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  #1  
Old 20-04-2017, 09:18 AM
Sconesbie (Scott)
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Legana, Tasmania
Posts: 208
Northern Tas Last Night

A relatively clear night so I thought I'd head outside for an hour or so. I have two questions which I'll ask at the end.

Only a brief observation as the street lights seemed brighter than normal and my next door neighbour had outside lights on (plus my Mum who was staying with us kept turning our light on to see what I was up to).

So what did I see:

- Sombrero Galaxy (VERY FIRST TIME SEEING THIS). Faint but there none the less.
- M42 a bit faint due to street lights as it was a bit lower in the horizon.
- Jupiter (a given). Very clear. I spent a bit of time looking at this one.


What I couldn't find:

- 47 Tucanae
- Tarantula Nebula

I have a 10" dobosnian with a home made setting circle for azimuth. I used my phone compass and put azimuth on zero to north. I thought it was pretty well lined up. I located Sirius, checked it's co-ordinates using Sky Safari and ensured I was on the same setting. Back and forward centering my eyepiece and so on until it was right. I double checked with Jupiter and yep, pretty good. However, when I went looking for M42, I was out about 1-2 degrees.

Is it imperative that the scope is dead set level? Would that make a difference?

Second question: Is there a template that I can use for altitude (same as azimuth) for my dob?

Next time, I'll find a darker spot and seek out Sombrero again as I want to have another look.


Regards
Scott

Last edited by Sconesbie; 21-04-2017 at 02:26 PM.
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  #2  
Old 21-04-2017, 06:50 PM
2StarsInScorpio (Andrew)
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Location: Hobart
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Howdy. Congrats on finding the Sombrero galaxy. I'm in Hobart and purchased a 12 inch Dob only a couple of weeks ago. I too found the Sombrero a few nights back. On the same night you were out I also found Centaurus A (Hamburger galaxy) and Southern Pinwheel galaxy. These are both relatively easy finds. I use the star hopping technique. You should be able to find 47Tucanae as it's a naked eye object. Maybe use binoculars first so you know where to look. You should be able to find the Tarantula nebula in the LMC as it's also relatively easy. Later in the night have a look for the Lagoon Nebula and the Triffid Nebula just below tail of Scorpio...and of course Saturn is not far away. I assume that you have done Carinae nebula as it is spectacular, also Omega Centauri globular cluster looks great. I can't help with your setting circle question as i just use the finder, then step down through the eyepieces.

Cheers.
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  #3  
Old 21-04-2017, 09:28 PM
Sconesbie (Scott)
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Location: Legana, Tasmania
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Thanks Andrew.

No, I didn't see those but next time I head out I'll try. I've started to make a list of targets before I head outside and use sky safari to give me the co-ordinates based on the current time when I'm out. It's actually helping me learn roughly where things are.

I'll jot those ones you mentioned down. Not sure why I couldn't find 47 Tuc or Tarantula. Never mind. They're not going away in a hurry.

I've made something for the altitude. Hope it works. I'll soon see.

It's a good time waster this star gazing caper.

Clear skies.


Regards
Scott
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  #4  
Old 21-04-2017, 10:27 PM
Tinderboxsky's Avatar
Tinderboxsky (Steve)
I can see clearly now ...

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Location: Tinderbox TAS
Posts: 417
Hi Scott,
Yes, using the manual system you have for altazimuth and altitude, you will need the base as close to level as you can make it. Any errors here will translate directly into pointing errors when targeting particular objects. Modern alt-az goto mounts automatically compensate for the base not being level.
Tuc 47 and the Tarantula Nebula are approx due south at the moment in the evening and Tuc47, in particular, would be at a low altitude, so my guess is that they were lost in the light pollution and glare from your place. Both are naked eye visible from my place, but I am well south of Hobart so have very dark skies when looking south.

Steve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sconesbie View Post
A relatively clear night so I thought I'd head outside for an hour or so. I have two questions which I'll ask at the end.

Only a brief observation as the street lights seemed brighter than normal and my next door neighbour had outside lights on (plus my Mum who was staying with us kept turning our light on to see what I was up to).

So what did I see:

- Sombrero Galaxy (VERY FIRST TIME SEEING THIS). Faint but there none the less.
- M42 a bit faint due to street lights as it was a bit lower in the horizon.
- Jupiter (a given). Very clear. I spent a bit of time looking at this one.


What I couldn't find:

- 47 Tucanae
- Tarantula Nebula

I have a 10" dobosnian with a home made setting circle for azimuth. I used my phone compass and put azimuth on zero to north. I thought it was pretty well lined up. I located Sirius, checked it's co-ordinates using Sky Safari and ensured I was on the same setting. Back and forward centering my eyepiece and so on until it was right. I double checked with Jupiter and yep, pretty good. However, when I went looking for M42, I was out about 1-2 degrees.

Is it imperative that the scope is dead set level? Would that make a difference?

Second question: Is there a template that I can use for altitude (same as azimuth) for my dob?

Next time, I'll find a darker spot and seek out Sombrero again as I want to have another look.


Regards
Scott
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  #5  
Old 22-04-2017, 04:49 PM
erick's Avatar
erick (Eric)
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Location: Haifa, Israel
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Hi Scott.

If all else fails, just point the scope at the Small Magellanic Cloud and look around there - you'll find 47 Tucanae (NGC104) without much effort. A wonderful sight at both low magnification and high magnification.

But don't stop there - there are two more globular clusters to see here outside the cloud boundaries. Just across the other side of the Cloud is NGC362 - very pleasant. Then back to NCG104 and, at low magnification, in the same field of view is the small faint NGC121 - yes you are blown away by NGC104 and don't notice it at first! Increase magnification to have a more detailed look.

Sounds like you may have to look in the early morning (yawn) or wait a few months to get them higher above the horizon.

Globulars impress many people who are looking through a telescope for the first time with me. I'm happy to show them.

Eric
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  #6  
Old 22-04-2017, 08:33 PM
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el_draco (Rom)
Politically incorrect.

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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Tasmania (South end)
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You may have been a bit washed out by the light from Launi. A good way to pick up 47 Tuc is to use binos., its very obvious. You can then star hop to it pretty easily. There's also another small glob near by NGC 362, which is quite easy. The Tarantula was also probably a bit washed out but should have been pretty easy in a scope..

takes practice, but well worth the effort. See if you get away from city lights. Bridgenorth, a bit West of where you are would be pretty good I reckon. Keep at it...
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  #7  
Old 23-04-2017, 08:27 PM
Tasastro (Bill)
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Tasmania
Posts: 18
Hi Scott,

They are both a bit low in the sky this time of year. I am in Burnie but have dark skies to the South but my house gets in the way and 47 Tuc is not visible until about 3am when it is easily seen naked eye. Tarantula is visible here early in the night, however 47 Tuc starts getting higher about midnight whereas the Tarantula although it starts higher is sinking until about 4am so you might find it difficult to pick up if you have much light pollution or obstruction to the South.

Last edited by Tasastro; 23-04-2017 at 08:45 PM. Reason: correction
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  #8  
Old 24-04-2017, 09:04 AM
Sconesbie (Scott)
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Location: Legana, Tasmania
Posts: 208
Ah, many thanks. I have found it a few times before and was baffled as to why I couldn't find it this time.

It sounds like the lights may be killing things a bit.

I'll try to locate the others Eric mentioned.

Anyway, who cares (in a good way). It means I have to find something else.


Regards
Scott
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  #9  
Old 24-04-2017, 11:15 AM
Tasastro (Bill)
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[QUOTE=Sconesbie;1307140
Anyway, who cares (in a good way). It means I have to find something else.
[/QUOTE]

Omega Centauri cluster and Eta Carinae nebula are worth a look. Both should be easily visible from your site.
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