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Thread: Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte

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    Default Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte



    February 15th, 2017

    Well, despite my posturing and daring towards the cloud gods to wreck my predicted clear sky tonight, I got a clear night anyway. It was beautiful all day long. By the time I got home from work the temperature was sitting at 55° F (12° C). I was able to set up my gear without a coat.

    I went with the full monty this evening. A bit ridiculous, but hey, I’m having fun! I can’t decide which toy to play with, so I just got them all out. I had the AD12 of course, the AR127 on the Twilight II in tandem with the MC90 Maksutov, and the ST80 on the Twilight I. I’m sure it looked pretty ridiculous from the neighbor’s perspective, but I don’t care. Those ‘fraid o’ the dark porch light monkeys can just lump it. Or come over for a view.

    I’d had a headache most of the day. It had eased off some later in the afternoon, but was beginning to assert itself again as the evening progressed. Meh.

    The wind was a little breezy when I first set up. I got mostly done, and then went back inside for a bit to see if the breeze would die down with the sunset. Indeed it did.

    When I went back outside to finish, Stubbs was sitting by the dob waiting on me. Man, you talk about a happy astro cat. She was actually doing circles by the scope, meowing her little soft meow over and over. She was happy to finally get in some ‘zerbin (observing). I don’t understand why she enjoys sitting out there with me, but I’m thankful for it. A faithful astro buddy since November 7th, 2015.

    Back inside for supper, then back out to the scope at 1930 hours. I’d had my eyepatch on for about a half hour prior so my observing eye was decently dark adapted. Funny when you go out to the scope after that. The yard in my left eye is bright and very “seeable”, while in my right eye everything is dark and difficult to make out.

    Anyway, I just took my time this evening and didn’t get in any hurry. My headache was a dull discomfort, but despite that, I stayed relaxed and enjoyed myself. On to the observing!

    1. Bubble Nebula - NGC 7635 - NEW - H2
    (Bright Nebula in Cassiopeia)
    Mag ??, size 15.0’ x 8.0’, SB ??
    Observed: Feb 15, 2017, 19:41:51
    Comment: I've been avoiding this one for a while now. Might as well dive in to it. An easy field to locate sitting right above M52 in my upside down and inverted FOV. At 84×, nothing at all but a brighter trapezium of 4 stars. Slapping on the UHC filter, I can pick up a subtle glow around mag 8.65 star SAO 20575. I don't think I'm picking up the actual bubble, just some of the nebular material in the larger structure of this diffuse cloud. I swapped out for the more aggressive OIII filter. While I can still pick up a few elbows of nebula here and there, not as much is revealed as with the UHC. Back with the UHC, I can almost pretend to see a subtle bubble shape surrounding SAO 20575. Averted imagination.
    Equipment: AD12, ES 82° 18mm

    2. Messier 52 - NGC 7654
    (Open Cluster in Cassiopeia)
    Mag 6.9, size 16.0’
    Observed: Feb 15, 2017, 19:54:32
    Comment: Since M52 was on my mind, I moved over to the AR127 to observe this cluster. An easy RACI hop down from Caph (β Cassiopeiae). With the 18mm in for 46×, a nicely compact and roundish dusting of tiny diamonds meets my eye. Moving over to the ST80 on the T1 mount and another quick hop down from Caph brought again this visage of a tight wad of diamond dust to my eye. Much smaller in the ST80 at 29× of course, but clear and bright. Since I had the Mak sitting on the T2 with the 5", I had a gander with that scope too at 52×. I can barely see stars with the Mak, much less the cluster. Enough of that.
    Equipment: AR127, ES 82° 18mm, ST80, ES 82° 14mm, MC90, Vite Aspheric 23mm

    After that, I thumbed my list of Herschel 2 and 3 objects remaining. Yeesh. A bushel basket, nay, 2 bushel baskets, of open clusters awaiting me in Monoceros and Puppis. Ugh.

    Ah well, just start and the top, dummy, and get it done.

    3. NGC 2170 - NEW - H2
    (Bright Nebula in Monoceros)
    Mag ??, size 10’
    Observed: Feb 15, 2017, 20:15:52
    Comment: Meh. 84×, UHC, found my field, whoopty-doo, a subtle bit of foggy fluff surrounding mag 10.30 star SAO 132861. Doesn't blow my skirt up. Can you feel my enthusiasm?
    Equipment: AD12, ES 82° 18mm

    4. NGC 2182 - NEW - H2
    (Bright Nebula in Monoceros)
    Mag ??, size 3.0’ x 2.0’
    Observed: Feb 15, 2017, 20:17:43
    Comment: Just slightly eastward nudge from the last underwhelming target and still at a UHC filtered 84×, I can pick up this foggy glow surrounding mag 9.28 star HD 42261. Better than the last one! I'm still not terribly impressed.
    Equipment: AD12, ES 82° 18mm

    I’ve enjoyed these little reflection nebulae on other nights. I think I was more interested in a few galaxies tonight. But, that’s what I’m usually more interested in anyway, so what else is new?

    5. NGC 2196 - NEW - H2
    (Spiral Galaxy in Lepus)
    Mag 11.5, size 2.8’ x 2.2’, SB 13.3 mag/arcmin²
    Observed: Feb 15, 2017, 20:25:28
    Comment: I had a heck of a time getting to this guy. Still at 84×, sans UHC. First galaxy of the night. Once I was in the right spot, I could literally feel my eye switch to galaxy mode. Click! Averted vision kicked in instinctually. Cool! So at 84× I can pick up the small diffuse glow. A tight stellar core is evident. Cranking her up to 138×, the view is much the same only a little bigger, an averted vision glowy oval with a tight stellar core. Nice galaxy.
    Equipment: AD12, ES 82° 18mm, 11mm

    6. NGC 2283 - NEW - H2
    (Spiral Galaxy in Canis Major)
    Mag 12.4, size 3.6’ x 2.8’, SB 14.8 mag/arcmin²
    Observed: Feb 15, 2017, 20:39:50
    Comment: Sliding over to Canis Balloonis Grande (The Great Balloon Dog), I tripped my way down to this field below a bright yet squashed trapezoid. This galaxy is one tough nut to draw out of the dark. Nothing at 84×. At 138×, tapping, jiggling, averting, waiting, repeating, I finally caught flashes of ephemeral round brightening. I could note no core concentration, just my diffuse bleh. Not much else of note with this one.
    Equipment: AD12, ES 82° 18mm, 11mm

    I studied my list some more looking for other galaxy targets. A few good ones, but these were high up near zenith, and I didn’t quite feel like wrestling the dob at that altitude with my headache.

    And the temperature had dropped rapidly, hovering right at the freezing point. Indeed, frost was beginning to form on the scopes.

    I decided to nab yet another Messier object on my quest to observe the catalog with both refractors, then call it done.

    7. Messier 41 - NGC 2287
    (Open Cluster in Canis Major)
    Mag 4.5, size 38’
    Observed: Feb 15, 2017, 20:46:59
    Comment: Moving back over to the AR127, I centered Sirius (α Canis Majoris) in the Rigel QuickFinder, moved to the RACI and slid down to this obvious and large open cluster. With the 18mm for 46×, an expansive array of glittering jewels meets the eye. Since I'm nearly cross-eyed with a headache, I didn't bother to count them. Moving over to the ST80, I centered Sirius again and dropped down on the cluster. With the 14mm for 29×, a fine view of the cluster presented itself. I think I enjoyed this more than the view in the 5". Though smaller, the overall expanse and shape of the cluster was better defined while maintaining sharp pinpoint stars.
    Equipment: AR127, ES 82° 18mm, ST80, ES 82° 14mm

    Man, I’m having so much fun with these two refractors. Just a joy to star hop with either, on either mount. With the AR127, the RACI is just right there and easy to put eye to. A quick glance up through the Rigel QuickFinder lands me on my starting point, and the RACI gets me to the target. The ST80 is just as easy to drive, and the slo-mo controls on the T1 are a real pleasure to use. I’m really glad I was able to get these two fracs.

    Tom Campbell, you NEED a ST80! Show Julie this report!

    Nice sky tonight though, but I was getting cold. Stubbs was ready for a warm up too. I packed up my stuff and came inside.

    Fun night, though only a couple of hours. Looks like Thursday evening will be good too. I’ll hit it again tomorrow. I’ve still got 2 bushel baskets of open clusters to slog through. I did notice Leo creeping up in the east, though. Won’t be long until it’s full tilt on the galaxy parade again and to heck with open clusters.

    Peace and clear skies everybody!
    Last edited by bladekeeper; 02-16-2017 at 07:28 AM. Reason: spelling
    Bryan
    Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; ES AR127 f/6.4; ES AR102 f/9.8; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; Meade NG60 f/10; Charmin TP40 f/2.2
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    Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50
    Observing: Herschel Tallies: H1 = 400/400 H2 =308/400 H3 = 208/300; 2,666 observations of 1,637 objects; Led Zeppelin

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    Days since last observing session: 2; Sessions in last 30 days: 4; Last night's excuse: Overcast and murky.
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    Default Re: Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte

    Bryan. As always a great and readable report. You had a good session. Clear skies.
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    Peter.

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    Default Re: Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte

    A great read Bryan and it seems Stubbs was overdue for a night out also. Good to hear the refactors are performing well for you too!
    Congratulations on the 5 new targets from the list, Canis Balloonis Grande, an interesting description!
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    Default Re: Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter802 View Post
    Bryan. As always a great and readable report. You had a good session. Clear skies.
    Thank you very much, Peter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    A great read Bryan and it seems Stubbs was overdue for a night out also. Good to hear the refactors are performing well for you too!
    Congratulations on the 5 new targets from the list, Canis Balloonis Grande, an interesting description!
    Well, Canis Major, at least, the outline of the constellation, always reminds me of one of those balloon twist dogs...

    Bryan
    Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; ES AR127 f/6.4; ES AR102 f/9.8; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; Meade NG60 f/10; Charmin TP40 f/2.2
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    Default Re: Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte

    Great report Bryan. What -- no binos, so you really didn't get everything out of the closet then.

    Glad you got some clear time.

    Cheers,
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    Default Re: Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte

    Hello Bryan,

    congratulations on your observing session with the new objects.

    The 'Bubble Nebula' is a nice streak of light across its center star, I have never seen the bubble inside, even not with averted imagination, - I must try harder, much harder to pick it finally.
    Nice nebulae in Monoceros, glad you have nailed them down.

    Living the clear night skies through your reports,

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    Default Re: Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte

    Another great report to read with my chocolate donut and coffee! Sounds like a pretty good night for the H2 list and considering just two cold hours of viewing time you racked up some nice open clusters with your fracs! Oh how I know you love open clusters! Hopefully another clear night is coming up for you tonight without the nuisance headache. I'm hoping to drag my stuff out tonight too! Good luck my friend!
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    Default Re: Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte

    Nice one Bryan. NGC 7635 is notoriously difficult visually, particularly when dealing with LP. This past Oct I targeted this object from our dark site with the 12 inch but unfortunately at a time when the first quarter moon was in the sky. Here is what I noted.

    NGC 7635 (mag=10.5, size=15.0’x8.0’): Since I was able to barely pick up IC 10 in the moonlight, I decided to try the Bubble Nebula almost 6.5° WNW of Caph. Finding mag 6.9 HIP 115198 I dropped in the O-III filter and though dim, I could easily see some nebulous concentration northeast of this star. Obviously the moon was compromising the observation, but it was clearly present, and I could also see some haziness around the star at its center, mag 8.7 SAO 20575. However, I was not visually picking up the bubble feature around this star. Rather I was seeing the densest portion of this HII region to that star’s northeast. When I removed the filter I had a fleeting sense of a very tenuous haziness, but could never be certain. As a little bonus I also easily noted the presence of M52 nearby in the RACI and took a quick peek. At 84x it was a very pretty concentration of diamonds that was well detached and compressed.
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    Default Re: Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte

    Sweet report Bryan, glad you're back out and starting my mornings right.
    Do you ever wonder if the term "bright nebula" might be a bit overstated?
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    Default Re: Telescopiis Quatuor In Nocte

    That is exactly why I never use the term. I find it irrelevant in terms of visual observation in the vast majority of cases.
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    ES 82° 24mm thru 4.7mm
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Astronomers: We look into the past to see our future.

 

 
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