Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Deepsky Night of 2008!

Although it’s again clear this evening I was not really planning to observe. I felt a bit tired. Luckily Jan V. called and we decided to go observing together again at the place of Charly. I needed this little push by Jan to go out for the 5th observing session this week. And it was a good thing (thanks Jan!) – the night was again very clear (but cold too). We’ve been observing until 2UT.

Location: Boutersem (Charly)
Equipment: Obsession 18”
Eyepieces: 24mm; 16mm, Powermate 2,5x
Nelm: 5,2
Seeing: moderate
Time 23:00Hr UT to 2Hr00 UT
Temperature: -6°C

The objective of the day is again the Herschel II list.

NGC 2253 – open cluster in Camelopardalis.
This object does not exist! Really, see the discussion on:
I was looking at the right place, but there is nothing to see.

NGC 2347; IC 2179 – galaxies in Camelopardalis
NGC 2347 is continuously visible at 127x. It’s an oval spot of 2’ without any core. It’s located on one of the edges of a triangle of 3 bright stars. 15’ north is IC 2179. Also this one is continuously visible at 127x. It’ has a round shape but is a bit smaller than NGC 2347. A faint core is visible.

NGC 7245 – open cluster in Lacerta
At 211x I can see with averted vision the glow of unresolved stars and something like 5 faint stars, on an area on 5’. The cluster is located in rich area of stars. Visibility is better at 316x. A small but nice asterism with a shape of a keystone is located 8’ north of the cluster.

NGC 1207 – galaxy in Perseus
I have tried this one with my 20cm Newton but without success. With the 18” it’s an easy galaxy at 124x. The oval is 2’ long and 1’ wide and contains a faint core.

I still need to do 3 Herschel II objects in Pisces, but it’s going to be a challenge – Pisces is currently located (SW) in an area where there is quite some light pollution. I’m not quite sure this will work but let’s try it out.

NGC 706 – galaxy in Pisces

This is galaxy of mag 12.5. In this light pollution it’s quite tough. I can only see it at 211x and not even continuously (80%) as a oval spot of 2’, without any core. I’m not going to try the galaxies in the neighbourhood because it does not make sense in these conditions.

NGC 718 – galaxy in Pisces
This is galaxy of mag 11.7 In this light pollution it’s quite tough. I can only see it at 211x and not even continuously (80%) as a oval spot of 2’, with a faint core.

NGC 741 – galaxy in Pisces

This is in fact a pair of galaxies (NGC 741 and NGC 742) of mag 13. 3. With this light pollution I can see only 1 round, but rather large oval of 3’ (larger than NGC 718 and NGC 706). It’s probably the combine light of the 2 galaxies, but I cannot make any distinction between the 2.
This is surely an observation to repeat in order to view the smaller NGC 742.

NGC 821 – galaxy in Aries

This one is easy, even at 124x. Located SE to a bright star. The galaxy does not touch this star. It’s 1’ large and contains bright core. Visible with direct vision.

NGC 890 – galaxy in Aries

NGC 890 is at 124x a bright galaxy of 2’ with a striking core. The core is as bright as the brightest star of a little triangle west of the galaxy. I’ve seen this one also with my 20cm Newton. At that time I could not see any core (but nelm was only 4.9)

NGC 925 – galaxy in Triangulum
NGC 925 is a huge galaxy in Triangulum. It’s visible at 84x but the best view is at 84x with Deepsky filter. I estimate the galaxy to be larger than 7’ and as wide as 3’. Three faint stars are close (in or out of the galaxy, difficult to say) to the galaxy. The galaxy is a bit brighter at its centre.

NGC 1012 – galaxy in Aries

NGC 1012, of mag 12.1 is already visible at 84x. At 124x I can see a large almost round spot of 2’ with a large but faint core.

NGC 1156 – galaxy in Aries
Observation at 124x. It’s a strange object of 3’. The shape is not really oval – it looks like a piece of the oval has been cut away. It’s maybe due to the 3 stars which are location the NW edge.

Beta Monocerotis
Observed with the 15” Obsession of Jan. A nice triple star (forgot to note the colours)

Now we go more south to Lepus

NGC 1832 – galaxy in Lepus
Observed at 124x. An oval of 2’ close to a moderate bright star. 2’ no core.

NGC 2196 – galaxy in Lepus

At 211x it’s visible 10% of the time, between 2 faint stars. It’s an almost round spot of 2’.

NGC 2139 – galaxy in Lepus
Very very difficult but I have been able to see it during a 5 short moments as a large spot, both at 211x and at 316x.

The next objects are in Puppis

NGC 2396 – open cluster in Puppis
A very loose open cluster. 10 bright stars in an area of 10’. There is north of the cluster a nice double star with orange and blue colors.

NGC 2414 – open cluster in Puppis
At 211x I see 1 bright and 6 faint stars in an arc of 5’. Located SE of straight line of 4 bright stars.

NGC 2432 – open cluster in Puppis
At 211x I see 15 stars (moderately bright and faint ones) in an arc of 5’, going north south.

I looked for NGC 2525 – a galaxy in Puppis, but I’m not sure I have seen it.

NGC 2467 – open cluster with nebulosity in Puppis.
This object is still very low, less than 10°. I can see at the right location 1 bright star and 10 faint stars. This is the open cluster. I could not see any nebulosity. Observation at 211x. Will need to redo this observation.

At this moment I have enough to see all these faint HII objects. It’s time for some show pieces.

NGC 2438 – planetary nebula in M46 – Puppis
Fantastic at 211x and 316x. This is a large disc! One star on the disc, but off centre is visible at 211x. A 2nd star becomes visible at 316x, still off centre. A bright star is located at the SE edge. With averted vision a ring structure (dark centre) becomes visible.

NGC 2440 – planetary nebula – Puppis
NGC 2440 is another planetary in Puppis. It’s a very bright disc. At 316x I can see a curl on the western edge. Nice object.

Looked also at Eskimo (once more!) and NGC 2371 (idem, once more).
Tried to look for the supernova in M61 but at 2Hr UT the galaxy is still too low .
I have seen the Medusa Nebula through the 15” scope of Jan (with OIII filter).

NGC 3079 – galaxy in Ursa Major.
I ended the night with a fantastic object, NGC 3079, a galaxy in Ursa Major. It’s a long streak of 5’ (elongation around 1:7) with a very bright core of 1” which is offset toward the east. Due to this offset, the galaxy looks bended! Observation at 211x.

This ends a very nice observation night.

162 / 400 Herschel II objects.

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