Old 05-08-2018, 11:55 AM
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The Observologist

ngcles is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Billimari, NSW Central West
Posts: 1,621
Second night -- New 'scope

Hi All,

As a few of you will know, I very recently acquired a new telescope -- a second-hand 63.5cm f/5 classic Obsession. This is a short report of night two of observing -- and what a nice evening it was!

I was up and running at around 6.30pm when only the barest traces of sunset remained. Venus was dazzling high in the Northwest toward the top of the zodiacal light that stretched up from the west-northwestern horizon about 40 degrees. The milky way arched almost overhead from the NE to SW horizons while the Jupiter was in Libra near Zubenelgenubi , Saturn in Sagittarius near zenith and Mars in the east near the Capricornus / Microscopium border. I took in a lot over four hours when finally my clothing began to prove inadequate just before 11pm against the falling temperatures. The following are just some highlights.

Mars and Saturn was examined at x195 & x259 and Saturn was, naturally stunning. Mars had its “boring side” turned toward us and the dust storm continues to mute the surface detail, but I could see the south polar cap, some eastern limb haze and the low contrast feature of Mare Cimmerium diagonally slashing across the south eastern quadrant. The SQML readings at the start of the session were 21.55 and by 10.30pm were 21.75 – very good but not quite at par for this location.

I looked in on a few old favourites that gained a new view with the larger glass including Omega Centauri, Centaurus A* and the NGC 5090 group. Took a peek at NGC 5189 that was both large and intricately detailed at x259 with and without a UHC filter. Then, the faintest PNe in the NGC catalogue – NGC 4071, a pretty little moderately faint annulus also in Musca. Around 8.30 to 10pm, I made a number of observations of “new” galaxies in Indus – about 20-odd. Some of these galaxies are just shy of the 500 million light-years distance mark and when the light I saw started its journey, the most advanced creatures on Earth were trilobites and the land was yet to be colonised by plants. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Here are just a few snippets of the recorded notes that I took to be highlights and include a couple of groups and a re-observation of the lovely NGC 7090:

x195 25' TF
NGC 7061 Galaxy *
RA: 21h 27m 27.0s Dec: -49 03' 49"
Mag: 14.1 (P) S.B.: --- B-V: --- Size: 1.2'x0.7'
Class: E+4 P.A.: 137 Inclination: --- R.V.: --- Source: RC3 *

ESO 236-14 (PGC 66786) Galaxy *
RA: 21h 24m 26.6s Dec: -49 16' 47"
Mag: 14.2 (P) S.B.: --- B-V: --- Size: 1.4'x1.2'
Class: (R')SB(s)b P.A.: 142 Inclination: --- R.V.: +10600

PGC 66775 Galaxy
RA: 21h 27m 04.2s Dec: -49 06' 33"
Mag: --- S.B.: --- B-V: --- Size: 1.0'x0.5' Class:
P.A.: 111 Inclination: --- R.V.: +9400

PGC 66726 Galaxy
RA: 21h 25m 40.8s Dec: -49 09' 37"
Mag: --- S.B.: --- B-V: --- Size: 0.6'x0.4' Class:
P.A.: 72 Inclination: --- R.V.: +5400 Source: PGC *

ESO 236-8 (PGC 66695) Galaxy *
RA: 21h 24m 26.6s Dec: -49 16' 47"
Mag: 14.2 (P) S.B.: --- B-V: --- Size: 1.4'x1.2'
Class: (R')SB(s)b P.A.: 142 Inclination: --- R.V.: +10600 Source: RC3 *

Starting with the NGC object, NGC 7061 is the brightest, though not by much of this group that spills over into another field. NGC 7061 is the N most of a pair with ESO 236-14 that is 3' S. In PA 135, -61 is an elong mod faint eg about 40 x 20" , growing broadly and slightly to centre with no apparent core or nucleus. There is a 15th mag * at the SE tip.

ESO 236-08 is in PA 30, has lower SB and is fainter than -61, 30 x 20" in PA 30 having a faint *ar nucleus. PGC 66775 is 4' W

-775 is probably slightly the biggest of the three and ranks 2nd in brightness. In PA 135, 50" x 20" grows broadly and slightly to centre possessing reasonable S.B but no apparent core or nucleus.

15' southwest of the above three is PGC 66726 that is not more than a 20" diameter spot of consistent S.B mist perhaps growing weakly to centre, no structure. 15' further SW from this eg is ESO 236-08.

-08. On the DSS this appears as a beautiful ring-form spiral eg but the 'scope shows a 30" diameter round spot of low SB gossamer growing weakly to centre and possessing a very small, slightly brighter spot in the centre. A 13th mag * is 1.5' away NE.

Moving on:

x195 25' TF
IC 5034 Galaxy *
RA: 20h 43m 41.5s Dec: -57 01' 52"
Mag: 14.6 (P) S.B.: --- B-V: --- Size: 1.5'x0.6' Class: SA(s)bc
P.A.: 22 Inclination: --- R.V.: +10883 Source: RC3 *

IC 5035 Galaxy *
RA: 20h 44m 14.8s Dec: -57 07' 41"
Mag: 15.9 S.B.: --- B-V: --- Size: 0.7'x0.5' Class:
P.A.: 128 Inclination: --- R.V.: --- Source: PGC *

-34 is found on the SW edge of a small group of mags 14 & 15 *s. -35 is to the SSE by about 9'. -34 is not difficult to see at all, small, mod faint weakly elong, 40 x 30" in PA 30, growing weakly to centre where there is a faint, sub*ar nucleus.

-34 is yet faint, and of lower SB a small 30" diameter spot growing weakly to centre. Quite faint even in this aperture.

Then we come to the very beautiful NGC 7090:

x195 25' TF
NGC 7090 Galaxy *
RA: 21h 36m 28.6s Dec: -54 33' 27"
Mag: 11.3 (B) S.B.: 13.6 B-V: +0.61 Size: 7.8'x1.2'
Class: SBc? sp P.A.: 130 Inclination: --- R.V.: +777 Source: RC3 *

This is a very bright, large and beautiful eg. Very elong, edge on spiral in PA 120, the best part of 7' x 1.2'. Has a large only slightly brigher core 2.5 x 30" that is not well defined and seems a little irregular on its NE flank. To the SE well within the halo abouit 2.25' out and a little outside the core is a mag 13.5 supernova impostor star. Revise size -- 8 x 1.25 with very diffuse-edged blunt tips. Grows weakly to the axis and along the axis and slightly to centre Goodish SB and at times seems a little curdled in places. Spectacular!

There was a whole mess of northern objects I took a look at that include parts of the Veil Nebula, a few G.Cs and PNe in Aquila, Hercules, Sagitta and Delphinus and then enjoyed the Ring Nebula in Lyra for about 20 minutes -- for the first time that I didn’t have to either squat or kneel !

x260 19' TF x346 14' TF (with and without Lumicon UHC filter).
M 57 NGC 6720 Planetary Nebula *
RA: 18h 53m 35.2s Dec: +33 01' 44"
Mag: 9.7 (P) Size: 1.8'x1.4' Class: 4+3 Mag C. Star: 15.2
R.V.: --- Source: Str-ESO *

A truly stunning object, best at x346 without filtration where it is a lovely thick, oval annulus about 80 x 60" in PA 45. The NE and SW ends periphery ends are somewhat more diffuse-edged than the longer flanks that have the best S.B of the object -- particularly the NW flank that contains a streak near the edge of the annulus that has the best S.B of the object. The central hole is about 40x30" in the same PA. Stunning. Quite to very bright with V/G S.B overall, Central hole is a long way from completely dark. 5 faint stars less than 2' from centre. Over about 5 mins, I fancy I caught a whiff or two of a sub-stellar spot in the dead centre or extremely faint central *. Only detected a few times -- barely. Without filtration at x346 seems smoky blue. The oval end at the NE is very diffuse and fades slowly to sky. Thoroughly enchanting!

To round-off (after some other objects) I finished at about 10.45 with the edge-on, Magellanic-type galaxy, NGC 55. I didn’t make recorded notes but 4 separate HII regions were seen and at x156 with a 20mm TII Nagler (the holy hand-grenade) it stretched about 30 arc-minutes -- almost from field-stop to field-stop. The SE end of the halo at x195 resolved into a mass of hazy/curdled/mottled blotches. I must remember in future to take some tissues up with me to wipe away the dribble. After a 10 minute pack-up I headed for the house and as I stood on the rear veranda, the bolide of the year put on a dazzling display. This is my description of the bolide:

11.03pm 4 August 2018. Started at about 50 degrees altitude near the triple border intersection of Ara, Triangulum Australe and Apus then tracked toward the south-south-west horizon terminating in the little tract of Centaurus that lies between the Eta Carinae complex and Crux. Took about three seconds to cover 35 degrees. Estimated magnitude between minus 10 and minus 12 brightest when passing Crux. May well have been an Alpha Capricornid. Strong, brilliant, shining trail that persisted for a second or so. Seemed white with a hints of light green leaving a smoky trail that didn't last more than about 15 seconds. Really, really spectacular!

Yep, it was a good night!



Last edited by ngcles; 13-08-2018 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:55 PM
Saturnine (Jeff)
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Saturnine is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wollongong
Posts: 1,379
Your report makes for great reading and is inspiration to get out and do more visual telescope time. Sounds like your new scope will get plenty of time under the stars. To top off the night with an very bright bolide as the climax would make the night a memorable one. Obviously not the bolide that has been reported from earlier in the evening. I was out with a few club members last night but saw neither of them.
Thanks for sharing the nights experiences with us.
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