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Double Kick Drum

5th September 2012 - It's Been A Long Long Time Coming

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It's been a such a long time since my last session, I thought I may have forgotten what end of my scope I was meant to look through. Thankfully it all came flooding back.

The sky was not great to start with and I was in a hurry before the Moon lit the sky up.

I started with a return to M57, the Ring nebula. Easy to find without maps and a rewarding view. At 42x magnification, the hole was quite clear and at 80x the ellipse became more obvious. I would definately rate it as a top 20 object for beginners as it is tolerant of light pollution.

I then turned my attention to the East side of Ophiuchus and two globular clusters. Just to the Northeast of Nu Ophiuchi and almost in line with the fifth magnitude Tau Ophiuchi is NGC 6517, a small 10th magnitude glob with a supposedly high surface brightness. Unfortunately the quality of the sky at that elevation resulted in an inconclusive attempt.

A little further Northeast, beyond Tau Ophiuchi, is NGC 6539. This larger and slightly brighter cluster was just about possible but was nothing more than an averted vision dirty mark.

The final object I viewed was the small planetary nebula NGC 6891, in Delphinus. It appears as one end of a V-shaped asterism of stars between magnitude 8 and 10 to the West of the famous diamond head of the dolphin. With maximum magnification of 126x it could just about be identified as slightly less stellar that the nearby stars and possibly slightly elliptical. My scope struggles a little with sharpness at that magnification. A longer focal length would go a long way with this one as its surface brightness is such that it could take substantially more magnification.

It's good to be back and a couple of new finds in a short session was satisfying.

__________________________________________________ ______

Observing Session: Wednesday 5th September 2012, 21:20 hrs to 22:15 hrs BST

VLM at Zenith: 4.9 - 5.0

New - Revisited - Failed

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Nice ones! NGC 6517 and NGC 6539 are on my to-do list still. I had an easier time getting NGC 6891: I had the use of Olly's 20" Dob. Even there I first overlooked it for a star. Nearby NGC 6905 is worth a shot as well.

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Love that, new, revisited, failed. Great idea.

May have to have a look for that planetary, thanks for the tip.

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Nice ones! NGC 6517 and NGC 6539 are on my to-do list still. I had an easier time getting NGC 6891: I had the use of Olly's 20" Dob. Even there I first overlooked it for a star. Nearby NGC 6905 is worth a shot as well.

Yes, NGC 6891 was easy in terms of brightness but is small and at the limit of my resolution.

I didn't have much preparation time yesterday, so it was a case of "catch Ophiuchus before it dissappears!"

Hopefully the weekend will deliver the clear skies promised, by which time the Moon will rise a bit later too.

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good to see you back on the report duty sir. :smiley:

agree with you on the m57 comment, deffo a object i recomend if anyone new asks what to look for,unmistakable and as you say copes with l/p well.

did you manage any observing while away ?

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good to see you back on the report duty sir. :smiley:

agree with you on the m57 comment, deffo a object i recomend if anyone new asks what to look for,unmistakable and as you say copes with l/p well.

did you manage any observing while away ?

Absolutely zero.

Hoping for at least one clear night while out in the Swedish sticks but alas, no cigar. I did see the Plough abnormally high in the North through a gap in the clouds but that was it i'm afraid.

Still, it's clear right now and the scope is ready!

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