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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

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drbyyz
sage
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Reged: 11/04/12

NGC 1444 help?
      #5655362 - 01/31/13 11:59 PM

Starhopped pretty accurately to this guy tonight but could find no trace of a cluster. I know it's a small one (4 arcmins) but fairly bright at 6.59 magnitude. The closest star(HIP 17877) appeared as a double even though it didn't show up as one on my chart. The secondary of double appeared dimmer than the magnitude of the cluster and though seeing was very poor, I'm almost positive it was a star and not the cluster. But maybe it was? Or at least part of the cluster?

I'm very confident in my star hopping to this object as I did it twice, coming from different sides being very meticulous and arrived at the same "double" star...but with no cluster visible. Not sure what to make of my observation here. Did I just keep going to the wrong star? Or was the "double" star that I observed this cluster?

As far as conditions go, I rated seeing at 2/5(anything above 100x was pointless) and transparency at 4/5. I observed this location at 77x 100x and 167x and made out nothing more than what appeared to be a double star.

Any ideas? I'm leaning towards being in the wrong location for the cluster despite being very confident of where I had the scope pointed, but I'm just not sure....


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JakeSaloranta
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/18/08

Loc: Finlandia
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5655481 - 02/01/13 01:55 AM

It is mostly an IR cluster. Simply take a look at a DSS image or anything similar of the object. Visually I find it very uncluster-like. The brightest individual star in my sources is magnitude 11.4.

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GlennLeDrew
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: JakeSaloranta]
      #5655499 - 02/01/13 02:26 AM

This one is seen through a patch of significant intervening dusty gas, reddening it to a color excess of E(B-V) = 1.6, which would make a bluish B-type star as yellow-orange as a K-type star. This is a visual extinction of nearly 5 magnitudes, making the cluster only about 1/100 as bright as it 'should' be. The bright double star is, I think, not related, likely lying in the foreground. Its inclusion very much artificially increases the catalogued cluster brightness, which really should be closer to 9-10 magnitude.

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drbyyz
sage
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Reged: 11/04/12

Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5655854 - 02/01/13 09:03 AM

Interesting info guys, thanks. I think perhaps I was a little mislead in what to be looking for given the artificially high magnitude listed. After looking at a few pictures the cluster seems to form an asterism that reminds me of Orion's sword that I distinctly remember seeing, but thought were just field stars as they were much dimmer than the listed magnitude. I think I'll give this guy one more look before I call it confirmed.

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Tony Flanders
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5655907 - 02/01/13 09:33 AM

My notes, using my 7-inch Dob in Boston's outer suburbs, say:

Tricky. Cluster consists of a bright double [HD23675]
with a much fainter companion, plus a bunch of stars about 3' square all much fainter than the faint companion, most barely visible with averted vision at 105X. Even with those, still pretty poor.


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drbyyz
sage
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Reged: 11/04/12

Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5655969 - 02/01/13 09:52 AM

Quote:

My notes, using my 7-inch Dob in Boston's outer suburbs, say:

Tricky. Cluster consists of a bright double [HD23675]
with a much fainter companion, plus a bunch of stars about 3' square all much fainter than the faint companion, most barely visible with averted vision at 105X. Even with those, still pretty poor.




Tony,
The double you mentioned is indeed the same one I observed (HIP 17877) so looks like I was in the right spot. Just not a very impressive/obvious cluster I suppose.


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IVM
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/07/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5656077 - 02/01/13 10:38 AM

This for me was the most difficult, and in fact the only difficult object when I was doing Herschel 400 with my 4" f/5.5 Televue from a blue zone site. I had to return to it on a number of nights over some months. First I saw nothing but the lucida. Then I saw it as a double star (the lucida and the faint companion) and was told that this is how Herschel 400 hunters usually see it when they count it. It looked the same then in a fellow observer's 17". I did not give up however and with the improving conditions later that year suddenly I did not just see it as a cluster (with the lucida and its companion off-center) but it was beautifully resolved in my 4" with half a dozen individual members identifiable in a misty background with the DSS at 70x.

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drbyyz
sage
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Reged: 11/04/12

Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: IVM]
      #5656110 - 02/01/13 10:52 AM

Quote:

This for me was the most difficult, and in fact the only difficult object when I was doing Herschel 400 with my 4" f/5.5 Televue from a blue zone site. I had to return to it on a number of nights over some months. First I saw nothing but the lucida. Then I saw it as a double star (the lucida and the faint companion) and was told that this is how Herschel 400 hunters usually see it when they count it. It looked the same then in a fellow observer's 17". I did not give up however and with the improving conditions later that year suddenly I did not just see it as a cluster (with the lucida and its companion off-center) but it was beautifully resolved in my 4" with half a dozen individual members identifiable on a misty background with the DSS at 70x.




Thanks for the input, I'll add this one to my dark sky list and check it out under better conditions. I'd hate to mark it off my list without actually "observing" the cluster.


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sgottlieb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/22/07

Loc: SF Bay area
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5656409 - 02/01/13 01:49 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Quote:

This one is seen through a patch of significant intervening dusty gas, reddening it to a color excess of E(B-V) = 1.6, which would make a bluish B-type star as yellow-orange as a K-type star. This is a visual extinction of nearly 5 magnitudes, making the cluster only about 1/100 as bright as it 'should' be. The bright double star is, I think, not related, likely lying in the foreground. Its inclusion very much artificially increases the catalogued cluster brightness, which really should be closer to 9-10 magnitude.




There's an interesting paper and map of the dust clouds, clusters, emission nebulae and stellar members of the Cam OB1 Association here.

As far as NGC 1444, the brightest member (multiple star HD 23675) is listed as a member of the Cam OB1 Association, but as far as the "cluster" itself ...

"The cluster is located in the vicinity of the Sh 2-205 emission nebula at a distance of 900 pc (Fich & Blitz 1984). Its image is dominated by two stars – HD 23675 and HD 23800 – of 6.7 and 6.9 visual magnitudes and B0.5 III and B1 IV spectral types. Both of these stars are in the list of the Cam OB1 members (Table 1). Peña & Peniche (1994) place the cluster at 906 pc but there are some doubts whether it is a real cluster or just an accidental group of field stars."


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slyke
sage


Reged: 02/21/08

Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5656414 - 02/01/13 01:54 PM

My experience matches yours: 'where's the cluster??'

I would assume that if you took away a few bright stars the remaining cluster would have a much lower magnitude. I think O'Meara's descriptions of a "curious milky haze" and "better appreciated in large telescopes" matches my observation attempts.
-Stephen

Edited by slyke (02/01/13 02:00 PM)


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GlennLeDrew
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: slyke]
      #5656464 - 02/01/13 02:21 PM

To verify whether the bright double is a member of the cluster, look up the B-V index fir the stars. If bluer than about B-V = 0.8, these stars are almost certainly in the foreground of the obscuring material. Note that the intrinsic color of early B-type stars is about (B-V)_0 = -0.3. to belong in the cluster, the observed color should be about B-V = 1.3 ( c.f. -0.3 + 1.6 = 1.3). As I noted earlier, value 1.6 is the cluster's color excess, E(B-V).

Another technique is to calculate the binary's distance via spectroscopic parallax. In a nutshell, the observed magnitude is first corrected for interstellar reddening, by multiplying the color excess E(B-V) by ~3, to obtain the bisual extinction. Then you look up the theoretical absolute magnitude based on the M-K spectral type. Lastly, the distance modulus is computed from the apparent and absolute magnitudes.

I leave it to you, dear reader, as an exercise. I suggest these kinds of tasks because the required data is easily obtainable, and the act if computing the result is an unmatched way to cement concepts. And it provides a useful perspective far beyond merely looking at the objects.

And I should mention the usefulness of comparing proper motions, too.


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5657235 - 02/01/13 10:03 PM

I just recently looked at this one again with my 6" refractor on a night that was less than optimal (Quarter moon was up and limiting magnitude was about 4.8).

My notes:

Positively identified using SkyTools 3. There is a double star (HD 23675) that makes up the bright star in the middle. Frankly the double star is the best thing here. Maybe 7 or 8 stars seen. Just a very poor, uninteresting cluster to look at. I'm not even sure it really is a true cluster. Definitely only a 1 star for rating purposes. Requires high power. Used a 7mm Nagler.
Tele Vue Nagler 7mm, 171x, 28.7'"

The first notes I have of observing this go back to 1992 with a Meade 2080 LX 8" SCT.

"Not worth looking at. Can't even be identified as cluster at 52x. At 140x one half a dozen stars seen in 5' together with one bright star that has virtually all the brightness of cluster in it."

I didn't note the seeing conditions for that one. But as you can see, my opinion hasn't changed much over the years.


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drbyyz
sage
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Reged: 11/04/12

Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5657394 - 02/01/13 11:43 PM

Checked it out again tonight under much darker skies. This time it appeared as a faint haze around the double at all magnifications. Seeing wasn't great so high power didn't do much for it, but it was definitely there, just unimpressive. Check it off the list and move on, some are winners and some aren't, this one just isn't for me(and it appears most others).

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IVM
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/07/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5740849 - 03/18/13 02:44 PM

Funny that when posting in this thread a month ago I forgot that I had actually re-observed this object just in December, from the same blue-zone site. Here are my notes from this new observation:

Now with my 16”, 45x shows only the unresolved double. There is a little haze around it, but it is identical with haziness around all similar stars in the field due to the very mildly compromised conditions. At 225x the cluster is a group of 20 stars stretching 3x1 NS [,] W and SW of the unequal Uranometria [2000.0] double. The stars are fairly uniform. The long dimension of the group occupies 1/3 of the Ethos’s field (~10’). There is a certain separation of the cluster into a more compact and rounded group [,] on the E end of which is the double, and a similarly sized group to the S. It is possible that the dimensions given by Bratton refer to the N group only, because it is the one I remember seeing with Televue and the one in the frame of O’Meara’s DSS. Uranometria plots it only as a double star. The NGC number is next to the double-star symbol and there is no open cluster symbol.


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David Knisely
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Reged: 04/19/04

Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5742183 - 03/19/13 02:03 AM

When I did the H400 list way back in 1983, I wasn't sure exactly how big it was or where the cluster ended and the field stars began. All I wrote down was (8 inch f/7 at 53x):

Large roughly triangular group of 15 fairly bright stars (rather scattered). Very faint background stars with bright star near center.

Clear skies to you.


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5767160 - 03/30/13 04:56 PM

Quote:

Starhopped pretty accurately to this guy tonight but could find no trace of a cluster. I know it's a small one (4 arcmins) but fairly bright at 6.59 magnitude. The closest star(HIP 17877) appeared as a double even though it didn't show up as one on my chart. The secondary of double appeared dimmer than the magnitude of the cluster and though seeing was very poor, I'm almost positive it was a star and not the cluster. But maybe it was? Or at least part of the cluster?

I'm very confident in my star hopping to this object as I did it twice, coming from different sides being very meticulous and arrived at the same "double" star...but with no cluster visible. Not sure what to make of my observation here. Did I just keep going to the wrong star? Or was the "double" star that I observed this cluster?

As far as conditions go, I rated seeing at 2/5(anything above 100x was pointless) and transparency at 4/5. I observed this location at 77x 100x and 167x and made out nothing more than what appeared to be a double star.

Any ideas? I'm leaning towards being in the wrong location for the cluster despite being very confident of where I had the scope pointed, but I'm just not sure....



My notes say:
1 brite * (m.6.8) amidst a handful of v.faint stardust. nice!

That was with an 8" Meade LX200 at 100X and 150X under NELM skies of mag.6.8
Note: poor seeing kills really faint stars.
There are a total of 57 stars in the cluster, per my notes on the cluster.

Edited by Starman1 (03/30/13 05:57 PM)


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Feidb
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5767183 - 03/30/13 05:13 PM

I've only spotted it once from Lake Murray, Oklahoma on October 2, 1997 during Okie-Tex of that year. According to Jason Ware, the humidity was 37% which was pretty dry for those parts. It was warm with a slight breeze.

Using my home-built 16-inch f/6.4 at 70X, I wrote: "Very small and sparse clump. Only about eight bright stars and the rest are either a haze or my imagination."

I imagine at a higher magnification I could have seen more stars but at the time, that was my best EP, or at least my workhorse.

I'll have to check it out again but my input probably isn't going to help much since I'm using quite a bit more aperture. I can say I wasn't all that impressed even at 16 inches, but part of that might have been due to the low magnification. If it were a showpiece, it would have been a lot brighter.


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BillFerris
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Reged: 07/17/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5767674 - 03/30/13 09:37 PM

Here's a link to an observation made in 2002 with my old 10-inch: NGC 1444. Like many open star clusters, this one doesn't exactly get a guy's blood up. That's one reason I much prefer galaxies, nebulae and globulars to OC's. Speaking of globular clusters, NGC 6540 was the most challenging H400 object for me. It's tiny (less than 2' in size) and camouflaged within a dense star field. A liberal application of high magnification (1mm exit pupil) was needed to tease this one from the foreground. Here's a link: NGC 6540.

Bill in Flag


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Rich (RLTYS)
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Reged: 12/18/04

Loc: New York (Long Island)
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: drbyyz]
      #6285098 - 01/01/14 09:28 AM

Numerous images show what looks like a blue planetary nebula centered within NGC 1444 can anyone ID this object?

Rich (RLTYS)


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Feidb
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: NGC 1444 help? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #6285668 - 01/01/14 02:40 PM

I just looked at several images on the net, RLTYS, and I didn't notice any planetary. It also didn't show up on my Megastar atlas. No idea.

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