Friday, December 26, 2008

Deespky Observation on Dec 25, 2008

It has been a while (Oct 22) that I have been observing. Bad weather and other things on my mind have been the root cause. Finally, today Dec 25 it’s a very clear night.

Location: Boutersem (Belgium)
Equipment: Obsession 18”
Eyepieces: 24mm; 16mm, Powermate 2,5x
Nelm: 5,2
Seeing: moderate
Time 22Hr UT to 2 Hr UT

I started by observing M37 in Auriga. I like this cluster very much.

M1 - supernova remanent in Taurus
Next one is M1. Even with the 18” this object is quite disappointing. The shape is quite obvious with sharp edges and the centre is brighter than the edges. But there is no structure to see in this large object. I see no stars superimposed on M1.

NGC 1514 - planerary nebula in Taurus
NGC 1514 is a planetary nebula in Taurus. Without filter this object is almost not visible, but with filter, wow, this becomes a splendid view.

M77 - galaxy in Cetus
211x: M77 has a large core surrounded by a faint disc. It’s slightly oval. The disc does not reach until the bright star located east of M77. During one moment I had the impression to see faint spiral arms in the halo.

NGC 1055 - galaxy in Cetus
This galaxy is located NW from M77. At 124x I can see it as an elongated object of 4’. It is much thicker in the middle. At 211x the northern edge appears sharper than the southern one. It’s probably due to the dark lane.

NGC 1072 - galaxy in Cetus
This galaxy is located between M77 and NGC 1055. At 211 I can see a star and nebula during 20% of the time.

NGC 1090; 1087; 1094 - galaxies in Cetus
This trio is located south east from M77. At 211 NGC 1090 looks like an oval (elongation 3:1) of 2’. Visible 50% of the time. No core. NGC 1094 is an easy object. It’s a little oval smaller than 1’. It’s continuously visible. NGC 1087 is a large smudge, almost round, without any structure.

Hickson 16 (NGC 833; 835; 838; 839) – galaxies in Cetus
Hickson 16 is a quite easy group of galaxies in Cetus. At 124x I can see 3 members. NGC 835 is an easy object. NGC 835 is visible 50% of the time and NGC 829 is only now and then visible. The 4th member, NGC 833 becomes visible at 211x. At this power, I can see the core of NGC 835. NGC 839 remains difficult.

After these objects in Cetus I decided to go for some objects that Demelza described in her December targets.

NGC 1501: planetary nebula in Cameleopardalis
This is a splendid object at 211x. The central star is obvious. The edges are sharp. The northern edge appears brighter. The disc contains dark areas. Next time I need to see if I can see some color in there.

IC 3568: planetary nebula in Cameleopardalis
IC 3568 is another planetary in Cameleopardalis but much smaller than NGC 1501. It’s only 6” big. I can see it as a round bright little disc, close to a mag 13 star. Observation at 211x. No more details with a UHC filter.

IC 410 – emission nebula in Auriga
The nebula is well visible at 124x with an UHC filter. It’s a big one filling almost completely the field of view. I guess this one is larger than 25’. It looks like a C. Some of its edges are sharp; some other ones are more diffuse. The western part is brighter than the rest.

Stock 8 and IC 417 - open cluster and emission nebula in Auriga.
I tried to look for IC 417, another nebula in Auriga. First I thought it was some nebula around Phi Aur, a beautiful orange star. But what I saw was nothing else than glare. IC 417 is located in Stock 8, which is a quite loose open cluster of 20 stars located in an area of 20’. It difficult to say where the cluster starts or ends because it is so loose. Did I see IC 417? Certainly not without any filter. I have guessed it at 124x with an UHC filter, but I could not confirm it. Will need to repeat this observation.

Abell 8 – planetary in Auriga: not found

K 2-1 – planetary nebula in Auriga
The first successful observation in Deepskylog. The object is visible at 127x with UHC filter. Difficult to say what kind of shape it is. It looks irregular or oval and must be at least 2' big. Averted vision is of course needed to see it. 50% of the time visible. At least on star is visible on the nebula, and some others very close to it.

NGC 2242 – planetary nebula in Auriga
This planetary is not visible at 127x. I can see it at 211x as a very small disc. Averted vision is required to see this mag 15.2 object. An UHC filter gives a positive effect.

NGC 2392 (Eskimo) – planetary nebula in Gemini
A marvelous object at 316 with UHC filter. I could see the typical Eskimo image. An inner bright disc, with central star, is surrounded by a large but fainter outer shell. The inner disc has a kind of triangular shape, which is so typical on pictures of the nebula. Next time I need to look for colors and for the concentric ring within the inner disc.

M35 and NGC 2158 – open clusters in Gemini
Marvelous. For the first time I can completely resolve NGC 2158. At 211 I can see something like 20 stars in this little OC.

Rosette – emission nebula in Monoceros.
Again, marvelous! I can clearly see the nebula cover its complete circumference. The background of the centre is completely dark and filled with many stars of NGC 2244, the open cluster. The nebula is wider and brighter at its northern edge. I can see many brightness is differences in the nebula. To see its full splendor, this object should be seen with an eyepiece that provides a larger field of view.

Xmas tree – could not see the nebulosity.

I continued the night with some classics such as M42 and M43. Again these are splendid objects in the 18” scope. M42 was clearly mottled and contained many details. Also M43 was spectacular. Also spend some time on the flame nebula (NGC 2024). Also I tried to look for the Horsehead nebula with an UHC filter. I had the impression to see some nebula (not the Horsehead itself) but cannot confirm it.

NGC 2359 (Thor’s helmet) – emission nebula in Canis Major
The object was still low in the sky, but nevertheless it was already nice to look at. The typical shape was clearly to see at 211x and UHC filter. The nebula consists of 2 segments; the southern one is an elongated patch going west to East. The northern segment is almost a full circle. The northern part of the circle is the brightest one.

I ended the night with M82 (beautiful), M81 and M97.

No comments: