Old 02-01-2008, 06:51 AM
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goober (Doug)
No obs, raising Harrison

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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 793
Observation Report: 1 January 2008

Location: Melbourne
Time: 11pm - 12:30am
Transparency: 4
Seeing: 6
Conditions: cool, breezy, humid

Melbourne was still cooling off after two days of 40+ degrees. I went out with Decembers AS&T in hand for an hour of hunting down Sue French's "Targets" for the month. I figured about half would be in reach for me.

NGC 1662 - open cluster in Orion. Quite easy to pick out off Orion's bow (which I always struggle to see, as it's upside down). Nice cluster, actually! Quite low on stars, but pleasingly arranged. There is 6 bright stars arranged in a tight "W" pattern - one with a distinct yellow/orange colour. Then there is a circle of 9 more stars surrounding the "W".

NGC 1663 - open cluster in Orion. I star hopped to the spot, but if there is a cluster there, I didn't see it. Listed as magnitude 9.5 and only 9' in size. Didn't see a thing.

Jonckheere 320 - planetary nebula in Orion. Another toughy, magnitude 12. Again I star hopped to the spot and thought I was right there based on Sue's description (makes a trapezium with a triangle of faint stars). I couldn't see it.

Dolidze 17 - asterism in Orion. Easy - centre on Bellatrix and nudge south west. Five bright stars form a large half square, with a sixth star a little further away. Looks like an ice cream cone.

Struve 617 - double star in Orion. About a degree away from Pi(6) Orionis. Easy double at 23x, cleanly split. The pair look white/lilac. I went up to 49x. I could see my next target in the same field, so hopped on over to ...

W Orionis - carbon star in Orion. A variable star listed at magnitude 5.5 - 8. Currently it's certainly brighter than Struve 617 (magnitude 6). Bright, very orange star.

Ended the Targets with three strikes near the border of Eridanus - NGC 1788 - reflection nebula in Orion, and NGC 1684/NGC 1682 - two galaxies. Couldn't see a thing, but didn't really expect to given the light pollution. I thought I may have seen a hint of something when hunting the galaxies, but it was probably imagination, and I didn't have the Star Atlas out there to confirm the field. Dark sky targets for the future.

Mars and Rigel - reassessing my Nagler zoom eyepiece. The seeing looked steady, so I had a look at Mars with the 3-6 Nagler zoom. This eyepiece had been languishing on the trade pile, so I thought I'd try it again after using a wider 3.5mm and 5mm Nagler for a while. Mars was showing some surface detail and I was quite pleased. I swung up to Rigel, which I had been happily splitting for months, and couldn't split it at any of the focal lengths! I popped the 7mm Nagler back in and checked out Rigel - there was the companion, plain as plain. Hmm, I think this zoom eyepiece will stay on the trade pile - sure it's convenient to dial in your focal length, but the trade off is eye relief, field of view, and clarity. No contest.

Last edited by goober; 02-01-2008 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:27 AM
Its only a column of dust

žAB is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New Iceland
Posts: 761
Once again nice work!

I was out aswell, but seeing was disastarous, observing a bright star at 357x, it was literally swimming. 47 Tuc was undulating like a flag in a breeze. And to top it off, low level crap moved in rather hastily.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:41 AM
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goober (Doug)
No obs, raising Harrison

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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Cheers. I saw the cloud to the west and south, so just hung out in Orion. The seeing was okay for me, but I only went up to 108x (apart from playing with the zoom at the end).
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:31 PM
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Rob_K is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bright, Vic, Australia
Posts: 2,105
Nice going again Doug! NGC1682/1684 look like good challenges for small apertures, at mid 12s for 1684 & over 14 for 1682. Will add them to my list, but I doubt I could get 1682 - thanks!

Cheers -

Last edited by Rob_K; 04-01-2008 at 10:34 PM. Reason: More info
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