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Old 17-02-2011, 08:44 PM
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Binocular & Telescope Observations. February 2010.

February 2010 Observation Report.
Equipment Used: Saxon 10” dob, 10x60 Binocular.
Eye Pieces: Pentax XW10mm, Vixen LVW 22mm.


TELESCOPE OBSERVATIONS

VELA

NGC 3228 - Star Cluster (1600 l/y) 55 x magnification.
A scattered cluster with an elongated shape (left to right). Very loose and faint. Not many stars with lots of black sky in between. My observations reflect what the “Star & Planets” says, “15 faint stars”. However, it’s interesting that my Hartung’s Catalogue said different: “ 20’ wide in a field spangled with in-numerable stars.”

NGC 2395 – Star Cluster (3,100 l/y) 55 x magnification.
Many stars. Bright, large and loose cluster.

NGC 2547 – Star Cluster (1,400 l/y) 55 x magnification.
Many stars. Bright, large and loose. North of this cluster are three sets of close pairs in one line. My book tells me there are 80 stars in this cluster. This is a great target for binoculars.

Gamma Velorum – Wolf-Rayet Star. (840 l/y) 120x Magnification.
This is a double star, with the brightest companion being the Wolf Rayat star. Very bright and quite large, it showed beautiful diffraction spikes in my scope. A beautiful double. This star is the brightest known example of a Wolf Rayet. They are a rare class of stars with very hot surfaces which seem to be ejecting gas.

NGC 3201 – Globular Cluster.
This is an interesting glob. If it can be called that. I spent two nights trying to find this target. I kept coming across the same object which at the time, I didn’t believe it to be a glob, until I read up on it. At 55 x mag. It resembles a small, round, nebulous, feint patch with scattered stars and the outer circle ringed in stars. At 120 x mag. This was made larger and a bit brighter, but the stars remained quite small and faint. So scattered and loose. The first glob I have seen like this.

NGC 3132 – Eight Burst Planetary Nebula (2,600 l/y, mag.8).
I had so much trouble finding this over a period of three nights. It requires high magnification. At 120x mag and an OIII filter, it looks stellar. And as with pn’s they really do have to be blinked in at out. When you turn away and come back to it, it gets brighter. Not very bright, but appeared fairly large at 200x, a definite outer orange ring could easily be made out amidst a dark centre.



MUSCA

“Is one of the 12 constellations introduced at the end of the 16th centry by the Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman.” – Stars & Planets book.

NGC 4833 – Globular Cluster (18,000 l/y, mag 7).
One degree above delta mus. lays this easy to find and fair size globular. At 120x I couldn’t resolve anything. All that could be seen was a hazy fuzzy ball.

Delta Musca
A beautiful and bright orange giant laying 91 l/y away at mag. 3.6. It sits just below the globular cluster.

H6 Star Cluster.
This clusters sits between B & A Musca. An elongated cluster (left to right), containing a sparse spray of stars and tiny in size. To the left of this cluster lays a close pair and an orange star. Not sure if that pair is the double in B Musca, will have to revisit.



BINOCULAR OBSERVATIONS

The seeing this night was excellent – one of those few rare nights. On this night, I chose to use my binoculars to give them a healthy work out on such great conditions, instead of my telescope.

VELA

IC 2391 – Star Cluster
A very large, spray of stars centred around Omicron Vel. Just fits in the f.o.v. of bino. Four large & bright stars, surrounded by fainter stars. Two patches of fuzz amongst the cluster can be seen. I would say this is part of the cluster that the bino can’t resolve.
This is an excellent binocular target.

NGC 3228 – Star Cluster
A small cluster. Five bright stars can be seen, with the brightest at the top of the cluster. Surrounded by faint stars. A fuzzy patch can be seen surrounding the brighter ones.

NGC 2395- Star Cluster
A small cluster of feint stars with three bright and one very bright star with in it. The brightest star is probably a foreground star according to my book.

PSI Velorium
Just above Psi Velorum is a wide pair of intense yellow stars.
HIP46723 is much larger than HIP46612. These are both giants and make an awesome binocular target. The difference in sizes and colour intensities makes for a really gorgeous pair. The smaller one seems more intense in colour.



CARINA

IC 2944. The Running Chicken Nebula (Lambda Centauri).
Large, round nebula with a bright star in the middle and a yellow star below it. To the left sits the Pearl Cluster which I wasn’t aware of to look for it, so will need to re-visit.

NGC 3372. Eta Carina Nebula.
An easy sweep from IC2944, 6 degrees above and slightly to the right is the Eta Carina Nebula. A definite bright V shape, and shows a deep yellow and very bright Eta Carina blazing.

IC 2602. The Southern Pleiades.
A very bright and large cluster – just breathtaking.



CRUX/CENTAURUS

NGC 4103 – Star Cluster.
Large bright cluster. The brighter stars resembles “5” on a deck of cards, with fainter ones stars through out.

NGC 4052 – Star Cluster.
This cluster lays just two degrees below NGC 4103 .
A small and fuzzy patch, though bright I couldn’t resolve it. Straight under the cluster lays three bright stars pointing to the cluster. They lay in one vertical line, taking up a large amount of f.o.v.

NGC 5139 – Omega Centauri Globular Cluster
Large, bright, fuzzy ball. No resolvability, but awesome all the same.

NGC 5128 – Centaurus A Galaxy.
Sitting at 56 deg high at 1.00am in the morning, I finally got this target, having spent all of last summer looking for it. And in my bino at that. It lays much further away from 5139 as I had thought. I’d even failed at attempting star hops to find this. But in the bino, the star hop was very easy. It sits four degrees to the left and up a bit from 5139.
Faint, stellar like, with faint elongation seen blinking in and out.

I have included here my sketch of the easy star hop that I used.
Click image for larger version

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Last edited by Suzy; 25-02-2011 at 12:39 AM. Reason: Should have been 120x magnification - not 200x.
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Old 17-02-2011, 08:57 PM
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astroron (Ron)
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Nice report Suzy
Well done
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Old 17-02-2011, 09:02 PM
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Lovely report Suzy.

So glad you nabbed 5128. It is a little tricky to get hopping from Omega Cent. I remember last year having a few attempts, but when I had done 3 or 4 times, I could get there without checking an atlas!. Keep looking over the next few months, I know last year as it was higher each night it became better, shortly you will be able to see the patterns in the dust lanes as your eye get used to the target.
Gamma Velorum is a lovely double, also one of my favourites, interesting to think as a Wolf Rayet star it is one of the most energetic stars you can see naked eye. I also believe it is a system of 6 stars!
3132 has been a bit of a bugbear, always have trouble locating it, so welcome to the club!

Malcolm
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Old 17-02-2011, 09:10 PM
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Awesome report Suzy, makes mine look like total crap haha. I don't think theres any possibility to nab Centaurus A in my scope, let alone my binos. I envy your slightly light polluted sight!!!
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Old 18-02-2011, 11:36 AM
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Great report Suzy - lovely descriptions. Re NGC 3201, I find the variability between GCs endlessly fascinating. They all look so different and I enjoy trying to guess what class they are and what their history may be. And as you keep revisiting NGC 3132 you will see more and more.

Looking forward to your next report!
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Old 18-02-2011, 12:02 PM
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Check out The Homunculus Nebula "peanut" shape surrounding the massive star system Eta Carinae.
Best at high mag. (RA 10h 45m 03.6s, Dec -59° 41′ 04″) when near zenith likely 1.00am end Feb
Distance 7,500 ly Ap mag (V) 6.21 (-0.8–7.9)
Really Stunning use filter
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080617.html
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Old 18-02-2011, 07:25 PM
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Awesome Report Suzy,

I have tried numerous attempts at ngc 3132(eight burst) and have not been able to locate it and have given up.I have to find it,i'll try next clear dark sky.Compared to m57 how much smaller(apparant size) is it? For instance i can clearly see m57 in a 25mm ep.

love reading these reports makes me feel at home again.I haven't observed in ages and hope to get back out there soon.

regards Orestis
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Old 18-02-2011, 08:37 PM
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Thanks Suzy for the great read. Very businesslike and enthusing at the same time.
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Old 18-02-2011, 09:31 PM
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An excellent read Suzy!
And like everyone else, I'm looking forward to the next one.
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Old 20-02-2011, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astroron View Post
Many thanks Ron. Now hop to it and finish your one already!
Quote:
Originally Posted by barx1963 View Post
Lovely report Suzy.

So glad you nabbed 5128. It is a little tricky to get hopping from Omega Cent. I remember last year having a few attempts, but when I had done 3 or 4 times, I could get there without checking an atlas!. Keep looking over the next few months, I know last year as it was higher each night it became better, shortly you will be able to see the patterns in the dust lanes as your eye get used to the target.
Gamma Velorum is a lovely double, also one of my favourites, interesting to think as a Wolf Rayet star it is one of the most energetic stars you can see naked eye. I also believe it is a system of 6 stars!
3132 has been a bit of a bugbear, always have trouble locating it, so welcome to the club!

Malcolm
Wow, I didn't know about it having a 6 star system!
I see 3132 seems to be elusive then... hmmm.. had I known that at the beginning I probably would have left it until I became more experienced. But now that I've gotten it, I must say I feel quite chuffed!I thought it was me being a beginner having trouble (add to that, the finder is not on scope yet as I'm using no mag. red dot finder only - need to drill another hole for finder, and reverse & upside image in newt. scope, maps upside down, computer software not showing object, lack of maps with object in it, blah blah, all the things that are nightmares for beginners). I even had the star hop pattern ingrained in my memory for days while trying to find it. So yes, I'm very chuffed then. .
And I can't wait to point the scope onto 5128 after seeing it in my binos. It will be my next session.

Quote:
Originally Posted by that_guy View Post
Awesome report Suzy, makes mine look like total crap haha. I don't think theres any possibility to nab Centaurus A in my scope, let alone my binos. I envy your slightly light polluted sight!!!
Awe Tony, I loved your report. Any report is a great read, weather it be short and simple or long and detailed. It's all the same - it makes us feel like where out there observing. They always put a smile on my face. Now get out there and give us more reports, even quick ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
Great report Suzy - lovely descriptions. Re NGC 3201, I find the variability between GCs endlessly fascinating. They all look so different and I enjoy trying to guess what class they are and what their history may be. And as you keep revisiting NGC 3132 you will see more and more.

Looking forward to your next report!
Thank you so much Paddy.
This is the first broken glob. I have seen, so my confusion as to what it was, was justified all right. I love globs. too. I think most of us must do. Can you please give me any other broken globs that are out at the moment and fairly easy to find and which are a fair size? Just one or two? Regarding 3132, I need a short break from "it", it's a bit like that , I have some fury towards it . But I will re-visit some stage later for sure. It just needs to stay away from me for a little while longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrampianStars View Post
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/....s/thumbsup.gif
Check out The Homunculus Nebula "peanut" shape surrounding the massive star system Eta Carinae.
Best at high mag. (RA 10h 45m 03.6s, Dec -59° 41′ 04″) when near zenith likely 1.00am end Feb
Distance 7,500 ly Ap mag (V) 6.21 (-0.8–7.9)
Really Stunning use filter
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080617.html
Yes, the Homunculus is incredibly awesome. I have not used a filter on it though, but at 240x it is indeed spectacular. Eta Carina is my favourite object in the whole sky. Thank you for your tips though, I do appreciate it. Who knows, one day, we might catch an outburst or an explosion in our eyepiece .


Quote:
Originally Posted by orestis View Post
Awesome Report Suzyhttp://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/....s/thumbsup.gif,

I have tried numerous attempts at ngc 3132(eight burst) and have not been able to locate it and have given up.I have to find it,i'll try next clear dark sky.Compared to m57 how much smaller(apparant size) is it? For instance i can clearly see m57 in a 25mm ep.

love reading these reports makes me feel at home again.I haven't observed in ages and hope to get back out there soon.

regards Orestishttp://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/....s/thumbsup.gif
Orestis, save your sanity
I used 10' of aperture, and a 10mm ep (120x) - woops I just realised everywhere in my report where I said 200x, it should have been 120x - I need to go back and edit.. Back to the point, I still couldn't get it, despite knowing exactly where to look. It was only when I popped on the OIII filter that it became apparent. It looks stellar. It is nothing like M57 (The Ring). That was easy, and very apparent and fairly bright. Size wise, about the same (using the filter). What really helped me was that Ron told me it looked stellar, so therefore I wasn't looking for nebulosity (like M57 or The Blinking Planetary). I spent two sessions trying to find it unfiltered before filtering. What really did help is the following link ( I did much research on what to expect and help to find it). http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ad.php?t=42918
Use those large stars as your guide to exactly where it should be. They will be very easy to see in the scope. I spent ages exactly there and saw nothing for days. As compared to the picture, I saw the bright centre, but smaller, a dark thick inner ring, and a thin orange outer ring.
Good luck finding it, perhaps your dark skies will help, so give it a go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobF View Post
Thanks Suzy for the great read. Very businesslike and enthusing at the same time.
Businesslike enthusing I wanted my report to sound professional so my job is done *Suzy is picturing herself as Hartung's student* The student may surpass the master.... I wonder if Oprah will have me on her book club when it's released... I wonder if anyone would read it ... I wonder if I should stop talking now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jjjnettie View Post
An excellent read Suzy!
And like everyone else, I'm looking forward to the next one.
Many thanks Nettie, I am glad you enjoyed it. Hmmm, I think my next report may be a grab bag on all sorts. It was incredibly rewarding doing one large constellation (Vela) and studying it to pieces. But next time, it may be a bag of all sorts. The only thing that I missed in Vela was the remnant, but after reading, I found out that with my size scope It would be like hitting my head against a brick wall. I tried only for a bit (with the filter on), but gave up, saving my sanity instead with the knowledge of knowing it would have likely been out of my reach. Tho, now come to think of it Liz got it I think, but then she has darker skies.
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Old 20-02-2011, 06:50 AM
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Great report Suzy!!
Wonderful to find new targets, which can be more rewarding if they are are a bit trickier to nab.
Yes, 3132 is the elusive one here, yeah for nailing it!! Dont think I have found it, or havent for a while anyway.
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Old 20-02-2011, 08:30 AM
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Liz, were you able to get the Vela Supernova Remnant in your 10"? Something tells me you did. If so, what did you make of it? And what filtration/magnification did you use? Thanks.
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Old 20-02-2011, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
Liz, were you able to get the Vela Supernova Remnant in your 10"? Something tells me you did. If so, what did you make of it? And what filtration/magnification did you use? Thanks.
No, dont think I have Suzy. Found Cygnus supernova remnant, but not the Vela.

Heehee ... if anyone was quick enough then, I just wrote a biggish spiel on the SNR in Cygnus, doh. Deleted.
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