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Old 16-04-2008, 08:59 AM
你B
Its only a column of dust

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Observing Report 16/4

Weather charts showed no Jetstream, everything looked in place for good seeing. So I decided to go out for a bit of moon and Saturn viewing.

I was trying to decide which scope I should take out, I did beleive seeing was going to be good so maybe I could get the 12" and go for gold on Saturn or the moon, or get the 10" 'coz its easier to deploy and the advantages of the 12 won't be there for DSO viewing since the moon is out. I settled on the 10".

Time: 9pm-3am
Scope: 10" GSO dob
Seeing: 3-4/10
Transparency: 4/5

Started with Saturn. Immediately it became apparent that seeing was pathetic. You could see the planet get smudged at 156x, at higher powers it was just a blur. Contrast however seemed better than last night. Maybe my collimation was better this time or something.

Seeing as the seeing was absolutely no good and that there was a moon, I decided to hunt some random open clusters.

Cr 299
56x - Large sparse group of about 40 stars arranged in a triangular pattern. A bright star marks the eastern most point of the triangle.

Red Star near Mimosa
Picked this up quite easily at 56x, pretty bright. Striking blood red colour. First time I've seen a Carbon Star so I was quite excited. Went in for a closer look at 156x. Very interesting object.

NGC 6067
96x - Lovely, rich cluster located in Norma, center is marked by a bright double, one being slightly orange. Dark lanes can be traced amongst the swarm of fainter stars. Western half of the cluster appeared more populated.

NGC 6087
56x - very loose cluster centered on a bright orange star. Stars are arranged in a rough diamond shaped pattern with a distinct trapezoid of stars lying east of the cluster's center. There's a line of 4 brighter stars to the SW in the same FOV.

NGC 6025
56x - Loose collection of approx 25-30 stars distributed in a rectangular pattern. A bright orange star lies at the southern edge.

NGC 6134
Tight knit group of around 4 dozen stars, at 156x 10 faint stars make a distinct flattened V cutting across the center.

NGC 5460
56x - Large, no concentration, about 20 bright stars arranged in a banana shaped pattern. A prominant semi-circle of 6 stars lies at the western end. Marked by a bright star to the east.

NGC 5822
Very large group of around 80 stars, best seen at low power. An S-shaped curve of about 3 dozen stars cuts across the cluster.

NGC 6242
96x - Located north of Zeta Scorpii. Nice little custer, about 20 stars arranged in a pattern similar to the greek symbol Pi. A band of another 2 dozen fainter stars marks the cluster's eastern perimiter. Higher magnification bought out more stars in this band. A bright orange star marks southern end of the Pi crossbar.

M62
Globular cluster in Scorpius. Appeared granular at lower powers, at 192x the outer third was just barely resolved while the inner areas were strongly granular. Has a tight condensed core. Probably would be better in good seeing.

Decided to wait for Jupiter so I passed the time with some low power sweeping in the Norma Starcloud. By now the moon has set. During the sweeping I happened to come across NGC 6067 several times, it is a totally different object without moonlight interference. Far more spectacular, the surrounding field is very rich and IMO this is definately one of the better open clusters in the sky. In other words, a typical southern hemisphere object
Found an interesting object during the sweep, a tiny, neat semicircle of 6 stars located in a void.

ALso did sweeps in Sagittarius, by now my finder was fogged so I didnt knwo where I was, I'm assuming in the M24 starcloud. Absolutely spectacular starfields around here, I came across wha appeared to be a very tight, rich and faint open cluster with a bar across its center, like M4. I investigated at higher power, definately an open cluster, pretty rich aswell but compact with faint stars. I happened to stumble upon the Swan Nebula M17. It's shape was clearly visible at 96x, I was surprised as it's pretty big. A dark lane ws visible above it's "body", with much fainter nebulosity adjoining it. Further cruising in this area has bought me to the Trifid Nebula, the dust lanes were visible at 96x, as was the adjacent reflection nebulosity. Further sweeping has me stunned at the richness ofthe starfields here, truly amazing! I was stumped when I swept up what appeared to be a huge nebula, extending across several fields of view with the 22mm LVW (56x) in place. This vast cloud appeared much brighter than other extended objects such as the Running Chicken Nebula. Like seriously, there is like a full on nebula happening here! It's huge and it's not hard to see. It's location is just to the north-northwest of the teapot's spout. Is the milky way so tightly packed here that it appears as a nebulous swath, or is there a vast nebula here? Incidentally, I happened to stumble upon the location of Barnard 86, which, sure enough could be seen at low power adjacent the cluster. Not overly obvious but there was a definate void!
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Old 16-04-2008, 09:42 AM
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PhilW
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Strange - I got another good view of Saturn last night. Maybe local seeing conditions? It was also unusually transparent out my way.

The carbon star near Mimosa is DY Crucis. It's also well worth checking out Hinds Crimson Star (R Leporis), near Orion - still visible in the western sky.
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Old 16-04-2008, 03:04 PM
你B
Its only a column of dust

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Hey Phil
Yes I agree with the transparency, it was stunning last night! The forecast cloud/drizzle didn't eventuate, and there was a southerly airstream off the ocean bringing amazing transparency. I was stunned by how well the stars showed even under the moonlight. After moonset, The Sagittarius Milkyway stood out so well, I could see the M24, Norma and Scutum starclouds (arn't we spoilt here in the glorius south!!!) clearly and the views thru the telescope were just unreal. Amazing, just amazing.

That nebulosity in Sagittarius that I reported - turns out it's the "Great Saggitarius Starcloud". An absolutely memorable experience thru the scope. It seriously looks like a giagantic nebula, with innumerable tiny pinpricks sprawling everywhere. I am proud to be part of the LUCKY FEW (5 billion peeps in the north, 1 billion in the south) to be living in the southern hemisphere! The Sagittarius starclouds probably surpasses even the Eta Carina region.

Basically everything awesome is south of the celestial equator, including the Orion and Horsehead Nebulae.

Norma's NGC 6067 is a truly excellent cluster, well worth a look under moonless skies. Very rich, set in one of the densest starfields in the sky. IMO it matches the heavyweights in Carina in richness. During my cruise in the sky's richest area, I also chanced upon M11, very rich, however I found NGC 6067 to be more spectacular.

Last edited by 你B; 16-04-2008 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 16-04-2008, 06:12 PM
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programmer
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Those Berwick skies must be darker than mine

Hey 你B how about doing a 'star dance' to keep the clouds away tonight! I wanna try my Argo and maybe even get it to point to something
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Old 16-04-2008, 06:57 PM
你B
Its only a column of dust

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It's already overcast at my place, I spent the last 30 mins observing the moon, although it looks like it may clear, for a little while atleast.

Might go and stick it to the clouds and my flab with a few star jumps
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Old 19-04-2008, 11:14 PM
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ngcles
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Good Report!

Hi 你B,

Good report as usual -- NGC 6067 and 6087 arer real showpieces -- really lovely cliusters that I was looking at only the other night with the 15x70s.

Your description of NGC 6025 was also interesting -- it is funny how our minds each see differrent patterns in stars. You see a rectangle -- I see a rounded "M"-shape like a McDonalds symbol. The two loops of the "M" are open to the East.

M17 and M20 -- the best two nebulae in the winter sky!! Well done!

Best,

Les D
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