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Monthly Observing Challenges for February

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#1 nic35

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 02:56 PM

Here are my offerings for February’s Challenges.  With either clouds, or -10F temperatures in  the near future, or a full moon in the middle of the month,  I don’t think I’m getting to these any time soon.  Enjoy 

 

John

Solar System

 

Asteroid (3) Juno.  Originally thought to be a planet with a diameter of as much as 2,290 km – it actually has a diameter of 233 km.  It has high albedo, and thus can be as bright as mag 7.5.  On 2/15 it is predicted to be mag 9.1.  It moves pretty fast, with a velocity of 55 arc seconds per hour.  Catch it if you can.

 

Bonus conjunction.  For those with wide fields of view, try getting Mars and Uranus in the same field of view on the evening of 2/13.  At dusk they will be about 1 degree apart.

 

DSO’s

Two in Lynx

 

NGC 2683, aka the UFO galaxy.  A near edge-on spiral with a magnitude of 10.0 and a surface brightness of 21.7.  It is 9.5’ x 2.7’ in size.

 

The Intergalactic Wanderer, NGC 2419, a globular cluster with a magnitude of 10.3 and a diameter of 4.6’.  Its name was bestowed when it was erroneously thought not to be in orbit around the Milky Way.  It is more distant from the Milky Way than the Magellanic  Clouds, and takes almost 3 Billion years to orbit the galaxy.

 

Two More

 

NGC 1514, the Crystal Ball Nebula.  A magnitude 10.8 planetary in Taurus.  It is only 2’ in diameter. This object caused Herschel to reconsider his view that nebulae were simply clusters of stars too far away to be resolved, and to suggest that perhaps the nebulosity wasn’t stars at all.

 

And, for the show-offs, the Rosette.

 

Southern Objects

 

Neither is particularly challenging, but not often seen in this forum.  Got a very wide FOV (5 degrees) ? Get the both in the same frame.

 

47 Tucanae, or NGC 104.  A large, bright magnitude 4.0 globular that’s 30’ in diameter.  It is both bigger and brighter than M13, and nearly the same as Omega Centauri. 

 

Small Magellanic Cloud.  A dwarf galaxy about 200,000 light years away and containing about 7 billion solar masses.  Closer than the Intergalactic Wanderer !


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#2 Rickster

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 04:57 PM

Here is the UFO galaxy, NGC 2683. Got it last month during a brief period of clear skies.

20X30S, ISO12800, cropped, Canon T4I, GSO coma corrector, 16IN NEWT on 1960s GEM, ONSTEP controller. No autoguiding, filters, flats or darks. EOS utility, DSS, AT, processed on the fly.

Click to make bigger.

Attached Thumbnails

  • NGC2683 UFO GAL_20X30S ISO12800 T4I CC 16IN NEWT 1960s GEM ONSTEP.JPG

Edited by Rickster, 31 January 2019 - 05:01 PM.

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#3 neaptide

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Posted 01 February 2019 - 09:51 PM

Screenshot of the UFO Galaxy.

 

E.S. Newt F/3.9

ASI 294 Pro

Sharpcap3.2

 

39 X 15 Seconds   Gain 400

 

UFO Galaxy.jpg


Edited by neaptide, 01 February 2019 - 09:52 PM.

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#4 Rickster

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Posted 01 February 2019 - 11:56 PM

I am wondering if the orange color is due to a filter, or is it because your camera has better red response than my unmodified Canon, or...?

Edit. Hmmm, and yet the red histogram curve is the lowest. Puzzled.

Edited by Rickster, 01 February 2019 - 11:59 PM.


#5 neaptide

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 08:02 AM

I am wondering if the orange color is due to a filter, or is it because your camera has better red response than my unmodified Canon, or...?

Edit. Hmmm, and yet the red histogram curve is the lowest. Puzzled.

 

I didn’t use any filter. I used the automatic color balance in Sharpcap while live stacking and that tends to go a little heavy on the red channel. Unfortunately the Celestron controller window is in the way of the sliders. I may be wrong but I don’t think the histogram is affected by the sliders. 


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#6 saguaro

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 08:53 AM

I didn’t use any filter. I used the automatic color balance in Sharpcap while live stacking and that tends to go a little heavy on the red channel. Unfortunately the Celestron controller window is in the way of the sliders. I may be wrong but I don’t think the histogram is affected by the sliders. 

When live stacking, you are correct that the live stacking histogram doesn’t reflect any changes you make to the RGB sliders, even though you can see the color changes in the live stacked image. However, the mini Display Histogram on the right side of the SC window (not shown in your screenshot) does adjust in response to any changes to the RGB sliders during live stacking. I recently learned about this behavior by reading about it somewhere in the SC forums on the SC website.


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#7 Stargazer3236

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 09:04 AM

Here are my contributions for the monthly thread. Using a Nexstar C8 ota, ZEQ25 mount, Meade F/.63 Reducer/Corrector, ASI294MC camera, 2" UHC and 2" UV/IR block filters. Sharpcap 3.2 Pro, color, histo stretch, black, mid and white level sliders as well as color saturation slider.

 

NGC 2244, The Rosette nebula (AT60ED APO refractor with above camera and software and Meade F/.63 reducer/corrector), 24x15s subs

rosette full frame.jpg

 

NGC1514, The Crystal Ball nebula, 26x25s subs

ngc1514 1x11bin 380gain 26x25s 40p zoom_jpeg.jpg


Edited by Stargazer3236, 02 February 2019 - 09:14 AM.

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#8 selfo

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 02:43 PM

Here are my Pics for the February challenge.  My intent was to provide a Sharpcap screenshot for each object but for whatever reason only the screenshot for the NGC 1514 got saved.
Equipment used ASI 385 uncooled with  C8 Alt AZ at 0.63 FR + UVIR cut filter unless noted .

 

NGC 1514  Stack_70frames_1050s No UVIR cut

gallery_251523_10679_479157.jpg

gallery_251523_10679_692419.jpg

 

NGC 2419 Stack_46frames_598s

gallery_251523_10679_391757.jpg

 

NGC 2683 wuvir Stack_66frames_858s_

gallery_251523_10679_1529386.jpg


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#9 Rickster

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 01:11 AM

NGC 1514

12X30sec, Canon t4i ISO6400, small/fine (basically a 2x2 bin yielding 2592x1728 8.6 um pixels), GSO coma corrector, 16IN NEWT effective fl 2000mm on 1960s GEM, ONSTEP controller. No autoguiding, filters, flats or darks. Processed/cropped on the fly using EOS Utility/Astrotoaster/Deep Sky Stacker.

Attached Thumbnails

  • NGC1514 12X30s iso6400 t4i CC 16in Newt eff FL 2000mm 1960s mount OnStep.jpg
  • NGC1514 12X30s iso6400 t4i CC 16in Newt eff FL 2000mm 1960s mount OnStep zoom.jpg

Edited by Rickster, 03 February 2019 - 01:30 AM.

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#10 larryjh

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 09:11 AM

Hello all.  I'm back after a bit of a hiatus due to poor weather and a very busy fall.  The time was not completely wasted as I was able to recollimate my Vixen R200SS (still not perfect though) and do a much needed tune up on my ZEQ25.

 

All of the following images were with the Vixen R200SS, ZEQ25, ASI224MC and 0.5x focal reducer.

 

First, here is the UFO galaxy.  After looking at some of the other posted images, my goal was to see if I could observe the very faint galaxy that is nearby, which, after some research, I was able to determine is PGC 2030408.  I succeeded, just barely.

 

21x16 sec, gain 300, no darks

 

NGC 2683 Stack_21frames_336s annotated.jpg

 

Next is NGC 2419.  I couldn't get much detail.  Just a faint core and some surrounding resolved stars.

20x8 sec, gain 300, no darks

 

NGC 2419 Stack_20frames_160s.jpg

 

Next is NGC 1514.  I was able to capture some of the dark lanes radiating out from the central star.  I'm not sure if the faint red star right next to the central star is a double or not.

21x16 sec, gain 300, no darks

 

NGC 1514 Stack_21frames_336s.jpg

 

The Rosette Nebula is far too big for my camera's FOV.  Maybe it's time for a new camera for these large objects.  I captured the central star cluster NGC 2244 in the following image.  Very faint nebulosity can be seen.

27x16 sec, gain 300, no darks

 

NGC 2244 Stack_27frames_432s.jpg

 

I captured other nearby areas in the hopes of making a mosaic.  Here is one other image that shows some of the dust lanes more clearly, though the nebulosity is still very faint.

27x16 sec, gain 300, no darks

 

NGC 2244A Stack_27frames_432s.jpg

 

I may try to get Juno in between Super Bowl plays tonight.


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#11 Stargazer3236

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:29 AM

Hello all.  I'm back after a bit of a hiatus due to poor weather and a very busy fall.  The time was not completely wasted as I was able to recollimate my Vixen R200SS (still not perfect though) and do a much needed tune up on my ZEQ25.

 

All of the following images were with the Vixen R200SS, ZEQ25, ASI224MC and 0.5x focal reducer.

 

First, here is the UFO galaxy.  After looking at some of the other posted images, my goal was to see if I could observe the very faint galaxy that is nearby, which, after some research, I was able to determine is PGC 2030408.  I succeeded, just barely.

 

21x16 sec, gain 300, no darks

 

attachicon.gif NGC 2683 Stack_21frames_336s annotated.jpg

 

Next is NGC 2419.  I couldn't get much detail.  Just a faint core and some surrounding resolved stars.

20x8 sec, gain 300, no darks

 

attachicon.gif NGC 2419 Stack_20frames_160s.jpg

 

Next is NGC 1514.  I was able to capture some of the dark lanes radiating out from the central star.  I'm not sure if the faint red star right next to the central star is a double or not.

21x16 sec, gain 300, no darks

 

attachicon.gif NGC 1514 Stack_21frames_336s.jpg

 

The Rosette Nebula is far too big for my camera's FOV.  Maybe it's time for a new camera for these large objects.  I captured the central star cluster NGC 2244 in the following image.  Very faint nebulosity can be seen.

27x16 sec, gain 300, no darks

 

attachicon.gif NGC 2244 Stack_27frames_432s.jpg

 

I captured other nearby areas in the hopes of making a mosaic.  Here is one other image that shows some of the dust lanes more clearly, though the nebulosity is still very faint.

27x16 sec, gain 300, no darks

 

attachicon.gif NGC 2244A Stack_27frames_432s.jpg

 

I may try to get Juno in between Super Bowl plays tonight.

What you need is a smaller scope, like the Astro-Tech AT60ED APO. With my ASI294MC camera and a Meade F/.63 focal reducer/flattener, I can fit the entire Rosette and then some into my FOV. I use my Nexstar C8 for smaller objects like planetary nebula and galaxies and use my AT60ED, piggybacked on my C8 for larger objects like all of M31, Orion nebula complex, etc.


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#12 Rickster

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:57 AM

Welcome back Larry.
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#13 neaptide

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 07:06 PM

Got two more objects last night. Both were taken with my ES Newt and the ASI294 Pro. All other info is in the screenshots.

 

NGC1514.jpg

Intergalactic Wanderer.jpg


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#14 roelb

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 07:49 PM

All done with Evolution 8" @ F/5 - without filter

 

NGC 1514 - VV 17 - Crystal Ball - Plan.Neb. in Taurus

 

ZWO ASI290MM: 10 x 10 s

 

NGC 1514_ZWO ASI290MM(53045621)_Stack 10 frames_Tot.Exp. 100s_2018-10-10T01_37_57.jpg

 

 

ATIK Infinity Color: 10 x 30 s

 

NGC 1514 - 10 x 30 s.jpg

 

 

NGC 2237 - Rosette Nebula

just a small part!

 

ZWO ASI290MM: 20 x 10 s

 

NGC 2237 - Rosette Neb._ZWO ASI290MM(53045621)_Stack 20 frames_Tot.Exp. 200s_2019-02-03T21_42_45__200s.jpg

 

 

NGC 2683 - UFO Sp. G. in Lynx

 

ZWO ASI290MM: 25 x 8 s

 

NGC 2683 - UFO G._ZWO ASI290MM(53045621)_Stack 25 frames_Tot.Exp. 200s_2019-02-03T22_01_10__200s.jpg

 

Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 Mono: 6 x 30 s

 

NGC.2683.-.Spiral.Galaxy.in.Lynx_2017.1.26_00.01.45.jpg

 

Atik Infinity Color: 11 x 30 s

 

NGC 2683 - 11 x 30 s_.jpg


Edited by roelb, 04 February 2019 - 07:51 PM.

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#15 saguaro

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 10:00 AM

Clear, but windy and cold (for us; temps in low 40's) last night, so the weather was just as challenging as this month's targets! I used an Evolution Alt-Az mount with my 8-inch SCT operating at F/4 using a Meade 3.3 focal reducer, with an ASI385MC camera, and SharpCap Pro 3.2 live stacking with master dark for the views.

 

Asteroid (3) Juno, 3x15sec (the bright object in the center)

 

juno-3x15sec.jpg


Edited by saguaro, 08 February 2019 - 10:00 AM.

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#16 saguaro

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 10:01 AM

NGC 2683, the UFO galaxy, 20x15sec

 

ngc-2683-20x15sec.jpg


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#17 saguaro

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 10:03 AM

NGC 2419, Intergalactic Wanderer, 20x15sec

 

ngc-2419-20x15sec.jpg


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#18 saguaro

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 10:04 AM

NGC 1514, Crystal Ball Nebula, 20x15sec (zoomed in)

 

ngc-1514-20x15sec-zoomed.jpg


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#19 saguaro

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 10:05 AM

Heart of the Rosette Nebula, 20x15sec

 

rosette-20x15sec.jpg


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#20 Anduin

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 09:55 AM

47 Tucanae

52x4s
Sharpcap
Refractor 71mm with asi1600
Skyglow filter

93b65317e08347256f0e279fba4bc681.jpg


Enviado do meu iPhone usando Tapatalk
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#21 Rickster

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 01:33 PM

Excellent Anduin.

Edited by Rickster, 12 February 2019 - 01:37 PM.

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#22 BurningChrome99

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:54 PM

Took me a while to find as I am still very new to the night sky. Lynx is pretty had to see from my backyard. I had to plate solve my way onto the target. This was at the end of my viewing session (sigh: work), so I did not stay on it long, might try again over the weekend.
 
Celestron Omni XLT 150 (N)
CG-4
ZWO ASI224MC
High point 0.5 focal reducer
 
UFO Galaxy

 


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#23 cshine

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:06 PM

First clear night in weeks so I broke out the gear with the sole intention of making my first contribution to a monthly challenge. I really enjoyed the views and stayed out way too late - lots of coffee needed today. For the Rosette I experimented with a fairly low-end OTA that I got for free .. it's an old Nexstar 102 (660mm f/6). It's not particularly good optically but gave me my first ever widefield views. 40x19s @ 375 gain on the zwo294. Pretty faint but considering the OTA I was happy:

rsz_1rsz_stack_40frames_777s_withdisplaystretch.jpg

For the UFO galaxy I went back to the trusty C8, this time @ F10 for a change (no reducer). 48 x 20s @ 445 gain (!!). Some spiral arm detail came through which I was happy with, subsequently lost in compression alas:

ufo_stack_48frames_987s_withdisplaystretch.jpg

NGC2419 was fainter than I expected! Nice little glob though. 31 x 13s @ 372 gain

rsz_stack_31frames_434s_withdisplaystretch.jpg


I couldn't get Mars and Uranus in the same shot last night, even with the 102SLT. The planetary nebula was right by the moon, couldn't get any detail out of it @ F10.

Thanks to nic35 for the list, nice mix of targets!

Edited by cshine, 13 February 2019 - 09:30 PM.

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#24 cshine

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 09:52 PM

47 Tucanae

52x4s
Sharpcap
Refractor 71mm with asi1600
Skyglow filter

 

Incredible. Those pinpoint stars are the last straw for me - I need a nice refractor! 



#25 roelb

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 05:37 PM

NGC 2419

Evo 8 @ f/5 - ZWO ASI290MM - 5 x 10 s - Moon 80 %

NGC 2419_ZWO ASI290MM(53045621)_Stack 5 frames_Tot.Exp. 50s_2019-02-15T22_53_49__50,0s.jpg


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