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alanjgreen last won the day on January 17 2019

alanjgreen had the most liked content!

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About alanjgreen

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Cumbria. UK
  1. I have an Astrosystems Dob cover imported from USA https://www.astrosystems.biz/covers.htm I went for the 20” f5 cover and it’s way too big for the f3.6!! but better too large and the shed has a dessicant dehumidifier that runs three hours a day https://www.airconcentre.co.uk/products/ecoair-dd1-simple-desiccant-dehumidifier-ecodd122sim?variant=15428686381154&currency=GBP&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=google+shopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIo6ez7vKr6QIVxLHtCh2XtA_TEAYYAiABEgJ1w_D_BwE - the dessicant versions work at lower temperatures. Alan
  2. Date: Sunday 10th May 2020. 2240-0130hrs Scope: 20” f3.6 Lukehurst Dob with Paracorr (fl = 2089mm & f4.1). Night Vision: PVS-14 with Photonis 4g INTENS. Eyepieces: Plossl 55mm (f2 x38), Panoptic 35mm (f3 x60), Panoptic 27mm (f4 x77), DeLite 18.2mm (f5.8 x115). Introduction I had made a plan to attempt five supernovae earlier in the day and had drawn some star charts to match against once I had the target galaxy in the fov. The weather gods were on my side yesterday and I managed to get an immediate opportunity to search for the SN last night... Observing report 1.NGC 3643, SN2020hvf, Mag 12.4 (observed on 27th April, 8th & 10th May) NGC 3643 had to be the first target as it is getting too west of my shed and about to leave the drop-down side "window of opportunity". Luckily it is a very bright supernova and as I had observed it on two previous occasions I was quickly able to find it and observe for changes... You really have to look for the galaxy as this supernova is so much brighter than you would expect to see! Here is a sketch I drew on 27th April should anyone find it useful... 2.M61, SN2020jfo, Mag 14.5 (observed on 8th & 10th May) Next up, was the SN in M61 which I observed two night ago too. I would say that it is now a little brighter (almost matching the star above for brightness) than it was two nights ago. Here is my sketch from 8th May... 3.PGC 056685, SN2020fhs, Mag 16.1 (observed on 10th May) http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html?#2020fhs Using the Panoptic 27mm eyepiece (x77), I was able to match the star pattern to my sketch and locate the galaxy which clearly had a double core. Changing up to the Delite 18.2mm (x115) I was able to split the SN from the core and identify that it was at the 8 o'clock position (which I then confirmed on my finder sketch). I could not hold the SN in my view but it was intermittently appearing. Here is my new sketch taken from the eyepiece view... 4.UGC 10561, SN2020hvq, Mag 15.9 (observed on 10th May) http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html?#2020hvq Later I was able to get to UGC 10561 (just avoiding the apex of the rolled back shed roof). I had a bit of trouble finding the galaxy as there is a brighter NGC nearby (that I tried to star match to initially when using the 55mm Plossl). After changing to the Panoptic 27mm, I happened upon a decent sized edge-on galaxy that matched my finder sketch and I had found it. The galaxy is a nice size and the star match was a good one to the preliminary sketch. 2 clear separated dots are seen in the cigar shaped edge-on galaxy. There are two close-by stars (one either side) that seem to line up with the core dot and then the SN dot is clearly seen below. I tried for a brighter view using the Panoptic 35mm (x60) and the core plus SN could be seen clearly separated once again. Here is my sketch from the eyepiece... 5.NGC 6118, SN2020hvp, Mag 14.6 (observed on 10th May) http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html?#2020hvp I had to wait for NGC 6118 to move west and come closer to the drop-down side of the shed as it is low to the horizon for me. Anyway, it was nearly there when I started to look for it in the eyepiece. I had the Panoptic 27mm eyepiece loaded (x77). The galaxy is large and the star match to the finder sketch is easy as there is a clear 3-3-2-2 pattern around the galaxy. At first I could not see the two dots within the disk but with time and patience they appeared together on and off in the view. As the sky continued to rotate and I got nearer to the drop-down side the two dots became more permanent. The SN seemed to appear first (in a triangle with 2 close-by field stars) so I reckon it was slightly brighter than the field star next to it in the disk. I switched to the panoptic 35mm for a brighter view and I could see the two dots in the disk easily once again. Here is my sketch from the eyepiece... Epilogue I have to conclude that it was a successful session. Its not often you get to view five supernovae in one session. Three of the five were new to me and that takes me to #24 for 2020 (a number that I am blown away with)! Maybe this will inspire someone else to try for these SN targets now the Moon is out of the way? Alan
  3. Here are my SN targets for next week (weather permitting)... 1.NGC 3643, SN2020hvf, Mag 12.4 (observed on 27th April & 8th May) http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html?#2020hvf 2.M61, SN2020jfo, Mag 14.5 (observed on 8th May) http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html?#2020jfo 3.NGC 6118, SN2020hvp, Mag 14.6 http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html?#2020hvp 4.UGC 10561, SN2020hvq, Mag 15.9 http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html?#2020hvq 5.PGC 056685, SN2020fhs, Mag 16.1 http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html?#2020fhs (Remember to rotate the finder charts 180 degrees to match the view to a dob) HTH, Alan
  4. I was on a mission last night (to bag the SN in M61 before the rise of the Devils Orb due around 2300). I went outside at 2215 to get setup and was so disappointed to see that it was still dusk. Only the few brightest stars were visible naked eye (but at least I could complete 2-star alignment). By 2235 I was setup (with the 20" and NV setup) and nudged over to M100 for a test with the 55mm Plossl. M100 was just about visible so I felt a little deflated (but it is very large and surface brightness is lower) so I nudged down to M61 and SN2020jfo... To my surprise the supernova was easily seen at x38 with the 55mm plossl. The SN appeared fainter than the nearest star above but brighter than the nearest star below (left hand side of galaxy). I made a sketch: (brighter stars have an "x" through them, "g" is galaxy) Glancing back to the sky, it was still daylight to the west and pretty light above, so to see the SN in these conditions was amazing. Next, I went to revisit NGC3643 and SN2020hvf. The galaxy is tiny and faint compared to M61 but the SN seems huge sitting at the side (gives the visual impression of being very large in area anyway) and it’s way brighter that the one in M61 too. So bright that it really overpowers the tiny galaxy patch to the side I revisited M61 with different eyepieces but the view was pretty much the same. The Moon started rising so eventually I moved onto some Globular Clusters before giving up around 2340 - there may be better opportunities as we move through next week so no need to be greedy tonight. SN2020jfo becomes my #21st supernovae viewed in 2020. Which makes this my best year for supernovae hunting! (Unbelievable when you consider that most of January and all of February were lost to bad weather at my location.) Alan
  5. I observed 2020hvf in NGC3643 on 28th April. It is very bright and obvious. It was mag 14.9 back then. (rotate by 180 degrees to match the view from a dob) There is also a new SN in M61 (2020jfo) which was mag 14.6 when discovered 2 days ago. It will get much brighter over the next 10 days. Should be even easier that 2020hvf. See Alan
  6. Mark, You should also have a crack at SN2020hvf in NGC3643 . I observed it on 28th April and it was bright and easy. It has brightened further to mag 13.0 now. Here are the links: http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/sn2020/sn2020hvf.html (rotate this image 180 degrees to match the view to a dob!). Alan
  7. Type II supernova found in M61 on 6th May. http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html#2020jfo link to image stated as mag 14.6 already, will get much brighter... happy hunting next week! Alan
  8. New supernovae target in NGC3643 named 2020hvf discovered 21/4/20. Brightness is now reported at mag 14.4 Image here Good luck, Alan
  9. Date: Friday 17th April 2020. 2320-0410hrs Scope: 20” f3.6 Lukehurst Dob with Paracorr (fl = 2089mm & f4.1). Night Vision: PVS-14 with Photonis 4g INTENS. Eyepieces: Plossl 55mm (f2 x38), Panoptic 35mm (f3 x60), Panoptic 27mm (f4 x77), DeLite 18.2mm (f5.8 x115). Introduction. The last three sessions outside have been focused on Supernovae, tonight I wanted to focus on the grade 3 (rated by me “the best of the best” galaxies to view based on my experience with Night Vision on >150 galaxies). I did not get through the whole list as the sky just keeps on turning and some targets were deserving of long lingering looks! After connecting Sky Safari to my Nexus wifi unit, I completed 2-star alignment and loaded the 55mm Plossl (for fastest possible “effective” focal ratio of my system), selected my Grade 3 observing list (using Sky Safari) and headed to the nearest target… Observing Report. NGC4051 – The galaxy showed as a superb “S” shape. The core had a tiny black circle around it, straight bar and arms curve away both ends. A good start! NGC4449 – bright core, bright-ish inner halo, fainter larger outer halo with a detached arm curving on the lower side. NGC2403 –large mid-brightness circular central region, long arm exits @3 (o’clock), curves back over top and down left hand side (LHS) to 6 (o’clock). M81 – large with a bright core section & inner halo. Long arm sweeps from 6 up LHS to 10. Much fainter arm exists (just visible) exits 12 and comes down RHS to 4. NGC3631 – Mid-size faintish patch. Tiny core & hazy spiral structure (hard to see directly). Looks like a circle then glimpses of “more”! NGC3726 – Faintish bar-spiral galaxy. Tiny bright core, bar and arms on both sides come & go from view. NGC3893 – Nice. Tiny but has a clear arm running underneath 3 to 9 (o’clock). Time check – 2356hrs NGC3953 – small and bright. Dot core & brighter inner halo (seems to be circular). Averted reveals the galaxy as a bright oblong shaped patch suggesting more content further out too. M109 – Bright bar and plenty of arms to view. One (then two) arms seen exiting @9 and up over top to 3 (& beyond). Lower arm seen intermittently. No arms seen leaving the bar @3 end. M106 – Super bright galaxy. “S” shaped arm structure and central bar. Lower arm clearer to see, upper area has more brightness hiding the arm although thin bright lane is visible within the upper area with averted. NGC4217 – small but perfectly formed edge-on galaxy. Bright core seen in upper section. Long black dust lane runs along the leading edge full length. NGC4618 & NGC4625 – Two galaxies (one small and one tiny), both displaying clear arm structures. 4618 is larger and has a long single arm RHS which seems to leave the lower end of the bar. 4625 is tiny but has a clear circular structure surrounding it. Nice. Time check – 0031hrs M94 – 55mm = Bright core & inner halo. Seems to be surrounded by a black circular area with a faint circular section around that. 27mm for more magnification to see detail within the bright halo but not much to see. Black circular section and outer ring disappear (due to loss of “effective focal ratio” caused by change to higher power eyepiece). NGC4216 – A lovely trio of edge on galaxies in the same fov (all different sizes) dominated by the largest/brightest 4216. I see a bright core on the topside, tiny spec underneath (a field star). A long flat disk with black dust lane running the full length. Nice. M61 – 55mm = Small & beautiful. Bright bar spiral galaxy with obvious arm structure. With some time a long arm is seen exiting at 8, it runs right and up past the other end of the bar. Shorter arm exits at 2 and runs down LHS to 10. 35mm Panoptic and was surprised that there was still plenty of arm structure on offer + increased scale. It was harder to see the arms than with the 55mm Plossl though. M99 – 35mm = Large galaxy with clear anti-clockwise arms. 55mm = Like a "two legged octopus" (if there was such a thing), long arm leaves at 4 anti-clockwise over top to 10. Second arm leaves at 10 and heads down to 6 (a less curvy arm). M100 – 35mm = inner spiral arms clear. Outer arms partially there. Upper arm heads out to a field star. Tiny galaxy patch at 5 o’clock catches the eye. 55mm = Outer arms are easier to see. Lovely elongated arms! M98 – 55mm. Bright core and bar section. “T” bar at top end. Hints of circular arms but not clearly seen. NGC5248 – small bar spiral. A long arm appears to leave @6, swings up RHS and over top and back down to 9. NGC5746 – Lovely edge-on. Core seen on the top-side. Black dust lane runs full length of the leading edge. UGC10528/SN2020ekk. SUCCESS. Supernova observed using 27mm Panoptic and my star chart notes from last time out. This is a bright supernova set well away from the galaxy disk (once you know where it is!) M13 globular – It would be rude not to pop in and see M13 while sitting nearby! With the 27mm eyepiece it almost filled the fov with stars resolved right to the core. The propeller (more of a “1970s space invader”) was obvious. Hope to spend more time on globulars next week… M101 – 27mm = Surprisingly showing a large amount of arm detail, mostly faintish but more as you keep looking. Galaxy completely fills the fov at this magnification. All the arms are there plus a couple of internal NGC/IC patches too. 35mm = Harder, 27mm view was better. 55mm = Brightest view with reduced scale but the arms are all there and the internal NGC/IC too. Reckon 55mm wins then 27mm second place. Time check = 0258hrs. M51 – 27mm = Bridge to the interacting neighbour NGC5195 is almost complete. Increased scale is nice too. View is not sharp but plenty to see so I spend some time tracing the full length of the arms in finite detail. 35mm = Brighter image than the 27mm. Bridge is now all there. 55mm = brightest and clearest view. NGC5195 has a lovely oblong shape with bridge details at NGC5195 end much enhanced. NGC5371 – 55mm. A central dot core with a large disk. Swirliness in the disk. Possible long arm seen on the RHS. NGC5907 – Long edge-on galaxy. Core sits on the top-side. Black dust lane runs the length of the leading edge. NGC6214/SNAT2020gpe – A toughie. Brightest and best view was with the 35mm Panoptic. The SN is very faint and right next to the core @11 o’clock. The SN was glimpsed several times but I could not hold it in direct vision. Perfect star pattern match to my sketch from 15th April. Milky Way is pulling me away… By now my fingers were pretty chilly and all I could see was the bright wide Milky Way rising South to North and constantly pulling my attention away from the scope. On the 15th I had moved to some x1 handheld Night Vision with an 7nm Ha filter. Tonight it was all too much and I added a Chroma 5nm Ha filter to the front of the Paracorr2 and targeted the scope for some much magnified views of the few parts of the spiral arms that I could get to over the tall side of the shed... As this is the “GalaxyQuest” report, I will not write about my observations here. Epilogue. The weather forecast next week seems unbelievable and it is showing me several clear nights plus its new moon. Just need to keep my fingers crossed that it actually happens, maybe then the barren months of January & February will be long forgotten! Clear Skies, Alan
  10. Great report Peter. I remember that I used to fail to remember to take the starsense cap off on occasions too. Makes me chuckle now, dont think it did at the time Alan
  11. Here is my report of another night of SN hunting. Conditions were not as good as two nights back but I did manage to observe SN2020ekk & SNAT2020gpe which were new targets identified yesterday... Alan
  12. Date: Wednesday 15th April 2020. 2300-0400hrs Scope: 20” f3.6 Lukehurst Dob with Paracorr (fl = 2089mm & f4.1). Night Vision: PVS-14 with Photonis 4g INTENS. Eyepieces: Plossl 55mm (f2 x38), Panoptic 35mm (f3 x60), Panoptic 27mm (f4 x77), DeLite 18.2mm (f5.8 x115). Introduction. I have been on Supernova duty since the moon went away. I have been out on 11th, 13th and now 15th looking at six supernovae in NGC4277, NGC5258, IC1222, NGC4568, NGC5636 & NGC5157. Yesterday, I identified three further targets in UGC10528, NGC5111, NGC6214 using the rochesterastronomy.org website. The weather was much warmer last night with the temperature staying just above freezing but I found the conditions to not be as good as on the 13th, there were some fainter field stars that I could see two nights ago that were beyond reach tonight. Anyway, here is my observing report… Observing notes. NGC4277/SN2020ftl – SUCCESS. With the Night Vision Device (PVS-14) connected to the Panoptic 27mm eyepiece (x77 magnifiction), the SN was clearly visible and brighter than the galaxy core above it. This is a lovely star field with many galaxies dotted around making for a great vista! NGC4568/SN2020fqu – SUCCESS. With the 27mm eyepiece the supernova was clearly visible within the upper reaches of the large galaxy disk. This supernova however is much fainter that the one in NGC4277 and represents more of a challenge. NGC5157/SN2020ees – FAIL. The best view was with the 35mm eyepiece (use lower power for faster focal ratio and brighter image) where there was a bright dot within the disk. There were hints of a double core but nothing more. I will mark this as a FAIL for tonight but I managed it two nights ago! NGC5635/SN2020fcw – SUCCESS. With the 27mm eyepiece I could see a clear double dot. This is a bright supernova. Time for some comets while I wait for the sky to rotate around the shed (that my scope lives in). C/124P Mrkos – This was a toughie to find (Sky Safari seemed a little off – it was further SSE) but I found it with the 35mm Panoptic (x60 magnification). The comet is tiny with no core. It was faintish but obvious once in the fov. C/2010 U3 (Boattini) – Easily spotted with the 35mm eyepiece. Much larger than 124P. It had a brighter dot core and a fainter halo. C/155P Shoemaker 3 – Best of the bunch. Found in the 35mm eyepiece. It had a large bright core with a small halo and stood out well in the fov. C/87P Bus - FAIL, I could not find this comet Back to the Supernovae… NGC5258/SN2020dko – FAIL. Conditions let me down here, I tried 18.2mm, 27mm, 35mm & 55mm. I saw definite hints of the double dot within the disk but it was not clear. (I did get it two nights ago!) NGC5111/SN2020gdw – FAIL. 27mm eyepiece. The galaxy sits the RHS of a star and has a bright dot core. I could not see anything else. The SN is supposed to be central. UGC10528/SN2020ekk – SUCCESS. Well this one is a bit of a story. I found the galaxy easily enough but I could not match the field stars to my pre-session sketch (that I took outside) no matter how hard I tried. I sketched a star map of what I could see. Then I spent ages trying to tease out a faint star in near the galaxy core (thinking that this must be the SN!). This morning, when I matched what I saw onto an internet image, it turns out that the SN was located on the other side and I had it plotted on my sketch of what I saw! Here is the image of what I saw (the numbers are clock face for rotation purposes). IC1222/SNAT2020enm – SUCCEESS (just about). The best view was with the 35mm eyepiece (remember that lower power = brighter image). I pattern matched the field stars to my pre-session sketch easily enough. The double dot core comes and goes with the gain turned up. NGC6214/SNAT2020gpe – SUCCESS. With the 27mm the galaxy is tiny in the fov. The much fainter supernova glimpses at 11 o’clock. This was another target where my pre-session sketch was hard to match so I drew out another of the actual view. The 35mm & 55mm gave bright galaxy views but no SN. The 18.2mm gave higher magnification but the view was less clear. The wonder of the Milky Way... Its 0345 and I look up to see the Beautiful Milky way sweeping South – North. I removed the PVS-14 from the eyepiece and held it to my eye (at x1 magnification). With no filter attached to the front the view of our galaxies spiral arms from the South and up through Cygnus was breathtaking. The clouds that make up the arms were so bright and stood out against the black hydrogen sections in-between the arms. I added a push-on Baader 7nm Ha 1.25” filter to the front and the nebula patches popped out into view. The Gamma Cygnus and North America nebulas are super bright and clear at x1, closely followed by the Triffid, Eagle and Swan to the South which are small but super bright too. I panned around and noted CED214 (parachute), IC1396 Elephant Trunk, Heart & Soul, Pacman to name a few. It made me smile to think of the summer nebula season to come, night vision is a game changer for nebula and I am still 10 Sharpless objects short of the complete set… Epilogue. I packed up at 0400hrs and headed indoors, my fingers were a little cold and the sky was brightening slightly as the sun headed up in the east. The forecast is more clear nights to come so better to save some energy for another night too... Clear Skies, Alan
  13. Looks like we have further candidates to check out: 1. SN2020ekk, UGC10528, Mag 16.7 2. AT2020gdw, NGC5111, Mag 15.8 3. AT2020gpe, NGC6214, Mag 16.2 I have also had a couple more success stories, here is the summary: AT2020ftl, NGC4277, observed 11 & 13 April SN2020dko, NGC5258, observed 13 April AT2020enm, IC1222, failed so far SN2020fqv, NGC4568 Siamese Twins, observed 11 & 13 April SN2020fcw, NGC5635, observed 11 & 13 April SN2020ees, NGC5157, observed 13 April Best of luck, Alan
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