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Old 06-10-2010, 10:02 AM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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More SMC objects and a couple from October's challenge

Installment #2 of my recent run of good weather...

Telescope 400mm (16”) f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr
Navigation: Night Sky Observer’s Guide (NSOG), Morel’s Visual Atlas of the Small Magellanic Cloud, Jenni Kay’s Visual Atlas of the Magellanic Clouds
Further reference: “Star Clusters” by Archinal and Hynes.

Seeing good 1/5 (except in area of SMC due to my roof)
Transparency – good 6/7

2300

NGC 242 OC in SMC

175X I noted in my last session that this object was in a line roughly E-W. NGC 242 is on the line from the corner of the right angle triangle asterism through NGC 231. It is small bright oval shaped knot with a number of resolvable stars. At first it appears to be in two parts, but this could be due to adjacent foreground stars. The long axis of 242 is NW-SE. To the west of 242 is a little clump of stars which looks also to be a bit nebulous and indeed is enhanced by a UHC filter, but this does not appear in any of the catalogues that I have to hand. (Subsequent checking with Tasco’s Skywatch software and Archinal and Hynes catalogue suggests that it is NGC 241, although Morel and Kay suggest that 241 is a duplicate number for 242, based on other catalogues. Jenni Kay states that there is no object where 241 is supposed to be, but I wonder if this is due to her using an 8” telescope. I’m on the side of 241 being a separate cluster). 242 also stands up well to UHC. There are several faint patches to the east of 242, but about 15’ to the east is NGC 248

NGC 241 OC in SMC

175X Given the results of my checking, I will treat this object as 241. Significantly smaller than NGC 242 and fainter, but with three fairly bright stars. It looks about 1/3 the distance from 242 as is 248, but to the west perhaps 3’?.

NGC 248 Emission nebula in SMC

175X Another oval shaped area of quintessence oriented roughly N-S with faint resolvable stars. It looks about the same size as 242 but a bit fainter. Stands up well to UHC filter.

A line drawn from 248 through 265 & 269 from the base of a roughly equilateral triangle, the apex of which is NGC 267.

NGC 267 OC + nebula in SMC

132x This is a much more extended area of nebulosity than 242 & 248, perhaps about 4x the size of 248. It is irregularly shaped, somewhat brighter in the centre and with quite a few faint resolvable stars. Contrast is reduced by the dense SMC star field in which it sits.


A line drawn from NGC 265 through 267 leads to Henize N 30

Henize N30 OC + neb in SMC

132X This is another more extended object, but smaller than NGC 267. It is quite round with no distinct edges and has a few resolvable stars.

NGC 267 and Henize N30 form the short side of a right angle triangle, with the remaining apex being NGC 249. NGC 261 lies 2/3 of the way between N30 and 249.

NGC 249 and 261 OC + nebulae in SMC

132x Both are roughly circular soft edged areas of luminosity, brighter in the centre than at the edges.249 is somewhat larger and brighter. No resolvable stars. 261 is still fairly bright and has a few resolvable stars in the centre. The are is awash with SMC stars.

Lindsay 40 OC in SMC

132X A clump of about 5 resolvable stars embedded in a much broader, roughly triangular haze. Quite extended compared to many of the other objects around here.

NGC 290 OC in SMC


132X A small, discrete and bright object with very strong core and fainter halo.

To the south of NGC 290 is

Henize N45 OC + neb in SMC

132X Fainter than NGC 290 but a little larger. It appears to have two sections, the first an oval shaped haze oriented back towards 290 which is separated by a thin dark chasm from a dash of haze to the south.

NGC 294/Lindsay 47 OC in SMC

132X A small concentrated oval of nebulosity oriented NE-SW with no resolvable stars. This OC is further out of the main body of the SMC, so the background is significantly darker than in the 290-361 area. This is about the same size as 290 and a little fainter, but stands out due to the lack of surrounding stars.

NGC 330 OC in SMC

175X This is a real stunner. Compact and very bright with many tightly packed resolvable stars. Oval shaped roughly E-W, but with a tail curving off to the south from the eastern end. This tail is a delicate trail of stars over a background haze. The main body of the cluster looks grainy due to the many resolvable stars. The whole thing looks a bit like a barred spiral galaxy.

Jupiter

175X Crystal clear view of the giant with much detail observable in cloud bands, but above all a strikingly beautiful, even arrangement of the Galilean moons forming a graceful concave-south arc close to the planet.

NGC 288 GC in Sculptor

175X This is a large, very loose GC with many strands of resolvable stars. No central core. 2 matching arcs of stars, both concave west, give the appearance of the top of a heart shape. Another strand comes off the SE. A very irregular and poorly concentrated GC.

A quick viewing of NGC 253, 1532 and 1365 fills me with delight. I have never seen so much detail in these – perhaps a combination of good seeing and recently tweaked secondary positioning. Very happy.

NGC 300 GX in Sculptor

132X A large and somewhat irregular milky haze with a number of bright foreground stars, one to the south which appears to be at the end of a spiral arm. No stellar core. Detail in this face on spiral is quite hard to discern.

Last edited by Paddy; 08-10-2010 at 08:35 AM. Reason: incorrect designation
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:10 AM
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orestis
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WOW what a night.Awesome Obs report Paddy.

You have observed many objects in the smc,great stuff.

I could only find 2 objects apart from jupiter that i have observed,Ngc 288(faint in my scope.but beautiful) and ngc 253 one of my favorite galaxy to observe.

Lucky you,can't remember the last time i observed.

Regards orestis
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:29 PM
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Great report Paddy, sure are a lot of objects in the SMC and especially a treat with your dark skies and 16" mirror! the LMC I imagine is quite memorable with such a combo.

How does NGC 1365 look from your location? From here it is .... well a big pile of nothing

I've made a sketch of NGC 253 last weekend, some detail was visible in ordinary transparency and seeing so rapt about that.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:54 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks guys. Orestis, I really hope you get some observing soon. We look like good nights this weekend, hope its the same for you.

Sab, the LMC is indeed stunning. I've been finishing sessions just tracing the dark lanes of NGC 2070 - they are so complex and there is so much to see throughout the galaxy. My list of things yet to observe in it is very long and somewhat daunting. I think it will keep me going for years. NGC 1365 shows quite a bit of detail on a good night - core and central bar are very clear as are the spiral arms and much of the dust lanes. Here is a note from 22/10 last year

132x Very distinct bar and 2 wide spiral arms. Dust lanes clear in both arms, but more so in the more curved of the 2. 175x shows more distinct texture along the arms with a dark patch at the base of the straighter arm near a foreground star. The other one appears to fan out somewhat as it passes a faint star about 2/3 the way along.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:29 PM
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That's a most impressive description of 1365. Beats my faint hazy blob any day! I really need to find a dark site.... for the reasons illustrated here. It confirms my long held view that any sign of light pollution means that face-on spirals are instantly dead in the water.

Last edited by pgc hunter; 07-10-2010 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:03 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgc hunter View Post
That's a most impressive description of 1365. Beats my faint hazy blob any day! I really need to find a dark site.... for the reasons illustrated here. It confirms my long held view that any sign of light pollution means that face-on spirals are instantly dead in the water.
I think so. I am very impressed at what you and others manage in light polluted skies - a tribute to your observing skills.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:18 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Paddy
Nice report. One minor thing. you have reported NGC 300 in 2 spots?
Maybe NGC 300 OC in SMC should read NGC 330 OC in SMC?
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:37 AM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Thanks Malcolm - yes it should have read 330. Now fixed.

Good to see that you'll be at Snake Valley - I look forward to catching up.
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Old 28-10-2010, 06:09 PM
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Suzy
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How did I miss this obs report?!
Fantastic journey Patrick and what a great night. You have given me some great objects here to persue myself- thank you and thank you for a wonderful obs report.
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