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Old 09-11-2007, 11:30 AM
DougAdams
Lord Lissie

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Observation Report: 8th November 2007

Location: Oakleigh
Time: 11:00pm - 1:25am
Seeing: 6/10 (early) to 5/10 (late)
Transparency: 6/10
Scope: 4" Refractor
Eyepieces: 24mm Pan (22x), 11mm Nagler (49x), 7mm Nagler (77x), 5mm Nagler (108x), 3.5mm Nagler (154x).

A little more planning went into tonight's session (i.e. I made a list of targets), after last night's impromptu grab 'n go. I'd left the scope setup by the back door, so I was out and observing in 3 minutes.

Ceres - asteroid in Cetus. I was listening to the Astronomy-A-GoGo podcast a few days ago and they said Ceres was at opposition around now in Cetus. I printed out the finder and went hunting for it. It's a couple of degrees away from Lambda Ceti, so I put the area into the 3 degree field of view and had a look. Hmm, okay, which one is Ceres? I sketched the view and compared it to Uranometria (I, chart 98) later. Sure enough, allowing for the reversed view from the diagonal, one star was definitely out of place - I'd nailed Ceres. Nothing clever, but quite exciting.

Gamma Ceti. A very tight double that I didn't quite resolve at 154x. The primary is a pale yellow colour, and I could just see a hint of a companion inside the diffraction ring to the west. 2" separations are going to be a struggle for me, especially given the 3 levels of magnitude difference. A barlow or Powermate in my future perhaps.

NGC 55. Galaxy in Sculptor. Rob_K from Bright bought this to my attention a couple of days ago, so I thought I'd try for it from Melbourne. 4 degrees north of Ankaa, then down a chain of 7-8 magnitude stars - bingo! Easy to spot as a bright, but rather thin, streak of grey light. Averted vision helped a lot. I tried different magnifications, all the way up to 108x - there is lots of knots and hints of detail here. One to keep an eye on.

NGC 1999. A nebula in Orion, suggested by SAB, a few degrees away from M42/43. I'm not sure if I found it or not, getting a little lost on the star hop journey. I settled in for a good look at Iota Orionis - a nice white/blue pair of an estimated 10" separation.

M79. Globular cluster in Lepus, observed once before. Easy to sweep up, located near a tight double. A couple of stars resolved at 108x when breathing deeply. Bright core. Spent 10 minutes watching this drift through the field of view, and it gave me hints of being rather asymmetrical.

M78. A nebula in Orion. Took a few minutes to find. Hazy, misty, and rather small patch of light, superimposed over a couple of faint magnitude 9/10 stars. Nothing spectacular from Oakleigh.

Sigma Orionis. Multiple star in Orion. Three stars easily visible, with hints of the much fainter fourth star. Clearest view with the 5mm at 108x. Sketched just to be sure - compared later and confirmed I saw all four stars.

Rigel. Split again at 108x with no problems. Perhaps it isn't such a big deal. Tried my luck on Sirius, but no luck.

Alnitak. Double star in the belt of Orion. Really difficult to split, the hint of companion to the north east (almost certainly incorrect based on the PA I looked up later). There is a much, much fainter star to the south west, but I think that's just a field star. Primary is a pale yellow colour.

Mintaka. Another double in the belt of Orion. This is a very easy one, around 1' separation. Bright white/yellow primary and a fainter blue secondary to the south west.

Gamma Leporus. Easy double star, gold primary, pale yellow secondary to the north. Wide separation.

Kappa Leporus. Tight double, couldn't split it. I really need to get to 200x with this scope to get into these 2" doubles. There was a fainter magnitude 9/10 star about 10" away to the north, but that was a red herring.

Hind's Crimson Star. Had another look at this remarkable ruddy star while I was in the area. I've since discovered this is a ~400 day variable that varies from magnitude 5 to 11. I guess it must be up around the magnitude 5 end at the moment, as it's easy to spot and very bright in the scope. I'm sure larger scopes will show more red, but through my 4" it's a dull orange/red colour.

I had plans to work my way through the Canis Major/Monoceros Messier open clusters, but they were still low in the east. Mars still hadn't cleared the neighbouring houses. Called it a night at 1:20am.
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:14 PM
NQLD_Newby's Avatar
NQLD_Newby
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Nice one Doug.

I will have to have a look at NGC55 sounds interesting.
I particularly love the doubles. I always take them down and add them to my observation lists. Keep them coming.
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:44 PM
Rob_K
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Very good Doug! Nice descriptions of the double/multiple stars.

I had a quick look at Ceres through binocs last night, and imaged it widefield with my camera at about midnight. Was the middle of a line of three 'stars' of similar magnitude, and a bit over 2 degrees from Lambda Ceti. Be interesting to see how much it's moved tonight....

Have attached shot.

Cheers -
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:41 PM
DougAdams
Lord Lissie

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_K View Post
I had a quick look at Ceres through binocs last night, and imaged it widefield with my camera at about midnight. Was the middle of a line of three 'stars' of similar magnitude...
Bingo - that's where I placed it.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:40 AM
Rob_K
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Ceres has moved on a bit (observed through binoculars). Nice views - I should use them more often! Ceres was quite easy to see and now forms a triangle with the other two stars. Small crop from image I took attached, to compare with last night's.
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:14 AM
Alchemy (Clive)
Quietly watching

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nice one dougie .. looks like your well organized
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:09 PM
你B
Its only a column of dust

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Good stuff Doug! NGC 55 is the one I really want to see with the 10". Looked good in the 4.5", with some internal detail. Hind's Crimson Star is one thing I always wanted to check out. I Finish work at 9pm tonight, so will be going outside for the first time in weeks.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:09 AM
DougAdams
Lord Lissie

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 你B View Post
Hind's Crimson Star is one thing I always wanted to check out.
It's easy to find... and the colour...
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