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NGC 1300

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#1 Asbytec

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:22 AM

This is a faint galaxy and another time when one wonders how they will see anything at all. Yet, over an hour with this bad boy at 150x, I managed quite a bit as the thin crescent moon was setting under ~ 20 magnitude/arc second^2 skies. The surface brightness for NGC 1300 is listed at 23.3 MPSAS at the 25 MSPAS isotope. http://leda.univ-lyo....cgi?o=ngc 1300

 

Gosh, what a galaxy and a real challenge to see anything of something we can barely see and often not see at all. Over an hour, you do the math, how many passes is that in a 58 degree AFOV? A lot. Most of the time, each pass, I didn't see much if anything. But, occasionally I would catch a glimpse of it's features. It seemed rather large and faint. There was an indication of a faintly brighter circular core. The elongation was apparent quite often. You could tell it was slightly tilted toward the lead star in the north west (left). It seemed these observations came in flurries, maybe as I settled in and the skies really opened up clearly. 

 

Some interesting aspects of this galaxy was a slightly brighter knot on the western arm. It turns out, this is where one spiral arm begins to turn north. Now, I did not see the spiral arms as resolved features, so I could not really make out the orientation of it's spiral structure. Not visually. It was just too faint. However, I did manage on a few occasions to glimpse some dark areas just above and below the core. These darker areas define the inner arms. The outer arms just faded into obscurity as a fain, unresolved glow. So, I could tell the arms were there, just not which way they were spiraling outward form the core. At times I got blasted with some images of some pretty heavy stellaring (or speckling), whatever you want to call it. I am not sure what caused it or what it means, I mention it only in passing. 

 

Now, some very interesting things happened more than a few times, especially when I was in the zone and fully dark adapted. Earlier in the observation, I began to see a faint star near where the core should be. It was hard to tell exactly, because I did not see both of them at the same time. But, later in the observation, I did see both the stellar nucleus and the faint core and could tell it was associated with the faint core. Not only that, but I caught one intriguing and convincing glimpse of two tiny spots near the core (barely detectable in the sketch 1 pixel apart). I can find no reason for that in any images I've researched, but I am leaving it as is for another day. Calling it as seen and figure out why another time. 

 

I thought about backing down to 100x with my 12mm HD Ortho, but I was concerned over the brighter sky background and losing some dark adaption. Besides, 150x (1.3mm exit pupil) was pretty productive. So, I stayed at 150x the whole time. 

 

I also managed two very dim points near the core, one just below (northerly) and one to the left (westerly.) I left them faintly etched in the sketch to show how dim they were and what they looked like. Turns out, there are stars (and more) in those two locations. And other faint stars I missed, as well. According to wikisky, which I really don't trust (yet) for visual magnitude estimates, but at least those stars are supposed to be magnitude 15.4. It must be brighter than that. I believe my limiting magnitude was a little better than magnitude 14. 

 

So, after an our of observation, this is what NGC 1300 looked like. Thanks! I had a blast with it. smile.gif

 

Edit: corrected aperture in the sketch from 6" to 8" f/6. 

 

NGC 1300 Rev.png


Edited by Asbytec, 11 January 2019 - 10:35 AM.

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#2 niteskystargazer

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 02:24 PM

Norme,

 

Nice sketch of NGC 1300 smile.gif .

 

CS,KLU,

 

thanx.gif ,

 

Tom



#3 John O'Hara

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:47 PM

Very nice sketch indeed!  As a side note, several years ago, while observing this galaxy with my 6" f/8 refractor, I accidentally picked up NGC 1297, just to the north.  This was from a Cherry Springs State Park, a dark sky park in Pennsylvania, at about 41 deg. N. Lat.  If your skies are reasonably dark, I'd think your 8" f/6 would show it.  In fact, with the level of detail shown in your drawing, I'm pretty confident you'd spy NGC 1297.



#4 Asbytec

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:25 PM

Very nice sketch indeed!  As a side note, several years ago, while observing this galaxy with my 6" f/8 refractor, I accidentally picked up NGC 1297, just to the north.  This was from a Cherry Springs State Park, a dark sky park in Pennsylvania, at about 41 deg. N. Lat.  If your skies are reasonably dark, I'd think your 8" f/6 would show it.  In fact, with the level of detail shown in your drawing, I'm pretty confident you'd spy NGC 1297.

 

John, Thank you for saying so. I am really proud of this observation of such a difficult galaxy. I am always amazed at what we can compile of somethign we can hardly see. When I was done observing it after a good long look (over an hour, I am sure...time flies), I decided that was about all that I was going to see. Being curious, I googled NGC 1300 (ruining my dark adaption, so I really was done observing), and I was floored by the images. That was it! Including those two faint stars! It was a real boost to my confidence.

 

At one point, I was having a little difficulty star hopping to NGC 1300. I also accidentally ran across something small and fairly bright. I cannot remember the details of where I was looking at the time. Somewhere in the vicinity of NGC 1300, I believe. I ran across something that looked familiar, a small asterism of stars that had a bit of a glow to it. So, I checked it out at 150x, and to my surprise there was a small, round, and bright galaxy there with at least one star nearby and maybe another. I am unable to identify it because I was reading Sky Safari near NGC 1300 and I am not sure how close to NGC 1300 I really was at the time. I may have started with 19 Eri in the finder instead of 16 Eri. But, I really was unsure where I was actually pointed.

 

As I recall, it had a fairly bright core with some fainter extensions and some field stars in a line. NGC 1297 has at least one field star nearby and kind of looks like what I saw, except for the faint elongation. It does appear to be very faint, but with a surface brightness a nearly a full magnitude brighter it looks doable. But, about the same brightness as NGC 1300 at 25 MPSAS Isotope, I doubt I saw it in my finder. It does appear to be pretty small, at around 3' arc. Maybe star-like. 

 

My experience with very small dim galaxies is they are difficult if not impossible. But, that small dust intrusion does seem like a tempting visual target. I doubt it can be seen, but worthy of the "old college try." I tried NGC 660 in my 6" under yellow zone skies and was unable to see it, but NGC 660 might be worth another look in the 8" under green skies. So, yea, not sure what I ran across last night before I found NGC 1300. 


Edited by Asbytec, 11 January 2019 - 08:43 PM.


#5 Asbytec

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 09:17 PM

Thinking back on this observation and the many passes through the FOV, often I saw nothing or nothing much. Just something indeterminate enough only to know the galaxy was there. In fact, after star hopping to it's location, it took a little while to see the galaxy at all. But I knew I was on it by the field star pattern. Sometimes the galaxy was visible as only a large faint glow. Other times an elongation was apparent. Then it would not be. A few times when elongation rolled into view, a brighter knot could be seen to the west. At times, the more circular core would materialize, then fade. Sometimes a faint star or two would pop in and out near where the core should be or along with it depending on whether the core manifest itself at the same time or not. A few times, a dark swath could be seen on one side, but not the other. Then a dark swath would be seen on the other side, and then not the other. Each of these views, including seeing nothing at all, came and went almost randomly. On a few rare occasions, some combination of these views would manifest simultaneously and I'd really get a good look at it. Then it would fade, and I would not see anything at all for a while. Repeat these random views appearing and fading over time and you have a faint galaxy. 


Edited by Asbytec, 11 January 2019 - 09:18 PM.


#6 John O'Hara

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 07:22 AM

Last September from the same site (Cherry Springs State Park in Northern Pennsylvania), in the morning hours, I attempted to duplicate the observation of NGC1300/1297 with my 100 mm Skywatcher ED refractor.  This little scope has very nice optics.  However, at that time, I was unable to sweep up NGC 1300, much less NGC 1297.  The transparency was not as good as the night I did this with my 6" f/8 refractor, but it was not poor either.  My star hopping may have been off as well, or this is just a tough garget for a 4" class scope.  Still, I'm hopeful that I can turn up NGC 1300 on an excellent night from a Bortle 2 site, though I know NGC 1297 will be tough with the smaller scope.  I have heard from others on this forum that they have spied NGC 1297 with scopes smaller than a 6", but they may have been at truly dark sites in the western U.S. where humidity is low.  Also, I was in my 30's when I made that observation, now in my 50's...

 

What makes me think you can sweep up NGC 1297 in your 8" f/6 is the level of detail you have in your drawing of NGC 1300, which is more than I detected in my 6" f/8 from a Bortle 2 site, and I could see NGC 1297.  However, I did not spend the time on the object that you did in your very careful observation.  You are a skilled observer to be sure.



#7 Asbytec

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 08:47 AM

I do not know if NGC 1300 can be seen in a 100mm scope. Maybe. I never attempted it in my 6" Mak. It is a pretty tough cookie in a 200mm under Bortle class 4. Bortle 2 should help putting your skies a full magnitude dimmer than mine at more than 21 MPSAS and within 2 magnitudes surface brightness of NGC 1300. That does not sound impossible. I guess one just has to go see. smile.gif

 

I may give NGC 1297 a try, along with NGC 660, again. I missed it last time with my 6" under orange skies. It's pretty small at around 2 arc minutes, NGC 1297 is a little more than 1 arc minute and apparently pretty dim. Just googled a CN thread, off to read it after I finish replying to you. But, if folks are seeing it, maybe it's doable. I guess I just have to go see. smile.gif

 

https://www.cloudyni...al-observation/

 

Edit: Oh, that's your thread. :)

 

Yea, hey, I get a real kick out of this stuff at age 58 and all the time in the world to spend observing (except rainy season). Not like when I was working in the city and had to drive to dark skies one weekend a month near new moon if the weather cooperated. So, I would cram a dozen or so objects into a single night. That's just not enough time to really get the hang of it and, for me, it was too many objects to really see well. So, I never really got the hang of it until I retired under dark tropical skies and dug my heels in. My observing journey really began nearly a decade ago when a CN member told me I could see detail on Ganymede. It turned out he was right and that inspired an observing spree like no other. Now, what else have I been missing? lol.gif

 

To me, observing is a lot like work except I enjoy it (I enjoyed my work, too). I certainly do not mind spending quality time with one object each clear night. I stay with it afraid I might miss something, that one glimpse that would reveal all. Or at least long enough that I am sure I have seen everything I can. That's usually an hour or more when nothing new pops up.

 

Our skies here are pretty good, and at 15 degrees north latitude a lot of galaxies are 20 degrees or so higher than temperate US locations. Seeing here in the tropics is generally pretty good, though recently around 7/10 Pickering on average. But, we're not under the jet stream nor dealing with frigid temperatures and thermal cooling problems. I generally observe close to transit on the meridian and quite often as close to the zenith as it can get. I think there is a lot to be said for seeing, good focus, and good optics when observing deep sky. Transparency and darkness, too, as we know. And how can we forget patience, some technique that works, and the right magnification range.

 

The reason I mention seeing is observing NGC NGC 4038/NGC 4039 (the Antennae) in my 6" MCT. I was able to capture two bright points, one in each lobe. They reminded me a lot of E and F Trap. I scoured the internet and found some amazing sketches in larger apertures, but none (of the nice sketches) with smaller apertures captured those bright points. Yet, they were plainly there during my time with the Antennae. I presume because they are point sources, that seeing was likely the cause. But, even lately, I find a little more pop when my scope is well collimated, cooled, with good focus, and when seeing is favorable. I also revisit the object on a later date and am often rewarded for the effort. I suspect good optics will pop a little more, too. Folks talk about good contrast images and DSO.

 

Okay, I'm rambling...again...and my wife keeps poking her head in the door. She got a good look at the moon tonight. smile.gif

 

You have many observing advantages. I hope you will report back when you attempt it. I'd really like to know how you fare.


Edited by Asbytec, 12 January 2019 - 08:48 AM.


#8 John O'Hara

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:16 PM

I will do so, and I appreciate your suggestions and observations both on this thread and my previous thread.  If things work out, I hope to make another attempt while these objects are well placed in the evening sky.  If not, it will probably be September/October in the AM hours.  Lake Effect clouds that we experience in Northwest Pennsylvania are probably akin to monsoons (minus the rain), that I'm guessing you get down there.



#9 Asbytec

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:22 PM

Yea, you have that lake effect thing going on. Here, for some reason, we are getting more clouds than usual locally and off the pacific. The local thermal stuff dies out after dark, but the stuff blowing in off the Pacific lingers forever. May be some level of El Nino or La Nina...forget which is which, I think the latter, and some very late season tropical depressions blowing through. Been clear, though, last few days. Now it's time to start looking at the moon for a week or so. 


Edited by Asbytec, 12 January 2019 - 12:23 PM.


#10 azure1961p

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 07:54 PM

Hi Norme,

 

It's good that you kept it honest in that yes, you saw the beginning of an arm at the end of the bar but you still kept it real in how it appeared given the suggestion regardless.  A lesser observer would've just connected the dots and drew a little too optimistically .   Not to say that at some point you may actually get the arm completed more but you didn't embellish here, you.just faithfully recorded and that's terrific.  I'll still never try fishing this out of the low altitude soup but I'm glad you did it .

 

Good discipline dude!

 

Pete



#11 Asbytec

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 08:24 PM

Hi Norme,

 

It's good that you kept it honest in that yes, you saw the beginning of an arm at the end of the bar but you still kept it real in how it appeared given the suggestion regardless.  A lesser observer would've just connected the dots and drew a little too optimistically .   Not to say that at some point you may actually get the arm completed more but you didn't embellish here, you.just faithfully recorded and that's terrific.  I'll still never try fishing this out of the low altitude soup but I'm glad you did it .

 

Good discipline dude!

 

Pete

Pete, thanks...as for completing the arm I think the problem is not so much connecting the bright core to the softer halo, rather the trouble is seeing the dark termination of the end of the arm as a dark area near the ansae of the dim halo. I noticed that when sketching the galaxy. I wanted to show the arm better, but I could not add the dark area defining the end of the arm as a separation from the rest of the halo. I just did not see that dark area. Instead, the best I could see, the halo was fairly complete broad ellipse with darker sections inside it along and up close to the core. But, the ends of the arms were too faint. I never saw the arm itself as a clearly defined bright arc connecting the bar and with a definite ending point. I only saw the soft glow of the halo showing betraying the arm's presence. I never saw the arm itself as a thin bright structure and I could not see the point of termination in the faint haze of the halo. That termination point was way too faint to pick out form the already faint halo. The darker lanes inside were already very difficult and they are much more clearly defined and I could not follow each lane out to the end of the ansae. Only near the middle. So, no real defined arms. 


Edited by Asbytec, 12 January 2019 - 08:28 PM.


#12 azure1961p

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 07:30 AM

Got it. Well done.

 

Pete


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#13 bertandlaville

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 04:28 PM

Hi All,

 

Here is what NGC 1300 is seen with a 20", in huge conditions: Namibia, 57° above horizon, NELM 7.4v, SQM 22.02, hu 31%, seeing good to very good !

 

NGC-1300-T500-BL-2006-09-Namibie-Tivoli.

 

 

Detailed report at: http://www.deepsky-d...1300/dsdlang/fr

 

Clear skies

Bertrand

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#14 Asbytec

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 06:10 PM

Bertrand, your spiral arms are much more resolved. You were at 2.6mm exit pupil, did you try higher power? How bright was the galaxy for you? For me, it was visible (guessing) half the time. Nice sketch, I've seen this one before. :)



#15 azure1961p

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 05:15 AM

Gotta say that double appearing nucleus is still an enigma with me.  Yes probably dust.  Wonder if it'd'v defined more with say 250x?   Now don't even suggest I try up at my latitude!   Such a curious thing though eh?

 

Pete



#16 Asbytec

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 06:24 AM

Me too. Maybe imaginary. I cannot find any reason for it. I sketched it anyway because the glimpse was convincing. Maybe not. There is a dust lane cutting across it, but I think that is way too small to make out even in good seeing. Bertrand certainly would have seen it, too. The image from the Hubble shows a faint star nearby, kind of in the right place. But, that star has to be very, very dim. 

 

https://apod.nasa.go...00_hst_6637.jpg

 

Here's another: http://astrosurf.com...es/ngc1300.html

Here's an image in red light: https://ned.ipac.cal...s/NGC1300a.jpeg and blue light: https://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Lynds/Figures/NGC1300c.jpeg

 

Our eye tends to be more sensitive to blue when dark adapted. 

https://www.telescop...al_response.PNG

 

One thought hit me, maybe a supernova. Not sure how often these things go unreported and there may be a chance someone will see one after years of observing galaxies. Chances are slim, but not zero. 

 

Here's an interesting photo. Problem is, I have no way of knowing how accurate it might be to visual. What wavelengths are prominent in the image compared to the eye's sensitivity. 

https://i.pinimg.com...60db38b9ab4.jpg

 

Maybe it was a moment of unsteady seeing. I've seen Saturn jitter very quickly, almost a double image for an instant, and stars jump around apparently caused by tilt component of seeing. That's plausible, seeing has not been normally as good lately.

 

Truth is, I do not know. I included it because the sighting, real or not, was interesting. One of those, "what was that!?!" moments.



#17 erick86

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:00 PM

Hi All,

 

Here is what NGC 1300 is seen with a 20", in huge conditions: Namibia, 57° above horizon, NELM 7.4v, SQM 22.02, hu 31%, seeing good to very good !

 

 

Clear skies

Bertrand

http://www.deepsky-drawings.com

Amazing!!!  This is why I need a 20"!! 

 

Eric


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