First on my target list was the star cluster NGC2477 in Puppis. Starting at the star Naos, it just a short hop to the cluster pair 2451/2477. 2451 is large and sparse with an orange central star but the real showpiece is 2477. This gorgeous cluster sits just north of a bluish star. A fine splash of star dust that I had not seen in awhile.
Next up was a new target for me, the cluster/planetary NGC2818. I first read about this object in the March S&T Sue French column Deep-Sky Wonders. Very nice Hubble pictures of this Nebula and the prospect of seeing a Planetary in an open cluster (aka M46)had me intrigued.
Starting from the wide pair of stars Alpha/Beta Pyxidis it was a 7 degree pan through a faint star field to a triangle of brighter stars that pointed the way just North to 2818. At -36 declinaton the faint stars in this area from my locale are very hard to make out. Once I knew I should be on it, a look with a 24mm Pan showed me nothing. I tried different EP's but still nothing. Using a 13mm Stratus I went ahead and employed an Orion Ultrablock filter. Yes. The faint glow of the planetary appeared but the sparse star field that was the open cluster was very sparse. Even without filtration the open cluster was very dissappointing.So, as far as a fantastic object, No, but still a good find.
Next up was the Eight-Burst Planetary NGC3132 in Vela. I dropped down SE about a finder field to 3.6 Psi Velorum. I placed this star on the edge of my finder field and had to wait about 25min for for 3132 to drift from behind a tree into my field.
This planetary showed itself easily at low power without filtration. At higher powers with a filter a nice oblong oval glow with a darker center was punctuated by a 10th mag central star. Another very nice object I had not seen in awhile. At -40 declination its too bad this planetary is not higher in the sky.
All in all a good couple of nights going south.