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    Default It's been too long!



    1/23/2018

    How long has it been since I logged an observing report??? The last entry in my running word document was 12/13/2017. Wow, that is too long!
    The latter half of December and first half of January pretty much stunk for observing. It was either cloudy or bitterly cold. I got out a couple of times for a few brief sessions but never made any new entries into the log. Tonight was different though.
    The day started with clouds and rain, but the sky cleared nicely this afternoon. The clear skies held after the sun went down and the temp stayed at the 48°F mark. Transparency was decent and despite the 40% moon. I had my mind set on chasing some galaxies. Just in case though, I added some doubles to my list from Sissy Haas’ book “Double Stars for Small Telescopes”.
    After eating dinner and hanging out with the wife for a little bit I headed out to the garage and wheeled the Z12 out. I have to say having the big scope on a cart is wonderful. Roll right out and start observing without any need unstrap the hand truck and move it out of the way. Anyway, on to my report!

    NGC 2549 – (NEW!)

    Spiral Galaxy in Lynx, Mag: 11.15
    Jan 23, 2018 at 8:14pm
    Started by centering my Telrad on Muscida (1 UMa) and used my RACI to hop to 30 Lyn. I homed in on the target with the 18mm ES 82°. At 83x magnification I caught a feeble glow with averted vision. Bumping up the magnification to 136x the view was a little better. Kind of squashed fuzzy oval with a hint of brightening in the center. At 170x magnification the target got even easy to view directly, but was still best with AV. Switching over to my 9mm KK Ortho (167x mag) things got even better. The ortho definitely improved contrast over my 8.8mm ES 82°. The brightening in the center of this galaxy stood out more and was surrounded by an oval glow.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm, 11mm, 8.8mm and KK 9mm Ortho)

    NGC 2460 – NEW!
    Spiral Galaxy in Camelopardalis, Mag: 11.63
    Jan 23, 2018 at 8:21pm
    From NGC 2549 I used the RACI to hop to 53 Cam and then on to this galaxy with the eyepiece at 83x magnification. At first all I picked up was a wispy spot in averted vision that was hard to hold. I bumped up the magnification to 136x and there was minimal improvement. At 170x the object is easier to hold as a roundish smudge of light with uniform brightness. Going back to 166x magnification with the ortho object is a little easier to hold and started to give a hint of brightening in the center.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm, 11mm, 8.8mm and KK 9mm Ortho)

    South 86 – NEW!
    Double Star in Camelopardalis, Mag: 6.07 & 7.53
    Jan 23, 2018 at 8:30pm
    I hopped directly to this double using my RACI and was able to split the pair cleanly at 83x magnification. The companion was only slightly fainter and was sitting about 12 o’clock in the eyepiece. Both stars were white in color.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm)

    Struve 1127 – NEW!
    Double Star in Camelopardalis, Mag: 6.98 and 8.45 and 9.7
    Jan 23, 2018 at 8:34pm
    Another easy hop using RACI. I stared off on this double with 83x magnification and was instantly surprised to find a triple star! All three were cleanly split with the faintest member sitting at 9 o’clock and the other companion sitting at 3 o’clock in the eyepiece. I played around and threw the KK ortho in. The stars improved in contrast and I noticed the fainter of the three was more reddish in color. Very cool triple!
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and KK 9mm Ortho)

    Struve 1122 – NEW!
    Double Star in Cameloprdalis, Mag: 7.76 and 7.80
    Jan 23, 2018 at 8:40pm
    Again, I was able to put my scope right on top of this pair using the RACI. Starting with 136x magnification the pair was an easy clean split. Both stars appeared like identical twins, similar brightness and white in color.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 11mm)

    NGC 2403 –NEW!

    Spiral Galaxy in Camelopardalis
    Jan 23, 2018 at 8:43pm
    From the last double I swapped back to 83x magnification and located using the eyepiece. At first glance I picked up a glow between and around a pair of stars that bracket the center of this galaxy. Sky Safari shows this to be a fairly good size target and should take up more than 1/3 of the field in my ES 82° 18mm. “Looking bigger” at the target I was able to just barely discern a wider glow only slightly brighter than the background sky. Interestingly when I bumped the magnification up to 136x the original glow in the center that originally stood out became harder to see as it blended in with target extended outside the field of view. No structure was visible, but this would be an interesting target from a darker location with no moon.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and 11mm)

    NGC 2645 – NEW!
    Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major, Mag: 11.61
    Jan 23, 2018 at 8:55pm
    I reset my scope by pointing the Telrad on Muscida again, hopped down using the RACI to HD 73745 and then made my way to this galaxy using the eyepiece at 83x magnification. At first all I could pickup was a ghostly slash of fuzz. Moving up with 136x there wasn’t much improvement and this sucker only really wanted to come out when I moved the scope slightly. At 170x magnification it becomes a little easier to hold in averted vision and with a tiny bit of brightening in the very center. Moving over to the ortho there was slight improvement in being able to hold it in view, but no additional details.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm, 11mm, 8.8mm and KK 9mm Ortho)

    NGC 2685
    Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major, Mag: 11.22
    Jan 23, 2018 at 9:05pm
    From NGC 2645 I RACI’ed over to HD 75615 and then on to target with 83x magnification. First appeared as a spot of fuzz in averted vision. Increasing magnification up to 136x and object is much easier to see directly, but still best with averted vision. At 170x appears as an oval’ish glow with some brightening in the center. Best view was with 9mm KK ortho, fuzzy stellar core surrounded by an oval glow.
    Note: Previously observed with my 8” on 1/28/2017.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm, 11mm, 8.8mm and KK 9mm Ortho)


    NGC 2768
    Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major, Mag: 9.85
    Jan 23, 2018 at 9:13pm
    From last target I RACI’ed down to HR 3608 and went the rest of the way with the eyepiece at 83x magnification. Spotted directly as a squashed oval glow with central brightening. Switching to 136x object was even easier to see directly. At 170x the brightening in the center stands out more. Using the 9mm KK ortho the contrast continued to improve, brighter center with oval glow extending outward.
    Note: Previously observed with my 8” on 1/28/2017.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm, 11mm, 8.8mm and KK 9mm Ortho)


    NGC 2880

    Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major, Mag: 11.35
    Jan 23, 2018 at 9:29pm
    Started by centering h Ursae Majoris in the telrad. I kept the 1.25” adapter in the eyepiece and started on this guy at 136x magnification. Object appears as an oval fuzzy with no brightening in the center. At 170x magnification the view was much the same with maybe a hint of central brightening. The best view was with the 9mm KK where the object stood out more and showed a little more brightening in the center.
    Note: Previously observed with my 8” on 1/28/2017
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 11mm, 8.8mm and KK 9mm Ortho)


    While viewing the last target I noticed my work day was rapidly catching up to me in the form of a nagging headache. While there are plenty of targets that await me further in Ursa Major I decided to go ahead and call it a night so I could go inside, take some ibuprofen write my report and head to bed. I put my eyepieces away and wheeled the Z12 back in the garage (Did I mention how much I like having my dob cart? )

    Tonight was the first time I really got to test out my 9mm KK ortho and I have to say it is awesome on galaxies. The improved contrast and darker background allows for more of the subtle central brightening and faint edges to come out. Fainter surrounding stars that were just on the edge of visibility on my 11mm and 8.8mm ES 82° tend to pop right out. Definitely a great addition to my eyepiece case!

    Thanks for reading,
    Clear skies my friends!
    Craig
    Telescopes: Zhumell Z12, Orion Skyquest XT8 Classic, ES FL-AR127/1200, Celestron Omni XLT AZ 102, Tasco 8v
    Mounts: EXOS2GT, Vixen Polaris and an old Meade 2080 GEM
    Eyepieces: Explore Scientific 82Ëš18mm, 11mm, 8.8mm, 6.7mm, 70Ëš 25mm, Kokusai Kohki 12.5mm, 9mm HD-OR, Orion Plossl 25mm, Agena EWA 9mm, Zhumell 30mm


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    Default Re: It's been too long!

    Sweet session, Craig! Nice grabs on the galaxies and some great doubles!

    Glad you finally got a sky to work with. I got in a little time too but I left the dob in the shed and did more of a grab n' go type of thing.

    Great descriptions for your log book!
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    Default Re: It's been too long!

    I like the report format, and the report itself. Thanks a bunch.
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    Default Re: It's been too long!

    Congratulations on a fine session
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    Default Re: It's been too long!

    Galloping Galaxies, Craig! What a great outing!
    Oh how I would like to view through one of these big Dobs...someday.
    I enjoyed reading your report this morning, and bravo! Great to see that you got a clean sky finally.
    I hope you can follow up with more of the same soon!
    Cheers.
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    Default Re: It's been too long!

    Hello Craig,

    thank you for sharing your successful observing session.
    The shootout of your ortho against the wide field ES eyepieces is very good, even if not surprizing.
    Less glass does more job.

    Best,

    JG
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    Default Re: It's been too long!

    Quote Originally Posted by Prowler75 View Post
    Tonight was the first time I really got to test out my 9mm KK ortho and I have to say it is awesome on galaxies. The improved contrast and darker background allows for more of the subtle central brightening and faint edges to come out. Fainter surrounding stars that were just on the edge of visibility on my 11mm and 8.8mm ES 82° tend to pop right out. Definitely a great addition to my eyepiece case!

    Thanks for reading,
    Clear skies my friends!
    Great report. Of course I'm delighted that the KKs are turning out so well for your galaxy observing.
    j.gardavsky and Prowler75 like this.

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    Default Re: It's been too long!

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Sweet session, Craig! Nice grabs on the galaxies and some great doubles!

    Glad you finally got a sky to work with. I got in a little time too but I left the dob in the shed and did more of a grab n' go type of thing.

    Great descriptions for your log book!
    Thanks Bryan! Looking forward to checking out your report.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skybird View Post
    I like the report format, and the report itself. Thanks a bunch.
    Thanks Skybird!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    Congratulations on a fine session
    Thank you Gabby!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleheaf View Post
    Galloping Galaxies, Craig! What a great outing!
    Oh how I would like to view through one of these big Dobs...someday.
    I enjoyed reading your report this morning, and bravo! Great to see that you got a clean sky finally.
    I hope you can follow up with more of the same soon!
    Cheers.
    Thanks Mark! Yeah man, you would definitely like the view. Of course now that I have some good aperture my wish is fo a nice fat APO.

    Quote Originally Posted by j.gardavsky View Post
    Hello Craig,

    thank you for sharing your successful observing session.
    The shootout of your ortho against the wide field ES eyepieces is very good, even if not surprizing.
    Less glass does more job.

    Best,

    JG
    Thanks JG! I think the only thing that surprised me was how much I didn't mind swapped from the wife field of the ES 82°'s to the much narrower view in the KK.

    Quote Originally Posted by not_Fritz_Argelander View Post
    Great report. Of course I'm delighted that the KKs are turning out so well for your galaxy observing.
    Thanks nFA! I am thinking that my only regret about the KK is that I didn't snatch up more of them!
    Craig
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    Default Re: It's been too long!

    Re: Thanks nFA! I am thinking that my only regret about the KK is that I didn't snatch up more of them!

    Hello Craig,

    the aperture is The King, the contrast performance of the eyepiece is The Queen.

    Looking forward to more reports from you,

    JG
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    Default Re: It's been too long!

    Nice job gathering galaxies, Craig! It's always so nice to be back out there, and even more so when it's been a while. Glad you were able to have some fun once again!
    Prowler75 likes this.

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    : Meade 4504 4.5" newtonian without motors; Meade
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    12" with broken electronics and with home-made (as in 2x4s) tripod.
    EPs: Nothing fancy, mostly Plossls: 32mm, 25mm, 12.3mm, and 7.5mm. 2x
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