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Thread: Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was called

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    Default Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was called



    The forecast was for a narrow window of relatively cloudless sky immediately after astronomical darkness. With this in mind, I staged my gear in an un-cooled area for a couple of hours prior to that time so it would be acclimated to the warm humid air outside.. The time came and as I carried the little newt and accoutrement outside I was greeted by some clouds, though not as bad as is typical. I was hoping for such an early shot so I could try to poke around in Reticulum and Dorado for their brightest galaxies. Unfortunately the brightest one of the lot was also the one that lie farthest south deeper into the trees. The first order of business was to scan with the 10x50s to be certain the area of the sky I wanted to work was placed between my trees, since they don’t really rise above them. So off I went, not knowing that the end would come sooner than I had hoped.


    NGC 1559 (Reticulum, barred spiral galaxy, mag=10.7, size=3.5’x2.0’, SBr=12.5 mag/arcmin2):

    Turning to chart 106-right in the IDSA, I used the 10x50s to scan west from brilliant Canopus and quickly picked up mag 3.3 Alpha Doradus. I then turned SSW and quickly scooped up the familiar narrow diamond shape of Reticulum between a couple of trees. I judged its position relative to the intrusive branches and with the Rigel aimed in the general direction fished around for a few seconds at 20x to pick up the constellation.

    I settled on mag 3.4 Alpha Reticuli along the eastern side. Just southeast of this star lay the wide pairing of Theta and Eta Ret. Donning my dark cloth to block out the glaring lights, I studied the field half a degree north of Theta. Using 74x and 106x I alternated between direct and averted vision for a few minutes. I thought that perhaps a time or two I might have caught a fleeting presence of a small diffuse pip of light. However, this is not something I could confirm to my satisfaction. Since it was only about 29° above the horizon firmly entrenched in the marine layer, so I knew it was a bit of a long shot. Therefore, this one was dropped into the voluminous category of “a swing and a miss.”


    NGC 1566 (Dorado, barred spiral galaxy, mag=9.7, size=8.2’x6.5’, SBr=13.7 mag/arcmin2):

    I decided to move a little higher in the sky, moving back to Alpha Dor. Slipping west just over a degree to a curved line of three 8th magnitude stars I focused my attention on the last star in this line, mag 8.1 HD 27713. Eyeing the field just ESE of this star at 45x I thought I briefly caught the presence of dim diffuse light as I moved between direct and averted vision. Trying at 74x, again I had the same impression, only subtly more pronounced. Finally dropping in the 4.7mm for 106x, I confirmed a very dim oval, that may have had given a fleeting sense of central brightness. But it was difficult to be certain of this little detail. Though this small oval was held steadily with direct vision, it was quite subtle. Afterwards I found it is one of the brightest Seyfert galaxies in the sky with a small but very bright nucleus. That may explain my fleeting suspicion of central brightness.


    All the while the clouds were on the increase. The supposed window was closing more rapidly than I was expecting. I tried to reacquire Alpha Dor, but wave after wave of clouds put the kibosh on any further star hopping. I impatiently gave it another 20 to 30 minutes, but it was as if the regional cloud machine was churning out a hearty flow of very large fluffies. Apparently someone alerted the factory that I was out and the foreman told ‘em to kick it into high gear! Oh well, par for the course for the most part. Thanks again, and sorry it was so meager. Sometimes the eyedropper approach is all we get. Clear skies folks, and what say we try this again sometime?
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was call

    Nice catch the the second galaxy Alan. Sometimes the cloud gods have other plans for us, much to our annoyance. Thanks for the report.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was call

    Quote Originally Posted by helicon64 View Post
    Nice catch the the second galaxy Alan. Sometimes the cloud gods have other plans for us, much to our annoyance. Thanks for the report.
    Thank you Michael. Yeah, the clouds have run amok a great deal of this trip. Unfortunately there is not one thing I can do to make it better. But at least I have been able to scrape out a few things so far, and I still hope that maybe I will catch a better break at some point before I leave next month.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was call

    A quick session Alan unfortunately, hopefully the clouds will give you a bit more time on the next try.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was call

    Nice! A quick session is better than a no session ( I've had lots of those for a while )

    Abb
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was call

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    A quick session Alan unfortunately, hopefully the clouds will give you a bit more time on the next try.
    Thanks Gabrielle. All one can do is hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by AbbN View Post
    Nice! A quick session is better than a no session ( I've had lots of those for a while )

    Abb
    Thanks Abb. Indeed quick is better than none. But repetition of brief outings does get real old real quick!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was call

    Good to see you get back out again and pick up at least one new galaxy Alan! Reminds me of the two brief sessions in Melbourne last year.

    Rainy and cloudy since last week here in So Cal, but I'll get an opportunity later this week to seek out new targets.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was call

    Quote Originally Posted by terrynak View Post
    Good to see you get back out again and pick up at least one new galaxy Alan! Reminds me of the two brief sessions in Melbourne last year.

    Rainy and cloudy since last week here in So Cal, but I'll get an opportunity later this week to seek out new targets.
    Sometimes we simply don't got the desired outcome. Just how it goes when you have a hobby that relies on sky quality.

    I respect and admire you toiling with small aperture full time, but I honestly do wish I had more here!

    I admit that I am spoiled from using larger dobs for so many years, which of course is the result of my main interest - galaxy hunting.
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was call

    Very nice short session and report.
    Completely in line with your previous excellent reports with this instrument!
    Thanks!
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    Default Re: Observing Report for 03 February 2017 - I went one for two then the game was call

    Quote Originally Posted by John Baars View Post
    Very nice short session and report.
    Completely in line with your previous excellent reports with this instrument!
    Thanks!
    Thank you John. Shorter than I had hoped, but that part of it was out of my hands!
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