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Old 10-02-2010, 09:50 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Observing Report 8/2/10 9/2/10

Observing Report 8/2/10 – 9/2/10
Just did a quick check, have 48 of 95 Caldwells logged (Half way there!) and only 7 more Messiers to go, hope to reduce that a bit this Sat at Heathcote if I stay up late enough.

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 5617 (Hartung 571) Open Cluster in Centaurus
From Alpha Centauri, moved in p to equilateral triangle of stars of about 7.5mag about 30’ away. This point at the target which is about 30’ in same direction. Small compact open cluster with no bright stars. There is a small triangle of mag 9 stars to south. Uranometria indicates mag 9.5 double star that is not immediately obvious.

NGC 5286 (Hartung 541) Globular Cluster in Centaurus
Located Epsilon Centauri by naked eye. Moved to M Centauri which is a mag 4.5 spectrocopic binary about 2deg to Np of Epsilon Centauri. Cluster is just to the north of M Centauri. Nice compact cluster although overshadowed by nearby star.

NGC 5316 Open Cluster in Centaurus
Locate Hadar (Beta Centauri) then find two faint stars about mag 6.5 about 40’ apart to Sp of Hadar. The westernmost star of this pair is a double. Cluster is located about 35’ to south and slightly p of this star. Cluster is open with many stars of about 9th mag. Two doubles lie just outside on the Nf side. About 10’ in diameter.

NGC 5281 (Hartung 540) Open Cluster in Centaurus
From Hadar moved Sp to 2 stars mentioned above. Two more stars in same area form a broad (1deg wide) trapezium. Western star of this second pair has a small group of 3 stars of mag 7 to Np, then move Sf about 1deg to 2 stars about about 10’ apart. In finder a third star is visible to 20’ to South. When examined in scope this is revealed as cluster. A line of four stars runs Sp to Nf. End star at Nf is brighter. A fainter line crosses this line, both lines curve. Many faint stars in field.

NGC 5284 Star Cloud in Centaurus
From Hadar move slightly N of p about 3deg to line of three brightish stars in finder which are aligned Np to Sf. Sf star is a double. A faint asterism resembling Crux is visible about 1deg to Sf. Target lies in area between the double and this asterism. Very broad and sparse, slightly denser than surrounding Milky Way field.

NGC 5662 Open Cluster in Centaurus
From Alpha Centauri move 4deg Np to wide right angled triangle of mag 4.5 and 5 stars. Approximately 1.5deg to f of two northerly stars is a pair of mag 6.5 stars, cluster is visible in finder deg to Sf of this. Very wide and open. Seems to consist of two “lobes” . Southerly lobe is V shaped, vaguely reminiscent of the Hyades, while the Northerly one is rounder. Estimate approx 100 stars visible.

NGC 3242 (Caldwell 59, Hartung 380, Ghost of Jupiter) Planetary Nebula in Hydra
Located Mu Hydrae by naked eye. Moving South there is a tight triangle of faint stars about 1deg away, then bright pair of mag 6.5 and 7.5 stars 40’ South. Target is located about 50’ to Sp. Large, prominent and bright with very round outline. Inner structure or central star is not obvious. Colour is more bluish than yellowish which was expected colour given likeness to Jupiter reported by other observers. May be worthy of follow up observation for colour.

NGC 3115 (Caldwell 53, the Spindle Galaxy ) Lenticular Galaxy (S0) in Sextans
From Alpha Hydrae (Alphard), locate Lambda Hydrae by naked eye. Move in N about 4deg to two pairs of stars about 1deg apart visible in finder. Pair of stars to Np has target about 40’ to p. Bright and elongated easily seen in 24mm eyepiece at 67x. Bright core, extended arms appear “sharp”.

NGC 4038, 4039 (Caldwell 60 & 61, Hartung 434) The Antennae Galaxies. Irregular Galaxies (4038 is IBPm, 4039 is IPm) in Corvus
From Gamma Corvi, move about 4deg S of to 31 Crateris (although this star is in Corvus, it retains original Flemsteed designation). Target is located about 1deg Nf. Faint but very large irregular light patch. Two cores are just evident especially with averted vision. Connection between these two is just detectable. Worthy follow up in dark skies.

NGC 5822 (Hartung 601) Open Cluster in Lupus.
Located Zeta Lupi, scanned about 3deg South and slightly p. Large open cluster with many bright stars. Filled field in 24mm eyepiece at 67x.

NGC 5823 (Caldwell 88) Open Cluster in Lupus
There is a mag 5 star about 1deg Sf of NGC 5822. Scanned about 1deg to p of this star. Faint open cluster about 10’ in size. No bright stars. There are a large number of foreground stars thatappear as part of cluster with huge number of fainter stars. Interesting target as it is fairly hard to find.

Malcolm

Last edited by barx1963; 10-02-2010 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:10 PM
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Dave47tuc (David)
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Hi Malcolm, i enjoyed the read.

Can I just ask about your eyepieces. Is the 32 mm a ? type eyepiece. And is it on the bit lower side of magnification compared to the 24 mm?

Do you find the 24 pano is enough for the wide field viewing?

And is the 13 mm enough for medium and Barlowed high power viewing. Just your thoughts on how you see them out in the field.

For my scope I have to limit my budget to 3 eyepieces and a Barlow. but which ones is the big?

So that's why I asked to get your thoughts on what you use.
Thanks.
Dave
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:24 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Thanks for reading Dave
The 32mm is the standard EP that came with the GSO scope. It's just a plossl with 2" barrell. Haven't worked out its AFOV. I'm finding since I got the 24mm Pan, I rarely use the 32mm much, I really only used it as a step between the finder and a higher power EP, almost never for actual observing unless target was really big!
The 24mm Pan is a lovely EP, (I must give a caveat here, I have limited experience with other EP's so its just my view). Wide fields, nice sharp stars, all around great.
Likewise the 13mm, which is probably the best value TV ep out there, unless you have serious eyerelief needs. I was blown away when I got this little gem, still my favourite, absolutely tack sharp, fairly good eye relief (I wear glasses) and colours are very true.
I have a 2x TV barlow and a 2.5x Powermate, try not to use them. Main use is planets and the occasional PN. I would prefer to go a stand alone higher power EP (thinking about a 5 or 6mm Radian or a 5mm Orion Stratus as my next one)
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:57 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Hi Malcolm,
Excellent report, lots of nice objects with good detail. You're certainly rounding up those Caldwells, even though some grumble at his renaming of objects. At the end of the day, it's just another list. I like the way you post the star-hop technique. The triangle is my favourite shape to find an object, any 2 stars can serve as the base and it can be as squat or elongated as necessary, even pushed out of shape and it still works. Well done. The weather up here seems to be much better, I had a meeting last night or I would have been out observing. Hopefully tonight. Cheers, Paul.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:02 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
Bright the hawk's flight

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Thanks Paul.
I know about the feelings about the Caldwells, but to me it's just another list of objects, and I acknowledge the primacy of NGC/IC or other designations by using that name then the Caldwell or Hartungs reference in brackets.
I have found looking for triangles on charts to be a very simple way of navigating. Elongated one's work best as they are easy to use for direction when mentally flipping from chart to eyepiece.
Last night had aome nice sky, but had jobs to do so stayed indoors after 2 nights in a row at the eyepiece. Weather has caught up with us now, lots of clouds tonight, but hopeful will get a nice night on Saturday!

Malcolm
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:46 PM
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Thanks for posting another fantastic report!

The Ghost of Jupiter is fantastic, one of the most brilliantly coloured DSOs. What magnifications were you using? The "CBS" eye structure and central star should be easy to spot in a 12"
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:02 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Highest mag I used was 115x with a 13mm Nag. Should have been visible, but not clear. Will try again at a darker site hopefully this weekend.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:04 AM
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Not enough mag I reckon, try using more mag on that one, atleast 200x or more, it's a high surface brightness object so it will handle it.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:11 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks for the report Malcolm. very thorough as usual. I agree with bith you and Paul about triangles. There are just so many of them and so varied that you'd think it would be a fairly useless shape to employ in star hopping, but between it and the "quadrilateral" very little can escape the determined hopper! Hope you have a very good time at Heathcote - love those antennae under dark sky!
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