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alanjgreen

9 Aug - Big Dob finally sees the spiral arms of the Fireworks Galaxy (Night Vision)

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The weather gods continue to shine on me and I was out again last night ready to target the Fireworks galaxy (NGC6946).

 

I had repositioned the dob in the shed earlier in the day so that the shed wall no longer stopped me getting my head in to the eyepiece. (The eyepiece stack is quite long with the paracorr2, 55mm Plossl, PVS-14 NVD plus my head!)

I experimented with both the 55mm Plossl (giving me F2 and x36) and the Panoptic 35mm (giving me f3 and x60) plus trialed Astronomik 6nm and 12nm Ha CCD filters to see what I could get. And I tried the Ethos10 (giving x200) without the NV to see what I got without the Night Vision.

 

With the 55mm Plossl and some time spent at the eyepiece I finally got to see 2 clear arms curving back over the top of the galaxy together with a continuous circle of arm surrounding the galaxy core :). I confirmed the view by rotating the image from Sky Safari to match the star pattern in the fov and the arms were where they should be. The third smaller arm underneath the galaxy did not reveal itself however :( 

 

I have been trying to see something in this galaxy for years using various scopes and filters from various locations and to finally see the arms was a great moment for me!

 

For completeness, with the ethos10 and no NVD I could see a nice big patch where the galaxy is. Maybe some variance in brightness within the patch but no arms were seen. With the NVD I could see the arms initially with averted but finally in direct vision once I got my eye in.

I also found that the 12nm Ha filter seemed to make the galaxy larger in size but sadly the arms disappeared.

 

Clear skies,

Alan

Edited by alanjgreen
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An enjoyable read Alan it must be a real pleasure viewing DSOs with a 20" Lukehurst Dob. I have always enjoyed viewing NGC 6946 especially since the supernovae in May 2017.

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It must be pleasing to see some detail in the Fireworks Galaxy, it looks so good in images. I managed to view NGC6946  back in October 2017 from a dark site in Suffolk with my 10" dob. I was going through the Caldwell list and  NGC6946 was Caldwell 12. 

My log book entry:- Not very obvious but circular shape defined by haze and some resolving stars. 24mm Nagler. 

Looking back, whether I could really resolve any stars or if they were a part of the Milky Way, I`m not sure. I`ll try and revisit it this Autumn. 

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1 hour ago, Phil Fargaze said:

It must be pleasing to see some detail in the Fireworks Galaxy, it looks so good in images. I managed to view NGC6946  back in October 2017 from a dark site in Suffolk with my 10" dob. I was going through the Caldwell list and  NGC6946 was Caldwell 12. 

My log book entry:- Not very obvious but circular shape defined by haze and some resolving stars. 24mm Nagler. 

Looking back, whether I could really resolve any stars or if they were a part of the Milky Way, I`m not sure. I`ll try and revisit it this Autumn. 

Yep, it sure is was a nemesis target (probably due to the fact we have to look "through" the milky way to see it).

Edited by alanjgreen

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    • By alanjgreen
      In preparation for the upcoming "galaxy season", I have been busy re-organising my eyepieces across my eyepiece boxes.

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    • By alanjgreen
      Date: Thursday 17th January 2019. 0310-0640hrs
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