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Old 12-03-2023, 04:59 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
Epick Crom

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Roaming The Skies

Hello fellow Astronomers!

I had a great opportunity last night to carry out multiple observations over vast swathes of the night sky as darkness is starting to arrive earlier as we move into autumn and the waning gibbous moon was not due to rise until around 9pm, so my session ran from 7pm until 9:30pm.

Sky darkness: Bortle 6/7 backyard. NELM 4.
Transparency: Excellent
Seeing: Excellent
Instrument: Saxon 10 inch dobsonian.

I started my voyage with Venus and Mars. Venus was my best view so far this apparition, the steady atmosphere aiding me in clearly seeing it's gibbous shape. Mars presented an almost identical phase, I could make out the tiny dark area of Terra Cimmeria on its tiny 7.5" disk.

From there it was time for deep sky, I started in the north, progressively sweeping my way south.

TAURUS

M1: Why not start at the beginning of the Messier catalogue? I thought. This was actually my clearest view of the supernova remnant so far, even though at best it looked like a vague smudge of light.

118 Tauri: Nice almost evenly matched double star.

M45: Beautiful at 50x in my 24mm Panoptic. Faint nebulosity was apparent.

NGC 1514: Crystal Ball Nebula. My first time successfully identifying this planetary nebula. Central star prominent, but the vague nebulosity was only seen averted vision at 185x

NGC 1647: The third finest open cluster in Taurus for me. Nice, wide and fairly concentrated.

AURIGA

Was getting low so I just hit two objects from here.

M 38: I loved this view. Nice, rich open cluster with a spiral shape.

M 37: Oh my! Very rich, very compact beautiful open cluster!

GEMINI

M 35: Large, beautiful open cluster. I could not make out faint companion cluster NGC 2158 on this night.

NGC 2392: Eskimo Nebula. Fantastic planetary nebula with a high surface brightness. Vividly green and looked good at 300x.

Castor: Brilliant, off white evenly matched double star. Nice at 680x

CANCER

M44: Always a crowd pleaser, this wide open cluster showed multiple pairs and triples arranged together at 70x.

Iota Cancri: Where have you been all my life? A beautiful yellow and blue double star that I observed for the first time. Beautiful!

M 67: This is a good, rich open cluster that is unfairly overshadowed by M44. A beauty in its own right.

NGC 2775: This galaxy appeared a a faint glow, but I was happy to find it. Another first time sighting.

Tegmine (Zeta Cancri): Another stunning double star in Cancer. Actually it's a triple, I resolved all three components at 537x . Incredible view as the image was super steady!

CRUX

Alpha Crucis: I was treated to another incredible star image, this brilliant white blue double star was breathtaking at 686x.

NGC 4755: The Jewel Box. Crystal clear clarity observing this amazing open cluster. Hard for words to do justice to the view at 70x. More sparkles than any diamonds on earth!

NGC 4103: I like to call this open cluster the "arrow cluster". Fairly rich with a distinct arrow shape!

CARINA

NGC 2822: A challenging galaxy to observe as it lies close to the bright star Miaplacidus (Beta Carinae). I just caught a glimpse of its diffuse glow using 343x and by removing Miaplacidus just outside the field of view.

NGC 3532: What a spectacle! Very rich, dense and bright open cluster. John Herschel called this cluster among the finest in the sky, I completely agree with him!

NGC 3293: The Gem cluster. Very beautiful and compact open cluster. A rival to the Jewel Box in terms of sheer beauty!

NGC 2808: Big and bright globular cluster. Resolved as a multitude of very fine, faint stars at 522x.

NGC 3372: The mighty ETA Carina Nebula. Wow! Nebulosity and dark lanes visible surrounding the multiple imbedded star clusters of this nebula. Of these clusters, Trumpler 15 looked particularly stunning, shining like a group of diamonds amongst the glow. The Homunculus Nebula surrounding ETA Carina was incredible at high powers, looking almost exactly like a smaller version of the famous Hubble images of it.



I finished off my session by observing the remarkable Ghost Of Jupiter planetary nebula NGC 3242 in Hydra. Another highlight on a night of many! I saw it's central star along with intricate details within the nebula that I've never seen before. A ring of glowing light blue nebulosity which reminded me why it is also named " The CBS Eye". It took the magnification of 686x well. The seeing and transparency was my saviour on this night, making up for the light pollution. Thanks for reading this far and wishing you all clear, steady, transparent and hopefully dark skies!



Clear skies

Joe

Last edited by EpickCrom; 12-03-2023 at 07:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2023, 07:23 PM
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glenc (Glen)
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You had a great night Joe.
Does your 10" have a drive?
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Old 12-03-2023, 08:48 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
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[QUOTE=glenc;1584664]You had a great night Joe.
Does your 10" have a drive?[/QUOTE

Hi Glenn.

Yes, I had an excellent night! The seeing was rock solid. No, my 10 inch does not have a drive, it's completely manual.

I love star hopping to targets

Wishing you clear skies
Joe
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Old 13-03-2023, 08:28 AM
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GUS.K (Ivan)
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I like your enthusiasm Joe, sounds like you had a great night. You really make the most of your scope and conditions, enjoyed your report.
Ivan
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Old 13-03-2023, 10:12 AM
EpickCrom (Joe)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUS.K View Post
I like your enthusiasm Joe, sounds like you had a great night. You really make the most of your scope and conditions, enjoyed your report.
Ivan
Hi Ivan, thanks!

I enjoy visual observing above all else. Even in bortle 6/7 there is a lot too see! I think the fact that our air is so free of pollutants ( except light pollution in the suburbs ) compared to other locations around the world means that more can be seen despite light pollution.

Our southern Milky way is a treasure trove, it excites me to no end!

Wishing you clear skies
Joe
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Old 13-03-2023, 04:43 PM
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gaseous (Patrick)
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x686 in bortle 6-7 is a testament to your seeing conditions - wow!.
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Old 13-03-2023, 05:22 PM
Dave882 (David)
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Wonderful report!! Must have been very steady seeing indeed! Makes me want to pack my gear and head down the highway. Thanks for sharing
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Old 13-03-2023, 06:47 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
Epick Crom

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Thanks Patrick and David.

Patrick, the seeing is almost always very good here in Perth. In the three years I've been seriously observing I can count the nights of bad seeing on one hand! The seeing very regularly supports over 500x.Plus dew is almost non existent!

David, you need to head down the highway, I think the wild west is beckoning you

Due to work and family commitments I mostly observe from my backyard. I can only imagine the views from a dark site with this seeing
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