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Old 20-03-2010, 11:51 AM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Observing Report 19/3/10

Observing Report 19/3/10
All observations made using Dobsonion mounted 305mm Newtonian reflector at f/5. Eyepieces use are 32mm (47x) 24mm Panoptic (67x) 13mm Nagler T6 (115x) or 13mm Nagler with Barlow (230x)
Charts Uranometria 2000 (2nd ed.) Data derived from Uranometria (2nd ed) Deep Sky Field Guide.
I have started to include data such as position and magnitude to provide more information and confirm the visual impressions I get
Observations 19/3. Seeing good, transparency fair (still some smoke).

NGC 3626 (Caldwell 40) Galaxy in Leo

RA 11 20 03.5 Dec +18 21 23 Mag(V) 11 Dim’ 2.7x1.9 SB 12.6 Class (R)SA(rs)0+ Ringed late stage lenticular galaxy

From Delta Leonis (Zosma) there are 2 mag 6.5 stars just to the South. These point at a mag 8 star 1.5deg away to Sf which is just visible in finder. Move about 40’ due South and scan this area. Galaxy is very small, initial estimate of magnitude is around 11 to 12. Listed magnitude is 11. Core is very dense, easily mistaken for a star at low power

NGC 3608, 3607, 3605 Trio of galaxies in Leo

NGC 3608 RA 11 16 59.1 Dec +18 08 54 Mag(V) 10.8 Dim’ 3.2x2.8 SB 13.1 Class E2 Elliptical galaxy with some flattening
NGC 3607 RA 11 16 54.6 Dec +18 03 07 Mag(V) 9.9 Dim’ 4.7x3.9 SB 12.9 Class SA(s)0o: S Shaped barred spiral intermediate stage.
NGC 3605 RA 11 16 46.5 Dec +18 01 00 Mag(V) 12.3 Dim’ 1.5x1.0 SB 12.7 Class E4-5 Intermediate flattened elliptical galaxy

From NGC 3626 move about 45’ Sp scanning with low power eyepiece at 67x. Brightest member of trio is NGC 3607 which appears as an obvious galaxy with a glow initially visually estimated at 10. Appears more elliptical than spiral at first look. As it is close to NGC 3626 and brighter, could be mistaken for it, presence of companions confirms it as target. NGC 2608 initially estimated at mag 12 and lies about 5’ to North. Just South of NGC 3607 is a very faint glow only detectable with averted vision which is NGC 3605. Structure was not visually detectable in any of the 3, dark transparent skies may make some visible in NGC 3608.

NGC 4697 (Caldwell 52, Hartung 492)

RA 12 48 35.9 Dec -05 48 04 Mag(V) 9.2 Dim’ 7.2x4.7 SB 13.0 Class E6 Flattened elliptical

From Gamma Virginis (Porimma) move to a mag 6 star 0.5deg to f then South following 2 more mag 6 stars in hops of 1.5deg and 1deg. Pair of mag 7 stars aligned roughly fp are about 50’ further on. Scan area about 1deg South of these. Target is very obvious large glow. Appears to be quite elongated rather than a normal elliptical, this impression is also reported by O’Meara. One side of the galaxy appears more prominent than the other, almost giving an impression of a spiral. Classificatiojn of this galaxy has been uncertain with recent work suggesting it is lenticular, I have gone with Uranometrias published class as this conforms to the eyepiece view.

Last edited by barx1963; 23-03-2010 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 20-03-2010, 01:07 PM
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orestis
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Hi Malcolm,

Excellent report ,good to see your getting clear skies too.i was out observing yesterday aswell.

Regards Orestis
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Old 20-03-2010, 01:10 PM
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hi malcolm,

I just saw in your sig that you have a 130mm scope.I was just wondering how long you had it before you upgraded,as i am thinking of purchasing a 10'' dob and am not sure if i am rushing things.

thanks in advance
Orestis
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Old 20-03-2010, 03:06 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Hi Orestis.
The 130 is on "wobbletronic" eq2 mount. I have used it to piggyback my camera for some widefield shots and used it to webcam some lunar shots. Before i got the dob I had very little success with it, found M42, Omega Cent, Eta Car, Jupiter and Saturn and not much else. And that was in 18 months of trying!
Then I had an 8" dob for 6 months used it to het about 70 Messiers before getting the 12" and some premium EPs and now up to over 400 NGC objects.
Decent dobs beat small eq mounted scopes everytime IMHO.
Personally, upgrade as fast as you can, if you can't afford and 10", get a 6 or 8" dob. For just plain visual use, a decent dob can't be beat.
Frankly, I don't know why these scopes on EQ mounts are sold as beginners kit, all they do is put people off, hard to use, hard to setup, less aperture per $.

Last edited by barx1963; 22-03-2010 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 20-03-2010, 10:32 PM
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Very nice report Malcolm. You are unlikely to catch any structural details in NGC 3608 as it is an elliptical galaxy. One thing I struggle with at the eyepiece is scale, but you seem to have this well down pat! Good stuff!

I agree with you re EQ mounted newts being sold as beginners scopes....eq mounts are anything but functional, intiuative and natural for someone starting out As you say, a good 6-8" dob is the way to go for a beginner. "Natural" movement, large enough to show stuff.

Shame about the DSE once again. I'll bet my life they'll be in action next weekend aswell.

Last edited by pgc hunter; 21-03-2010 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 21-03-2010, 05:51 PM
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Thanks for another good read, Malcolm.

Orestis, I agree with Malcolm about upgrading sooner rather than later. You are such a keen observer that you might as well have the best possible set up. I upgraded from a 114mm tasco to a 12" dob after a month, once I realised that I was totally hooked, so I don't think you're rushing it.
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Old 22-03-2010, 06:21 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Thanks Sab and Paddy
Sab, I didn't expect to see structure in NGC 3608, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that some vague structure or "mottling" , maybe from foreground stars is sometimes apparent.
The DSE has given me a break, had a beautiful night last night, nearly the best seeing and transparency I have ever had in Colac, could see the Beehive naked eye immediately after walking outside from a lit room, the keyhole in Eta Carina was black with clear edges, M104 was bright and large, M65 and M66 were simply spectacular.
I will type up a proper report soon, hope you all are geting clear skies.

Malcolm
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Old 22-03-2010, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barx1963 View Post
Thanks Sab and Paddy
Sab, I didn't expect to see structure in NGC 3608, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that some vague structure or "mottling" , maybe from foreground stars is sometimes apparent.
Interesting, but DSS images show a bland elliptical with only 1 "false supernova" in the southeast portion of the halo.

Quote:
The DSE has given me a break, had a beautiful night last night, nearly the best seeing and transparency I have ever had in Colac, could see the Beehive naked eye immediately after walking outside from a lit room, the keyhole in Eta Carina was black with clear edges, M104 was bright and large, M65 and M66 were simply spectacular.
I will type up a proper report soon, hope you all are geting clear skies.

Malcolm
Good news, it must be the cold weather that has stopped them from burning Looking forward to your report.
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Old 22-03-2010, 11:12 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Fair enough Sab, my memory is probably playing tricks! All these NGC numbers running around my head!!!
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