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Old 17-01-2010, 04:18 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Observing Report 7/1/10 – 16/1/10 Part 2

The following notes taken at South West Astronomy Group night at Camperdown Vic.

NGC 2392 (Caldwell 39)
Date 15/1/10 Seeing - Very Good
Hartung 262
Planetary Nebula in Gemini. “Eskimo Nebula”, “Clown Face Nebula” or “Lion Nebula”

Located Delta Geminorum (Wasat or the Middle) by naked eye. Star is the eastern star of pair of fainter stars located on Southern side of “rectangle” of Gemini. Along with Zeta and Lambda Geminorum forms an equilateral triangle pointing to south. Moved slight S of f to 2 approx 6th mag stars 1.5deg separated about 1deg. Locate point halfway between these 2 then look slightly f. At 67x in 24mm ep fuzzy star is immediately obvious. The is an 8th mag star just to north. At 115x is a large obvious planetary nebula which OIII filter reveals as bright against the sky. Two concentric rings, brighter inner ring is clearly elongated in north-south direction. Central star is about 9th mag based on comparison with star to north. Central star, while visible, is difficult to resolve to a point.

NGC 5139 (Caldwell 80)
Date 15/1/10 Seeing - Very Good
Hartung 524
Globular Cluster/Galactic remnant in Centaurus. Omega Centauri.

Located by naked eye as faint star in line extended from Beta Centauri (fainter star of the “pointers”) and Epsilon Centauri. Beta and Epsilon separated by about 8deg in direction Sp. Cluster is a further 5deg in same direction, finder reveals as a fuzzy patch. At 115x it nearly fill field. No obvious central condensation. Although it is larger than 47 Tucanae, it has a more even illumination so on a quick visual comparison, is probably comparable in overall brightness. Some structure is evident at higher power with several trails of stars and darker patches becoming visible with higher power.

NGC 5128 (Caldwell 77)
Date 15/1/10 Seeing - Very Good
Hartung 523
Galaxy in Centaurus. “Centaurus A”

From Omega Centaurus scan north about 1.5 finder fields or 4.5deg. Faint patch is just visible in finder. Low power (47x) reveals as a nebulous patch. Higher power (115x) clearly revealed dark lane running through middle of object. Core is large and bright. Filamentary structure of dark lane is obvious and middle part of dark lane appears thinner than other parts, which agrees with photographic evidence. Remarkable object, very rewarding.

The Coalsack (Caldwell 99)
Observed by naked eye. Dark patch to f side of Crux. Appears vaguely rectangular with a “point” to the south. This is the emu’s beak in the well known dark structure “the emu” visible in autumn. Only visible at fairly dark sites due to low current altitude. Examination of area with low power in scope reveals that there are plenty of stars within the Coalsack, but comparison with surrounding Milky Way area shows that volume of visible stars is much lower.

NGC 2237-8,46 (Caldwell 49)
Date 15/1/10 Seeing - Very Good
Hartung 219
Emission Nebula in Monoceros. “The Rosette Nebula”.

Located NGC 2244 (Caldwell 50) as previously described within naked eye isosceles triangle formed by Epsilon, 13 and 18 Monocerotis. Cluster is just visible in finder. Nebula surrounding this cluster is very faint and large. When scanning around cluster, hints obtained of faintly glowing filaments. Appears brightest on North and North f sides. Structure hard to identify in crowded star field.

Malcolm
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Old 17-01-2010, 04:22 PM
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Dave47tuc (David)
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Can you tell me about the South West Astronomy group?

Good report again thanks.
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Old 17-01-2010, 04:53 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
Bright the hawk's flight

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We are just a very casual (ie no committees, membership fees, meetings etc) group who get together at new moon Friday nights in Camperdown. As I live in Colac and most Friday nights I have other commitments with dancing and stuff, I only get there occasionally. Barry Coverdale who is President at the Ballarat Observatory runs it. By running it I mean he unlocks the shed, brings the tea and coffee and lets people know it is on.
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Old 17-01-2010, 05:58 PM
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Dave47tuc (David)
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Thank you for that, I hope you enjoy your observing sessions. Please keep us up to date with it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by barx1963 View Post
We are just a very casual (ie no committees, membership fees, meetings etc) group who get together at new moon Friday nights in Camperdown. As I live in Colac and most Friday nights I have other commitments with dancing and stuff, I only get there occasionally. Barry Coverdale who is President at the Ballarat Observatory runs it. By running it I mean he unlocks the shed, brings the tea and coffee and lets people know it is on.
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Old 18-01-2010, 07:33 AM
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Great observations malcolm. Looks like you had a good night .

The eskimo nebula seems like a nice planetary to view with a big scope.

Ngc 5128 is an amazing galaxy to observe i just love it.

Thanks for another great report

orestis
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Old 18-01-2010, 08:39 AM
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Hi Malcolm, Orestis & All,

Quote:
Originally Posted by orestis View Post
The eskimo nebula seems like a nice planetary to view with a big scope.
Like most PNe, it just gets better and better the larger the aperture. As time goes on, I'm discovering that nights with very good or better seeing are best spent on compact high surface-brightness PNe. They really respond amazingly to high and very high magnifications. NGC 2392 (Eskimo Nebula) is one of the very best in the sky! Look forward to it and NGC 2440, NGC 2818, NGC 2022, IC 418, NGC 3132 ... and the rest every summer.


Best,

Les D
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Old 18-01-2010, 08:17 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Another great report Malcolm. Only problem is I'm still trying to catch up on some of the objects that yourself and Sab have described in your last lot of reports, and now I have a few more.
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Old 24-01-2010, 02:38 PM
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Great report mate. You can see Centaurus A in a finder....I'm jealous of your skies (but not your temps or cloudcover) Did you see the two "owl eyes" in Omega Cen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ngcles View Post
Hi Malcolm, Orestis & All,



Like most PNe, it just gets better and better the larger the aperture. As time goes on, I'm discovering that nights with very good or better seeing are best spent on compact high surface-brightness PNe. They really respond amazingly to high and very high magnifications. NGC 2392 (Eskimo Nebula) is one of the very best in the sky! Look forward to it and NGC 2440, NGC 2818, NGC 2022, IC 418, NGC 3132 ... and the rest every summer.


Best,

Les D
Totally agree with this. I unleash all the magnification under my belt on these HSB planetaries when conditions permit. Recently I had NGC 3918 at 707x and could see details which appear in HST images. Also had NGC 3242 at 566x with a perfect inner ring (eye) and a pinpoint central star!

I always found NGC 2440 to have a somewhat creepy, unsettling appearance. At high power it looks like an alien face or skull with two glowing beady eyes staring back at ya
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Old 24-01-2010, 05:12 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
Bright the hawk's flight

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We had a good night that night so Centaurus A was clearly a patch in the finder. It really is a very bright galaxy. I took a widefield shot a while back with my camera piggybacked on the back of a scope with a cheap 50mm telephoto lense, hoping to get a bit of Omega Cent, and even an exposure of 60 secs was enough to pick up Cent A as well, even could see the dust lane if you zoomed a little. So seeing it in the finder is easy!
Didn't see the owl eyes in Omega C. Don't know if I have, please elucidate!
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