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

The Herschel 400 Quest

  • Please log in to reply
48 replies to this topic

#26 Arcticpaddler

Arcticpaddler

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 257
  • Joined: 25 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Northern Minnesota, USA

Posted 03 February 2019 - 09:13 PM

All you need is the Interstellarium Star Atlas to hunt these objects down.  I viewed nearly the entire H400 List with my 4-inch refractor in Bortle 3 skies.  I used the 8-inch to verify maybe the remaining half dozen...  Fun project.



#27 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 03 February 2019 - 09:35 PM

All you need is the Interstellarium Star Atlas to hunt these objects down. I viewed nearly the entire H400 List with my 4-inch refractor in Bortle 3 skies. I used the 8-inch to verify maybe the remaining half dozen... Fun project.


I have interstellarium, rarely use it.

#28 Arcticpaddler

Arcticpaddler

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 257
  • Joined: 25 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Northern Minnesota, USA

Posted 04 February 2019 - 08:17 AM

I have interstellarium, rarely use it.

How do you navigate?



#29 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 04 February 2019 - 08:37 AM

How do you navigate?

Stellarium on my PC, usually. When I'm not at home I break out the analog maps.



#30 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 04 February 2019 - 08:50 PM

I bagged NGC 2403 tonight with my RV6, was too distracted to observe anything else and it dewed up before I could observe more.



#31 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 08 February 2019 - 09:09 PM

Night 14 - 2/8/19

 

Weather: Damp, mildly cold, windy.

 

Transparency: 8/10

 

Seeing: 4/5

 

Limiting magnitude: 5

 

First real observing session with my 1973 orange C8, which I've owned for 3 months but had been in the care of my girlfriend.

 

M81/82

 

Horsehead - Faintly visible with H-Beta filter.

 

NGC 1535: Jupiter-sized planetary, rather bright with OIII filter.

 

NGC 1788 - Faint nebulosity to the right of the star that illuminates it.


  • Sarkikos and deepwoods1 like this

#32 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 27 February 2019 - 08:06 PM

Wow, it's been a whole month since my last night out with the 20". Looks like the weather will be better next week so I can finally use it again.



#33 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 04 March 2019 - 08:22 PM

Night 15 - 3/4/19:

 

Weather: Not very damp, right around freezing. There's a foot of snow on the ground, had to dig out an area for the scope.

 

Transparency: 7/10

 

Seeing: 4/5

 

Limiting magnitude: 4.5

 

First light with my new Takahashi FC-76. Used a 25mm Plossl for pretty much everything.

 

Images with this scope are tack-sharp. 

 

M42 - Surprisingly good for a 3" telescope.

 

Mars - Tiny disk with the 5mm XWA. No surface details.

 

M45 - FANTASTIC! Best view I've ever had of it.

 

M31 - Briefly saw it through a tree.

 

M33 - Faintly visible.

 

M35 - Quite good.

 

M41 - Pretty open cluster.

 

M44 - First time the Beehive has ever looked good to me in a scope.

 

NGC 3184 - Visible, much to my surprise.

 

NGC 3189 - Surprisingly, this was visible. Think I could see NGC 3193 and maybe 3185 too?

 

NGC 2360 - Faint fuzzy patch, handful of stars visible.

 

NGC 2354 - Faint fuzzy patch, handful of stars visible.

 

NGC 2362 - Small grouping of stars around Tau Canis Majoris.

 

My feet were freezing so I went inside for the evening after about 90 minutes.


Edited by Augustus, 04 March 2019 - 09:52 PM.

  • Sarkikos likes this

#34 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 23 March 2019 - 10:20 PM

Night 16 - 3/23/19:

 

Weather: ~45 degrees, very windy. Packed up by 11PM due to moonrise and wind picking up.

 

Transparency: 9/10

 

Seeing: 2/5

 

Limiting magnitude: 5

 

First time out with the 20" since late January.

 

M51 - Low, spiral arms faintly visible. Could just make out IC 4277.

 

Thor's Helmet - Very nice with the OIII. Extremely complex structure.

 

NGC 4490 & 4485 - Very nice, some irregular detail.

 

Leo Quartet - All 4 members visible.

 

M65 & M66 - Very nice, details evident.

 

NGC 4449 - Wasn't sure what to expect of this one, but quite bright with some irregularities visible.

 

Whale Galaxy (NGC 4631) - Fantastic! Filled the field of view. 

 

NGC 4656 - Not very bright nor obvious.

 

NGC 4559 - Moderately bright.

 

NGC 4494 - Briefly passed it, moderately bright.

 

Needle Galaxy (NGC 4565) - Oddly difficult to see. Thin cloud in the way or something? Dust lane was hard to spot at all.

 

Coma B (NGC 4889) Cluster - At least a few dozen galaxies visible. Magnificent!

 

I finished with M53, and before I could even go to NGC 5053 the wind picked up and the neighbors' lights came on. Then I saw the Moon rising and I packed it in.


  • Sarkikos and Pete W like this

#35 Pete W

Pete W

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 137
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Hutto, TX

Posted 24 March 2019 - 11:39 AM

A great collection of Canes & Coma galaxies!  All are worth re-visiting with high mag (225x or more), particularly 4449 & 4631. 

 

Looking forward to more Herschel reports now that we are in galaxy season.


  • Augustus likes this

#36 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 29667
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 29 March 2019 - 11:57 AM

Augustus,

 

Good for you.  I enjoyed going through the H400 with my 10" Dob. I star hopped to them using SkySafari Pro. 

 

It should be a breeze with your 20".  

 

About half-way through the H400, I started doing the H400 II and Herschel 3 in tandem with the H400.   This is a good way to experience a lot of interesting objects, mostly galaxies. 

 

So now I've seen all the objects in H400 and H400 II.  I only have five galaxies left in the Herschel 3.  

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 29 March 2019 - 12:00 PM.

  • deepwoods1 and Augustus like this

#37 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16756
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 30 March 2019 - 06:27 AM

Augustus,
 
Good for you.  I enjoyed going through the H400 with my 10" Dob. I star hopped to them using SkySafari Pro. 
 
It should be a breeze with your 20".

Except that Augustus is stuck in his suburban backyard -- albeit obviously a much darker-than-average suburb. I'd rather observe the Herschel 400 with a 10-incher under dark skies than with a 20-incher from the 'burbs.


  • payner, Sarkikos and Augustus like this

#38 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 29667
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 30 March 2019 - 09:46 AM

Except that Augustus is stuck in his suburban backyard -- albeit obviously a much darker-than-average suburb. I'd rather observe the Herschel 400 with a 10-incher under dark skies than with a 20-incher from the 'burbs.

And that is exactly what I did.  My dark site is an hour away.  It is "only" a yellow zone site, but that's much better than what I have here at home.  A green zone is 2-1/2 to 3 hours away.  That's a long road trip for me, and I don't like long road trips.

 

A yellow zone is good enough to show the H400, H400 II and Herschel 3 in a 10" Dob.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 30 March 2019 - 09:47 AM.

  • Augustus likes this

#39 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 30 March 2019 - 09:52 AM

I have a 12.5" which should fit in my girlfriend's Camry and I should be able to take the 20" to dark skies at least a half dozen times this spring/summer, but I don't get my license until July and there are all kinds of restrictions until next summer so I'm forced to be chauffeured to dark skies for now. My parents have basically zero respect let alone interest for the hobby, so unsurprisingly I don't leave the backyard much (last time I got a scope under dark skies was Stellafane).


Edited by Augustus, 30 March 2019 - 09:54 AM.

  • Sarkikos and Pete W like this

#40 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 01 April 2019 - 09:53 PM

Night 17 - 4/1/19:

 

Weather: ~35 degrees, calm. Some thin clouds rolled in towards the end of the session.

 

Seeing: 3/5

 

Transparency: 8/10

 

Limiting magnitude: 5

 

More observing with the 20"!

 

--------------------------------------

 

Leo Triplet - Very good. 

 

NGC 3626 - Barely nonstellar.

 

M53

 

Finally saw NGC 5053.

 

M64 - Dust lane visible.

 

M51 - Faint hint of spiral arms visible.

 

NGC 5466 - Faint but visible.

 

M3 - Fantastic.

 

NGC 4244 - Faintish, very thin edge-on spiral.

 

M51 - Faint hint of spiral arms.

 

M101 - Very faintly visible.

 

I explored the Virgo Cluster a fair amount too, but I don't think I saw any new H400 objects.


Edited by Augustus, 02 April 2019 - 07:55 AM.


#41 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 03 April 2019 - 08:34 PM

I was going to do more observing tonight but the wind picked up after I looked at M35 and the Eskimo Nebula. Oh well.



#42 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 24 April 2019 - 09:27 PM

Night 18 - 4/24/19:

 

Weather: Temperature in the mid-60s, not very windy, not very damp.

 

Seeing: 5/5

 

Transparency: 8/10

 

Limiting magnitude: 5.25

 

Three weeks later and I'm finally back at it - this time with the 12.5". I wanted to try it out on DSOs for the first time. It performs quite well considering the lack of a shroud.

Some clouds rolled in at 9:30 PM and I packed up.

  • M35 - Very good.
  • M51 - Faint hint of spiral arms.
  • M64 - Dust lane evident.
  • M97
  • M65 & M66 - Dust lanes visible.
  • M3 - Very good.
  • Izar - Relatively easily split.
  • Eskimo Nebula - Some structure that I haven't previously seen.
  • Ghost of Jupiter - Very blue, "eye" shape weakly apparent.
  • NGC 3430, 3424, 3413 - Nice little group. Didn't spot NGC 3395 or 3396.
  • Briefly passed NGC 3486.


#43 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 28 April 2019 - 08:31 PM

Night 19 - 4/28/19:

 

Weather: Cold, humid, wet, partly cloudy. 

 

Seeing: 4/5

 

Transparency: 7/10

 

Limiting magnitude: 4.8

 

More 12.5", albeit not for very long.

 

M35 - Looked at it briefly before hitting the trees.

 

NGC 4490/85 - Revisited this pair. At high magnification (roughly 175x) 4490 takes on significant irregular structure. 

 

M85 - Stumbled upon this while hunting for NGC 4147. Very bright, almost stellar appearance.

 

NGC 4394 - Faint but visible. No real structure.

 

NGC 4293 - Faint, some elongation.

 

Clouds rolled in and the dew was severe enough that my dew heater did little to stop the view from fogging up, so I packed it in after about an hour.



#44 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:02 AM

It has been a while since I've gotten any observations in, but I did install SkyTools 3 and consolidate all my notes - turns out I actually miscounted and am currently at 160 H400 objects.


Edited by Augustus, 14 May 2019 - 07:06 AM.

  • bbqediguana likes this

#45 Love Cowboy

Love Cowboy

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 922
  • Joined: 05 May 2014
  • Loc: Houston, TX USA

Posted 14 May 2019 - 01:05 PM

Night 16 - 3/23/19:

 

Weather: ~45 degrees, very windy. Packed up by 11PM due to moonrise and wind picking up.

 

Transparency: 9/10

 

Seeing: 2/5

 

Limiting magnitude: 5

 

First time out with the 20" since late January.

 

M51 - Low, spiral arms faintly visible. Could just make out IC 4277.

 

Thor's Helmet - Very nice with the OIII. Extremely complex structure.

 

NGC 4490 & 4485 - Very nice, some irregular detail.

 

Leo Quartet - All 4 members visible.

 

M65 & M66 - Very nice, details evident.

 

NGC 4449 - Wasn't sure what to expect of this one, but quite bright with some irregularities visible.

 

Whale Galaxy (NGC 4631) - Fantastic! Filled the field of view. 

 

NGC 4656 - Not very bright nor obvious.

 

NGC 4559 - Moderately bright.

 

NGC 4494 - Briefly passed it, moderately bright.

 

Needle Galaxy (NGC 4565) - Oddly difficult to see. Thin cloud in the way or something? Dust lane was hard to spot at all.

 

Coma B (NGC 4889) Cluster - At least a few dozen galaxies visible. Magnificent!

 

I finished with M53, and before I could even go to NGC 5053 the wind picked up and the neighbors' lights came on. Then I saw the Moon rising and I packed it in.

you must have had a random cloud with 4565.  There's no way it should have been that difficult, especially when you didn't have similar difficulty with fainter objects on the same night.



#46 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16756
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:59 AM

you must have had a random cloud with 4565.  There's no way it should have been that difficult, especially when you didn't have similar difficulty with fainter objects on the same night.

No, I don't agree. Remember that Augustus is working under serious light pollution in suburban Connecticut -- but with a very large scope. Brightness -- magnitude -- is little obstacle due to the large aperture. But surface brightness is a major problem due to the light pollution.

 

NGC 4565 is spectacular, but when all is said and done, it's an edge-on spiral, and edge-on spirals tend to have pretty low surface brightness. It's tougher in suburban skies than its magnitude suggests. Note the conspicuous absence of NGC 3628 in that report. It's another edge-on spiral, even more impressive in some ways than NGC 4565.


  • Augustus likes this

#47 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:01 AM

Remember that Augustus is working under serious light pollution in suburban Connecticut -- but with a very large scope. 

Not anymore.... I've downsized to a 12" but I can get to a Bortle 3/4 location in New York 45 minutes away.... that is once the skies clear!



#48 Love Cowboy

Love Cowboy

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 922
  • Joined: 05 May 2014
  • Loc: Houston, TX USA

Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:38 AM

No, I don't agree. Remember that Augustus is working under serious light pollution in suburban Connecticut -- but with a very large scope. Brightness -- magnitude -- is little obstacle due to the large aperture. But surface brightness is a major problem due to the light pollution.

NGC 4565 is spectacular, but when all is said and done, it's an edge-on spiral, and edge-on spirals tend to have pretty low surface brightness. It's tougher in suburban skies than its magnitude suggests. Note the conspicuous absence of NGC 3628 in that report. It's another edge-on spiral, even more impressive in some ways than NGC 4565.

I'm well aware of the differences between magnitude and surface brightness, but I never thought of 4565 as having low surface brightness. But then again, I've not observed it in suburban skies, so it's certainly possible I'm incorrect

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

#49 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7464
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted Today, 09:38 AM

Looks like I'm going to Ward Pound Ridge tonight. Going to try to knock out at least a dozen or two H400s with the 12".




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