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Old 15-03-2008, 06:27 AM
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leinad (Dan)
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Observation Report March 15

Seeing 8/10
Transprency 8/10
Viewing: 12am- 3am
Scope: 8" SW Dob

Tasks:
Test new DGM Omega OIII & NPB Filters
Use of Telrad

Tasks Achieved:
Comparison of filters
Starhopping and location of objects using degrees of separation using Telrad and Star charts
First encounter of dew!

Equipment:
Collins Stars and Planets Book
Televue 2x/3x Barlow
Plossl 40mm/25mm/17mm/10mm
Flask of Coffee

Centaurus
-----------
NGC 5129 (Omega Centauri)
Definately a favourite starter for the night.
Clear pins of light. Large ball of star luminance

NGC 5128 (Centaurus A)
Took a little while to find. Using Telrad I was able to find it 8degrees left of NGC 5129, and 8degrees above Mu Centauri.
Three times was able to locate Cent A successfully.
Using averted vision was able to see the dark lane between the galaxy glow, slighty elongated.

Carina
-------
NGC 3372 (Eta Carina Nebula)
OIII defined the nebulae beautifully. I could see dust lanes to the side and clearly see the dark channel through the center. Excellent contrast.
Nebula stood out all around.
The NPB next up. Dust lanes to the side couldn't be seen as well; not as much definition/contrast in nebula but view was much clearer.

Chameleon
-----------
NGC 3195 (Planetary Nebula)
Now this was a test! At Magnitude 11 was the highest magnitude object seen so far.
Took me a some time to find, and when I did I could just make out its faint ball shape.. The OIII clearly brought out more definition and contrast. Could just make out a slight shadow effect from center to sides using averted vision.
The NPB did not help as much as the OIII. Nebula was a little to faint to see.
Was very happy finding this one, and viewing with both filters. Definitely a highlight find for the night.

Scorpius
--------
NGC 6121 (M4)
Needed to view at 240x to see better. Reminded me of a mini Omega Cent.

Saturn
-------
at 360x, collimation was good; I could see cassini division in rings quite well when Saturn was centered in view. At 240x, view was sharp and great to watch with good eye relief whilst sipping my coffee.
Could also make out I think was Enceladus close to the planet body under the rings.
Best view of Saturn so far. Saturn is just mesmerizing to view.

Great night. Little cold 15 degrees. Winds 5km/h - 10km/h
Dob cover was covered with dew after being left on the table, and filter boxes also. My first encounter of the dreaded dew! Past few weekends has been 18-20degrees at early hours.

Notes:
Dob base turning could be smoother. Project to do list.
Plan next hunt for galaxies, planetary nebula, more clusters, double stars and new constellation objects.
Investigate new eyepieces
Prepare more detailed star charts for Telrad and starhop mapping.


Last edited by leinad; 15-03-2008 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 15-03-2008, 08:24 AM
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glenc (Glen)
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Thanks for an interesting report.
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Old 15-03-2008, 09:25 AM
Karlsson
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Good reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by leinad View Post
Notes:

Investigate new eyepieces
Most of us have this pre-printed on our notepads - having to write it down every night becomes tedious after a while
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Old 15-03-2008, 10:34 AM
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goober (Doug)
No obs, raising Harrison

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Nice job - you've inspired me to have a thorough test of my filters next new moon. I viewed Eta Carinae a couple of months ago through a borrowed OIII filter and it was amazing.

We got dew in Melbourne last night too - all my papers were ... damp!
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Old 15-03-2008, 11:50 AM
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Very thorough report Daniel, a good model for me to follow when I find m' feet n do some lookin worth tellin'.. Cheers!

""Most of us have this pre-printed on our notepads - having to write it down every night becomes tedious after a while ""
....this is the EP tremors goes with Aperture Fever
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Old 15-03-2008, 12:01 PM
你B
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nice work, makes me wanna go out but with uni and clouds...

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Originally Posted by goober View Post
Nice job - you've inspired me to have a thorough test of my filters next new moon. I viewed Eta Carinae a couple of months ago through a borrowed OIII filter and it was amazing.
Yeah I did that a couple of weeks ago aswell, was glued to the eyepiece all morning

Quote:
Originally Posted by goober View Post
We got dew in Melbourne last night too - all my papers were ... damp!
How was the seeing and Transpareny? Here Sirius was twinkling at the zenith, I could barely see any stars at all. Certainly not a night to be out. Woke up in the morning to a fair bit of mist and high cloud.
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Old 15-03-2008, 09:36 PM
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goober (Doug)
No obs, raising Harrison

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 你B View Post
How was the seeing and Transpareny? Here Sirius was twinkling at the zenith, I could barely see any stars at all. Certainly not a night to be out. Woke up in the morning to a fair bit of mist and high cloud.
Both seeing and transparency were terrible. I know it's bad when I can't see Epsilon Crucis. I was testing the TPAS modelling system on the Argo Navis, so all I needed were some visible stars.
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Old 15-03-2008, 10:27 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Thanks for the report Leinad!
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Old 15-03-2008, 11:43 PM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leinad View Post
Seeing 8/10
Centaurus
-----------
NGC 5129 (Omega Centauri)
Definately a favourite starter for the night.
Clear pins of light. Large ball of star luminance

NGC 5128 (Centaurus A)
Took a little while to find. Using Telrad I was able to find it 8degrees left of NGC 5129, and 8degrees above Mu Centauri.
Three times was able to locate Cent A successfully.
Using averted vision was able to see the dark lane between the galaxy glow, slighty elongated.

Hi,

Nice report. Sounds like you had a fun nights observing.

I can appreciate you are only learning so I have a couple of tips which may help you for future observing sessions.

1) Omega Centauri = NGC 5139

You mention above, "you found Centaurus A 8 degrees left of Omega Centauri". NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) is in fact 4.5 degrees "NORTH" of NGC 5139 (Omega Centauri).

This raises two things you need to focus on as you learn the sky.

1) Left, Right, Up and Down are poor terms to use for orientation. This becomes particularly critical as you get closer to the Celestial Poles. The closer to the pole, the faster things change orientation. For instance at 10:00pm something may be "left", but at 1:00am it is "up". Even with a constellation like Centaurus which is near the Celestial Equator, the orientation of left to right changes as Centaurus crosses the Meridian. In respect of the 2 targets you refer to, if you look at their positions at 6 am, you will find that Centaurus A is to the right of Omega Centauri, not to its left like it is earlier in the evening. You should try to learn the north, south, east and west orientations in the sky as these remain static, irrespective of time. They take a little understanding to begin with, but persevere.

2) You mention a separation of "8" degrees between the 2 targets when in fact it is 4.5 degrees. You need to check your finderscope/telrad scales and your sky estimates to get this a little more accurate as it will allow you to find the targets a lot quicker and with a lot less frustration. There is nothing worse than spending all night under beautiful dark sky conditions, having trouble finding things. A good rule of thumb for measuring sky distances is:-

With arm extended to its normal full extension:-

Closed fist = about 10 degrees
Middle 3 fingers = about 5 degrees
Index finger = 1 degree.

Of course people have different sized hands and different arm lengths but the above is a "reasonable" guesstimate.

Keep up the good work !!

Cheers,
John B
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Old 16-03-2008, 12:06 AM
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leinad (Dan)
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Thanks for the tips ausastronomer

Been surfin the web and a little confused on NSEW of the sky with regards to objects position as mentioned. I assume that as the object crosses the meridian the compass direction or orientation changes also ?
Centaurus may be to the East of of Crux at say 2am, but then to the North at 4am. (rough guesstimates here).

With regards to the degrees, I gather the Telrad isnt as trustworthy, as they were roughly two full circles distance, which gave me the 8 degrees.
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Old 16-03-2008, 12:35 AM
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Observation Report March 15

Hi Leinad,

Yep a very good report.

I'm particularly impressed that you found the PNe NGC 3195 in Chameleon -- I think this is the southernmost "bright" deep sky object in the sky and I believe is the southernmost in the Caldwell catalogue.

M4 is a glorious object in its own right. It is a pity in some ways that beginners start with Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) and work down, because nearly everything after that, you will think looks poor (by comparison). Take a good look at a few (of the many) 9th and 10th magnitude globulars with your 8" and you will soon appreciate M4 for the wonderful spectacle it is. Did you notice the line of bright (comparatively) stars crossing the cluster from north to south? It is pretty prominent in 8-10" 'scopes. That star-chain starts to loose its prominence from about 16" aperture upwards and by 40" is lost completely.

You wrote:

"Dob base turning could be smoother. Project to do list."


If it is Teflon on Formica (of some sort) you might find a very light application of the spray-on furniture polish "Mr Sheen" might be helpful.


You wrote:

"Plan next hunt for galaxies, planetary nebula, more clusters, double stars and new constellation objects."

This is the mission-statement of every Deep sky observer -- Congratulations, by definition now, you are one (sic).

You wrote:


"Investigate new eyepieces. "

I see a fiscal crisis looming ...


You wrote:

"Prepare more detailed star charts for Telrad and starhop mapping."

This will make it easier no doubt.


You wrote:

"Saturn is just mesmerizing to view."

I believe my first view of Saturn was in January of 1974 and I've been looking ever since (and have therefore seen a full Saturnian year). Am still mesmerised 34 years later ...

Best,

Les D
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Old 16-03-2008, 01:22 AM
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leinad (Dan)
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Thanks for the comments Les.

I was very surprised myself at finding NGC 3195 when later I read it was a Mag.11 Thats the highest mag Ive seen so far, and as a beginner Im quite proud of my 8" dob and my own efforts. Was a great test for my new OIII filter.

Ill try the Mr sheen trick, I find that at a particular turn point of the dob base there seems to be a little friction. I'll have to check this further.

I'll take you advise and work my way backwards in viewing clusters, leave the brightest till last. At the moment that feels a little awkward in thought as I feel inclined to start with the easier ones first then work my way to harder ones. It will be more rewarding though to view the easier ones last.

Cheers
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