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Old 24-03-2010, 09:08 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Observing Report 21/3/10 22/3/10

Observing Report 21/3/10 – 22/3/10
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.) Data derived from Uranometria (2nd ed) Deep Sky Field Guide.
I have started to include data such as position and magnitude to provide more information and confirm the visual impressions I get
Observations 21/3. Seeing very good, transparency very good.
NGC 3521 Galaxy in Leo
RA 1 05 49.0 Dec -00 02 10 Mag(V)9.0 Dim’11.0x5.5 SB 13.3 Class SAB(rs)bc Mixed Spiral DDO Lum class II-III
Located Iota and Sigma Leonis by naked eye. From Sigma Leonis moved 3deg slightly f of South to line of 4 stars about mag 6 in a curve. Star at f end of this line is Tau Leonis, then move to 2 mag 6 stars South p about 2deg away (76 and 75 Leonis) Then 2deg in same direction to 69 Leonis. Move 20’ in p until another mag 6 star (62 Leonis) is visible in side of finder. Target should be visible in wide field of view. Obvious stellar core with glowing halo. Spiral structure is visible with averted vision. Clearly not an elliptical.
NGC 3495 Galaxy in Leo
RA 11 01 15.9 Dec +03 37 38 Mag(V)11.8 Dim’ 4.9x1.2 SB 13.6 Class Sd DDO Lum class III
From 62 Leonis scan South to 65 Leonis which is an orange star with a wide companion. Then 2deg Sp to 58 Leonis, a mag 4.5 star with companion to north. Target is just f of this star.
Just barely visible as an elongated glow aligned NS about fov from star.
NGC 4361 PN in Corvus.
RA 12 24 30.8 Dec -18 47 02 Mag(P) 10.3 Mag(V)10.9 Diam” 126 Mag Cent Star 13.2
Locate Gamma Corvii. About 2.5deg Sf is a Y shaped asterism of 4 mag 7 stars about 40’ long. Just North of these is the target. Large and fairly bright with a prominent core. Central star is visible with averted vision.
NGC 4594 (M104) Galaxy in Virgo
RA 12 40 00.4 Dec -11 37 35 Mag(V)8 Dim’ 8.7x3.5 SB 11.6 Class SA(s)a sp Unbarred S shaped Spiral
Previously observed. Clear view. Significant central bulge. Dust lane very obvious. Extended halo clearly visible making target larger than in normal conditions.
Observations 22/3. Seeing good, transparency fair.
IC 2488 Open Cluster in Vela
RA 09 27 27.0 Dec -56 57 00 Mag 4.3 Diam’ 18 No of Stars 70 Brightest Star Mag 10.0 Type cl (Open Cluster)
Located just f of naked eye star N Velorum. N Velorum is a mag 4 variable star with a beautiful orange glow. Cluster is large but has little condensation. Foreground of roughly 30-40 mag 11 to 12 stars with a “misty” background of fainter stars. Main cluster stars seem to form a number of curved or circular shapes. Almost seemed to detect an “infinity” symbol.
NGC 2899 PN in Vela
RA 09 27 03.5 Dec -56 06 18 Diam” 117 Mag(P) 12.2 Mag(V) 11.8 Cent Star Mag 15.9
From N Velorum, move in direction of Kappa Velorum. Two mag 8 stars about 10’ apart visible in finder. Just Sf of these a faint glow is visible. Hard to detect unless averted vision is used. Estimate about 1’ in size. OIII filter makes more prominent and enables outer halo to show up making object appear larger. No central star is visible.
NGC 3228 Open Cluster in Vela (Hartung 379)
RA 10 21 23.0 Dec -51 43 24 Mag 6.0 Diam’ 5 No of Stars 23 Mag of Brightest Star 7.9 Type cl (Open Cluster)
Locate Mu Velorum by naked eye. Move to a naked eye star 2deg to Np(P Velorum). Moving to Sp a line of stars visible in finder running in that direction points at a cluster visible as a faint glow in finder. Very scattered with a slight central condensation. Hartung describes as “straggling”
NGC 2613 Galaxy in Pyxis (Hartung 307)
RA 08 33 23 Dec -22 58 26 Mag(V) 10.3 Dim’ 6.5 x 1.4 SB 12.5 Class SA(s)b Non barred Spiral S shaped DDO Lum class III
Located Alpha, Beta and Gamma Pyxidis. Xi Pyxidis forms peak of a very obtuse triangle with Alpha and Gamma Pyxidis. Move North about 4deg to Eta Pyxidis. This is easily visible in finder as a star in line of 4 running roughly NS. Move Np about 2deg to a mag 6 star then 1deg 20’ to a mag 7 star just visible in finder. Target is about 25’ to North. Faint with a distinct core. Spindle shape. Many foreground stars. Seems to take moderate power (115x) well.
NGC 5986 Globular Cluster in Lupus
RA 15 46 03.5 Dec -37 47 10 Total V Mag 7.6 Brightest Star Mag 13.2 Horiz Branch Mag 16.5 Diam’ 9.6 Concentration Class 7
Locate Gamma Lupi then move just f of North about 2deg to wide pair of stars mag 5.5 and 6 then same direction just under 2deg to a mag 5 star h Lupi, target is 1deg Sf of this star. Fairly large, little condensation. Evenness of glow makes it appear like a miniature Omega Centauri. A faint star mag 12 or 13 appears on f side.
Saturn
Although transparency was only fair, views of Saturn were very good. Six satellites were visible! There were 2 satellites either side of the planet. On the p side were Tethys and Enceladus and of the f side Rhea and Dione. Titan is just Np of the planet and appearing to sit directly above the rings. Mimas was sitting just outside the rings on the f side and was visible intermittently. Stellarium confirmed its presence. Ten minutes later it was absorbed by the glow of the rings.

Malcolm
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Old 25-03-2010, 07:52 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Excellent work Malcolm. You really are producing some of the best visual reports I've seen. A nice mix of technical detail and fine descriptions of what's visible at the EP. The star hopping steps are great. Good to see you had some clear weather, I was in Melbourne for stepdaughter's wedding last week and it was mostly crappy cloud. Yuk.
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Old 25-03-2010, 02:02 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Thanks Paul.
I have been gradually getting the format for my reports a bit better over time. Including data helps as it makes me compare with the EP view, plus as I review later on I don't have to go back to source material. The hardest thing I am finding is the galaxy classes, still a bit of a mystery, should ask Les to explain it all!
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Old 25-03-2010, 03:59 PM
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orestis
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Excellent report yet again Malcolm,

You must be getting quite a lot of clear sky nights out your way.

Thanks for a great read,
Orestis
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Old 25-03-2010, 04:06 PM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Yes, it can be a bit mystifying. These links shed some light on the various galaxy classes.

http://astroprofspage.com/archives/330

http://www.astro.cornell.edu/academi...xies/types.htm
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Old 25-03-2010, 10:00 PM
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Hi Malcolm,

Excellent report Malcolm. You've really got to wonder how Messier & Co missed NGC 3521. Very bright galaxy (in context) and easy to see in small apertures.

I'm a bit of a fan of NGC 2613 in Pyxis. The view in 12" is excellent. I really like nice galaxies in star-littered fields -- even if it makes finding a little testy sometimes.

Re NGC 5986 in Lupus, were you able to see any stars in it? The v-tip is +13.2 so you'd expect a 12" to show some stars. Set against that, here is an old 25cm observation I made back in 1995 from suburbia:

x86, x138. 35' & 21' TF. Mag 7.1 Size 9.5. A very attractive cluster, only 1 * of note in the field at mag 8.5. Strong granularity with sparkliness. Est CC 6-7, appears about 6' diameter.

-- so I failed in suburbia (I rated the transparency at 5-6/10) but it did look granular with a hint of sparkles, so I must have been close to seeing stars in that aperture.

So who can see stars in this one? Must take a look again mext month (if I remember) up at Mudgee with the 46cm.


Best,

Les D
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Old 25-03-2010, 10:52 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Thanks for the links Paul, will check them out at some stage, not tonight as just arrived back from Melb (it's 11-30pm) where we attended my step daughters graduation (Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at Swinburne Uni), sorry just me boasting a bit!
Les, glad you liked. NGC 2613 is definately a target worthy of more investigation, would love to get it under a really dark sky. Not easy with a dob as it was very near the zenith.
NGC 5986 was still fairly low when I observed it. There was some mottling but I wouldn't go as far as to say I resolved any stars. Only used 115x, I will put it in my follow up list to have another look once it is a bit higher and/or I have a decent higher power EP!
Orestis, not really getting many clear nights, just had a bit of luck with 2 reasonable ones. The DSE is doing a lot of burning so some clear nights are being ruined anyway with smoke etc.
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Old 26-03-2010, 11:47 AM
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Great report Malcolm! Excellent format as well. You are doing well considering the rather crud conditions, well here in Cloudbourne anyway. I'm suprised how often you seem to be getting better conditions than here even though we are not far apart.

I've observed the PNe NGC 4361 with the 10" a couple of weeks ago, and saw a fat, elongated "s" shape superimposed on the fainter background haze. Looks like an interesting object that deserves further scrutiny.

Hopefully the DSE cut the crap in the very, very near future.
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Old 26-03-2010, 05:14 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Thanks Sab
I was led to observing NGC 4361 as it is featured in Stephen O'Meras book "Hidden Treasures" He mentions the structure within it and his drawing certainly conforms to your description.
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Old 29-03-2010, 05:14 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks for the report Malcolm. I like your new format also. And thanks for more targets to add to my already long list.
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Old 29-03-2010, 07:54 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Thanks Paddy
Glad you enjoyed.
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