Thursday, 15 April 2010

Observing 14th April 2010

Seeing II
Transparency III-IV - pretty 'milky' with some light scatter
Still, with no wind., although the slightest of breezes sprang up later.
Instrument: 12 inch f5 Dobsonian, 22mm Televue Panoptic (69x), 15mm Televue Plossl (101x), 8mm Televue Radian (190x), Lumicon OIII filter.

As the skies were really murky, and Virgo was washed out by the murk and a lot of light scatter in that direction, I decided to go to Draco for the Herschel 400 objects (and others) there instead. Things were a little awkward as Ursa Major was upside down and the charts difficult to relate to the sky without turning them upside down.

NGC 5866: Bright, fairly small. Elongated n-s, brightens gradually towards a diffuse centre. Bright star on one end and a slightly dimmer star on western edge. Dust lane? 190x

NGC 5907: Very thin, edge-on galaxy. Not much of a nuclear bulge, if any. Fairly faint, elongated n-s, quite large, stretching across field of view at 101x. 69x, 101x

NGC 5985: Very small and bright. Oval. Bright core, elongated n-s. 190x

NGC 5982: Very large oval galaxy, evenly bright, no brightening to middle. Slightly elongated, not face on. Looks like smudge or thumbprint. Very faint, not much brighter than background sky. 190x.

NGC 6543: Very bright and blue planetary nebula, even without the OIII filter. This was fairly easy to find, although at first I thought it would be too low, as the stars I was using to hop to it weren't that far above the trees in next door's garden. The OIII filter really brings it out. Small and round. Slightly fuzzy and definitely non-stellar at 69x.
At 190x it is uniformly bright with the middle being no brighter than the surrounding halo. No darkening anywhere within the nebula. 69x, 190x, OIII filter.

NGC 3147: This took a bit of finding, I had to star hop to it, using galaxies, rather than stars. I began with the easy to find M81/82 and went from there. 
Bright, round, with bright nucleus. 190x.

Because of work the next morning, I packed up at midnight BST. For a short session, it was a pretty good one, and I don't have to return to Draco for any Herschel 400 objects.


  1. Short sessions are common for me when work calls for me the next morning. I figure some observing is better than none. Sounds like a good night. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Thanks Jay. I totally agree, a little observing is better than none at all.



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