Old 04-10-2010, 09:17 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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The first of a few good nights!

Dear all,

Some very good nights for observing of late here at Strangways. And a bit of a fine tuning to the positioning of my secondary mirror and I am a very happy chap. I have resumed my project from last year of working through the Small Magellanic Cloud with Mati Morel's atlas, Jenni Kayes notes and Archinal and Hynes "Star Clusters" by my side. I think the thing with the SMC is that so many of the objects don't sound that exciting when you describe them item by item - so many are small knots of quintessence, but the way they are just packed in together I find just stunning. And for some reason I want to know what every one of them is called. So a lot more of these to come.

And for the first time I was confident that i was looking at Triton. Very happy.

Telescope 400mm (16”) f4.9 tri-dob reflector
15X70 binoculars
Eyepieces 28mm UWAN, 17,13,9 mm Naglers, Paracorr
Guiding: Night Sky Observer’s Guide (NSOG), Morel’s Visual Atlas of the Small Magellanic Cloud
Furtter reference: “Star Clusters” by Archinal and Hynes.

Seeing good 2/5
Transparency – some high altitude haze to the north, 6/7


NGC 176 OC in SMC
Mag 11.9

175X This is situated in a right angled triangle asterism 1/3 of the way along a line from NGC 104 to Lambda Hydrus. The right angle points towards the body of the SMC. NGC 176 is found near the star at the further end of the short side, just back towards the right angle a little. 176 is somewhat more extended than many of the objects in this neck of the woods, but is still quite small with a bright centre and irregular roughly triangular haze surrounding. Possibly 1-2’ across.

Hodge/Wright 9&10 OC in SMC

132X 2/3 of the way from the right angle to the third star of the triangle I note two patches of more extended and fainter haze with some resolvable stars that spill across towards the hypotenuse of the triangl. These are not listed on my charts, but from Archinal and Hynes & DSS images, I find that they are HW 9 and 10.

NGC 220, 222, 231 OC in SMC
Mag 11.7/11.7/11.8

175 X Following the longer of the two sides of the right angle towards the bulk of the SMC leads to this delicate line of open clusters, which lie roughly parallel to the short side of the triangle. At the western end of the line is NGC 220, a bright circular knot. This seems to meld into the fainter oval haze of NGC 222 to the east. Further to the east again, 231 is an elegant crescent with its concave aspect facing back towards the triangle asterism that I have been using as a guide. Scattered resolvable stars are sprinkled along this crescent.

A line drawn from the right angle through NGC 231 leads to a line of 4 little knots of nebulosity. The line is parallel to that formed by 220/220/231. The westernmost patch is faint and mixed up with some foreground stars and perhaps is…In the middle of the line is

NGC 242 OC in SMC
Mag 12.1

175X A small bright oval with a few discernible stars, about the same size as NGC 222.

I have yet to find out what the other fainter areas comprising this line are.

Following a line from 231 through 242, but about 3x that distance, lies

NGC 256 OC in SMC
Mag. 12.0

175X Distinct and regular round knot of brightness quite close to a foreground star. If 256 is in the 8 o’clock position in relation to the star, at 11 and further away is

NGC 265 OC in SMC
Mag 11.9

175X Another small circle of haze

Fainter again is

NGC 269 OC in SMC
Mag. 12.2

175X Another small circle of haze

Together, they comprise a very interesting and busy patch of night sky.


175X A pale blue disc, paler in the centre. A tiny faint speck about 4 diameters of the planet to the east could be Triton. This fits with subsequent checking of Triton’s location. I have seen it, I think!


175X 2 moons parked off each end of the NEB quite close to the planet look reminiscent of a pair of ears the eastern is the closer of the two. Further out on each side are the remaining two Gallilean moons. NEB quite marked with a short narrow pale split near its northern edge starting about 1/3 of the way form the western limb. The NEB thickens to the east of this and there is another split further again to the south and east within the NEB. Two fine northern temperate bands a clearly visible. The NEB looks very textured and where the SEB would normally be, there appears a grey marbling. Right in the centre of the disc there seems to be a slightly dark patch. The southern temperate bands are visible, but not as distinct as the northern ones. In moments of good seeing, amazing amounts of texture are visible.


175X Being just above a tree, seeing is rather poor. The planet appears as a pale green/blue disc, paler in the centre. No moons apparent.
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:55 PM
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Excellent report Patrick,

Good to see that you got some observations in.the weather here has been very bad lately.

Congratulations on your observation of Triton quite a feat.

Sounds like some very lovely detail on Jupiter well done.
keep up the good work

Kind regards orestis

Last edited by orestis; 05-10-2010 at 12:57 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:20 PM
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Location: Renmark, SA
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Few good nights indeed! THe Magellenics are great fun, like you said its the way the deep sky treats are agglomorated in them. I think I may have seen that same rift in Jupiter's NEB

I Observed Jupiter on Sat night, seeing horrible but got a few moments of crisp viewing at 267x with alot of festoons, white ovals, barges , knots visible. But generally a fuzzy trennis ball was the theme of the evening lol

Also saw Uranus moons Tatiana and Oberon.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:58 AM
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Paddy (Patrick)
Canis Minor

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Thanks Orestis and Sab.

Titania and Oberon - have yet to bag these two. Hmm...
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