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Old 30-03-2009, 11:46 AM
Rob_K
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Snake Valley Camp obs report, March 09

Some great viewing at the Snake Valley Camp at the weekend, through a variety of scopes & apertures. Saturday night/Sunday morning was the best of it conditions-wise, although all three nights I was there were excellent for the most part. Saw masses of good stuff, far too many objects to attempt a detailed obs report. Here are just a few things that stuck in my sleep-deprived brain….

Time: Friday (pm) 27 March – Monday (am) 30 March 2009
Location: Snake Valley, Vic
Telescope: Tasco 4.5" f8 reflector on Alt-Az mount
EP: 21mm Celestron X-Cel
Transparency: Good (some hazy cloud earlier on Fri evening, and Mon morning)
Seeing: Very good - fair, still conditions. Sunday night had some light gusty breeze.

NGC 6744, galaxy in Pavo, mag 9.1 – showed as a moderately-large faint grey patch. Elongated in averted vision. A very interesting galaxy, touted for its similarity to the Milky Way galaxy with its barred centre and complex spiral arms. I presume I was only seeing the brighter inner regions of 6744 – it is quite large, a near face-on spiral galaxy.

NGC 4361, planetary nebula in Corvus, mag 10.3 – easy to see as a small roundish grey blob. Averted vision gave hints of very slight elongation, but no sign of a central star. Checked it out in a 10" dob later (thanks Barry!) - the central star was easily visible, and the nebula showed some mottling. It is quite unusual with high-speed matter being projected through a ‘shell’ of lower speed material, and in deep images has superficial resemblance to M1, ‘Crab Nebula’. Some dingbat has proposed the name "Lawn Sprinkler Nebula", showing why the trend of outrageous popular naming should be stopped!

NGC 5189, planetary nebula in Musca, mag 8.2 – showed as a small roundish grey patch, but is relatively large as planetaries go. Easy to see, and gave vague hints of brightness in the central parts in averted vision. This PN is a very unusual object - visually (in bigger scopes than mine!) it shows a central bar and what look like two arms, giving it the appearance of a barred spiral galaxy. In fact, there was much confusion in classifying this object – see:
http://www.geocities.com/ariane1au/NGC5189.htm

NGC 3132, ‘Eight Burst Nebula’, planetary nebula in Vela, mag 8.2 – having once seen this magnificent object in dark skies at high magnification in a 16" and using filters (thanks tnott), I was totally unprepared for the eyepiece view in the 4.5". So unprepared in fact that I got Eric (‘Erick’) to double-check it with his 10" & Argo Navis. In my scope it showed pretty much as a star, but as soon as I averted my vision, a tiny bright white donut ring huddled closely to the star. No colour visible. In Eric’s scope at a little more magnification, the nebulosity was much stronger, and there were hints of knottiness around the edges.

Other stuff: Also visited NGC 3918 the ‘Blue Planetary’ in Centaurus and NGC 2392 the "Eskimo Nebula" in Gemini. Both tiny, lovely pale blue colour on 3918.

Saw many, many galaxies in Leo, and as an exercise rough-sketched a number of fields to double-check on Starry Night, because I was using very ‘wide’ charts. Glad I did because I found a few anomolies. I had made my charts from galaxy info in the NGC layer on SN – however there is another layer containing nearly a million galaxies to mag 18, which disconcertingly has some bright NGC galaxies which are not on the NGC layer. Why??? So what I thought was NGC 3384 at mag 12.1 was in fact nearby NGC 3377 at mag 11.1. And brightness anomolies in what I thought were the close galaxy pair NGC 3379 & NGC 3371 were explained by the fact that I was seeing galaxies NGC 3379 & NGC 3384 (the brightest at mag 10). Worth a look too!!

Cheers -

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Old 30-03-2009, 12:01 PM
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Man I've missed your reports! You should get a notepad and take notes of everything you see. NGC 5139 is awesome, looks exactly like a barred spiral in my 12".
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Old 30-03-2009, 12:59 PM
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astroron (Ron)
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Originally Posted by pgc hunter View Post
Man I've missed your reports! You should get a notepad and take notes of everything you see. NGC 5139 is awesome, looks exactly like a barred spiral in my 12".
Ngc 5139 looks like a barred spiral galaxy? are you sure you have the right NGC number?
If 5139 looks like barred spiral then your optics are surely out of wack
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Old 30-03-2009, 01:11 PM
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Ngc 5139 looks like a barred spiral galaxy? are you sure you have the right NGC number?
If 5139 looks like barred spiral then your optics are surely out of wack
lol whoops typo! NGC 5139 looks more like a massive ball of innumerable pinpricks which any northern hemispherian would kill for
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Old 30-03-2009, 01:16 PM
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lol whoops typo! NGC 5139 looks more like a massive ball of innumerable pinpricks which any northern hemispherian would kill for
LOL Don't we just love Typo's
Which galaxy did you mean?
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Old 30-03-2009, 01:21 PM
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LOL Don't we just love Typo's
Which galaxy did you mean?
nah I was referring to the Spiral planetary (ngc 5189) in Musca
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Old 30-03-2009, 01:30 PM
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....
I got Eric (‘Erick’) to double-check it with his 10" ....

I've got a whole 12"







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Old 30-03-2009, 01:38 PM
Rob_K
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Originally Posted by erick View Post
I've got a whole 12"







Oops, sorry Eric, don't think I can even claim a typo on that, LOL!

Now I just need Barry to tell me his is a 12", and Tim to say 18"...

Just not used to aperture I'm afraid...

Cheers -
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Old 30-03-2009, 11:46 PM
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Hi Rob & All,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_K View Post
Some dingbat has proposed the name "Lawn Sprinkler Nebula", showing why the trend of outrageous popular naming should be stopped! ...

Other stuff: Also visited NGC 3918 the ‘Blue Planetary’ in Centaurus and NGC 2392 the "Eskimo Nebula" in Gemini. Both tiny, lovely pale blue colour on 3918 ...
Hi Rob, as usual an excellent report.

Re "showing why the trend of outrageous popular naming should be stopped! ..."

YES !!!!! At last ... I have a ... __disciple__ !!

Good that you mentioed NGC 3918 as it will be in my report from last weekend ... sometime soon ... (I hope).

I took a look at this after I had looked at the Homonculus because the seeing was soooo good. Years and years I've seen no detail whatsoever in this thing -- consistent aqua turqoise, seemingly perfectly round. There was one night in the 12" when I thought I may have seen some surface irregularity but not definite.

On Sat night at x617 (*not* a typo -- barlowed 7mm Nagler in 18" f/4.9) at last I saw something definite and had it confirmed by another highly experienced observer. There were two slight bumps on the outer boundary of the halo in the east and west positions. Only small, low bumps but definite. HST saw them before me though ...

Great report mate. Though I love to see a small-'scope pushed as hard as possible (you get a tip-of-the-lid from me) I often think you'd really benefit from an even slightly bigger 'scope.


Best,

Les D
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:53 AM
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^^ that's quite an achievement re NGC 3918. Amatuer photos show mottling across the disk, did you see this aswell?

I've always seen 3918 as a virtually perfect round aqua coloured ball. Seeing here is never good so I doubt I'll ever see more unless I hit the road.
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