Old 12-04-2010, 10:56 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
Bright the hawk's flight

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Observing Report 5/4/10 7/4/10

Observing Report 5/4/10 – 7/4/10

All observations made using Dobsonion mounted 305mm Newtonian reflector at f/5. Eyepieces use are 32mm (47x) 24mm Panoptic (67x) 13mm Nagler T6 (115x) or 13mm Nagler with Barlow (230x)

Charts Uranometria 2000 (2nd ed.) Data derived from Uranometria (2nd ed) Deep Sky Field Guide.

I have started to include data such as position and magnitude to provide more information and confirm the visual impressions I get. With more of Centaurus and Ara now being visible decided to grab a chance to continue my Caldwell Project.

Observations 5/4. Seeing good, transparency poor, very small window of opportunity to observe between clouds.

NGC 6397 (Caldwell 86) Globular Cluster in Ara
RA 17 40 41.3 Dec -53 40 25 Total V Mag 5.3 Brightest Star Mag 10 Horiz Branch Mag 12.9 Diam’ 31.0 Concentration Class 9
Located pair of Alpha and Gamma Arae by naked eye. Moved about 2deg to Nf to Pi Arae. Target is located 0.7deg further on. Fairly large, just visible in finder. Little central condensation with a smattering of brighter stars, about 20.

Observations 7/4. Seeing very good, transparency good, managed about 1 hour of observations once cloud cleared about 11-30pm.

NGC 5248 (Caldwell 45) Galaxy in Bootes
RA 13 37 31.9 Dec +08 53 02 Mag(V) 10.3 Dim’ 6.2x4.5 SB 13.8 Class SAB(rs)bc Mixed spiral galaxy DDO Lum class 1-11
Located Epsilon Virginis (Vindemiatrix) by naked eye. From this moved 2-3deg in f to a very wide parallelogram of 4 stars of about mag 5-6. Star at Sf corner is 59 Virginis. Moved 3deg Nf to mag 6 71 Virginis, then 2deg in f to pair of stars just over border in Bootes. Scanned area 2deg S with wide field eyepiece until obvious galaxy is found.
Obvious core with some elongation indicating a bar. Arms are visible with averted vision, the arm on the Sf side is more prominent. Notes in Uranometria Deep Sky Field Guide are “Bright nucleus and centre. Faint outer envelope” which certainly agrees with my observation.

NGC 5694 (Caldwell 66) Globular Cluster in Hydra
RA 14 39 36.5 Dec -26 32 18 Total V Mag 10.2 Brightest Star Mag 15.5 Horiz Branch Mag 18.5 Diam’ 4.3 Concentration Class 7
Locate Pi Hydrae by naked eye. Proceed in f via mag 5 star 50 Hydrae, then mag 5 51 Hydrae and mag 4.5 58 Hydrae. 58 Hydrae has a line of prominent stars curving away to Np. 2deg to p of this is a group of 4 mag 7 and 8 stars. Target is within this group. Very small but a fairly bright core. Some speckling probably foreground stars. Fairly clear demarcation between core and outer halo.

NGC 6302 (Caldwell 69) The Bug Nebula. Planetary Nebula in Scorpius.
RA 17 13 44.3 Dec -37 06 13 Diam” 89 Mag(P) 12.8 Mag(V) 9.6 Mag cent star 21.1
Locate the stinger in Scorpius (Shaula and Lesath). Proceed about 3deg to a faint triangle barely vis in finder. Scan area 1-1.5deg N of this with wide field eyepiece. Small faint elongated glow is detected. At 115x central glow is prominent but is not compact enough to be central star, which would be to faint to be detected. 187x and averted vision reveals some structure within elongated parts of nebula.

NGC 6231 (Caldwell 76) The False Comet Cluster. Open Cluster in Scorpius.
RA 16 54 09.8 Dec -41 50 00 Mag 2.6 Diam’ 14 No of Stars 93 Mag Brightest Star 6.0 Type cl (Open Cluster)
Locate Zeta Scorpii by naked eye which is the star in the tail furthest on p side from the Stinger. Star appears to have a faint glow extending on the N side that give appearance of a naked eye comet.
Finder shows a small compact glow to N about 0.5deg away.
In 24mm eyepiece at 62x it shows as a beautiful open cluster with 6 or 7 prominent stars and many faint ones. Several brighter stars appear to have a lemon yellow colour. At 115x there appears to be a nebulous cloud surrounding main stars.

NGC6124 (Caldwell 75) Open Cluster in Scorpius
RA 16 25 17.2 Dec -40 40 00 Mag 5.8 Diam’ 40 No of Stars 100 Mag Brightest Star 9.0 Type cl (Open Cluster)
From NGC 6231 move in p 2.5deg to pair of mag 6 stars, then scan to Sp for a line of 3 stars of similar mag running Np to Sf about 2deg long. This line points at cluster which is just visible in cluster. Sparse with not many bright stars, but fairly large, very pretty, best with low power.

NGC 6352 (Caldwell 81) Globular Cluster in Ara
RA 17 25 29.2 Dec -48 25 22 Total V Mag 7.8 Brightest Star Mag 13.4 Horiz Branch Mag 15.2 Diam’ 9.0 Concentration Class 11
Located Alpha Arae by naked eye. There is a pair of stars vis to Sp, the target forms a point of an extended right angle triangle with Alpha Arae and these. Very faint, fairly small. No central condensation. Some foreground stars on one side.

NGC6193 (Caldwell 82) Open Cluster in Ara
RA 16 41 20.3 Dec -48 46 00 Mag 5.2 Diam’ 14 No of Stars 14 Mag Brightest Star 5.7 Type cl (Open Cluster)
Locate Gamma1 and Gamma2 Normae by naked eye. Then Epsilon Normae 2.5deg to Nf There are 2 stars 25’ apart 1.5deg to Sf, then follow line from Epsilon via these stars to a star about 6.5 mag vis in finder. At 63x this shows as brightest star of the cluster and has a companion. Cluster is sparse but fairly large, faint hints of nebulosity to p side.

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Old 13-04-2010, 06:54 AM
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Excellent report Malcolm,

it seems that everybody has been dodging clouds this past week.

regards Orestis
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Old 13-04-2010, 02:58 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Originally Posted by orestis View Post

it seems that everybody has been dodging clouds this past week
And it seems that all our reports are significantly shorter as a result. Thanks for the report Malcolm - up to your usual high standard. It is quite interesting to follow your Caldwell project. Some good targets there.
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Old 13-04-2010, 05:47 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
Bright the hawk's flight

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Thanks Paddy and Orestis.
The clouds are real bother here at the moment. This report is the fruit of the only patch of observable weather we have had since the full moon.
Paddy the Caldwell project is ripping along, up to 60 of 95 observable objects. Have nearly all the southern ones, just a few near Saggitarius, most of the missing ones are northern hems, a swag in Coma B. and then a lot around Aquila for later in the year. Of course there a re a few that a very low to the north so may be very hard to get.
Once I have done that, got my last 7 Messiers, then worked my way through O'Meara Hidden Treasures book, I will have to start an NGC project, say all the NGC/IC objects that rise above 10deg in the northand should be visible in my 12", not sure where to set the limit, prob about mag 14? Anyways, thats for the future!
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