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Old 08-03-2008, 01:07 PM
你B
Its only a column of dust

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All nighter 7th and 8th March

As I write this, I feel like I've been beaten half to death with a log. I can barely keep ma eyes open. But that's what happens when you stay outside till 5am!

Clear night, but earlier in the evening, the seeing was horrific judging by Sirius' twinkling. Anyway, I took the 10" dob outside for some Milkyway and galaxy observing. Started at 11pm. Had the Herald-Bobroff Atlas and the MSA with me. The H-B atlas actually shows far more open clusters in the Milkyway than the MSA so it came in handy there. Started by hunting some lesser known clusters followed by galaxy viewing in the Centaurus and Virgo clusters. Scored a few ESO galaxies in the Centaurus cluster aswell. One of my favourite things to do is step beyond the NGC/IC and hunt more obscure objects

Scope: 10" GSO dob
time: 11pm-5am
Seeing: 3-5/10
Transparecny: 3-4/5

The plan was to start off with the Antlia galaxy cluster, but when it's directly overhead it makes it a bit difficult

Thors Helmet NGC 2359
Surprisingly, it was barely visible at 96x without a filter. Threw in an OIII which provided a vast improvement. I could see the bubble and hint at its filamentary structure. The two 'horns' were visible.

LOD 280
A tiny open cluster sitting just off the SE edge of NGC 3532. At 250x a tiny clump of around half a dozen faint stars could be seen, located within a triangle of 3 mag 10-11 stars.

LOD 282
Larger open cluster less than a degree SE of NGC3532. At 96x it appeared as a very loose gathering of approx 8 relatively bright stars arranged in a narrow rectagular pattern oriented approx NW-SE. This pattern is part of a group of around 30 fainter stars arranged in an arrowhead shape approx 15' long which points right at NGC 3532.

Fei 1
Another rarely heard of open cluster, this one is a degree S of NGC 3532. Part of a lovely rich starfield, but the cluster is loose and thus may not be recognised as such under a casual sweep. At 56x, it consists of a delightful pattern of 5 bright mag 7-8 stars arranged in a pattern that I see as half a hexagon, about 20' in diameter with the open end pointing north. Loose clumps and strings of fainter stars are interspersed among these brighter members.

NGC 3496
A faint although fairly rich rectangular swarm of faint stars at 192x. Sits at the western edge of a distinct trapezium of 4 mag 8-9 stars, which conveniently mark the cluster's location. One interesting feature I've noticed is a collection of around 20 faint stars arranged in a trangular swarm detached from and pointing away from the main body of the cluster. This to me makes the group look very much like a sailboat.

She 1
A tiny collection of 8 faint stars visible in the 10" arranged in a traingular pattern. This cluster is located smack bang on the SE edge of NGC3496.

Hogg 9
A tiny trapezium of 4 stars at 250x, which seemingly make up the brightest members of this small open cluster. Located about midway between Eta Carina and NGC 3532. Averted vision brings out another half-dozen of fainter stars at the western edge of the 4 brighter members.

Trumpler 17
Located only 20' SW of Hogg 9. At 192x, the 10" showed a loose, elongated clump of approx 50 stars, with 7 brighter members at its center arranged in a neat kite figure. One end of the cluster has an arc of stars seperated from the main body by a rift.

CENTAURUS GALAXY CLUSTER
Spent almost 2 hours hunting in the Centaurus cluster. By now seeing had actually improved, so I didn't hesitate to push the mag a bit higher. These galaxies were viewed at 250x.

NGC 4696
Largest member, easy. Fairly uniform glow, with 2 stars adjecent.

NGC 4709 / 4706
4709 is the larger and brighter of the two. Small condensed core. NGC 4706 fainter at mag 13.1.

ESO 323-5
Tiny spot of haze with a condensed core. Two faint stars visible just south of the galaxy.

ESO 322-99
Very faint, averted vision required. Located just off the NE end of a chain of 3 mag 11-12 stars.

NGC 4729/4730
Close pair easily found about 5' S of a mag 11 star. 4729 is the brighter of the two at mag 12.6 with a condensed core. 4730 considerably fainter at mag 13 and a mag 13 star lies just to the south.

NGC 4744
Lies around 7' NE of NGC 4729. Very faint, mag 13.5 and elongated approx NW-SE.

ESO 323-34
This object sits at the E edge of the cluster about 7' E of a mag 8.5 star. Fairly bright, elongated spindle with a star at the NW edge. IMO one of the best cluster members as seen in the 10" reflector!

ESO 323-28
Sits about 10' S of mag 8.5 star. Very faint, undefined glow.

ESO 323-23
Located about 30' SSW of Eta Centauri. Appeared very faint, with a brighter core.

NGC 4696B
Small elongated smudge about 15' W of 4696. A triangle of stars lies adjacent the southern edge.

NGC 4683
Small, fairly bright elongated smudge with a brighter core. Mag listed at 13.1. Spotted a mag 14.5 star off the S end.

NGC 4677 / 4672
NGC 4677 - Faint (mag 12.8) N-S orientated smudge of light. NGC 4672 appeared fainter at mag 13.4, averted vision required to see it well.

NGC 4811 / 4812
A close pair of galaxies sitting at the outer SE edge of the cluster, jsut north of a mag 8 star. A pair of mag 10 stars sit adjacent the galaxy's northern edge, making the galaxies more difficult to observe, but much easier to find! Increased mag to 312x, I could see both members with averted vision. NGC 4812 appeared elongated NE/SW, I suspect 4811 may have shown elongation in a similar direction aswell. Both galaxies have listed mags of 13.2, although NGC 4812 was somewhat easier to see with a higher SFC brightness.

* I actually missed ALOT of the Centaurus cluster, all because I didn't turn to the next page in the atlas!

---------------------------------------------------------------------

NGC 4027
Galaxy in Corvus, SW of the "Antennae". At 192x and 250x, I could see a circular haze with a condensed core. I suspected some uneveness in the SFC brightness. Spotted a mag 14 star off the E edge, which was actually quite easy to see.

Markarian's Chain
Finished off the night with a bit of touring in the Virgo Cluster. Spotted 16 galaxies in Markarian's Chain at 192x - they are: M86, M84, NGC 4388, 4402, 4387, 4413, 4425, 4435, 4438, 4461, 4458, 4473, 4477, 4479, 4459 and 4474.


All in all a nice evening, but I need rest!!!!

Last edited by 你B; 08-03-2008 at 01:19 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2008, 01:59 PM
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Dave47tuc (David)
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Great report and lots of hours observing. You know a man needs his rest for UNI

I enjoyed the CENTAURUS GALAXY CLUSTER Well done on bagging a few of them

Not even a glimpse of Saturn then

Well done again
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:10 PM
Karlsson
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Sab - interesting report, as usual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 你B View Post
Thors Helmet NGC 2359
Surprisingly, it was barely visible at 96x without a filter. Threw in an OIII which provided a vast improvement. I could see the bubble and hint at its filamentary structure. The two 'horns' were visible.
This is indeed surprising, almost the opposite of my own most recent observation... on 8 January I recorded that my best view by far of NGC 2359 on that night was without any filter, at 110x albeit with averted vision... even though transparency at the time was rated 2/5.

Makes one wonder how many different kinds of suburban haze there are...
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:32 AM
CoombellKid
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I thought Thor's helmet had wings not horns... perhaps he was a Viking after all.

regards,CS
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:17 AM
你B
Its only a column of dust

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave47tuc View Post
Great report and lots of hours observing. You know a man needs his rest for UNI

I enjoyed the CENTAURUS GALAXY CLUSTER Well done on bagging a few of them

Not even a glimpse of Saturn then

Well done again
Hey Dave, what's happening mate?

Did check out Saturn, seeing poor but somehow I get the feeling that the contrast on the planet was the best I've ever seen....

Also looked at the Homunculus at 250x, best view ever with the 10", saw most of the features visible in the 12", including the lateral jet and a starlike point on the fainter lobe.

Karlsson - It's probably just light pollution getting worse since
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:45 PM
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goober (Doug)
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Fantastic stuff, SAB. I'm off to look up the LOD, Fei, She and Hogg catalogues!
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Old 13-03-2008, 09:12 AM
Rob_K
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Great report again SAB! Saw Thor's Helmet in a 16" on the weekend at Snake Valley and it blew me away!

Cheers -
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