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Old 24-09-2009, 10:18 PM
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Observations Thursday September 24

I looked out the back window and grumbled at the moon, then thought, what sort of amateur astronomer are you? Get your butt out there!! So I did!! Wind had dropped to nearly calm. Moon waxing crescent 34%. No dew, air very dry, transparency 3 out of 5, dust mostly gone, seeing about the same. Scope: 12" Dobsonian.

I wanted to concentrate on objects with a high surface brightness, rather than get frustrated trying to find things too faint for the conditions.

SCULPTOR:
NGC 253 GX MAG 7.10 This popular target was easily spotted, but some of the fainter outlying regions were not as bright as on a dark night. This one, like many brighter DSO's, can be spotted in the 8x50 viewfinder.

NGC 288 GC mag 8.1 This globular always seems fainter than its magnitude suggests, not exactly jumping out of the eyepiece.

NGC 55 GX mag 8 This great galaxy seemed brighter than 253. All these ojects had suffered somewhat in their fainter regions because of the effects of the moon. I was pleased just to see them, just to prove that you don't have to stay inside just because the moon is up.

GRUS:
NGC 7213 GX MAG 10.5 In spite of its proximity to Alpha this little round compact glow always seems easy to see.

GRUS QUARTET: I thought I would have trouble with this group, but not so. Obviously they were harder to see, particularly the fainter ones, but definitely there!!

CAPRICORN:
NGC 7099 GC MAG 7.5 The brighter globulars seem to be little affected by moonlight, and this one was very nice.

NEPTUNE was a greenish dot just off the bottom of Capricorn, its colour making it easier to pick out.

JUPITER of course, not quite as clear as a week ago, but still impressive in the Nagler 12.

AQUARIUS:
My northern sky is pretty restricted, but I could see these two beauties:
NGC 7009 PN mag 8.0 Again, seeing was not as steady as my last viewing session and the shape not as clearly defined. When I have a high grade 8mm eyepiece and a filter things may improve!!

NGC 7089 GC AG 6.5 (M2). A beautiful bright globular. Rich and concentrated.

TUCANA:
NGC 104 GC MAG 4. What can one say about this beautiful object, probably only rivalled by Omega for the title of best globular in the sky. I pity the northern hemisphere observers who can't see objects like this.
While near this, I also scoured around the SMC, although it is a bit low just yet for me.

SAGITTARIUS:
NGC6514 CLUSTER AND NEBULA MAG 6.3 (Trifid) This well known object was a lot closer to the moon's glow, but the nebulosity and dark lanes were still evident.

NGC 6618 CLUSTER AND NEBULA MAG 6 (M17) This one also was not swamped by the moon.

NGC 6723 GC MAG 7.3 Quite a bright, large globular, core rather looser than some. I always think this one should belong to Corona Australis, it's so close to it!!

NGC 6809 GC MAG 7 (M55) This globular was quite bright, large and roughly circular, not concentrated in the centre like 47 Tuc.

All in all, a very pleasant couple of hours at the eyepiece. Cheers, Paul.
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Old 25-09-2009, 07:50 AM
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Hi Paul,

Great report mate -- much enjoyed!

Yep I like M2 too -- realy nice "waist" to it and resolves well.

NGC 7213 is one of three galaxies I use at Sydney Observatory (in the CBD) that can be seen in the bright skies there. Some people really want to see another galaxy. Not a lot to it, but it certainly is bright and easy to find.

Re M30, did you notice the bright star chains that radiate out on the W to N quadrant?

Re NGC 6723 -- it is a terrific object that is under-observed. Better still, is the stuff in the same low-power field! The Corona Australia nebula complex, Brs 14 (beautiful pair) and one of the best dark nebulae in the sky -- Bernes 157. I always think of it belonging to Corona Australis too.

Good to hear you got out under the sky -- really dark or otherwise!


Best,

Les D
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Old 25-09-2009, 08:19 AM
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Thanks Les, I appreciate the comments. Yes, I did see those chains, the structure of that one was unusual. All of the globulars were different in some way, that helped make the session so enjoyable. I will keep an eye out for that nebula complex, if it is not too low when the moon clears off.

I have a shopping list of goodies that will help observing a lot, a 17mm Nagler to complement the 22 and 12, an 8mm Radian for the small items and a UHC filter (possibly Astronomik or Lumicon). An Argo system for the GSO 12 will be the first thing ordered - and damn soon too!! Cheers, Paul.
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Old 25-09-2009, 11:48 AM
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Great Report! Thanks for posting it. First time I saw M30 the first thing that popped into my head was "what da hell!" Quite a unique speciman among globulars.
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Old 25-09-2009, 12:18 PM
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Thanks PGC!! It was a great session.

I was looking for some info on globulars when I came across this site:

http://www.forum.seds.org/messier/more/sagdeg.html

It describes how the globular M54 is thought to be part of the remnants of a dwarf galaxy that the milky way has absorbed and that NGC 5139 Omega Cen is also thought to be the remnants of a dwarf galaxy core. There is more to some of these objects than I thought.
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Old 25-09-2009, 06:42 PM
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Les, I did a search on that nebula complex. This site discusses the area:

http://lists.visualdeepsky.org/piper...ne/001805.html

I will definitely be having another look when the moon goes. Nor sure how much I will see from the suburbs though. An OIII filter may be needed.
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Old 25-09-2009, 06:56 PM
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Just had another search. This site has a drawing of the whole area.

http://www.jupiter-jp.net/ike/Englis...tion/N6723.htm
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Old 26-09-2009, 08:58 AM
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The more you look, the more you find. Another site with excellent resources.

http://www.messier45.com/cgi-bin/dsd...r=ESO+396-G016

The small galaxy (mag 15) near the globular 6723.
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Old 26-09-2009, 12:14 PM
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Excellent resource! Thanks

Hi Paul & All,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lismore Bloke View Post
The more you look, the more you find. Another site with excellent resources.

http://www.messier45.com/cgi-bin/dsd...r=ESO+396-G016

The small galaxy (mag 15) near the globular 6723.
I've never seen that one before -- excellent and thanks for alerting us all to it.

I've just used it to identify the small star-like galaxy close to NGC 858 in my most recent observing report on 19092009 in Pt 3. They identify it as NGC 858 (2) (is this NGC 858B??) and PGC 8451, but this PGC designation also applies to NGC 858 itself. Strangely, I couldn't turn up anything in SIMBAD there (have I mentioned before how much I dislike the SIMBAD interface?) nor Megastar, nor Skymap.


Best,

Les D

Last edited by ngcles; 26-09-2009 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 26-09-2009, 01:52 PM
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Hi Les,
I only came across it today. I have already started adding my own meagre total of NGC objects to my own little observing list on the site. I totally agree with your opinions on the SIMBAD setup. Excellent, professional data - quite a bit of which goes right over my poor head - but the clunky way it is accessed is far from user friendly. This site is much easier to use. Love the photos and the little maps. I even managed to enlarge the map showing the Bug Nebula and printed it off from a Word doc. Cheers, Paul.
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Old 27-09-2009, 07:29 PM
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Excellent link! Thanks for posting it. Like it how it list GX suface brightnesses, that'll come in handy.
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Old 30-09-2009, 08:55 AM
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Nice report. I've observed all those targets, except NGC 55. I've tried several times from suburbia, but it's been too faint to pick out with my 4". Have to try from some dark skies...
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Old 30-09-2009, 02:36 PM
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No OIII !!

Hi Paul,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lismore Bloke View Post
Les, I did a search on that nebula complex. This site discusses the area:

http://lists.visualdeepsky.org/piper...ne/001805.html

I will definitely be having another look when the moon goes. Nor sure how much I will see from the suburbs though. An OIII filter may be needed.
I only just noticed this comment here -- particularly about the OIII filter. The small complex of bright nebulae here are all of the reflection variety so an OIII won't help -- in fact it will kill them completely. Try it if you've got one by all means -- but it won't help. The nebulae here are pretty small but one or two have strange shapes close in to the illuminating stars. Basically they are nacent moderate/low-mass stars emerging from the womb. Several of these stars are variable as they are still settling down to main-sequence life. These include R Cor A, S Cor A, T Cor A, TY Cor A among others.

There is a nice wide-field image here that shows the whole complex:

http://image14.webshots.com/15/1/1/8...4qvthbw_fs.jpg

There is also an area within Bernes 157 that at has an (about) 20 arc-minute diameter true field is essentially devoid of stars down to mag 14 -- it's a virtual hole in the sky centred at about RA 19 04 13 and Dec -37 16 31 and inky black.

I got a funny story about that field actually but will save that for another time ...


Best,

Les D
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Old 30-09-2009, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
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Nice report. I've observed all those targets, except NGC 55. I've tried several times from suburbia, but it's been too faint to pick out with my 4". Have to try from some dark skies...
Thanks for the comment Doug. It's odd, but on that moon affected night NGC 55 (mag 8.2) seemed brighter than 253 (mag 7.07) but it was just the brighter portion, the fainter outlying regions were blown away by the moon, even though it was opposite in the sky. Cheers, Paul.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:16 PM
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When I saw NGC 288 near NGC 253 I thought ngc 288 was a galaxie because its so faint. Can you see the sculptor dwarf galaxy?
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
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When I saw NGC 288 near NGC 253 I thought ngc 288 was a galaxie because its so faint. Can you see the sculptor dwarf galaxy?
You'll need very dark skies. It'll appear as a very slight brightening of the background sky. What size scope are you using?
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:38 PM
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I was under dark skies with my 12"
Maybe it was the sculptor dwarf?
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngcles View Post
Hi Paul & All,



I've never seen that one before -- excellent and thanks for alerting us all to it.

I've just used it to identify the small star-like galaxy close to NGC 858 in my most recent observing report on 19092009 in Pt 3. They identify it as NGC 858 (2) (is this NGC 858B??) and PGC 8451, but this PGC designation also applies to NGC 858 itself. Strangely, I couldn't turn up anything in SIMBAD there (have I mentioned before how much I dislike the SIMBAD interface?) nor Megastar, nor Skymap.


Best,

Les D
Hi Les,

I had a look at the NGC858 area in Aladin, with the NED database imported, it indicates 2 galaxies almost superimposed and a smaller one following. It looks like the superimposed galaxies have been given the same number, a bit confusing.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:40 AM
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Well done Paul.

Next Tue night it will be dark for 40 mins before moonrise, and 1h45m on Wed night
Next weekend (9/10) I hope to see all of the 39 NGC objects in the SMC when it transits at about midnight.

Sean the Sculptor dwarf galaxy is mentioned here:
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...r+dwarf+galaxy
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