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Found 2 results

  1. 6th December 2015 Equipment: NexStar 8SE Time: 01:00 - 03:45 During the imaging of Barnard33 through the OIII filter using the 80mm refractor, I setup the 8SE on the single arm alt-az mount for observing. Orion Nebula looked great and bright through just the eyepiece but when using the UHC filter it was detailed and awesome. The shape of the nebula was clearly visible, the fishes mouth and the mustache shaped extends were very distinctly brighter than the reminder of the nebula. There was a lot of the nebulosity visible starting to take on the shape of the "flame" as photographed except it was more rounded. The four stars in the trapezium were bright and distinct. The second object I was looking for to observe was the globular cluster 47Toucana. When I located, it was not in the database of the NexStar 8SE hand controller (atleast not as 47Toucana), it looked dimmer that I was expecting. I spend a bit of time looking at the globular through both the 40mm eye piece and the 11mm Nagler... Both showed a dim image of the globular. Through the 11mm I did see some granulation and irregularly speckled stars extending out from the core. I did a "identify object" scan on the hand controller and it come up as NGC362 and the next nearest object was NGC265 in the list. Looking up the objects NGC362 is magnitude 8 and 47Toucana NGC104 is magnitude 5.8. Both of these objects should be a lot brighter in the eyepiece than the object I was observing and struggling, just barely resolving stars around the globular. That point brings me to the next nearest object, NGC265. In StarWalk it's shown to be magnitude 12.5 and when squinting and de focussing my vision on the shown picture it definitely resembles the shape, brighter/denser core and speckled stars at the outer edges. It also makes a lot more sense for it to be so dim in the FOV when looking at it through a telescope with a maximum resolving power of magnitude 14.5. So I think I was actually looking at NGC265, and not 47Tucana or NGC362. The reason why the catalog on the NS8 hand controller shown NGC362 as a first choice if because the object was manually found after locating the constellation Toucana, the three objects are close together, the NS8 has very little objects in this part of the sky in the database and the star alignment might have been a few degrees off. The reason I didn't look up the data and thought the NGC362 was the Globular cluster 47Toucana is because I didn't want to turn on the iPhone or the iPad and destroy my night adapted vision...REMINDER: GET RED FILM FOR IPHONE AND IPAD. 47Toucana needs to be looked for and observed another night.... So does NGC362 for that matter and compare to NGC265 to confirm the above theory. The next object I wanted to find and observe for the first time was the Horsehead nebula. Reading others observation about the Horsehead, some claim to have spotted it in 4" refractors from dark skies, I though that I might have a chance from my semi dark location. I located Alnitak and looked for any hint of the Horsehead or Flame nebulae with no luck, than I spend a few minutes looking for the nebulae using UHC and OIII filters with no luck. I rushed a bit using the UHC and OIII since it's commonly documented that a h-beta filter is the best filter to spot it. Through the h-beta filter Alnitak was still quite bright but the background was a lot darker, but I still couldn't spot either the Flame or the Horsehead nebulae. I've spend a fair bit of time looking for it through both the 40mm and 11mm eyepieces but at the end before I gave up I still couldn't spot any of them. When I brought my head up and looked at the sky toward Orion's Belt, it was quite obvious that my sight was quite dark adapted since the sky was glowing, it was almost milky bright... I put not seeing the Horsehead nebula down to the sky glow being much too bright for it to come through. The hunt will need to continue another night. The last object I observed was The Carina Nebula. As previously the Carina nebula is a sight to behold, it is definitely my favorite nebula to observe along with the Orion Nebula. It looks stunning through the UHC filter and 11mm eyepiece, the detail in the brightest arm was visible clearly, although not as defined as the last time I looked at it, but close. Through the 40mm eyepiece and the f6.3 focal reducer, there was a lot of the nebula visible in the FOV. Not only the brightest arm, but also the other two features that starts to make the "storm trooper face" shape. This is another object that I always spend a considerable time observing through various magnifications. Both the Orion and Carina nebulae have a slight blue-gray color look to them through the UHC filter which gives it a almost painted appearance. Tonight I was not going to get stopped by dew like last time I was observing so I ran a RCA loom from the CGEM and through a gender changer connected the 8SE dew heater strap, seems to have done the trick since there was no dewing of the optics. The seeing was quite still tonight but as dark adaption revealed, the sky glow was quite bright. Toward the end of the observing session some thin cloud patches were coming and going, not interfering with the imaging. Tonight was definitely a great night of observing. MG
  2. 9th/10th November 2015 Equipment: 80x500mm refractor Time: 22:46 - 00:40 47 Tucanae: showed a fuzzy patch with a distinctly denser/brighter core through a 40mm eyepiece (13X magnified). The 11mm (45X) eyepiece started to show granulation through out the globular cluster. The view was quite faint but noticeable and distinct. The very obviously brighter core gradually became fainter and more disperse toward the edges of the globular disc. The edges were noticibly irregular. NGC265 in Hydrus, dense star field just above beta Hydrus near east of 47 Tucanae. Heaps of faint stars but no nebulosity. The orange star that reminded me of the Sagittarius supernova during last binocular observation is in constellation Reticulum, quite possibly alpha reticulum, right place and brightness, note that gamma reticulum seems orange on star maps. Cluster in Sirius that I spotted last time I was observing is M41. A open cluster of stars, quite sparse and spread out cluster. Easily visible in binoculars and the 80mm refractor. The Pleiades are looking awesome as usual, about a hundred stars visible, and the whole constellation visible in the 40mm eyepiece FOV. This is one object that I usually spend a fair bit of time observing. This view is one that needs the least possible magnification with the highest possible light gathering power, so the 80mm scope at 13X through the 40mm eyepiece is ideal... Atleast in my tool box. Orion Nebula shows the whole Orion's sword in the 40mm eyepiece at 13X. This is definitely a view worth spending a bit of time observing. The running man nebula is very faintly showing through, but not anywhere near as obvious as the Orion Nebula. Increasing the power to 45X with the 11mm TV Nagler reveals more nebulosity and the trapezium is very obvious. Filters: Celestron OIII and Lumicon UHC filters seem to cut away too much light in the 80mm scope. There is more contrast through both but I preferred the view without either filter. The Celestron UHC/LPR and Seben CLR filters did a better job in showing more nebulosity as well as increasing the contrast. Both had their advantages so it's hard to say which did a better job, but if I had to choose, I'd say the UHC/LPR had slightly the edge on the darker parts of the nebula. The OIII and UHC filters are both too aggressive for the 80mm. Equipment: NexStar 8SE Time: 02:00 - 03:40 From approximately 2am, when the 80mm frac was setup to image the Orion's Sword, I wanted to compare the view in the 8SE to the 80mm refractor. First I framed up on to the Orion Nebula, without the UHC filter the nebula glow was very obvious and the stars with in and around, such as the trapezium, were bright. Looking through the 40mm and 11mm eyepieces with and without the UHC filter, the nebulosity was quite obvious, the "moustache" and the fishes mouth were obvious with detail visible that was not visible in the refractor as expected. That said I do remember a more detailed view of the Orion Nebula in the past... Especially using the UHC filter. The second object I located was the globular 47Tucanae. In the 40mm eyepiece the globular did not look any better than in the refractor so I replaced the eye piece to the 11mm Nagler. In the Nagler the globular was still quite dim but I did start to see granulation within the globular, but I was expecting to see the globular as a brighter object than what I'm seeing. I put the reason to seeing such dim views in the globular and the Orion Nebula to the fact that I had to keep adjusting the autoguide star on the laptop screen, even though the screen was turned down to minimum, I figured that the white light was still bright enough to ruin my night adaption.... Then I thought, have a look at the corrector plate... Sure enough, nearly totally covered in dew. Oh well the observing part of the night is over, next time I'll have to run a RCA cable from the CGEM dew strap controller to the 8SE on alt-az mount and try these objects again. Hopefully in the next week there will be at least one more clear night before the moon lights things up again. MG
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