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Old 18-02-2012, 02:26 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Observations 17/2/2012 - the clearest stillest night for a very long time.

The atmosphere must be drying up, last night was the best transparency that I've seen for a very long time. And by midnight the seeing was excellent. Alas that I had a commitment in the morning - by 3 am it might have been amazing.

So here are my notes on the stunning Luck/Hodge 8 association in the SW LMC and a bit on the "Ghost of Jupiter" PN at high power. I also found a few objects not denoted on my charts (SL 114 and BHRT 3b) so will update these soon. I think the count of observable LMC objects on the charts must be approaching 500.

Might be a late one tonight!

Telescope 400mm f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr
Navigation: Uranometria, Night Sky Observer’s Guide, My charts of LMC available at cloudsofmagellan.net.au,

2230

Transparency good, seeing very good.

NGC 1756 OC in LMC

175x 7’ SE of NGC 1743, this is a distinct but faint 1.5’ dia. circular glow, a little brighter on the western side. With averted vision a few stellar points in the centre appear.

Shapley/Lindsay 114 OC in LMC

175x 10’ to the east of NGC 1756 this is a 2’x1’ glow shaped like a flattened boomerang with the apex pointing south and 3 stars accentuating the shape.

14’ to the east of NGC 1756 is Lucke/Hodge Association #8

NGC 1767/72/82 + SL 109/123 + Henize emission nebula N94 (all comprising Lucke/Hodge Assn 8) Association of nebulae and open clusters in LMC

175x N94/LH 8 is a stunning 20’ diameter roughly round collection of stars and luminosity with several bright knots. Hundreds of faint to moderately bright stars are scattered across the large nebulosity which includes a number of large brighter areas separated by less luminous lanes. On the NE edge is the very bright 2’x1’ glow of open cluster and emission nebula NGC 1782. This is a triangular cluster elongated E-W with its apex pointing west into the bulk of N94. The bright glow contains many densely packed resolvable stars. 12’ to its west is open cluster and emission nebula NGC 1767, which is slightly smaller, and a tad less bright. This 1’ dia. circular glow has a bright 30” dia core. With averted vision there appear to be stellar points in this core – either stars or concentrations of stars. 4’ to its north is a smaller and fainter clone of 1767, SL 123, which forms the right angle of a right angled triangle with 1767 & 1782. SL 123 is a 30” soft glow with a bright core. 14’ SE of 1767 is open cluster and emission nebula NGC 1772. It shape and size are similar to 1782 and the triangle again points into N94. It is quite a bit fainter than 1782 and a dark lane appears to cut a chunk off it at the southern end. Faint stars are scattered throughout both sections, but a little brighter in the northern part. Marking the SW corner of a triangle made with 1767 & 1772 is SL 109 – a fainter 2’ round glow with a grainy texture. With UHC filter the whole N94 complex appears brighter and patchier and the B and C sections can be separated more readily. NGCs 1767/72/82 and SL 123 all brighten.

15’ east of 1772 is NGC 1793

NGC 1793 OC in LMC

175x This is a 2’x1’ NW-SE soft grainy glow with a few faint stars resolved with averted vision.

NGC 1801 OC in LMC

175x 8’ east of NGC 1793 this is a 3’x2’ soft and smooth luminosity with a large smooth central brightening and no resolvable stars. Edge-on galaxy NGC 1809 is discernible as a faint 4’x1’ glow 7’ to the ENE.

NGC 1828/30/35 & BRHT 3b OC/OC/GC/OC in LMC

28’ NE of NGC 1801 is an isosceles triangle of round clusters against the background of LMC bar stars. Globular cluster NGC 1835 is the easternmost and is a 2’ dia. glow with a very bright 1’ core with no resolved stars. A very distinct and bright cluster. 6’ to the west is NGC 1828, marking the SW corner of the triangle, a 1’ round glow at least a magnitude fainter than 1835 but still with a distinct core, almost stellar in this case. Also 6’ w of 1835 is NGC 1830, a shade larger but fainter than 1828, smooth and no core or central brightening. 1/3 of the way from 1830 to 1828 is a very faint round glow, BRHT 3b, listed as a candidate for a binary star cluster in a 1991 catalogue by Bhatia et al.

NGC 3242 ON in Hydra “Ghost of Jupiter”

440x The seeing has improved dramatically so it seems time to have a look at this stunning PN with some high power. It is a brilliant bluish disc with obvious central star and dark inner annulus. This dark ring is itself enclosed by a bright and hard edged annulus the outer edge of which spans half the total dia of the PN. Outside of this bright annulus is a soft outer halo, which is a little fainter on the northern side. All detail still observable at 625x, but starting to suffer a bit from loss of definition. It is fantastic to see a PN take up so much of the FOV and still be good to look at. I gaze for a long time! All brightens with UHC and OIII filters, but no further detail is revealed.
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Old 20-02-2012, 05:39 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Nice report Paddy
I was out as well, but I only rated the transparency as fair. Got in a good hour and then some drifting clouds happened along. Only 3 new targets NGC4815 (OC in Musca) NGC3175 (GX in Antlia) and NGC 3109 (GX in Hydra).
I have been trying for 3109 a few times it is big and very low SB but I got it so conditions cannot have been too bad!

Malcolm
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Old 21-02-2012, 03:07 PM
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kustard (Simon)
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Nice one Paddy, I'd be nice if there was some clear skies up here!
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Old 22-02-2012, 09:46 AM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks guys. Looking good here for some more observing this weekend.
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Old 24-02-2012, 09:19 AM
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Very nice Paddy. Looks like there is a run of great seeing at the moment. I was out this morning, with some of the best views of Saturn I've ever had. This comes on top of my previous session on 29 Jan which was purely insane.

Excellent obs of NGC 3242, really one of the best planetaries in the sky. M57 maybe the best known of the lot...but does it have the vivid colour and structure of NGC 3242... not quite! If NGC 3242 were to be located where M57 is, I'd suspect it would be as famous as M31

Last edited by pgc hunter; 24-02-2012 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 24-02-2012, 03:57 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Good reading, your report Paddy.

Have you managed to sky out the GC NGC1850 in the LMC, & surrounding clusters & nebulosity? I'm hoping to make it a target this weekend. Bloody forecast isn't promising though, .

Last edited by mental4astro; 24-02-2012 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 24-02-2012, 04:15 PM
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glenc (Glen)
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Thanks Paddy. I especially liked your description of the PN 3242 at 440x.
Great to see your LMC and SMC website too.
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Old 25-02-2012, 01:36 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgc hunter View Post
Very nice Paddy. Looks like there is a run of great seeing at the moment. I was out this morning, with some of the best views of Saturn I've ever had. This comes on top of my previous session on 29 Jan which was purely insane.

Excellent obs of NGC 3242, really one of the best planetaries in the sky. M57 maybe the best known of the lot...but does it have the vivid colour and structure of NGC 3242... not quite! If NGC 3242 were to be located where M57 is, I'd suspect it would be as famous as M31
Thanks Sab. I have to agree about NGC 3242 being perhaps the best PN.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mental4astro View Post
Good reading, your report Paddy.

Have you managed to sky out the GC NGC1850 in the LMC, & surrounding clusters & nebulosity? I'm hoping to make it a target this weekend. Bloody forecast isn't promising though, .
Thanks Alex. NGC 1850 and its pals 1854 & 1858 are one of my top spots in the LMC. I did a sketch of them last night for the Scott Mellish competition. They are easy to pick out in the finderscope as a patch in the western end of the bar. The line up of the three is unmistakable in the eyepiece. The other bright patch in the bar about half way along is NGC 1910. Only thing is 1850 turns out not to fit the criteria for a GC. I've finally been able to put together a list of the 13 LMC clusters that are classed GCs at present. A lot were ditched as they had high metallicity or insufficient mass or population to meet the current criteria. I've updated the charts on Clouds of Magellan to reflect this and will shortly post a list and summary of the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenc View Post
Thanks Paddy. I especially liked your description of the PN 3242 at 440x.
Great to see your LMC and SMC website too.
Thanks Glen. Much appreciated!
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