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Old 30-12-2009, 12:50 PM
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Observing Report 29/12- More Planetaries

As fate would have it, it was looking like a clear night. However on the horizon as the sun set, some disgusting MELBOURNE CLOUD was seen lurking ominously, just rearing to race in and ruin yet another evening. As it happens, I was interrupted by MELBOURNE CLOUD no less than 3 TIMES durign the course of the night.

Now, besides that, it was certainly a night of good viewing. Seeiing was quite variable again, and the moon was up for most of the night, setting around 2:30am.

Time: 11pm-sunrise
Scope: 12" F4.6 dob
Seeing: 1-7/10
Transparency: 1/5 (moon)
Dew: light, although very heavy in the morning


Started the night off with the Moon. Being in Taurus, seeing in this region of the sky was naturally poor. However, some nice crisp detail was seen at times with the 13mm LVW in the 2x barlow at 216x. Seven craterlets were seen in Plato (A,B,C,D,E) were clearly resolved as pits while (G,H) were seen as tiny white dots. THe "double craterlet" was well resolved.

M79
GC, Lepus, Size = 8.4', Mag V = 7.7

Numerous sparse outlier halo stars with seem to be somewhat detached from the main core of the cluster. The core itself was clearly granular at 176x. A string of 8 Mag 13-14 outlier stars frame the southeastern side of the cluster. At a mag of 216x, not much improvement in resolution was seen, except perhaps more pronounced granularity in the core. Barlowing the 8mm LVW for 353x showed some resolution in the outer 3rd of the core region, with a few pricks of light twinkling in 'n out of vision over the core itself.

--------------------------
At this point it was around 11.30-11.45pm and to my horror, bloody Melbourne Cloud was screaming in at bloody warp speed. Needless to say, I was about to pass out. Extremely PO'd, I skull a stubbie in record time and watch some TV. About 45 mins later, I see the Melbourne Cloud reducing in size and disgustingness, and yes it is a fantastic feeling! Back out i go.
---------------------------

Henize 2-7

PNe, Vela, Size = 45", Mag V = 12.4

Easily picked up this Planetary as a tiny bluish orb at 176x. Easily located midway between two 11th mag stars. No real improvement in the view at 283x with the 5mm LVW. Barlowing the 5mm for a magnification of 566x however revealed it to be slightly oval in a N-S direction. THere were suggestions of annularity however I could not confim this. A compact chain of 3 stars of Mag 13 and 14.8 lie just N of the PNe, with the closest only approx 20" NE. The PNe effectively forms the 4th member of this chain. The Dimensions given for this object appear to be misleading as visually it is far smaller.

Wray 17-18
PNe, Vela, Size = 20"

283x/404x - Saw a very compact group of three 14th magnitude stars at its supposed location. Looking at DSS images, these stars are located immediately (approx 30") N of the planetary itself. The nebula not spotted..however not sure if this is because it's too faint or I was concentrating at a spot a few arc seconds away. DSS images show the PNe to be significantly fainter than the 3 stars mentions so it may have infact been too faint considering the moonlight.

ESO 259-10
PNe, Vela, Size = 28"

Using 283x, this planetary was visible as an ill-defined circular haze around a 13-14th mag star. Poor respone to OIII filter. At 404x, a mag 14.5 star was seen at the NW edge of the nebula.

NGC 2792

PNe, Vela, Size = 13", Mag V = 11.8

Fairly bright planetary at 176x, slightly elongated N-S. Using the 3.5mm LVW for a power of 404x suggested annularity. Using the OIII at 404x, the interior of the nebula was definately, but very subtly darker than the outer region and the southern edge of the object was also brighter. Using the 5mm LVW and 2.5x Powermate for 707x, and at this mag I could see a dark region within the nebula which is actually oriented E-W, rather than a circular donut-like struture. The southern edge of the nebula also had a pronouced brightening.

Henize 2-9
PNe, Vela, Size = 4.4"

Very tiny planetary, appearing virtually stellar at all mags up to around 300x. Visible as a tiny disk at 404x. Clearly circular at 707x, with hints of uneven surface brightness.

NGC 3918
PNe, Centaurus, Size = 19", Mag V = 8.5

A favourite of mine! Easily seen as a green disk at 44x. At 404x, the planetary appeared very slightly elongated N-S. At 707x, the N-S elongation of this PNe was clearer, and I could see very faint bulges stretching out from the PNe's E and W sides, with the western one larger and more obvious. This gave the PNe an appearance that could be best described as two cereal bowls stuck together rim-to-rim. The overall surface brightness of the PNe also appeared to be slightly uneven, and the northern edge appeared somewhat brighter than the rest of the object.

NGC 3242 Ghost of Jupiter
PNe, Hydra, Size = 45x36", Nag V = 7.8

Another favourite. Intensely blue. The eye shape and surrounding halo + the central star was clear at 283x. Increasing power to 566x provided a fantastic view, the rim of the eye was beautifully sharp, the corners of the eye were distinctly thicker than the rim, (like the stereotypical impressions you usually find of the human eye). The central star was nice and pinpoint. The outer halo was well defined and uneven in surface brightness, particulary at each "end", where the brightness seemed to drop off.

Also took a look at Mars, and while seeing was playing havoc at times, I did see the South Polar Cap cleary defined at 216x, with a dark feature running along its perimiter. The North Polar cap could also be seen. Numerous dark markings were seen. Couldn't observe in greater detail as clouds were stuffing about.

All in all a good night, despite cloud issues!
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Old 30-12-2009, 02:07 PM
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Wow Thats some great observations made even though there were clouds about.

I've only seen 2 planeteries m57 and m27 both were very good but i want to see more.I especially like your observations on the ghost of jupiter.Can i see any good detail in my 130mm?sounds awesome.
Planeteries are awesome.
Sounds like you got great detail on mars..Any filters?

I haven't seen mars yet properly.only one time when i was a little kid in 2003 when it was the best opposition for a long time.i Wish i'd remember better though.it was awesome.

Thanks for posting ,great read
orestis
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Old 30-12-2009, 02:27 PM
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Nice report Sab

Good to see the LVW's getting a good work out.

The clouds will haunt you 4ever

hey come to March Snake Valley camp pretty dark skies and you will get a least one good viewing night.
You can join Geoff and I as a last of our kind who look into an eyepiece
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Old 30-12-2009, 03:02 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Nice Report Sab!
Good work getting all those PNs with seeing difficulties.
Dave, there are more of visual types out there!
I would love to be at SN in March but have a prior engagement so please any visual observers get along and support Dave and Geoff to uphold our end at Snake Valley!
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Old 30-12-2009, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orestis View Post
Wow Thats some great observations made even though there were clouds about.

I've only seen 2 planeteries m57 and m27 both were very good but i want to see more.I especially like your observations on the ghost of jupiter.Can i see any good detail in my 130mm?sounds awesome.
Planeteries are awesome.
Sounds like you got great detail on mars..Any filters?[

I haven't seen mars yet properly.only one time when i was a little kid in 2003 when it was the best opposition for a long time.i Wish i'd remember better though.it was awesome.

Thanks for posting ,great read
orestis
Thanks mate! I love M27, absolutely fantastic in the 12"! I'm not sure how the Ghost of Jupiter will look in a 130mm, but I have a 127mm Mak which I will be taking out tomorrow morning for a look at Mars and Saturn, I'll take a look at it aswell. I reckon the eye shape might be visible given enough magnification and good seeing...but not 100% sure. I'll be setting the alarm for 2am...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave47tuc View Post
Nice report Sab

Good to see the LVW's getting a good work out.

The clouds will haunt you 4ever

hey come to March Snake Valley camp pretty dark skies and you will get a least one good viewing night.
You can join Geoff and I as a last of our kind who look into an eyepiece
Good to hear from you mate, been a while! We should get together for a viewing night sometime.....
Yeah there is no escape from Melbourne Cloud, that flippin southern ocean spits out Melbourne Cloud faster than Fev's booze consumption.

Lol Dave there is actually approx 5 forumers (including you, me and Geoff) here that still swear by the eyepiece

Quote:
Originally Posted by barx1963 View Post
Nice Report Sab!
Good work getting all those PNs with seeing difficulties.
Dave, there are more of visual types out there!
I would love to be at SN in March but have a prior engagement so please any visual observers get along and support Dave and Geoff to uphold our end at Snake Valley!
Seeing itself was okay away from the horizon. Just those damn clouds, of which bloody round 2 (followed by 3 and 4) rolled in as soon as the moon set naturally

As for Snake Valley....might go, havent decided yet.

Last edited by pgc hunter; 30-12-2009 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 31-12-2009, 10:51 AM
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Great report!! Thanks Sab.
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Old 31-12-2009, 03:36 PM
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Nice reporting on your batch of largely planetary nebulae.
I'm impressed by your successful viewing at 707x.
I've not done any viewing at this magnification. It must be a struggle to keep objects in the field of view!

Regards, Rob.
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Old 31-12-2009, 03:49 PM
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Nice report SAB, I enjoyed the read, and am interested in planetary nebula and their different characteristics.
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Old 31-12-2009, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robh View Post
Nice reporting on your batch of largely planetary nebulae.
I'm impressed by your successful viewing at 707x.
I've not done any viewing at this magnification. It must be a struggle to keep objects in the field of view!

Regards, Rob.
I was surprised aswell! But don't try viewing bright stars at this magnification.....it's NOT pretty! Faint stars however looked pretty decent I must say, even got an airy disk or two for very short instances of good seeing. The detail I got from NGC 3918 intrigued me....I'd like to hear Les' take on this or anyone who's seen structure within this PNe. The central star of the Ghost of Jupiter was a perfect pinpoint at 566x aswell!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave47tuc View Post

Good to see the LVW's getting a good work out.
Sweet eyepieces for sure! I'm thinking of adding a few Naglars and Radians to the collection to fill in a some magnification gaps because atm I'm juggling barlows like crazy If me plan comes to fruition, I shall be barlow free until I hit the 566x mark
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:56 PM
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Another great report Sab! Very motivating to look more deeply into PNs.

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Originally Posted by pgc hunter View Post
Lol Dave there is actually approx 5 forumers (including you, me and Geoff) here that still swear by the eyepiece


As for Snake Valley....might go, haven't decided yet.
Well, I reckon that there might be a few more of us visual observing folk than that! Hope to be at Snake Valley myself in March, would be good to meet you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barx1963 View Post
Nice Report Sab!
Good work getting all those PNs with seeing difficulties.
Dave, there are more of visual types out there!
I would love to be at SN in March but have a prior engagement so please any visual observers get along and support Dave and Geoff to uphold our end at Snake Valley!
Sorry to hear that you won't be there Malcolm - maybe November. I was looking forward to catching up. Maybe November.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:32 AM
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Hi PGC,

Excellent as usual mate. Good details seen on the Non NGC PNe and I'm not overly surprised you didn't see Wray 17-18 (PK 262-4.1) at mag 15.3p. It looks a toughie to me (I haven't seen that one yet) particularly with the moon the way it was. As a matter of interest, it isn't far outside the Vela supernova remnant.

Best,

Les D
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
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Hi PGC,

Excellent as usual mate. Good details seen on the Non NGC PNe and I'm not overly surprised you didn't see Wray 17-18 (PK 262-4.1) at mag 15.3p. It looks a toughie to me (I haven't seen that one yet) particularly with the moon the way it was. As a matter of interest, it isn't far outside the Vela supernova remnant.

Best,

Les D
Thanks Les, 15.3..plus the lower SFC brightness, that would probably put it out of my reach under good conditions!
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:44 PM
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Sab have your tried NGC 2022?

If you have what detail can you get at high power?
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave47tuc View Post
Sab have your tried NGC 2022?

If you have what detail can you get at high power?
I tried it a while ago:- this is with my 12"

"NGC 2022
Faint PN in northern Orion. At 176x, it appeared circular. At 283x with OIII filter, there was a hint of annularity, but the combo of moonlight and poor seeing made this hard to confirm. At this mag, signs of elongation became evident, in a NNE/SSW direction. Increasing power to 326x confirmed its annular form, but the interior was not completely dark. Its elongation was more appearent aswell."
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