Old 17-12-2010, 02:27 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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I must have been desperate

Feeling so starved of DSO observing, I set an alarm for 2 am anticipating a clear sky. Scope was set up and ready to go, but when I went out, there were many bands of stratocumulus marching across my darkening sky. The satellite image showed a bit of a gap, so I waited for about half an hour to nab some of the December observing challenge objects. I managed 2 between cloud bands. But it struck me that I dind't find this too frustrating. I was just so glad to see some stars between the clouds. I could point the scope at something familiar and watch it for a few seconds before it disappeared. I think this is a mark of how desperate observing has become recently. And I did see a few Geminids - very nice.

So here are my princely 2 DSOs out of 1 1/2 hours observing

Telescope 410mm (16”) f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr
Navigation: Night Sky Observer’s Guide

Seeing good 2/5
Transparency excellent 7/7 when no stratocumulus cloud


NGC 2243 OC in Canis Major
Dia 13’ Vmag 9.4 Trumpler type I2r

175X A small distinct object with a smattering of resolvable stars against an irregular background haze which is square at the southern edge but tapers irregularly at the northern end. About a dozen resolvable stars. Appears to me about 9’x7’

And the clouds roll in and then away again…

NGC 1261 GC in Horologium
Dia 6.8’ Vmag8.3 Class 2

175X distinct GC, no distinct core, but quite a regular and compact GC with fairly even spread of brightness across the bulk of the disc and then a thin fainter halo surrounding this. Many faintly resolvable stars. Just to the NE there is a bright foreground star and a bit of a darker patch in the cluster near this star and a few dark lines on the other side of the GC. No strands of stars of haze distracted from the GC – it appears very intact.
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Old 17-12-2010, 04:49 PM
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Great stuff Patrick,good to see your getting some Dso observing done.

Usually I would be pretty frustrated too, but yesterday I seemed pretty calm and when the clouds would obstruct one object I would just go to a piece of clear sky and look at another.

Yes times have been desperate lately,
I hope we have clearer skies next year
cheers Orestis
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Old 17-12-2010, 10:41 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)

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Hello everyone.

My name is Alex.

It has been three months since my last session with DSO's.

With the help of my sponsor, Saint Jude, I will overcome my problem.

Dedication, Paddy, that's what it is.

I might have to follow your example this Chrissie if the clouds persist.

I particularly like your description of the GC. Sounds like it was an inspired session.
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Old 18-12-2010, 02:15 AM
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pgc hunter
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Nice salvage job Patrick. Atleast you got a fix. You're lucky that you can cart your scope out of the shed and be observing in 5 mintues, comes in handy for situations like this IN Melbourne it has been much better this week with 3 lengthy periods of clear sky since the weekend!

Stratocumulus clouds - don't get me started on that garbage!!!!
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Old 18-12-2010, 04:38 AM
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mozzie (Peter)
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wow it has been frustrating!!!!! ive lost count of the early rises to do some seeing and its just cloud cloud cloud!!! ooohhh and rain....

on the other hand ive had a few days where the weather has cleared daytime and viewing the sun in h/a has been unreal.learning all the terms for solar viewing and the constant changes that can happen over a few hours fantastic!!! seen some nice flares and my first filament i think!!!!!!!!!
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Old 18-12-2010, 08:26 AM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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Great report Patrick.
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Old 18-12-2010, 09:37 AM
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Good for you for making the best of it. I've been getting out my binos between cloud gaps.
Great report Paddy and I particularly love your description of the GC .
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Old 18-12-2010, 05:09 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Thanks all! Looks like there will not be any gaps in the cloud for a while yet, so I'm glad I got a bit of a fix. NGC 1261 is quite a lovely GC, just a bit of a challenge to actually re-find the constellation
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