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Old 26-01-2011, 11:05 AM
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A rare january session in the tropics.

Clear skies .... what the!!!! Cyclone Anthony (now ex) had taken all the cloud out east with him, so we had had a few clear nights, utterly amazing for up here!!

Set up scope ... and what a mess!! Even though I had the ends covered, and all of her wrapped in a sheet, there were little webby things all over the secondary mirror, and in focuser, also collimation waaaaay out. Thus a day spent cleaning the secondary and trying to collimate. Not great at collimation, well, pretty ****ty at it really, though aim to do better this year.

So, last night a few Townsvillians in our group were viewing in their backyards, with M42 to be the main target.

Started with Jupiter, alas, image still blurry with the 4.8mm EP so another quick adjustment with the laser collimater, with success. Jupiter looked wonderful, SEB not as visible as reports had led me to believe. 3 Moons one side, and 1 the other completed the scene.

Quick look at the pretty Pleiades, then to M42. This has to be best DSO object in our night skies - a magnificent vista of light and dark nebulous cloud. Just panned the area for quite awhile, taking it all in, with no need of a filter. Checked out 6 of the stars in the Trapezium embedded in hte nebula, with the 4.8mm EP. Also a quick look at W Orionis, one of my fav little carbon stars, and was a treat to see. Tried for R Leporis, but straight overhead, and back wouldnt be in on that.

Alas, failed at The Crab, though have found it OK in the past, ? seeing not crash hot. No luck with comet Hartley, or the splitting of Sirius with the primary glaring like a beacon.

Shifted scope to NGC 1647 just south of The Hyades. What a gorgeous OC, that I hadnt seen before, and it filled the EP!! It also has a delightful little double left of centre.

6 hrs later - Alarm went 0400 .... crawled outside and looked up, skies clear but Moon very bright and sitting in Virgo very near to Saturn. Oh well, found Saturn, and popped in the 4.8mm ... WOWOW ... what a beautiful sight!! The rings have opened a bit since I last saw it, making it even prettier. No luck with the storm as disc too bright and white, popped in a blue filter bit worse, no matter.

Quick look at ESB 365 next to Beta Crucius, love these little carbon stars. Not as red as W Oriois earlier, but still a great sight. Also a quick look at Jewel Box, before crawling back to bed.

Overall, a great nights viewing, wonderful to see some of these beautiful sights again ..... as ex cyclone Anthony makes his way back with the cloud.
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Old 26-01-2011, 11:35 AM
Rob_K
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Excellent Liz, glad you got a fix! 103P is hard now because it's very diffuse & still fairly large - the Milky Way background doesn't help either. Pattern of fine days & cloudy nights persists here - hoping for a bit of luck tonight!

Cheers -
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Old 26-01-2011, 11:44 AM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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A wonderful report Liz.
I'm so happy you've managed to get a good clear night.
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Old 26-01-2011, 11:53 AM
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Thanks Rob and jjj. just so nice to out there again among the stars.

Yes, Rob, thought my chnces of Hartley pretty slim but worth a try.

East coast is still looking good for another night .... alas, cricket on tonight.
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Old 26-01-2011, 12:10 PM
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Hi Liz & All,

Very good report. Geez its been ages since I looked in on W Orionis (nr Pi^6) Orionis. Like all carbon stars it is quite to very red but was a little surprised to see you thought it redder than EsB 365 (DY Cru). Did you estimate (guesstimate) the magnitude? Sould be about mag 6.2 -odd.

How's the Argonavis going ?


Best,

Les D
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Old 26-01-2011, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngcles View Post
Very good report. Geez its been ages since I looked in on W Orionis (nr Pi^6) Orionis. Like all carbon stars it is quite to very red but was a little surprised to see you thought it redder than EsB 365 (DY Cru). Did you estimate (guesstimate) the magnitude? Sould be about mag 6.2 -odd.

How's the Argonavis going ?
Cheers Les, yes, the last few times I have checked out ESB 365 i have found it less red than W Orionis - I know they brighten and dim their colour over a period of time, but W Orionis has been redder. Our last viewing session in Nov it was redder than R Leporis. I dont think it was as red last night as it was then, because at that stage it had all our group gasping at its redness and beauty.
Alas, no, not a guesstimater of mags.
Ah, the AN is packed away and not going at all. hope to tackle it in the next few months, though have now forgotton a few of the tricks passed on by Gary and Ron. I get stressed even looking at it.
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Old 29-01-2011, 06:43 PM
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Hi Liz, fabulous report!

I can't wait to have a go at W. Orionis - It's been on my to-do list for a while, along with Ruby Crucis.

Regarding M1 (The Crab Nebula), I had my first go at trying to get it in my last session. As we have the same sized scope, it be interested in how it appears in yours - is it feint & small? I'm taking it that maybe the seeing affects whether it's there or not. I tried for about half an hour to find it and I thought to myself at the time, how hard could this be as its only about a degree away zeta tauri. But difficult it was. Perhaps it's easily affected by the seeing after all
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Old 29-01-2011, 07:04 PM
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Hi again Liz, I was just reading mmconnechy's post on Ron's Saturn thread and he was saying Saturn is much brighter and whiter at the moment compared toit's normal yellow colour. He gives a great report on the storm. http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ad.php?t=71008
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Old 29-01-2011, 07:13 PM
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astroron (Ron)
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Great Report there Liz
I will have to take a trip up there and set the Argo Navis up for you
It's a shame to see it not being used
You seem to do a good job observing without though
Cheers
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Old 29-01-2011, 08:18 PM
beefking (Nathan)
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glad someone up here had the chance to get the scope out. I haven't used mine since I moved here over a year ago. The clear sky on Tuesday night made me realise how much I've missed it

Last edited by beefking; 29-01-2011 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 31-01-2011, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
I can't wait to have a go at W. Orionis - It's been on my to-do list for a while, along with Ruby Crucis.

Regarding M1 (The Crab Nebula), I tried for about half an hour to find it and I thought to myself at the time, how hard could this be as its only about a degree away zeta tauri. But difficult it was. Perhaps it's easily affected by the seeing after all
Hey Suzy, yes W Oriois is a beauty, but the joy is that it is so easy to find also!! Hmm, the Crab was quite elusive, but have fund it in the past as a small blob, so put it down to the seeing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by astroron View Post
I will have to take a trip up there and set the Argo Navis up for you
You seem to do a good job observing without though
Cheers
Ha, am sure I will get it up and going in the next few months. I had bought another little grabandgo goto scope last year, so had put quite a bit of time into it. Some of the things I earnt with him will help me with the AN. Look forward to getting it up and going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beefking View Post
glad someone up here had the chance to get the scope out. I haven't used mine since I moved here over a year ago. The clear sky on Tuesday night made me realise how much I've missed it
I know, Tuesday night was a lonesome beautiful night, and am glad I got out there. Last year was bad all down the east coast, so you are not alone there. Patience for another 2 months.
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Old 31-01-2011, 09:18 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Hay Suzy.
Keep trying for the Crab. I had no probe seeing with 8" an my backyard, but I wouldn't have thje LP of Brissy. It is a reasonably largish object so seeing shouldn't affect it but transparency and LP will as it has a low surface brightness.

Keep trying!

Malcolm
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Old 31-01-2011, 11:17 PM
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Thanks so much Liz and Malcolm for your help.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:11 PM
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Nice report Liz. I too love the carbon stars I'd rate ESB 365 as my all time favourite. Wonder if it looks different when you're further north. I would imagine though that it would look redder if it's lower in the sky.
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