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It was a school night...


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Finally a clear night and no Moon!  Started at 10:15 with the 120ST loaded up the Baader Q-Turret with the 24mm ES68 (25x), 19mm TV Panoptic (32x), 11mm ES82 (55x) and 6.7mm ES82 (90x).

Well...  I say clear.  Initially there was a bunch of low cloud about but moving pretty rapidy but the South was nice and clear to start with so I warmed up with Saturn and then moved on to the nearby globular clusters in Ophicius.

Saturn - Cassini division clearly visible at 90x.  Titan & Rhea (occasionally) visible.

NGC 6293 (new) gc - small bright at the core with some extension away from core.

NGC 6355 (new) gc - faint with averted vision no discernable core

NGC 6553 (new) gc - direct vision no core as such brightness equal through entire object

A bit of a move now as area was getting low and starting to hit some trees so I was always in a race which didn't suit my form of observing so I moved a little more over to the east in to Sagittarius starting with the Lagoon which never tires it's such a wonderful object and the nebulosity was even easily visible with the 60mm finder.

M8 Lagoon Nebula - with the Baader OIII this showed tremendously with the dark lanes running through it more central nebulosity than previously observed with the UHC that has given the extended nebulosity with the H-beta.  However, with the OIII in place the dark lane structure was really obvious.

M10 - With the OIII the central nebulosity was clear but could not see the dark lane through with the low magnification (25x)

NGC 6544 (new) gc - Very slight core brightness visible. Small.

NGC 6756 (new) oc - very light & small scattering of fine stars

NGC 6755 (new) oc - Sparse open cluster made up from very low magnitude stars only

OK!  So after straining to see iddy bitty globs I was ready for something different.  I'd wanted to put to good use my Baader OIII on the Veil to study more in depth this wonderful structure.  In fact, I came back to this one more time later on then the UHC filter was in place for a comparison of the view

Study of the Veil
Western section
(OIII) Now, the western section for me always seems to be the hardest and I've seen it better with high magnification.  With the low magnification the star 52 cyg sometimes gets in the way of the eye adjusting to see the nebulosity it seems.  However, with the OIII the thin long filament was just visible but requiring some averted vision to help.
(UHC) This is interesting - With the UHC the long filament definitely has filled out some and much easier to view than with the OIII.  A slight knot like twisting around 52 cyg is visible with some work.

Pickerings Triangle.
OIII - The nebulosity (fine swathe of it) actually starts way down from the actual triangle.  This is actually more visible than the Western section and works its way up to widen suddenly.  A fine structure of varying nebulosity appears in the large very visible triangular area. Filaments cross the entire structure.  It is clear as the more time that I spend actually at the eyepiece I am picking up more detail. Moving away from the eyepiece means you have to somewhat start again and become accustomed the view.  Lesson learnt.  Sit down and take it in for a long time!
UHC - While this area was still visible the structure was not anything like on the level of with the OIII

Eastern Section
OIII The nebulosity here is staggeringly bright compared to Pickerings Triangle and the Eastern Veil.  It whacks you in the eye standing out shouts "LOOK AT ME!".  I believe there's much more OIII but the entire structure down to the hook was easily visible and multiple knot-like formations as it twists its way down the nebula.  Simply stunning.
UHC - No real change to the OIII as such.  Perhaps just a tad loss of contrast describing the structure within the nebulosity but still a fine view.

While I'm here in Cygnus may as well hover up a few H400 objects around here...

NGC 6940 (new) oc - medium-large cluster.  Bright stars with arrow-head formation containing within a multitude of finer pin point stars.  Nice Open cluster!

NGC 6934 (new) gc - bright and small and almost stellar like at the centre

NGC 7006 (new) gc - very faint with direct vision small(ish) size perhaps a slight core brightness

A bit of a break and point point the scope to Ursa Major for a couple of "classics"

M51 - At low magnification the cores are brightly visible and also at 55x.  Some detail outside of the core is starting to become apparent at 55x.  At 90x the cores have somewhat faded but instead the area around the core is now almost filled as the contrast improves.  The object is a little low down to obtain further detail regarding its spirals and the bridge this time is not directly visible

M101 - Well this is smudge of cotton-wool like substance using the 19mm Pan only.  No further detail can be seen.
w/ ngc 5474 (fail) - Definitely the big guns required for this one I believe!

M31 now at a decent altitude for excellent observation. With the 19mm Panoptic M32 is brilliant and M31 has large core extending a decent length of the view.  M110 can just faintly be seen with averted vision at this magnification however going to medium 55x it shows clearly and even better at 90x a decent size oblong directly visible perhaps a mere hint of brightness towards the centre.

M33 - I believe I've ony seen this before with binoculars such is the nature of this object I've failed many a time to observe it with the telescope - possibly because I was using the C8 where it's difficult to get a sufficiently low level power required.  However, this time it was relatively easy.  A truly massive structure embedded within a "frame" of stars at 25x using the 24mm EP.  An extended oblong that even though no detail within it appears kind of hints at its spiral nature.  Moving the scope slightly helped keep the object in view as direct vision was more difficult.

Moving sideways from M33...
NGC 752 oc - wondrously large open cluster with lots of interest almost fills FOV of the 24mm EP

NGC 891 (new) g (edge-on) This galaxy clearly visible as a faint line though a very bright core.

NGC 1023 g (elliptical) - The 11mm EP shows clearly very bright core with considerable extension.  Quite elongated in shape with a bright mag (7-8?) star directly at the side of the galaxy.

NGC 1342 (new) oc - small cluster with differing brightness of stars approx 20 stars in this.

M34 - A quick move up to M34 for a quick gander.  Plenty of bright stars visible really beautiful with the 24mm (25x)

Another small break and to take in the Milky Way and take note of a few naked eye objects.   The Milky Way was stretching easily from Perseus through to Sagitta.  At the zenith a good level of detail could be seen and the great rift from Cygnus easily discrerned.  Perseus though Cassiopiea is quite distinct although lacking some detail.   The Double Cluster and M31 are direct vision visible which is just awesome and I think a first for this site.

Hercules easy just to point directly the scope directly to M13 with the need of the finder.  In a way to test the resolving ability of the new 6.7mm ES82 on this magnificent glob with the f/5 refractor in a decently dark sky.

M13 - This object along has just justified the purchase of the 6.7mm eyepiece.  With the 82 degree view it allowed sufficient time for the object to drift though the view allowing the eye to relax and take it in using some averted vision and allowing for the seeing to give you clarity.  Even so, M13 takes up a reasonable amount of the view when it's all visible to the outer edges of the cluster.  The stars in the cluster coming out at the edges at 5 points like a star-fish at times with the seeing.  The central core very bright with pin-point brighter stars across the entire cluster's core.

The sky around Cass / Perseus was particularly dark.  Mainly away from the LP of Oxford there's no real intrusive glow from from the sky and also with Cassiopiea now sufficiently high it was a suberb opportunity for the emission nebulae in this area.

NGC 281 (OIII) Pacman Nebula - 24mm with the OIII showed a distinct loose L formation where the nebulosity ends around the mouth down to the neck-line of the face - this area more distinct with brighter nebulosity.  This actually quite surprised me as I've had considerable difficulty with this object before and to see it with quite some much nebulosity apparent was a very nice bonus for the evening!

Double Cluster - Well, I just stopped by this to get to the Heart & Soul nebulae but the view was breath-taking with the 19mm Panoptic.  Immensely dense at the centre of the clusters it seemed thousands and thousands of pin-point stars over-laying a haze of the Milky Way.  Stunning.

Study of the Heart...
IC1805 (Heart Nebula) - First with the OIII the central region around the bright cluster there was decent bright splodge of nebulosity and also above an area which has distinct shape.  I switched to the UHC as I thought that this would help with the H-beta element to study more this large nebula. The 24mm EP gets the entire nebula in view which is necessary to make out the subtle shapes of nebulosity that occur.  The bottom of heart there is a large swathe of nebulosity that seems to knot slightly to the right and dip upwards towards the central bright cluster.  At the top of the heart now with the UHC the nebulosity is large area that takes some form with a dark gulf eating in to it.  A dark area distinct between this patch of nebulosity and that of the central cluster.  As with the Veil..  The more time I spend at the eyepiece taking it in sat down relaxed more fine levels of nebulosity become apparent.  Really, this was a beautiful view that is difficult to put in to words!

Study of the Soul...
IC848 Soul Nebula - With the UHC filter still in place.  Somewhat lighter and more difficult than the Heart with no areas of nebulosity grabbing the attention.  Time spent showed the western section forming at the edge and the centre cut with an area of darkness  A decent size indent at the top eastern side showed a much easier "cut" of nebulosity that was easy to discern the shape in this area of the nebula.  The remainder of the nebula defintely showed a "lightness" to the sky that was not apparent elsewhere but without any further detail. 

My ES82 eyepieces had packed up to dew...  Must not forget to cap 'em when not in use!  However, my 24mm was still going strong...So I plowed on and took off the filter as it seemed a shame to pack up even though it was getting on for 2:30am

So...  A bit of point and shoot - no star-hopping needed here!

M45 - This is an obvious one for wide vision!  Great big bright in yer face cluster!  No nebulosity visible (hardly a surprise)

M57 - Dead tiny ring resolved ring with a hint of blue

Albireo - Beautiful yellow and blue double star

NGC 6830 (new) oc - very small not really much to see (need more power)

NGC 6823 (new) oc - small cluster (again...  more juice required)

M27 (Dumbell nebula) - That's more like it.  Actually a decent size at only 25x!  The apple core shape was easy to see.

A quick look at the atlas and noticed Nepture and Uranus were pretty easy targets to shooting to 'em...

Neptune - Light blue colour slightly soft in appearance not like a star.

Uranus - Emerald green showing reasonable colour. A bit larger and brighter than Neptune.

So that was it...   A bit of mixed bag of stuff!  it was just gone 3am and I quickly packed away to lug myself back home!

If you've made it this far, well done and thanks for reading! :)

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Quite a haul. Well done! :) 

Interesting to see the the effects of both the OIII filter and the UHC filter in use, as I'd just posted up a query last night about OIII filters. I'm assuming you were using your C8 scope rather than any other? 

Sorry, missed were you said you were using the ST120, which is good news as I have the same scope. :) 

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Crikey! Great report of a great session.

Interesting comments on the two filters. I've been playing around comparing the two recently as well. Depends a bit on the target, but I think as you've alluded above, I've also found the Oiii can bring out a bit more contrast/detail, particularly in the brightest regions of a targets, while the UHC doesn't seem as contrasty but in some cases can be essential to seeing the faint outer regions of a target and revealing how huge some of these objects are. Both filters useful and complementing each other pretty well.

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Thanks, Paul!

Yes, the OIII proviides a much better view on the those objects were OIII is dominating.  The UHC can sometimes get easily washed out and requires imho sufficiently dark skies to work its magic well on those objects that have extensive nebulosity in the Hb lines as well.   Although I didn't bother last night as did not want to swap out my set eyepieces in the Baader Turret I can at least now have the UHC and OIII in similar focal length eyepieces for proper study of nebulous regions where there is both OIII and Hb present.

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18 hours ago, Stu said:

What a cracking report Dave. I'm mainly commenting so I can come back and read it properly later :).

Finally finished it, got some peace and quiet for a few minutes!

Wonderfully detailed report Dave, makes me crave some dark skies but that seems unlikely for a while.

I totally agree regarding UHC and OIII, the both have plenty to offer; the OIII giving contrast and structure in the inner regions of objects and the UHC being less aggressive allowing the outer regions to be traced.

Thanks for a great read Dave!

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That's an awesome haul, Dave - should keep you going for a while!  Great write up too.

I like your observations in the 6mm 82degree of M13; I acquired a used Type 1 Nagler 7mm the other day and got to use it between the clouds a couple of nights ago - my first wide AFOV views.  It was stunning with so much detail visible, and the tendrils stretching out just as you described,  Awesome.


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What an incredible report Dave, I can't believe I missed it. I have had a lot on lately and have not been able to spend as much time as I would like on site. Beautifully written and full of interest what more can one say, well done and thanks for taking the time to post it.


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Not being an expert at anything to do with computers, I write my stuff in Word and date them and keep them in a file then I copy-paste them to SGL, very basic but it works for me. I must get round to some writing myself I have all my tapes with my notes for the dictaphone full but no real time to write them, it's going to look a bit daft reading about the Mars A filter at conjuction when the planet is not that far from setting before midnight now and has dimmed a fair bit from late May.


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Great report - I got my pocket atlas out and checked out the locations of everything in this report that I haven't already looked at and and have added quite a few targets to my list!

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