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Old 18-03-2010, 04:25 PM
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orestis
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17/3/10 observing night

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday night was a nice clear night and so i decided to observe.

Telescope-130mm reflecter

I saw the march obserserving challenge and thought i'd try and observe some of the objects.

Eta Carinae Nebula- A truly amazing nebula which spanned basically all the field of view in my 25mm plosoll (36x).There is a big Central dark lane that bisects the nebula in 2 parts and then there are many other dark lanes spidering of the main 1.On the bright eastern section of the nebula there is a bright orange star embedded in the gas(i was not sure if this was Eta).I could see a lot of stars around the nebula.And finding it was the easiest thing in the world.

Unfortunatly i did not observe any of the other march observing challenge objects.But....

Mars- Using the 10mm and 2x barlow(180x) i was able to see only the polar cap outline with a dark rim.It was quite small so i couldn't see any other detail and it was beginning to become a little bit blurry.i did a very basic sketch (attached) showing the polar cap.sorry about the quality of the detail but thats all i could see.

Saturn- At 180x magnification was of Reasonable size to see some considerable detail.I could see the ring as a line going straight through saturn,unfortunately i couldn't see the cassini division which i haven't seen yet.I saw a brightish dot to the right of saturn which i presume was Titan and i also saw a fainter dot to the left(don't know what moon it was).

I tried to find the eight burst nebula again and failed again(how small is this thing?).I also tried to find the leo triplet and failed.Well it was getting late and i decided to pack up.it was an enjoyable night being out there with the stars again.

Thanks for reading
Orestis
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  #2  
Old 18-03-2010, 04:40 PM
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pgc hunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orestis View Post
Hi Everyone,

Yesterday night was a nice clear night and so i decided to observe.

Telescope-130mm reflecter

I saw the march obserserving challenge and thought i'd try and observe some of the objects.

Eta Carinae Nebula- A truly amazing nebula which spanned basically all the field of view in my 25mm plosoll (36x).There is a big Central dark lane that bisects the nebula in 2 parts and then there are many other dark lanes spidering of the main 1.On the bright eastern section of the nebula there is a bright orange star embedded in the gas(i was not sure if this was Eta).I could see a lot of stars around the nebula.And finding it was the easiest thing in the world.
G'day Orestis, yes that is Eta Carina.

Great report once again, just makes me itching even more to get out there.


Quote:
Unfortunatly i did not observe any of the other march observing challenge objects.But....

Mars- Using the 10mm and 2x barlow(180x) i was able to see only the polar cap outline with a dark rim.It was quite small so i couldn't see any other detail and it was beginning to become a little bit blurry.i did a very basic sketch (attached) showing the polar cap.sorry about the quality of the detail but thats all i could see.
lol you're not alone mate this is a very poor Mars season for us with its small angular diameter and far northern declination. It's actually a worst case scenario for us. Smallest opposition, plus the planet is/was at it's northernmost declination to boot. Its max diameter was only 14" back in January and is now getting smaller and smaller. We'll get an excellent opposition in July 2018 when the planet will reach a diameter of over 24" and will be overhead with Jupiter and Saturn nearby But until then each forthcoming opposition will be an improvement over the last


Quote:
Saturn- At 180x magnification was of Reasonable size to see some considerable detail.I could see the ring as a line going straight through saturn,unfortunately i couldn't see the cassini division which i haven't seen yet.I saw a brightish dot to the right of saturn which i presume was Titan and i also saw a fainter dot to the left(don't know what moon it was).

I tried to find the eight burst nebula again and failed again(how small is this thing?).I also tried to find the leo triplet and failed.Well it was getting late and i decided to pack up.it was an enjoyable night being out there with the stars again.

Thanks for reading
Orestis
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Old 18-03-2010, 06:07 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Hey Orestis.
Well done with Eta Car neb. The orange star is Eta Carina. At 115x in the 12" I can just see the homonculus which is the 2 lobes of gas expanding away from the star following its last outburst. If you can get dark enough skies you may be able to see them in 130mm.
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Old 18-03-2010, 06:11 PM
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orestis
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Originally Posted by barx1963 View Post
Hey Orestis.
Well done with Eta Car neb. The orange star is Eta Carina. At 115x in the 12" I can just see the homonculus which is the 2 lobes of gas expanding away from the star following its last outburst. If you can get dark enough skies you may be able to see them in 130mm.
Thanks Malcolm,

I'll try it out.

Regards orestis
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Old 18-03-2010, 06:47 PM
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ngcles
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Hi Orestis & All,

Excellent report mate, thanks for sharing it with us.

As Malcolm and others have already noted, that orangish star you saw is Eta Carinae itself. Try some magnificaiton on it (say about x150 or even a bit more in your 'scope) and it will probably look "bloated" compared to other stars in the field. If the seeing is really steady, you may be able to make out the Homunculus Nebula as two tiny little orange "wings" out the side of the star at centre.

Couple of other things to look at while you're near the Eta Carinae nebula, make sure you check the open clusters NGC 3293 and NGC 3532. They are very different to each other -- one rich and compact, the other a huge throng with 100s of stars. Personally, I rate NGC 3293 as the best compact cluster of all -- barely shading out The Jewel-Box cluster (NGC 4755).

Re Saturn, it is exceptionally difficult to see the Cassini division at present because the tilt of the rings is so slight -- so don't be too disappointed. It probably won't even be visible in 'scopes of your size for another year (or more) and only in very good seeing.

Best,

Les D
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Old 20-03-2010, 06:58 AM
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orestis
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hi guys,


I had a look yesterday at eta carinae at 180x magnification and it did seem bloated a bit.Whats the brightness of the expanding gas maybe its too faint i can't see it.But i didn't have very good seeing,mars was a little blurry.

Regards Orestis
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Old 21-03-2010, 05:43 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Hi Orestis,

Thanks for the report and sketch. The bloated appearance of the star is actually the expanding shell of gas thrown off by the star in the 1850s, so you have seen the gas. If you keep coming back to it, you will see more detail over time.
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