In IIS(Ice In Space), fellow members Paddy and GlenC have put me on a bit of a triple quest. Paddy has a fascination with the Magellanic Clouds, GlenC with the Dunlop objects, and I with anything that is waaaaayyyy too complex, . The target became a part of this triple quest is within a rich region of the LMC that's also rich in Dunlop objects, and profuse with faint & tenuous glow. It is the area surrounding the intense open cluster NGC 1850.
Until recently, 1850 was considered to be a Globular cluster. Recent spectral analysis of it has revealed it to be a giant OC that is actually younger than any other OC in the Milky Way. The size and number of stars in it has allowed the cluster to remain compact for some time, hence its resemblance to a GC. The finest detailed charts available to me of the LMC (courtesy of Paddy's site "Clouds of Magellan"), show that the approximate 0.7 degree FOV of the sketch shows 12 other named objects around 1850. I feel I've managed to see more than that due to the finer scale of my viewing.
Dunlop objects, there are 8 in total here, their "NGC" prefix being ommited: 1850 - D172, 1854 - D119, 1856 - 118, 1858 - D120, 1860 - D172, 1863 - D173, 1866 - D247, and 1870 - D123.
At first glance at the FOV, there seems to be just the four main DSO's with maybe a hint of fainter patches of glow. As time progressed with the sketch, fainter and more extended glows appeared. Almost baby breath like extensions reach out from the cluster/nebula duo 1858, giving it an almost 'spiral galaxy' look. The same, if not even fainter, extends down from 1850 itself. And oh-so-faint arcs reach out in three other parts, one of which has an accompanying arc of stars along its leading edge. Just about every time I looked back into the EP a new glowing patch appeared, "Man, another one!" the exasperated thought came to me, .
1858, again, has such a rich and complex structure too. Its "core" is darker than the surrounding glowing mass - a rich prize on its own!
Late last year I asked in IIS for some sketching suggestions. The end result came back as a montage of the LMC, to which I agreed. BUT, no freaking way am I going to use the same EP & scope combination to do it!!!! Even I am not THAT crazy.
I've included two photos of the sketch, one of which I labled using Paddy's charts as reference, and noted what each DSO is as an OC, GC of N for nebula.
I hope you like this piece. It may not be the most dramatic, but for the observing challenges that it ended up presenting, I am very happy with it.
Object: NGC 1850 et al
Scope: 17.5" f/4.5 push-pull dob
Gear: 20mm Meade S5000 SWA, 100X, OIII & NPB filters
Date: 12th Jan. 2013
Location: Katoomba Airfield, Australia
Media: soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A4 size black paper.
Time: approx 2.5hrs