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Double Kick Drum

16th October 2012 - NGC 6946, The Fireworks Galaxy

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The forecast indicated clear skies until 11pm but sadly the session was cut short nearly two hours early so I had just 45 minutes with the scope.... better than nothing, I guess!

While the scope cooled, I spent a little time trying to glimpse M30 in binoculars, immediately to the West of 41 Capricorni but at that elevation on a less than perfect night, I was unable to see anything.

As the sky wasn't great, I thought i'd pick overhead targets and started with the Fireworks Galaxy, NGC 6946 (Caldwell 12). Easy to find going from Alpha to Eta Cephei and then on to the Southwest of HR7938 and HR7925. At magnitude 8.8, you might think this easy but it has quite a low surface brightness and appeared as a quite large, irregularly shaped and diffuse wisp.

I had planned the long star hop to NGC 40, the Bow-Tie Nebula but after realising that there were an increasing number of wispy clouds in the sky, the only other target of the night was NGC 663. I had only previously seen this in binoculars and the scope revealed 20 stars (perhaps another four or five with averted vision) in a soft haze. The arrangement looked a bit like a three leaf clover.

Hopefully the next session will be a little longer!

__________________________________________________ ______

Observing Session: Tuesday 16th October 2012, 20:30 hrs to 21:15 hrs BST

VLM at Zenith: 5.0 - 5.1

New - Revisited - Failed

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I'd hoped to get a quick session tonight too, but went out at 9 to find the cloud cover at 50% and haze over the rest, already. So much for the forecast... At least you got something in :)

Cheers for the report DKD, an informative read as always: I nearly always add something to my list from your posts, and from your suggestions for next steps in your replies elsewhere. Thank you!

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on a roll now eh dkd. been busy round these parts lately which is good news ,for far to long has the reports forum remained dormant. i managed about 40 mins before clouds rolled in myself. havnt done report ,didnt think one object warranted it, ( comet hergenrother) but quite enjoyed the chellenge of a quick find knowing clouds were coming in . id not heard of the firework galaxy, i must work out what caldwell's ive managed a draw up a list of to do's and locations.

thanks for the report....keep the forum rolling :grin:

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Yep its certainly looking like you guys are on a roll, nothing but wind and rain for me recently infact I havent had one session in October yet!

Havent seen NGC 4946 myself, really looking forward to the cold spring galaxy hunting nights already. :)

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Nice one, DKD. The fireworks galaxy is not easy, almost like a mini M101. Did you spot NGC 6939 (an open cluster) nearby? I could get both in a single FOV with my 31mm Nagler (and even with the 22T4).

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Nice one, DKD. The fireworks galaxy is not easy, almost like a mini M101. Did you spot NGC 6939 (an open cluster) nearby? I could get both in a single FOV with my 31mm Nagler (and even with the 22T4).

No, I noted it when checking the maps prior to going out but plain forgot about it while observing the galaxy. I will go back to it, Cepheus has been a bit neglected and is due a bit more attention.

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