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Thread: Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019

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    Default Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019



    2/2/2019

    Hello Friends,


    We had great weather here in NC on Saturday with clear blue sky and temps in the upper 50’s. The clear weather was forecasted to last all night which meant another trip to the Thornburg Trailhead that is part of the Uwharrie National Forrest for some observing!

    Joining me this evening was one other astronomy club member who once again brought out his 18” Obsession. We didn’t spend much time looking through each other scopes just because both of us wanted to settle in and do some serious observing and after we helped each other get setup it was on. A little later in the session a third member arrived with his brand new Celestron 6” refractor on an AVX mount. He was mostly just out to practice setting up and aligning him mount.

    Conditions were clear with temps steadily declining into the mid 30’s. Transparency was rated as average according to clear dark sky, but this had some variability between average and slightly below.

    My target list for tonight came right from The Complete Guide to the Herschel Objects by William Bratton. I picked Perseus and the constellation of choice for tonight’s fun. Even though I have several of these objects already in my logbook, I wanted to do a clean revisit from darker skies.

    So here we go!

    NGC 650 – NGC 651 - M76 - Little Dumbbell Nebula

    Planetary Nebula in Perseus, Mag: 10.10
    2/2/2019 at 19:01
    Viewed at 83x magnification this object is easily visible directly and looks like a rectangle that has been pinched off by darkening in the middle. I was able to pick up a subtly glow the extended out from the long axis as well. Herschel mentions in his observation of two objects very close together. This object was indeed thought to be two separate objects and is the reason why it has two NGC numbers.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm)

    NGC 869, NGC 884 – Double Cluster
    Open Clusters in Perseus, Mag: 5.30
    2/2/2019 at 19:08
    These clusters are easy naked eye objects from this observing location. Even though I have seen both numerous times I took a moment to appreciate each in the eyepiece. The bulk of these tow clusters just barely fits in the field of view at 83x magnification, but my intention was to look at each individually.
    NGC 869 has a higher concentration of stars and has a neat little arrangement of 5 stars arranged in a C pattern with a bright star just outside the opening. I noted that this looked like a footprint for a dog with an extra toe.
    NGC 884 is not as rich with stars, but has more colorful members with copper, reds, yellows and blue/whites scattered about.
    Both were dazzling to look at under dark conditions!
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm)

    After the Double Cluster I repositioned my scope to hop into Perseus form the Triangulum and since I was in the neighborhood I couldn’t resist checking in on M31!

    NGC 598 – M33 – Triangulum Galaxy
    Spiral Galaxy in Triangulum, Mag: 5.79
    2/2/2019 at 19:23
    Always nice when you can clearly spot this galaxy in a 50mm finder! At 83x the center core of is clear and it was easy to see one spiral arm coming off the top and curving to the left down toward NGC 604. A second spiral arm was also easily seen coming off the bottom area and curving back up the right sides (left and right as seen in eyepiece fov.)
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm)

    NGC 1023
    Elliptical Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 8.55
    2/2/2019 at 19:29
    Small but bright oval smudge easily visible at 83x with faint glow spreading out from core. At 136x this object really stands out and was near photographic is appearance. I switched over to 120x and then 167x with my orthos in a bid to see if I could get NGC 1023A. While I thought the surrounding glow was a little “heavier” in the right location I couldn’t make out enough to confirm it as a positive.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm, 11mm and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    NGC 1003 – NEW!
    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 11.53
    2/2/2019 at 19:44
    Picked up at 83x as a faint sliver of fuzz near SAO 38196. Object was on the edge of direct vision, but best with averted vision. Increasing to 167x with my 9mm ortho I began to be able to pick up subtle brightening in the center of this squashed oval.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    NGC 1039 – M34
    Open cluster in Perseus, Mag: 5.19
    2/2/2019 at 19:51
    While not part of my original list of targets I was too close to not pop in for a quick look. Much brighter than any view I have had from my backyard! Stars filled the eyepiece at 83x magnification.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm)

    12 Persei & STF 292 – NEW
    Double Star in Perseus
    2/2/2019 at 19:52
    Also not part of my original target list. I was using 12 Persei as a reference point for my star hops and decided to take a look. At 83x 12 Persei has a bright yellow appearance with STF 292 sitting close by. STF 292 is a pair of white stars that have a slight variation in magnitude. Visually it is kind of a neat little gathering.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm)

    NGC 1058 – NEW!
    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 11.34
    2/2/2019 at 19:57
    Detected as a dim glow at 83x magnification. Moving up to 120x and 167x with my orthos this object continued to remain a dim, not quite round fuzzy patch. At one point I thought I picked up some brightening but this turned out to be a faint star.
    Post observation reading describes this object a “though moderately diffuse and ill defined”. My observation completely agreed!
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm, and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    NGC 1167 – NEW!
    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 12.35
    2/2/2019 at 20:19
    This guy was a small challenge, but I was able to first pick it up at 83x as a dim oval glow using averted vision. Switch to 120x a definite brightening in the center becomes visible and view was held best at 167x.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm, and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    NGC 1207 – NEW!
    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 12.69
    2/2/2019 at 20:28
    A little more difficult that the last object this was another averted vision spotting. Really only appeared as a dim round bit of fuzz at 83x. Increasing magnification with my orthos I thought I picked up a bit of brightening in the center, but post observing reading reveals this was probably just a very faint field star.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm, and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    NGC 1129 – NEW!
    Elliptical Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 13.60
    2/2/2019 at 20:45
    Another averted vision sighting. At 83x it is a rather dim and not quite round patch of fuzz. I switched up my tactic and increased magnification to 136x using my 11mm ES 82° so I could have a little more room to use averted vision. At the higher magnification I was able to pull out subtle brightening in the center.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and 11mm)

    NGC 1122 – NEW!

    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 13.25
    2/2/2019 at 20:56
    At 83x it is just a faint whisper of light in averted vision. I decided to throw everything at this guy to see what could be pulled out. Moving from 136x to 120x and finally 167x. The best was at highest magnification as the object was a little easier to hold in view, but really was nothing more than a soft oval glow that faded rapidly around the edges.
    My post observing reading revealed that this object was originally designated NGC1123, which answered a question I had about why Sky Safari displayed it as such.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm, 11mm and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    NGC 1138 – NEW!
    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 14.01
    2/2/2019 at 21:08
    Tricky, tricky…At first all I could pickup was what appeared to be a very dim star. Moving to 120x I was able to pick up an extremely subtle hint of a small round’ish glow in averted vision that was hard to hold. Moving up to 167x I was able to confirm the same subtle glow in the same place, still difficult to hold.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    NGC 1193 – NEW!

    Open Cluster in Perseus, Mag: 12.60
    2/2/2019 at 21:24
    At 83x there wasn’t much. Moving to 167x magnification I could only resolve about 4 small individual members, but they were surrounded by the very subtle irregular shaped glow of other members that were just a little too deep to resolve. Definitely not a cluster that stands out!
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    NGC 1161
    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 11.06
    2/2/2019 at 21:38
    Fairly easy to pick up at 83x. at 167x a small brighter core is visible with a surrounding soft glow that does not extend very far outward.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    NGC 1160
    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 12.81
    2/2/2019 at 21:39
    Soft faint oval glow picked up in averted vision when viewing NGC 1161. Increasing magnification nothing much more can be resolved and object appeared pretty much uniform in brightness.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    NGC 1169
    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 11.39
    2/2/2019 at 21:45
    Fairly easy to spot at 83x as an oval shaped fuzzy glow with a hint of brightening in the center. At 120x and 167x there was a little more fuzziness to the edges.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and 12.5mm & 9mm KK orthos)

    About this time I noticed that the side of my scope were now moist from the arrival of the dreaded dew monster. I looked through my Telrad and saw it was starting to put on its own fuzzy appearance. I decided to press on to how many more targets I could bag before I got shut out.

    NGC 1175
    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 12.80
    2/2/2019 at 22:02
    Difficult to spot at first. At 83x I caught a fleeting glimpse of an indistinct blur. Moving to 136x I was able to confirm with averted vision. Object had a slender oval’ish shape and was uniform in brightness.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and 11mm)

    NGC 1186
    Spiral Galaxy in Perseus, Mag: 12.35
    2/2/2019 at 22:05
    A bit easier to spot than the last target. Object had a very squashed oval shape. At 136x I was able to pull out some subtle brightening toward the center.
    (Equipment: Z12 with ES 82° 18mm and 11mm)

    I decided to take a little break from my scope and go check on the other club members and see what they were up to. Everyone was having issues with dew now so we all decided to start breaking down. I helped breakdown the Obsession and get it loaded back in its owner’s car. He has a set of extendable ramps that allow him to roll the mirror box right up into the back of his car which work great. After I got my gear squared away we made a quick sweep of the area and then headed for home.

    Thanks for reading. Clear skies my friends!
    Craig
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    Default Re: Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019

    Hello Craig,

    a very nice and successful tour through the galaxies of the season!
    Thank you for sharing,

    JG
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    Default Re: Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019

    Awesome night, Craig! Congrats on a great list of observed objects!

    Warm here as well. 62° F right now, though we are having southern winds pushing moisture off the gulf, so we have nothing but solid and dark cloud cover for days. Looks like it is going to rain all day but so far nothing. Might get a clear one tomorrow evening, but I will be surprised if the forecast pans out. I should probably get a target list together just in case.

    Great report, ol' buddy!
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    Default Re: Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019

    Freaking outstanding Craig! Now that is the kind of session that we live for.

    Regarding NGC 1023A or PGC 10139, the only thing I can recommend is to look for a very slight enhancement at the eastern tip of the primary galaxy. This can appear as a very small bump jutting out to the southeast. This dwarf companion is mostly within the primary's halo, but that little hook to the southeast is what can draw one's attention to its presence. That is exactly what I see when I observe this pair.

    They are also known as Arp 135. Below is a nice image.

    https://cseligman.com/text/atlas/ngc10.htm#1023
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    Default Re: Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019

    Wow! Phenomenal night Craig.
    Thanks for the share!
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    Moving on.......

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    Default Re: Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019

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

    a very nice and successful tour through the galaxies of the season!
    Thank you for sharing,

    JG
    Thanks JG!

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Awesome night, Craig! Congrats on a great list of observed objects!

    Warm here as well. 62° F right now, though we are having southern winds pushing moisture off the gulf, so we have nothing but solid and dark cloud cover for days. Looks like it is going to rain all day but so far nothing. Might get a clear one tomorrow evening, but I will be surprised if the forecast pans out. I should probably get a target list together just in case.

    Great report, ol' buddy!
    Thanks Bryan! The warm weather is set to continue here, but now we have the clouds as well.
    Hope things clear out for you soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by KT4HX View Post
    Freaking outstanding Craig! Now that is the kind of session that we live for.

    Regarding NGC 1023A or PGC 10139, the only thing I can recommend is to look for a very slight enhancement at the eastern tip of the primary galaxy. This can appear as a very small bump jutting out to the southeast. This dwarf companion is mostly within the primary's halo, but that little hook to the southeast is what can draw one's attention to its presence. That is exactly what I see when I observe this pair.

    They are also known as Arp 135. Below is a nice image.

    https://cseligman.com/text/atlas/ngc10.htm#1023
    Thanks Alan! Last nights session was a long time coming. I love having a darker site relatively close to home.
    Appreciate the reference for NGC 1023A. I will have to take another crack at it, hopefully soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by sketrip View Post
    Wow! Phenomenal night Craig.
    Thanks for the share!
    Thanks Ske! It was a pretty fun night out.
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    Default Re: Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019

    Wonderful session with the 12" Craig! Great that you were able to get to darker skies to bag many of the dimmer Perseus galaxies.

    Although I also have the Herschel book by Bratton, I hardly ever use it as an observing guide. The introductory sections on Herschel and the scopes he used I've referred to more often.
    Terry
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    Default Re: Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019

    Great night out Craig!

    You sure scooped up some fine views from your dark site. Nice to have some fellow astronomers to share the evening with.

    Thanks for taking us along for the tour!

    Jim
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    Default Re: Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019

    Excellent report Craig! You certainly took advantage of a beautiful night under dark skies! Thanks for sharing it with us!
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    Default Re: Prowler 75's Observing report - 2/2/2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Juno16 View Post
    Great night out Craig!

    You sure scooped up some fine views from your dark site. Nice to have some fellow astronomers to share the evening with.

    Thanks for taking us along for the tour!

    Jim
    Thanks Jim! It’s always great to have another astronomer out with you, especially at a dark location. It makes the usual noises seem less spooky. One time we were out at a public event at Mayo River State Park and it was probably about 11pm and just a few of us remained after to observe. It was dark with no moon and we heard this ungodly large pack of coyotes start howling nearby in the woods. Man, if I had been by myself and heard that I would have had to change my pants when I got home!

    Quote Originally Posted by 10538 View Post
    Excellent report Craig! You certainly took advantage of a beautiful night under dark skies! Thanks for sharing it with us!
    Thank you Ed!
    Craig
    Telescopes: Zhumell Z12, Orion Skyquest XT8 Classic, ES FL-AR127/1200, Celestron Omni XLT AZ 102, Tasco 8v
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