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Old 06-01-2010, 10:59 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Observing Report 21/12/09 5/1/10

Observing Report 20/12/09 – 5/1/10

The objects observed on the 20th were all located within the SMC. all are small and faint, hence descriptions are fairly minimal. Now updated to include 4 objects observed 5/1/10

NGC 362 (Caldwell 104)
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing - Good
Previously observed 1/11/09 used to locate NGC 371

NGC 371
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing - Good
Open cluster in SMC. Moved south from NGC 362, fairly parse but with a couple of brighter stars.

NGC 346
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing - Good
West and slightly South from NGC 371. Both objects are identifiable in finder. A faint open cluster with fairly bright nebulosity evident with more power.

NGC 330
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing - Good
South West of NGC 246. Small, compact but quite bright open cluster. If viewed with darks skies and good seeing, more power should make this a very nice object.

NGC 419
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing - Good
From NGC 346 , two 8th mag stars aligned NE to SW. Scanning to SE located a mag 7 star about 30’ away. Small glow located back about 10’ to NW. Minimal detail resolvable.

NGC 460
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing - Good
Continuing SE in same line from NGC 346 to NGC 419 a group of glowing objects Is located. NGC 460 is a compact cluster located close to a 9.5mag star on northern edge.

NGC 456
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing - Good
Extended nebulosity surrounding NGC 460. Uranometria shows 2 open clusters within its bounds, of which NGC 460 is the easterly cluster. Westerly cluster is unnamed. Bright neb is visible.

NGC 465
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing - Good
Open cluster to east of NGC 456. Small and sparse.

NGC 422
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing - Good
Similar size to NGC 419 but located about 10’ to NNE.

NGC 416
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing - Good
Small open cluster about 30’ to north of NGC 422.

NGC 376
Date 20/12/09 11pm Seeing – Good
Another small open cluster located about 30’ WSW of NGC 422.


NGC 2539
Date 21/12/09 11-15pm Seeing - Fair
From M47 (easily located in finder from Canis Major) proceed East to pair of stars (4 and 2 Puppis) continue East and slightly North about .5deg to group of 3-4 stars (9 Puppis) then about 5.5 deg in same direction to pair of 5.5/6 mag stars (18 and 19 Puppis) about 1 deg apart aligned roughly North/South. Northernmost star is 19 Puppis which is orangey/red in colour. To north and west of this star is a broad cluster maybe 20-25 minutes in diameter. Many faint stars about 9th mag with larger number of very faint stars.

NGC 2506 (Caldwell 54)
Date 21/12/09 11-30pm Seeing - Fair
From 19 Puppis (located above) move NNW about 2deg to triangle of faint stars which straddles border between Puppis and Monoceros. About 2deg in same direction is a 6.5 mag star. The triangle, this star and NGC 2506 form and equilateral triangle with 2506 at its western apex. Very faint an just visible in 32mm EP at 47x as a faint nebulous patch. 13mm at 115x revealed about 5-8 stars with clouds of very faint stars in background. Pair of stars sits in bottom right corner in telescopic view. Very bright cluster believed to be 2 billion years old and about 10,000 light years away.

NGC 4833 (Caldwell 105)
Date 4/1/10 10-30pm Seeing - Fair
From Alpha Muscae moved just west of south about 2.5deg to prominent orange star Delta Muscae which has a 6.5mag companion to NW. Moved back about way to Alpha Muscae with 24mm EP at 62.5x until faint glow detected. Object has 9th mag star in following position. NGC description describes object as fairly bright but appears faint due to low position. Easily resovable globular cluster in 13mm at 115x.

NGC 4372 (Caldwell 108)
Date 4/1/10 10-45pm Seeing - Fair
From Delta Muscae, moved SE to Gamma Muscae. There are 2 triangles of faint stars to south of Gamma Muscae., a tight group 1deg South and an open group 1deg in size to SE. The star in this latter triangle closest to Gamma Muscae is a 6th mg star, cluster is just to South and following. Very faint, took about 1 minute and averted vision to pick up about a dozen very faint stars in wide grouping. Looks like an open cluster with nebulosity rather than a globular. Dark skies will enhance views.

NGC 3201 (Caldwell 79)
Date 4/1/10 11-00pm Seeing - Fair
Located 3rd mag star Mu Velorum by naked eye. Using finder located 2 5th mag stars about 1.3deg apart about 2deg to North preceding. Then moved in preceding direction about 3deg to fan shaped asterism of 7th mag stars. Another 7th mag star is about 1.5deg to NNW. Object s just North of this star. Fairly large, most resolved stars are faint.

NGC 3132 (Caldwell 74)
Date 4/1/10 11-15pm Seeing - Fair
The “Eight Burst Nebula”. From NGC 3201 travel North to 4th mag star q Velorum then about 1.5deg North to a wide double of 6th mag stars. Then about 2.5deg preceding to a 7th mag star. Scan back South following until glow detected. Estimate about 1’ in diameter. Fairly bright nebula surrounding a prominent central star. OIII filter confirmed as a Planetary Nebula. Very easy to see structure. Darker skies will improve view with more power. Visible central star is not progenitor of the nebula, actual star is not visible.

NGC 2360 (Hartung 252) (OC in Canis Major)
Date 5/1/10 10-00pm Seeing – Fair (moon)
From Sirius located Gamma Canis Majoris in finder then found double LY Canis Majoris about 1.5deg following, thenabout 1.5deg slightly North of following to 5.5mag star. Cluster is just following this star. Large approx 13-14’ in diameter. Many brighter stars, very pretty open cluster.

NGC 2438 (PN in Puppis)
Date 5/1/10 11-30pm Seeing – Fair (moon)
From NGC 2360, navigated East looking for bright cluster M47 in finder. Then detect faint glow of M46 following . Small, round nebulosity on north side of cluster is revealed by OIII filter to be a planetary nebula. Higher power (13mm EP with 2x Barlow at 230x) didn’t reveal structure or central star.

NGC 2423 (OC in Puppis)
Date 5/1/10 11-30pm Seeing – Fair (moon)
From M47, moved North and slightly following approx 0.5deg. Faint glow visible in finder. Cluster is fairly large, maybe 10’ in diameter (about half of M47) but no bright stars. Fair number of stars estimated at 9-10 mag.

NGC 2425 (OC in Puppis)
Date 5/1/10 11-40pm Seeing – Fair (moon)
From M47 moved slightly South of following towards 5th mag star about 1deg away. Very faint glow is just visible in 24mm EP at 62x. 13mm at 115x revealed it to consist of about 6-7 stars of estimated 11th mag stars with hints of fainter stars. Very compact object.

Last edited by barx1963; 10-01-2010 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:32 AM
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orestis
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HI Malcolm,

Wow an impresive report ,You sure got a lot of objects in those night.
I've got to say i liked the longer descriptions better especially the eight burst nebula as i plan to observe it and see how much detail i can grab through my scope probally not much ,mag 8 right.+ i don't have a o111 filter.

Thanks for posting this great comprehensive report..
looking forward to your next set of observations.
Orestis

ps-i like the way you tell us how you star hopped to it ,so beginners like me can use that info to find the object.thanks.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:42 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Excellent report Malcolm. A nice varied collection of objects. NGC 362 is one of my favourite globulars, sometimes overshadowed by 104. It is a wonderful sight, especially in the 7 and 9mm Naglers.
The SMC is another on my list, if this damn cloud ever clears off!! How do you find the Uranometria set for identification and detail when working in the SMC? - I am thinking of getting it when I can afford it. Unfortunately, after Christmas is not a good time to think of expensive atlases. Do you have the Uranometria Deep Sky Guide, and, if so, what's your opinion on it? I am also considering the Night Sky Observers Guide (3 volumes) as well. Too many astro goodies and not enough $$$'s!!
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:25 AM
Rob_K
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Excellent report Malcolm, the Eight-Burst Nebula should definitely reward extra effort if you can get to darker skies! Look forward to your 5 Jan obs!

Cheers -
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:46 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Report now updated!

Orestis - thanks for your comments. I like to include my starhopping as it helps if I need to go back, also confirms that I am on the right object when I write up my notes. The Eight burst was visible in my scope without the OIII, the filter merely improves contrast, it doesn't make it actually brighter. Dark skies and a reasonably dark site will help.
Paul- Uranometria is brilliant, remembering many of the objects in it are not visible in small scopes as they are faint and small, but for the purposes of finding things that are visible, it is great. These atlases are my most used accessories, definitely worth every cent.
The Field Guide (Vol 3 of the Uranometria set) is just a listing of all the objects on the maps, no use unless you have the maps. The maps are great for the SMC, but be patient.
Rob, thanks for your comments, hope to have another go at the Eight Burst at a darker site next week.

Malcolm
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:17 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Another great report Malcolm. I note that from you notes on finding things that you also cluster hop in the SMC I find it an interesting difference when observing in the clouds - so much to see, so few foreground stars. I also like how your recording of hop steps helps you verify obs.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:23 PM
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Nice report Mal. Cheers !
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:50 PM
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Once again a nice elaborate report Barxy! I have recently observed NGC 2438 and detected 3 stars within the nebula, and if you use OIII you might be able to see it as a horseshoe rather than a ring, as the northwestern end is "erased"... for lack of better terminology!

The 8 burst is a fantastic bright, detailed HSB object, pump the power up on this one!

Dang, all you guys have been active over the last few days while I was away on holiday.....being active myself
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:19 PM
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Hi Malcolm,

Very good rerport much enjoyed -- thanks for taking the time to record your observations and post them.

The pair of G.C's in Musca are excellent examples of very well resolved and "open looking" clusters with very little concentration to centre. They both lie at very similar distances to our Sun, (from memory about the 28,000 ly mark) so they must be quite close in space to each other. NGC 4833 is definitely the brighter and better of the two. I don't have recorded 31 or 46cm observations of these two so I guess it's about time to drop by again. The "dark doodad" a dark molecular cloud starts at about NGC 4372 and winds-up past Gamma Muscae. It is a superb dark nebula best appreciated in large binos but really needs a pretty dark sky.

Not trying to be picky -- seriously there are a couple of typos in your NGC etc No's that had me scratching my head for a just moment NGC 2438 and the Eight-burst (NGC 3132) but easily worked out in the end. NGC 3132 is a wonderful, wonderful object particularly when the seeing is really good and you can push up above x300.

Here's how it look a couple of years ago with 46cm at x317 and the seeing I rated at 7/10:

NGC 3132 Planetary Nebula *
RA: 10h 07m 01.8s Dec: -40 26' 09"
Mag: 8.2 (P) Size: 88.0"x58.0" Class: 4+2
Mag C. Star: 10.0 R.V.: ---

This is a spectacular and very bright PNe with very high surface brightness and a distracting "central star". This apparent central * is not in reality the true one -- it is a superimposition. The true central star is at about mag 19 and invisible in amateur instruments. The outer halo is irregular in outline but roughly oval in PA 90 about 80" x 50" and has lowish S.B. The inner halo then takes over and is ovoid in PA 90 with a very strong and bright outer ring to that inner halo from which the nebula dims gradually to the mag 9 central *, though the whole inner halo has good S.B. Very beautiful. Strong mid-blue in colour in the inner halo.

Thanks for posting your stuff!


Best,

Les D
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:35 AM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
Bright the hawk's flight

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Thanks again for your comments Les. Have corrected the typos, I think they originate from having fairly average handwriting, plus trying to take notes in the dark. That's why I am thinking of investing in a dictaphone to see if I can't improve my accuracy!

Last edited by barx1963; 14-01-2010 at 11:10 PM.
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