Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

6 galaxies naked-eye simultaneously!

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 timokarhula

timokarhula

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 393
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Sweden

Posted 22 October 2017 - 10:59 PM

Greetings from Down Under!  This is Timo Karhula from Sweden.  I am making my 18th trip to the southern hemisphere.  I´m staying at my house in Geraldton, Western Australia, by the Indian Ocean.  The weather has so far not really cooperated with me.  There were three nights in a row with clear night-skies last Wednesday-Friday when I drove out to the bush with my rental car 45 km due east of the city and observed the Deep-Sky with my 10-inch SkyWatcher Dobsonian telescope.

 

One of my goals was to finish the Herschel 400-II list, which I in fact did the very first clear night here in the city.  I had finished the Herschel 400 list in 2009 and on the evening of the 9th October I logged my last H400 II-object, NGC7218 in Aquarius.  The most southern of these objects can not be seen from Sweden.  NGC7218 was pretty faint and pretty small as seen from my back-yard.  The darkness of the sky was only SQM-L 19.81 beeing just a few kms from the centre of the city of about 27,000 people.

 

Last Wednesday I drove to my favourite spot in Wicherina 45 kms due east.  It was very windy weather (windspeed 45 kms/h) and only +5.5 C in the morning.  I was freezing despite wearing 4 layers of shirts, a summer-jacket and my Peruvian cap.  It was dark here but not as dark as I am used to, SQM.L 21.82.  I observed 10.5 hours with my Dob until the morning twilight.

 

Next night was darker and warmer.  +38 C during the day and a pleasant +26 C at night.  It was like paradise.  This time, I measured SQM-L 22.00 when not pointing the device towards the Milky Way!  I could easily see the entire zodiacal band, including the Gegenschein and "my" scientifically unexplored "light-bridge" between the Large Magellanic Cloud and our Milky Way in Triangulum Australe.  Our galaxy was fantastically detailed and marbled.  Air-glow was obvious near the horizon.

 

I observed Barnard´s Galaxy NGC6822 and saw the H-II regions IC1308 and Hubble V which were quite obvious.  The newly discovered object SC7 (a globular cluster?) and the false galaxy MCG-2-50-3 (a H-II knot in fact) was tougher with only 10-inch of aperture.  The globular NG6397 in Ara was beautiful with its star chains and visible naked eye.  I estimated the Mira variable Chi Cygni as magnitude 4.8 on October 18.57 (UT).

 

The globulars Terzan 7 and Terzan 8 in Sagittarius were quite easy to see.  Both possessed some visible individual stars over their glow.  The globular E 3 in Chamaeleon was tougher.  I saw a few stars here but I´m not sure if they belong to the globular or not.  The Local group member Indus Dwarf, IC5152, was obvious behind the glaring 7.8 mag star.  I had observed my 43rd supernova, SN2017gmr, on September 16 from Sweden.  I had then even trouble to see its host-galaxy, NGC988, but from here it was easy to discern and it also lied behind a troubling 7.1 mag star (79 Ceti).

 

I continued to locate planetary nebulae in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.  I had prepared finder charts from the Digitized Sky Survey to find these 15th magnitude stellar objects some 200,000 light-years away.

 

The third night was also dark with SQM-L reading of 21.94.  Tonight, I made two other personal milestones.  I had now located all the about 370 NGC/IC-objects in the Magellanic Clouds!  It took me 29 years and 18 trips Down Under to see all of them.  Many of the objects have uncertain identifications, so to be sure to have seen all of them, I had to see all the candidates.  My last NGC-object became NGC2171 in the SE part of the LMC.  I had to locate all the clusters Kontizas 1573, Shapley-Lindsay (S-L) 809, S-L 691 and S-L 692.  I have so far also observed twice as many non-NGC/IC in the Clouds, some 620 of them!  How many people have seen all the NGC/IC-objects in the Magellanic Clouds?  smile.gif

 

I noticed that the Gegenschein had moved slightly to the east during the two last nights.  To define the centre of the counter-glow is not so easy but its movement was still definite.

 

My third "mile-stone" was seeing the Silver Dollar Galaxy, NGC253, in Sculptor naked-eye (magnitude 7.2).  I had memorized its location south of Deneb Kaitos and after some minutes of concentration in zenith, I got several sightings of this elusive galaxy.  I could also see the LMC, SMC, M31, M33, NGC253 and the Milky Way.  That makes six galaxies naked eye at the same time!  I should also spot Centaurus A (NGC5128), which I did on my last trip here, but I think M31 and M33 would be very low on the horizon and not visible then.  The galaxy M81 in Ursa Major have I logged several times naked eye from Sweden but it does never rise as seen from here.  So 8 galaxies naked eye in the same night from here is not possible.

 

I have only one week left of my vacation so let´s hope for some cloud-free nights ahead!

 

/Timo Karhula

 


  • Dave Mitsky, Carol L, dgg99 and 19 others like this

#2 havasman

havasman

    Cosmos

  • ****-
  • Posts: 7823
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2013
  • Loc: Dallas, Texas

Posted 22 October 2017 - 11:12 PM

WOW! What a fun trip you've had.

 

bow.gif bow.gif bow.gif 



#3 Astrojensen

Astrojensen

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10528
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Bornholm, Denmark

Posted 23 October 2017 - 12:49 PM

 

I could also see the LMC, SMC, M31, M33, NGC253 and the Milky Way.  That makes six galaxies naked eye at the same time!

I just... The mind boggles. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark



#4 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 65327
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 23 October 2017 - 01:40 PM

Very impressive, indeed!



#5 IVM

IVM

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1443
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2008

Posted 23 October 2017 - 04:14 PM

Great stuff. Great, great stuff indeed. Although I saw 82 NGC objects in LMC in one night once, I am not even halfway done with the Clouds.



#6 timokarhula

timokarhula

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 393
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Sweden

Posted 23 October 2017 - 10:34 PM

Last night I drove out to the bush after two nights of cloudy skies.  However, the relative humidity was 94% according to weather bureau so all my optics were dewed up after a few hours.  There was no wind at all and so incredibly silent!  I could not here anything in the nature.  When I came here I was greeted by two owls who stared at me on my favourite observing spot.

 

Despite the crescent moon and the high humidity, my SQM-L showed 21.7 readings.  I managed to see the clusters NGC6561, NGC6554 and NGC6605 in Sgr and Ser and KMHK 1428 in the LMC before the images degraded too much because of the dew.

 

I saw Lacaille 8760 (AX Mic) naked eye.  That is maybe the only red dwarf visible to the naked eye at magnitude 6.7.  Even if the red dwarfs are the most abundant type of stars in the Universe, only one is visible without optical aid?  It must be a big dwarf since it is apparently 4 magnitudes brighter than Proxima Centauri.

 

The weather bureau says it will be clear night-skies all week long but also very high humidities.  And the moon is growing.  Not good.

 

/Timo Karhula


  • IVM likes this

#7 timokarhula

timokarhula

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 393
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Sweden

Posted 24 October 2017 - 11:55 PM

Last night was again humid and chilly in the Bush.  My SQM-L meter showed "only" 21.81.  With my 10-inch Dob, I began by logging the cluster Kron 1 in the Small Magellanic Cloud.  It looks like a globular in the Digitized Sky Survey but I lieve it is a rich open cluster looking like that at a remote distance.  I accidentally found three other nearby "nebulae" which I haven´t identified yet.

 

I saw the V=15.5 planetary nebula SMP 27 in the SMC.  It was difficult when it was between two other similarly close, faint stars.  I had to employ my highest magnification, 343x.

 

The Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte galaxy (MCG-3-1-15) in Cetus had I seen five years earlier from the city but from here it was not so difficult.  It was pretty faint, large, very elongated N-S, diffuse and lacking a brighter core.

 

Uranus was super-easy to spot naked eye in Pisces.  The asteroid (7) Iris has a favourable opposition in Aries and was now of magnitude 7.0.  I could spot it naked eye between kappa Ari and eta Ari.  I have not heard about anybody else seeing (7) Iris without optical aid.  It became my third naked eye asteroid after Vesta and Ceres.  Both Uranus and Iris resided within the Gegenschein.

 

I started locating Herschel-2500 objects and other close by objects south of declination -20º in Aquarius, Cetus and Fornax which are not possible to view from Sweden.  I saw NGC7185, NGC7184, NGC7188, NGC7180, NGC216, ESO540-14, NGC686, ESO477-10, NGC723, NGC907, NGC899, IC223, MCG-4-6-33, MCG-4-6-29 (magnitude 16.6, but I do not believe it´s a visual magnitude), MCG-4-6-28 and NGC908 (a beauty).

 

The Silver Dollar Galaxy, NGC253, in Sculptor did I observe with the 10-inch. I was first positively shocked by its appearance.  The entire galaxy did not really fit in the 150x field of view.  I saw five stars within its surface, a faint stellar nucleus and a thin, dark lane running a large part of the galaxy´s length.  It looked like I could discern it´s spiral form.  I hade only once seen NGC253 in a telescope before, 23 years ago.  The galaxy was just discernable naked eye the other night, so I understand it must be a fine specimen.

 

/Timo Karhula


  • IVM likes this

#8 MEE

MEE

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 338
  • Joined: 10 Jul 2010

Posted 25 October 2017 - 03:26 PM

Timo:

I’ve come across reports in years past (long ago) of individual brightness variations in the zodiacal band. Have you ever seen those?

Mark

#9 timokarhula

timokarhula

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 393
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Sweden

Posted 26 October 2017 - 08:44 AM

Do you mean temporal variation or elongational variation?  I have not noticed any substantial difference during the years but I believe the zodiacal band is slightly wider now than in recent years?  I may be wrong.

 

/Timo Karhula



#10 MEE

MEE

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 338
  • Joined: 10 Jul 2010

Posted 26 October 2017 - 11:58 PM

BrooksObs posted this here once: “In addition, during a 1960's expedition from Harvard Observatory to the African Plains observers reported observations of the ZB being patchy or mottled with a host of individual brightenings, or cells, within the general band itself.”

I figured your Australian skies might be a good place to look for them.

#11 stargazer193857

stargazer193857

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5427
  • Joined: 01 Dec 2013
  • Loc: Southern Idaho

Posted 28 October 2017 - 03:32 PM

I like my 5x binoculars. They are strong enough to show me stuff, but wide enough to feel like naked eye a bit. Wider and a bit more aperture would be nice.

I'm glad you got such good transparency. I've seen it make a huge difference, along with proper dark adaptation.

#12 sgottlieb

sgottlieb

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1285
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2007
  • Loc: SF Bay area

Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:02 PM

Last night was again humid and chilly in the Bush.  My SQM-L meter showed "only" 21.81.  With my 10-inch Dob, I began by logging the cluster Kron 1 in the Small Magellanic Cloud.  It looks like a globular in the Digitized Sky Survey but I lieve it is a rich open cluster looking like that at a remote distance.  I accidentally found three other nearby "nebulae" which I haven´t identified yet.

Coincidentally, I happened to look at Kron 1 on October 16th and found it pretty faint in a 25-inch at 244x, so I'm impressed you caught in an 10-inch!  Kron 5, situated less than 14' east, is a brighter cluster.  Did you pick up this one also?  I believe the SQM reading was in the 21.7-21.8 range.  This was at the OzSky star party in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales.

 

Kron 1: Faint, fairly small, round, ~30" diameter, very low surface brightness, no resolution .  A mag 14.5 star is 1' SW.

Kron 5: Fairly faint, fairly large, round, ~1.2' diameter, low nearly even surface brightness, no resolution.

 

Kron 3 is one of the better ones and its situated just 43' SSE of the core of 47 Tucanae!


Edited by sgottlieb, 18 November 2017 - 02:14 AM.

  • timokarhula likes this

#13 timokarhula

timokarhula

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 393
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Sweden

Posted 18 November 2017 - 01:54 AM

Oh yes.  Kron 1 was very faint, but pretty large and with a very low surface brightness in the 10-inch.  Situated 1' NE of a V=14.5 star.  Kron 5 was pretty faint but pretty large, about the same size as Kron 1 but brighter.  Between them I notized a very faint and pretty small fuzz that was Kron 4 but I sketched it in a slightly wrong place.  I observed Kron 3 with the 10-inch (in the same low-power field as 47 Tuc!) on February 4, 2016, and the globular was bright, large and diffuse, a nice surprise!

 

/Timo Karhula




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics