Old 31-08-2014, 03:18 PM
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Observing Report August 26-27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26 provided some very good seeing and very good transparency. Didn't go to work as I attended a funeral in the afternoon, so was able to get out early. Fog rolled in at around 1:30am but still got a good bit of observing in. Dew was nothing short of insane though, but the optics of the scope stayed dry. The scope used was the 8" dob.

Scope: 8" F/6 dob
Time: 20:00-01:30 local
Seeing: Pickering 7
Transparency: 4/5
Dew: Very heavy

Trifid Nebula M20
Very nice in the 8". Could already pick out the dark lanes at 54x. The fainter reflection nebula adjacent to the north was also plainly visible, surrounding a ruddy-coloured mag 7.5 star. The section of the reflection nebula between the star and the Trifid seemed darker than the rest. At 92x, the dark lanes were more evident and the central bright star was split into 3 components. The eastern third of the nebula appeared brightest. Using the UHC, the nebula now exhibited the soft "pillow-like" (don't know how else to describe it) appearance seen in astrophotos.

NGC 6302 Bug Nebula
PNe, Scorpius, Size= 83x24" , Mag V= 9.6

Small, bright and strongly elongated E-W at 54x. At 150x, there appeared to be a very bright central "bar" oriented perpendicular to and superimposed on an elongated haze. I could hint at a filament extending from the south end of the bar, extending along SW edge of the oval haze. Increasing power to 342x revealed some filamentary structure, with curved extensions radiating out from the central bar toward the NE and SE and less conspiciously to the SW. The NE filament appeared brightest.

NGC 6337
PNe, Scorpius, Size= 49x45" , Mag V= 12.0

Not far from the Bug Nebula so decided to star hop to this PNe. Moderately faint at 150x, comet-like glow. The OIII revealed a near-perfect ring with its NE edge slightly brighter and a hollow interior. At 240x without the OIII, the ring structure was now visible with a mag 12 star just inside the NE rim with another very faint mag 13.6 star scintillating on the S edge of the ring. Another mag 12 star is located only about 20" from the SW edge of the ring. Adding the OIII enhances the contrast of the ring.

IC 4846
PNe, Aquila, Size= 2" , Mag V= 12.0

As far as tiny planetaries go, this is about as tiny as it gets. Bright and stellar at 150x and had to blink with an OIII as it is essentially impossible to distinguish from the field stars. Still flat-out stellar at 240x, but now presented a bluish hue. At 342x it still appeared stellar but its blue colour was now more vivid. As seeing was good enough to prevent higher magnifications, I barlowed the 5mm for 480x, and it was STILL stellar! At this point I whipped out the 2.5x Powermate for 600x and only now started to manifest itself as a non-stellar object. Very tiny, round slightly fuzzy disk, only just distinguishable from the background stars.

NGC 7009 Saturn Nebula
PNe, Aquarius, Size= 30x26" , Mag V= 7.8

Appears to have an almost "eye" like structure at 342x, with a fainter outer halo and very bright centre. Ansae very faint, visible intermittently with averted vision, with a the knob at the eastern end suspected. The internal structure was a little better resolved at 480x.

NGC 337
GX, Cetus, Size= 2.9x1.8' , Mag V= 11.6

Slightly condensed, fairly bright and elongated 2:1 NW-SE at 150x. A trio of mag 10-11 stars lie just to the E-NE.

IC 5148 "Spare Tyre"
PNe, Grus, Size= 113x113", Mag V= 11.0

A faint, round haze at 54x, located immediately N of a mag 10.3 star. The Donut-like shape is clearly visible with the OIII. At 92x with the OIII, the thick annulus appeared to have uneven surface brightness and the interior was slightly brighter than the background sky.

With the good seeing, Neptune's disk appeared satisfying crisp at 342x with a pale bluish hue. I did spot Triton with averted vision. At 480x, Triton was much easier to see, although Neptune's disk was harder to focus as the seeing was blurring it.

And the dew....
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Old 31-08-2014, 08:38 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Very nice descriptions Sab and some great detail in your observations as always. I reckon "spare tyre" is such a dull moniker for what I reckon is a very nice PN.
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