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  #1  
Old 24-05-2008, 02:37 AM
你B
Its only a column of dust

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Obs Report with 12" dob, 24/5

Went out for a nice session in very cold weather! Seeing wasn't flash, but better than last night. It was very cold, about 2慢 and with a hell of alot of dew. Went inside a few times during the night for a hot chocolate which is so gooood in this cold.

Scope: 12" F4.6 truss dob
Time: 7.45pm-1:30am
Seeing: 5-6/10
Temp: 2慢
Dew: heavy

Dank 1 / Dank 2
Apparently these are supposed to be a pair of open clusters (marked in the Herald-Bobroff atlas), located on the eastern edge of the coalsack. Nothing seen.

Stock 16
Open cluster not far east of Crux. Not alot seen, at 108x a small group of around 6 stars form an "A" shape. Pretty much a poor man's Jewel Box! A bright orange star lies near the cluster's eastern edge.

Basil 18
108x - loose collection of around 15 stars just east of Stock 16, with the 5 most prominent members arranged in a pattern reminiscent of the constellation Delphinus, with the head pointing east.

Lod 807
108x - another cluster adjacent to the Coal Sack. Sparse group barely stands out from the background star fields. A bright yellow star marks the northern extremity of the cluster. The brightest stars of this cluster are arranged in a perfect arrowhead outline. I thought that was pretty cool. It really is a perfect arrow! btw, it points south.

DY Crucis
That red star near Beta Crucis. Seems to have brightened and taken on more of an orange hue since the last time I saw it.

Homunculus Nebula
Scope has been cooling for a few hours by now and I was able to push it over 200x on the Homunculus. Bouts of good seeing revealed 2 'holes' in the major lobe, which also has a very irregular outline. The 2 spikes coming out of Eta Carina could also been seen.

M4
Very nice at 217x. Full resolution, higher mags make it look more like a rich open cluster! I spotted what appeared to be a ruddy coloured star near the northern end of the row that cuts across the clusters center. Not certain though, as its quite hard to make out colours in these faint stars.

M80
Outer areas of this globular were well resolved at 283x, quite nice but the seeing wasn't really great. Surprisingly I got slightly more resolution 326x, despite seeing. Also found this neat group of 4 stars while searching for M80, basically a nice golden double star with 2 other golden stars sitting on either side.

NGC 6309 - Box nebula
This PN showed up well despite moonlight. Used an OIII filter at 217x and I could see a tiny rectangular or ellipsoidal object with a faint star located immediately off its northern end. Looks like a nice high surface brightness PN, just asking for more mag but ofcourse the seeing realistically didn't allow anything beyond 200x.

At this point I went inside to warm up, and ended up dozing off for over an hour. Well, that was actually good coz when I woke up Jupiter was well positioned for viewing.

Jupiter
First time I aimed the 12" at Jupiter - almost shat myself! At 217x ... it almost looked like a friggin photo! I've never seen such immensly complex detail in the belts, especially the SEB. It was literally a plethora of streamers, ovals, rifts, spots....amazing. Ofocurse, I had to contend with the seeing (or is it my mirror!?!) but during those still moments it was a memorable sight. I could make out perhaps 10 belts. Numerous festoons were visible aswell,
along with white ovals nestled under the NEB. A couple of lowerings were hanging off the NEB. I was gonna sketch, but stuff me i can't possibly sketch in such intricate detail in 10 minutes - with frozen hands to boot! I spent perhaps an hour drinking in the view.

Also took in a view of the moon, those 4 Plato Craterlets were etched with clarity I have not seen before.

At 1.30am ,, I decided to call it quits. The dew was overwhelming, both mirrors fogged up shortly after finishing. ANd it was bloody freezing! But so worth it.
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  #2  
Old 24-05-2008, 06:32 AM
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edwardsdj
Doug Edwards

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Hi SAB,

Great report. You've really gone for some obscure objects there. Great that you got a good view of Jupiter

I always enjoy reading your reports. I should really try and report observations myself. The objects I usually observe are for more well-known and boring than yours though.

Have fun,
Doug
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  #3  
Old 24-05-2008, 08:50 AM
Karlsson
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Hi 你B,

Glad to see that the much maligned Mlb climate still allows observing every once in a while...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 你B View Post
Dank 1 / Dank 2
Apparently these are supposed to be a pair of open clusters (marked in the Herald-Bobroff atlas), located on the eastern edge of the coalsack. Nothing seen.

Stock 16
Open cluster not far east of Crux. Not alot seen, at 108x a small group of around 6 stars form an "A" shape. Pretty much a poor man's Jewel Box! A bright orange star lies near the cluster's eastern edge.

Basil 18
108x - loose collection of around 15 stars just east of Stock 16, with the 5 most prominent members arranged in a pattern reminiscent of the constellation Delphinus, with the head pointing east.

Lod 807
108x - another cluster adjacent to the Coal Sack. Sparse group barely stands out from the background star fields. A bright yellow star marks the northern extremity of the cluster. The brightest stars of this cluster are arranged in a perfect arrowhead outline. I thought that was pretty cool. It really is a perfect arrow! btw, it points south.
About a month ago I spent some time observing these clusters as well - interesting to see how your descriptions of Stock 16 and Loden 807 match up with my own (in Loden 807 I saw some resemblance to the Xmas Tree cluster NGC2264... which also looks like an arrowhead).

Like yourself I did not see Danks 1 and 2, despite several attempts at various positions I had found - but according to Archinal & Hynes ('Star Clusters') they were discovered on near-IR plates. Wilton Dias c.s. (http://www.astro.iag.usp.br/~wilton/ ) have marked Danks 1 as 'dubious' - I guess we can agree with them...
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  #4  
Old 24-05-2008, 09:07 AM
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Starkler (Geoff)
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Interesting that you experienced better seeing than last night as I experienced worse! Again i was using the refractor having been left out an hour or so, so it wasn't a scope cooling issue.

Different seeing results and you live 6km away according to the lat/long entry
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  #5  
Old 24-05-2008, 09:25 AM
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astronut (John)
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Great report Sab,
A 12" scope really starts to show you all the magic areas of the sky!!
I love to take a tour just like the one you have completed, and in those moments of exceptional seeing WOW!!!
On a number of occasions I've used nearly 400x on the Homunculus with mind blowing results, Jup also looks like I'm orbiting it, there is so much detail.
Winter is the best time to observe.
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  #6  
Old 24-05-2008, 03:54 PM
你B
Its only a column of dust

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Thanks guys. Interesting observation about the seeing there Starkler, looks like it really is local pockets causing the grief. This part of melbourne is quite hilly and undulating so that probably is the major reason for the variation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astronut View Post
Great report Sab,
A 12" scope really starts to show you all the magic areas of the sky!!
I love to take a tour just like the one you have completed, and in those moments of exceptional seeing WOW!!!
On a number of occasions I've used nearly 400x on the Homunculus with mind blowing results, Jup also looks like I'm orbiting it, there is so much detail.
Winter is the best time to observe.
if I ever get to observe the Homunculus at 400x, I'd have tremendous viewing! That is one object that can't take magnification unless seeing is close to perfect.


As good as my Jupiter view was, I wasn't sure about my collimation, becasue when I rack the focuser in and out, the cheshire dot moves relative to the primary center spot. I decided to fiddle with it today and the situation is improved. There still is movement but it is very small. The secondary assembly on this scope is very old, rusty and it is a royal pain to collimate so I think I got it about as good as humanely possible. My plans are to get a new secondary + holder down the road.

Now that my collimation is closer to optimum (I hope!), it is freaking cloudy Guess that means I'll get even better views now. You know how it goes.
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  #7  
Old 24-05-2008, 08:24 PM
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ngcles
The Observologist

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Non-NGC Clusters

Hi 你B,

Good report as ususal and it is very good to see people get off the beaten track and observe things other than the brightest showpieces.

Having said that, I must admit that most non-NGC O.Cs leave me cold. Very few are well detacted from their surroundings, are rich or well condensed.

Good to see NGC 6309 get a run -- it is a bright bi-polar PNe that in a 12" is very pretty.

Glad to see you snagged some reasonable seeing too.

Best,

Les D
Contributing Editor
AS&T
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  #8  
Old 25-05-2008, 05:15 PM
你B
Its only a column of dust

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngcles View Post
Hi 你B,

Good report as ususal and it is very good to see people get off the beaten track and observe things other than the brightest showpieces.
G'day NGCles,
I do enjoy observing through these more obscure catalogs, some of these open clusters do actually contain very interesting and remarkable arrangement of stars, such as LOD 807. I urge everyone to track this down, it really is a perfect arrow outline!

Quote:
Having said that, I must admit that most non-NGC O.Cs leave me cold. Very few are well detacted from their surroundings, are rich or well condensed.
Very true, last night I did some more "off the beaten track" observing, some of these can't be distingused from the background field. Some are quite pretty however, such as Feinstein 1 in Carina which is a gorgous semi-circle of bright stars amongst a rich field.

Quote:
Good to see NGC 6309 get a run -- it is a bright bi-polar PNe that in a 12" is very pretty.
I checked out photos of this - looks exactly like what I saw in the eyepiece. Seeing however limited good viewing. I like these sorts of small, bright PNs at high mags in excess of 400x.
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2008, 10:44 PM
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AlexN
Tunnel Vision

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Theres nothing like an awesome view of jupiter to get the blood pumping

Great report, Every time I read these things aperture fever causes an itching sensation in fingers and significant weight loss in my wallet
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