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A "hot" night of observing...

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#1 Keith Rivich

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 10:07 PM

Saturday 07/11/20

 

Seriously...air temp was 102° f whilst I was setting up! Nevertheless it was a pretty good night of observing. After dark the winds picked up and the air was fairly dry...no hair dryer the whole night!

 

I did not have an observing plan as I really did not plan to go observing. With the heat and moon rise at 1am, plus I had a really busy Saturday (starting at 5:00am to look at Neowise), observing was not at the top of my list. However, Larry Mitchell sent me a note that we was going to be out at our dark site and asked if I wanted to join him. Hmmm, hot, humid, loading the scope, 1 1/2 drive, setting up the scope...clear skies. I'm in!

 

As per my usual observing without a plan plan I picked an area of sky with a few bright stars and opened the matching Interstellarum page and picked a few interesting objects from the page. 

 

Mostly I was observing blind...no idea what the DSO was going to look like. Or if it was even visible. 

 

All observations, unless otherwise stated, are with my 18" scope f/4.5, 20mm Nagler and 10mm Ethos. 

 

My first chart was page 33 which is on the Canes-Coma border. One of the other observers at the site wanted to see the Whale Galaxy (NGC 4631) so I started there. 

 

NGC 4631/4627/Arp281: Galaxy. The Whale. A really beautiful galaxy. Very elongated and easy to see whale like profile. Very mottled. Brighter toward the offset center. Its companion, NGC 4627, was just a smudge with a brighter core and diffuse halo. In my 25" I can see the light bridge connecting the two galaxies. Could not see it in the 18". Here is an APOD image. I could just detect the galaxy in my 80mm finder.

 

NGC 4656/4657: Galaxy. This is a strange looking galaxy. Pretty large at 6.5' x .07' the galaxy seemed to be missing sections. A fairly bright mottled core with a brighter section on the side of the companion (4657). 4657 is a hook off the end of the main galaxy. Therefore the "Hockey Stick" moniker. The side of the galaxy opposite 4657 is much fainter and took a bit of averted vision to really make out.  See APOD image.

 

NGC 4676-1/Arp 242: Galaxy. The "Mice". For some reason this little pair was pretty tough. Took going across the field several times to find them. Much better with the 10 Ethos. Could make out the cores. No tails. Image

 

NGC 4395: Galaxy. Couldn't see this one at all. Disappointed until I saw the pic of the galaxy. Will need much better skies!  Image

 

NGC 4244: Galaxy. One of my all time favorite edge on's. Similar to NGC 253 or NGC 4565. A little bit lopsided on brightness. Couldn't see the dark lane (I can in my 25"). Image

 

By now this area of the sky was getting pretty low. On to page 32. Along the Canes-Bootes border. 

 

NGC 5557: Galaxy. Not much to look at. Just a featureless round galaxy with a faint halo. Moving on...

 

NGC 5544/5545/Arp199: Galaxy. This one took a little teasing out to see the two galaxies. I had to go to my 5mm Radian. A clearly edge on galaxy butted up against a roundish elliptical looking galaxy. This image clearly shows the "elliptical" is actually a face on spiral...and a neat one to! Image

 

NGC 5614/5615/5613/Arp178: Galaxy. Not much visually, just a bright blob. Image

 

NGC 5466: Globular Cluster. Nice glob. A bit ragged around the edges. Slightly brighter core. Image

 

NGC 5529: Galaxy. Very nice find! Not very big and not very bright but a nice edge on. Slightly warped. Image shows a dark land but I did not see that. Image

 

Tired of galaxies. On to page 55, Oph-Serp border. Whats the first thing I look at...a stupid galaxy!

 

NGC 6509: Galaxy. In a pretty rich star field. Definitely elongated with a slight halo-ish outer region. Image

 

NGC 6366: Globular. Right next to 47 Oph. Pretty nice. Big and evenly bright. Image

 

IC 1257: Globular?: Visually it was pretty faint and featureless. Because it sits between two 11th mag stars it was not difficult to find. Scientifically it seems to be pretty interesting. It has a Glob designation and an open cluster designation. Paper  Image

 

Abell 42: PN.  Couldn't see it. 

 

M14: Glob. Beaultiful! I do not look at this one enough. Highly resolved and a little ragged. 

 

Abell 47: PN. Couldn't see it.

 

Sh2-68: PN. Couldn't see it. 

 

PC 19: PN. Couldn't see it.

 

Enough of "couldn't see it"

 

Jupiter: Planet :o)  Astounding! The red spot was well detached and very red in color. The polar bands were all but invisible making the equatorial bands very distinct. Festoons and swirls very prominent. Looking at Stellarium Almathea was well away from the planet. By this time (12:45am) low clouds were streaming in making seeing very good but cruddy transparency. I took a look for Almathea but could not see it. 

 

Saturn: Another planet. Sigh...I wish all astronomical objects could be this amazing! 

 

Through Larry's 20" scope:

 

Shapley 1: PN in Norma. My goodness...I thought we were going to have to mow the grass to see this one! Could just make out the ring blinking with an OIII. Must be amazing from further south! Image

 

Terzan 5: Glob. I've seen this one before but still pretty tough. Just a slight haze in a pretty dense star field. It did not look like this image.

 

That's it. Packed up around 1:15am and was home by 2:30. 


Edited by Keith Rivich, 12 July 2020 - 11:02 PM.

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#2 hambone20

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 01:01 AM

Nice night out.  What was the exit air temp?  102 I can't do.



#3 Keith Rivich

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 08:01 AM

Nice night out.  What was the exit air temp?  102 I can't do.

82°

 

By 9:00 a nice breeze kicked in and dropped the temps to around 90°. Was actually pretty pleasant after that.


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#4 Allan Wade

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 07:34 AM

What a great night out, despite the heat.

 

Shapley 1 is brilliant from down here. One of my favourite PN’s.


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#5 Pete W

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 04:22 PM

Keith, a great haul of galaxies and such.  Canes is my favorite galaxy constellation; lots of galaxies with lots of detail.   

 

Have you peeked at NGC 5248 in Bootes with your 25"?  Its one of my favs with the 18" and am curious what it looks like in a larger aperture.  

 

NGC 4395...yeah.  Back in mid June during the "cold front" days at our dark site near Bertram, TX, three or so HII regions in 4395 were more visible in the 18" than the faint, tiny nucleus of the galaxy; transparency is the key.



#6 Keith Rivich

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 07:02 PM

Keith, a great haul of galaxies and such.  Canes is my favorite galaxy constellation; lots of galaxies with lots of detail.   

 

Have you peeked at NGC 5248 in Bootes with your 25"?  Its one of my favs with the 18" and am curious what it looks like in a larger aperture.  

 

NGC 4395...yeah.  Back in mid June during the "cold front" days at our dark site near Bertram, TX, three or so HII regions in 4395 were more visible in the 18" than the faint, tiny nucleus of the galaxy; transparency is the key.

Nice pair of galaxies! Image

 

Not sure If I have ever looked at the pair. I'll add it to my observing list.



#7 KidOrion

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 07:20 PM

Great session!

 

I've got to get down south somehow; I've had Shapley 1 on my list for a looooong time.


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#8 Keith Rivich

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 07:51 PM

Great session!

 

I've got to get down south somehow; I've had Shapley 1 on my list for a looooong time.

Yea. I want to see it from way south. We caught it about 8° above the horizon and it still looked pretty cool. 

 

Australia, South America, South Africa guys/gals: Can you catch the Ring Nebula from your location? If so how does it look?


Edited by Keith Rivich, 15 July 2020 - 07:51 PM.


#9 Allan Wade

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 02:55 AM

M57 only reaches 25 degrees altitude for me. I observe it often, but never at great length or detail. IC1296 next to the Ring is a challenge even for the 32” observing that low in the sky. So for me in the south, M57 is down the list of my favourites.


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#10 havasman

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 04:12 AM

You'll have to be content with excellent views of Shapley 1 that is not available from here at all.



#11 Allan Wade

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 09:10 AM

You'll have to be content with excellent views of Shapley 1 that is not available from here at all.

Yes, you win some, you lose some.

 

I was just looking at the planets with the binoviewer in the 32”. I looked over and saw Lyra was up so pointed the scope at M57. The central star was visible at 250x as was IC1296 clearly with some definition. Just one of those nights. It’s not normally that good so low down.


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