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Old 27-02-2011, 03:51 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Observation notes 25/2/2011

Dear all,

Here are some notes from a lovely few hours observing. I really did plan to go somewhere other than the LMC, but there was one little patch that I just had to get clear on around NGC 1948 and it was all downhill from there. I did also have a look at NGC 3132 to see if I could find this colour that Suzy observed, but it was alas beyond my eyes. I did get to look at it at 440X which was very nice indeed. Alas the moon rise put and end to things at that point.

Telescope 410mm (16”) f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr, Orion illuminated reticle plossl
Navigation: My own charts of LMC Chart (#5 in particular) available at cloudsofmagellan.net.au

Directions for LMC obs adjusted for rotation – hence north means north when the galaxy is at its highest.

2300

Seeing good at start of session 2/5 then excellent 1/5
Transparency good 6/7

NGC 1946 Open Cluster in LMC

135X A broad swathe of nebulosity extends SW from the southern edge of the brighter part of Henize emission nebula N48. 12’ south of the apparent edge of N48 is a bright knot of luminosity, NGC 1946. It is slightly elongated E-W appears about 0.5’x1’. Further to the south is a broader fainter wedge of gossamer, which is NGC 1945. To the west is broad OC NGC 1948. 175X appears more textured with a bright knot in the centre.

NGC 1945 Emission nebula in LMC

135X This is a broad faint wedge of soft glow the edges of which are quite difficult to discern. Only slightly brighter than the background haze it is at first hard to see why it has a separate designation. Appears 4’x3’ 175X still fairly vague outline Becomes more distinct with UHC filter and the boundary is much clearer. Dark lanes also become apparent as is a lobe to the west which was not obvious without the filter.

NGC 1948 Open cluster in LMC

135X A broad scattering of stars against a faint background glow. The brighter stars of the cluster seem to form an elongated question mark, all up looks about 6’x3’ Dims with UHC filter.

NGC 1941 Open cluster and emission nebula in LMC

135X Just to the north of a fairly bright foreground star, about 40” across. 175X Appears more textured and slightly wedge shaped, with the point oriented SE. Dims with UHC filter.

NGC 1951 Open cluster in LMC

135X Significantly larger and brighter than some of the neighbouring OCs. About 1’x0.5’, it is bright in the centre and grainy, suggesting some resolution of member stars. Dims with UHC filter.

Shapley Lindsay 465 Open Cluster in LMC

135X Very close to the north of NGC 1951 this is very faint and about 1’ across. Almost undetectable unless using averted vision. Dims with UHC filter.

Just to the south of Theta Dorado is the complex area with NGCs 1873,1869 & 1871. 1873 is closest to Theta Dor. Overall it’s a dusty patch of sky with lovely sprinklings of small stars throughout. With UHC filter, they appear to stand out from a broad swathe of nebulosity extending south from Theta Dor.

NGC 1873 Open cluster and emission nebula in LMC

175X A small triangle of fairly bright resolvable member stars points SW inside a large irregularly circular patch of haze about 3’ across. Brightens with UHC. An arc of nebulosity extending towards Theta Dor becomes apparent.

NGC 1869 Open cluster and emission nebula in LMC

175X An E-W line of about 4 resolvable star against a matching thin background haze about 3’x1.5’. Brightens with UHC against broad area of haze. Looks much larger with UHC filter, at least 5’ across.

NGC 1871 Open cluster and emission nebula in LMC

175X About 7’ south of 1869 this is a small lens shaped group of stars enclosing a patch of nebulosity. Brightens with UHC against broad area of haze and looks larger again, about 3’.

NGC 1895 Emission nebula in LMC

175X Fairly faint disc of light somewhat elongated N-S with some resolvable stars and patchy appearance. Brightens significantly with UHC Filter

NGC 1905 Open Cluster in LMC

175X A small faint .5’ glow in the night sky. Makes an attractive pair with NGC 1895. Fades with UHC filter

30’ or so to the east is

NGC 1940 Open Cluster in LMC

175X Just near a bright little pair of stars, this is a small but quite bright knot slightly elongated E-W about 0.5’x1’. Looks quite grainy and textured. Dims with UHC filter.

A further 20’ to the east is

Henize Emission Nebula N50

135X Quite hard to find the edges of this soft, patchy glow which is just to the north of NGC 1974 complex. Contains spattering of about a dozen resolvable stars. Slightly wider at the southern end. Reminiscent of a tree trunk with its base at the south, thinning as it heads north. At the northern end is a brighter small knot. 175X Appears more like it has 2 parts, the northern one being round and irregular and this is actually N50. UHC filter confirms this and shows N50 connected by a thin strand of nebulosity connecting it to a y-shaped southern section wider E-W. The whole patch looks about 10’ N-S x 4’ E-W and the northern section (N50) appears 3’ across. The southern part is about 3’ across also.

NGC 1929-1937 complex + Henize Emission Nebula N44 Open clusters and emission nebulae in LMC

175X A stunning and complex splash of light with many stars and knots of luminosity throughout, occupying most of the 28’ FOV. Two parts are apparent, the larger to the north. A broad gap separates this from the southern part. On the north-east corner is NGC 1937 (cluster+neb) which is quite a broad lump of haze and stars and appears a little distinct from the main northern section. Elongated E-W looks about 3’x2’ with E-W ridge of brightness between 2 quite bright stars all set against a fairly bright lenticular halo. On the western side of the northern patch is a bright-centred 30” lug, NGC 1929 (nebula). South of 1929 is another small bright lug NGC 1934 (cluster) and another further to the south is 30” 1935 (nebula). At the southern tip of the northern section is another bright 1’ knot, NGC 1936 (nebula). These all sit in or on the edge of the larger splash of gossamer and stars that is the northern section of the N44 complex. The western edge of this part of the complex is a wide concave-east glow arching from 1936 to 1937 with many resolvable stars through is and in the hollow enclosed by it. The southern section of N44 is also quite complex and interesting, but my chart does not have designations to delineate its sections. Overall, the complex lights up nicely with UHC filter but 1937 and 1934 dim somewhat. 1929 and 1936 brighten the most. The arc of nebulosity from 1936 to 1929 lights up considerably, as does the southern part of the complex, which has a number of glowing knots within.

NGC 3132 PN in Vela “the Eight Burst Nebula”

440X Bright central star with dark inner annulus with bright and thick outer shell open at the north-western end. Dark inner ring and bright outer shell are of roughly equal thickness. No colour apparent. Quite spectacular at this magnification.
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Old 27-02-2011, 04:40 PM
Rob_K
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Excellent report Patrick! I've got your LMC charts printed out & bound, ready for use at Snake Valley...

Cheers -
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Old 27-02-2011, 04:52 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
Bright the hawk's flight

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Lovely Report again Paddy. Must have been nice conditions to get to 440 on 3132!

I am thinking I need to learn some more patience. I have had a go at the LMC open cluster with your charts and the charts in U2000 and I do get very frustrated. Maybe I need darker skies to see more objects and find my way around. The LP to the south here knocks out a lot of the fainter stuff so I am often not sure if I am looking at what I am supposed to be looking at! Then I go off and hunt down galaxies instead.

Malcolm

Last edited by barx1963; 28-02-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 28-02-2011, 12:02 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
Bright the hawk's flight

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BTW Paddy, I am not frustrated with your charts, they are excellent, its more the volume of objects in such a small area of sky!

Malcolm
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Old 28-02-2011, 02:28 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Thanks Malcolm. I have to agree that it is pretty overwhelming and I can imagine that with some light pollution some of the clusters/nebulae that you need for hopping might be missing. I find some of the asterisms around the LMC handy to get some starting points and I've described some of these landmarks in the observing tips page of my site http://cloudsofmagellan.net.au/lmcobservingtips.htm. I have just noticed that the link to this from the main menu is not there and that the page itself has some font problems and I've just sorted these things out.
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Old 28-02-2011, 03:39 PM
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orestis
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Great report Paddy,

Now that i am armed with a 12'' dob maybe I can start observing our closest neighbours(The Magellanic clouds).

Keep them coming
Cheers orestis
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Old 28-02-2011, 04:52 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Thanks Orestis. The LMC will absolutely knock your socks off with your new scope! May the skies clear for you!
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