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Old 27-12-2009, 12:35 PM
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Observation Report 26/12/09- Planetaries/galaxies

Well, since starting full time work in October, There was exactly 0 clear weekends up until now. But living in Melbourne, that is actually far more clear weekends than the annual average for this forsaken locale.

I had cleaned my extremely dirty mirror on my 12" dob at the start of October and haven't got the chance to use the scope since then.

Ofcourse, the holidays fall on a full moon period. FAIL. So last night promised only 3-3.5 hours of darkness, and predictably, that was cut short by MELBOURNE CLOUD racing in at the speed of sound. I had to take a few shots of Tequila.

Otherwise, it was a good session. Seeing varyied quite alot thoughout the night, was crap at the start (around 11pm) then became good, gooood but not great, then turned to absolute mush towards the end, just before MELBOURNE CLOUD ruined the night. Transparency was average, lots of maritime haze, which at sunset looked like a layer of MELBOURNE CLOUD near the horizon.

Date: 26/12/09
Time: 11:30pm-2:30am
Scope: 12" F/4.6 dob
Seeing: 2-5/10
Transparency: 3/5

M42
Super uber detailed at 176x, even with the moon, seeing was quite poor aswell, as the trapezium stars were being distorted into all sorts of disturbing shapes. But yeah, don't think I've ever seen the central region take on such a curdled appearance. Must be the newly cleaned mirror

NGC 1535

PNe, Eridanus, Size 48"x42", Mag 9.6,

Mag 12.5 central star easily visible at 176x. Bright inner orb surrounded by a fainter outer halo which appeared to double its size. Pale blue colour. Annulus clearly seen at 353x, with the W/SW half distinctly brighter than the east. The interior surrounding the central star was uneven in brightness. At 442x the southeastern interior appeared darker and a brightening could be seen in the N/NE portion of the annulus.

IC 418
PNe, Lepus, Size 12x12", Mag 8.95

Small, bright central star obvious with a faint oval well defined haze surrounding it at 176x. Oval figure clearly defined at 283x, oriented approx N-S. Colour appeared white, and surface brightness uniform. At 566x, the edge of the nebula appeared to consist of an annulus which was very slightly brighter than the rest of the object, with the northern end slightly more diffuse than the rest. At this magnification, some very subtle variances in surface brightness was seen, particularly at the northern half which was very slightly darker than the rest of the neb.

J320
PNe, Orion, Size 6.4", Mag 12.9

Very small PNe, virtually stellar at low powers. At 283x with OIII it was clearly elongated roughly NNW/SSE. The object seemed to sport a very HSB "spine" running approx 2/3 along its length, but oriented more NW/SE with respect to the main body, with a bright knot at its southern end, giving the nebula a somewhat triangular appearance. Seeing was deteriorating at this point and use of higher mags provided no improvement in the view.

NGC 2438

PNe, Puppis, Size 64", Mag 10.1

Easily visible as a tiny faint orb at 44x amongst the stars of M46. At 176x a fat, puffy ring was seen, somewhat uneven in surface brightness. The imposter central star is slightly offset to the NW for mthe real mag 17 central star. At 283x with the OIII, the W/NW edge of the ring was noticably fainter than the rest, giving the object a horseshoe appearance. Using the 3.5mm LVW for a magnification of 404x revealed a second faint star just within the SW edge of the ring. Adding the OIII filter revealed the NE edge of the ring to be clearly brighter than the rest.

Minkowski 1-13
PNe, Canis Major, Size 10", Mag 12.6

A small PNe, but obvious from the rich Canis Major starfield at 176x by its diffuse nature. At 404x with the OIII, the PNe was elongated roughly N-S, with a shape that resembled a diamond rather than the more typical oval. The PNe lies just 1' north of an 11 mag star, which aided in finding it greatly.

NGC 2440
PNe, Puppis, Size 16", Mag 10.8

Very bright. At 283x, two closely spaced bright knots could be seen, connected by a "bridge", oriented approx NNW-SSE. This feature is immersed in an oval halo, irregular surface brightness, oriented NE-SW. A filament at the SW edge could be seen, curving back towards the south. The two bright knots and perpedicular oval form give this PNe a somewhat creepy appearance, like an alien with glowing eyes Increasing mag to 566x revealed a couple of faint knots in the SW portion of the halo, and what appeared to be dark lane nearly seperating the SW 3rd of the cloud from the main complex.

ESO 362-11
GX, Columba, Size 4.9'x0.8', Mag 13

Faint spindle of light oriented NW/SE, nearly midway between a pair of mag 9 and mag 12 stars. Faint, LSB at 283x, southern edge slightly better defined then northern edge. Approx half its listed length was visible.

ESO 362-12
GX, Columba, Size 1.1'x0.9', Mag 14.42

Faint at 283x, but not terribly difficult. A faint, non-descript ball of fluff, no real shape or form visible. Located approx 6-7' SE of ESO 362-11.
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Old 27-12-2009, 02:11 PM
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Don't know what to say pgc - can't believe you were sober enough on Boxing Day to observe. Suppose I'll just have to accept that anything's possible in this crazy mixed up world and move on...

That said, nice report, and some interesting objects there!

Cheers -
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Old 27-12-2009, 02:24 PM
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Nice report Sab. The clean mirror must be good.
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Old 27-12-2009, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_K View Post
Don't know what to say pgc - can't believe you were sober enough on Boxing Day to observe. Suppose I'll just have to accept that anything's possible in this crazy mixed up world and move on...

That said, nice report, and some interesting objects there!

Cheers -
Hi Rob,

Don't be too concerned. I believe things balance themselves. I bet there was a version of pgc in an alternative universe that was totally off his face on boxing day, looking up at the sky wondering who on Earth would be observing tonight!

Jokes aside, I've been a dedicated observer for many years and welcome any observational threads. Good onya pgc and a great report!

Regards

Glenn
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Old 27-12-2009, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_K View Post
Don't know what to say pgc - can't believe you were sober enough on Boxing Day to observe. Suppose I'll just have to accept that anything's possible in this crazy mixed up world and move on...

That said, nice report, and some interesting objects there!

Cheers -
Unnacceptable situation I know but I've got all the cloudy days/nights in the world to get drunk
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Old 27-12-2009, 06:44 PM
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Outstanding report PGC! Your mirror must be a beauty to be able to use such high magnifications and see useful details, rather than mush.

I've had family here and there is no way I could have observed anything on Boxing Day. Still I can't complain about the Christmas season too much - Santa gave me a pair of Andrews 20x80 semi-apo binos, The Universe series 1 and a bottle of Chival Regal.
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Old 27-12-2009, 07:20 PM
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Outstanding report PGC! Your mirror must be a beauty to be able to use such high magnifications and see useful details, rather than mush.
Thanks Lismore! Using high mags also made me aware of how much the seeing varies thoughout the night. While on NGC 1535 and IC 418....in excess of 500x provided sharp stars, albeit you get the random smearing as the seeing works its way though....by the end of the night, all I got blurry smudges at hafl that power

It's a Barry Adcock mirror, I remember someone on this forum a while back said that Barry Adcock optics are "as good as it gets" or something along the lines of that. It's no doubt a great bit of glass, but a 2" thick beast and while it has fans, I'm not sure what sort of power pack or connection I need to get them working! I really need fans to move on this thing, being 2" thick without active cooling, I do get thermal problems.


Quote:
I've had family here and there is no way I could have observed anything on Boxing Day. Still I can't complain about the Christmas season too much - Santa gave me a pair of Andrews 20x80 semi-apo binos, The Universe series 1 and a bottle of Chival Regal.
Not a bad haul The DVD and the Chival should keep you in a merry mood for the time being
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Old 27-12-2009, 07:49 PM
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I've already started on the Chivas, hence the lack of observations!!! That damn cyclone remnant isn't helping things either, the weather lately is a bit like that in the visual observer's wonderland, Victoria.
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Old 27-12-2009, 09:53 PM
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I've already started on the Chivas, hence the lack of observations!!! That damn cyclone remnant isn't helping things either, the weather lately is a bit like that in the visual observer's wonderland, Victoria.
lots of UNFORECASTED cloud here

so I'm just sinking some Johnnie Walker cans and enjoying some chicken enchiladas while watching Family Guy

Remaining forecast clear nights will be useless for DSOs, so will be enjoying some morning moon and planet viewing with the M500
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Old 28-12-2009, 06:54 AM
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but a 2" thick beast and while it has fans, I'm not sure what sort of power pack or connection I need to get them working! I really need fans to move on this thing, being 2" thick without active cooling, I do get thermal problems.

I use some computer fans on the old 10", suspending them from springs to avoid vibration. The 120mm ones are better, you can get them from any computer repair shop for virtually nix. It should be possible to run them off one of those power packs. The voltage should not worry them too much, I think it just affects the speed. The alternative is a battery pack. The GSO 12" uses a battery pack. The Tricky Dicky shops have plenty of them:

http://search.dse.com.au/search?w=ba...e01060f&ts=new
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Old 28-12-2009, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Lismore Bloke View Post

I use some computer fans on the old 10", suspending them from springs to avoid vibration. The 120mm ones are better, you can get them from any computer repair shop for virtually nix. It should be possible to run them off one of those power packs. The voltage should not worry them too much, I think it just affects the speed. The alternative is a battery pack. The GSO 12" uses a battery pack. The Tricky Dicky shops have plenty of them:

http://search.dse.com.au/search?w=ba...e01060f&ts=new
I got 4 fans on mine, and a jack consisting of a hole. But then there is another white jack-like object there, with 4 attachment points but those have screws in them so it might be simply there to keep the former owner's battery pack or whatever attached. I've got a battery pack from my 10" GSO....will have to find it and see if it works.
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:33 PM
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Great report Sab. I love of your detailed description of some of the PNs - I look forward to looking at some of them myself. I'm amazed at how well you go with faint galaxies under less than ideal conditions and high magnifications you were able to use.
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