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Old 30-03-2009, 12:29 PM
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Obs Report, 29/3/09

Finally had a night when it was clear which did not coincide with me being wasted! The forecast for Melbourne read "morning cloud" (as it does in Melbourne) so I was worried. I've had very bitter experiences when after dragging thousands of tonnes of gear outside, it clouds over. This phenomenon is called the "Melbourne effect". When one experiences the "melbourne effect", symptoms include High blood pressure, stress, and hatred for melborune weather. Wanting to reach for the wine cask has also been reported in Victims.

Well, seeing wasn't crash hot, and dew was extreme. Infact, before I even started the session at 9:30pm, everything was jooooooooooooed to hell. But as long as the two mirrors are clear - who cares!

Transparency wasnt too bad, not the best but certainly not the worst. Lots of brown crud was seen on the horizon during the day, but didn't seem to affect viewing.

Time: 9:30pm-11:15pm,
Scope: 12" F 4.6 truss dob
seeing: 4/10
Transparency: 3/5
Dew: Severe

My mission was a big galaxy hunt. But as you'll soon find out, I never got to accomplish my goal...

NGC 3115
With my intended targets still rising, I thought I'd start with the bright Spindle Galaxy. Very bright, strongly elongated. At 216x, it features a fat central bulge which tapers down into thinner extensions. Using averted vision, I could glimpse further needle like extensions. The core was not quite stellar. A star of about mag 14 sits on the SE edge of the galaxy and another star of Mag 15.6, just flickering in n out of vision, is positioned just off the NE end.

NGC 2442
The Meathook in Volans. At 216x, I could barely see anything! Only a faint, hazy core was visible, but using averted vision I could just make out a very faint large oblong-shaped haze which was oriented in a NE/SW direction.

NGC 2434
This elliptical galaxy is located about 20' NW of NGC2442. It is also much brighter. Located just south of a triangle of mag 11-12 stars, at 272x it had a small condensed core surrounded by a fainter circular haze. A stellar core was glimpsed intermittently.

NGC 4945
The Centaurus edgewise spiral. Very large, strongly elongated NE/SW although LSB and thus easily lost in light pollution. At 108x, it appeared as a large thin streak of light. At the northern end, there was what appeared to be a brighter knot seperated from the core regions, and DSS images confirm this showing a dust lane almost completely 'seperating' the northern end from the central region.

NGC 3521

A large and bright galaxy in Leo. At 176x, a bright stellar core was visible, surrounded by a NW/SE elongated haze. The western edge of the galaxy appeared to be obscured when compared to the eastern half, and DSS images do indeed show a heavy dust lane across the western half.

Also had a look at the Homunculus Nebula. Despite the ordinary seeing, some great detail was seen at 250x. The brighter western lobe was distintly uneven along the edges and also in colour. A dark patch was visible superimposed on it. 2 spikes were seen oriented perpendicular to the lobes where they meet.

Also checked out Saturn, but seeing was poor. Nevertheless, Titan exhibited an obvious ruddy colour which I don't think I've seen before.


At about 11:15pm the session was cur short due to Melbourne cloud, but as soon as I hauled everything in, it cleared up again! Naturally.
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  #2  
Old 30-03-2009, 03:55 PM
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goober (Doug)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgc hunter View Post
Finally had a night when it was clear which did not coincide with me being wasted! The forecast for Melbourne read "morning cloud" (as it does in Melbourne) so I was worried. I've had very bitter experiences when after dragging thousands of tonnes of gear outside, it clouds over. This phenomenon is called the "Melbourne effect". When one experiences the "melbourne effect", symptoms include High blood pressure, stress, and hatred for melborune weather. Wanting to reach for the wine cask has also been reported in Victims.
Nice report. I haven't been around for about six months but you sound a lot like $AB... have you changed handles?
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Old 30-03-2009, 04:54 PM
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^^ yeah its me. Good to see you back!
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Old 30-03-2009, 07:57 PM
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Big galaxy hunt ...

Hi PGC,

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgc hunter View Post
(1) Finally had a night when it was clear which did not coincide with me being wasted! ...

(2) My mission was a big galaxy hunt. But as you'll soon find out, I never got to accomplish my goal...
As to point (1), well unlike the Melbourne weather, this is something under your control. Isn't it?

As for point (2) with the exception of NGC 2434 (a nearby stop-off from NGC 2442) they're all [I]BIG GALAXIES[I] so, I think you've accomlished your mission!

Seriously, good report mate -- an enjoyable read as usual.


Best,

Les D
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:35 AM
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^^ Thanks mate! Nah I had a big list of targets ready to go, and ofcourse it clouded over. The last 3 nights have been clear, but the bloody DSE (oh how I HATE them) decided to do burnoffs, filling the sky with putrid smoke

well today is clear, but guess what? Clouds are forecast

My mission is far from accomplished

Bring on April new moon...
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:15 PM
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Nice going Mr Hunter! Some good objects there!

Cheers -
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:51 AM
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^^ Thanks mate! It was only a microscopic part of my planned hunt, thanks to clouds and the bloody DSE.

Next stop..... late April

Last edited by pgc hunter; 03-04-2009 at 10:51 AM.
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