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    Default Observing Report for 02 December 2018 – an epic journey (Part 2 of 3)



    Hi again folks. Here is the second (of three) installmentss covering my 02 December observing session at our dark site house with the 17.5 inch dob. As I mentioned before, after a repeated back and forth battle with fog, the sky cleared in such a glorious and superb way that it was truly an emotional experience to stand beneath it.

    The summer Milky Way was winding its way westward but still exceedingly bright and structured. The winter MW started to take center stage. This outer portion of our galactic plane where we look toward the edge of our home galaxy and away from the core, is less enhanced and easily succumbs to the ravages of light pollution. But at this location I am used to it being an easily seen pale band of light across the winter sky. On this particular evening it was the brightest I had seen a a long, long time, readily apparent into Gemini, Orion and Monoceros. Messier objects such as M35, M41, M44, M46 and M47 (to name a few) were very obvious naked eye concentrations in the sky.

    So here is the next portion of the objects I logged during this greatly rewarding session, where patience won out over the adversity of the fog, allowing me to experience some of the best skies I’ve had there. When I concluded part one, I was on chart 61-right in the IDSA and working in western Orion near its border with both Eridanus and Taurus. That is where we pick up here. I hope you enjoy continuing to follow along.


    NGC 1642 (Taurus, spiral galaxy, mag=12.6, size=1.8’x1.6’, SBr=13.6 mag/arcmin2):

    Since it was just a little west of NGC 1671, I slipped just inside the celestial bull’s southeastern corner where it borders Orion and Eridanus, I easily picked up this small and slightly dim spiral. At 110x, it appeared oval in shape and evenly illuminated across its dimension. Mostly homogenous even at 181x and 226x, I did however suspect some very subtle central brightness at times as I alternated between direct and averted vision.

    NGC 1713 (Orion, elliptical galaxy, mag=12.7, size=1.4’x1.2’, SBr=13.3 mag/arcmin2):

    I retreated back within Orion and slid ESE of NGC 1671 to pick up this small and slightly dim oval. Homogenous in appearance at 110x, at 181x it became broadly brighter in its central region. Then at 226x I began picking up some hints of a fleeting stellar core buried within this central lens.

    NGC 1684 (Orion, elliptical galaxy, mag=12.0, size=2.2’x1.7’, SBr=13.5 mag/arcmin2):

    Hopping down into the southwestern corner of Orion, I picked up my next galaxy. At 110x I found it a fairly bright and small oval that exhibited a broadly bright center. Using 181x and 226x it at times seemed to be on the verge of revealing a stellar core embedded with the central lens, but could never quite get there.

    NGC 1682 (Orion, lenticular galaxy, mag=13.5, size=1.0’x1.0’, SBr=13.2 mag/arcmin2):

    Almost 3’ west of NGC 1684 I picked up this pretty small and dim round dust mote. It exhibited a stellar core and its appearance changed little, other than becoming more visually apparent, as I increased magnification from 110x to 226x.

    NGC 1670 (Orion, lenticular galaxy, mag=12.7, size=2.1’x1.0’, SBr=13.4 mag/arcmin2):

    Northwest of the previous pair of galaxies I pulled down this small lenticular. At 110x it was a slightly dim, and an elongated oval in shape. The view remained similar at 181x, while at 226x an intermittent stellar core became apparent in its center.

    MCG 1-13-8 (Orion, spiral galaxy, mag=13.4, size=0.9’x0.9’, SBr=13.0 mag/arcmin2):

    Dropping SSW from NGC 1670 to a mag 9.1 field star lying nearly 1° east of mag 4.0 Mu Eridani, I searched for this tiny spiral galaxy. Picked up at 110x it was a small round dust bunny of light. Overall it was a little dim and homogenous visually. Increasing magnification to 181x and 226x did little to improve the view.
    NGC 1625 (Eridanus, barred spiral galaxy, mag=12.3, size=2.1’x0.5’, SBr=12.2 mag/arcmin2):

    I next crossed into Eridanus, heading to mag 3.9 to seek a triumvirate of elongated barred spirals fanned out east and north of the star. The first lay east of Nu Eri and presented as a thin slice of light tilted to the northwest. A 14th mag star lie at its northwestern tip, and overall at 110x was small and slightly dim. The glare from Nu Eri was a factor for this galaxy, and even at 181x and 226x, it remained homogenous aside from the foreground star at its northwestern tip.

    NGC 1622 (Eridanus, barred spiral galaxy, mag=12.5, size=3.6’x0.7’, SBr=13.4 mag/arcmin2):

    Just northwest of NGC 1625 and in the same field of view at 110x I picked up another thin galaxy. At 110x it was broadly brighter in its center, and remained unenhanced at 181x. Using 226x, a possible stellar core was hinted out. This galaxy was likewise impacted by the glare of Nu Eridani.

    NGC 1618 (Eridanus, barred spiral galaxy, mag=12.7, size=2.3’x0.8’, SBr=13.3 mag/arcmin2):

    Also in the glare field and west of NGC 1622, and within the same field of view, another slender stick of light was found. At 110x and 181x it was a homogenous and slightly dim, while at 226x it became broadly brighter in the center. As with the other two, Nu Eri impacted the view, causing each to appear dimmer than I expected based on their respective data.

    MCG 0-12-51 (Eridanus, barred spiral galaxy, mag=12.7, size=1.5’x1.4’, SBr=13.4 mag/arcmin2):

    Half a degree north of Nu Eridani I located this barred spiral which is the A component the compact group Hickson 30. At 110x it presented a small round homogenous glow that was a little dim visually. As I increased magnification the galaxy became visually brighter, but remained homogenous.

    MCG 0-12-54 (Eridanus, barred spiral galaxy, mag=13.0, size=1.1’x0.8’, SBr=13.0 mag/arcmin2):

    The B component of Hickson 30 lay about 3.5’ southeast of the A component, and at 110x was also a little dim visually, and small. It was likewise round in shape and homogenous in appearance. It also remained evenly illuminated as magnification was increased up to 226x. The C and D components (mag 14.7 and 15.2 respectively) were not seen.

    NGC 1587 (Taurus, elliptical galaxy, mag=11.7, size=1.7’x1.5’, SBr=12.7 mag/arcmin2):

    Continuing NNW to the mag 4.9 star 45 Eridani, I slipped slowly NNW for about 46’ to pick up this previously observed (12 inch at home) elliptical. At 110x in the 17.5 inch it was a very bright and slightly large rounded glow. It exhibited a bright stellar core, which may have been a foreground star. As with many elliptical, increasing magnification up to 226x didn’t reveal any further details.

    NGC 1588 (Taurus, elliptical galaxy, mag=12.9, size=1.4’x0.8’, SBr=13.0 mag/arcmin2):

    This galaxy is the smaller and dimmer of a close pair with NGC 1587. It lies less than 1’ east of its brighter neighbor and their glows were somewhat intermingled. Spotted at 110x, I found it small and round. Slightly dim in the eyepiece, it sported its own stellar core. Again, as with NGC 1587, its overall appearance didn’t really improve with increasing magnification up to 226x. However, it did increase in visual presence and the pair of stellar cores vaguely looked like a pair of eerie eyes looking back at me through a haze.

    NGC 1589 (Taurus, spiral galaxy, mag=11.8, size=3.2’x1.0’, SBr=12.9 mag/arcmin2):

    Just 12’ north of the previous close pair of galaxies I located this spiral. I found it a small elongated glow that was a somewhat bright. As magnification was increased to 181x and 226x it displayed a stellar core. Otherwise it was evenly illuminated .

    NGC 1551 (Taurus, lenticular galaxy, mag=12.0, size=2.2’x1.9‘, SBr=13.5 mag/arcmin2):

    Less than a degree northwest of NGC 1589 I picked up a arcing line of stars flowing to the northwest and turning west. This string led me to this lenticular. Initially seen at 110x, it was slightly dim in visual presence. Round in shape, it was small in visual size overall. Viewed with 181x and 226x it remained a homogenous glow that lacked any central brightness or other detail.

    Interestingly, this object is duplicated in the NGC as entry 1550, discovered by Heinrich d'Arrest in 1861. It turns out that William Herschel was the original discoverer in 1785, but recorded a declination error of 1° too far south. The error was later recognized and Herschel’s credit was given as NGC 1551. Though some sources list the galaxy as NGC 1550, by the first come first served principle, Herschel should be credited with NGC 1551 as shown in the IDSA.

    IC 366 (Taurus, elliptical galaxy, mag=14.7, size= 0.35'x0.2', SBr=11.5 mag/arcmin2):

    With NGC 1551 in the field of view, I focused my attention a mere 3’ to the southeast. Searching for a tiny and feeble dust mote of light, I struck out at 110x. Even at 181x it was barely perceived as a tiny and very, very subtle brightening in the sky. Even with 226x it was nothing more than a difficult tiny snippet of light that was just within my threshold of perception.

    IC 363 (Taurus, lenticular galaxy, mag=14.4, size=0.2’x0.2’, SBr=10.6 mag/arcmin2):

    A little over half a degree north of NGC 1551 I plumbed the depths for a couple of very small and dim galaxies. The pair straddled (north and south) a couple of 8th magnitude stars that were aligned southeast to northwest. This miniscule lenticular was the first one I spotted, south of the pair of stars. However, it did not come easily! It was not detected at 110x or 181x. Finally at 226x I caught a very, very subtle suspicion of a tiny dust bunny in the field, which was finally confirmed at 297x. It presented as a small round barely perceptible puff of light against the background sky.

    IC 364 (Taurus, elliptical galaxy, mag=13.8, size=0.4’x0.2’, SBr=10.8 mag/arcmin2):

    North of the pair of stars I continued to study the field of view for a bit. Being a little brighter than the previous object I was able to detect this tiny elliptical at 110x. However, it was nothing more than a tiny bit of fleeting mist against the dark sky. Even at 181x and 226x it remained a difficult object, revealing only a dim and puny presence in the field of view.

    NGC 1349 (Taurus, lenticular galaxy, mag=13.0, size=0.7’x0.7’, SBr=12.2 mag/arcmin2):

    Turning the page in the IDSA to chart 62-left, I slid toward the Taurus-Cetus border. Aiming the scope at Alpha Ceti (Menkar), I slipped ENE for nearly 7° and crossing back into Taurus to pick up a large upright “U” pattern of stars. Following its western side southward I encountered my last object for this portion of the report. Observed using 110x to 226x, it was a small and slightly dim homogenous round puff of light. Though easily seen, it didn’t reveal anything further to my eye.


    That concludes the second part of my recent night adventure at the dark site. In the final portion I will return to Cetus, whence I began, then wander a bit. Thanks for coming along on this part and hope you will return to share with me the final installment of my memorable night. Until then, keep looking up my friends.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 02 December 2018 – an epic journey (Part 2 of 3)

    Part of that amazing session Alan, congrats.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 02 December 2018 – an epic journey (Part 2 of 3)

    Quote Originally Posted by helicon64 View Post
    Part of that amazing session Alan, congrats.
    Thank you Michael. I hope things settle down there and you are able to get out sometime soon.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 02 December 2018 – an epic journey (Part 2 of 3)

    Great part 2 of your amazing session Alan!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 02 December 2018 – an epic journey (Part 2 of 3)

    Thank you Craig. It was indeed a winner of an evening. Part 3 coming!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 02 December 2018 – an epic journey (Part 2 of 3)

    Outstanding, Alan!

    Man, I need a night like this one. Of course, I'm not nabbing those little mag 14 dust bunnies, but wow, what a haul! And you aren't done yet!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 02 December 2018 – an epic journey (Part 2 of 3)

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Outstanding, Alan!

    Man, I need a night like this one. Of course, I'm not nabbing those little mag 14 dust bunnies, but wow, what a haul! And you aren't done yet!
    Thank you kind sir. And no, I ain't done yet! But we are getting there. It has indeed been some time since I'd had an evening quite like that one. I don't mind admitting I was fatigued. I could feel my right eye starting to get very tired and my back was starting to ache from the standing, despite sitting frequently. But, as you well know, all those little issues were a distant second to the enjoyment I was experiencing, being knee-deep in galaxies!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 02 December 2018 – an epic journey (Part 2 of 3)

    Chapter 2 is another pleasure, Alan!
    Thank you for investing so much for us here.
    Your reports take away the sting of the drought of clear skies for me.
    And by your eye I can see what I will not see.
    Thank you again Sir!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 02 December 2018 – an epic journey (Part 2 of 3)

    Great! Must be nice to have a clear sky eh I haven't had one in almost a month compliments of the d*** cloud gods

    Looking forward to more reports!!
    Abb
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 02 December 2018 – an epic journey (Part 2 of 3)

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Quixote View Post
    Chapter 2 is another pleasure, Alan!
    Thank you for investing so much for us here.
    Your reports take away the sting of the drought of clear skies for me.
    And by your eye I can see what I will not see.
    Thank you again Sir!
    Thank you Mark. It is always a pleasure to have you along for the ride. It seems many are suffering the dearth of opportunities. I myself went through that as we've had an unusually wet autumn. However, a few chances have been occurring lately, which I am thankful for. Wish you could have been standing next to be, you would have been stunned by the sky after the fog vamoosed!

    Quote Originally Posted by AbbN View Post
    Great! Must be nice to have a clear sky eh I haven't had one in almost a month compliments of the d*** cloud gods

    Looking forward to more reports!!
    Abb
    Thank you Abb. Indeed, many folks are suffering long term with the absence of clear skies. As I mentioned above to Mark, I too had my share, but have been seeing some opportunities lately. Part three is basically done and will be coming out later today. Thanks for following along.
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    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
    ES AR127 f/6.5 and ES ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II Mount
    ES 82° 24mm thru 4.7mm
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Astronomers: We look into the past to see our future.

 

 
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