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Old 22-05-2012, 07:55 PM
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Zambuto 1st light & Observation Report 20/5 PART 1

Finally I was able to give my 12" SDM telescope it's first real workout with a Zambuto primary and Antares 1/30 wave secondary after pickup from Peter Read way back in late March.

Seeing wasn't particularly good, continuing the theme of winter, but transparency was quite alright.

Finally gave the scope it's first real test with the new mirror and while it's only been one night of dud seeing, I can say I am impressed.


The first target was Saturn. The difference over the old mirror was immediate. At this point, seeing was still okay. At 265x, during steady moments the planet was incredibly sharp and crisp. The Cassini division could be traced all the way around, as a black hairline against the bright ring. The shadow of the ring on the planet was clear as day and the crepe ring stood out with a smokey grey colour, infact where it passes infront of the planet, I thought it was the shadow of the rings themselves! Multiple cloud bands were seen as was the polar hood which was an obvious charcoal colour.

The rest of the night was spent hunting galaxies, and well this mirror goes deep!

Scope: 12" F/4.4 truss dob
Time: 7pm-1.30am
Seeing: 5/10 degrading during the night
dew: heavy
NELM: 5.5

Data was gathered from NED, NGC IC project and Cartes Du Ciel (with PGC2009 and UCAC3 catalogues downloaded). Mag V=visual magnitude, Mag B= blue/photographic magnitude.


ABELL 1631

This is a galaxy cluster in Corvus about 187 million light years away.

NGC 4756

GX, Corvus, RA 12 52 53, Dec -15 24 48, Size= 1.6x1.3' , Mag V= 12.1

This elliptical is the brightest and largest in the cluster. At 265x, it appeared small, slightly elongated NE/SW and brightens slightly towards the centre. A mag 15 star lies nearly attached to the NE end.

2MASX J12531842-1532038
GX, Corvus, RA 12 53 18, Dec -15 32 04, Size= 1.2x0.9' , Mag V= 13.7

265x - very faint, non-descript gossamer of light.

IC 829
GX, Corvus, RA 12 52 27, Dec -15 31 07, Size= 1.0x0.6' , Mag V= 13.4

265x - extremely faint, visible only intermittently after much study of the area.

MCG-02-33-033 / PGC 43663
This is a very close pair located only 1.5' W of IC829. Fairly easily picked up a 265x, although the pair was not resolved, only appearing as a small somewhat elongated condensed ball of light with a hint of a stellaring. The brighter of the two has a visual magnitude of 13.5. Separation is approx 30" , seeing prevented me from using higher magnifications.

MCG-02-36-033
GX, Corvus, RA 12 52 05, Dec -15 27 30, Size= 1.4x0.6' , Mag V= 13.6

Located about 1.5' SW of a mag 11.7 star. Faint, elongated roughly E-W and brightens slightly toward the core.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------


NGC 5044
GX, Virgo, RA 13 15 24, Dec -16 23 09, Size= 3.0x3.0' , Mag V= 10.9

This elliptical is the largest and brightest in a group containing several galaxies. NGC 5054/30/31/35/37/46/47/49/54 are all nearby. Appears large, round and quite bright at 265x and concentrates towards the core. A pair of Mag 9 stars lie approx 10' to the NE and NW.

NGC 5054
GX, Virgo, RA 13 16 58, Dec -16 38 07, Size= 5.1x3.0' , Mag V= 10.8

Located on the SE edge of the main group. Appears as a disturbed spiral in DSS images, with a tiny companion just to the north which was not seen. Has a tight core at 265x, although not quite stellar, surrounded by a faint halo. Two mag 14.5 stars lie just off the northern end of the galaxy and 14.9 star to the east.

NGC 5046

GX, Virgo, RA 13 15 45, Dec -16 19 37, Size= 0.8x0.7' , Mag V= 13.5

Easy to find located almost halfway between NGC 5044 6' SW and a Mag 9 star 4' N. Appeared as a small, tight, fuzzy ball with high surface brightness at 265x.

NGC 5049
GX, Virgo, RA 13 15 59, Dec -16 23 52, Size= 1.9x0.6' , Mag V= 13.0

Slightly elongated with a tight, bright core at 265x. Lies 9' E of NGC5044.

NGC 5047
GX, Virgo, RA 13 15 48, Dec -16 31 10, Size= 2.8x0.6' , Mag V= 12.6

Narrow, edge on elongated, hints at a tightly concentrated core at 265x. Lies 10' SE of NGC5044.

NGC 5037
GX, Virgo, RA 13 14 59, Dec -16 35 28, Size= 2.2x0.7' , Mag V= 12.5

Relatively bright, elongated NE-SW with a mag 13.3 star sitting right on the NE end. Features a bright, tightly concentrated core.

NGC 5035

GX, Virgo, RA 13 14 49, Dec -16 29 33, Size= 1.4x1.1' , Mag V= 12.8

Easy to pinpoint location, bracketed by two 10th mag stars 2' to the S and NNE. NGC 5044 lies 11' NE. Appeared diffuse at 265x with low surface brightness although I got the impression of a stellaring in the centre.

NGC 5030

GX, Virgo, RA 13 13 54, Dec -16 29 29 , Size= 1.8x1.3' , Mag V= 12.7

Located 6' NW of a mag 8.9 double star with components seperated by 1.2". Appeared faint, small and diffuse at 265x. A mag 12.5 star lies 1.5' to the NW and a pair of mag 14.6 and 15.4 stars a similar distance to the NNE. Another mag 15 star was spotted just off the SW edge of the galaxy.

NGC 5017
GX, Virgo, RA 13 12 54, Dec -16 46 01, Size= 1.8x1.3' , Mag V= 12.2

Located at the SW extremity of the NGC5044 group, approx 40' from NGC5044. Circular, diffuse with a nearly stellar core at 265x.

MCG-03-34-019
GX, Virgo, RA 13 13 05, Dec -16 28 42, Size= 1.6x0.7 , Mag B= 14.95

Located at the eastern edge of the NGC5044 group. Extremely faint, detected only intermittently. A mag 14.7 star lies 1.7' NNW.

NGC 5031
GX, Virgo, RA 13 14 03, Dec -16 07 24, Size= 1.6x0.4' , Mag V= 13.5

Member of the NGC5044 group, sitting approx 25' NW of the centre. Small high surface brightness, round core. The faint extensions were not seen.

MCG-03-34-020
GX, Virgo, RA 13 13 12, Dec -16 07 50, Size= 1.1x0.6 , Mag B= 15.18

Small, faint, non-descript shred of gossamer. A mag 15.6 star was spotted 50" NE and another mag 15.4 star approx 2' NW.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NGC 5171
GX, Virgo, RA 13 29 21, Dec +11 44 05, Size= 1.1x0.8' , Mag V= 13.4

Brightest in a group of several galaxies which includes NGC 5179/76/77/78. A mag 8.6 star lies 5' WSW and another Mag 8 star 7' SW. Appeared faint, small and diffuse at 265x.

NGC 5179

GX, Virgo, RA 13 29 31, Dec +11 44 44, Size= 0.6x0.4' , Mag V= 14.0

Located 2.5' E of NGC5171. Very faint, small at 265x. The other galaxies in this group were not seen.



----------------------------------------------------------------------

NGC 4073
GX, Virgo, RA 12 04 27, Dec +1 53 45 , Size= 3.2x2.3' , Mag V= 11.8

Brightest of several galaxies in the field, including NGC 4063/75/77 and NGC4139. Appeared rather large and diffuse with low surface brightness at 265x. Brightens toward core.

IC 2989 (NGC 4139)
GX, Virgo, RA 12 04 34, Dec +1 48 05, Size= 1.0x0.5' , Mag V= 13.8

Located 6' S of NGC 4073. Small, faint and diffuse at 265x. Forms a pair with NGC 4077 1.2' SE. Listed as "not found" in the RNGC and is identified as "IC2989" in the UGC, MCG and CGCG as there was a 5' error in RA. When corrected, the position agrees closely with that of IC2989.

NGC 4077
GX, Virgo, RA 12 04 38, Dec +1 47 16, Size= 1.3x0.9' , Mag V= 13.2

Forms a pair with IC2989 (NGC4139) 1.2' NW. Appears brighter than IC2989 although still faint and is elongated N-S. A mag 15.2 star lies at the northern end.

NGC 4063
GX, Virgo, RA 12 04 06, Dec +1 50 49, Size= 1.2x0.3' , Mag V= 13.9

Located 6' SW of NGC4073. Extremely faint gossamer of light at 265x, at the very limit of vision. Visible intermittently. A mag 14.6 star lies 1.2' SW.

CGCG-013-052

GX, Virgo, RA 12 03 44, Dec +1 41 42, Size= 1.3x0.4' , Mag B= 14.9

Extremely faint popping in and out of vision. Took several tries to find it using a pair of Mag 14.5 and 15.6 stars 4' NE and an equilateral triangle of mag 14 stars centered about 4' WSW of the galaxy.

ARK 344
GX, Virgo, RA 12 03 13, Dec +1 57 03, Size= 1.0x0.7' , Mag B= 14.7

Picked up surprisingly easily at 265x. Tiny but high surface brightness core. A mag 11 star lies just 35" SW and another mag 11.4 star 1.1' NW.

NGC 4045
GX, Virgo, RA 12 02 42, Dec +1 58 38, Size= 2.7x1.9' , Mag V= 12.0

Located 27' W of NGC4073. Appeared fairly diffuse, round and brightens slightly toward the centre at 265x. Companion NGC4045A 1.3' to the south was not seen.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HICKSON 76


PGC 55314
GX, Serpens Caput, RA 15 31 40, Dec +7 20 20, Size= 0.4x0.3' , Mag V= 13.9

Although this galaxy is sometimes referred to as NGC 5941, it officially doesn't bear any NGC number in any modern catalogue, despite being the brightest of four in Hickson 76! Extremely faint at 265x, nothing more than a non-desprict shred of barely visible gossamer. Very difficult.

The other three members of the group were not seen. A mag 9.7 star lies approx 9' SW of the group.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

NGC 5940

GX, Serpens Caput, RA 15 31 18, Dec +7 27 27, Size= 0.8x0.8' , Mag V= 13.6

Located 10' NW of Hickson 76. A small faint smudge at 265x, brightening slightly toward the core. A mag 13.8 star lies 1.2' W.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Part 2 coming soon









Last edited by pgc hunter; 23-05-2012 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 23-05-2012, 08:25 AM
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As always I'm amazed at what you can pick up in some of these faint galaxies Sab. And mag 14.9 in a 12" scope with light polluted skies - words fail me. An enjoyable and interesting read. Looking forward to part 2.
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Old 23-05-2012, 09:38 AM
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Awesome Sab !It looks like the mirrors are superb.
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Old 23-05-2012, 03:08 PM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Nice observing report Sab.

I have had my 14"/F4.5 Zambuto mirror for about 3 years now and I can tell you it's as good as it gets, as you found out last night. The absolute creme de la creme. You will also find that because the mirror is so superbly smooth it seems to have an ability to "cut through" average seeing, whereas lower quality mirrors seem to be more affected by marginal seeing conditions.

Enjoy !!! It gets no better.

Cheers,
John B
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Old 23-05-2012, 07:14 PM
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Sorry, I got so carried away with your descriptions I forgot to congratulate you on such a great new mirror!
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Old 23-05-2012, 08:27 PM
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Someone's got a big fat cherry to chomp on, .
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Old 25-05-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
As always I'm amazed at what you can pick up in some of these faint galaxies Sab. And mag 14.9 in a 12" scope with light polluted skies - words fail me. An enjoyable and interesting read. Looking forward to part 2.

Sorry, I got so carried away with your descriptions I forgot to congratulate you on such a great new mirror!

Thanks Paddy! I live in the outer suburbs, so light pollution at my place isn't too bad, not quite what you'll find in the inner suburbs. NELM is around 5.5 typically. I use a black hood draped over my head, this IMO make a big difference in spotting these faint fuzzies, as does using high magnification. On this night I couldn't go as high as I wanted to as seeing was quite soft, but still managed to glimpse a mag 15.6 star. Will be interesting to find out what the mirror can do under dark skies and with good seeing!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidU View Post
Awesome Sab !It looks like the mirrors are superb.
Finally got around to it hey! I've lost count of the weeks


Quote:
Originally Posted by ausastronomer View Post
Nice observing report Sab.

I have had my 14"/F4.5 Zambuto mirror for about 3 years now and I can tell you it's as good as it gets, as you found out last night. The absolute creme de la creme. You will also find that because the mirror is so superbly smooth it seems to have an ability to "cut through" average seeing, whereas lower quality mirrors seem to be more affected by marginal seeing conditions.

Enjoy !!! It gets no better.

Cheers,
John B
Thanks John. The moment I focused on Saturn, the difference between this mirror and the old one is night and day. The planet just seemed to "pop". Vibrant colours, contrast and sharpness. Can't wait for some good seeing! Roll on next clear night, moon or not


Quote:
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Someone's got a big fat cherry to chomp on, .
Give me KFC any day over cherries
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