Saturday, January 15, 2011


Slowly but surely I’m getting out of my observation burn out. I’m starting to read again about astronomy, spending time of forums. I’m even going to give a presentation to Urania: “Ik heb het Messier certifiicaat, wat nu?” And after so many grey days and night we have finally a clear sky – let’s go for it!

Location: Boutersem
Equipment: Obsession 18”
Eyepieces: 24mm; 16mm, Powermate 2,5x
Nelm: above 5,0 but certainly not 5,5
Seeing: good

The idea of the evening is to finish the Hershel II objects in Eridanus. But first some easy things to start with:

M36, M37, M38
M1 – at 211x quite some stars to see close to the edges.
NGC 40: central star, bright edges, star close one of the edges. One of my favorites.
The messiers in Orion: M42, M43, M78

Following objects are from Herschel II catalogue.

NGC 1187 – galaxy in Eridanus
Could not see it !! Also not after 2nd attempt!

NGC 1325 – galaxy in Eridanus
Could not see it !! Also not after 2nd attempt!

I already know I will not meet my objective.

NGC 1332 – galaxy in Eridanus
124x - elongated galaxy of 2' with a bright large core. Not an easy object due to low position.

NGC 1353 – galaxy in Eridanus
124x - elongated galaxy of 2' x 1' -difficult to seen, I can's see it continuously. A star visible south of the elongation direction.

NGC 1400 and NGC 1407 – galaxies in Eridanus
124x - round spot of 1' with a bright stellar core. NGC 1407 is larger and brighter than NGC 1400. It's 2' long and contains also a stellar core. Could not see IC 343 and NGC 1402, even at 211x

NGC 1507 – galaxy in Eridanus
124x probably seen as an elongated smudge of 3'
21x It remains diffuclt but I can confirm it as an object of 3' x 1'. It has a uniform visibility. There is a faint star located 2' from its west side. Observation becomes a bit easier while using a dark cloth as I can see it now during half of the time. A superimposed star is suspected.

Next one is not Herschel II, but nice little planetary in Orion

NGC 2022 – planetary nebula in Orion
211x - planetary nebula in Orion - at this power I the disc is elongated and I can see a slightly darker centre (as a ring). No central star but I suspect a faint star on its northern edge. I googled some images of NGC 2022 and indeed, there is a star there. Also Tom Polakis is mentionning this star.

Ended the night with planetaries such as M76, NGC 1514 (Taurus), NGC 1501 (Cameleopardalis), NGC 2392 (Eskimo), NGC 2371/72 (also in Gemini).

Have seen now 390/400 Herschel II objects.

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