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alanjgreen

Getting ready for galaxy season ...

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

case3.jpg.939487642b1d245fdbebf56e9d5de0e3.jpg

I am expecting to be using a mix of traditional and a-focal night vision observing. Therefore, I have put together a "mixed" case of eyepieces. There is a little space remaining just in case I need to swap in a couple more (but I don't tend to go outside will all my eyepieces in one go as they only get cold and unuseable, I prefer to leave a couple inside for a mid-session warm eyepiece swap-in!

I have also created a new Sky Safari "brightest galaxies" observing list so I can target these larger/brighter galaxies with the night vision to hopefully tease out some views of unseen spiral arms? (most likely with the 55mm TeleVus Plossl) as focal speed is key to getting the arms. I may need to swap in the TeleVue Panoptic 27mm for more scale (but we will see)...

[Here is the Sky Safari Observing List that I will be using  Galaxy High Brightness.skylist  should you wish to try it too…(you can import it into your Sky Safari - just email it to yourself then when you try to open the file in the email app it should offer you the chance to "open with Sky Safari") ]

Having learned last year that night vision is not much help on the smaller galaxies (they just get overpowered by the super bright galaxy cores), I have the TeleVue Ethos 21, 13, 10 ready for some "traditional viewing" (with the option of swapping in the Ethos 8 as needed) on the smaller galaxies. I am eagerly awaiting the heavenly widefield views of endless galaxies as seen in Leo with the Ethos21 and the big dob!

Last year turned out to be a "Supernova Marathon" with seemingly weekly supernovas occuring over the UK (and I managed to bag EIGHT of them with the Big Dob).

  1. NGC 3941 - SN2018pv
  2. UGC 5049 - SN2018pc
  3. NGC2746  - SN2018iq
  4. NGC3367 - SN2018kp
  5. NGC6217 - SN2018gj
  6. NGC3158 - SN2018aaz
  7. NGC2146 - SN2018zd
  8. NGC4151 - SN2018aoq

I can't see that happening two years running but I did bag SN AT2018ivc (in M77) on December 1st. Tonight I will be targeting SN2019np in NGC3254 so here's hoping...

Either way, I will need a good supply of clear sky, so lets hope our luck is in.

Wishing you the best for Galaxy season,

Alan

 

Edited by alanjgreen
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Nice :thumbsup:

My prep will be giving my mirror a wash,  giving the EPs a clean, then praying for the permacloud to shift on some other nights than those with a full moon!  It has been a desperately dissapointing last couple of months for getting the scope out here for me.

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You’ve certainly got the gear to go fuzzy hoovering!

Coma was chasing Leo high in the sky when I finally called it quits about 3am on Tues morning. That is when I realised that I need to go shopping big time. Whilst my attempt to get by with just a set of TV Plossls was financially a very good idea, taking a decent sized Dob to play in the spring galaxy fields without something big & wide in the focuser, just isn’t right.

Here is hoping that the weather plays ball. And, good luck with the Supernova in NGC3254. My attempt on Monday night was inconclusive as I forgot to take a decent image with me to compare against.

Paul

Edited by Paul73
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10 hours ago, niallk said:

Nice :thumbsup:

My prep will be giving my mirror a wash,  giving the EPs a clean, then praying for the permacloud to shift on some other nights than those with a full moon!  It has been a desperately dissapointing last couple of months for getting the scope out here for me.

Beat you to it!

wash.jpg.b4a3a57da04a8ff60933284131507052.jpg

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8 hours ago, Paul73 said:

Here is hoping that the weather plays ball. And, good luck with the Supernova in NGC3254. My attempt on Monday night was inconclusive as I forgot to take a decent image with me to compare against.

Paul

Yep, I bagged it

 

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You’ve inspired me to get my EAA setup ready for galaxy season. The RC6@F4.5 + Lodestar gives a lovely FOV for brighter galaxies and fainter groups and clusters, and there’s a limitless supply of them. ?

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11 hours ago, estwing said:

Off to get some vodka for galaxy season....

Just don"t let any observing get in the way of a good drinking session?

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1 hour ago, bish said:

Just don"t let any observing get in the way of a good drinking session?

Got to keep the cold out somehow!

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      Eyepieces: Plossl 55mm (Dob f2 x38, Borg f2.6 x11). Filters: Chroma 5nm Ha filter.
       
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      GSC 4051-1604 – large faintish patch fills fov. Stars have cleared black areas inside. Double star in a black patch stands out.
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      TYC 4051-2885-1 – Junction of two curved loops (curved X shape), brighter central area with black patch & stars inside.
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      GSC 4058-0834 – “house” shaped star cluster set in a large nebula patch.
      TYC 4052-1055-1 – small nebula patch (part of a long thick curvy lane that winds along here).
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      IC405 Flaming star/IC410/sh2-230
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      NGC1499 California.
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      IC2177 Seagull nebula.
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      Sh2-240 Spagetti.
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      Flame/IC434/Horsehead.
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      I now manually slew up from the Flame to find a thick horizontal nebula lane running across the full fov. I follow it right and then down and back under until I find myself back at the Orion nebula (M42). I guess this is Barnards Loop. I had earlier searched for it to the left of Alnitak (as that’s where it is with the dob but this “star diagonal” used in refractors regularly sends me the wrong way when I try to retrace the big dob steps!
      Angel Fish – Huge and bright. Way too big to see the fish at x11 magnification. I do my best to tease out some features but it is just too huge!
       
      NGC2174/Monkey’s head.
      Instead, I move onto the Monkeys Head. It appears small and bright but as usual I see “Mickey Mouse” with the refractor and star diagonal turning things around. I slew around and pick out two patches above, one is sh2-247 the other is unknown. I slew below and find the wonderful tiny triple nebula sh2-254,255 & 257 (another Best of Sharpless member).

       
      NGC2395 Medusa – A small shimmering crescent moon shape is observed.
      M1 Crab – A small shimmering patch. With time at the eyepiece I see a bright circle around the outside and the occasional jumping line details within but cannot hold the interior in my view.
      NGC2359 Thor – A small faintish semi-circle.
      IC443/IC444, sh2-249 – The triplet of nebulas all fit into the fov and are a lovely sight that takes a good while to look around and take it all in. The Jelly fish (IC443) has lovely “tenticles” section that breaks backwards RHS. There is a small bright patch directly in front of IC443 (IC444) and then behind this the large oblong nebula structure sh2-249. I see the fine black lanes within sh2-249 next to Tejat Posterior (bright star).
       
      Sh2-265 – Picking another large Sharpless object, I headed for SAO 112667. I found a small bright patch (sh2-263) then above that a huge bright nebula that after slewing around, reminded me of a “walkie-talkie”. It had a pointed section at the upper LHS. And an interesting double lane at the lower sections.

       
      Sh2-260 – Next I picked sh2-260 (which I have only ever seen with the big dob). I slewed to SAO 112142 where I discovered a very large faint nebula shape. It was larger than the fov and seemed to appear as a “thin teardrop” shape. I cannot find any images of this so at the moment it is unknown to me.
       
      Epilogue.
      I noticed the sky brightening from around 0550hrs so I headed for a last look at the Rosette and Flaming Star regions before deciding to pack up at 0600hrs.
      I am glad that I made the effort to get up as I felt like I got “more than I imagined” from my session (which sent me back to bed happy, if a little cold – at least I had my hot water bottle to bring my feet back to life).
      I think that I have concluded that I need to get the widefield Borg 107FL out more frequently, when it’s cold then the dob in the shed is a much more appealing thought.
      -          I have added an unexpected 7 entries to the “Ag1-xx” nebula catalog for the unknown/extra patches that I will need to come back and confirm… (up to 97 entries now).
      I also now have some lingering memories to help me through the barren spell of the full moon (out here in the dark countryside, the full moon is a real killer!).
       
      Hope you enjoyed the read and my sketches!
      Alan
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