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EAA Monthly Observing Challenge - March 2023

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#1 steveincolo

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Posted 28 February 2023 - 09:08 PM

Welcome to the March challenge!  I'll first give a brief list of the objects for this month's challenge, and then, in the spirit of the "EAA Observational Reports" thread, give "an observational reason" the objects were chosen.  

 

March Objects

 

Open Clusters:  M67, Berkeley 39

Globular Clusters:  NGC 2419

Bright Nebulas:  Sh2-311

Planetary Nebulas:  Jones-Emberson 1, Abell 30, IRAS 09371+1212

Galaxies:  EDIT: NGC 2903, NGC 2336, NGC 3187 (in Hickson Compact Group 44), M95

 

Observational Notes

 

I generally tried to select objects within 8-10 hours RA, plus or minus a half hour or so.  For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the open clusters, globular clusters, bright nebulas, and planetary nebulas in the plane of the Milky Way are starting to disappear, soon to be replaced by all the springtime galaxies.  So I included some of them as maybe our last chance to view these types of objects until summer arrives.  

 

Open Clusters:  M67 is a very beautiful open cluster; to me appreciating the beauty of an object is part of observing.  It's also interesting because it's far from the galactic plane, which has allowed it to preserve the tightness of the cluster as it orbits our galaxy, and it's very old, 5 billion years old according to recent calculations.  It also has a collection of "blue stragglers," stars that are on the blue side of the main sequence.  

 

Berkeley 39 is even older, 8-10 billion years old.  It also has blue stragglers, including (unusually) four binary systems. 

 

Globular Cluster:  NGC 2419, like some of the other objects in this month's challenge, is unusually positioned.  It's 300,000 light years from the center of our galaxy, a distance exceeded by only a few other globs.  It's also unusual in that it has a blue horizontal branch in the color-magnitude diagram; globular clusters typically have a red horizontal branch.

 

Bright Nebula:   While I'm not aware of any unique feature of Sh2-311 (or associated open cluster NGC 2467), sometimes called the "Skull and Crossbones Nebula," it doesn't seem to get much attention.  That alone might make it worth observing.  It is pretty far south, which also might make it more of a challenge.  

 

Planetary Nebulas:  Jones-Emberson 1 was selected as a counterpart to Jones 1, part of the December 2022 challenge.  Discovered in part by Rebecca Jones at the Harvard College Observatory before World War II.  During the war, she served in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).  Jones-Emberson 1 also makes a good technical challenge, as it emits mostly in the OIII band but also has an H-alpha component.  See if you can observe both. 

 

The other two are interesting astrophysically (if that's a word).  Abell 30 is a rare example of a "reborn" planetary nebula.  The central star has temporarily become a red giant again.  While it is very difficult to view the original outer shell (I viewed it only faintly after 20 minutes of stacking), the bright, irregular OIII core will be (I hope) visible.  

 

IRAS 09371+1212 is known as the "Frosty Leo" nebula.  Not only is it unusually far from the plane of our galaxy, it also has been hypothesized to contain crystalline ice.  There is a bright core which should be visible; I found it to have an unusual color.   

 

Galaxies:  All of the selected galaxies are barred spirals.  Things you might observe:  Is the bar visible?  Is there an inner ring around the bar?  Is there an outer ring?  How tightly wound are the arms?  If you're motivated, you can try your hand at classifying the galaxies based on your observations, and then check this against how others have classified them.  (Hat tip to user mintakaX for suggesting NGC 2336.)


Edited by steveincolo, 01 March 2023 - 11:55 AM.

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#2 Cey42

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Posted 28 February 2023 - 11:06 PM

Good selection. Several of them I have not observed. Excited to give them a try.

 

Here is the SkySafari observing list. I could not find IRAS 09371+1212 in SkySafari. Instead, I put in a star that is very close to it.

 

Attached File  CN Mar 2023.skylist   2.15KB   27 downloads

 

Edit on 3/1/2023. Corrected 2093 to 2903.


Edited by Cey42, 01 March 2023 - 03:56 PM.

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#3 Larry Mc

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 12:26 AM

hi all,

 

Ok, while it wasn't quite in March, I just observed NGC2467 (SH2-311) on 2/26, close enough for horseshoes.

I was going to throw it under the observations thread, but as its now a challenge object, here's a better fit.

NGC2467-02262023.jpg

using my 8" SCT optical tube at f6.3 on an Atlas Gem mount with the ASI294MC camera & LeNhance narrowband filter: (180 second subs, livestacked for 30 minutes using Sharpcap, darks & flats pre-applied, gain=375, temp=-10, histogram tweaked, image cropped), and guided using PHD.

 

I'm not sure if I've figured out the "Skull and Crossbones" shape, but here's a cropped 'paint' markup that might be it: 

NGC2467-Skull-crossbones.jpg

(same image & details as above)  maybe it's just my Pirate imagination,,,,, Argh!!!   scratchhead2.gif

 

 

 


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#4 steveincolo

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 12:53 AM

hi all,

 

Ok, while it wasn't quite in March, I just observed NGC2467 (SH2-311) on 2/26, close enough for horseshoes.

I was going to throw it under the observations thread, but as its now a challenge object, here's a better fit.e

attachicon.gifNGC2467-02262023.jpg

using my 8" SCT optical tube at f6.3 on an Atlas Gem mount with the ASI294MC camera & LeNhance narrowband filter: (180 second subs, livestacked for 30 minutes using Sharpcap, darks & flats pre-applied, gain=375, temp=-10, histogram tweaked, image cropped), and guided using PHD.

 

I'm not sure if I've figured out the "Skull and Crossbones" shape, but here's a cropped 'paint' markup that might be it: 

attachicon.gifNGC2467-Skull-crossbones.jpg

(same image & details as above)  maybe it's just my Pirate imagination,,,,, Argh!!!   scratchhead2.gif

Them’s one of the eyes, matey.  T’other is the bright star to the right.  Only scurvy dogs don’ see the great Jolly Roger in the nighttime sky.  


Edited by steveincolo, 01 March 2023 - 12:54 AM.

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#5 BrentKnight

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 08:06 AM

Thanks Steve.  I can only hope I get a few more nights this month than last month...


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#6 alphatripleplus

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 08:32 AM

Welcome to the March challenge!  I'll first give a brief list of the objects for this month's challenge, and then, in the spirit of the "EAA Observational Reports" thread, give "an observational reason" the objects were chosen.  

 

 

Great selection, Steve. Thanks also for including the summary list at the beginning - it helps to make clear exactly what's in the challenge!


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#7 Tfer

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 11:53 AM

Interesting list, but after downloading Cey’s observation list, it shows NGC 2093 as a cluster on a line of sight with the LMC…

Attached Thumbnails

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#8 steveincolo

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 11:55 AM

Interesting list, but after downloading Cey’s observation list, it shows NGC 2093 as a cluster on a line of sight with the LMC…

Good catch, my typo.  Should be NGC 2903.  Fixed in the post, thanks!


Edited by steveincolo, 01 March 2023 - 11:56 AM.

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#9 Tfer

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 12:02 PM

Good catch, my typo.  Should be NGC 2903.  Fixed in the post, thanks!

Updated my list!


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#10 Cey42

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 03:57 PM

I updated my post with the download with the correction.

 

Really hope I get some clear skies this month.


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#11 tbhausen

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 11:08 PM

Thanks for doing this! This will be my first month to "take the challenge"--finally got all my stuff working well together.


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#12 MarMax

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Posted 02 March 2023 - 02:03 AM

Thank you Steve and I'm also looking forward to more EAA nights in March. After going through my images for the past year the average is about 10 nights a month with a high of 21 in June and a low of 4 in February. Your Galaxy targets are also going to be fun to try with the 585 (Uranus-C) and ProPlanet IR pass filters.


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#13 Tfer

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 04:45 PM

Managed to take advantage of a clear night, and grab a handful of March items. 
 

Messier 67.

 

294 into 0.7 reduced C11/gain 300/5”subs/TI 6’

 

Wide angle: 585 into F4L/gain 300/5” subs/TI 6’

Attached Thumbnails

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#14 Tfer

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 04:48 PM

Intergalactic Wanderer. 
 

Same settings as above. 

Attached Thumbnails

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#15 Tfer

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 04:50 PM

Be39.

 

To be honest, I can’t see anything that looks like an obvious cluster. 
 

Same settings as above. 

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#16 Tfer

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 04:54 PM

NGC 3187. 

 

This was right below the moon, which caused some hard gradients, especially on the wide field views, so I inverted and notated those. 
 

294 into 0.7 reduced C11/gain 450/10” subs/TI 12’

 

585 into F4L/gain 300/8” subs/TI 10’

Attached Thumbnails

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#17 Tfer

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 04:56 PM

NGC2903.

 

Same settings as above. 

Attached Thumbnails

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#18 alphatripleplus

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 05:15 PM

Intergalactic Wanderer. 
 

Same settings as above. 

I believe the name "Intergalactic Wanderer"  refers to NGC2419, right? 


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#19 Tfer

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 05:17 PM

I believe the name "Intergalactic Wanderer"  refers to NGC2419, right? 

Yes, but “Intergalactic Wanderer” is the best name…ever!


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#20 steveincolo

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 07:01 PM

Yes, but “Intergalactic Wanderer” is the best name…ever!

It's a great name, but I'm not sure the science still supports it.  Sorry to be a party-pooper.  gramps.gif


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#21 steveincolo

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 07:32 PM

Be39.

 

To be honest, I can’t see anything that looks like an obvious cluster. 
 

Same settings as above. 

Looks like the right location, so maybe the moonlight washed it out?  The stars are pretty faint. 


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#22 Bob Campbell

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 07:45 PM

It's a great name, but I'm not sure the science still supports it.  Sorry to be a party-pooper.  gramps.gif

 

Intergalactic wanderer....

 

275,000 LY, typical globular clusters 20,000 LY

 

"The Canadian astronomer Bill Harris of McMaster University, in his detailed 1999 review of our galaxy’s globulars, found that while NGC 2419 is an outlier in terms of location and distance, it is indeed bound to the Milky Way."

 

Bortle 8+ C6(f6.3)/asi294mc/L-pro   sub 10sec gain 425, 320 sec total

 

Mag 10

 

IGW_320sec.jpg

 

Bob


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#23 steveincolo

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Posted 05 March 2023 - 12:18 PM

I had a quick view of Jones-Emberson 1 the other night, and I realized that it is primarily Ha, not OIII.  I must have been thinking of Jones 1.  Apologies for the error and carry on. 



#24 BrentKnight

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Posted 05 March 2023 - 12:48 PM

I had a quick view of Jones-Emberson 1 the other night, and I realized that it is primarily Ha, not OIII.  I must have been thinking of Jones 1.  Apologies for the error and carry on. 

For an OSC, better with no filter (or just UV/IR) or an L-eNhance/L-Extreme rather than just a single H-alpha or OIII filter?


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#25 steveincolo

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Posted 05 March 2023 - 12:56 PM

I was able to use C6 Hyperstar—533MC—l-Pro to view it, but I suspect dual narrowband is the ticket. 


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