Old 26-12-2011, 07:35 AM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Strangways, Vic
Posts: 2,211
Observations 23/12/11 (LMC)

La Nina's blanket of humidity was thin enough to allow some observations worth recording on Friday night. Yip-yoo! Not worth looking at galaxies, but the LMC was good clear enough to provide considerable joy.

Telescope 400mm f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr
Navigation: LMC Chart 6, cloudsofmagellan.net.au


Transparency poor, seeing average

NGC 1805 OC in LMC

175X not far to the east of Henize N11, this is a 1.5’ dia rough clump of grainy haze and resolved stars with a stellar core offset slightly to the NW. There is a fairly bright star on the NW edge of the cluster. With UHC filter, a small N-S bar-like glow emerges in the middle of the cluster.

NGC 1810 & 1818 OC in LMC

175X 25’ to the SE of NGC 1805 is NGC 1810 with 1818 about 10’ further to the SE. 1810 is the smaller, about 1’ dia, a soft, round glow with some grainy patches but no resolved stars. .1818 is a beautiful cluster with a bright, distinct and 1’ grainy core within a 3’ soft halo with some stars in the core on the cusp of resolution, all within a triangle of foreground stars. Unresponsive to UHC filter.

Shapley/Lindsay 204 OC in LMC

175X 2’ diameter very faint round glow with no resolvable stars, forming a triangle with NGCs 1810 and 1818. No core and no response to UHC filter.

NGC 1822 &1826 OC in LMC

175X Both are faint round 1’ diameter glows separated by about 5’. NGC 1822 is a little brighter, 1826 a tad larger. Neither contain resolvable stars and both sit on a line between 2 foreground stars.

NGC 1849 OC in LMC

175X A soft but distinct 1 ½’ disc of luminance with a concentration towards the centre (but not a stellar core) within a smooth halo devoid of resolvable stars.

NGC 1814/1816/1829/ Henize N17A OCs + emission nebulae in LMC

175X NGC 1820 is an irregular 10’x5’ N-S cluster of about 20 stars and associated nebulosity. Some are fairly bright, especially a pair at the southern end. There are several bright patches of haze and some distinct knots of luminosity. 2 bright <1’ knots on the western edge both with either resolvable stars or stellar cores are NGC 1814 and NGC 1816. 3’ to the east of NGC 1814 is Henize N17A, another small bright knot. Another clump 5’ to the WNW of 1816 has no designation that I can find. With UHC filter a thin 10’ long N-S line of haze emerges behind a line of stars on the eastern edge of 1820 and broadens into a 4’x4’ square at the southern end including the two bright stars. 1814 and 1816 light up but N17A doesn’t appear to.

NGC 1846/1844/1842 OC in LMC

175X 28’ to the SE of NGC 1820 this is a distinct slightly grainy 3’ dia round glow with bright 2’ core and no resolvable stars. 7’ to the NW NGC 1844 a fainter, less regular 1’ glow again slightly grainy. A further 4’ to the west is NGC 1842, a very faint glow 1.5’ dia.

Lucke/Hodge 22 Emission nebula in LMC

175X A 3’ irregular and patchy faint glow with about 10-15 stars, some small patches brighten with UHC filter.

Shapley/Lindsay 197 OC in LMC

175X Barely perceptible glow visible only with averted gaze, <1’ dia.

Some Large Magellanic cloud highlights and Comet Lovejoy As I’ve run out of paper, I cruise some of the stunning areas of the LMC without taking notes. Starting with the area to the south of NGC 2070, there is the delightful line from NGC 2074 through to NGC 2084. NGC 2074 is a graceful S- shape of haze and stars close to the busy cluster NGC 2081, the line then traces through the complex of little clumps of nebulosity around NGC 2077 and finishes in the little square of round discs of light around NGC 2084. This region must be one of the true gems of the LMC, an intriguing arrangement of subtle lights sprinkled with delicate stars. (Inset A)

Another favourite spot is the area around the complex shape of stars and light that is NGC 1910. 1910 itself is like a complex Chinese ideograph of stars and faint luminosity, which can be explored at length with more to see as the gaze wanders it’s aisles. Nearby are the bright clusters NGC 1916 and 1903, bright beacons in the field. A little to the west is the complex of clusters and luminosity around NGC 1874. A short hop to the NW leads to the bright GCs NGC 1850, 1854 and 1856 and the various DSOs scattered between. Quite a feast for the eyes in a very small area of sky (chart 10)

In spite of the poor conditions, I retire for the night a satisfied customer. Well, I retired til 4.15 when we got up to observe Comet Lovejoy from the front verandah, a magnificent streak of light, unfortunately dulled a little by the loom of Melbourne 150 km away, but still a very impressive sight.
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