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Plundering treasure from the LMC

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#1 maroubra_boy


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Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:31 AM

Well, I finally got some dark sky time! What a lovely night too. I only got to do the one sketch, but I'm very happy and satisfied with just the one. I had a few targets on my "to do list", but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

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, :lol: . 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, :lol: .

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!!!! :bigshock: 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

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#2 maroubra_boy


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Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:31 AM

The labled photo.

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#3 Jef De Wit

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:51 AM


#4 Aquarellia


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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

Whawww you'r lucky to have such view. Well done

#5 frank5817



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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:48 PM


Very ambitious sketch, and it looks as fantastic as it must be at the eyepiece. You can see why n1850 was thought to be a GC.
This looks like a fairly wide stretch of sky.
Excellent work.

Frank :)

#6 JimPie


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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

Very impressive sketch. Thank you for adding the labels and description.

#7 Andrev



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Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:15 PM

Wow Alex, this a fantastic view you have. I'm jealous



#8 JayinUT


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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:27 PM


Tremendous sketch. I love the capture and now you have me looking up new items to learn about. I viewed tonight but at minus 12 F I didn't sketch. I guess there is February.

#9 niteskystargazer



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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:06 AM


Very good sketch of the LMC Treasures :).




#10 JeanB



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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:46 AM

Breathtaking to say the least, Alex. It must have been very exciting to see all these DSO in the same field.


#11 maroubra_boy


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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

Thank you all for you comments.

I thought I'd add an image of the LMC with an identifying ring to show the area the sketch focused on. The Large Magellanic Clund, unless you are familiar with it really doesn't say much. It is an enourmous patch of light in the sky, with angular dimensions of 10.75deg's X 9.15deg's, making it the largest single DSO in the sky apart from the Milky Way. The Tarantula Nebula that resides withing is a naked eye object from a dark site too.

This particular image is a mosaic of the LMC. It was done by fellow Australian amateur Andrew Lockwood. The image shows the extent of the LMC that is also visible to the naked eye. Within the circle can be seen the four brightest DSO's that are first noticed through the eyepiece.

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#12 PeterDob


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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:57 AM

OMG! What an awesome sketch!!! Yes, I'm jealous too and wished that I lived further south. But in any case, you're a great artist and the way you succeed in drawing DSOs and making them look so real... Respect!!!


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