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Old 12-10-2009, 09:00 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Strangways sky report 10/10/2009

Dear IISers,

Here is my first ever observation report. Not only the first posted but the first written. I have been very impressed by the process and how it has contributed to my closer observation. I have also found it interesting to compare my recording with images and data and been pleasantly surprised by the correlation. I don't know how often I will post them as typing them up takes some time, but it's a process that I would highly recommend. My thanks in advance to anyone patient enough to read it and for any feedback.

Patrick

Conditions: Clear sky, moderately good seeing, no moon. The beautiful sound of my beloved practicing piano in the background. Equipment 400 mm “tri-dob” reflector with Parracor. 28 MM UWAN, 24 mm Panoptic, 17mm LVW, 13 & 9 mm Naglers Tirion'sstar atlas 2000, Atlas of the Southern Night sky, Arp atlas of Peculiar Galaxies

Time 2150

M 6 OC in Scorpius. 94x mag. Mostly blue stars, but with bright orange star at eastern end. Part way through cluster a small asterism looks like a small volcano on its side, one of these small stars appears much more orange that the others. Dark nebula at bottom of field of view near bright orange star. The cluster spans most of the 43’ FOV. A fairly large clear space in the middle of the cluster. A delicate Y shaped asterism leads off to the east of the cluster. Very pleasing to the eye. Musical accompaniment are fingers exercises and scales.

NGC 6441 GC in Scorpius. 132x Near bright orange star that is the sting of the scorpion. Using averted vision, the cluster is quite concentrated in the centre surrounded by a regular haze of stars. No individual stars are resolvable

M7 OC in Scorpius. 80x Beautiful bright bluish stars with intriguing asterism of faint stars which looks almost like two adjacent equilateral triangles. A hint of nebulosity through cluster, but this could be the background of many stars. Quite dark near this asterism of triangles. Appearance of a Y-shaped dark nebula about 30’ to the south, which has a tail extending to the southeast and widens out. To the north and east, there are two parallel curves of fainter stars separated by about 16’, looking fetchingly like a stream beside the main body of the cluster. Music wafting across from the house is one of Sati’s Gymnopédies.

M15 GC in Pegasus. 132x reasonably tight central concentration, good resolution of many stars, star poor region to the south, partly enclosed by two arcs of stars. There appears to be a small L – shaped asterism in the central part of the cluster. A number of tracts of stars appear to be distracted from the cluster itself, in particular one to the NW, one to the N, a small circlet of distracted stars to the east. I note a star poor region to the western side of the cluster, shaped like a wedge pointing towards the centre. I wonder if this GC has been pulled apart by a few journeys through the disc of the Milky Way. I estimate that the cluster spans about a quarter of the 30’ AFOV at this magnification.

M2 GC in Aquarius. As we move on to Sati’s first Gnossienne, I point my wondrous scope to Messier #2 175x Quite a large cluster with some central concentration, but now what I’d call a core. I note a darker patch on southern side of centre and perhaps a slight elongation along the N-S axis. Appears less distracted compared to M13. Many resolvable stars, but none of the little asterisms that I find so enticing in some globulars. I estimate that the GC spans about 9’. I am struck by the grace of this DSO sliding across the field of view as my beloved starts Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

NGC 7314 Arp 14 GX in Pisces Austrinus. 132x Faint, partly edge on spiral galaxy. I have an impression of some granularity suggesting dust lanes, bright nucleus. Only with vivid imagination could I detect Arp’s “detached segments”. I think these are for imagers only. 175x The galaxy stands up wrll to this magnification, stronger impression of dust lanes. I estimate about 5’ wide.

NGC 7284+5 Arp 93 GX in Aquarius. 132x Faint pair of galaxies with obvious appearance of double nuclei in one halo. 175x gives similar strong impression of merging. My beloved has retired and my observing is to the music of the bush and the ineffable silence of the vastness above.

NGC 6744 GX in Pavo 132x Face on spiral with bright nucleus but difficult to discern spiral arms apart for an impression of reduced brightness on NE side of galaxy. I am unconvinced that I can see arms rather than imagine them.

NGC 6752 GC in Pavo 132x Appears to be much more disrupted than the previous GCs of the session. Some central concentration, quite a few resolvable stars and not much of the background haze obvious in the other GCs. A number of radiating patterns and spirals of stars spreading out from cluster. A big loop to NE, a circlet to the NW, which looks a bit like a figure 8. Very intriguing to explore. I estimate it spans 15’

Looking for NGC 6872 GX in Pavo 132x I am excited to observe a chain of 3 galaxies running SW-NE, almost joining. As I observe further, I see that the centre one is actually 2 galaxies joined, one a face on spiral (turns out to be NGC 6876). On one side of this spiral is a double star and beyond that another pair of galaxies (NGC 6880+ IC4981). On the other side is the large edge on spiral, NGC 6872 near a relatively bright star. Then I am a bit overwhelmed by all the galaxies

NGC 247 GX in Cetus 132x Edge on spiral covering most of AFOV of 30’. Brighter at the southern end where there is a bright foreground star. Brightness tapers off moving towards the north of the centre. Seem shorter at the brighter end. Reminiscent of a fainter version of NGC253. Strong impression of dust lanes along the galaxy

NGC 246 PN in Cetus 132x covers about 7’. Quite round with bright central star, with several other stars closer to the periphery. Brighter around the circumference, with an impression of a lobular structure in the interior. It seems bubblelike. With OIII filter, sense of lobular structure is increased. At 175x the bubble impression is stronger still.

47 Tuc GC in Tucanae 175x Absolutely stunning, taking up the whole field with countless stars. My eye is drawn to the beautiful little arc of stars to eastern side of the core of the cluster, enclosing a slightly darker area. I note a parallel arc just outside of the first one that I had not seen before. The appearance is almost 3-D.

NGC 362 GC in Tucanae 175x about 10’ across, quite concentrated in core with darker ring around the core and some brighter outliners beyond this ring with background of haze of stars.

Of course, one may have dallied around the SMC and NGC 2070 before packing up the scope. One could also be excused for spending time at Jupiter and Neptune without recording and for browsing M31 and the Pleiedes whilst putting away the 15x70s at about 0030.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:29 PM
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ngcles
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Hi Paddy & All,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
Dear IISers,

Here is my first ever observation report. Not only the first posted but the first written. I have been very impressed by the process and how it has contributed to my closer observation. I have also found it interesting to compare my recording with images and data and been pleasantly surprised by the correlation. I don't know how often I will post them as typing them up takes some time, but it's a process that I would highly recommend.
And let me (hopefully) be the first to say thanks for a first-rate report of your observations mate. Particularly enjoyed hearing of the music going on in the backgroud. Though I listen to a lot of prog rock style stuff while observing, one of my favourite albums to listen to while observing is:
"The Persian Hours - Mysterious Piano Music" by Tamara Anna Cislowska which has most of Erick Sate's 'Greatest Hits' -- really simple, beautiful music.

Very glad to hear how taking some notes has increased your observing experience.

Without going blow for blow through all y6ou observed I was particularly interested in what you saw in NGC 362 when you said:

" ... quite concentrated in core with darker ring around the core and some brighter outliners beyond this ring with background of haze of stars."

I remember one night (with excellent seeing and transparency) looking through a friend's 50cm at x277 and we both were struck by a very small dark cross superimposed dead centre. Never saw that again on many other nights.

First rate report mate. Thanks for sharing it with us.


Best,

Les D
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:06 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Excellent report, keep em coming!
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:20 PM
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DavidU (Dave)
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Excellent Pat. Well documented.These obs reports really draw me in. Like reading a good book. Cheers !
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:07 PM
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astroron (Ron)
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Thankyou Patrick for a very pleasant report
It is very interesting seeing the different interpretations of familiar objects by other observers
I am a sounds of the night observer, but your wife playing in the background seems to have added to your experience
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Old 13-10-2009, 07:22 AM
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Thanks Patrick, that was easy to read and very informative. That sort of obs reports is something I can use myself as a guide to those objects.
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Old 13-10-2009, 09:23 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Great report Patrick, inspirational stuff. The area around NGC6872 is very interesting. There are quite a few galaxies in the surrounding area. Some of the small IC galaxies would no doubt need dark skies to spot.

This site shows it well:
http://messier45.com/cgi-bin/dsdb/ds...01&str=NGC6872
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Old 13-10-2009, 09:52 AM
Coen
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Thanks for the report, enjoyed reading it.

Taking notes while observing, even a rough sketch to nail down what was that faint dot/feature when comparing against catalogues and atlases later, adds to the observing experience - even if the notes/sketches/recordings are never put into bits, bytes and electrons.

Alas I have not been able to record my observations recently for various reasons but hopefully soon I'll get back to it. Please keep posting as it reminds me to keep getting out there when I can!
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Old 13-10-2009, 10:06 AM
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I looked up Strangways and it looks like a nice dark site. Looking forward to more Obs reports Pat.
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Old 13-10-2009, 10:29 AM
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erick (Eric)
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Observing to the sounds of the Moonlight Sonata (but in the absence of Moonlight). Simply divine! Great report Patrick, of what must have been a great evening.
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Old 13-10-2009, 03:36 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks everyone for your very encouraging feedback.

I found it interesting to type up the report - as I listened dot the tape, I could remember the sights I'd seen very vividly. It was a bit like having a second observing session! I will keep doing these reports and can highly recommend the process, especially with a dictaphone - great suggestion from Les et al.
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Old 18-10-2009, 10:15 AM
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Excellent first report! Well done

NGC 362 is a fantastic little cluster, better than many Messiers.
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Old 18-10-2009, 02:10 PM
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It was nice to meet you at Snake Valley.
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Old 18-10-2009, 04:20 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Paddy. Also nice to meet at Snake Valley. Very nice bit of kit the 16" you have! Hope you made good use of it over the weekend, look forward to another interesting report!
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Old 19-10-2009, 04:59 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Hi Malcolm and Dave - it was great to meet you both. And I'm looking forward to my next report too - its a great experience. See you again at SV and elsewhere!
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