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Old 16-11-2009, 09:21 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Observations in the NGC 1365 region

Hi everyone,

I had another couple of hours out last night looking at the Eri/Fornax region and took a few notes. I was pretty tired after a hard weekend cleaning under the house, so this is a bit brief.

GSC 12" Dobsonian
Seeing and transparency 3.5-4 out of 5.
Nagler 22 and Nagler 9 for closer looks.

NGC 1365 (barred spiral, 9.8 x 5.5 mag 9.52) Large bright galaxy with a concentrated core. Averted vision revealed the outer regions, with a suggestion of the barred shape dropping in and out. I'm not sure if it was the conditions or my tiredness, but averted vision on most objects were like that.

NGC 1404 (4.4 x 4.2 mag 11.7) Galaxy with small pretty much circular centre, with what appeared to be a stellar core. Small star above and to the left.

NGC 1399 (3.2 x 3.1 mag 12) This one had a circular, evenly bright centre with a coathanger shaped 4 star asterism above it, the centre star appeared to be double.

NGC 1387 (2.4 x 2.2 mag 11.8) This was smaller and had a stellar centre with a fainter outer region.

NGC 1389 (2.1 x 1.4 mag 11.5) Another small one, hard to see much apart from a tiny roundish nucleus.

NGC 1379 (2.1 x 1.9 mag 11.1) A small hazy spot with a bright centre. This galaxy mad a neat isosceles triangle with 1387 and 1389.

NGC 1380 (4.9 x 1.9 mag 11.1) This galaxy was larger and brighter than most of the 7 in this field. The centre seemed fairly even oval shaped. The outer regions were seen fairly easily with averted vision, though no detail seen. Quite elongated in shape overall.

NGC 1374 (1.8 x 1.8 mag 12.2) This one was not much more than a tiny oval shaped haze, evenly bright.

NGC 1375 (1.9 x 0.6 mag 12.1) Sitting just to the left of 1374 was this tiny elongated galaxy, not spotted in my earlier look at this region. I would really like to examine this whole area in dark skies.

NGC 1097 (9.3 X 6.6 mag 9.25) I will describe the field as I am sure sure I have this one correctly - I am unfamiliar with the Fornax region!! Please tell me if I have misidentified this one. The field had a somewhat trapezium shaped asterism of mag 11.5-12 stars in the top left of the FOV. 1097 appear as a large elongated haze with a core that brightened to the centre. The fainter outlying regions were seen fairly clearly with averted vision. Again, averted vision seemed to sort of half reveal more detail, then I was not sure I was seeing it. Perhaps this is more due to tiredness ... not sure. Anyway it was a fine sight.

NGC 1097A 0.7 x 0.4) This companion galaxy was seen in the 9mm Nagler as a tiny oval shaped haze with a stellar nucleus. There was a field star further off to the right.

I used the 9mm quite a bit to try and see more detail in the centres of all these galaxies. It revealed things that the Nagler 22 was not showing.

I would have liked to stay out longer as the condition were excellent, but the tiredness beat me. Using a notebook helped me here but a dictaphone will definitely help more. Even the red light spoils night vision if it is bright enough to read by. Cheers, Paul.
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Old 16-11-2009, 10:21 AM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks for the report Paul. I can't remember the asterisms around 1097, but it sounds right to me. Does sound a bit like observing conditions weren't great if the bar in 1365 comes and goes - I'd think you'd normally get a bit more than that with your gear. A bit of high haze would knock it about a fair bit.
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Old 16-11-2009, 03:35 PM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Does sound a bit like observing conditions weren't great if the bar in 1365 comes and goes - I'd think you'd normally get a bit more than that with your gear. A bit of high haze would knock it about a fair bit.[/QUOTE]

It could well be thin high cloud Patrick, it is hard to see that stuff at night and we have had some coming through. I gave up observing on Saturday because of that.
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Old 16-11-2009, 08:55 PM
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Audrey Hepburn

Hi Patrick & All,

Lovely report mate -- much enjoyed.

Dunno whether it's just me but photographically, I reckon NGC 1097 is probably one of the most beautiful galaxies in the whole sky. Strangely, for me it seems to work best in Black & White -- dunno why.

Here it is in colour on APOD:

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061201.html

and here is a plain-jane DSS image:

http://stdatu.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_...e&fov=NONE&v3=

I prefer the monochrome. There are few more photogenic barred spirals in the sky -- it is, if you like the "Audrey Hepburn" of barred spirals.

I have a fond memory of it from about 4 years ago observing at Bargo. Take a look at the APOD image and at about the 1/2 way point between the core of -97 and -97A you'll see a 14th mag star embedded at the point where the spiral arm curls off the bar.

I took a look in the ep (with the 18") at x185 and something just didn't seem quite right to me. No I don't have photographic memory or anything like it but I saw that star (about mag 14) and I just thought it looked out of place. But at the same time it was in a likely spot for a supernova. No real alarm bells, but an amber light did go off in the recesses of my brain -- I'd seen -97 maybe 20 times before and it just didn't look right. Checked it at x247 nd x317 -- Hmmm ... still there and very star-like.

So went over to the lappy (no net connection) and pulled it up on megastar and then superimposed the real-sky compressed DSS image over it.

The star wasn't recorded in Megastar or on the DSS -- well actually the DSS was a little ambiguous but several of us agreed it really didn't show a star clearly. The only problem with realsky is that the data is so compressed that some things get smudged out of the mix in pixilation at small scales. There it looked like an small diffuse HII region -- but not really star like. Supernovae are common in HII regions/star clouds I thought to myself ...

Now I was starting to get a little excited. Not on megastar even as a non-star and not apparently on the DSS. The first thing I would have loved to check were the Supernova Search Charts -- but they were at home in the shed and it was nearly 12 midnight.

Hmmm ... I had to do something. Luckily we had an imager there that night so I sauntered over and asked nicely (and as casually as I could) if he could take a quick 60 second sub of 1097. Sure enough, there it was easily visible and very star-like.

So who (with a set of supernova search charts) do you wake up at 1am and ask to take a look and then take an image that can be used with some astrometric accuracy?

I tried Steve Quirk but no answer. Tried Peter Ward -- he said he would do some research take an image (if it was clear) and get back to me. A long time passed and I had to play my final card -- someone I knew as a dead-set cert would be in his dome doing imaging and had access to all the best resources. Better still, I had the direct line to the dome -- Rob McNaught.

So, within 5 seconds of making the call he had answered and 10 minutes later in his rich accent came "No, its a star -- doesn't have a USNO number he could see either and isn't even in the GSC -- but the actual plate taken at the UK Schmidt clearly shows it".

Bummer!

Almost thought I had one there.

Despite that, it is still a personal favourite!


Best,

Les D
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Old 17-11-2009, 06:14 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Thanks for the comments Les. I came close to a SN once myself. When I was actively observing in the 1980's I used the old 10" (still got it). I used to do pencil sketches and compare them to photos. I did one of a bright galaxy, for the life of me I can't remember which one - maybe 253 - and there was a spot I had seen that wasn't on the photo. Got pretty excited at that, but what to do, how do you report something like that? To Whom? Didn't know, but saw in the next issue of Astronomy magazine that the SN had been discovered by a Japanese amateur one week previously. Rats, so close. What do you do if you see something like that ... still don't know.
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Old 17-11-2009, 08:00 AM
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mithrandir (Andrew)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngcles View Post

and here is a plain-jane DSS image:

http://stdatu.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_...e&fov=NONE&v3=
Les, that link doesn't work. Cut/paste error?
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Old 19-11-2009, 09:59 PM
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Davekyn (David)
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I can’t exactly give reports like that Paul, but I enjoy reading them. I had a good night with my Bino’s and 80ED on a Alt/Azi 3…I think I’ll try camping out with the DOB soon enough. I’ll try to emulate your obs above as best I can. I got a good look in on NGC253 with the 80ED…took some setting up to get the Alt/Azi mount in the right spot, but well worth it. I was quite surprised to see as much as I did in the little refractor. I find it a little tricky star hopping with the different image inversions/back to front & round about images, jumping from Binos to Refractor then Dob…Practice Practice Practice I guess. Will try to match the magnifications and keep them as low as possible. Need to keep the field of view as big as I can for what I have…but hopefully just as I learn to sight the binos with a quick glance and bring them up to my eyes in one go, I may also shoot with the sights (RED DOT) and glimpse with the EPs…I don’t think much of my DOBs right way up 50mm finder. (Probably because I never using it in light polluted areas…might be ok in Dark Sites?
Look forward to your next Obs.
Cheers Dave
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Old 20-11-2009, 09:44 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Thanks for comments David. As I stated in other posts in this part of the forum, I'm on a learning curve myself!! There are whole patches of the sky I don't know well at all. I keep posting reports due to the support of other visual observers. It's been great to see a big improvement in this area with more observers posting reports, and enjoying the hobby more. That's the main aim of the game - enjoyment.

My own technique is to prepare with a list of objects. I tend to concentrate on a couple of constellations and have a list of objects that is manageable, rather than try and see 40 objects a night. I don't have the sky knowledge to do that. I use Cartes du Ciel to print off star charts. I have a few programs but keep coming back to it. It is ideal for my purpose and the charts are clear enough to read outside in red light without straining the eyes. I use simple black and white mode only.

I use the Telrad to find the area, then I use the Nagler 22 to look at the region, then swap to the 12 or 9mm for a closer look. For example, in the last report, core details in those galaxies wasn't very clear in the 22 but the 9 was much better at examining the centres of these things, the somewhat better contrast with greater magnification also helps. I am in suburbia and don't have a great location, so that limits my choices quite a bit.

The finder on the dob, I find surprisingly good. I use the Telrad to find the region more than the finder, but the finder can reveal NGC 5128, 253 etc, as faint smudges, so it's not too bad. Yes, it would be good to have a dark sky location.
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Old 20-11-2009, 11:50 PM
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Well I'm just thankful, that I can understand what you post. I seem to be very much following in your footsteps so to speak. Now I'm not stalking, so don't freak out on me although your learning as well, I think it's important some of us newbies have a middle man to break thing down into a much more understandable way...I think you do that well regardless weather you try or not.
I've organized to camp out Saturday night. A change to set the Dob up without rushing about & in a darker location not as far out as I would like, but I'll do my best to give a quick run down. Will have some friends with me, but sometime that makes it harder to record obs...I'll stay up longer and they'll get bored
sorry about my spelling...I know iPhone is no reason, but that's my reason anways.
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Old 21-11-2009, 08:58 AM
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Mick (Michael)
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Very interesting report thanks for posting. Best thing about visual reporting is having a look and comparing what others have observed...
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