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  #1  
Old 01-08-2017, 08:01 AM
jamespierce (James)
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Australia
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A LONG report from the far north of WA.

Observations from Charnley Station, Mornington Wilderness Park, Wolfe Creek and Purnululu NP in the Kimberly region of WA - 18,19,20,21,22,24,25 and 26 July 2017

The transparency has been very good despite all the dust in the air, and of course there are zero lights for many hundreds of km out here. The seeing has been mixed. While there are occasional wisps of cloud to be seen during the day generally the weather pattern in the dry season is clear, clear and more clear. The night time temperatures are a pleasant change also from Victoria, especially this time of year, no worries about dew. Everything up to a declination ~ +70 is accessible with a good horizon which means you don't miss out on much at all. I'm already scheming an astro trip up north with a bigger scope.

All observations using our 10" Travel Scope - Mixture of 24 Pan and 13 Nag eyepieces.

Canes Venatici (a new favourite constellation, in the north anyway)
NGC 4244 - Silver Needle GX - Extremely elongated
NGC 4258 - M106 - Obvious oval shape. (low down so binos)
NGC 4490 + 4485 - ARP 269 - Appears elongated, bright nucleus
NGC 4631 + 4627 - The Whale GX - Really does look like a whale. Long, 4627 makes up the flipper.
NGC 4656 + 4657 - Overall long and extended, just a hint of the hook of 4657 at the end.
NGC 4736 - M94 - Bright core
NGC 5033 - Bright core, some extension. 5005 and 4014 visible in the same field.
NGC 5055 - M63 - Bright core, mottled extension (spiral not visible)
NGC 5194 - M51 - The whirlpool. One of the most impressive northern objects - resolving well even with a 10 inch as the interacting 5195 is pulled in. NGC 5194 shows clear spiral structure and a bright core, NGC 5195 shows an elongated shape and a brightened core also.
NGC 5272 - M3 - Large well resolved GC

Coma Berniese
NCG 4559 - Elongated, 3 embedded stars and mottling.
NGC 4565 - Extremely elongated, brightened core.
NGC 4192 - M98 - Fairly elongated, some core brightening.
NGC 4154 - M99 - Face on, brightened core, glowing outer.
NGC 4321 - M100 - Bright stellar core, fairly large glow, but no spiral structure visible.
NGC 4382 - M85 - Brightened core + glow.
NGC 4548 - M91 - Bright core, diffused glow core elongated almost E/W
NGC 4548 - M64 - Moderate, almost stellar core and extended elongated glow. Black eye obvious with 13mm
NGC 2042 - M53 - Tight GC
NGC 5053 - What a comparison to M53. Moderately large size (larger than M53) but very faint and diffuse.

Ursa Major
NGC 5457 - M101 - Large face on spiral - beautiful

Lyra
NGC6750 - M57 - Sharply visible ring structure
NGC6779 - M56 - Somewhat resolved GC

Cygnus
Alberio - A beautiful, widely separated yellow and blue double star.

Sagitta
NGC 6838 - M71 - Somewhat resolved GC

Hercules
NGC 6205 - M13 - It's a large beautiful GC but it aint got a thing on NGC 5139 (Omega Centaurus) or NGC 104 (47 Tucanae)

Andromeda
NGC 224 - M31 - So large and extended. I've only ever observed the Andromeda GX from Victoria and Southern NSW (eg on your hands and knees just scraping above the horizon). To see it 30+ degrees up is quite something, there is so much more contrast so the extension is obvious - It takes 3 full fields of the 24 Panoptic before you reach the limits of the glow. The core is so big and bright and the companions NGC 221 (M32) and NGC 205 (M110) are so obvious with their shape also. It's also the first time I can say it was clearly visible naked eye. NGC 221 - M32 - Small (relatively), almost round and a bright dense core. NGC 205 - M110 - Larger (relatively), oval shaped and a more diffused but still bright core.
NGC 404 - Mirach's Ghost - A small galaxy which at first almost does miss attention as an optical reflection of the bright star Mirach which is just over 6 arc min away. At least it's easy to find.
NGC 891 - Sharply edge on spiral GX, slight bright core.

Cassiopeia
NGC 147 - large, more diffuse elliptical GX, faint brightening of the core
NGC 185 - diffuse elliptical GX, mild brightening of the core
NGC 278 - soft brightening of core

Triangulum
NGC598 - M33 - Another object which is visible down south, up here it's so much higher and so much more impressive. Spiral structure moderately evident, would love to see this in a large scope.

Perseus
NGC 1039 - M34 - OC, pretty enough but only ticking it off as a Messier object

Some nice views of Saturn and Jupiter which are both high overhead early in the evening. I must confess to finding high power planetary viewing tedious without tracking on the scope. The 'sweet spot' of the mirror is very obvious at high power as you let bright objects drift through the field.
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2017, 07:18 PM
75BC (Brendon)
Always in the dark.

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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northern Suburbs, Perth.
Posts: 107
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your report James.
I did however become jealous thinking of the warm nights and truly dark skies you got to enjoy. Seems you made the most of it though with plenty of targets bagged.

Brendon.
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