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Walking The Dog, A Tour Of Canis Major

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#1 DSObserver2000

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 12:41 AM

I realized I have a tendency to just go back over and over to the really well known objects this time of year (looking at you M42). To combat this I decided to just go in depth on a certain constellation every night to diversify a little bit. Tonight's constellation was Canis Major.

 

Obviously had to kick things off with the cluster that was no surprise, M41. Through binoculars it was obvious and fuzzy but a few stars could be picked out with averted vision. Through the Z8 at low power it was large and quite colorful with a few orange stars adding a nice touch to the cluster.

 

Next were the Collinder clusters, Cr 121, 132, and 140. Cr 132 and Cr 140 were nice through binoculars but Cr 121 really stood out thanks to the reddish tinge of Omicron Canis Majoris. 

 

The galaxies NGC 2292, 2293, 2280, and 2217 were very faint and hard to see even in the Z8 due to the fact there is a big light pollution bubble to the south where I live and how low they were. I barely teased them out but being fairly bright as 10th and 11th magnitude galaxies they'd probably be much easier catches farther south with darker skies.

 

After the galaxies I went after some of the lesser known clusters in Canis Major. NGC 2204 was especially hard but I was able to barely see it. NGC 2374, 2345, 2384, and 2367 were all nice, small clusters that needed high magnification to fully appreciate.

 

NGC 2354 was unspectacular but NGC 2362 was really nice with Tau Canis Majoris dominating the view. The last cluster I checked out, NGC 2360 really is a gem. Nice and rich, perhaps even better than M41 and much more overlooked.

 

I couldn't go through Canis Major and not stop by h3945 A.K.A the Winter Albireo as it looks a lot like the one in Cygnus. Was a very nice sight at 150x.

 

Finally I capped things off (pun intended) with NGC 2359, Thor's Helmet. It was almost invisible without a filter, but sticks out like a sore thumb when a narrowband or OIII filter is used. Looked like an irregular shaped blob and was very bright with the OIII. A perfect example of the magic filters can do.

 

Hopefully next time ya'll decide to take the scope out you can give some of these objects a chance if you haven't already. NGC 2360, Thor's Helmet, and Winter Albireo are my favorites from the big dog outside of M41, glad I checked them out.


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#2 khingdheano

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 06:40 AM

NGC 2362 is one of my all time favorites. I'll never forget the first time I ever saw it, and I visit it every time I'm in that area.


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#3 vdog

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:16 AM

NGC 2362 is one of my all time favorites. I'll never forget the first time I ever saw it, and I visit it every time I'm in that area.

I love that cluster too, with it's bright central star and nebulosity.  I recently completed the Herschel 400 tour of open clusters in Canis Major, but there are quite a few the OP observed that aren't on that list.  Canis Major and its neighbors Monoceros and Puppis are very rich in open clusters; I'll definitely be back for more at some point.


Edited by vdog, 26 March 2020 - 09:20 AM.

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#4 Waddensky

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:29 AM

A lovely report, thanks for sharing! It's a pity the Dog doesn't seem to feel like leaving the horizon from more northern latitudes smile.gif.


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#5 Tyson M

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 07:03 PM

Awesome report. I am going to make an observing list based on these targets although the season might be up for me. We'll see.  

 

Thanks for sharing!


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#6 sunnyday

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 07:09 PM

thank you very much, i learned a lot of interesting things.


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#7 L. Regira

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 08:45 AM

That is why I like to take Burnham's Celestial Handbooks out with me so I can see things I normally would overlook.


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#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 11:39 AM

Here are the Herschel 400 objects in Canis Major: NGC 2204, NGC 2354, NGC 2360, and NGC 2362.

 

https://www.astrolea...00/h400lstc.pdf


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#9 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 12:22 PM

The Herschel II objects in Canis Major are the spiral galaxy NGC 2283, the emission nebula NGC 2359, and the open cluster NGC 2374. 


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#10 Gary Riley

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 10:39 PM

Very nice report! Thanks for sharing.
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