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Old 01-10-2008, 11:03 AM
žAB
Its only a column of dust

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Obs report 30/9... SMC, 47 TUc, Melbourne CLoud

Because it was the only night since Sept 3 that promised to be clear, I just had to make use of it. Living here in the crappiest climate in the world, who knows when the next clear night will occur. Probably 1000 years after I'm dead for all we know. And with the moon fast approaching, chances are slim to non-existant.

I got wasted earlier in the day, but all the "best" seeing conditions occur when I'm drunk.

Took the 12" dob out, did the usual pre observing fun of collimating and yeah.

Scope: 12" F/4.6 truss dob
Time: 9pm - midnight
Seeing: 2-5/10
Transparency: 2/5 >> grading to 4/5

At the begging of the session, my lousy neighbour had his freaking floodlight on, which spills onto my back fence and is quite annoying.
Maybe he had to make sure his 2 little p!ž5head Malteser Terriers don't get eaten by a fly while out crapping........for a whole freaking hour

I'm going to have to add "anti-aircraft gun" to my list of observing equipment.

47 Tuc
Basically fully resolved at 64x. Tried a variety of mags and decided that 283x provided the best view, the whole FOV swamped with tiny pricks of light (not to be confused with the prick next door); although at one point, a mag of 353x provided a magic view. The core was seemingly a haze among a mass of glittering sparkles. Seeing seemed to be all over the place, with moments when 353x looked great, but at other times, I felt seasick from the shimmering effect visible on the cluster. At 353x I could see a tiny, oval-shaped star-free void just off-centre from the cluster's core toward the west. I threw in the 17mm LVW for 83x and even at this low mag the cluster covered at least 2/3rds of the field with full blown resolution.


NGC 362
Even at 64x, this cluster showed resolution.
353x - Outer 2/3rds nicely resolved with a distincly granular disk grading to a tight, bright core. I got the impression that there was a tiny semi-circle of stars around the core. I got the impression that there is a definate increase in resolution here than with my 10".

M15
Observing a couple of bright stars near M15, I could see that seeing was pretty trashy, even at 176x stars were being smeared all over the joint. At 217x, M15 appeared quite washed out, but showed decent resolution and a tight core. The core regions were granular but the outer 3/4ths of the cluster were resolved.

After M15 I swung back to NGC 362 and I was shocked at how much BETTER NGC 362 is than M15 at the same magnification. Visually, the two clusters appeared similar in both size and resolution, but NGC 362 was a hell of a lot brighter!
I then swung over to 47 Tuc again and instantly realised how privelidged us southerners are!

NGC 246 - the Cetus Bubble
Virtually invisible without a filter at 128x, but with the OIII it stood out, quite faintly, as a not quite complete circular orb, with the eastern edge "missing". Its shape did remind me of a bubble. The interior of this object appeared to have uneven brightness, with atleast 2 spots of complete darkness. Atleast 4 stars were involved.

Small Magellanic Cloud
Something I always wanted to do, but unachievable due to my geographic location, is sweep the SMC. I used a whole manner of mags from 64x to 176x, with and without OIII. The western end of the cloud is very rich in all manner of nebulous clumps, I'd say I had about 10 in one FOV at 83x, and all of these are bright under the OIII filter. The eastern end of the cloud contains soem big bright cool stuff. NGC 346 impressed me, a large and bright nebula without filter, but was blazing with the OIII. At around 176x, It looked somewhat like a barred spiral galaxy! NGC 371 appeared as a large, moderately faint cluster at low powers, but the OIII revealed a totally badass circular cloud of nebulosity which completely impressed me. The thing is as round as a coin! The nearby cluster NGC 330 showed resolution at 176x, appearing as a very tight clump. Also came across NGC 460, which has two nebulous knots adjacent the cluster NGC 465.

Unfortunately, at midnight, that usual bloody Melbourne Cloud invaded so had to pack it up. Well I guess that's October's, November's and Cecember's quota fullfilled.....
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2008, 12:13 PM
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goober (Doug)
No obs, raising Harrison

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Onya SAB - I have to admire any obs session that begins with "I got wasted earlier in the day..."

Got to get the scope out again - been 3 months since I last looked through it.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:28 PM
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NQLD_Newby
Clear Skys and Open Road

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Great report Sab. Gotta hate those neighbours and their pesky lights. Sounds like you had a great day and night while it lasted. You've inspired me to have a closer look at 47 tuc, and try to find that oval. And got me thinking about an OIII filter......
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:42 PM
žAB
Its only a column of dust

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^^^ Get the OIII mate, you'll wonder how you lived without it!
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:57 PM
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ngcles
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Obs report 30/9

Hi žAB,

Thanks for your report -- an interesting read as always.

Interesting thoughts on M15 -v- NGC 362. Indeed NGC 362 is a wonderful object that if in the northern sky, we would never hear the end of! Down here, it is completely overshadowed by you-know-who. I've got to say though, I can't quite agree with your assessment.

I'd rate M15 as a slightly better object than NGC 362 only because it is a little brighter and seems a little better resolved. To my eyes using the 'scope, M15 is at least a couple of arc-mins bigger. But these things are always a matter of opinion, not fact!

The total magnitude of M15 is +6.2, the overall size is about 18 arc-mins, the brightest resolved stars (Vtip) are 12.6 and the Horizontal Branch stars (H-B) are at 15.9. Distance is 10.3Kpc.

The total magnitude of NGC 362 is 6.8, the overall size is 14 arc-mins, the Vtip magnitude is 12.7 and the H-B is 15.4. Distance is 8.5 Kpc.

The figures look awfully similar don't they? Maybe your "seeing" was a bit better to the south than to the north?

Interesting comment about the small dark bay near the centre of 47 Tucanae (NGC 104). I have seen it several times in 12 and 18" but usually when the seeing is good and always at magnifications x250 and above. I've also (once) seen in a 20" 'scope, a very small dark "cross" (+) over the dead centre of NGC 362 at high magnifications. Two other observers confirmed it at the same time.

A good read!

Best,

Les D
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:01 PM
Solanum
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Ha, great obs report and I now see why you were so sympathetic about my own plight with neighbours with dogs and their backyard lights!

I viewed M4, 47Tuc, NGC6752, M30, M2 & M15 the other night. I actually thought NGC 6752 in Pavo was the second best on that list (47Tuc and Omega Centauri look just superb in my 15 mm Siebert). You could add that to your list next time perhaps.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:45 AM
žAB
Its only a column of dust

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Quote:
Originally Posted by goober View Post
Onya SAB - I have to admire any obs session that begins with "I got wasted earlier in the day..."

Got to get the scope out again - been 3 months since I last looked through it.
mate it's been a while since I've read your reports! Just another unfortanate byproduct of living in Australia's version of Ireland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ngcles View Post
Hi žAB,

Thanks for your report -- an interesting read as always.

Interesting thoughts on M15 -v- NGC 362. Indeed NGC 362 is a wonderful object that if in the northern sky, we would never hear the end of! Down here, it is completely overshadowed by you-know-who. I've got to say though, I can't quite agree with your assessment.

I'd rate M15 as a slightly better object than NGC 362 only because it is a little brighter and seems a little better resolved. To my eyes using the 'scope, M15 is at least a couple of arc-mins bigger. But these things are always a matter of opinion, not fact!

The total magnitude of M15 is +6.2, the overall size is about 18 arc-mins, the brightest resolved stars (Vtip) are 12.6 and the Horizontal Branch stars (H-B) are at 15.9. Distance is 10.3Kpc.

The total magnitude of NGC 362 is 6.8, the overall size is 14 arc-mins, the Vtip magnitude is 12.7 and the H-B is 15.4. Distance is 8.5 Kpc.

The figures look awfully similar don't they? Maybe your "seeing" was a bit better to the south than to the north?

Interesting comment about the small dark bay near the centre of 47 Tucanae (NGC 104). I have seen it several times in 12 and 18" but usually when the seeing is good and always at magnifications x250 and above. I've also (once) seen in a 20" 'scope, a very small dark "cross" (+) over the dead centre of NGC 362 at high magnifications. Two other observers confirmed it at the same time.

A good read!

Best,

Les D
Thanks Les I'm not sure if seeing here will ever be good enough to magnify high enough to view that little cross in NGC 362, but there is always hope. The seeingwas the most cooperative since last summer, so there might be light at the end of the tunnel. BTW, what mag were you using to see it? Those stats for M15 + NGC 362 are interesting, almost identical, but at the eyepiece M15 was nothing compared to NGC 362. My theory is the slightly more light pollution in the northern sky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solanum View Post
Ha, great obs report and I now see why you were so sympathetic about my own plight with neighbours with dogs and their backyard lights!

I viewed M4, 47Tuc, NGC6752, M30, M2 & M15 the other night. I actually thought NGC 6752 in Pavo was the second best on that list (47Tuc and Omega Centauri look just superb in my 15 mm Siebert). You could add that to your list next time perhaps.
Apparently NGC 6752 is sposed to be the sky's 3rd best globular. But because it is exclusive to the southern hemisphere, most people don't realise that it even exists! Heck, even I had no idea it was so grand until I read about it a few months ago. I've seen it during the last clear sky in April, but these days my house is getting in the way.
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:16 PM
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goober (Doug)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by žAB View Post
mate it's been a while since I've read your reports! Just another unfortanate byproduct of living in Australia's version of Ireland.
Tonight's looking good - I'll set up early and check out Venus before dinner.
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:21 PM
žAB
Its only a column of dust

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Last night was clear all night - damn should've wagged uni today instead of yesterday

Sadly, I have uni tomorrow so I cant stargaze

They say that Saturday and Sunday will be fine. In the words of Leighton Hewitt ... C'MON!
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:24 PM
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Starkler (Geoff)
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Going out tonight with the sdm.
Gotta make the most of these rare Melbourne opportunities when they arise.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:42 PM
žAB
Its only a column of dust

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^^ word of warning: I can see the Cranbourne racetrack from my place, and its flood lights are illuminating a bank of crappy fog. Watch out.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:21 PM
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There was something up there tonight - transparency wasn't great in Oakleigh.
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:10 AM
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Yeah transparency left something to be desired, but at least I got a few hours of observing in down at the Briars.
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:29 AM
žAB
Its only a column of dust

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must've been the dust carried in by the northerly winds. With luck , saturday nite will be better.

Last edited by žAB; 03-10-2008 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:17 AM
Rob_K
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Nice report SAB! You seem to be enjoying the OIII filter - good descriptions!

Cheers -
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