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Old 19-01-2015, 11:55 AM
N1 (Mirko)
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Dunners Nu Zulland
Posts: 1,128
Small Scope Breakfast

Hi,

I'll continue to post some sporadic observation reports here.

Got up at 3.00 this morning to a clear sky as forecast and drove to an observing site 30km west of Dunedin. Objective: Split Antares, 2nd Attempt . Result: Failure. It was windy, seeing wasn't good to start with and competely fell apart shortly after sunrise. I ended up observing Jupiter for some time instead of Antares.

Time: 4.00 - 6.30 NZDT
Seeing: 4
Transparency: 8
Temp: 9C
Wind: 3-4 bft W
Scope: 60mm F/5.9 then 76mm f/7.5
Lowest Power used: 11x (32mm PL)
Highest Power used: 142x (4mm OR)

60mm f/5.9

1. NGC 5247 GX?
Picked up while looking for M104, shape clearly different from Sombrero. Also no pointers. No structure visible other than general shape and slightly brighter core than periphery.

2. Sombrero Galaxy M104
Dark lane detectable with avertred vision, pleasing view with the 3 pointers in 1 FOV at 40x (9mm OR)

3. Omega Centauri GC
Outer half appeared resolved or very close to it, inner parts mottled

4. Centaurus A NGC 5128 GX
Very easy to find, i.e. "impossible to miss" at 15x (24mm Pan), dark lane detectable with averted vision

5. Carina Neb NGC 3372 & NGC 3532 Football Cluster NB & OC
Epic vista with both objects in 1 FOV at 15x (24mm Pan), near zenith. Conspicuous cluster (10mag?) halfway between them. OIII on Carina neb at 20x (18mm OR) quite spectacular.

76mm f/7.5

6. Antares
Colourful scintillation. No split. Not surprised. Stopped at 142x.

7. Saturn
Not pretty above 63x, very little detail.

8. Jupiter
Tried 81x (7mm Nag) but reverted to 63x (9mm OR). 4 belts, 4 moons. Watched until 10 minutes after sunrise. Io still detectable after sunrise but no other moons.

Other observations:
- Very active silent lightning to the south-west.
- Saturn near Beta Sco looking good.
- Eye relief on 4mm Ortho (new addition) not feeling anywhere near as bad as I thought. In fact, not much worse than T6 Nagler to my eyes. Much tighter, yes, but lack of eyecup, smaller top diameter and much narrower AFOV compensate well. Also, seeing entire AFOV at any one time not essential at higher powers. Very happy with this tiny "dust plug". Tremendous value for money.

An enjoyable morning despite the marginal conditions (other than transparency) after weeks of not observing at all. Item 5 alone was worth getting up for. The scope size was a factor. I would not have bothered with the 10" in these conditions, and zero time at the eyepiece would have resulted, once again.
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