Old 24-11-2010, 10:21 AM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Location: Strangways, Vic
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SMC observations 8/11/2010

Dear all,

Here are some more observations from 8/11. I've been focusing on getting notes for all of the SMC objects that are on the charts for my new magellanic clouds web site (soon on air). I've included some wide field obs using binoculars and I'm preparing a chart to help users of binos and small scopes know what's what.

I've taking a while to type them up as I've been busy learning how to put together a web site.

Thanks for reading.

Telescope 410mm (16”) f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr
Celestron 15x70 Binoculars
Navigation: My own charts of the Small Magellanic Cloud
Further reference: “Visual Atlas of the Small Magellanic Cloud” by Mati Morel, “Star Clusters” by Archinal and Hynes.


Wide view with binoculars:

NGC 292 Small Magellanic Cloud GX in Tucana

15x70 Binoculars. The SMC spills out well beyond the FOV of these binoculars. Nearby worthies Although not part of the SMC, 47 Tucanae and NGC 362 require comment. 47 Tucanae is very obvious as a striking globe of light with a distinct core surrounded by smooth regular halo. NGC 362 is also a distinct orb of light with a bright core, but fainter and smaller than 47 Tuc. SMC Overall The SMC itself appears as a comma shape of bright haze with its head close to 47 Tuc and pointing south. Eastern section To the east, the tail of the comma, near NGC 362 contains 3 distinct globules. Firstly NGC 330 is about 1/3 of the way into the comma from the tail and which is small and quite bright. Closer to the tip of the tail is the larger and slightly fainter NGC 346 and closest to the tail of the 3 bright objects is NGC 371. Beyond this is the fainter NGC 395. Tracing south is a line of stars and beyond is a patch of nebulosity just to the east of the midpoint between 2 bright stars and which appears detached from the SMC. This is the group of clusters containing NGC 456,460 & 465. At first this appears a homogeneous area of haze, but close inspection shows dark lanes separating the component clusters. Further to the east is a smaller and fainter circle of haze, which is NGC 602. Between NGC 371 and NGC 362 is a line of three stars. Close to the leftmost one is NGC 411. Further to the left/east and a bit to the north NGC 458 can also be discerned. Western section Between 47 Tuc and the head of the comma is a small right-angled triangle asterism with 2 brighter stars forming the base near the SMC and the fainter star closer to 47 Tuc. The right angle is close to the body of the SMC. On the opposite side of the SMC to this asterism is another area of distinctive haze which is comprised of NGC256/265/269. I have the impression of a wide trail of luminosity extending south-west from the head of the comma to the west of Lambda Hydrae, but containing no distinct objects. In the head of the comma itself, there is a patchiness to the luminosity but I’m not able to discern particular objects. One of these patches does line up with one side of the triangle in a way that suggests it may be NGC 248, but I’m not convinced.

Observations with 16":

Lindsay 84, NGC 411 and NGC 422 all fit in one 28’ FOV

Lindsay 84 OC in SMC

135X Fainter than NGC 395 with bright centre with clump of stars and surrounding pale haze, shaped like a broad arrowhead pointing away from NGC 395 and a curve of diminished luminosity on the 395 side, concave towards 395. 175X Somewhat fainter at higher mag and the darker curve is more distinct and the arrowhead shape is accentuated. UHC brightens the object somewhat, but the darker area is less distinct and the whole object looks a little larger

NGC 411 OC in SMC

175X A distinct small round knot of luminance with a small bright star at the western end. Grainy appearance but no resolvable stars. Better viewed with averted vision. Not responsive to UHC.

NGC 422 OC in SMC

175X about half the size and brightness of 411 and elongated slightly E-W. Not responsive to UHC.

A faint patch of haze is visible between 411 & 422, but I don’t know its designation.

NGC 361 OC in SMC

175X Very distinct and compact with distinct core. Very round and even. Unresponsive to UHC filter.

IC 1660

175x Very faint but distinct. Round and even and brightening towards the centre. More compact that 422. Unresponsive to UHC filter.

NGC 458 OC in SMC

175X A bright small disc of haze which is mostly a bright, grainy core and small soft halo which looks more extended towards the east. Unresponsive to UHC filter.

IC 1655 OC in SMC

175X A faint round and even disc of luminosity. Might be hard in a smaller scope. Brightens somewhat towards the centre, but not a distinct core.

With 1 degree FOV, NGC 330 to 395 can be viewed simultaneously which is a splendid sight.
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Old 25-11-2010, 10:51 PM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Hi Patrick, You are certainly doing some great work on our galactic neighbours. I can't wait until the web site is up and running. I can't see that haze between 411 and 422 plotted on any map that I have. Paddy's Ghostly Nebula??? Cheers, Paul.
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Old 26-11-2010, 10:36 AM
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Moon (James)
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my new magellanic clouds web site (soon on air).
What a great idea - looking forward to seeing it!
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Old 27-11-2010, 03:16 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks Paul and James.

Paul, looking at wikisky I think it's just a star with a clump of background SMC stars. I can't find anything in Archinal and Hynes "Star Clusters" for that spot and their listing is pretty comprehensive. So maybe I can lay claim to it....
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