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Old 06-05-2011, 10:19 AM
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3 Night Observation Marathon (3-5)/5/11

Hi Everyone,
I have been very lucky this past week and have had 3 clear nights in a row. On the first day it was cloudy all day and then as the sun set the clouds cleared every astronomers dream.

Equipment used were the 12’’ Dobsonian ,With the 26mm super plosoll a great wide field Ep that allows me to observe wide clusters and for finding objects. I then use my 9mm Tmb and 6mm Tmb to get a closer view .I have very much enjoyed observing with the Tmb’s and will try and post a review of them they are great Eps for the price.

Conditions on the evenings were of clear and steady seeing, though I observed about 10 metres away from the fireplace chimney and I think this is affecting my view when the smoke is blown towards my way.

Saturn- Is quite a sight through the 12’’ Dob and reveals some detail. At 250x I could see a dark brown band on the globe (I think on the northern hemisphere, sorry don’t know planetary directions), that contrasted very well with the yellow of the rest of the globe. The rings are still quite thin and seeing the Cassini division is something I have always wanted to do. I think I may have just glimpsed as a slight darkening on the rings edges. I could also see 5 moons. Night after night I saw the moons change positions and I noticed something strange about Titan. We all know that Titan has an orange atmosphere, but I didn’t know that I could see this through my scope. It was actually quite apparent, a sort of pale orange colour. On the 4/5/11 there were 3 moons on the west side arranged in a boomerang shape, which was appealing to the eye.

NGC 5128- I was surprised to find this easily visible in my 50mm finderscope. Through the 12’’ Dob the dark lane was very apparent. The dark lane which is quite broad bisects the glowing sphere into 2 unequal parts. The northern loaf (Sorry but it is called the Hamburger galaxy) is slightly larger than the southern with a bit of an extension to the west. Though the northern is larger the southern looks brighter and has 2 bright stars imbedded in it and one faint one. In averted vision I think I could see some faint streaks of light in the dark lane itself (Has anyone else seen this?).

M83- M83 was also easily visible in the Finderscope as a round glow. It looked magnificent through the 9mm Tmb at 167X .It was Faint but I was able to see some detail.The core of m83 is very star like with a small round halo surrounding it. Off the core there is a bright bar running NE-SW framed by 2 stars near each end. The galaxy almost fills the entire fov of the 9mm.There is an arm gently curving off the eastern end and swinging towards the west. Same on the west end of the bar but I think the eastern arm is brighter. So in total I saw 2 arms which were faint and I think I hinted at some unequal brightness’s which may indicate HII regions.

Omega Centauri- Is absolutely jaw dropping in the 12’’ Dob it is huge and almost covers the entire Fov of my 26mm Ep. At 167X it is an ocean of thousands of stars , it has a sort of sandy appearance to it. I also saw what many observers call the eyes which are areas in the globular where there is less concentration. They were 2 elongated patches near the center of the globular.

M104- I could also see this in the 50mm finderscope. It was by far one of the most enjoyable galaxies I have ever observed to date. The dark lane was very apparent cutting the sombrero right down its length. I was so pleased by the sight I made a sketch (attached) .What I love about this galaxy is that it closely resembles photos of it.

M66- It has been quite a long time since I had last seen the Leo triplet and to my surprise again this was also visible through my 50mm finder. (I didn’t know you could see so many galaxies through such small aperture.)Anyways the galaxies looked great in the same fov in the 26mm plossll. I thought I might try and tease some detail out of the brightest M66 and I did. At 167X M66 has a star like core and a distinct bar running N-S. There is a faint broad extension coming off the south end and turning west to almost touch a star near there. There is a little arm coming off the north end and turning east then abruptly turning south. It is very close to the bar and core.

NGC 5189- After Seeing Sab’s sketch and reading Paddy’s Obs on this object I decided to try and find. After scanning the area in which it should have been I found it as a fairly bright bar in the 26mm.At 250X it shows a wealth of detail and unusually planetary, though it is commonly known as the spiral nebula I didn’t really see the shape. There is a very distinct bar that runs E-W. On the West end there is a bright star. On the eastern part of the bar there is a knot of brightness. On the west end there is another fainter bar running N-S adjoining the main bar making the overall shape look like a T to me. The rest of the nebula looks very mottled In appearance and there is some knots of nebulosity near the main bar.The view I saw closely resembles Sab’s sketch.

Musca dark Voids- Observing In Musca using the 26mm Ep I came across a dark void where all the stars were dimmed. It filled the fov of the 26mm plossol .It was long and a little broad, I think maybe it was the dark doodad, but I’m not certain. Scanning around the area revealed many more dark voids some blobbish in appearance but fairly large dust clouds. This was interesting to observe.

NGC 4833-I was scanning around the constellation of Musca and accidently found this globular cluster later to be identified as NGC 4833.It was well framed in my 26mm Ep and looked roughly spherical in shape with a little elongation. It was fairly well resolved with some brighter stars standing out from the haze towards the middle of the cluster. It had a Bright star on its northern end which made for a nice pairing.

Eta Carinae nebula complex- It looked absolutely magnificent in the 26mm plosoll. I could clearly make out the keyhole shape near Eta Carinae. There were many dark lanes and wavy nebulosity which made for a grand sight.

These are all the objects which I observed over 3 nights. On the last night I also went for a swim around the Virgo cluster in search of some galaxies I spotted some, though I didn’t know the names of what I was looking at they were still enjoyable to observe.


And so concludes my Marathon Observation Report
Thanks for reading, Cheers Orestis
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Last edited by orestis; 07-05-2011 at 06:16 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2011, 11:14 AM
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Great set of obs Orestis and nice sketch of M104. I agree, M104 is one of my favourite galaxies, I don't think there is a brighter and easier dark laned galaxy out there. It sounds like you spotted the Dark Doodle in Musca, it is almost completely void of stars in its densest region. It is located 1 degree west of Gamma Muscae.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:41 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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A joy to read your beautiful descriptions of some great observations Orestis. Really like the way you detailed your obs of NGC 5128 and great to pick up the colour of Titan. I agree about M104 - it is just one of those things that I always vcome back to. M83 also - if you keep coming back to M83, you will see more and more, especially if your sky is dark.

And a top sketch - well done indeed!
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:56 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Great report mate. Some wonderful objects and fantastic descriptions. Keep coming back to these favorite targets as they only get better!

I have seen quite a bit of structure in the dark lane of NGC 5128, little bands and knots of dust twisting about. Well done on seeing them.

Malcolm
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:13 PM
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michaellxv (Michael)
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Wow 3 nights in a row.
Fantastic descriptions, I think I can even see them through the clouds now. I wish I had your skies.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:10 AM
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Thanks guys for the replies,

Hope the weather gets better out your way Michael.

Cheers Orestis

Ps-Sorry about the spelling guys just went through it and so how many mistakes i made
better edit it.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:46 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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3 nights straight!

Man, what is was like to have time to burn, and no responsibilities on your hands. Sigh....

Looks like you are really giving the 12"er a good shake there Orestis, .

And the sketch, cool, . Nicely detailed, and a subtle touch. What eyepiece were you using with it? M104 reveals more detail as you kick up the magnification, as it seems you were doing.

Have you gone over Eta Carina with your 9mm? You'll be amazed how much you'll see, particularly around the main wedge-shaped nebulosity that surrounds the Key Hole proper. There are two very young, tight and bright clusters that lie in this area, and both have created their own shockwave fronts out from themselves, like two bubbles that encase them. This is a very subtle feature. These shockwaves in turn have carved the shapes of some of the dark pillars within the nebula.

I've struggled to see the Cassini division so far this year in my big dob. Saturn is just too bright in it, and unless I tone down the image with filters, it is too glarey. Fabulously described experiences mate. I'm impressed.

You are really doing well to see the faint, faint, really faint, streamers within the dark lane of The Hamburger. A testament to your eyes, your scope and the sky you observe under. You should have a go at sketching it too. And don't feel like you need to do your sketch with the one eyepiece. Switch around eyepieces to tease out the detail. I dare say there'd be an ASOD there too, .

Mental.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mental4astro View Post

Have you gone over Eta Carina with your 9mm? You'll be amazed how much you'll see, particularly around the main wedge-shaped nebulosity that surrounds the Key Hole proper. There are two very young, tight and bright clusters that lie in this area, and both have created their own shockwave fronts out from themselves, like two bubbles that encase them. This is a very subtle feature. These shockwaves in turn have carved the shapes of some of the dark pillars within the nebula.



Mental.
I've done that with the 8mm and OIII in the 12", all those dark bays and caverns and the texture of the nebulosity. Major awesomeness.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mental4astro View Post
3 nights straight!

Man, what is was like to have time to burn, and no responsibilities on your hands. Sigh....

Looks like you are really giving the 12"er a good shake there Orestis, .

And the sketch, cool, . Nicely detailed, and a subtle touch. What eyepiece were you using with it? M104 reveals more detail as you kick up the magnification, as it seems you were doing.

Have you gone over Eta Carina with your 9mm? You'll be amazed how much you'll see, particularly around the main wedge-shaped nebulosity that surrounds the Key Hole proper. There are two very young, tight and bright clusters that lie in this area, and both have created their own shockwave fronts out from themselves, like two bubbles that encase them. This is a very subtle feature. These shockwaves in turn have carved the shapes of some of the dark pillars within the nebula.

I've struggled to see the Cassini division so far this year in my big dob. Saturn is just too bright in it, and unless I tone down the image with filters, it is too glarey. Fabulously described experiences mate. I'm impressed.

You are really doing well to see the faint, faint, really faint, streamers within the dark lane of The Hamburger. A testament to your eyes, your scope and the sky you observe under. You should have a go at sketching it too. And don't feel like you need to do your sketch with the one eyepiece. Switch around eyepieces to tease out the detail. I dare say there'd be an ASOD there too, .

Mental.
Thanks Alex,

For the sketch I was using the 9mm Tmb a magnification of 167X.The 6 mm at 250x was a little hard to focus so I stuck with the 9mm.I know that you recently bought this Ep off Sylvain,It is an awesome eyepiece isn't it ?I use it all the time.

Regarding eta carinae i did use the 9mm on it and was overwhelmed with a wealth of detail as you said the region near the star(the shockwaves) are outstaning.Very textured.Through the 26mm represents closely to what your sketch shows.

Yes i think that the glare of saturn is whats making the cassini division particulalry difficult to see.I am thinking of purchasing some polarising filters for use on the moon and planets soon.

The streamers that I saw were extremely faint and required patient observing.I'll try to sketch it though it will be difficult.

Cheers Orestis
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:38 PM
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Fabulous report Orestis- I felt like I was right there with you.

M66 & M83 are on the list for my next session- so glad to know that you can see them in the finder as finally my finderscope is going on my dob tomorrow to sit with my red dot finder (have only been using red dot finder up to now). I look forward to hunting these down with the extra help that I'll have now and from what you say in your report, I can't wait to see them!.
Must go look at that dark doodad sometime, sounds interesting.

While in Hydra, you should check out the carbon star, V Hydrus- it is amazing! Bright and good size with an orange/red colour- you couldn't miss it at all It's the reddest carbon star- though to me Ruby Crucis looks redder (blood red)
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
Fabulous report Orestis- I felt like I was right there with you.

M66 & M83 are on the list for my next session- so glad to know that you can see them in the finder as finally my finderscope is going on my dob tomorrow to sit with my red dot finder (have only been using red dot finder up to now). I look forward to hunting these down with the extra help that I'll have now and from what you say in your report, I can't wait to see them!.
Must go look at that dark doodad sometime, sounds interesting.

While in Hydra, you should check out the carbon star, V Hydrus- it is amazing! Bright and good size with an orange/red colour- you couldn't miss it at all It's the reddest carbon star- though to me Ruby Crucis looks redder (blood red)
Thanks Suzy,

I have seen Ruby Crucis and it is the redest star I have seen.I must check V hydrae out and will compare for you.

Cheers Orestis
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