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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

Pages: 1
Sasa
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/03/10

Loc: Ricany, Czech Republic
Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013
      #5974456 - 07/16/13 03:56 PM

Last evening I went to my "darker-side" observatory where I keep Zeiss AS110 refractor. The sky was still bright when I start with observing the Moon. I wanted to test new Baader Zeiss 1.25" prism that I got recently. I could not see any notable difference between direct view and view through prism at 193x (Pentax XF8.5). If I would be pressed to tell which image I preffered, I would choose the one through prism. Overall view seemed a little bit better but it is even hard to tell why...

Next target was Antares. I was trying to split this difficult target for last couple of years but with no success. Seeing was quite good yesterday and I finally succeeded. I could hardly glimpse it at 194x, but at 275x (Kassai HC 6mm ortho) the companion was unmistakably there at PA~280deg, right above first diffraction ring. Even better was the view through TMB 16mm monocentric combined with TeleVue Powermate 2.5x (258x). The image of main component was visibly cleaner than in Kassai 6mm ortho, there were less rings around the main star. In moments of good seeing I could easily hold the secondary even for couple of seconds. My main surprise came when I tried to take out the prism and observe the double directly. I thought that the image will be even better but I could not see the secondary at all! I swapped prism several times and the result was at 258x and 275x the same, no sign of secondary in direct look and relatively easy view with prism.

Still waiting for darker skies, I checked nearby planetary NGC6309. Last (and the first) time I observed it through ED100, I put to my notes that it deserved more focused study. I saw it that time highly elongated. In AS110, the nebula looked more like conspicuous double at lower magnifications. At 194x, I could clearly separate the nebula from nearby 12th magnitude star. At 258x, the nebula was quite interesting. My eye was picking up some brightening on its southern end and a longer brighter line that seemed to run across the nebula at PA~160deg. But at 485x (Pentax XF8.5 + Powermate 2.5x), there was no sign of these details. May be the nebula was getting too faint. It looked more rounded and without any significant brightenings. I had a feeling, that its SW edge is slightly brighter but that's it.

Than I decided to enjoy southern parts of the sky because I do not have an access to it from my backyard. I started with globular cluster M62. I observed it again only once, that was through 63mm. Yesterday, it was big and bright at 194x with strong central condensation and faint halo (about 3' diameter). I could see first stars in the halo with concentrated averted vision. There were probably few tens of them, and my estimate of their brightness is about 14. magnitude.

I checked nearby globular NGC6304 which I did not find from my backyard. In AS110 from dark side it was an easy catch. Actually it surprised me that I could see it at 194x in moments of good seeing as strongly mottled (or peppered) rounded spot of 1.8' diameter.

My tough target for that night was globular Djogovski2 near open cluster NGC6520. I checked conditions by looking at NGC6522 and NGC6528 at low power of 41x (ATC40). No problem with spotting NGC6528 which was a good sign. Similarly, I could spot at 41x, with quite some effort, another tough cluster NGC6540. It was much easier at higher magnification, the best was 103x (TMB 16 Mono). Unfortunately, I couldn't see a trace of Djorgovski2 even under those very favorable conditions. I tried magnifications from 41x up to 103x with no luck.

Then I decided to enjoy some highlights of southern parts. Globular M22 was amazing. There were already hundreds, may be even thousands of stars visible already at 41x. Higher magnifications revealed numerous chains of bright stars and dark bays, and dark lines. I noted at 193x a bright knot of stars in the cluster's core, NW from the center. At smaller magnification of 66x (CZJ O-25), I noted that there was quite large cloud (about 1/2-1/3 size of the core) in the halo just attached to NW edge of the core. It stood out quite well with averted vision. Actually, M22 is so far the only cluster for which I liked the lowest magnification (41x) the most.


Then I spent some time with Laguna and Trifid at magnification of 41x. Laguna nebulosity was at some parts very intense, I had a feeling that it is even slightly greenish. I noted several nebulous patches around the main body. Trifid was also nice, I had a feeling that I could even track some of the well known dark lines. Need to sketch it next time. Finally, I checked nearby open cluster NGC6546. It seemed to be quite rich and large (15') group of faint stars with misty background. The faint stars were concentrating slightly west of triangle of brighter stars.

Edited by Sasa (07/16/13 04:18 PM)


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013 new [Re: Sasa]
      #5974550 - 07/16/13 04:29 PM

And people say all the time that long-focus refractors aren't very good on deep-sky objects...

Very enjoyable report! One possible explanation for your split of Antares with the prism, but not without, may be the better comfort of observing with the prism. I certainly find it extremely un-enjoyable to observe without a diagonal.

Can't comment much on the objects, as they are all very southern for me and I haven't seen most of them, save for M22, which I remember having a spectacular sight of in my old 4.5" newtonian at 50x, back in 1995. I was taken completely by surprise, when I could resolve many hundreds of stars. Antares barely clears my southern horizon and is always a boiling, mulitcolored blob.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Sasa
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/03/10

Loc: Ricany, Czech Republic
Re: Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013 new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5987414 - 07/24/13 07:00 AM

Sorry for late answer. Concerning the performance of the telescope with and without prism, I was quite careful to eliminate any external factors (that does not mean that some others still remained). In both cases I was standing, I did not feel uncomfortable when observing straight without prism. The eyepiece was almost at the same height as my eyes - Antares is quite low here in Czech (that is definitely a part of the challenge).

I also eliminated an usage of micro-focusing which was attached to the prism and I used only the old Zeiss brass focuser (which was in fact very capable of the job). It was always the same. Whenever I switched to prism, I could see on the first try (and the first focus) the companion (would not call it easily but without doubt visible) while there was nothing in straight view.

Still don't understand the result. The lens shows itself very mild spherical aberration in star test (I guess of the order of lambda/8). May be this was further eliminated by the prism. No idea if this is right explanation. But definitely the surroundings of Antares looked cleaner with prism (in particular in TMB Mono 16mm + Powermate 2.5x combo).


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norden
sage


Reged: 09/08/08

Loc: Norden
Re: Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013 new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5988095 - 07/24/13 04:38 PM

Hi Thomas,

last summer, I check the M6 from the south coast of Sweden, near Bornholm. My observation site is situated 146 meters above sea level. I also have an even better site further south on the south side of the hill Romeleåsen with a clear view over the sea (from this site I can clearly see your Bornholm). I'm still waiting on the crystal clear summer night! The ones I have left to observed from Sweden is M54, M55, M69, M70 and M7 of course.

Edited by norden (07/24/13 04:46 PM)


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013 new [Re: norden]
      #5988110 - 07/24/13 04:50 PM

Hi Norden

Ah, yes, I can recall us discussing this some time ago (was it last year??? Time flies!). Now the Moon is high in the sky around midnight, but the worst is that I am super busy with work and I don't think I can manage go get an observation of M6 in this year. Last night was super clear here. The Moon shone brilliantly through my bedroom window.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Edited by Astrojensen (07/24/13 04:51 PM)


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norden
sage


Reged: 09/08/08

Loc: Norden
Re: Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013 new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5988123 - 07/24/13 04:57 PM

Yes, the weather was fine last night. I have studied the new super nova SN2013dy in the galaxy NGC7250 recent evenings. When the moon light is gone, I hope to make some more obserations experiments with the southern Messier objects.

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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013 new [Re: norden]
      #5988153 - 07/24/13 05:15 PM

I need to get a look at SN2013dy before it's too late. The weather looks bad for this weekend, with thunderstorms predicted for the weekend.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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timokarhula
sage


Reged: 01/30/06

Loc: Sweden
Re: Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013 new [Re: norden]
      #5989120 - 07/25/13 08:32 AM

Quote:

Hi Thomas,

last summer, I check the M6 from the south coast of Sweden, near Bornholm. My observation site is situated 146 meters above sea level. I also have an even better site further south on the south side of the hill Romeleåsen with a clear view over the sea (from this site I can clearly see your Bornholm). I'm still waiting on the crystal clear summer night! The ones I have left to observed from Sweden is M54, M55, M69, M70 and M7 of course.




Hej Norden,

So, you have managed to view M83 in Hydra from Sweden! How did the galaxy look like from Skåne?

/Timo Karhula


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Sasa
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/03/10

Loc: Ricany, Czech Republic
Re: Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013 new [Re: timokarhula]
      #5989388 - 07/25/13 11:34 AM

Actually, I looked at M6 quickly that night as well. My main target was nearby M7 (one of the last 3 Messiers I did not see yet) but unfortunately it was too low - I just saw the observatory wall. Need to take some binocular next time.

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norden
sage


Reged: 09/08/08

Loc: Norden
Re: Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013 new [Re: Sasa]
      #5989539 - 07/25/13 01:11 PM

Hi Timo,

it was many years ago I observed M83. The best time for this objekt is the end of April, when the weather often is very clear and the transparency is good. As you know, you need clear horisont! I remember I used the GoTo function to find the objekt and the nucleus of the galaxie was clearly visible. However, according to my notes I could not see any structures, but only a light spot. I hope to shoot it next spring with my new CCD.


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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Observing report with AS110, July 15, 2013 new [Re: norden]
      #5990439 - 07/25/13 11:02 PM

Sasa,

I read your post just now but the hours late and Im fading away. I want to reread it tomorrow. I am impressed with your refractor observations. High definition goes a long way and those instruments are so optimized for that.

Pete
Post edit:

Ok - now U took my time and gave but its due attention. You and Dave K really racked up some great observations. You are utterly fearless with your refractor and that's the way to be. I'm still amazed at how well my 70mm does on deepsky. The key I ve found is the appropriate magnification or exit pupil for the aperture. I can't get the scale of the big scope but with care the apparent brightness can be unusually good.

You've picked out some challenging globulars. The dimmest Ive seen aren't so exotic as some you saw/tried for . For whatever reason I don't seek out the Palomar globs and such but now and again something like NGC7006 captures my interests. Its four times as far as M15 one if my fav globs so that in itself is intriguing to me. Not a shred of detail but
that faint flat light. NGC2419 in Lynx is another they Ive frequented.
I ought to give it more if a go as you have. I wonder what the most distant globular us that I can still see stars resolved as points.

Ill be taking a swing at the list of planetaries we worked on in the next coue weeks.

Very nice post Alexander.

Pete



Edited by azure1961p (07/27/13 12:25 AM)


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