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Old 22-11-2009, 11:40 AM
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Davekyn (David)
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A Newbie’s Stella Stargazing Night:

Although I’ve had my 12” Dob a year now, I really have not given it a good session; until last night. We packed the car with tent and camping gear, loaded the 80ED & mount, squeezed in the 12” Dob & Base, a couple pairs of Binos and some bedding. The car was fully stacked!!!!

OK…everything set up and after dinner we got to a late start. We started with NGC253…I passed around the 10X50 using my laser pen to point out the star “Diphda” (North West @ aprox 9:30ishPM) in the constellation Cetus, then about 4 degrees further up and over to the west spot a group of triangular shapes until the little smudge was spotted. I then passed over the 15X70’s and comments where made to the shape of the smudge, where upon we were all happy with the resulting image in the ED80 F7. The image presented was a definite cigar shaped Galaxy with the expected star pattern surrounding it, The contrast looked good and so forth. Now it was time for the DOB…& what a site it was. Having started with the 10X50’s and playing it up through the next pair of Binos and little refractor; we felt as if we could see deep within the galaxy. It was bright by comparison, a brighter white thin line, seemed to be emanating from within, running the length of the skinny cigar shaped Galaxy. We tried as hard as we could with the micro focuser and started kidding each other that we may be resolving stars in the thin core, that with averted vision it was as if someone grabbed Omega centruri and stretched it out into the shape we were now observing, although somewhat fainter. I put in a higher Mag and instead of brightness dimming out like I expected, I was pleasantly surprised it held up quite well and we could see MORE detail!!!! And commented and the star patterns etc… Basically…Regardless if we were playing things up and saw things that belonged more in some software program rather than what was in the EP…we were really on high & the night just got better from there!!!

Andromeda was getting to low & somehow, we still managed to see it and its core, but nothing compared to the way we investigated NGC253…Triangulam Galaxy, was a fizzle above the sickening light pollution of Toowoomba but allowed for a fun game of star hopping and so forth. Uranus & Neptune seemed to be passed the optimal point due to the late start, but once again had fun playing “Here and There” I called out Juno but did not want to bore the others with too much fussing & did my best to put on another show with Orion as it rose higher towards Midnight. The Great Orion had been see before for those of us present…I used the UHC and were impressed as usual, but once again enjoyed star hopping from the ED80 back to the DOB and so forth working out orientation to find the Running Man nebula which for us was a FIRST!!!!! We really enjoyed chaning the EPs and questioning eachother until it just got clearer and clearer, were for me, I found the right Mag and orientation with the ED80, then explained to the others to try moving the targeted stars across the EP slowly backwards and forwards (something someone here of at “Cloudy Nights!!!” told me : ) – until eventual one of the party agreed with me that indeed we had found the “Running Man” No where near as bright as the Great Orion, but truly a testament to our efforts and the reward was sweet leaving us wanting to come again another night to just want to tweak it more and more!!!

Now it was time for us Newbie to tackle the Horse Head…WE FAILED……BUT!!!!......were once again on a high for working out how to “SEE” the Flame Nebula…I could actually see the Flame nebula in the ED 80 with my 2inch 32mm or was it 42mm??? Whatever it was, the key to finding that one, was the culmination of the nights learning of working out where each of the star patterns where within the different scopes/averted vision & a desire not to stop until we discovered yet another first.

During all this time I saw “easily” a dozen meteors with a few “WOE DID YOU SEE THAT!!!” “That was a SLOW one!” For the first time I saw a “STREAKER with a LONG tail the left what appeared to be a smoke trail that quickly faded as soon as it appeared…I explained that “some commet all you guys were raving on about “Leonoids…? (Can’t spell sorry) had been through the area and that we were on the tail end of that viewing session being the 21/11/09 but nobody expected there to be many as the Peek of the showers were over. The Dozen or so we saw were very entertaining to say the least. Just before Bed at 2AM I spotted Crux in the south and thought maybe it would be possible to have a last show with Carina Nebula…I just made a passing comment that I’d like to show them something that I thought was more impressive than the Great Orion thinking that this time of year, would not have it looking so good. Well we could not of finished on a better note. I quickly found it too!!!...whacked in the UHC and said SCAN that!!!! Sorry but I don’t have a wide EP that gives a wide enough field of view!!!…I’ll never get over how crisp and airy the wispy clouds of Carina show up n my Dob…FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!! Whilst I started packing up, my mate was kicking back in the arm chair provided staring deep into the south with my 15X70…He’s now pretty keen to get a set of 20X80EDs from AOE…Best night I ever had Star gazing…My laser pointing skills are getting much better now…hehee…I’m really looking forward to sharpening my observing skills and chasing the elusive Horse Head Neb
Thanks for letting me Share & thanks to those who have given me the feed back I have needed in order to experiance such night.
Cheers To Ya
Dave
Here we are a little tired the next day but Happy As!
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x...heDayAfter.jpg
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Old 22-11-2009, 01:34 PM
Rob_K
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Excellent David, your enthusiasm really comes through! That's exactly what amateur astronomy should be about - out under the stars, challenging yourself, appreciating celestial wonders and having a lot of fun! Well done!!!

Cheers -
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Old 22-11-2009, 01:53 PM
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Robh (Rob)
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Dave,
Sounds like you had an awesome and productive night. I liked that you used several optical aids- the 10x50s, 15x70s, the ED80, UHC and the DOB. A great way to get an all round impression of the objects in the night sky.

Regards, Rob
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Old 22-11-2009, 02:57 PM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Hey, great report David. As the other guys have said, the enthusiasm comes through so well. Star hopping becomes a bit easier when you can see more stars! Enjoyment is what it's all about and combining visual observing with a campout is a great combination. It's worth it to drag the gear away from town's light pollution, that's not always easy with a 12". Well done!
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Old 23-11-2009, 01:10 PM
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Davekyn (David)
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Thanks Guys...I'll try and take some serious notes on my next Horse Head Nebual atempt. I think I have an Australian Sky & Telescope edition just on the subject of improving onces chances to view that object.
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Old 23-11-2009, 01:44 PM
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erick (Eric)
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What FUN! Great night and report, Dave!
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Old 23-11-2009, 03:20 PM
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astro_south (Andrew)
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That is a super report Dave - enjoyed reading every last word.

Where were you camping?

We had about 20 odd (some very odd) people out at Leyburn observing on Saturday night - just 45mins south west of you in Toowoomba! You should join us sometime - it is open to all, and Mark (Bolts_tweed) is a gracious host.
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Old 23-11-2009, 03:52 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Very nice report Dave. As others have said, your passion and excitement really comes through which is fantastic. you sound like you had such a good night!
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Old 23-11-2009, 09:04 PM
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Davekyn (David)
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Thanks for the encouragement guys, it really was the best night I’ve ever had. I’m wondering Andrew, did any of you guys notice any light above Warrick. I was in “Federation Park” only about 10km out of Toowoomba. It’s more like a rest area that allows for up to 48hour stop over’s with toilets/BBQ/Gazebos/children’s play area/Water –pliers needed-/ and so forth. The area is quite windy much of the time, however I set-up in one of the few hollow creek beds and find it makes a huge difference with not only the wind but also the morning dew that can build up in the middle of winter. You can still see a halo of light over Toowoomba, but it makes a huge difference up near the zenith & in general. From my direction, warrick is more south and I may have mistaken simple sky glow along the horizon where the milky pops up from for light pollution? None the less I checked Leyburn on my phone (been shaped again : ( ) & it looks like a really good spot to observe from. I believe some of the good folk here have mentioned Leyburn to me before. I’m up for a PM if you’re interested in letting me know about any observing sessions you may be have coming up from time to time. Probably best to email me on dmkynaston@gmail.com. I’m easy either way. Perhaps you could pass on my email there or add it to a list of interested people?

Last edited by Davekyn; 23-11-2009 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 23-11-2009, 11:36 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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David, wonderful report. Great you are able to share your enthusiasm and love of the hobby with others.
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Old 24-11-2009, 01:28 PM
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astro_south (Andrew)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davekyn View Post
Thanks for the encouragement guys, it really was the best night I’ve ever had. I’m wondering Andrew, did any of you guys notice any light above Warrick. I was in “Federation Park” only about 10km out of Toowoomba. It’s more like a rest area that allows for up to 48hour stop over’s with toilets/BBQ/Gazebos/children’s play area/Water –pliers needed-/ and so forth. The area is quite windy much of the time, however I set-up in one of the few hollow creek beds and find it makes a huge difference with not only the wind but also the morning dew that can build up in the middle of winter. You can still see a halo of light over Toowoomba, but it makes a huge difference up near the zenith & in general. From my direction, warrick is more south and I may have mistaken simple sky glow along the horizon where the milky pops up from for light pollution? None the less I checked Leyburn on my phone (been shaped again : ( ) & it looks like a really good spot to observe from. I believe some of the good folk here have mentioned Leyburn to me before. I’m up for a PM if you’re interested in letting me know about any observing sessions you may be have coming up from time to time. Probably best to email me on dmkynaston@gmail.com. I’m easy either way. Perhaps you could pass on my email there or add it to a list of interested people?
Dave, the light domes around Leyburn where more noticable on Saturday night due to the smoke haze around - particulalry the one over Warrick

The gatherings are monthly around new moon, I will add your e-mail to the SAS Event Horizon list if you like. This will provide you with a heads up to the Leyburn gatherings. There will be one of these coming out soon.
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Old 24-11-2009, 08:50 PM
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Davekyn (David)
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Thanks Andrew
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Old 30-11-2009, 09:51 PM
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ngcles
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Great report

Hi Dave,

Terrific report mate and your enjoyment of the night really shines through. You certainly have enough aperture there to see the Horsehead (IC 434) but it takes patience and really good if not excellent conditions. The UHC filter will make the job just a bit easier. Keep trying.

Good to see how you enjoyed the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024).


Best,

Les D

P.S Off-topic: Well, that's 900 posts up and I reckon I'll make 1000 somewhere around the ides of March 2010 -- at my slow pate.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:32 AM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Hi Dave,


P.S Off-topic: Well, that's 900 posts up and I reckon I'll make 1000 somewhere around the ides of March 2010 -- at my slow pate.
I don't know about the rate of your posts, but I certainly appreciate the quality of them, Les. I learn heaps from your detailed and thoughtful responses on this forum and really appreciate your contribution.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:36 PM
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ngcles
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I does me best

Hi Pat,

Thanks very much -- all I can say is I do my best to help if I can.


Best,

Les D
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