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Old 14-01-2008, 05:05 PM
žAB
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Cool Obs report 10/1/08 - 18" Obsession from dark sky site

Dave, Geoff and I went down to Julian's dark sky site for an all night session with an 18" Obsession. Dave invited us down last Wed which was to be my first taste at using a large dob from a dark sky site.

Dave drove us down to Julian's at dusk (thanks Dave!) where the big scope was ready to go. And yes, she's a beauty! Seeing was terrible sadly, the obvious twinkling of Mars meant doom as far as conditions go. Ok enough chit chat....

These observations are with the 18", from memory.

Sirius
Goodbye dark adaption!

M42
Unreal structure! The core is detailed as all hell, mottling, shading and most importantly, so bright you could see it with eyes closed. With the OIII filter, the nebula extended well beyond what you see in photos and I saw something I haven't seen before - a fainter streamer looping south of the main cloud. It's small companion, M43 exhibited photographic structure.

NGC 2438
With the OIII filter in place it was a blazing white donut with obvious variations in brightness. This was one of the highlights of the evening. Julian's description of "sexy" just about sums it up perfectly!

NGC 2440
Intense white core with two spots seperated and appeared to be connected
by fainter material. The outer lobes easily seen. A bit mushy due to the poor seeing.

Tarantula Nebula
In the 26 Naglar with a filter it was an incredible mass of ultra-fine, intricate nebulosity lacing the entire FOV and beyond. I have yet to see a photo as spectacular as what I saw at the eyepiece.

47 Tuc
Bright, almost 3D. Stars spilling across the entire FOV compressing down into a tight core with almost perfect symmetry. Dave reckons it's "alright". Yer it was ok I suppose

NGC 362
Like 47 Tuc in a smaller scope. Full resolution and pleasingly crisp and bright.

Thors Helmet
Wow! You know that bubble in the photos with the two horns sticking out? Well, forget sitting waiting for your 2 hour exposure to finish, coz you can have that as soon as you step up to the eyepiece. Amazing, almost 3D and I could detect filamentary structure in the bubble. Some more nebulosity was visible around the Thors Helmet which isn't even marked in my Millenium Star Atlas. Very Very cool. Just ask the boys.

NGC 1999
That T-shaped Bok Globule wasn't too hard to see.

Horsehead Nebula
First time I've ever seen this in a telescope. Using the H-Beta filter, it was very easy to see, and with careful observation, the horse shape was beginning to show resolution.

Flame Nebula
Its characteristic fur tree shape easily seen.

Eta Carinae complex
Low power sweeping with the 31 Naglar was mind-blowing. Literally. The starfields here are beyond description. Eta Carina Nebula was bright, numerous dark lanes and globules evident. You could trace it for miles and miles! The Homunculus showed excellent structure at moderate powers. Certainly one of the highlights of the night.

NGC 3579
Rich nebula complex just east of Eta Carinae. Main complex consists of a coet shaped nebula and an L-shaped nebula seperated by a dark rift. Similar view to my 10", however 4-5 small, faint blobs could be seen near the main complex.

NGC 3603
Once again similar view to my 10" but the hammer-shaped dark feature could be seen more easily.

NGC 3199
Lovely crescent set amongst an incredibly rich star field. The nebula itself shows ruffling in the 18" and looks like a monochrome photo of the area.

Pencil Nebula
Long, almost perfectly straight cloud near the GUM Nebula complex in Vela. Excellent definition at low power. Higher powers were not effective on this object.

Omega Centauri
Huge, spectacular ball of bright resolved stars at low power. Almost 3D! The 2 "owl eyes" were obvious.

NGC 5189 - Spiral Planetary
Superbly detailed. Similar to a mangled barred-spiral galaxy, split up with dark lanes.

Eight Burst Planetary
Very bright with strong aqua hue with the OIII filter. C shape obvious, with one end brighter than the other.

IC 418
Small bluish grey circular blob. Quite bright.

Ghost Of Jupiter
Large and so bright, I swear the central star was overexposed The eye shape was crisply defined, with a strong bluish hue.


A bit of fun with the NP 101
Also did some roving around with a TV NP 101 with the 31 Naglar in place. The almost 5║ widefield served up spectacular vistas of the Eta Carinae region. The entire nebula and the numerus star clusters lie almost in the same FOV. And did I mention the mind boggling starfields? Also saw the fainter nebulae IC 2948 ( Runnning Chicken) and Ced 122 owing to the dark skies and widefield. CHecked out the LMC, tiny knots and fuzzies everywhere. I was surprised to see a long thick nebulous object stretching the entire FOV - turns out that's the LMC itself But yes, a widefield sweep of the Eta Carinae complex with a widefield refractor was something I always wanted to do and damn it was orgasmic!

We called it a night around 3am or thereabouts. To complete the evening, I got some Maccas on the way home. Nothing like a bit of maccas after 6 cold and above all exciting hours

It was a great night, saw some damn spectacular sights Kudos to Julian for having us and to Dave for competently taking on the role as Chauffeur And its only now that I've come to realise how crappy our suburban Melbourne skies are compared to the darkness of the southern Mornington Peninsula countryside.

Last edited by xstream; 15-01-2008 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Profanities breach of TOS
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Old 14-01-2008, 05:36 PM
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edwardsdj (Doug)
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Awesome that you got to observe through an 18" at a dark site

Sounds like you saw some truely amazing sights
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Old 14-01-2008, 10:11 PM
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ngcles
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Hi žAB & All,

Sounds like you had a teriffic night.

There was a poll recently on the "King of the Nebulae".

Now you have seen with the "Big 3" with a big 'scope -- ie M42, Eta Carinae (NGC 3372) and the Tarantula (NGC 2070) which do you rate the best in that aperture?

Best,

Les D
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Old 14-01-2008, 10:13 PM
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Starkler (Geoff)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by žAB View Post
M42
With the OIII filter, the nebula extended well beyond what you see in photos and I saw something I haven't seen before - a fainter streamer looping south of the main cloud. It's small companion, M43 exhibited photographic structure.
Was a great night wasnt it? BTW the outer loopy bit in m42 should be visible in your 10" if you can get it to a dark site.

Quote:
Thors Helmet
Wow! You know that bubble in the photos with the two horns sticking out? Well, forget sitting waiting for your 2 hour exposure to finish, coz you can have that as soon as you step up to the eyepiece. Amazing, almost 3D and I could detect filamentary structure in the bubble. Some more nebulosity was visible around the Thors Helmet which isn't even marked in my Millenium Star Atlas. Very Very cool. Just ask the boys.
This was the high light for me. Amazing detail and everthing I have seen in photos posted here you could see 'live' at the eyepiece

Forget all about messing around with imaging gear, just get some decent aperture going and enjoy the live show

Quote:
And its only now that I've come to realise how crappy our suburban Melbourne skies are compared to the darkness of the southern Mornington Peninsula countryside.
Theres a danger of looking through large aperture and dark skies. Nothing less becomes good enough anymore! Looking through Julians 18" scope certainly cost me some $$$ when I just had to go buy a sdm truss dobby.

Glad you enjoyed the night Sab.
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Old 14-01-2008, 11:32 PM
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goober (Doug)
No obs, raising Harrison

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Great report - I'd comment more but I'm too jealous

Quote:
Originally Posted by žAB View Post
A bit of fun with the NP 101
Ain't they nice
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Old 15-01-2008, 09:08 AM
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Dave47tuc (David)
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Glad you enjoyed the night Sab.

Highlight for me was how easy it was to see the horse head nebula, I have never seen it like that before.

Thors helmet was better than any photo I have seen. But so was 47 Tuc and NGC 2070 etc etc etc

Good report Sab, but no photo I sent you
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Old 15-01-2008, 09:48 AM
Rob_K
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žAB, you're a maniac! You are going to burn your retina out at this rate, LOL! I sense a bad bout of aperture madness coming on - beware!!

Seriously though, great report and sounds like you all had a fabulous night.

Cheers -
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