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Old 22-05-2012, 03:03 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Strangways, Vic
Posts: 2,208
19 & 20/5/12 - Transparency (and galaxies) again!

La Nina must be breaking down. Bad for getting some dry bush, but the upside is that I can now observe some galaxies for the first time in a long time. Between bands of cloud at least.

Here are some notes from the last few nights. Classifications from the NGC/IC project

Telescope 410mm (16”) f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr
Navigation: Night Sky Observer’s Guide (NSOG), Uranometria, Gas Giants app.

19/5/12 2200

Seeing and transparency fair between lengthy cloudy periods

Saturn

175x Very crisp views, cloud band in northern hemisphere very distinct, rings opening nicely and Cassini Division very clear. Tehtys and Rhea to the west, Dione just to the South, Titan and Hyperion to the east.

NGC 5897 GC in Libra Class 11

135x 12’ dia loose GC with many resolvable stars. Several long strands of stars distracted from the centre of the cluster, 2 to the west and 3 to the east.

NGC 5898/5903 + ESO 514-3 GX in Libra Class E0/E/?

175x A pleasing group of 3 galaxies near the end of a line of 3 foreground stars. To the west 5898 is a 2’ round, bright, slightly elongated E-W. Similar in magnitude is 5903 directly following and again bout 2’ dia. Both have distinct cores. ESO 514-3 is 5’ E of 5903 and is a faint 1’ glow with a core just discernible with averted vision.

NGC 6121/Messier 4 GC in Scorpius Class 9

175x Always splendid, a large splash of numerous loosely packed resolved stars with a N-S ridge of stars across the centre. I always see an asterism a bit like a jet engine with the front of the engine formed by a N-S line of stars across the centre of the cluster, the rear by a parallel shorter line to the west and with a small rounded cone to the east.

NGC 6093/Messier 8 GC in Scorpius Class 2

175x A beautiful highly concentrated bright GC 8’ dia with a pronounced core amongst many resolved stars. The core looks slightly displaced to the east.

NGC 6231 OC in Scorpius Class I 3 p

90x Stunning 14’ cluster of 100 or so stars of varying colour and magnitude with many quite bright. Numerous intriguing lines and asterisms. Always a wonderful sight.

20/5/2012 2000

Seeing and transparency both good.

NGC 5236/Messier 83 GX in Hydra Class SAB(s)c I-II

175x Always a treat and a good way to assess whether it’s worth galaxy hunting. Well tonight’s the best night for this for a very long time. M83 is magnificent, filling well over 15’ of the FOV. Nucleus and bar are very clear as are the dark lanes to the N & S of the bar. The tail to the west is very obvious as is the curved “bow” to the east and 2 spiral arms curving to the south then west, the outermost overlaid by foreground stars.

NGC 4579/ Messier 58 GX in Virgo Class Sb

175x Bright 5’x3’ E-W oval with distinct 1’ core and soft halo

NGC 4564 & 4567/8 (“Siamese Twins”) GX in Virgo Class E/ Sc/ Sc

250x 4564 is a 2.5’x1’ bright NE-SW oval with bright nucleus. 15’ to the WSW is a pair of ellipses joined at the northern end and making 45 degree angle to each other. The eastern one 4568 is a 5’x2’ soft luminosity, the western one 4567 is of similar magnitude but only 3’x2’. Both have a slight central brightening. And both are fainter than 4564.

NGC 4569/Messier 90 GX in Virgo Class Sb

175x 10’x4’ N-S bright oval glow with central brightening and stellar core. Perhaps some darker patches in the softer halo.

NGC 4535 GX in Virgo Class Sc/SBc I

175x Faint 10’ face-on spiral. At first little detail apparent but with prolonged observation, changing eyes etc. a NW-SE bar and 2 spiral arms can just be discerned.

ESO 452-11 GC in Scorpius Class ?

250x Very hard to pick without DSS image as a guide. A small faint glow near a triangular asterism. Some faint foreground stars overlie the GC and make it hard to find the borders or determine how concentrated it is.

NGC 4594/Messier 104 GX in Virgo Class Sb-

440x A brief period of excellent seeing allowed me to view this old favourite at this magnification. A stunning view filling the eyepiece, dark lane very crisp and beautiful glow either side of it.

NGC 4038/9 GX in Corvus “Antennae Galaxies” Class Sc

250x It has been a long 12 months or more since I had a decent sky to visit these beauties. The dark maw between the galaxies is very clear as are the numerous starburst regions. The pair are about 4’x4’ and the more northerly of the two, 4038, is about twice as wide as the 4039.

Saturn

250x Very clear, the rings opening nicely, the Cassini Division very obvious and I can kid myself successfully that I might be able to glimpse the Encke division. Maybe. Perhaps. The dark band in the Northern temperate area is clear and 6 moons can be seen: Dione to the west, Titan to the south, Enceladus, Tethys, Rhea and Hyperion to the east. Very pleasing to the eye.
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