Spiral galaxy Coma berenices
M89 Elliptical galaxy Virgo
M90 Spiral galaxy Virgo
M91 Barred spiral galaxy Coma berenices
There are many, many more galaxies in Virgo!
I also popped a quick look at M3, a globular cluster in Canes Venatici just because I like globulars!
Not forgetting the more difficult Caldwells, I saw the bar-like, edge on galaxy of Caldwell 3 and the reflection nebula of Caldwell 4.
Caldwell 3 Barred spiral galaxy Draco
Caldwell 4 Reflection nebula Cepheus
I called it a night after that!