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Old 08-10-2010, 08:12 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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yet more SMC and some watery things

There have been some good nights. And therefore some typing to catch up on. Here are some more obs from October 2nd and 3rd. Thanks for looking.

Telescope 400mm (16”) f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr
Navigation: Night Sky Observer’s Guide (NSOG), Morel’s Visual Atlas of the Small Magellanic Cloud, Jenni Kay’s Visual Atlas of the Magellanic Clouds
Further reference: “Star Clusters” by Archinal and Hynes.

Seeing good 1/5 (except in area of SMC due to my roof)
Transparency – good 6/7

2145

NGC 7009 PN in Aquarius “Saturn Nebula”

250x A small bright slightly bluish disc, elongated E-W. I estimate a diameter of about a minute. The ansae are visible with averted vision and are along the long axis of the nebula. There appears to be an inner bright part, which comprises most of the nebula and a softer outer halo which in part encompasses the ansae. Apart from this, I can make out no internal structure or central star. Brightens with OIII filter, but no further structure becomes apparent. The ansae remain visible but are not enhanced.

2320

Jupiter

175X I manage to catch a very clear shadow transit of Ganymede. Although the moon is also in transit, I can’t discern it.

NGC 306 & 299 OC in SMC

175X Forming an equilateral triangle with NGC 330 and 346 is NGC 306. Nearby to the north is NGC 299 – a very small and bright patch of silver haze with a small tail to the south. The cluster is irregularly shaped, but not much larger than some of the neighbouring stars. It has a few faintly resolvable stars. 306 is smaller again and somewhat fainter with slightly grainy texture, but no resolvable stars.

A line from 306 through 299 leads to Kron 28

Kron 28

175X A very faint haze next to a relatively bright star, perhaps 50% larger than 299 with one discernible star in the centre and a faint star to the east.

Following a line from 309 through 330 past a bright star one encounters NGC 376.

NGC 376 OC in SMC

175X A small quite bright cluster of resolvable stars forming a narrow triangle (base to east, apex west) against an E-W oval haze. Very few field stars.

Within one 28’ FOV to the east is NGC 419

NGC 419 GC in SMC

175X A very round regular disc of luminosity, concentrated in the centre and gently fading out to a broad halo. Significantly larger than NGC 376. No resolvable stars. Certainly looks like a GC

To the south of NGC 419 are 2 pairs of stars, each pair comprising a bright and fainter star, the westernmost pair is fainter than the easternmost pair. Following a line from NGC 419 through the fainter star of the western pair brings me to IC 1644

IC 1644 Emission nebula in SMC

175X This is a small round bright object that appears like a star at first but there is a faint N-S haze from the object. It looks a bit like a faint grey version of Neptune.

IC 1626 OC in SMC


175X I can see why Jenni Kay described this as too faint to see – this is very faint using a 16” scope, let alone the 8” SCT used for her notes. Quite close to IC 1644, this circle of haze requires averted vision to detect. It is more extended than most of the objects in this neck of the woods.

A line from NGC 419 through the brighter of the two pairs of stars mentioned above leads to a tight clump of nebulosities amongst a bunch of bright field stars. There are 3 broad clumps of haze in a line roughly E-W. The westernmost one is a complex of NGC 456 and Henize N83

NGC 456 + Henize N83 OC + nebula in SMC


175X NGC 456 is a small bright NE-SW oval embedded in SE corner of a much larger fainter area of haze with some resolvable stars, Henize N83 which looks about 4’ across.

The next of the three clumps is in 2 parts.

NGC 460/Henize N84/84B/Kron 66 OC + nebula in SMC

175X On the NW side is a bright small oval, NGC 460 embedded in the southern part of a fainter circlet of haze, Henize N84. To the south of this is a larger area of haze, Kron 66 and Henize N84B

The last is

NGC 465 OC in SMC


175X This is the largest and most irregular object of this line of clusters with quite a few bright resolvable stars against a broad faint glow. With some imagination, this cluster could be the outline of a boot, with the ankle to the south, the heel SE and toe to the west. Somewhat darker in the middle.

About 40’ to the east of NGC 465 is

Lindsay 104 OC in SMC

175X This is quite an extended OC which is brighter at lower power (132X). There are about 10 bright stars with a background of a parallelogram shaped patch of luminosity. Looks about 5’ across.

Further to the east is

NGC 602 OC + nebula in SMC

175X This is a bright oval of haze oriented SE-NW. Again, fairly extended – perhaps 4’x2’. Seems to have a bright core in the eastern half with a few stars in front of it. The brightness diminishes abruptly to the soft halo which extends more to the west.

Completing a right angled triangle with Lindsay 104 and NGC 602 is Lindsay 107, to the NE of NGC 602

Lindsay107 OC in SMC


175X Another fairly large but faint OC with about 6 resolvable stars. Somewhat brighter than Lindsay 104. Irregular shape.

Leaving the SMC, I spend a bit of time watching NGC 253 slide through my FOV at 175X, with an intricate maze of dark lanes and dust alternating with little bright patches of, I assume, star creation. Stunning.

NGC 224/Messier 31 The Great Galaxy in Andromeda

80X This is a little bit of a struggle due to the weight of this ep and the paracorr making the scope quite top heavy at this low altitude. Also there is a little light pollution from the loom of Bendigo. The nucleus is very bright and the roughly E-W haze of the galactic disc extending well beyond the FOV of 1 degree. To the north and about 40’ from the core is the bright oval haze of Messier 110. To the south and much more compact is orb of Messier 32. It is hard to gauge the size of M31 as the halo merges with the light pollution, but it looks at least 2x1 degrees. Not a lot of detail to see in the galaxy itself. I have read observers in the northern hemisphere claim that this is one of their gems that make it worth observing from the wrong side of the planet. But this could never match the complexity and beauty of the Magellanic Clouds for a visual observer.

3/10/2010

Seeing 2/5
Transparency good 6/7

NGC 6934 GC in Delphinus

175X A beautiful little GC, quite concentrated with a marked core and quite a few faint resolvable stars. Looks about 3’ dia. Although the GC is round and regular, I have the impression of a cross shaped accentuation of brightness, with the 2 axes (one N-S and the other E-W) roughly equal in length and meeting at the centre of the cluster.

NGC 7006 GC in Delphinus


175X Much fainter than 6934, but still quite round, concentrated and regular with a strong impression of a core. Looks about 3/2 the size of 6934

NGC 6905 PN in Delphinus

175X Sandwich between 2 stars, this is a distinct circle of grey haze, somewhat elongated N-S along the axis of the 2 stars. The brightness is quite patchy and is stronger to the eastern side of the PN. I note a dark lobe on the northern side as if a bite has been taken out of it. No impression of layers or shells in this PN. OIII filter shows a broader faint haze beyond the brighter part of the nebula and accentuates the sense of a dark lobe in the northern side and perhaps a less marked one to the south. I can just discern the central star with averted vision.

NGC 6981/Messier 72 GC in Aquarius

132X Fairly extended but faint GC, near a bright foreground star. There are some resolvable stars and the GC seems moderately concentrated. The bright central area looks a bit longer E-W than N-S. Surrounding this is a fainter halo at least twice the dia of the core. The halo is noticeably fainter on the northern side. Looks about 5’ across. 175X shows many resolvable stars and a ragged edge on the northern side of the halo. A large strand of haze is distracted to the NW. The core itself appears triangular at this magnification. The eastern edge is somewhat brighter.

NGC 7089/Messier 2 GC in Aquarius

132X This is a very different beast to M72. Larger and brighter, very easy to see in the finderscope. Looks about 10’ across, quite concentrated but no distinct core. Many resolvable stars, but no particular asterisms. Several strands of haze and stars radiate from the GC, but the GC still looks quite concentrated. The sprinkling of stars across the GC is very beautiful.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:25 PM
Rob_K
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Great report Patrick!! Would you know any simple printable chart that shows the brighter DSOs in the SMC? Or the LMC for that matter? Reports like yours & a quick 'tour' last night gives you a taste for it!

Cheers -
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:00 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Well....it's funny you should ask that.

I have a plan...a dream.. a vision... A web site that has excellent charts of both LMC and SMC, with the capacity for people to contribute images, sketches observation notes and links to articles on the clouds and their objects. That's one reason I'm putting together all of these observations. I am thinking the maps might be actual images and I'm not sure whether to temporarily cross over to the dark side of imaging to put this together or just do mosaics of DSS images. I am leaning towards the latter at present because I don't really want to learn how to take and process astrophotographs. Or invest buckets of money. Or reduce my time at the eyepiece.

BUT Mark Johnston (astrospotter on IIS) has already done a nice chart of the SMC based on a photo by Jason Jennings. This is very good and will get you around a lot of stuff quite well. But I think without the really comprehensive charts of Mati Morel it's hard to find some of the non NGC/IC clusters. eg the GC he's marked with a question mark near NGC 104 is Kron 3. But I think he's really provided a very good chart which I'd highly recommend. The web address is

http://63.201.54.197/astrospotter.co...gs_Labeled.jpg

And Marks' web site is

http://63.201.54.197/astrospotter.com/

You might remember his excellent and extensive obs reports from his recent trip to the Flinders Ranges.

Anyway, if/when I do get further with my Magellanic cloud web site, I'd welcome some collaborators/contributors...
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:35 AM
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orestis
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Way to go Patrick.

Unfortunately i have yet to see a clear night since we last spoke.
Its good to see your getting in a few good nights.

Regards orestis
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:35 AM
Rob_K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
Well....it's funny you should ask that.

I have a plan...a dream.. a vision... A web site that has excellent charts of both LMC and SMC, with the capacity for people to contribute images, sketches observation notes and links to articles on the clouds and their objects. That's one reason I'm putting together all of these observations. I am thinking the maps might be actual images and I'm not sure whether to temporarily cross over to the dark side of imaging to put this together or just do mosaics of DSS images. I am leaning towards the latter at present because I don't really want to learn how to take and process astrophotographs. Or invest buckets of money. Or reduce my time at the eyepiece.

BUT Mark Johnston (astrospotter on IIS) has already done a nice chart of the SMC based on a photo by Jason Jennings. This is very good and will get you around a lot of stuff quite well. But I think without the really comprehensive charts of Mati Morel it's hard to find some of the non NGC/IC clusters. eg the GC he's marked with a question mark near NGC 104 is Kron 3. But I think he's really provided a very good chart which I'd highly recommend. The web address is

http://63.201.54.197/astrospotter.co...gs_Labeled.jpg

And Marks' web site is

http://63.201.54.197/astrospotter.com/

You might remember his excellent and extensive obs reports from his recent trip to the Flinders Ranges.

Anyway, if/when I do get further with my Magellanic cloud web site, I'd welcome some collaborators/contributors...
Thanks Patrick! Good luck with it, strange that something similar hasn't been done before considering that visually these are the most outstanding extra-galactic objects in the whole night sky. Go the DSS route too, the other road leads to madness! Aladin should help in identifying even the most obscure object.

Cheers -
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Old 28-10-2010, 06:24 PM
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Suzy
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A thoroughly enjoyable read Patrick - thank you.

All the best with your planned website, what an informative, gem of a place that will be.
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Old 28-10-2010, 10:19 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Thanks Suzy. With clouds overhead I am working on charts now. I hope to have the SMC up before too long. The LMC will take a fair bit longer.
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