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Old 01-03-2008, 01:07 AM
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desler
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Quick session 29/02

Started off the day hunting for a few favourite objects in a partly cloudy, poor seeing evening.

47 Tuc. Is probably the best thing I've seen in the sky, through the 32mm wide anlge 2 inch, there isn't that much detail, drop down to the 25mm Plossl and the view fills the EP and I can just sit and watch!

M104. I'm getting very used to finding this now after a fair while not finding it at all, work the triangle out between Spica, Algorab and Porrima, work my way down from Algrorab, find the tight sharks head, and there you are. I still need to use averted vision from my backyard. But I'm itching to see it from a dark sky sight.

M83. Well it's taken about 6 weeks of searching, scratching my head and getting slightly frustrated, but nailed it tonight. Messier said "One is only able with the greatest concentration to see it at all." in 1781. I'm almost embarrased with the technology advances in star tracking, observing and telescope design that I have to definately agree with the statement in 2008.
With averted vision it was the faintest of smudges, found it tracking from 2 cen to 1 cen and then catching it with averted vision.

Whilst not and impressive list. I'm feeling happier and more comfortable everytime I take the scope out. However, I did see my first ever 12 Inch Dob today in the flesh. Oddly enough my wife had no interest in coming over and droolling over it with me and stayed at the far end of Bintel's Melbourne Office.

Take it easy.

Darren
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2008, 09:03 AM
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goober (Doug)
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Hi Darren, good read. Conditions were nice out there last night. I'd call it an impressive list - some nice objects there.

Be careful of those 12" Dobs - they look smaller in the store
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:18 AM
Rob_K
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Nice report Darren - always good when you track something down after trying for ages! Now that you've found M83, view it from a dark sky site & you'll see heaps more in your scope!

Cheers -
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:22 AM
Dennis
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I’m always amazed at the dedication of you eye balling star hoppers! A nice report and congrats to you on finding M83. I just wish I had the same patience!

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:24 AM
luvmybourbon
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a good read darren thanks
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:58 AM
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erick (Eric)
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Darren, you need dark sky! Snake Valley next weekend??????????

Last edited by erick; 01-03-2008 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:08 PM
žAB
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Darren, good report Yeah M83 isnt all that impressive from a suburban location but the Sombrero is a cracker!
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:33 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Yes, have to agree about M83. Found it last night for the first time this year. I saw it for the first time last year, but have forgotten the starfield it is in.

With the 12" reflector, it was just a smudge in Melbourne skyglow, faint, but there. If it wasn't for the 3 10th magnitude stars that underline it (just checked them on Stellarium), I might have thought I had got lost!

Eric
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:46 AM
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goober (Doug)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erick View Post
Yes, have to agree about M83. Found it last night for the first time this year. I saw it for the first time last year, but have forgotten the starfield it is in.

With the 12" reflector, it was just a smudge in Melbourne skyglow, faint, but there. If it wasn't for the 3 10th magnitude stars that underline it (just checked them on Stellarium), I might have thought I had got lost!
I spotted it early morning quite easily with my 4" from the suburbs - conditions were very clear and still. From my notes...

Quote:
M83 - galaxy in Hydra. Hopped in via an equilateral triangle of magnitude four stars that were just naked eye (that helped). I tried to spot NGC 5253 on the way (couldn't), but found M83 easily enough. A bright core surrounded by a milky, misty glow. I was quite surprised at how easy it was - appears to be a lot more to see here from a dark sky site.
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:20 AM
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ngcles
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Hi Desler,

Congratulations on tracking down M104 and now M83. As others have commented, you will find a big improvement in M104 and a vast improvement on M83 from a truly dark site.

Indeed with 10-12" 'scopes from a really dark site, experienced observers can see the spiral arms in M83. In really big telescopes, it is one of the most beautiful galaxies in the sky.

As you note, the best way to find it is to become familiar with that small lower-case "y" shaped asterism made by 1, 2, 3, & 4 Centauri. A line drawn from 2 to 1 (across the branches of the "y") and extended 2x that length lands you exactly on it.

Just consider the privations Messier endured to find it -- using a 'scope much smaller than yours, with somewhat inferior optics and the highest altitude it attained in Paris was 10 degrees above the southern horizon (and you can imagine the smoke-haze in Paris at that time from everyone burning coal & wood to keep warm).

You wrote:

"Oddly enough my wife had no interest in coming over and droolling over it with me"

This strikes a chord with me and, just at a wild guess, 95% of the males in amateur astronomy. You have achieved much more than I my friend -- my wife wouldn't even be found within the confines of the shop! For a reverse view, did you enjoy 6-7 hrs of shoe-shopping with your wife the last time she went?

Best,

Les D
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:49 PM
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desler
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Striking a Chord.

Yes Les,


No I didn't enjoy any of her shopping excursions that much.

But in my defence at Bintel that afternoon I was probably the oldest kid in the shop at 42!

Take it easy!

Darren
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:03 PM
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ngcles
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Ignorance is bliss?

Hi Desler & All,

Further, there is a train of thought that has gained a significant following in the fraternity that it is best that spouses etc should remain ignorant (and be purposely kept in the dark) of the pricing of astronomical equipment, eyepieces etc.

Taking them into the shop and letting them see price-tags etc, only allows them to gain knowledge that could in the end be turned your disadvantage ...

Best,

Les D
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