Old 01-01-2011, 08:26 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

Paddy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Strangways, Vic
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LMC observations 30/12/10

Dear all,

Here are some notes from a most enjoyable session. The aim was in part to try out one of my LMC charts on a fairly busy area and I was very happy with the result. I found it fairly easy to navigate and also to be sure that I knew what i was looking at.

Thanks for reading.

Telescope 410mm (16”) f4.9 tri-dob reflector
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr
Navigation: My own charts of LMC Chart (#9 in particular) available at cloudsofmagellan.net.au


Seeing good 2/5
Transparency good 6/7

Position data for NGC objects are from the NGC/IC Project web site (http://www.ngcicproject.org/ngcicdb.asp) and those for SL objects from Mati Morel’s revised Shapley Lindsay catalogue at http://www.asnsw.com/articles/clouds/lmc-sl.asp and Henize nebula data from his similar work at http://www.asnsw.com/articles/clouds/lmc-henize.asp

NGC 2018 Open Cluster and emission nebula in LMC
Right Ascension (2000): 05h 30m 45.3s Declination (2000): -71Ί 04' 06"

135X Located by going directly across the bar of the LMC from NGC2070 (Tarantula nebula) – 2018 is the bright large patch once the bar is crossed to the southern side, and obvious in 8x50 finderscope. Quite intriguing, large in AFOV of 37’ at this magnification. I estimate the radius to be about 18’. The nebulosity is irregular in outline, but roughly circular with 4-5 knots of enhanced luminosity – there appear several bright notches around the perimeter and another oval shaped one elongated N-S in the centre. A few resolvable stars are apparent in the brighter patches. To the west is a lobe of nebulosity that spills out from the main body. 175X Appears similar to obs at 135X UHC filter does not diminish the brightness appreciably suggesting some nebulous element. To the west another outlier stands out more with uHC

To the NW is a flattened triangle of stars near the apex of which is a faint glow which is NGC 2010

NGC 2010 Open Cluster in LMC
5h 30 35.0 -70 49 11

135X This is a somewhat elongated and slightly irregular glow with no resolvable stars, appearing about 2’ across. Brighter in the centre, but not very regular in shape. As it’s fairly faint, discerning its exact shape is a little tricky. 175X Appears similar to obs at 135X .Not enhanced by UHC filter, but still visible

Further to the north is a brighter object, Shapley Lindsay 539

Shapley Lindsay 539 Open Cluster in LMC
5 30 56.4 -70 41 43

135X Significantly smaller and brighter than NGC 2010.
To the NW of 2010 near a little line of 3 stars is

NGC 1987 Open Cluster in LMC
05h 27m 17.2s -70 44' 15"

135X Similar in size to 2010, about 2’, but fainter and quite round with a distinct brightening towards the core. Not enhanced by UHC filter, but still visible

Heading NE from 2018 by about 17’ is

NGC 2031 Open Cluster in LMC
05h 33 41.9 -70 59' 13"

135X Brighter than 2010, round with brighter core fading smoothly to the surrounding halo. 175X Appears similar to obs at 135X. Not enhanced by UHC filter, but still visible

A line from 2010 through 2018’s brightest patch leads to another small gossamer disc that I have not labelled – need to update the chart.

About 10’ to the east of 2031 is

NGC 2051 Open Cluster in LMC
05h 36m 07.4s -71 00' 41"

135X Significantly fainter than 2031, about half the size of 2031 this is nonetheless a very distinct circlet of light.

About 10’ to the southeast is a close pair of small clusters

SL617 & 624 Open Clusters in LMC
5 36 42.5 -71 8 57 and 5 37 19.2 -71 6 58

135X 617 is the one closer to NGC 2018 and looks brighter and larger than 624, but both appear about half the size and luminosity of 2051. 617 is close to a bright foreground star. 617 looks almost stellar with direct vision, but averted vision reveals its greater extent

To the east is

Henize Emission Nebula N214
5 40 54 -71 14 43

135X This is a broad area of luminosity elongated SE-NW with a few scattered stars across it. I estimate that it’s about 8’x4’. The western end is the brighter part, N214A. (browsing the Henize catalogue as write this up I find that N214 extends to and includes NGC 2103). Brightens significantly with UHC filter especially in comparison to the SE extension towards NGC 2103. Becomes a bright double knot with UHC.

Further to the SE is

NGC 2103 Emission nebula in LMC
05h 41m 40.4s -71Ί 20' 00"

135X Another bright SE-NW oval of haze about 2’x3’. This completes a very handsome stream of nebulosity and stars extending from the NW edge of N214A to 2103. Distinctly enhanced by UHC filter.

A line drawn from 2031 through 2018 and extended about 35’ leads to the intriguing N200/N198 complex

Henize Emission Nebulae N200 and N198
5 23 18 -71 22 46 and 5 22 27 -71 35 56

135X These shapely nebulae are somewhat faint without UHC filter, but still observable. Together they appear a bit like a propeller, N200 to the north and N198 to the south with a bright star at the centre. At 175X the shape remains quite clear, with UHC filter both components stand out more against the background. N200 is slimmer than its southern counterpart and arcs slightly towards the west. N198 is shorter N-S and arcs more markedly to the east. N200 appears to span about 18’ N-S and N198 about 10’.

On the opposite side of 2031 to 2018 is a bright star. A line drawn from 2031 through this star and extended about 20’ leads to

NGC 2075 Open Cluster and emission nebula in LMC
05h 38m 20.5s -70Ί 41' 09"

175X This forms the apex of a squat triangle with two stars. The object itself appears roughly triangular with one apex east and the others north and south. Appears about 2’ across. Best with averted vision, it contains a few resolvable stars, the brightest at the northern corner. With UHC filter, the nebula brightens strongly especially in the centre. The object also appears about 50% larger along each side and the triangular appearance remains.

To the west is

NGC 2056 Open Cluster in LMC
05h 36m 34.1s -70Ί 40' 19"

175X This is a smaller circular object, but just as bright as NGC 2075. Dims with UHC filter.

To the north west is

NGC 2038 Open Cluster in LMC
05h 34m 42.3s -70Ί 33' 47"

175X brighter and smaller than NGC 2056 and less perfectly round. It appears to have a strong core and more area of faint haze to the east than the west. Dims with UHC filter

A line drawn from the star to the west of 2075 through 2075 to the east and extended 15’ or so leads to two clusters – NGC 2107 and SL676

NGC 2107 & Shapley/Lindsay 676 Open Clusters in LMC
05h 43m 12.9s -70Ί 38' 24" and 5 43 8.8 -70 34 19

135X 2107 and SL676 are in the bar of the LMC, so contrast is reduced significantly compared to the previous objects in this session. 2107 is the southerly of the two and is about 1’ across. SL 676 is about half this size and significantly fainter. Both are soft smoky discs against the myriad stars of the LMC bar.

I cluster hop to 2122 using the Inset A chart. A line from NGC 2074 through the NGC 2078 complex leads to SL 654, to the east of which is Hodge Sexton 400 then further east ot NGC 2113, then SE to NGC 2122/Henize N180.

NGC 2122 OC in LMC + Henize Emission nebula N180
05h 48m 52.6s -70Ί 04' 12" and 5 49 13 -70 6 23

135X At first the dominant feature is the large nearly circular 2122 which is slightly elongated N-S about 7’x5’ and slightly peanut shaped with a dip on the eastern side. About 8-9 faint resolvable stars with a grainy haze somewhat brighter in the middle. Several patches of haze surround the object. Notable is a large wedge to the south east (mainly visible on chart 7) and another smaller one to the north west (N180C). The main nebulosity is N180B. 175X The are is much more interesting at this power with much more structure visible. N180C is more obvious as is the tail to the south-east and this appears to contain a long sinewy curve of haze. More stars can be resolved and there is more variation in the brightness of the nebula. UHC filter brightens the N180B component and 2 wide parallel E-W channels of diminished luminosity are apparent so it looks like someone has run their fingers across the nebula. It also looks more contiguous with N180C, which appears larger than without the filter. The haze to the S-E is more distinct and looks 2-3 times longer than NGC 2122 but less coherent than 2122.

To the north-west, half way between 2122 and 2113 is the complex of emission nebulae that is Henize N 179

Henize Emission Nebula N179
5 48 2 -69 53 50 (N179A)

175X with UHC filter. This is quite a faint patchy luminosity with a number of segments, but not nearly as distinct as the N180 complex. Without the filter it’s still visible but less distinct. The brightest component N179A is quite marked compared to the rest of the complex.

NGC 2113 Open cluster and nebula in LMC
05h 45m 24.7s -69Ί 46' 27"

175X A reasonably sized object, a bit faint against the background of the LMC bar. Somewhat elongated and has an inner brighter crescent, convex north. Brightens with UHC filter and the impression of a brighter crescent inside a softer halo is accentuated. Some faintly resolved stars in the centre. Looks about 2’ across.

Hodge Sexton 400 Open cluster and nebula in LMC
5 43 10.5 -69 45 26

175X with UHC filter. This intriguing object looks almost as if it contains a small barred spiral galaxy. An oval of haze elongated N-S with several resolvable stars. Looks about 5’x3’. Without the filter this is much less distinct but still obvious. It looks more like a disc and loses the impression of the barred spiral, but a curve of 4 resolvable stars is still apparent, giving rise to a horseshoe shape (points to the east) embedded in a larger softer haze. The whole thing is a bit lost against the bar of the LMC.

As the mosquitoes increase the ferocity of their attack and ignore my insect repellant, I have a quick visit to NGC 2070, which appears absolutely stunning and then Eta Carinae. The dark lanes of the nebula are crisp, the clusters in the nebula are sharp and clear and the homunculus nebula very distinct. The two small side jets are quite obvious, the one to the south longer and straighter than the northern one.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:52 AM
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Nice going Paddy.There is a lot of observing to be had in our neighbouring galaxies.you have inspired me to give it a go.Though I hope I don't get lost but with the help of your charts I'm sure I won't.

Cheers orestis

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Old 09-01-2011, 06:47 PM
astrospotter (Mark)
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Outstanding OR Paddy

I enjoyed the very well put together OR quite a bit and thank you for sharing your observations. One cannot hardly move the scope anywhere in the LMC without hitting more and more objects in each field. I only had 5 nights way down south back in this March but your report brings it all back (and more of course). So I had a real rush job and it would be so great to go back and revisit it every month like you all can down there. Now the LMC is in optimal viewing and it was rather low back in March. I'll have to save up my pennies and get down south to your wonderful skies again someday perhaps in the Nov-Dec timeframe ... maybe next year.

Thanks also for posting Henize and other designations, very handy.

Have looked at your charts and they are as you would say down there 'top shelf'. Very nicely done.

Yes the NGC/IC project is a true jewel to us observers. It had gone offline but was fortunately brought back and I for one am extremely thankful for that site.

Cheers and thanks again for the very enjoyable OR.

Mark Johnston
'A guy from +37 degrees who has no LMC'
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:59 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Thanks, Mark. It was actually your charts of the SMC using Jason Jennings image that inspired me to use photographs as the basis for the charts. I'll be putting a link to your excellent LMC and SMC notes on the web site as I develop the notes section if that's OK with you.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:06 PM
astrospotter (Mark)
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Goes around comes around

Very good. Share and share alike. I spent months on those charts.

I am shifting over my site where those maps are this last few
weeks and have technical stuff down just now but hope to have the site back up www.astrospotter.com by next weekend or so. I changed over from one web provider to another and there is some grief with the fixed IP address. It will be sorted out.

Much of the detailed charts there came from NGC/IC project. I have been fortunate enough to observe with a small group of guys one of which is Steve Gottlieb and I have learned so very much from Steve who was involved with NGC/IC project for supplying observations and some research. He went down to your area in November and asked if I wanted to go but I just could not go. He had 3 real good nights and a couple not so good nights last Nov 9 or so with the fine folk that run that 'Way Deep South Texas Star Party' down near Sliding Springs your way. Sorry I am not quite right on that star party name. I am sure you know those guys who do that big star party, John B might be one of them. This Nov they had a small version of the annual larger one that is around mid-year or so.

I had a blast with all those charts and when I got down to Arkaroola I had been studying for a few months so the sky and where the 'best of' objects were was drilled into my head.

For the LMC I STILL got lost a couple times by following the wrong cluster and so on. In the LMC one does not star hop as much as one 'object hops'. I will return that is for sure, just a bit tricky being so far.

I had my computer down there too but because I had so much I wanted to do I basically worked mostly off of the big wide telrad charts and then in the LMC worked off of the 2-sheet map and the detailed object maps when I got to complicated areas. 5 days and I only scraped the surface with very fast observations (except on the real showpiece objects).

That LMC is really one heck of a playground.

You guys have fun and I'll be missing your skies every dark night.

Clear Skies,
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:54 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Good luck with the 'puter stuff Mark.

Steve posted his notes of his sessions on the LMC here on IIS - very good report as you'd expect.

It is certainly easy to get lost in the LMC. Must have been a beautiful dark sky at Arkaroola.

You may want to time your next trip here for when the La Nina has finished. Cloud has been abundant!

Until you do get back to delight us with more of your obs in the south, maybe you could post a few northern hemisphere obs, so we can find out what we're missing.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:04 PM
astrospotter (Mark)
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astrospotter.com lives again with my charts

My www.astrospotter.com site is up again so all the charts I had made/used in Arkaroola back in March 2010 are online after a couple weeks of shifting things around. It is very basic, no frills sort of site as you know.


Yes Arkaroola was 21.5 through 21.7 depending on the night. Used the resort's (Doug Sprigg's) 12" Bintel Dob and sometimes his 14" EQ mount SCT. Doug was quite surprised with the weather and this year was breaking quite a dry spell up that way. (bad for me, good for Arkaroola it would seem) I lost most of a sixth night and got a late start on one other night (about 11pm) but it was overall amazing and I could have done far worse so I was very happy even in this wet year).

Really a great place to go and only bring your eyepieces. Wonderful rooms and good food. But WAY the heck out in the boonies out there in Flinder's Range.
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