What's the point in spending ages tracking down an almost imperceptible smear of light in the night sky? I've asked myself this on many an occasion over the years, normally at about 2 in the morning after my telescope has misted up and I've lost the feeling in my fingers.
Here are 2 recent "conquests."
There's the excitement of the chase of course, then there's the pleasure of actually finding the target and seeing the faint fuzzy appear in the eyepiece. But most of the excitement comes from knowing what it is that you are looking at.
The one on the left is NGC 6905, another for my Herschel 400 collection.
Is it my imagination or are my digital-astro-sketches getting better??
It's the remnants of an exploded star, some 3000 light years away:
And the other is NGC 7006. This is as close as I can get to showing you exactly the view though the eyepiece. This faint blob is actually hundreds of thousands of stars at a distance of 127,000 light years. That's well outside the milky way: