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MarsG76

Observing Omega Centauri, Carina Nebula, Jewel Box and Saturn - 14/15May2015

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14-15 May 2015
Equpiment: NexStar 8SE
 
On the night of 14/15 May as I continued to image Lamda Centauri nebula through the Sulfur single Ion filter through my refractor, I had to keep an eye out for passing clouds.. there were moments when thick clouds moved 15 or so minutes at a time over the patch of sky I was imaging, so I had to be near it to stop the exposure as the clouds rolled in then start it as they went away….
Autoguiding of the running chicken nebula was done by OAG and Celestron NexGuide.
 
So I thought, one thing I haven’t done in way too long was do some nice old fashioned eyepiece observing…. I set up the SCT on the Alt-Az mount I’ll tell you I had some awesome views… AWESOME…. First I looked at Saturn…. It was bright and massive at 406X magnified… clearly visible was the Cassini division in the rings, the cloud belts and ring shadow on the globe and 6 of its moons around it…. then after about 30 or 40 minutes of absorbing that view I moved onto the Omega Centauri… first with the low power 50X magnified… the globular cluster was clear, and a clear fuzzball of stars in the eyepiece circle…. Then I tried the TV11mm Nagler I recently received.
 
The view in high power… what I saw has to be seen to be believed,  at 185X not only was the globular massive and the individual stars were resolvable in the CORE!!!! The Core!!! But because the eyepiece is wide view the circle was not visible, it was almost out of the peripheral, so it was like looking into space through a window…. Awesome…. Then I went toward the Jewel Box near the southern cross… at low power the distinct “V” shape of the Jewel box was obvious and the different colors of the stars were visible. But with the high power eyepiece not only were the different colors of the stars visible and glistening but there were so many stars in the view that the “V” shape was almost lost, why it’s called the “Jewel Box” was plainly visible.
 
Next target was the Carina nebul. Here I had to use the ultra high contrast filter to dim out the stars that overwhelm the nebula and I bs you not, with the filter there were actual whisps, folds and structures are visible within the nebula… stuff normally expected to need to be long exposed to see, but were visible through the eyepiece!
 
Before those four I just described I looked at the Lagoon Nebula, the Trifid nebula and the butterfly nebula but those were too low into and toward lights from CBD so the details were washed out, I still saw the “lagoon” in the lagoon nebula but not as defined as it would be at a dark location or position in the sky. The Trifid and the butterfly were just a barely visible smudge. The butterfly had the shape of it visible but only barely. I remember when I took the scope to the mountains and looked at the Trifid nebula from there, the shape of the Trifid was clearly visible as well as the breaks in the “flower” part, tonight was not even close.
 
I’ll tell you... it doesn’t seem like a lot of objects were looked at but more than 3 hours went by like nothing…. I didn’t feel that my bones have frozen through until I realized what time it was and that the object I was imaging moved behind the trees and buildings in the distance.
 
In the last few years I mostly did astrophotography but after tonight I think I need to do more traveling to dark sites and do lot more observing.
 

MG

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