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Old 19-10-2010, 10:37 PM
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My First Obs. Report (grab a cuppa, it's long!)

Observation Report 19/10/2010
Session Duration: 8.30pm – 1.00am
Equipment: Saxon 10 inch Dobsonian.
Seeing: 4
Transparency: 4


9.00pm Jupiter.

Upon my excitement to finally be able to get the scope out in what I’m sure is close to two months (I did something I’ve never done before – not checked the seeing). The only bee inside my bonnet that evening was the excitement of the clear sky and to get the scope out to cool. I have a newly purchased TMB 6mm ep that I had not been able to try yet, so this was my first ep of choice. At 200x mag. the planet and all its moons were jumping around like balls on steroids. Therefore no detail was discernable. I did however note the fov edge performance of this ep was quite sharp. Will need to revisit with this ep. My 6” dob never had a problem at this magnification, though on the other hand it clearly didn’t give me the resolution that the 10” does. On with the Pentax XW 10mm. At 120x mag. The planet and moons bouncing motions had calmed and was blurry between small moments of reasonable seeing. Is is actually incredible in itself to watch the transition of poor to good seeing, almost as if someone is focusing your ep for you. The great red spot is clearly visible approx. of the way to the middle. On the NEQ belt towards the right side of the planet, I could make out a very small blue cloud formation very clearly. I could make out the waves on the blue/grey cloud belt, however the sharp detail I can normally tease out of these bands was not discernable tonight. The orange band above the NEQ belt was visible. Four moons were aligned in one lovely line with with Calisto to the right of Jupiter whilst the other three moons graced the left side of the planet. To me, the placement of Gaynamade on the outer edge enabled me to truly appreciate the size of this moon in a wonderful comparative line with the others.

Now time to turn south, and upon doing so noticed an improvement in the seeing.


10.00pm NGC 362 in Tucana

6th magnitude globular cluster laying 29,000 l.y. away
A small to moderate sized globular cluster, and quite bright. At 120x mag this is one show stopper for its size. The cluster was easily resolved to the core showing a central point to the size of a star itself. Whilst working my way out from the core of the cluster towards the outer reaches, I noted that for such a compact looking cluster, the stars were beautifully and somewhat evenly spaced out which made most of them fairly easy to resolve. Upon further observation, I noted that this cluster in its entirety has quite a squarish, angular shape on the outer edges.

11.00pm. A large meteor flew under Tucana (Octans perhaps?). I saw this with my naked eye and appeared to be the same size as Jupiter in the sky at the time. I saw no trails, but it moved very fast. Wow! It seemed to emerge from the back of me (north) as I was looking south. I investigated this further, could this be the Taurid Meteor showers that occur annually around November the 4th I wonder.

11.10pm NGC 104 in Tucana

4th magnitude globular cluster laying 16,000 l.y. away.
Using a 120x mag. the large central core is resolvable between moments of seeing. There is more star concentration to the south of this cluster with trails to the south east and south west. Not much at the top, though averted vision allows me to see a
concentrated trailing of stars flowing to the north east. The sides (west & east) of the cluster appear quite compact giving this globular cluster an elongated shape.

I now change to an Andrews UWA 80deg 30mm eyepiece. At 40x mag. this now becomes a very tiny cluster with a dense, compact core and nearly completely irresolvable. Very few stars are resolvable, which lay on the outer edge of the cluster. I can only count about 5 stars that I can easily resolve. I note that one star on the north west of the cluster is particularly bright and resolvable. South of the glob is loose and spread out showing more stars on the southern end, trailing east and west. Not much concentration of stars north of the core.


11.45pm M45 The Pleiades Cluster

407 l.y. away.
The whole cluster just fits into the fov of an Andrews 80deg UWA eyepiece at 40x mag.
I note one beautiful small group of three in the middle of this cluster with one of the stars being quite bright. Also noted is a nice close double. The others stars in this cluster remain fairly spread out. I tried to find out the names of those small stars in the group of three (the brightest in particular), but alas, to no avail.


12.00am M42 The Orion Nebula

1,500 l.y. away.
I got a whole new perspective on this nebula now as I’m observing this with a different telescope and eyepieces. My last meeting with Orion was with a 6” dob and standard eye pieces. Wow! At 40x mag. I’m blown away at the difference in brightness, detail and most noticeably – colour! For the first time, I notice this nebula has an unmistakably green tinge. I now change to my Pentax XW10mm at 120x mag. The green tinge is no longer apparent. I am able to easily see the 4 stars that make up Trapezium and also a further two very tiny stars within it. One of them on the right of the Trepezium is easily made out, the one on the left appears to be very close to one of the brighter Trapezium members and can only just make it out (hope I’m not imagining). The seeing isn’t the best, and the Pentax is fighting a good fight to keep the stars from sea gulling (where the Andrews 30mm failed). This eyepiece will always fight a good fight with bad seeing conditions (and at high mag. at that!) and never let me down. I put the UHC filter on which brings a whole new dimension to this already glorious nebula. For the first time, I notice a long arc shaped arm to the left of the nebula. The fish’s mouth is highly contrasted with easy visibility to the dark lane within in. I now change to an OIII filter. I note that the oxygen area of this nebula is made incredibly bright, but in doing so, it has removed the contrast at the fish’s mouth (it’s now very soft and the dark lane isn’t so visible). The long arced shaped arm to the left of the nebula isn’t as contrasted anymore either. A little further a field from the nebula I see two stars covered in a round halo of nebulosity – in particular one of them is very bright and nebulous, the other being quite feint. I didn’t note the area, and I’ve been trying get some information on this, but to no avail. I’ve looked it up on the internet and I’ve seen pictures of what I saw, but no info or catalogue no.

Oh my gosh, what a beautiful sight – within my widefield eyepiece is a satellite tracking its way through the Orion Nebula! I often capture these in my widefield eyepiece and it never stops me from jumping with joy. Always a delightful little treat.
Lastly, I stumble upon a gorgeous cluster of stars which I had not seen before which turns out to be NGC1981. I was too tired and too cold by this stage to do any further notes, so I will return to that cluster another time. It is now 1 am and everything is soaking wet from dew, my glasses are completely fogged over and wave the white peace flag to the sky and surrender.

I’ve drawn inspiration from many here in the observation forum and have been studying and reading observing techniques for the last (nearly)12 months to help with my reporting. In particular, I would like to thank Paddy and Sab, who I looked upon as my role models within this area. I realize I’ve still got a long way to go as this is my first “official” obs report, but I really do hope that one day I will become a great observer!

I Apologise for the lengthy report (..and you know what I’m like with words and waffle!), I will endevour to keep my next one much shorter.

Last edited by Suzy; 20-10-2010 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Put "not" in front of checked the seeing.
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Old 19-10-2010, 10:59 PM
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michaellxv (Michael)
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Suzy,

What a great report. When you can write like that there is no need to keep them short. Lovely detailed descriptions. I hope we don't have to wait too long for the next one.
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Old 19-10-2010, 11:19 PM
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Thank you Michael What a lovely response! I need time to recover before I go posting my next one!
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Old 19-10-2010, 11:37 PM
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Screwdriverone (Chris)
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Outstanding Suzy,

I know what you mean regarding the nebulosity showing near M42 and how its green in the eyepiece. I was blown away in the 12" when I first looked at it.

I see you have a soft spot for globulars too, they are my favourite, would love to view them through a binoviewer...

Very well written and entertaining report, decriptions were lovely and almost took me there as if you were standing there describing them at the eyepiece.

Thank you for the effort in presentation and posting this, it was great.

Cheers

Chris
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Old 19-10-2010, 11:41 PM
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I forgot to mention something in my report (just as well, would have just made it longer now wouldn't it ).

Around 11pm while I was observing Tucana, hubby brought me out a beautiful designed, foam lined eye piece case with my eye pieces & filters beautifully arranged. Everything designed, cut and made by him. You can imagine my surprise when I turned around to retrieve an ep from a box of jumble to a tray of welcoming treats . That easily gave me another two hours of observing energy Me thinx he'll do whatever it takes to keep me outside whilst he gets peace and quiet without me under his feet ...
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Old 19-10-2010, 11:44 PM
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Great Report Suzy,I enjoyed reading it and your enthusiasm come s across beautifully
I look forward to more in the future
PS
leaves my last one for dead
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Old 19-10-2010, 11:57 PM
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A wonderful report Suzy!
It was like i was out there with you.
Thanks.
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Old 19-10-2010, 11:58 PM
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ballaratdragons (Ken)
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Suzy,

sorry but I missed what you said.
Could you please repeat that bit after you said "My First Obs. Report (grab a cuppa, it's long!)"





Sorry.
Great report. Well worth reading
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Old 19-10-2010, 11:59 PM
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Thank you Chris. Yes, I absolutely love globs. They remind me too much of jewellery ... the crushed diamond type. I think most of us have a soft spot for globs though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwdriverone View Post
Outstanding Suzy,
Very well written and entertaining report, decriptions were lovely and almost took me there as if you were standing there describing them at the eyepiece.
Chris
Errrrrr.... errrrrr.. I used a voice recorder to help me so you're probably right in feeling that Comes across then hey Actually, I'm so glad I did because when it came time today to write up my report there were a few key points that I would have forgotten to write down. I learnt this trick from Paddy.

My main objective in this report is to make one feel as if they were on the journey with me (as I feel when I read others obs reports). I love reading them so much. I'm so glad this comes through.
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Old 20-10-2010, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astroron View Post
Great Report Suzy,I enjoyed reading it and your enthusiasm come s across beautifully
I look forward to more in the future
PS
leaves my last one for dead
Aww thank you Ron. It's mostly thanks to you though as you gave me much encouragment to do a report.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjjnettie View Post
A wonderful report Suzy!
It was like i was out there with you.
Thanks.
Thank you jj, ditto what I said to Chris .....
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Perhaps I might get you to drop that camera for a moment and have a go at visual obs then?! We need more visual observers in this forum you know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ballaratdragons View Post
Suzy,

sorry but I missed what you said.
Could you please repeat that bit after you said "My First Obs. Report (grab a cuppa, it's long!)"





Sorry.
Great report. Well worth reading
No probs, just cut and paste, only take 10 seconds. Professional wafflers back up their work
Thanks Ken, for your very kind comment.
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Old 20-10-2010, 10:27 AM
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Regarding Meteor I saw...
Thanks to a thread that Andrew just did, it seems that the meteor I saw is the Orionid meteor shower which peaks between the 17th & 19th. http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ad.php?t=67071

Regarding question M42...
This is a picture of the two small round blobs of nebulosity surrounding two stars in the M42 region, that I was talking about. It is at the top right in the pic, where there is brown cloud. It appears the it belongs to a larger nebula section which I didn't see as it looks quite dark in this pic. There are so many catalogue no's within this nebula things got a bit confusing for me trying to track down some of these parts - namely this one. http://www.astrophoto.net/m42.html
So is this a separate catalogue no or part of m42?

Last edited by Suzy; 20-10-2010 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Added in M42 question.
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Old 20-10-2010, 10:41 AM
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Great report, Suzy.

Great surprise too the eyepiece box, .

47 Tuc is a great GC for another reason too. If you look really carefully, slowly and with averted vision tracking around its perimeter, you may find one, two or even three other GC's within its extensive boundary. One is easily disernable, the others much more of a challenge.
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Old 20-10-2010, 10:46 AM
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Oh my! Would one of them happen to be on the north western boundary? As this star was quite bright when I lowered the mag. So where are the other 2?? And what magnification do you use to bring them in? You fed me bait and then ran off - come back!

Regarding ep box, yes lovely surprise, but he's had this project to do for the last few weeks, surprise was that it actually got handed to me when I needed the use out of it. He'd snuck in the dark and nicked all my eps to put them in the box without me even knowing.

Last edited by Suzy; 20-10-2010 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 20-10-2010, 11:10 AM
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Suzy, maybe this will help
cheers
PS all are visible in your 10" scope with maybe a 10mm eye piece or higher from reasonable a dark site
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Old 20-10-2010, 11:22 AM
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Luv ya work, Ron, .
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Old 20-10-2010, 11:23 AM
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Oh crikey they look hard to get. But I'll have a go all the same. Many thanks Ron for posting that map.
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Old 20-10-2010, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
Oh crikey they look hard to get. But I'll have a go all the same. Many thanks Ron for posting that map.
Suzy,that is a scanned image I have of the whole SMC
Ngc 121 is the easiest to see
This might be of help too
[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Ron/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]
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Old 20-10-2010, 11:46 AM
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NGC 121 is easy when you spot it. It is just that NGC 104 sits there like a gorilla in the corner - hard to take your eyes off it! I don't think I have looked for NGCs 176 and 152 - new targets, thanks Ron.

Very enjoyable reading, thanks Suzy.

Re the Trapezium stars - given what you said earlier about the seeing I was wondering if you would spot the E & F stars - but sounds like you did. Nicely separated E & F stars in your widefield eyepiece area are a pointer to a good night's observing ahead, in my experience!
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Last edited by erick; 20-10-2010 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 20-10-2010, 05:55 PM
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That is an excellent report Suzy! I really enjoyed the detail that you captured and the feel that you conveyed. Please don't shorten them or you might lose this.

One question, with a hubby like that, why are searching for Travolta?

Another question - did you end up using your phone to do the recording and if you did, was there a way you could stop the screen interfering with your night vision. I tried it with my phone once, but it was like have a torch on.

I can't wait for your next offering.
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Old 20-10-2010, 06:33 PM
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Excellent Report Suzy top stuff,

Sounds like you had a great time.Keep it up.

Regards orestis
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