Old 07-11-2013, 10:55 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Perth
Posts: 288
NGC 6818 PN (Little Gem Nebula)

Date: 6/11/13
Time: 8:30 - 10pm
Location: SE Perth Suburb
Instrument: SW 10" dobsonian
Conditions: Beaut night for viewing. ie. No twinkling stars.
Seeing: Light pollution was about 4
Eyepieces/Mags: 25mm (67x), 18mm (96x), 12.5mm (133x), 6mm (200x) UO orthoscopic

Object: NGC 6818 PN (Little Gem Nebula)

Constellation: Between Sagittarius and Capriconus
Magnitude: 10.00
Size: 0' 18"
R.A(of date): 19h 44m 47s
Dec: -14 06' 58"

Notes: Started off the night looking at a few objects around M11 (Wild Duck Cluster) until it became too low. Then decided to head up in the sky from there as it is a part of the sky I hadn't looked at before.

I looked for an object to find using Stellarium and came across NGC 6822 GX Mag: 9.00 (Barnard's Galaxy) and thought I could give this one a go. After finding the triangle of e1 Sgr, e2 Sgr and HIP 97063 stars I went horizontally right to where Barnard's GX should have been. I was disappointed as I couldn't make out any detail at all.

Looking up Stellarium again I noticed close by NGC 6818. Seeing I hadn't found a PN before I thought this was a challenge and could be a good find. If Barnard's GX was Mag 9.00 with no detail then would I find NGC 6818 at Mag 10, I wasn't sure?

Using my 25mm and Stellarium zoomed in I star hopped across and was surprised with what I found. NGC 6818 was visible. It was larger than the stars around with a fuzzy perimeter and a grey blue hue to it. I had read threads on PN's about using a blink test and yes it blinked which was different to the stars around it. Seeing the viewing was good I pushed the magnification up to 200x with the 6mm and was able to make out more detail without the loss of colour or shape.

I was pretty chuffed with this find and looked for any other PN's close by and came across NGC 7009 PN Mag.8.00 (Saturn Nebula) in Aquarius. I was able to star hop and find this PN as well. There was more detail and colour in this PN.

Even so I will remember NGC 6818 as my first PN and it has given me the confidence to find others in the future.

Thanks for reading
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:18 AM
MattT's Avatar
Reflecting on Refracting

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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,215
Hey Simmo,
Nice write up on the PN. Shame about Barnard's Galaxy. From my experience Galaxy's are difficult from the Suburbs. From my backyard I can't see Centaurus A at all, even though with Goto and a 10" Newt I know I'm looking straight at it! Out at a dark site it's an amazing sight, chalk and cheese really.
Still plenty to see from home.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:52 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Strangways, Vic
Posts: 2,214
Well done Simmo. The first PN is a great experience. Well worth coming back to the Saturn nebula as with repeated visits it will reveal more detail. Barnard's galaxy is a challenge even with dark skies as it has quite a low surface brightness. NGC 253 might be a brighter subject for light polluted skies. However, the best galaxies with lots of detail for you might be the Magellanic Clouds. Not that I'm biased or anything....
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