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Thread: Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued

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    Default Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued



    Thanks to the good graces of the cloud demons I was able to get out a little bit this evening to pursue a few targets. I tried my hand at a few brighter galaxies, and was able to snag a couple, plus an asterism or two and a few open clusters, here and there. Anyway, here are the small takings from another short session with the 4.5 inch newt.


    Spano 2 (Caelum, asterism, brightest star=7.9, size=33.0’):

    Anchored by mag 7.9 HD 31688 at its northwestern edge, this asterism was studied from 20x to 74x. Its main attribute was a gentle curving narrow scatter of about 10 to 12 stars flowing toward the southeast from the anchor star. There were a few other members tossed randomly off to the sides, but the little trickle of stars kept the eye’s attention for the most part. Initially at 20x this streamer of stars was quite weak and difficult, but with increasing magnification it stood out nicely in the field, making the journey to locate it worth the effort.


    NGC 1532 (Eridanus, spiral galaxy, mag=9.9, size=12.6’x3.3’, SBr=13.8 mag/arcmin2):

    I decided to give this galaxy a try since it was riding fairly high in the sky at this location. Of course I would much rather had my 12 inch dob with me, but why not give it a shot? So star hopping to this James Dunlop discovery (D 600) I merely suspected it at 54x and a little more strongly so at 74x. However, I was not totally convinced I was seeing it until I hit 106x. Even then it remained a dim elusive sliver of homogenous light that could just as easily been overlooked. I certainly didn’t detect dimmer NGC 1531, which lies next to the brighter galaxy.


    NGC 1537 (Eridanus, lenticular galaxy, mag=10.6, size=3.9’x2.6’, SBr=13.0 mag/arcmin2):

    About 1° north of NGC 1532 I spotted an obvious grouping of stars and focused my attention there halfway between two of them. Nothing was noted at 20x or 45x. Then at 54x I had a very fleeting suspicion of a dim diffuse presence, which was confirmed at 74x, though with difficulty. Using 106x I picked up a small out of round glow that seemed to have an intermittent stellar core, though it could have simply been a dim field star nearby. That detail was difficult to pin down with certainty.


    NGC 2243 (Canis Major, open cluster, mag=9.4, size=5.0’):

    Generally credited to James Dunlop (D 616) though his positional data was incorrect, some sources yield discovery credit to John Herschel. I easily located the cluster’s field southwest of mag 7.5 HD 46095. However, initially my eye was distracted by a brighter group to the star’s southeast. Focusing my attention southwest of the star, it was only a vague uncertainty at 20x and rather poor in the 4.5 inch newt. At 54x I discerned about two or three little fireflies trying to vie my attention, while 74x produced about five little embers. Even at 106x it remained poor and uninspiring, but I did get a fleeting sense that other stars were lurking down in the depths that I was not reaching.


    HD 66206 Group (Puppis, asterism, brightest star=8.5, size=24.0’):

    I turned over to chart 84-left in the IDSA to pick up my self-annotated field for this star grouping. Starting at mag 2.4 Eta Canis Majoris, I then swept eastward about 7°, moving into Puppis and passing under the very wide pair of 1 and 3 Pup along the way. I stopped at an east-west curve of six field stars. South of this gentle eyebrow I spotted a small diamond of stars that pointed right to the field of my quarry. Gazing at the field a moment at 20x I saw some dim pinpricks of light, but quickly went to 45x. Now I could see over a dozen stars forming what more or less looked like a properly oriented figure “1”. They seemed to range from the 8th to about the 11th magnitude, with some scattered off to the sides of the main figure. I found it a curious little grouping that one might not really notice if just perusing the area.


    ESO 430-18 (Puppis, open cluster, mag=unk, size=12.0’):

    Slipping northeast of the previous asterism, following the stars shown in the IDSA, I encountered this poor cluster. I quickly ran through magnifications up to 106x and at best could pull out three stars running ESE to WNW. Not much to see here, at least with this aperture.


    NGC 2533 (Puppis, open cluster, mag=7.6, size=5.0’):

    North of ESO 430-18 I pulled down my final object for this outing. This one was another fizzle. Quickly running up to 106x, I could only muster two or maybe three dim stars in the field. However, I did notice that there was some small amount of haziness due to unresolved members down in there. A bit more aperture would certainly help with this one as well.


    So that was it for another brief outing as permitted by the prevailing sky conditions. Sometimes that is all we get, a quick look and then we are done. Hope to see you back out there when I can.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued

    Thanks for the report Alan. Some very nice asterisms and a couple of interesting (and observable) galaxies. Hope that you can enjoy those southern skies again in the near future.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued

    Thank you for sharing the outing Alan - a good night with some galaxies!
    I'm kinda curious - what is is like when you first get there & the sky is "unfamiliar"?
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued

    Thank you for sharing your fine report Alan
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued

    Quote Originally Posted by helicon64 View Post
    Thanks for the report Alan. Some very nice asterisms and a couple of interesting (and observable) galaxies. Hope that you can enjoy those southern skies again in the near future.
    Thanks Michael. Well hopefully it will continue to give me some opportunities, even if they are for shorter sessions.

    Quote Originally Posted by sketrip View Post
    Thank you for sharing the outing Alan - a good night with some galaxies!
    I'm kinda curious - what is is like when you first get there & the sky is "unfamiliar"?
    Thanks Steve. Well since I've been here before and at this time of year, I am sorta familiar with what will be within view. That said, I hadn't been here for two years, so I did sit out for a bit one evening after arrival with nothing but my PSA and binoculars to re-familiarize myself with the general layout. That is pretty much what I did when I came the first time. Then it truly was unfamiliar to a great extent once I got down below about -40 declination. Though I had observed from about 19 north a few years back, I had lost some of that familiarization other than the brightest stars/constellations. But at 5 south I was getting into new territory. But it didn't take long to begin learning my way around, and star hopping is star hopping no matter where you are.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    Thank you for sharing your fine report Alan
    Thank you for reading Gabrielle.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued

    A good outing, Alan. I've not had one better in a while. Hopefully the sky will cooperate more for you.

    Been raining here for three days now. Things are quite saturated. I looked up for a bit last night. It was kinda fun watching these large diffuse globs of light moving around in the clouds like giant fireflies: aircraft.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    A good outing, Alan. I've not had one better in a while. Hopefully the sky will cooperate more for you.

    Been raining here for three days now. Things are quite saturated. I looked up for a bit last night. It was kinda fun watching these large diffuse globs of light moving around in the clouds like giant fireflies: aircraft.
    Thanks Bryan. Hopefully it will be cooperative, even in small increments. A soggy yard is not good to set up on even after it clears. Of course one can put down a large tarp if needed. A lot of time I just set up on the patio until things dry up more. The planes might remind one of some of the scenes in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, with the lights in the clouds.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued

    Quote Originally Posted by KT4HX View Post
    Thanks Bryan. Hopefully it will be cooperative, even in small increments. A soggy yard is not good to set up on even after it clears. Of course one can put down a large tarp if needed. A lot of time I just set up on the patio until things dry up more. The planes might remind one of some of the scenes in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, with the lights in the clouds.
    Yeah, I was forced to set up in the driveway last Friday and Saturday night due to soggy and fully saturated yard. The mole tunnels were rather dangerous.

    Best skies I'd seen in several months and I had to sit in amongst the porch and street lights.

    Close Encounters is exactly what that reminded me of.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 10 January 2019 - cloud dodging continued

    Thank you once again Alan for this outing.
    I have printed it out and attempted to follow in SS5. :-)
    5 inches of snow this morning and steely grey skies for now.
    Keep this fine reports coming...it is all some of us gave. :-)

    And I will throw a nice snowball your way... :-)
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