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Thread: Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2

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    Default Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2



    Night two of our visit to the dark site house continued the fine conditions of the previous evening. The SQM-L reading at the beginning of the session was also at the 21.5 level, on par with the previous evening. I began in Aquila, slipped briefly into Scutum, then back across Aquila where I meander slightly into Aquarius. We next slid northward into southern Delphinus and finally back into Aquila for my final object of the outing.

    While I still wound up in pursuit of galaxies, my favorite object group, I decided to kick off this outing with a few planetary nebulae in Aquila. But my first target would be what many consider the most difficult globular in the New General Catalogue. So with that, let’s swing the 17.5 inch dob into western Aquila and do some digging.


    NGC 6749 (Aquila, globular cluster, mag=12.4, size=6.3’, class=12):

    This visually weak cluster was initially difficult to pick up at 110x. Studying the field for a bit I could finally discern a diaphanous concentration of light with a few brighter distracting stars near its perimeter. I got a sense that it was a bit out of round, but this may have been illusory due to the proximity of the field stars drawing the eye outward. This dim concentration was easier to see as my eye relaxed and adjusted to the field. I also viewed it at 141x and 180x and while easier to discern, it most certainly could be overlooked if one were not specifically targeting it. Being a class 12 globular, its core had no concentration and thus it was quite homogenous and ghostly in appearance.


    NGC 6781 (Aquila, planetary nebula, mag=11.6, size=111.0”x 109.0”):

    Ok, with the main challenge dispensed with, I moved on to some planetary nebulae. Easily swept up at 110x, this was a large and bright round orb of gray and homogenous light. It seemed surreal floating in the dark sea of the sky. I found it simply a beautiful object.


    NGC 6778 (Aquila, planetary nebula, mag=12.1, size=25.0”x19.0”):

    The next PNe on the hit parade for the evening, NGC 6778 presented as a small bright pale blue orb. Out of round in shape, it was positioned next to a dim 14.9 mag field star. Viewing at 141x and 180x the disc seemed to have a very subtle unevenness to its illumination. Cute as a little button it was.


    NGC 6772 (Aquila, planetary nebula, mag=12.6, size=70.0”x56.0”)

    Another large and bright grayish orb drifted into view at 110x as I slowly centered the field. It was diaphanous in appearance, giving a surreal sense of presence in the eyepiece. Continuing my observations at 141x to 226x, I also employed the O-III filter. The nebula responded nicely to the filter and its internal brightness became uneven. At times it appeared subtly annular with a darker internal area drifting in and out of view.


    NGC 6751 (Aquila, planetary nebula, mag=11.5, size=21.0”):

    Observed at 110x to 180x, it presented as a small and bright disc. At times I got a sense of a pale bluish tint. It was in a line of stars, with an 11.3 mag ember to its east with a couple of dimmer stars (13th and 14th mag) in close attendance to the west. The mag 14.5 central star flickered in and out at 141x and became steady at 180x.


    Messier 11 / NGC 6705 (Scutum, open cluster, mag=5.8, size=14.0’):

    I next slipped over into the celestial shield, and quickly spotted M11 in the RACI as a bright concentration. In the eyepiece at 110x I found it magnificent. It was easily resolved down to a tight little star grouping at its center encircled by a circular field of less stellar density. This has always been a beautiful cluster and it took on a particularly entrancing appearance in the big scope.


    NGC 6712 (Scutum, globular cluster, mag=8.2, size=7.2, class=9):

    This globular was in the area so I paid it a quick visit, after not having done so for a quite some time. At 110x it was a somewhat small tight ball of stellar light situated in a rich Milky Way field. It seemed irregularly round and a bit ragged at the edges, as it melded into the general field. A few stars were resolved across the face and at the edges, but its core remained pretty tight.


    IC 1295 (Scutum, planetary nebula, mag=12.5, size=102.0”x87.0”):

    About 24’ ESE of NGC 6712 I easily spotted this out of round diffuse glow at 110x. Large and pretty bright it had a ghostly quality with several field stars near its edges. Inserting the O-III it responded strongly, becoming quite bright visually with the increased contrast. It remained homogenous in appearance overall.


    NGC 6741 (Aquila, planetary nebula, mag=11.4, size=9.0”x7.0”):

    Heading back into the eagle aerie I swept up this bright stellar planetary at 110x. Using the O-III this point source gains contrast while other true stars lose it. Pushing up to 141x to 226x, it eventually became a tiny non-stellar disc.

    Berkeley 81 (Aquila, open cluster, mag=??, size=5.0’):

    While I was in the neighborhood, I took note of a couple of clusters lying just west of NGC 6741. The first was this poor, diminutive clutch of stars. At 110x the small field is dominated by a mag 12.2 star at the northern side. Otherwise, it was a weak scatter of 13th and 14th stars randomly tossed about the field.


    NGC 6735 (Aquila, open cluster, mag=7.5, size=14.0’):

    This bright cluster was quite apparent at 110x. Its field is clearly dominated by the triple star HJ 874 (John Herschel) northeast of its center with its mag 7.2 primary HD 176531 and companions of 11.9 and 13.4. The rest of the field is a vaguely circular scatter of upwards of 40 stars ranging from 10th to 14th magnitude. In the big scope it was fairly rich and moderately detached from an already rich field. I found it a pretty view.


    NGC 6821 (Aquila, barred spiral galaxy, mag=13.1, size=1.2’x1.0’. SBr=13.1 mag/arcmin2):

    Finally time for a galaxy, and at 110x I picked up this slightly bright little oval. Visually it was homogenous, and at 141x and 180x this impression remained. At the higher magnifications it appeared as a fat oval. A bit more of its outer halo was brought into view, making it appear a little more rounded rather than extended.


    NGC 6852 (Aquila, planetary nebula, mag=12.9, size=28.0”):

    And here is yet another planetary before I delve more vehemently into the galaxies. At 110x it presented a very small, yet somewhat bright orb just east of a mag 13.0 field star. Checking it with the O-III, it was very responsive to the filter. Viewing at 141x and 180x it remained smallish in angular size and homogenous in appearance. A nice little gray ball.


    IC 1317 (Aquila, elliptical galaxy, mag=13.8, size=0.7’x0.6’, SBr=12.9 mag/arcmin2):

    Now back to my regularly schedule program! At 110x I swept up this very small pip of round light. It had a stellar core pinned to its center to add a bit of character. Using 141x and 180x it was easier to see, but remained a small and tight round halo around its star-like core.


    NGC 6915 (Aquila, spiral galaxy, mag=13.4, size=1.4’x1.0’, SBr=13.6 mag/arcmin2):

    This spiral appeared small at 110x and a little bright visually. It displayed a thin and dim halo surrounding a broadly brighter central region. Using 141x and 180x, it was more apparent, but no further details were visible.


    NGC 6922 (Aquila, spiral galaxy, mag=13.5, size=1.3’x1.0’, SBr=13.7 mag/arcmin2):

    Viewed at 110x to 180x, it was small visually and somewhat dim. Diaphanous in appearance and oval in shape, it had a ghostly appearance. Though higher magnification made it more apparent, its appearance remained the same.


    NGC 6926 (Aquila, barred spiral galaxy, mag=12.4, size=1.9’x1.3’, SBr=13.3 mag/arcmin2):

    Sweeping up this elongated oval at 110x, I found it somewhat bright and slightly large. It was evenly illuminated and this impression remained at 141x and 180x with no internal details readily apparent.


    NGC 6929 (Aquila, lenticular galaxy, mag=13.4, size-0.8’x0.7’, SBr=12.6 mag/arcmin2):

    This lenticular appeared as a tiny pip of light east of NGC 6926 with 110x. Viewing with 141x and 180x it presented as a round small and dim orb, with an intermittent stellar core firing off in its center.


    NGC 6941 (Aquila, spiral galaxy, mag=12.7, size=1.8’x1.3’, SBr=13.5 mag/arcmin2):

    A somewhat dim and small oval at 110x, it presented as homogenous. At 180x a fleeting stellar core was detected. At times a second stellar point of a 14th mag foreground star was imposed on the halo near the galaxy’s center.


    NGC 6945 (Aquarius, lenticular galaxy, mag=12.7, size=1.5’x0.8’, SBr=12.7 mag/arcmin2):

    I now crossed into western Aquarius to pin down this lenticular. I located it about 3’ SSW of mag 6.5 HD 196676. It appeared as a tiny pip of light in the glare field of the star, but its visibility was not hindered. A second field star of 13th mag lay nearby to the WNW. At 180x a stellar core appeared within its center, and though it remained small it was very obvious in the field.


    HD 196944 Group (Aquarius, asterism, brightest star=8.4, size=23.0’):

    On the way to my next galaxy, I found this stellar grouping about 2° SSE of NGC 6945. At 110x it presented a main clutch of about 20 stars from 8th to 12th magnitude. There was innumerable others of 13th and 14th magnitude that add an interesting backdrop to the primary group. The main grouping was somewhat boxy in overall appearance, with the anchor star HD 196944 at its center.


    MCG -1-52-17 (Aquarius, spiral galaxy, mag-13.3, size=1.0’x1.0’, SBr=13.2 mag/arcmin2):

    At 110x this galaxy was easily spotted about half a degree southeast of the previous object. It appeared a little dim and small overall but readily apparent in the field. Round and homogenous in appearance it remained a bit of a ghostly orb at 141x and 180x.


    Hickson 88 Compact Galaxy Group (Aquarius):

    I now moved northeast to pick up the stars 4 and 5 Aquarii. Just to their southeast I found this member of the Hickson catalogue of compact galaxy groups. It contains four galaxies, all of which I observed at 110x to 226x, with details as follows:

    NGC 6976 (spiral galaxy, mag=14.0, size=0.8’x0.7’, SBr=13.2 mag/arcmin2):

    In some sources, this galaxy is incorrectly identified as NGC 6975, which was a duplicate observation of NGC 6976 by Bigourdan. Visually it remained a dim and small oval of homogenous light at all magnifications and a subtle presence in the field.

    NGC 6977 (barred spiral, mag=13.2, size=1.2’x0.9’, SBr=13.2 mag/arcmin2):

    A dim and little elongated puff of light that exhibited some broad central brightness. It was small but obvious in the field.

    NGC 6978 (spiral galaxy, mag=13.3, size=1.5’x0.7”, SBr=13.2 mag/arcmin2):

    A dim oval that was very slightly brighter in the center. As with NGC 6977, it was small but obvious.

    PGC 65612 (spiral galaxy, mag=14.9, size=0.9’x0.2’, SBr=12.9 mag/arcmin2):

    This galaxy is sometimes incorrectly identified as NGC 6975 (Uranometria and Sky Tools 3 are two examples). Regardless of the confusion, it presented as a very fleeting pip of light that remained challenging at 226x and even at 296x.


    NGC 6962 Galaxy Group (Aquarius):

    Moving north from Hickson 88, I settled on the mag 6.3 variable IQ Aquarii. This interesting galaxy group if found about 1° to its NNW. It forms a ring of six NGC galaxies ranging from mag 12.1 to 14.1. I observed all six at 110x to 226x, and here are the details:

    NGC 6961 (elliptical galaxy, mag=13.7, size=0.6’x0.5’. SBr=12.3 mag/arcmin2):

    This elliptical was a dim small rounded glow that exhibited a stellar core. It was not brightly evident but still easily seen, particularly at the higher magnifications.

    NGC 6962 (barred spiral galaxy, mag=12.1, size=2.9’x2.3’, SBr=14.1 mag/arcmin2):

    A somewhat small and somewhat bright oval. Its center was adorned by a stellar core, but otherwise it was homogenous in appearance.

    NGC 6964 (elliptical galaxy, mag=13.0, size=1.7’x1.3’, SBr=13.8 mag/arcmin2):

    A bit dim and smallish in size, this slight oval displayed no central brightness at all.

    NGC 6967 (spiral galaxy, mag=13.1, size=1.0’x0.6’, SBr=12.5 mag/arcmin2):

    This spiral presented as a small oval that was a little bright visually. A stellar core decorated the galaxy’s center, but no other details were evident.

    NGC 6965 (lenticular galaxy, mag=14.1, size=0.6’x0.4’, SBr=12.4 mag/arcmin2):

    This little pip of rounded light was dim. It remained small and dim at all magnifications, and homogenous in appearance.

    NGC 6959 (lenticular galaxy, mag=13.7, size=0.7’x0.3’, SBr=11.9 mag/arcmin2):

    The final galaxy in the loop was small and dim in appearance. There was no hint of interior brightness as it remained homogenous across the range of magnification used.


    NGC 6954 (Delphinus, lenticular galaxy, mag=13.2, size=1.0’x0.6’, SBr=12.6):

    After running through that nice group I slipped quietly across the border into southern Delphinus. I quickly spotted this very small oval of smoky light. I found it somewhat dim and homogenous in visual presentation. At 141x the overall effect was of a slightly brighter presentation, while using 180x, a fleeting stellar core became evident in its center.


    IC 1320 (Delphinus, spiral galaxy, mag=13.6, size=1.0’x0.6’, SBr=12.9 mag/arcmin2):

    Moving over to the southwestern corner of the celestial dolphin just inside its border with Aquila, I nailed down this little smudge. At 110x it was indeed a very tiny pip of galactic light within the glare field of a mag 6.6 star just to its northwest. It was subtle and round in appearance. Even at 141x and 180x, though slightly more apparent at each bump, it remained a bit subdued in visual presentation.


    NGC 6906 (Aquila, barred spiral galaxy, mag=12.3, size=1.7’x0.8’, SBr=12.4 mag/arcmin2):

    To conclude the outing, I slipped back into Aquila, moving NNW. At 110x this barred spiral was a modestly bright elongated oval. An intermitted stellar core flickered within its small halo. With 141x the stellar core remained fleeting, while overall the galaxy remained homogenous. Finally at 180x I detected some broader inner brightness with averted vision with the now steady stellar core pinned to its middle. The package was wrapped in a small and dim outer halo.


    And with that, my second session for this trip concluded. After a long day of working around the house and yard, I admittedly was quite tired. While I would have liked to keep going, I knew when to throw in the towel, and moved my gear back into the garage. When I got back in the house a check found the outside temp was at 52°F at around 0200. This time I had a light jacket at the ready, which came in handy from time to time, especially when the dew picked up.

    Anyway, thanks for sticking with me during my meanderings and hope to catch you back out there for a final session on the evening of 09 July. Keep looking up – that is where a lot of good stuff lives!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2

    Thank you for sharing your session and penning as always a fine report.
    A very enjoyable and interesting read.
    Thank you Alan.
    Clear skies
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2

    Another fine report and evening Alan.

    I would love to pick up a Mag 12.4 GC like NGC 6749. Your description reminds me of my recent observation of NGC 6352, a ghostly shadow lurking in the background.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2

    Another great evening Alan. Well done!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter802 View Post
    Thank you for sharing your session and penning as always a fine report.
    A very enjoyable and interesting read.
    Thank you Alan.
    Clear skies
    Thanks again Peter. Always appreciate folks taking the time to read about my endeavors and hopefully being inspired to get out under the sky.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingclinton View Post
    Another fine report and evening Alan.

    I would love to pick up a Mag 12.4 GC like NGC 6749. Your description reminds me of my recent observation of NGC 6352, a ghostly shadow lurking in the background.
    Thanks Clinton. Those low surface brightness globs lacking significant concentration can be tough targets depending upon one's conditions. Ones like NGC 6352 you mentioned, or other examples like NGC 5466, NGC 5053, NGC 7492 and NGC 5897. From my travels with the 80mm, I've also found the two in Musca, NGC 4372 and 4833 of lower surface brightness and difficult - particularly the former.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigzmey View Post
    Another great evening Alan. Well done!
    Thank you Andrey. I admit I was beat. Fun can be tiring!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2

    Another great evening Alan with some truly fun and elusive targets!!!

    I'll have to hunt down NGC 6749 during my next session. Sounds like a blast observing it. Also you managed quite a gander of planetary nebulae, which is a class of object that I haven't paid as much attention to as the others. But that needs to change.

    The galaxies will be mostly out of reach from home, but I'll go after them on my August dark sky trip.

    Thanks for the report.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2

    Quote Originally Posted by helicon64 View Post
    Another great evening Alan with some truly fun and elusive targets!!!

    I'll have to hunt down NGC 6749 during my next session. Sounds like a blast observing it. Also you managed quite a gander of planetary nebulae, which is a class of object that I haven't paid as much attention to as the others. But that needs to change.

    The galaxies will be mostly out of reach from home, but I'll go after them on my August dark sky trip.

    Thanks for the report.
    Thank you Michael. Yep, a second fine night to observe indeed. The two most difficult globs in the NGC are considered to be 6749 as I mentioned, plus NGC 6380 in the tail of Scorpius. I have not yet targeted that one yet, but will do so when I can.

    Good luck on your dark site trip, your 18" will work wonderfully there.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2

    Alan, I'm developing a severe case of aperture fever. Its all your fault!

    Seriously, I think a 15' Obsession/Dobstuff/Teeter is in my future. Something to grab those mag 13 galaxies.

    Great report, as always!!

    I
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    Scopes Orion XT10i f4.7 "Frosty", old Sears 6305 60mm f15 "Raquel"
    Binoculars Asahi Pentax 7x35 and 7x50, Beck Kassel 8x30 and Celestron 15x70
    Eyepieces: Leitz Periplan GF, ES68s, ES82s, TV Naglers, Meade 4000 super plossl, Nikon CFI, Olympus FK, Paracorr I, Abbe Orthos: Carl Zeiss Jena K7x (35mm), K10x (25mm)
    Herschel 400: 90 Planets: 5

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    Default Re: Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2

    Quote Originally Posted by kanadalainen View Post
    Alan, I'm developing a severe case of aperture fever. Its all your fault!

    Seriously, I think a 15' Obsession/Dobstuff/Teeter is in my future. Something to grab those mag 13 galaxies.

    Great report, as always!!

    I
    Thanks Ian. I will happily take the blame for you wanting more aperture! Of course for those of us who relish digging deeper and particularly enjoy hunting galaxies, aperture is the name of the game. Well that and dark skies!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 08 July 2018 - dark site trip, night 2

    Pretty darn good for a rookie!

    Sorry for the late response, Alan. I read this earlier this evening but had other things that needed attending to and did not get a chance to respond.

    Nice to see you after some of the PNe in Aquila. There are some fun and challenging ones in the Eagle. I've got 13 of them logged. Oddly, I only have two galaxies logged for that constellation. Must rectify that, though some of those on your report will be tough as nails from my backyard.

    Anyway, great reporting, as always, ol' buddy! I like it!
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    Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; ES AR127 f/9.4; ES AR102 f/9.8; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Meade NG60 f/10
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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, Apogee 20×100
    Observing: Herschel Tallies: H1 = 400/400 H2 =322/400 H3 = 222/300; 3,082 observations of 1,788 objects; Song in my head: Cowboy Junkies - Sweet Jane

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