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Thread: Observing Report for 01 February 2019 - the sky giveth and the sky taketh away

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 01 February 2019 - the sky giveth and the sky taketh away



    Quote Originally Posted by KT4HX View Post
    Thank you Terry. My problems with the LMC/SMC here are two-fold. One is the LP and general glaring from security lights. The other is that they neither one gain a lot of elevation here and I have serious tree problems to nearly 40° above the horizon from the SSE to the west. Actually I have a great deal of obstruction problems where I am forced to observe. But at least I have an opportunity to do so.

    That said, I have seen NGC 2070, the Tarantula Nebula within the LMC (between branches), just not its host galaxy. I did pick up 47 Tuc once as well in the pre-dawn hours of early June over two years ago very low above the horizon through the murk of the marine layer. But the nearby SMC was not picked up down in that stuff. That was from another location off an apartment balcony the morning I was departing - sort of my parting shot.

    As for Vela, you should also be able to pick up the nice planetary NGC 3132 (Eight Burst Nebula), just south of its border with Antlia. I don't know if your other Vela loggings were from Oz or Salton Sea.

    That was a nice find during your clean up. I think that would be an interesting place to visit, and I recall you posting your experience. Glad you liked the paper I linked to as well. Dunlop had his shortcomings of course, but I don't think he has gotten the credit or attention that he deserves.
    The SMC and then the LMC rose up in the sky after 11:00 PM from the rural hinterlands outside of Sydney (doubtful if visible from the city). I would have been perfectly content to limit my observing from urban skies if not a local passerby and a friend who used to live in AU advised me to get out of town. Fortunately I took the challenge, despite being in unfamiliar territory.

    47 Tucanae was easily visible from the city. NGC 2070 I saw only after seeing the LMC from darker skies; not sure if I'd have been able to see from the city, esp. with the 2-inch.

    Will have to try for NGC 3132 in Vela (mag. 9.8) next time I'm in darker skies locally.

    Regarding Vela (4 logged), two objects (Ru 64, Teu 38) were from urban skies at home, the other two in Australia. Besides NGC 3201 from outside Sydney, I managed to pick up IC 2391 (Omicron Velorum Cluster) low down the horizon in Melbourne before clouds moved in. Only 1 out 4 observations (I may have said 2 earlier) I made there last July.

    It was fortunate that Dunlop was able to return to Australia in 1831 before the problems with his deep-sky catalogue were revealed within the British astronomical community. But he did the best he could with limited resources. I started my "darker-sky" observing career targeting fuzzies on the southern horizon (e.g. Eridanus, Sculptor, Fornax) in Malibu; his name would frequently come up in association with these galaxies (via Steve Gottlieb's website).
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  3. #12
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 01 February 2019 - the sky giveth and the sky taketh away

    Quote Originally Posted by terrynak View Post
    The SMC and then the LMC rose up in the sky after 11:00 PM from the rural hinterlands outside of Sydney (doubtful if visible from the city). I would have been perfectly content to limit my observing from urban skies if not a local passerby and a friend who used to live in AU advised me to get out of town. Fortunately I took the challenge, despite being in unfamiliar territory.

    47 Tucanae was easily visible from the city. NGC 2070 I saw only after seeing the LMC from darker skies; not sure if I'd have been able to see from the city, esp. with the 2-inch.

    Will have to try for NGC 3132 in Vela (mag. 9.8) next time I'm in darker skies locally.

    Regarding Vela (4 logged), two objects (Ru 64, Teu 38) were from urban skies at home, the other two in Australia. Besides NGC 3201 from outside Sydney, I managed to pick up IC 2391 (Omicron Velorum Cluster) low down the horizon in Melbourne before clouds moved in. Only 1 out 4 observations (I may have said 2 earlier) I made there last July.

    It was fortunate that Dunlop was able to return to Australia in 1831 before the problems with his deep-sky catalogue were revealed within the British astronomical community. But he did the best he could with limited resources. I started my "darker-sky" observing career targeting fuzzies on the southern horizon (e.g. Eridanus, Sculptor, Fornax) in Malibu; his name would frequently come up in association with these galaxies (via Steve Gottlieb's website).
    That is the good thing about being in Australia (never been), it is as safe or safer than at home as far as just going out into the country-side after dark. Most of the places I've been that was not the case, so I was forced to tough it out where I has physical security, which usually translates to more light.

    Most certainly if I could get out of town to an area with an open southern view, the LMC and SMC would be a piece of cake. I recall when I did pick up NGC 2070, it was initially with the 10x50s, and I honestly didn't know what I had because I was just scanning around between a couple of trees. So once I got my self oriented as to where I was in the IDSA I finally realized what I was seeing. I was amazed at how bright it was. But, I've never seen any trace of the LMC itself here because of its lower elevation down in the marine layer and the sky glow. If the SMC could get above my tree line I should be able to see it and 47 Tuc, but again its the issues I have with my southern view creating the problem.

    Vela is indeed a rich constellation, being heavily involved in the Milky Way plane, so there are a large number of open clusters. When one looks at it, Puppis and Carina at the same time in the sky you get a sense of the enormity of their progenitor, Argo Navis. It was gigantic being 28% larger than Hydra, our largest modern constellation by area. As you know, Lacaille was the first to really push to dismantle this behemoth, explaining that it had over 160 stars visible to the naked eye.

    I truly do find Dunlop an interesting study. The majority of the complaining about his work came after his death fortunately. His biggest problem was lack of formal training, as he was not an astronomer by trade. His personal interest in the field led him to be hired as an assistant by Sir Thomas Brisbane of course, which is how he wound up in Australia. He was dedicated to the task, but over the long haul his lack of training led to mistakes in calculating positions and many of his objects were considered lost. Because of the "bad press" he received by many of his contemporaries, in particular John Herschel, a lot of his effort was forgotten for a long time. It was not unusual that discovery credit for some of Dunlop's objects was given to John Herschel since he correctly (most of the time) calculated positions. That said, even JH had more than his share of miscues. Regardless of all that, his was the first more expansive study of the southern skies, and does deserve due credit.


    Interestingly, the name James Dunlop in relation to astronomy still lives and breathes! Don't know if they are related however.

    https://www.roe.ac.uk/~jsd/
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 01 February 2019 - the sky giveth and the sky taketh away

    Very nice Alan!
    Great job capturing that PN. Always amazing what you can see even with smaller aperture if you what you are looking at.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 01 February 2019 - the sky giveth and the sky taketh away

    Quote Originally Posted by Prowler75 View Post
    Very nice Alan!
    Great job capturing that PN. Always amazing what you can see even with smaller aperture if you what you are looking at.
    Thanks Craig. I freely admit I was surprised!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 01 February 2019 - the sky giveth and the sky taketh away

    As always I thoroughly enjoyed following along as you took us on yet another fine tour through the heavens. Nice work Alan!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 01 February 2019 - the sky giveth and the sky taketh away

    Quote Originally Posted by 10538 View Post
    As always I thoroughly enjoyed following along as you took us on yet another fine tour through the heavens. Nice work Alan!
    Thank you for your kind words Ed. I am always happy when someone follows along as I move about the sky.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 01 February 2019 - the sky giveth and the sky taketh away

    Not bad, not bad at all Alan! You picked more galaxies in this session than I did in last few months.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 01 February 2019 - the sky giveth and the sky taketh away

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigzmey View Post
    Not bad, not bad at all Alan! You picked more galaxies in this session than I did in last few months.
    Thank you Andrey. Now that sounds kinda sad doesn't it?
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