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Old 17-01-2010, 04:16 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Observing Report 7/1/10 to 16/1/10 Part 1

Observing Report 7/1/10 – 16/1/10
Observations made from Colac Vic. and on the 15th from an observing night run by South West Astronomy Group at the Camperdown showgrounds. Thanks to Barry Coverdale for his hospitality. Continuing to rack up Caldwell objects, have racked up 39 to date so only 56 to go. Have done a quick summary today of how many NGC/IC objects I have notes on, the grand total came to 176! Of the 13226 objects in the NGC/IC, 12277 are further south than 52deg N, so of them I have a mere 12101 to go!
Also have started to go back over some Messiers that I have inadequate notes for. I also have started to have a look at some of the smaller, obscurer open clusters, which make nice challenging objects when light pollution and poor seeing make galaxy and nebula chasing less profitable.
Also, to make my notes more useable when I am at the eyepiece I have started to use "p" and "f" (preceeding and following) rather than East and West. I find this more intuitive as I can establish direction by simply waiting a few seconds while the field drifts.

All observations made using Dobsonion mounted 305mm Newtonian reflector at f/5. Eyepieces use are 32mm (47x) 24mm Panoptic (67x) 13mm Nagler T6 (115x) or 13mm Nagler with Barlow (230x)

Charts Uranometria 2000 (2nd ed.)

NGC 1647
Date 7/1/10 10.35pm Seeing - Good
Open Cluster in Taurus.

From Aldebaran, moved in Np about 3deg to a wide triangle of stars 61,64 and 68 Tauri (Mag 4 to 5.5) then Nf to mag 3 Epsilon Tauri then 4 deg p to faint line of 4/5 stars running EW. Cluster is just N of this line. Large cluster , filled entire filed in 24mm EP at 67x. Overall diameter is about 0.75deg. Centre of field is dominated by 8th mag double about 20-25 star in range 8-9mag. Some fainter stars apparent. No central condensation.

NGC 2184
Date 7/1/10 11.00pm Seeing – Good
Open Cluster in Orion

From Altinak (Zeta Orionis) the easternmost star in Orion’s belt, moved in f about 4.5deg to a 4.5mag star then about 1.5deg Sf to a 5.5mag star then located a wide group of 6-7mag stars about 1 deg in f. When centered on northernmost star of group, cluster is about 30’ to p. Wide and sparse, very similar to NGC 1647 but not as bright. About 20-30 stars of 10-11th mag.

NGC 2169
Date 7/1/10 11.20pm Seeing – Good
Open Cluster in Orion

From Betelguese (Alpha Orionis) move Nf to Mu Orionis (Note U2000 plots a PN P198.6-6.3 at this same position) then about 4deg in same direction to wide pairing of 73 and 74 Orionis then N to wide pairing of Xi and Nu Orionis. Group of 5 stars to N of Xi Orionis then 0.5deg in f to a faint glow detectable in 24mm at 67x. Cluster is vaguely triangular with 2 lines of mag 7/8 stars prominent. Best view is in 13mm at 115x. Very pretty. Size appears to be about 10’ according to Uranometria. My estimate of size for main brighter stars in cluster is 5.5’ x 7’.

NGC 2194
Date 7/1/10 11.35pm Seeing – Good
Open Cluster in Orion

From 74 Orionis then to 73 Orionis, move 0.5deg in Nf. Cluster is not visible in finder. Very faint open cluster with no prominent stars. Roundish in shape

NGC 2264
Date 7/1/10 11.20pm Seeing – Good
Open Cluster in Monoceros “The Christmas Tree Cluster”

From 74 Orionis move 2.5deg Sp to tight grouping of 4 stars then 1.5deg Np to wider grouping of 4 stars, then 2.5deg Sp to star of 5.5mag (15 Monocerotis) which is brightest star in cluster. Cluster is large and bright. 15 Monocerotis is orangey red in colour. Cluster size is estimated at 0.3deg to 0.5deg.
NGC 2100
Date 10/1/10 10.10pm Seeing – Good
Open Cluster in Dorado LMC Object.

Located NGC 2070 (Tarantula Nebula) in finder. NGC 2100 is open cluster located Sf from centre of NGC 2070. Located a very lopsided trapezium of stars mag 7.5 to 9 located Nf from centre of 2070 about 30’ away. Middle 2 stars point at NGC 2100. U2000 field guide gives dimension 2.8’. Higher power resoles several stars with brightest member about 11th mag. Somewhat denser in middle.

NGC 2042
Date 10/1/10 10.20pm Seeing – Good
Open Cluster in Dorado

Large Open Cluster about 9’ in diameter. Located line of 3 stars to Np of NGC 2070 running Nf to Sp. Cluster is centred on star at Sp end of line. Appears sparse and very faint. Central star is about mag 10. Averted vision gives more nebulosity. Increase power of 115x sufficient to just resolve stars.


NGC 2060
Date 10/1/10 10.45pm Seeing – Good
Open Cluster in Dorado.

Small cluster within confines of NGC 2070. Located line of stars running p to f within 2070 all about 10-11 mag. Line is approx 6’ long and has a mag 10.5 star about 2’ to south. Moved about 9-10’ to Sp Faint glow detected. Small condensed cluster with about maybe 2 or 3 clearly resolveable stars.

NGC 2044
Date 10/1/10 10.45pm Seeing – Good
Open Cluster in Dorado

Continued in same direction as NGC 2060 until another glow detected. Almost a twin of NGC 2060 but slightly brighter.

NGC 4609 (Caldwell 98)
Date 10/1/10 11.00pm Seeing – Good
Open Cluster in Crux “The Coalsack Cluster”

From Alpha Crucis move in f about 2deg to 5.5mag BZ Crucis. Cluster is just f of this star nd is in same field at all powers. Consists of 6/7 fairly bright stars in a squashed rectangle shape. Vaguely similar to NGC 2244 in the Rosette. Many fainter stars just visible. To p past BZ Crucis is a very small and faint open cluster within field seems to consist of only 6/7 very faint stars. This is Hogg 15.

NGC 2261 (Caldwell 46)
Date 10/1/10 11.20pm Seeing – Good
Reflection Nebula in Orion “Hubble’s Variable Nebula” or “Herschel’s Forgotten Fan”

From Betelguese moved via Mu Orionis and bright pair of 73-74 Orionis then f to 4 mag 5 stars near border of Gemini and Monoceros then located NGC 2264 (the Christmas Tree Cluster) then scanned with 24mm at 67x slightly f of North until small faint glow detected. As per O’Meara, initially appears as a flaring match head. Use of nebula filter did improve contrast slightly which was unexpected as it is a reflection nebula.

R Leporis
Date 14/1/10 10.25pm Seeing – Good
Hartung 41 “Hind’s Crimson Star”

From Rigel moved due South to wide group consisting of Iota, Kappa, Nu and Lambda Leporis. Iota appears as a wide triple in finder. Two mag 6 stars aligned roughly N-S about 1deg p from Kappa Leporis, these point at a trio of stars about 20’ wide approx 2deg to South and slightly p. This trio is just visible in finder. Then move approx 1deg p. Target star is just discernable in finder. A mag 7.5 star lies 20’ p. Crimson colour is very obvious at any power. A bright, ruby jewel of a star.

IC 418
Date 14/1/10 10.50pm Seeing – Good
Hartung 165
Planetary Nebula in Lepus

From Lambda and Nu Leporis, moved in f bout 1.3deg to wide open angled trio of stars about 0.5deg wide, aligned roughly N-S. Two southernmost stars point at approximate position of target. Target is just detectable at low power (67x) as a fuzzy star. 115x reveals a disk which is faintly bluish. Very similar to Neptune. Central star not evident. OIII filter markedly improved contrast.

NGC 1904 (M79)
Date 14/1/10 11.05pm Seeing – Good
Hartung 163
Globular Cluster in Lepus.

From naked eye star Beta Leporis, moved about 4deg South and slightly p to 5th mag star. Cluster is approximately 0.5deg to Nf from this star. Fairly bright cluster with some condensation. Several brighter outliers. There is a line of luminosity extending South about same distance as diameter of cluster.

NGC 2017
Date 14/1/10 11.15pm Seeing – Good
Hartung 185
Open Cluster in Lepus

Open cluster of 6 stars located about 1.5deg f from Alpha Leporis. Contrasting star colours are interesting feature of this cluster. Brightest star is bluish while star at South of cluster is distinctly orange. Hartung states that this appears to be a physical cluster as evidenced by common motion, not an asterism.

Malcolm
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Old 17-01-2010, 04:20 PM
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Dave47tuc (David)
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Good read Malcolm Thanks for posting
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Old 18-01-2010, 07:26 AM
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Thanks Malcolm ,there hasn't been many reports lately.good read.

Just wondering what focal length ep you use the most as i'm thinking of getting a stratus ep but don't know what focal length to get.

Also what is a uranometria 2000 ?

Thanks for a comprehensive report of your observations

orestis
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Old 18-01-2010, 07:44 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Thumbs up

Excellent reports Malcolm. I am especially pleased by your inclusion of the star-hopping steps you took to find the objects. Very useful, well done.
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Old 18-01-2010, 08:25 AM
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Not 42 ... 37

Hi Malcolm,

Very good report mate and pleased to see your Caldwell survey is progressing well.

One thing though, I'm a bit surprised that your description of NGC 2169 didn't include the two digit number the brighter stars outline: 37.

Take a look at the first gen 10' x 10' DSS shot:

http://stdatu.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_...e&fov=NONE&v3=

or the attachment.


Best,

Les D
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Old 18-01-2010, 12:12 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Thanks Orestis, Paul and Les

Orestis. I am mainly using a 24mm Televue Panoptice with 68deg AFOV and a 13mm Televue Nagler Type 6 with an 82 deg AFOV. I also have a TV Barlow that I only use on the Nagler. I occasionally use a GSO 32mm super plossl for really wide surveys. The 24mm is perfect for large objects and gives a big enough view that lots of navigating can be done and the 13mm and barlow enable me to examine close up. I do find the barlow dims the view a bit so is really only useful on bright objects.
The 32mm has a fair bit of distortion nearer the edge and the sky never looks really dark in it, hence I really only use it for navigating, as a step between the finder and the 24. I would certainly advise against going to short in FL for eyepieces. I did a lot of observing with an 8" scope and 25mm ep at 80x before getting my current setup, and found a lot. Quality eps are expensive and best advice is try B4 you buy!!
Uranometria is a set of atlases. 2 volumes, one for each hemisphere and a guide which lists all the objects. Each volume is $119 at Bintel, so they are a fair investment, but well worth while. Having said that, you should always use them in conjuction with a set of maps in less detail such as the Tirion maps, cambridge Atlas or Nortons, that will help you to get oriented before consulting Uranometria.

Les - I had heard of the 37 cluster, just hadn't picked up that I was looking at it. Will have to revisit soon. I picked up the fact that the cluster is in two parts and if you include the star at the bottom of the photo from DSS there is a triangle shape, I probably still searching for 42!!!

Last edited by barx1963; 20-01-2010 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 20-01-2010, 11:11 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Finally got out to revisit NGC 2169. Unable to the last few nights(methinks Sab will know of what I speak!!) and yes this time I saw the 37! The star that creates the top of the 7 is very faint and if it was about 1 mag brighter I would have seen it. Les, thanks for pointing that out.

Malcolm
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Old 24-01-2010, 02:30 PM
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Very nice report as usual , thanks for posting.

Your description of IC 418 has caught my eye. Interestingly, I always see IC 418 as pure white in colour, while others report seeing red around its periphery. I've never seen the red in it but from what I've heard it is supposidly quite easy to see. Strange.

cheers
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Old 24-01-2010, 05:07 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Thanks Sab. I saw faint blue in IC 418, but maybe thats what I was expecting as many PNs show this. Will follow up with another look when skies permit!

Malcolm
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Old 24-01-2010, 05:29 PM
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If this high cloud goes away (high cloud is about as pointless as windscreen wipers on a submarine)........ I'll take a look aswell. This particular PNe has always struck me with its pure white colour when compared to other PNe's I've seen.
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