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Old 07-01-2010, 12:18 AM
Rob_K
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Fun in Fornax, 6 Jan 2010

...and Eridanus & Dorado!

Obs Report:
Place: My backyard, Bright, Vic
Time: 10:15pm – 12:15am (UT+11)
Seeing: Poor
Transparency: good, slight haze
Equipment: 4.5” f8 Tasco reflector, 21mm X-Cel eyepiece

As a sighter, I first went to galaxy NGC 253, a large, bright cigar-shaped glow in Sculptor. In averted vision, the galaxy extended over half the FOV but I’ve seen it better in brilliant skies. Zipped over to globular cluster NGC 288 in Sculptor – a fairly even dim glow, not centrally-condensed, and I imagined I could see a few very faint stars flickering in and out with the seeing. Then visited NGC 246, a planetary nebula in Cetus. This is quite a large pn (compared to most), and showed as a fairly even glow behind 3 faint field stars.

Galaxy cluster, Fornax/Eridanus: So much to see, and so many galaxies within a couple of fields of view! NGC 1365 (mag 10.3) was not as good as I’ve seen it, but quite a large dim glow nonetheless, with fainter extensions in averted vision. NGC 1399 (mag 10.4) and NGC 1404 (mag 11.0) were a bright little pair and ideal to use as ‘markers’ to work out from. NGC 1389 (mag 12.4) was quite dim, and only held in averted vision. Close by, NGC 1386 (mag 12.1) was surprisingly bright, a nice little edge-on! The arc of NGCs 1387 (mag 11.8 ), 1379 (mag 11.7) and 1374 (mag 12.0) were unspectacular – just small dim glows with faint star-like central cores, and averted vision helped greatly on 1374. Inside the arc, NGC 1381 (mag 12.5) was a tiny brighter gash.

Starry Night let me down again, because I had immediately seen two galaxies not on the chart I prepared. Must remember to turn on the “Principal galaxies” layer as well as the NGC layer! The easily-visible galaxies were NGC 1380 (mag 11.0), a dull glow, and NGC 1427 (mag 11.8 ), a smaller dull glow. I looked for NGC 1436 (mag 11.8 ), but can’t honestly say I saw it – must be low SB.

Great viewing here – I could just fit nine galaxies in the FOV!!!

Galaxy cluster, Dorado/Reticulum: A few nice galaxies on the border of Dorado & Reticulum – NGC 1566 (mag 10.2) was quite a large dull glow, not quite circular. Less than a field away, NGCs 1549 (mag 10.6) and 1533 (mag 10.0) were bright little ovals, again useful as ‘markers’ to work out from. These are actually interacting galaxies. Not far away was NGC 1546 (mag 11.9), quite hard to pick up. Very small and faint, just held in averted vision. But NGC 1533 (mag 11.7) was easy to see as a dull glow behind a few faint stars. NGC 1617 (mag 11.4) was quite a healthy oval glow, about half a field away from the bright mag 3.3 star Alpha Dorado. I found 1617 easier to see with the star out of the field. In Reticulum, NGC 1574 (mag 11.3) was a bright little glow beside a field star. Tried to find NGC 1543 (mag 11.3), but got lost on the way, LOL!

Moonlight was starting to intrude on viewing, so packed up my gear. Nice to get some time in at the eyepiece!


Cheers -
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Last edited by Rob_K; 07-01-2010 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Sketch added...
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2010, 07:22 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Outstanding report Rob. I am impressed with what you are seeing with an aperture of 114mm. I did a report on the 1365 region:

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ad.php?t=53010

I must admit that I am not seeing much more than you from suburbia. Your location must have darker skies. You have reported on some NGC's in that region that I haven't seen yet - definitely given me some targets. The Reticulum area is another I am planning to examine, but we have had constant cloud for weeks. I got a nice pair of Andrews 20x80 triplet binos for Christmas and haven't looked through them yet!
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:48 AM
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Wow That is An amazing report.
I haven't seen any of these apart from ngc 253 which an absolutely amazing galaxy and ngc 288 which your description fits pretty much perfectly with mine.

What nine galaxies in the same fov thats awesome.
You have given me so many more dso's which i know i can view because your scope is 1cm and a half smaller than mine.

Only problem now is star hopping.Are they hard to star hop to?

keep posting your reprts they amazing

orestis
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:01 AM
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goober (Doug)
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Lovely report, Rob. That scope is legendary...
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:18 AM
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Great report again Rob .... you are certainly getting some good time at the eyepiece down there
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:49 AM
Rob_K
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Thanks all! I should add that all magnitudes are those given in Starry Night, which is increasingly worrying me! Also, the NGC layer in SN gave NGC 1427 in a certain position at mag 13.4 (and naturally it was beyond me), but the Principal galaxies layer gave NGC 1427 at a different position at mag 11.8 (and I could see it). Haven't bothered to sort it out, could go to Simbad or elsewhere, but just to let you know there could be anomolies in the report.

Another interesting thing - I prepared charts on red card. Under red light, these appeared basically white, and left my eyes with a rich blue haze which disappeared as they re-adapted!!

Cheers -
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:36 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Nice report Rob - certainly sounds like a fun night in Fornax et al. As others have said, you do a great report witha modest scope. And I like the sketch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orestis View Post
Wow That is An amazing report.
I haven't seen any of these apart from ngc 253 which an absolutely amazing galaxy and ngc 288 which your description fits pretty much perfectly with mine.

What nine galaxies in the same fov thats awesome.
You have given me so many more dso's which i know i can view because your scope is 1cm and a half smaller than mine.

Only problem now is star hopping.Are they hard to star hop to?

keep posting your reprts they amazing

orestis
Orestis, they are not hard to star hop to, but it took me quite a while to make out Fornax the first time that I went looking for it. It's one of the more subtle constellations. I usually find this field by using three 4th mag stars in Eridanus that from a nice equilateral triangle with sides of about one degree. They are about 1/2 way down the south side of the big V formation in Eridanus that is pointing roughly east at the moment. It is a truly amazing field of galaxies if you've got dark skies. At VicSouth, Tim Nott put the Argo/Servocat on his 22" dob on spiral around this area - it was just amazing to watch bunches of galaxies wheel through the ep. You will have a great time if you can find it.

Last edited by Paddy; 07-01-2010 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:45 PM
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Sensational report mate ! with a 4" f8 !!!!!!!!! crikey.
You would do some serious damage with a 12-16".
The sky's up your way are excellent.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:10 PM
Rob_K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidU View Post
Sensational report mate ! with a 4" f8 !!!!!!!!! crikey.
You would do some serious damage with a 12-16".
LOL, I'm not sure about that David, think I'd be too lazy to take it out!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidU View Post
The sky's up your way are excellent.
Yeah, the skies are pretty good (except for the seeing). With a small aperture you need it! But I'm still in 'suburbia', albeit a small one, and skies from S to NW are a little polluted. Last night, for example, I swung the scope to the Grus Quartet and could see nothing other than one very faint glow which I couldn't identify. It was supposed to be our club night at Porepunkah airstrip last night, but my car let me down & I couldn't go. The airstrip has amazing skies, much better than home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy
I usually find this field by using three 4th mag stars in Eridanus that from a nice equilateral triangle with sides of about one degree.
Yeah Patrick, the small naked-eye triangle makes this galaxy cluster very easy to find.

Cheers -
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:45 PM
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Excellent report Rob. spotting fuzzies at mag 12.5 and gettin 9 in the FOV sounds like a great nights veiwing.
I wish my skies were that dark here .

Cheers Daniel.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:40 AM
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Hi Rob,
Sorry i didn't see the sketch,did you upload it later?
Nice sketch,i'll try and do one when the clouds clear up for my own fun but for comparison aswell.

Orestis
ps-can you give me some info on how you did the sketch eg.type of pencil,computer enhancements etc.
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:23 AM
Rob_K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orestis View Post
Hi Rob,
Sorry i didn't see the sketch,did you upload it later?
Nice sketch,i'll try and do one when the clouds clear up for my own fun but for comparison aswell.

Orestis
ps-can you give me some info on how you did the sketch eg.type of pencil,computer enhancements etc.
Thanks Orestis, yeah, I did upload it later. All I did was traced a circle & and marked the galaxies with an HB pencil, approximately according to position, size & brightness that I saw them. Scanned the image & inverted in Photoshop. Filled the black outside the circle with white using the Paint Bucket Tool. The galaxies were rough & scratchy, so I just kept applying a Gaussian blur to them until they were smoothed out.

The sketch wasn't supposed to be accurate - I didn't put any stars in and it was only meant to be a guide to how all the galaxies fitted into the field. And it was a very tight thing to get them all into the field of view!!

Cheers -
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:17 PM
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So....Rob_K's been "Fornax-cating"
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:17 PM
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Fantastic night of fun there Rob! You're punching pretty deep with the Tasco, I'm impressed.

Quote:
Thanks all! I should add that all magnitudes are those given in Starry Night, which is increasingly worrying me! Also, the NGC layer in SN gave NGC 1427 in a certain position at mag 13.4 (and naturally it was beyond me), but the Principal galaxies layer gave NGC 1427 at a different position at mag 11.8 (and I could see it). Haven't bothered to sort it out, could go to Simbad or elsewhere, but just to let you know there could be anomolies in the report.

Another interesting thing - I prepared charts on red card. Under red light, these appeared basically white, and left my eyes with a rich blue haze which disappeared as they re-adapted!! http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/....milies/lol.gif
Galaxy mags down below around 11 are quite dodgy, I don't know the mechanics of it, but Les will have the answers, as we discussed it in my reports a number of times.

However, use this link: http://messier45.com/cgi-bin/dsdb/dsb.pl

and just type in the object in the query box and it brings up magnitude and surface brightness for galaxies. It's a fantastic site and certainly very useful!

You can also use NED, just type in the catalouge number and look up the photometric datapoints for your galaxy to get blue (and sometimes V) mags.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:54 AM
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I can feel a ...

Hi All,

Many years ago there was an article in the ASNSW newsletter "Universe" by either Scott Mellish or one or the other of the Mencinski's (I can't remember right now which one) with the fantastic title "I can feel a Fornax comin' on". It came straight to mind when I read your report.

Thanks for taking the time to post it and like the others I'm (again) mighty impressed with what the little Tasco and an experienced, keen-eyed observer can do!

I remember the NGC 1549 & NGC 1553 pair very fondly. I made a sketch of them and it was the first thing I ever had publlished -- must be almost 20-odd years ago now. In large 'scopes under dark skies it is a quad group at low power with NGC 1546 and the stunning little edge-on spiral IC 2058.

I looove IC 2058 in particular ...


Best,

Les D
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