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Old 20-03-2012, 06:52 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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17/3/12 - excellent seeing and some stunning planetaries

Saturday night had some stunning seeing, but transparency was a bit ordinary. Time to follow Sab's lead and hit some planetaries with some magnification. I was not disappointed! The Ghost of Jupiter at 660X rules. I didn't see a lot of things because I couldn't leave each object.


Telescope 400mm f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr, 2.5x Powermate
Navigation: Uranometria, Night Sky Observer’s Guide,

2200

Seeing excellent, transparency fair.

After a lovely cruise around NGC 2070 and Messier 93 whilst dark adapting, it’s time to hunt planetary nebulae.

NGC 2453 OC & NGC 2452 PN in Puppis

175x NGC 2453 is a very appealing 6’x3’ right angled triangle (long side WNW-ENE) the brighter of the 20 or so member stars picking out the shape of the triangle, but many fainter stars in a clump nestled just inside the right angle. 10’ SW is 2452. At 250x, this PN is a faint uneven round glow <1’ dia. with impression of annularity. At 440x, this impression is replaced by two bright patches separated by a dark lane bisecting the PN from NW-SE. These observations confirmed with UHC filter. No central star seen.

NGC 2440 PN in Puppis

440x I revisited this PN I recently observed to see if I could make out the face that Sab talked of on IIS. At this mag. It is quite clear, an inverted triangular arrangement of bright patches within a somewhat triangular halo gives strong impression of eyes and mouth in a face. Of demonic appearance even!

NGC 2438 PN in Puppis

250x This is a lovely 2’ dia annular PN sitting amidst the beautiful OC Messier 46. The PN looks elongated EW with a wide bright outer annulus & thick inner dark disc around the central star. This dark disc looks darker to the east of the star. Similar appearance at 440X but the PN looks huge. Brightens with UHC but the dark disc is not accentuated.

NGC 3242 PN Hydra “Ghost of Jupiter”

660x The seeing has improved enough to really ramp up the magnification and so off to 3242. Absolutely mesmerising at this mag! Huge luminous blue E-W oval glow with large soft outer halo, a crisp thin inner bright ring ½ way out from central star to halo edge. Inside the ring is a darker disc around the central star. The outer rim is a bit softer at the western edge. A stunning almost 3D jellyfish floating across the night sky and I am rivetted to the eyepiece!

Mars

250x distinct north polar ice cap, large triangular dark area very distinct on the western limb and widest at the equator. A dark thin arc from this patch curves down to the southern pole, enclosing a broad orangy-brown expanse in the middle of the disc. I then sketched this very crisp vision (will post later)

Finished the evening with browsing Saturn, Messiers 104 & 83, NGC 4945, Omega Centauri and Eta Carinae. Galaxies stills suffering from poor transparency, but what a night!
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Old 20-03-2012, 08:01 PM
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Lester
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Hi Patrick, very nice report, I enjoyed the read. Thanks.
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Old 20-03-2012, 09:21 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Whoa Paddy! 660x!!!
Nicely done. It is nice when you can get a night like that.

Malcolm
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Old 20-03-2012, 11:21 PM
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Paddy, What a session! You have scored big time, night's like this make all the wait worthwhile! Seems Like Victoria is piling on the good seeing lately NGC 2440, looks very much like an alien, Good stuff! Fantastic obs of 3242 aswell, it is IMO the best planetary in the sky. Nothing else shows such vivid colour and structure.
Eagerly awaiting your Mars sketch

Last edited by pgc hunter; 21-03-2012 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 22-03-2012, 09:25 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks all. It was quite a buzz. Have to agree about NGC 3242 Sab.
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Old 30-03-2012, 05:45 PM
astrospotter (Mark)
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What direction is the chin?

Ok I have to revisit this one now, clearly I missed this face and I like to form images in nebula. Can you re-post what direction the chin would be pointing in this 'demon' face? I'll get it if I know where the chin points I think.

I am the guy who sees a screaming thin Banshee head with wild hair in M42 and a 'Wizard of Oz' type of baboon face in your Tarantula Nebula and heck I even see a big bull in a large coat in Eta Car and a very distinct headless man in 2516 cluster (All of these are of course a stretch to envision of course but I see them easily once first discovered).

All I got from 2440 in Feb 2010 at 389x in 18" was this rather booring and clinical description:

1' len with OIII filter. 45" len No filter. 2EL 70dPA with no filter. Bright in central section. Broken central core brightness, brighter on N than S. Wonder if this is a break around central star? Very bright in central section but fainter extending for the Elongated size. OIII filter with averted shows 1' len. Strange central section like mini-arms going N and South. Seems to be some dark areas very near the core offset near edges.

Oh and thanks for sharing the OR Paddy, real nice read as usual.

Glad you had a fairly good night. Been raining over here (CA in USA) all this new moon except one rather poor transparency AND seeing night (but at least no rain or major clouds).

Last edited by astrospotter; 30-03-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:12 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrospotter View Post
Ok I have to revisit this one now, clearly I missed this face and I like to form images in nebula. Can you re-post what direction the chin would be pointing in this 'demon' face? I'll get it if I know where the chin points I think.

I am the guy who sees a screaming thin Banshee head with wild hair in M42 and a 'Wizard of Oz' type of baboon face in your Tarantula Nebula and heck I even see a big bull in a large coat in Eta Car and a very distinct headless man in 2516 cluster (All of these are of course a stretch to envision of course but I see them easily once first discovered).

All I got from 2440 in Feb 2010 at 389x in 18" was this rather booring and clinical description:

1' len with OIII filter. 45" len No filter. 2EL 70dPA with no filter. Bright in central section. Broken central core brightness, brighter on N than S. Wonder if this is a break around central star? Very bright in central section but fainter extending for the Elongated size. OIII filter with averted shows 1' len. Strange central section like mini-arms going N and South. Seems to be some dark areas very near the core offset near edges.

Oh and thanks for sharing the OR Paddy, real nice read as usual.

Glad you had a fairly good night. Been raining over here (CA in USA) all this new moon except one rather poor transparency AND seeing night (but at least no rain or major clouds).
At a guess I'd say the chin is to the east as I was observing it setting and I describe it as an inverted triangle (so chin lowermost in the ep pointing west). This would fit with this image. I am guessing so maybe I should just have another look when skies are dark again.
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