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Old 02-04-2010, 09:31 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Observation notes 14/3/10

Dear all,

Some notes from observing at Strangways on 14/3. The plan was to look at some Arp galaxies in Leo, but the sky was quite murky to the north and having got somewhat frustrated, I thought I'd just go for some old favourites. Thanks for looking.

Seeing 2/5 Transparency 5/7 (to the south)
Telescope 400mm f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr
Guiding: Night Sky Observer’s Guide (NSOG)

NGC 2818/2818A OC and PN in Pyxis. 175x Beautifully intricate open cluster with background of many faint stars. Appear 8-10’ across. Reminsicent of a Chinese character. PN Discernible at the western end of the cluster- distinct glow with some suggestion of structure at this magnification. 250X the PN seems soft around the edges and slightly irregular shape. I can discern some dark structures in it, perhaps best described as irregular lobes. No obvious central star, ring or halo. OIII filter reveals more structure, accentuating the dark patches and somewhat grainy texture.

NGC 226/7 GX in Leo Arp 94 mag 11.1 Listed by Arp as a spiral with elliptical companion on arm. 175x Pair of galaxies aligned roughly N-S with the more southerly being larger. Some haze in this area of sky is diminishing contrast. Nucleus of southern galaxy is brighter and more elongated. The two seem to merge and appear embedded in a wider halo of haze. The long axis of the two appears to be 10’ and about 4’ wide. The Arp atlas states that the smaller galaxy is brighter, but tonight the larger of the two appears brighter to me. 250x the joining of the two galaxies seems more distinct, but less sense of being embedded in a wider haze.

The area around Leo too murky for my planned galaxy observing, so I head to the Centuarus Galaxy Cluster, pausing for a squizz sat M83 on the way

NGC5236/M83 GX in Hydra mag 7.6 175x Clear nucleus and obvious bar with beautiful spiral arms. Dark spaces between spiral arms are apparent. I stop to sketch it - this will take a little post processing before it's fit for publishing.

NGC 4767 GX in Centaurus mag 11.6 175x Faint oval shaped galaxy with quite bright nucleus. Galaxy oriented NW-SE with elliptical halo. NGC4767A a faint round haze to the SE. I think. There are quite a few faint galaxies here – perhaps 4 - and it is hard to tell exactly which is 4767A.

I move further into the Centaurus Galaxy Cluster around NGC 4603 and there are so many galaxies here that I cannot tell which is which.

NGC 4945 GX in Centaurus mag 8.8 175x Beautiful streak of a galaxy, edge-on spiral occupying most of the 29’ AFOV of this eyepiece. Dust lanes very clear especially at the northern end of the galaxy where the intrusion of the dust lane into the disc creates an impression of a barb. At the southern end, fine dust lanes along the disc are also apparent.

NGC 5139 (Omega Centauri) GC in Centaurus mag3.5 175x The cluster fill2 the field of view. Beyond description – myriad resolvable stars with bright background haze with no definite core. I am however struck by a U-shaped gap in resolvable stars at the centre of the cluster, as if a thick walled dark box is situated in the centre of the cluster. I have noticed this before, but usually perceived it as lobes rather than this blockish u shape, with its base to the west. To the west of the U, other shapes formed by gaps in resolvable stars, including a small boomerang shape, concave to the north. I feel that I could go quite mad if I keep looking at all these shapes.

NGC 5128 GX in Centaurus mag 6.7 175x Circular haze with wide dark lane across the centre. Strands of galactic haze are visible in the dark band itself. Considerable detail visible in the dark lane.

NGC 4038/9 GX in Corvus Arp 244 mag 10.5 250x Distinct horseshoe shape with the top of the shoe oriented SW, clear dark patches visible in both galaxies and a strong impression of bright speckles throughout, more so in the southern galaxy.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:25 PM
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G'day Paddy, Very impressed by your galaxy observations, particulalry M83 and NGC 4038/9. Only can dream about detail like that here in the light polluted confines of the city. Face on spirals are one of the biggest victims of light pollution. In M83 from home all I can see is a the core with a faint disk surrounding it.

Can't wait to see your M83 sketch.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:37 PM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Hello Patrick,

Excellent report. You are in the area I want to explore next, the galaxies in Centaurus, my favourite constellation. I want to see if I can spot 5064, 5206 and 5244. Probably pushing things in suburbia - can only try. All of these are not far away from Omega. Re 4767a, Deep Sky Browser gives the mag. (photographic) as 16.4 - pretty damn faint. Nearby are 4832 (m. 12.6) and 4679 (m. 11.6). Could be one of those?? You're not wrong about the 4603 area, regular swarm of galaxies there. Where's an Argo when you need it.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:34 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks Sab and Paul. Paul, that mag figure for 4767a explains a lot - it would have been one of the other two that I was looking at. I reckon this is one of those bits of sky where you galaxy hop rather than star hop.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:50 AM
astrospotter (Mark)
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Thanks for Ngc2818 suggestion

What an odd PN and a great tip on something to observe. Took a look at it last night in an 18" dob and from +36 degrees dec is is down in the muck but did show the knotch in one end. I only detected the other end as irregular in some way. To me the averted vision view hinted at a dark lane through the middle but it came and went with it being so low.

Thanks for the suggestion as I like those two-for one type of objects with M46 being a grown up version of this pair. Found an APOD link to an amazing pic of 2818 today and just like for M46s planitary of Ngc2438, this 2818 planitary is only an overlay superimposed from our place in our galaxy and is not from a member of the cluster itself. Still it is a nice set.

Here is the APOD link: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090122.html

Clear Skies!
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:32 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks for the link, Mark. Interesting how much of that structure is visible even as far north as 36N.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:19 PM
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Excellent report patrick,great stuff

Can't wait to see your m83 sketch.

Clear skies
Orestis
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