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Old 05-09-2007, 02:02 PM
DougAdams
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Observation Report - 4th September 2007

4th September 2007 – Low North to the Zenith
Seeing 3
Transparency 5
4" Refractor

I set up around the back of the house again, with its restricted east/west view. The upside is that it is much darker there if the neighbours cooperate. I decided to consolidate my rare northwards session from Saturday night, and have another look. Conditions were very cold and breezy, with a gusty south easterly blowing. Looking through the eyepiece, I never noticed any wind wobble.

Epsilon Lyrae (The Double Double) – I had observed Vega on Saturday night, not realising the double-double was a couple of degrees east of it. I knew from just looking at Vega with the naked eye, I was asking a lot. It was low in the north east, bubbling and boiling. Looking at Epsilon Lyrae through the eyepiece, all I could see was two stars widely separated. No hint of splitting either star – I pushed it all the way up to 180x – seeing wasn’t good. I wish I tried it on Saturday, as the seeing was much better then.

M57 Ring Nebula – went and had another look at it for consolidation, now that I know where it is. It is located right between Sulafat and Sheliak, and very obvious in the eyepiece. It was a little more difficult to find, because the two guide stars were very hard to pick out tonight with the naked eye. Through the eyepiece, however, the view was good. On Saturday I saw a circular smudge at 49x, but tonight with a 7mm Nagler (80x) in the telescope I could see some elongation and a distinct oval shape. The “hole” was more evident too. Considering this is skimming along about 20º above the northern horizon, it’s surprising what detail you can see in it.

Albireo – another peek at this colourful double. The colour difference wasn’t as obvious as Saturday night, but it’s there. I can see this being a show off object when friends and family are over. Easy to find, easy to split, and the colour difference creates a nice “ooh” factor.

M56 – I tried for this globular on Saturday and couldn’t nail it. Another crack at it tonight and it was more of the same. Point scope half way between Albireo and Sulafat, nudge it slightly south east, and have a look. No joy. Determined, I decided to star hop from Albireo and worked my way down to a group of similar magnitude stars in the shape of a “V” pointing towards Sulafat. Recognising this pattern in the Pocket Sky Atlas, I noticed M56 was near the upper left star of the “V”. I stared at this star, nothing. I pulled my jacket over my head and stared again, and I fancied I could see something. I started the heavy breathing exercises that make the neighbours lock their windows, and finally a very faint misty patch shimmered into view. Tough object from Melbourne suburbia with small scope. I resolved 3 or 4 stars, but only one with direct vision.

M27 Dumbbell Nebula – another look at this object. Didn’t seem as detailed as Saturday night, where I saw a definite rectangular shape. Tonight it was just a blob of gray light, slightly elongated. Very easy to see, but not a lot of detail.

Brocchi’s Cluster – not far from M27, I found this large cluster. It’s about 2º across, so it just fit into the field of view of my 24mm Panoptic. The shape of the cluster is almost exactly like a coat hanger, with six stars of similar magnitude (6 or 7) lined up in a straight line, with a “hook” of 3 or 4 stars branching off. Quite striking. The stars all appeared to be the same colour.

M71 – this was a spectacularly unexciting object I found on Saturday, but just to be sure I went and found it again. Located part way along the arrow shaft of Sagitta, right next to a group of 4 stars that look like a lower case letter “y”. Again, very faint, but I did the jacket and breathing thing and resolved a few stars in it.

Gamma Delphini – an easy double star. The brighter member is a yellow colour, while the fainter companion was white/blue. Checking later I saw this is supposed to be orange/green! I saw no green, perhaps larger apertures would see more colour.

Plans to ramble through the Messier objects in Sagittarius were put on hold, as my feet were icing up. Put thick socks on the to do list. It was 11:45pm, and I'd been out for 2 hours. Felt like 45 minutes!
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:24 PM
§AB
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when you say "seeing 3" is that 3/5 or 3/10?

I know what you mean when you say 2 hours felt like 45mins, the time just seems to FLY when you're out observing!
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:05 PM
DougAdams
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Originally Posted by §AB View Post
when you say "seeing 3" is that 3/5 or 3/10?
3/5 based on the "How to determine seeing and transparency" article on this site.

"Moderate quiver with larger tremors, blurring of image".
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:35 PM
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Ric
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Great report Doug, the low north is one area I don't have much access to.

Cheers
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:16 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Doug, you inspired me!

Tonight (5th Sep), from my bright backyard in suburban Melbourne, I saw the Albireo binary, Brocchi’s Cluster, and, my first Planetary Nebula ever, M57 the Ring Nebula.

Very thrilled with M57 since I've had plans for some months to make a start on PNs, but everything has conspired against me! I put in the NPB filter and the Nebula stood out clearly up to 120x. I could see the hole in the centre quite well without having to avert my vision. I was very pleased.

Again I tried to split Epsilon Lyrae (The Double Double), but too low (looking through a tree and clipping the back fence this time!!) and seeing too poor to split the pairs. I can be patient - their time will come.

Eric
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:35 AM
DougAdams
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Originally Posted by erick View Post
Very thrilled with M57 since I've had plans for some months to make a start on PNs, but everything has conspired against me! I put in the NPB filter and the Nebula stood out clearly up to 120x. I could see the hole in the centre quite well without having to avert my vision. I was very pleased.
Good stuff, Eric. I love reading obs reports, and what different people are seeing through different scopes.

I've never really used filters - what exactly is a "NPB" filter - some sort of narrowband? I've been thinking about picking up a OIII and narrowband filter for nebula from Melbourne.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:56 AM
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Once again, very nice report Doug. I too often revisit objects that I have recently found for consolidation, and like you often at these times you realise the difference seeing can make from one night and another.

I had 10minutes last night with no cloud, and took a quick peak at epsilon Lyrae. Very nice double, very wide. Seeing wasn't very good, and a thin layer of cloud was still covering this area, so wasn't hoping for too much, although I estimate it to be at about 35degrees from horizon for me. I was astounded that even with the thin cloud layer, (or perhaps this helped by cutting down the glare), I could split the doubles with my 5mm (X100). If I gave it a casual glance I could only see two widely seperated stars, but if i looked at the stars individually and concentrated on them and actually looked inside the stars (hope that makes sense), I could quite clearly and easily make out two bright centres inside what first looked like a single star. The prognoses was the same for both. The pairs are actually at 90 degrees to one another, I don't know why this was surprising to me, I guess I just expected that they would be paralell, even though there is no real reason that would suggest that they should be. Once I had resolved them I found that I could actually see all four at once in the EP, was very exciting. Thanks for the inspiration, and you write a great report.
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Old 06-09-2007, 10:04 AM
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erick (Eric)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougAdams View Post
I've never really used filters - what exactly is a "NPB" filter - some sort of narrowband? I've been thinking about picking up a OIII and narrowband filter for nebula from Melbourne.
Thanks Doug. Re the "NPB" filter, look at this thread:-

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ad.php?t=22373

It's a DGM Optics Narrow Pass Band filter. I tried to get someone on IIS to part with theirs, but no way, they all said. That told me it was worth having. So I bought one new from the US. I like it.

I have the usual neutral density filters for the Moon (and even Jupiter at times!), a couple of coloured filters that came with the 2" neutral density filter when it was more worthwhile to buy a discounted set rather than the one, and a couple of polarising filters so I can "cross" them and make the full moon much darker than with the neutral density filter.

I think I now have all the filters I'll ever want for observing?
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:12 PM
DougAdams
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Thanks Eric - I'll do some reading over lunch
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:26 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Everything you wanted to know about filters *


* but were afraid to ask


http://sciastro.net/portia/advice/filters.htm
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:42 PM
DougAdams
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The DGM filter certainly has some nice reviews. Are they available domestically?

I wonder if a 2" would screw onto my 2"-1.25" adapter, that way I wouldn't have to transfer it between eyepieces. I can't remember if the adapter is threaded or not. I'll check tonight.
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:54 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Originally Posted by DougAdams View Post
The DGM filter certainly has some nice reviews. Are they available domestically?

I wonder if a 2" would screw onto my 2"-1.25" adapter, that way I wouldn't have to transfer it between eyepieces. I can't remember if the adapter is threaded or not. I'll check tonight.
No, I had to buy from the manufacturer/supplier overseas. Process was easy, delivery fairly prompt.

Yes, it fits into mine, but I have to check carefully in the daylight, I think one or more of my 1.25" eyepieces come mighty close to touching the filter surface. I've been tightening up the set screw with eyepiece set a few mm high. I'm working on a spacer to put between filter and the adapter (get another 2" filter and knock the filter glass out
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