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Old 27-08-2011, 02:35 PM
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Some Nights under the Stars Obs Report + sketches

Hi everyone ,
I had minimal homework this week and I decided to take advantage of the clear weather and do some observing.

I Viewed my first ever comet, Comet Garrad which was lots of fun to observe though the tail was faint.

Conditions on all the nights that I observed were pretty good, except for one night were I was shrouded in fog. Also on 2 of the nights my secondary mirror fogged up,which i think was affecting my views.

On the 23/8/11 I did minimal observing apart from observing Comet Garrad of which I completed a sketch (attached).It was easy to find using a map of comet chasers website and was slightly visible in the 50mm finderscope. It had a star like nucleus and a nice bright coma with central condensation. At low power the tail was quite apparent pointing away from the nucleus towards the south east. It was quite long. Sorry I’m terrible at measuring astronomical objects. I should have to find a way of measuring them.

On the 24/8/11 I did heaps of observing, Saw Comet Garrad again and it had changed position, which is pretty cool.

M11 –At low power this open cluster looks like a loose globular cluster. But using higher power it is fully resolved into countless stars. At the centre of the cluster is situated a bright yellow-orange star, many of the stars are bright but there is also many fainter stars amidst them. The brighter stars seemed to be closer together creating voids in the cluster which looks awesome. The triangle shape that many observers say is the main feature of the cluster was not so apparent to me though it did look like the stars were generally pointing east. Overall an amazing cluster, very populous.

M30 –A spread out yet compact globular cluster which looks very uniform in shape. The core was unresolvable at 250x, there are many outliers and strings of stars coming out of the cluster. It seemed to have an uneven distribution of stars.

Ngc 6772-A Pn Located in Aquila, it was difficult to find and when found it was quite faint. It is a circular smudge near a triangle of stars and double star. Apart from that no other detail was observed.

Ngc 6781-This Pn also in Aquila was brighter than Ngc 6772.Its shape was also circular, there was some uneven brightness, it seems that maybe it was slightly brighter on the southern end of the circle. It was slightly bigger than Ngc 6772.

Ngc 7172/73/74/76-This group of galaxies in Pisces Austrinus were magnificent. There is a small triangular grouping of 3 galaxies, Ngc 7173/74/76.The eastern most one is spherical and has a star like core,right next to it towards the west there is an elongated galaxy ,elongated E-W. About 2’ to the N-E of both these galaxies is a third forming a triangle. This galaxy is spherical and has a bright star like core. Half the Fov of the 6mm Ep (250x) to the north is another elongated galaxy, elongated SE-NW. Brighter towards the centre, no other detail observed.

These galaxies are apparently about 160 million LY away the oldest light that I have seen to date.

Ngc 7314- Also in Pisces Austrinus. This galaxy is elongated NE-SW. Brighter towards middle. It seems a little uneven in brightness. Close bright star off centre towards the NW, It seemed a bit textured.

Ngc 7293-The Helix Nebula, was a grand sight. Could easily locate in 50mm finderscope as a circular haze, which was quite large. At 57x it was similar to the ring nebula in shape but much larger and also much fainter. There many stars imbedded in the nebula itself. The NE and SW portions of the ring are brighter than the rest. There is some nebulosity in the middle of the ring. I think I hinted at the central star.

I finished this great night with an awesome view of Albireo, with its vivid colour contrast.

This is what I observed on the 26/8/11

Ngc 7205-An elongated galaxy situated on the border of Indus and Tucana. It is located between 2 bright stars. It was elongated towards these 2 stars .It had Brighter central region, slightly stellar core and also some mottling.

IC 5152-An IRR galaxy found in Indus, right next to a bright stars so easy to find. Elongated E-W(roughly)Central brightening. Faint Fuzzy, star near western tip.

5 million Ly away and may be an outer member of the local group.

Ngc 7213-Easily found near Alpha Gruis,it forms an isosceles triangle with 2 other stars.Star like core with circular haze surrounding it. Seemed to have irregularity around the peripheral of the circle. Quite a bright galaxy.

IC 5148(PN)-The spare tyre nebula in Grus. Though quite faint was located in little time with 2 bright stars pointing towards it. Circular haze with darker middle. The Ring shape was visible. At 250x it was almost completely invisible that’s how faint it was. It was a fun challenge to observe and very satisfying.

I hadn’t seen the Grus Quartet for a long time so I decided to pay the a visit,I could easily see all for members, with the main 3 fitting into the fov of the 9mm EP.

I also saw M27 which was big, green and full of detail.

Also I sketched the R Coronae nebula (attached)to see any change and it seems to have become fainter .

It was lots of fun to be under the stars again,Hope you get a chance to observe soon, there is nothing more satisfying.
Thanks for reading
Clear skies to all
Regards Orestis
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Comet garrad IIS.jpg)
138.2 KB22 views
Click for full-size image (r coronae australis 26-8-11IIS.JPG)
177.8 KB24 views

Last edited by orestis; 27-08-2011 at 02:36 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 28-08-2011, 10:29 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Hi Orestis,

That's some report you've posted. Extensive range of DSO's beautifully descriptive.

One suggestion for your long range brightness gauge, in one corner of the sketch do a graded scale of the media you used from 'lightest tn darkest'. It will give you a constant "standard" by which to determine any changes as we cannot reliably trust our eyes and touch over time. Add this scale to each such 'time' sketch.
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Old 28-08-2011, 11:41 AM
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Very nice report. The detailed descriptions make me want to get out to dark skies even more.
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Old 28-08-2011, 09:15 PM
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Very nice stuff, Orestis. The Grus, Indus and Piscis Austrinis stuff makes me want to head back south for some observing (I will in 2013).

NGC 6772 is an absolute git to find, despite being well-placed from here. I wasted half an observing session last year trying to track down that little bugger with my 12" (it should have been relatively straightforward). I was going to have another go this year but the combination of weather and circumstances has made it a no go.
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Old 28-08-2011, 09:46 PM
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Nice reports Orestis. Hope you managed a look at Garrard last night will it was in same FOV as M71 in Sagitta.
I found my secondary would regularly fog up on the 12", so investing in a basic dew heating kit for it is always worthwhile. Otherwise I had to have a hairdryer on hand and blow it through the focuser which took forever!

Good to see some of the objects you are observing, nice targets there.

Malcolm
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Old 28-08-2011, 10:13 PM
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BTW the group in Picses Aust. is also known as Hickson 90. There is a pic here http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090313.html of the 3 galaxies making up the main part of the grouping. Must go have a look myself.

Malcolm
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Old 28-08-2011, 11:47 PM
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Hickson 90 is on my observing list. Piscis Austrinus gets above the horizon for me, but too low to see H90 properly, as H90 is at -31 degrees. A visit to the US or Aus will solve that one.

Last edited by FJA; 29-08-2011 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 29-08-2011, 09:40 AM
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For the comments guys.

That photo of hickson 90 is awesome,makes it all the more worthwhile to observe knowing that its that object.

Faith,2013 have seen to see if there are any special astronomical events happening in that year.

Ngc 6772 was very difficult to find,and when found offered almost no detail,just a faint circular smudge,but still fun to observe.

Malcolm,I got an awesome view of comet garrad yesterday and it was near m71 but closer to a bright double star.Still an awesome sight.

Regards Orestis
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Old 29-08-2011, 06:47 PM
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A great read Orestis. Some very nice observations indeed and written with consummate skill. And great sketches as well. You just seem to get better and better with your notes and sketches.
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Old 30-08-2011, 12:24 PM
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hooray for minimal homework I always used to leave till Sunday arvo's when I was in school! More than a few times I'd be there well after sunset starting the bloody thing lol . Again a very well written report with some interesting targets. I recall seeing Hickson 90 a while back, from memory I was surprised at how nice this group is - as you say , magnificant. Should really revisit this object.

cheers
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Old 30-08-2011, 04:23 PM
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Thanks Paddy and Sab,

The clouds have retruned to spoill the fun.

Cheers Orestis
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Old 30-08-2011, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orestis View Post
For the comments guys.

That photo of hickson 90 is awesome,makes it all the more worthwhile to observe knowing that its that object.

Faith,2013 have seen to see if there are any special astronomical events happening in that year.

Ngc 6772 was very difficult to find,and when found offered almost no detail,just a faint circular smudge,but still fun to observe.

Malcolm,I got an awesome view of comet garrad yesterday and it was near m71 but closer to a bright double star.Still an awesome sight.

Regards Orestis
Thanks Orestis.
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