Old 26-06-2011, 04:28 PM
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Obs report + Sketches 24-25/6/11

Hi everyone,
It has been ages since I have done any proper observing. The observing that I was doing was variable star observing for my science experiment. So I didn’t get time to check out all the other wonders of the universe. But on Friday and Saturday nights I did.
Conditions on both nights were of good transparency and 3/5 seeing. The instrumentation that is used was my 12’’ DOB and pencils and paper.

24/6/11 Friday

Ngc 6302 - I’ve always wanted to see this PN after reading about its unusual shape and decided to check it out for myself. Easily found near the stinger of the scorpion. At 57x I could see it in averted vision well but not that clearly on direct vision. I think I could see the central star surrounded by a very bright region. The whole nebula was elongated NE-SW. There were 2 arms coming off the core in the elongation indicated. The Eastern arm was fainter than and not as long as the western arm. The western arm was quite bright and seemed to have a small arc on the end arcing towards the south. The eastern arm also seemed to have a small arc but arcing in the opposite direction and a lot fainter. There was also mottling in the arms showing uneven brightness. The whole Pn looked like a twisted elongated glow. A every nice Pn.

M4 – When I first looked at it through the 26mm ep at 57X, the first thing I noticed was how loosely concentrated this Glob really is. There is a distinct string of stars running through the centre going N-S, There also another string of stars parallel to this one west.

M80 –Is one of my most favored globular clusters it just looks awesome at 57x it looks very compact with only a little of the outer rim being resolved. At 167 x it has a very spherical appearance and most of it is now resolved except for the super bright core. I recommend this to anyone who has not seen it before.

M107 –Found in Ophiuchus situated between a triangle of 3 bright stars.It had a very grainy appearance to it. It was about as loose as M4 and was not spherical. This was interesting glob to observe.

M12 –Easily found it has a fairly loose look about it and is not quite circular in shape. It has spiders web look with a mixture of star brightness’s.

M10 –Is a lot more concentrated than M12 and is fairly circular in shape. It is fully resolved and ahs a beautiful ambient glow. It was also brighter than M12.

Nu Scorpii –Was an awesome find it is indeed a double double. At 57x all you see is the 2 stars but on closer inspection say 500x using the 6mm TMB and 2x barlow you get a different view, a spectacular view. The brighter pair towards the south of the other fainter pair are aligned n-s. They have a brilliant yellow appearance. The other pair are aligned SW-NE and show no colour. I couldn’t miss an opportunity to sketch this pair of pairs and the sketch is attached digitally remastered.

Ngc 5248 –Was found in Bootes,it appears as a diffuse glow surrounding a bright core. There were brighter regions towards the east and west. I hinted at arms on the sides mentioned to be brighter. I’m pretty sure I saw them but not quite distinct in direct vision as in averted vision, that is what made them pop out well. I shall revisit this one and try to get a better understanding of its nature.

M3 –Easily found using the finderscope. It is a very uniform glob. Concentrated but still a bit loose. Bright and spherical in shape. A very appealing Glob.
I revisted some old faves that I hadn’t seen before in the 12’’ dob. M 8 was spectacular,M20 showed some awesome detail never before seen in the 5’’.M17 was by far the most amazing astronomical object I have seen quite a long time. The bar was very bright and mottled and the swan shape was very apparent.M6 and M7 were also awesome.
25/6/11 Saturday

M5 – I heard this was a great globular cluster and sought to view it myself. It is quite an amazing glob. It is situated to the north of a very bright star of yellow appearance, I also noticed that this star had a faint companion close by.M5 is a huge Glob covering about half the FOV of the 9mm tmb at 167x.It is a fairly concentrated glob with the middle being very bright. It has a beautiful spherical shape. (Also just a quick note on the 9mm TMB this is a great Ep for Globular clusters showing no aberrations across the entire fov and showing great contrast and resolution.)

Ngc 4494 –While looking for the needle galaxy Ngc 4565 I came upon this galaxy. The 6mm ep showed it to have a very bright stellar core with circular haze surrounding it. I hinted at some very faint extensions running n-s but was not sure and moved to the object that I I’ve always wanted to see.

Ngc 4565 –Very elongated galaxy, as what you would expect from a side on galaxy. The arms were in the direction of NW-SE. There is a faint star just off to the side of the galaxy towards the NE.It has a central bulge very much likened to the sombrero but much smaller. There is a distinct dark lane cutting into the Ne side of the core. There is a small fraction of light still showing on the other side of the dark lane. The rest of the arms seem to have a sharp defined edge on the NE side suggesting the dark lane to be there.
I was looking for some more objects to view when I saw Ngc 6684 on the chart and decided to check it out.

Ngc 6684 –Easily found next to a mag 5 star. Compact and small. It had an uneven appearance to it but had little detail to show.

M64 – I always wanted to revisit this one using the 12’’ Dob. I remember seeing the dark lane through the 5’’ and thought to myself that the dark lane must be a lot more apparent in the dob, and it was. It is closeby to a fairly bright star. The core of M64 looks almost stellar. The rest of the galaxy is elongated NW-SE but not exceedingly elongated .The dark lane was very apparent sowing up as a banana shaped dark patch to the NE of the Core facing the Star. It was quite a sight. I remember saying ages ago that I would sketch it and tonight I decided I will and it is attached for all to see.

Again on this particular night I roamed the wonders of Sagittarius and decided to pack up afterwards. Both nights were very enjoyable and it seems like I have taken my Cosmic medicine for the week.

Until next time
clear skies for all.
Cheers Orestis
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Nu scorpii.bmp)
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Click for full-size image (M64 ISS.jpg)
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Last edited by orestis; 27-06-2011 at 05:55 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 26-06-2011, 05:00 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Mate! Some nice targets there, good mix of Messiers and some of the beaten track. Well done particularly with M64 and NGC 4565, good to see young eyes picking out dark lanes.
Enjoying your descriptions also, gettiung more detailed as you are seeing more.

Tell us more about the variable star project!

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Old 26-06-2011, 05:10 PM
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Thanks Malcolm,

finding dark lanes is a lot of fun.

The variable star project is for a science experiment that I had to do.I decided that the Science that I am into is astronomy and decided that vairable star astronomy would be good.

here is the link to my journey to completing my observations Or just search the science forum -http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=76490

My aim was to confirm that V1010 ophichuis was an eclipsing variable star.My observations were succesful and I can say with some confidence that V1010 Ophichuis is indeed an eclipsing variable star.

Thanks again Malcolm
cheers Orestis
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Old 26-06-2011, 07:27 PM
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Great to see you posting your obs again! Excellent write up... you're definately getting more advanced with your skills.

NGC 6302 aka the "Bug Nebula" is one of my favourite PNe. As you've noted it shows excellent detail in this size of scope and is nice and bright aswell.

Couldn't agree more on M17, infact there is an entire thread on Cloudynights about its visual awesomeness. It's a stupendous sight in the 12" at high power especially with a filter.

You're doing well with those galaxies, you'll be busting open those Abells in no time
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Old 26-06-2011, 09:25 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Orestis your reports just get better and better as you drink the photons in with you new scope. Lovely details you describe. Really nice obs on NGC 6302, 4565 & M64 in particular. Some of my faves, especially 4565, just wish it was a bit higher in my sky and clear of the glow of Bendigo.

And, as always, great sketches.

PS I believe Sab still welcomes members to his "M17 is better than M8" club. I'm fully signed up.
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Old 27-06-2011, 12:00 AM
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Got quite a bag full there. The details you are picking out is fabulous. I wish I had your eyes.
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Old 27-06-2011, 05:56 PM
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Thanks Guys,

Sab sign me up.I Prefer M17 to M8 too.

Thanks Again
Cheers Orestis
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:18 PM
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Crikey Orestis! What a fantastic report.

We all new that 12" dob in your hands would be a weapon.

Tell me something..
When you leave school, do you plan on studying an area in astronomy?
I'm seeing the next Stephen O'Meara in the making here..

After reading your incredible report on M64, I went and looked up some information on it. Turns out that dark banana shaped lane is apparenly viewable in telescopes as small as 4" and with a 6" the dark lane is completely resolvable. Ooooh, just can't wait to have a peek at this with my 10".
Also I read, William Herschel was the first to discover the dark lane in 1785 and compared it to a "Black Eye". There have been no supernovas detected in this galaxy which by the way was also discovered early as a radio source.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:30 PM
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I like your observation notes; you really try to describe accurately what you are seeing.

I think that your observation of "arms" or possible spiral arms in NGC 5248 is very plausible;
The bright portion of N5248 is smallish, about 3 arcminutes across, but the two principal spiral arms look narrow and well defined in photographs.

Here is an image of N5248 from Zsolt Frei's galaxy atlas:

Click image for larger version

Name:	N5248_J+R (Gullixson)_(astro.princeton.edu_frei)(Frei Galaxy Atlas).jpg
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Here is an amateur LRGB of reasonably good quality:

Click image for larger version

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NGC 5248 has an intense region of current or recent star formation near its very centre, which is seen in photos to be a ring of giant star-forming patches that are luminous with the light of numerous OB stars ( = young blue supergiants).
The ring closely surrounds the very centre of this galaxy.
This ring would probably manifest in the telescope as a tiny very bright core, as you have observed in your log.

the bad galaxy man
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:30 PM
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kustard (Simon)
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Impressive as always Orestis, good to see more of your drawings
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:59 PM
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Hi Orestis & All,

Very impressive report mate and well done. Thank you for taking the time to type it up and share it with us.

Yes Nu Scorpii is an excellent double double I sometimes use to assess the seeing. Nearby Xi is also a very good duo of pairs though not as good as Nu.


Les D
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:39 PM
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Thanks guys for the kind comments,

regards Orestis
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