Wednesday, 26 May 2010

TSP - The Objects: Part 1

I have finally got round to writing out the observations from this year's TSP and, as promised (or threatened, depending on your point of view) here are some of them. I'll begin with Monday, 10th May and the objects from Larry Mitchell's Advanced Observing List which, for 2010, was Super-Thin Galaxies. The observers were Alvin Huey, me and Dennis Beckley and we were using Dennis' 18 inch f4.5 Obsession.
We also observed stuff not on the List, if it was near something we were observing - there's no point ignoring lots of 'cool stuff' lying nearby. I did make a few sketches but I mostly restricted myself to brief notes.

Conditions: Clear, cool but not cold
NELM: 6.9
Seeing: around II
Transparency: very good
Instrument: 18 inch f4.5 Dobsonian. Eyepieces: 17mm (121x), 13mm (158x), 11mm (187x), 8mm (258x), 6mm (343x). These were a mix of Dennis' Ethoses and Alvin's Zeisses.

UGC 5267 in Leo - Edge on, easy to see, bright.
UGC 5270 in Leo - Smaller, fainter, more oval. Not on List.
MCG+2-25-42 in Leo - Very faint and small. Round. Not on List.
UGC 5341 in Leo - Very faint, edge on. Stellar nucleus.
UGC 5164 in Leo - Larger than U5341 and brighter. Edge on.
CGCG 63-37 in Leo - Lies near UGC 5164. Very faint and small. Edge on. Close to double star. Not on List.
UGC 5495 in Leo - Large, quite bright, edge on.
NGC 3279 in Leo - Bright, very thin, elongated.
NGC 3501 in Leo - Easily visible. Edge on, bright. At 258x it almost stretches across the field of view. Slight brightening towards centre.

NGC 3501. From Digitized Sky Survey

NGC 2820 in UMa - Faint but easy to find in a recognisable field. Edge on, very thin. Loc. near the face on galaxy NGC 2805.
NGC 2814 in UMa - Thin edge on. Small and quite faint. Not on List.

NGC 2820 (large edge on) and NGC 2814 (small gx at right). From Digitized Sky Survey

NGC 2805 in UMa - Faint face on spiral. Roundish fuzzy patch. Not on List.
UGC 6378 in UMa - Located in nice field of four stars in an arc. High surface brightness, edge on.
UGC 6667 in UMa - Edge on. Quite faint. Even brightness, doesn't brighten towards middle.
UGC 8040 in UMa - Edge on, fairly dim, forms nice box pattern with UGC 8046, MCG +10-19-1 and MCG +10-18-88. The others are all oval and all are equally bright, except UGC 8046 which is fainter.
UGC 8146 in UMa - Faint, thin galaxy. Almost even brightness but with very slight brightening towards centre. Very nice.
UGC 7321 in Coma Berenices - Faint, very thin. Low surface brightness. Well defined edges.
NGC 4183 in CVn - Beautiful. Edge on. Detailed with mottling.

NGC 4183. From Digitized Sky Survey

NGC 4244 in CVn - 'Silver Needle'. Very big and bright and stretches across the field of view at 258x. Thin with hardly any brightening towards centre.
NGC 5907 in Draco - Large, bright, edge on. Stretches across field of view at 258x. Brightens considerably towards large nucleus.
UGC 10043 in Serpens - Edge on with pronounced bulge. Pretty faint.
NGC 3245A in LMi - Very thin and very faint. Pops into view with averted vision. Evenly bright throughout.
UGC 4719 in UMa - Faint, edge on.

Also observed NGC 3432 in LMi, and UGC 5509 in Leo, plus two or three more which I have descriptions for, but whose names I wrote down incorrectly, which is easy to do in the dark at 3 am. I'll have to pick Alvin's brains on those!

By this time it was approaching 0430 and with more than the required 20 objects in the bag, plus a few not on the list, we called it a night and approached Larry for our pins. Mine now sits on a ball cap which I got at TSP 2006, and joins several other observing pins. Before going to bed, however, we all looked though the 36" which was aimed at M17, the Swan Nebula in Sagittarius. This was very detailed and busy, with filaments and streamers everywhere, probably the best view I have ever had of it - until I looked at it with Jimi's 48" later that week!

As I write this, it's just on a week since I left the US and I have a bad case of the post vacation blues. I seriously don't want to be back in the UK! I wish I was back in West Texas with great people under those super skies...

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