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Old 15-06-2016, 02:56 AM
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Location: Renmark, SA
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Hercules Cluster, Obs Report 11 June 2016

Headed out to my site on Saturday and Sunday nights for a bit of obs. Although moonset was around midnight, morning twilight would only start at around 5.30am so plenty of time for some deep sky.

The first night, Saturday, the weather was garbage. Despite a forecast of mostly sunny, it was increasing cloud, but decided to chance it anyway. I headed to the site, and sat in the car for some 4 bloody hours waiting for the clag to clear. There even was a shower at one stage. But, at around 9:30pm the clouds parted and remained clear for the rest of the night. Temps were cold, down to -1C and dew was about as severe as it gets. Unfortunately later on in the night I was battling fogging eyepieces (couldn't find the battery for the fans and dew heaters). Worse yet, a paroxysmal assplosion attack had me abandon the session as I couldn't hold it in any longer, now I was faced with the task of tearing down all my gear, loading the car and drive the 20km home on kangaroo infested roads all the while being within agonising milliseconds of crapping myself. I literally nearly unloaded then and there multiple times but I regained my composure. Once I managed to get everything packed up, I got in the car, and the **** window de-mister would not de-mist the freaking windshield. Meanwhile my colon was backed up like a swollen dam with pressure rapidly building. I was about to die.

Date: 11-12th June 2016
Time: 10:00pm-3:00am
Scope: 12" F/4.4 newt
Seeing: Ant. III
Transparency 4/5
Dew: Severe

Abell 2151 Hercules Cluster
Started off (and ended) with this cluster of galaxies, some 500m lightyears distant. Spotted 8 galaxies, magnification used for all obs was 265x with a 5mm eyepiece

NGC 6041
GX, Hercules, RA 16 04 36, Dec +17 43 17, Size= 1.2x1.1', Mag V= 13.4, SB= 13.9
Very faint, nondescript fuzz. Slightly elongated. Located 1.5' N of a mag 11 star which itself is part of a distinct quadrilateral with three mag 12-14 stars.

NGC 6042
GX, Hercules, RA 16 04 40, Dec +17 42 02, Size= 0.9x0.7x, Mag V= 14.1, SB= 13.5

Located 1.5' SE of 6041. Another very faint gossamer.

NGC 6047
GX, Hercules, RA 16 05 09, Dec +17 43 45, Size= 1.1x0.8', Mag V= 13.5, SB= 13.7

Faint, small and round, appeared slightly brighter than either 6041/42. A mag 13.4 star sits a mere 25" NW of the centre.

NGC 6045
GX, Hercules, RA 16 05 08, Dec +17 45 26, Size= 1.3x0.3', Mag V= 13.9, SB= 13.2

Located 1.7' N of 6047. Faint, but appeared larger than 6047 and elongated E-W maybe 2:1.

NGC 6043
GX, Hercules, RA 16 05 1, Dec +17 46 32, Size= 0.7x0.4', Mag V= 14.3, SB= 12.9

Faint and tiny gossamer. Third "member" of a row extended by a mag 15 and 13.5 stars to the south. Sits 2' NW of 6045.

IC 1185
GX, Hercules, RA 16 05 45, Dec +17 43 01, Size= 0.7x0.5', Mag V= 13.9

Sits at the eastern periphery of the cluster, along with NGC6054 3.4' N and IC1182 5.4 N. Moderately concentrated, suspected slight elongation. A mag 14.7 star sits 1.1' SE.

NGC 6054
GX, Hercules, RA 16 05 38, Dec +17 46 02, Size= 0.8x0.4', Mag V= 14.2, SB= 12.9

Faint and round. Located 1' NE of a mag 12.1 star.

IC 1182
GX, Hercules, RA 16 06 22, Dec +17 45 40, Size= 0.8x0.7', Mag V= 14.2
Very faint, diffuse glow, located 2' N of 6054 and midway between a mag 14.4 and 14.8 stars to the E and W.

IC 1194
GX, Hercules, RA 16 07 25, Dec +17 43 14, Size= 0.6x0.5', Mag V= 14.25

This is part of a close-knit group of a half-dozen galaxies well east of the main complex. Only IC 1194 was spotted and appeared small and round with concentration toward the centre.

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The following night, (Sunday-Monday) was much more fruitful, obs report from that session along with sketches of Mars and Saturn coming soon....
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