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Old 12-02-2011, 05:37 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Observation Report 27/1/11 to 8/2/11 Part 1

As noted in my previous post here http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ad.php?t=71348 I have managed a few decent nights out. Here is my detailed report.


Observing Report 27/01/11 – 8/2/11


All observations made using Dobsonion mounted 305mm Newtonian reflector at f/5. Eyepieces use are 34mm Meade 4000(44x) 24mm Panoptic (67x) 13mm Nagler T6 (115x) or 13mm Nagler with Barlow (230x)

Charts - Uranometria 2000 (2nd ed.) Data derived from Uranometria (2nd ed) Deep Sky Field Guide.

Observations 27/01/11

NGC 2477 Open Cluster in Puppis Caldwell 71
RA 07 52 10.0 Dec -38 32 00 Mag 5.8 Diam’ 20 No of Stars 1911 Brightest Star Mag 12.0 Type cl

From Zeta Puppis a Mag 4.5 or 5 star lies 3deg to f and slightly N. Cluster is just N of this star. Large Open Cluster with hundreds of stars visible. No bright members. Appears to have a slight extension to N.

Ru 56 Open Cluster in Puppis
RA 08 12 36.0 Dec -40 27 00 Diam’ 40 No of Stars 40 Brightest Star Mag 9.0 Type cl

From Zeta Puppis, a pair of mag 4.5 and 5 stars lie 2deg to f. Cluster is just to p side of S star. Very large 40’ diam approx. Central concentration of bright stars form an oval shape.

NGC 2546 Open Cluster in Puppis
RA 08 12 24.0 Dec -37 37 00 Mag 6.3 Diam’ 70 No of Stars 40 Brightest Star Mag 7.0 Type cl

From Ru56 about 2.5deg to N. Very large cluster, estimate about 1.25deg wide. Only really clear as a cluster at 44x. Appears to be bracketed by 3 bright stars. 2 stars approx mag 6 lie roughly NS, third star mag 6.5 lies on N edge. Remainder of cluster composed of mag 7-8 stars. Estimate up to 100 members with no obvious central concentration.

Post Observation Notes: From examination of DSS image here http://spider.seds.org/ngc/ngcdss.cgi?obj=NGC!2546&r=8:12.4&d=-37:38&e=J2000&h=49.2&w=49.2&f=GIF&c =none
Indicates that the up to one hundred stars I saw may be more background stars than true cluster members.

NGC 2568 Open Cluster in Puppis
RA 08 18 19.0 Dec -37 06 18 Mag 10.7 Diam’ 3 No of Stars 30 Brightest Star Mag 11.0 Type cl

Also known as Pi 1. From NGC 2546 a pair of mag 6.5 stars lie 1.5deg to f. aligned roughly fp about 30’ apart. Target is 15’ to N of f star. Very small and faint. Not able to detect at 44x. At 67x appears as a faint nebulous glow with a “tail” on the p side. 115x enables some stars to be resolved. Probably 20+ stars visible with averted vision.

NGC 2579 Open Cluster in Puppis
RA 08 20 53.0 Dec -36 13 00 Mag 7.5 Diam’ 19 No of Stars 10 Brightest Star Mag 9.5 Type ast? (Possible asterism)

From NGC 2568 move 30’ to N to wide pair of mag 4.5 and 5 stars. P star is q Puppis. Target lies just N of f star. Although large at estimated 15-20’ wide is is hard to pick from galactic background. Appears as a group of 10-20 moderately bright stars.

Observations 28/01/11

IC 2448 Planetary Nebula in Carina
RA 09 07 06.4 Dec -69 56 35 Diam” 27 Mag(P) 11.5 Mag(V) 10.4 Mag Cent Star 14.2

From Beta Carinae (Miaplacidus) there is a mag 5 star 1deg to Sp. Target is roughly halfway between these 2 stars and slightly p of the line between them. Very small with a pale disc. Nevertheless it is fairly bright and OIII filters shows up nicely. No structure or cent star observed

Post Observation Notes: The DSS image here http://spider.seds.org/ngc/ngcdss.cgi?obj=IC!2448&r=9:07.1&d=-69:57&e=J2000&h=15&w=15&f=GIF&c=non e certainly agrees with my notes. I would be curious to hear of anyone getting a central star or structure in this one.

NGC 3211 Planetary Nebula in Carina
RA 10 17 50.7 Dec -62 40 17 Diam” 19 Mag(P) 11.8 Mag(V) 10.7 Mag Cent Star 18

Locate IC 2602 (Southern Pleides) by naked eye. 2deg to Np is a pair of mag 3.5 stars 2deg apart running fp. From the p star of this pair move 1deg to S to a mag 7 star and target lies 15’ to f and slightly p. No central star, fairly bright. OIII confirms as PN. No obvious structure at 115x.

NGC 3136 Galaxy in Carina
RA 10 05 48.2 Dec -67 22 39 Mag(V) 10.7 Dim’ 3.1x2.1 SB 12.7 Type E: (Elliptical)

From Omega Carinae ,ove 3deg to N to a 2deg wide line of 3 mag 5 stars. A tight pair of mag 6.5 stars lies 1.5deg to S. These point 45’ to Np at target. Oval shape, moderately bright core. Fairly small.

Post Observation Notes: DSFG notes numerous superimposed stars. DSS image http://spider.seds.org/ngc/ngcdss.cgi?obj=NGC!3136&r=10:05.8&d =-67:23&e=J2000&h=15&w=15&f=GIF&c=non e shows a very small galaxy and a few stars superimposed. Also looked for NGC 3136A which is located 15’ to p but could not see it. Les Dalrymple (ngcles to fellow IISers) mentions this galaxy in the latest edition of AS&T.

NGC 2775 Galaxy in Cancer
RA 09 10 20.4 Dec +07 02 13 Mag(V) 10.1 Dim’ 4.3x3.3 SB 12.9 Type SA(r)ab Non barred spiral with inner ring

From Zeta Hydrae a pair of mag 6 and 6.5 stars lie about 2deg to Nf. A faint line of 3 stars is about 2deg further. Target lies 30’ S of f star. Fairly large round halo growing evenly brighter to obvious non-stellar core.

Post observation notes: DSFG notes an anonymous galaxy approx 7’ to SW. I have found a really nice image of 2775 here http://www.noao.edu/outreach/aop/observers/n2775.html and cannot note the galaxy mentioned in DSFG, but please note the nice little galaxy cluster which consists of 5 or 6 galaxies just above (I think north) 2775. This image shows a very clear line between the bright inner core and the fainter halo. As my report indicates this was not a shard drop in brightness that I saw but more gradual. This may become clearer in darker skies allowing more power.

Observations 29/01/11

NGC 2925 and NGC 2910 Open Clusters in Vela
NGC 2925 RA 08 33 11.0 Dec -53 24 00 Mag 8.3 Diam’ 15 No of Stars 40 Brightest Star Mag Not given Type cl
NGC 2910 RA 09 30 30.0 Dec -52 44 48 Mag 7.2 Diam’ 6 No of Stars 59 Brightest Star Mag 9.3 Type cl

Locate Kappa Velorum by naked eye. Move 1.5deg N and slightly f to a mag 5 star. A mag 7 star lies 20’ to f and target lies 40’ further to f. Fairly large. About a dozen moderately bright stars arranged in a circular group with 30 odd fainter stars. NGC 2910 is a small group about 30’ to Np about 1/3 the size of 2925. Fainter stars than 2925 but more concentrated.

NGC 2371-72 Planetary Nebula in Gemini
RA 07 25 34.8 Dec +29 29 22 Diam” 62 Mag(P) 13.0 Mag(V) 11.2 Mag Cent Star 14.8

Located Pollux (Beta Geminorum) by naked eye. In finder a group of 3 stars (Mag 3 Iota Geminorum and mag 5 64 and 65 Geminorum) Target lies just under 2deg N of Iota Geminorum. A very faint triangle of stars lies just within field to Np. Target is quite faint and small. OIII filter confirms as PN. Low position makes it hard to see. Object has 2 NGC numbers as it has 2 bright lobes. This structure is just visible and make object at low power appear as elongated roughly east-west.

Post observation notes: DSFG suggests that elongation is more NW to SE. The DSS image here http://spider.seds.org/ngc/ngcdss.cgi?obj=NGC!2371&r=7:25.6&d= +29:29&e=J2000&h=15&w=15&f=GIF&c=no ne shows the bright lobes but also show two fainter ones located NE and SW. In Sue French’s column in AS&T Feb/March 2011 she mentions that these faint lobes can be seen with OIII filters and as little as 10” aperture. I wonder if any Southern Hemisphere observers have managed it?

NGC 2899 Planetary Nebula in Vela
RA 09 27 03.5 Dec -56 06 18 Diam” 117 Mag(P) 12.2 Mag(V) 11.8 Mag Cent Star 15.9

Locate Kappa Velorum by naked eye. A pair of stars mag 5.5 and 6 lie just to SP about 30’ away and sep by about 30’. These point at a mag 7 star about 1deg to Sf. Target lies 10’ to f. A moderately large but very faint glow detected. No central star visible.

Post observation notes: An AAT image can be found here http://www.aao.gov.au/images/captions/aat109.html which shows an interesting structure, namely the odd “bent” shape which I have never seen. I previously observed this object on 22nd March last year and also failed to see any shape or structure. On that occasion I noted that use of OIII filter enlarged object making more of the halo visible.

Other objects observed without notes: M104, Saturn (the planet not the PN) and NGC 2392 (Eskimo Nebula)


Malcolm
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Old 21-02-2011, 12:02 AM
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Thanks for the terrific report Malcolm. I have posted my response for both reports on your second one.
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Old 26-02-2011, 12:57 AM
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How does a southern Victorian churn out so many reports in this Melbourne-cast day and age? Your a trooper Malcolm!

NGC 2477 is epic. Nuff said. The best open cluster for richness IMO. Really shines in a 12" class scope. I "discovered" 2477 by accident while sweeping with the 120st, had I not swept it up I'm sure I wouldn't know anything about it! Pretty strange that this awesome cluster is rarely ever mentioned even amongst our southern hemisphere brethen. Had it been in Cassiopeia I'm sure it would be amongst the sky's most heralded objects...especially when paired with its odd couple neighbour 2451 which is the polar opposite to 2477 in everyway with its bright, sparse yet still eyecatching group of stars. How's that for contrast! I shall make a suggestion for NGC 3211 and other small PNe, IMO 115x is far too low magnification, try really pumping up the power on such small high surface brightness planetaries as they can often show detail that is invisible at lower mags. These objects are extremely magnification tolerant and will take several hundred mags in good seeing.

cheers

Last edited by pgc hunter; 26-02-2011 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 26-02-2011, 05:31 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Thanks for the comments Sab.
I certainly don't "churn" out reports as much as I would like, but I try to grab any clear night, even if the seeing and transparency are a bit iffy and just make the best of what I can. When we do get a good night down here though it is spectacular!

I agree that I would like to get more power on objects such as 3211. Unfortunately my short EPs are a 13mm Nagler (115x) and an 8mm Stratus (187x). I have a 2x barlow but neither it or the 8mm yeild really satisfactory results. I am thinking of a short Nagler or Radian say 6 or 5mm to get 250x or 300x, but have to justify the cost which I cannot do ATM.
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Old 26-02-2011, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barx1963 View Post
Thanks for the comments Sab.
I certainly don't "churn" out reports as much as I would like, but I try to grab any clear night, even if the seeing and transparency are a bit iffy and just make the best of what I can. When we do get a good night down here though it is spectacular!
Tell me about it! My last report dates from early January

Quote:
I agree that I would like to get more power on objects such as 3211. Unfortunately my short EPs are a 13mm Nagler (115x) and an 8mm Stratus (187x). I have a 2x barlow but neither it or the 8mm yeild really satisfactory results. I am thinking of a short Nagler or Radian say 6 or 5mm to get 250x or 300x, but have to justify the cost which I cannot do ATM.
If you barlow your 8mm you'll get 374x which is pretty decent. What brand is your barlow? Could be that your less than ideal results are due to seeing, this summer has been deplorable. I've found even 267x to be pushing it virtually every night of the 3 I had this summer. I would save for and get that short FL eyepiece because there will be nights when you'll be reaching for it IF your barlow is not up to the task, think about getting a Televue 2.5x powermate. These things rock, the image quality is fantastic with it (if seeing is on my side)! I find I prefer the powermate to either of my televue barlows.
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Old 26-02-2011, 07:11 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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I have a 2x TV barlow and it works OK with the 13mm nag. In the Orion 8mm its just mush.
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Old 26-02-2011, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barx1963 View Post
I have a 2x TV barlow and it works OK with the 13mm nag. In the Orion 8mm its just mush.
Sounds like a case of bad seeing. The 8mm+2x combo gives you 374x so it's on the high side. With the seeing lately, mush is the best we can hope for

The one time I exceeded 300x this summer was back in Nov, I was getting a nice hard edged Uranus at 534x albeit with regular smearing as the seeing worked its magic, but at 381x it was a textbook sharp ball. Stars themselves were nice points at over 400x. On a typical night, attempting 500x + on Uranus gives me a nice blurry planetary nebula type thing.
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