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scarp15

Looking Forward To Hercules

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Named after the Roman version of the Greek hero Heracles, the fifth largest constellation is steadily gaining in prominence in the east. Perhaps because this weekend at least in my location, is not best suited for a dark sky trip, I have focused attention towards Spring evenings, anticipating observing the diversity of Hercules deep sky objects.  

To begin there is the notable famous asterism, the Keystone, the four prominent stars that make up the torso. The mesmerising globular clusters, M13, M92 and the compact hazy NGC 6229. Exploring M13, within a dark sky on a night of good transparency, scrutiny may reveal, three dark lanes that constitute the Propeller. A little to the north east of M13 is the small spiral galaxy NGC 6207. Lower down the constellation, is to be found the compact greenish disk of planetary nebula NGC 6210, responding to a UHC or OIII filter, on a good night with higher magnification the central star may be located. With larger scopes and a dark sky, there are many challenging galaxy groups to explore.

Presently I hope that you are enjoying some clear skies, please share any aspirations you have for observing within Hercules this season.

  

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Good shout. The propeller is on the list.

Paul

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Hercules is a lovely constellation, hadn't considered NGC6207 or 6210 before so thanks for those.

My nemesis is Zeta Herculis, one day I will split it :)

EDIT got the propeller last night very nicely from our dark site 

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Lots to look forward to there, Iain. I had a look at NGC6210 at the end of my session last night. Lovely little planetary. I’ve never seen NGC6229 or NGC6207 so they’re on the list for a future session now :)

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I agree that Hercules has some fascinating observing targets. I've been up late a couple of times lately and have had an early preview of M13 and M92. Zeta Herc is a tough one - here is a sketch that I made when I first managed to split it with my ED120 a couple of years back:

 

zherc.jpg.75f734114f75faa4e928e76c9837be08.jpg

 

It was more of a thickening of the diffraction ring of the primary than a clearly defined secondary star. I've since had clearer splits with my 130mm triplet and even my Tak FC-100DL on good nights.

As Iain notes, one of my favourite views is M13 with the Ethos 21 which shows enough sky to also see the galaxy NGC 6207 which is mag 11.4 and 30 million LY's away - the two objects in the same view just give a little sense of perspective to the size of the Universe:

Cumulo-Globular-M-13md.jpg.9e07729c76c7091e9cb004c4f0fa435c.jpg

 

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The Hercules galaxy cluster is a great challenge in dark skies.Abell 2151.

Edited by estwing
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Seen the Prop every time the 13E lands on M13. Has a 3D effect to it and ngc6207 is great to get in the same field. 

A revisit is on the cards. 

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It must be nice to have dark sky. From my light polluted back garden I  can only just make out Hercules with the naked eye. I have tried looking for M13 with 10 x 50 binoculars but without success.

Chris P

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13 hours ago, devdusty said:

It must be nice to have dark sky. From my light polluted back garden I  can only just make out Hercules with the naked eye. I have tried looking for M13 with 10 x 50 binoculars but without success.

Chris P

Must be really bad as m13 stands out quite prominent in a 9x50 finder. 

I was out last night for a very brief session before the clouds put paid to it. Managed an hour.

Both myself and mate Soupy agreed that the amount of moisture in the atmosphere made focus on targets difficult. Like looking through static on an old fashioned crt tv. Not a nice view or mushy as we put it. 

Still M13 and M92 impressed the propeller beimg a lot harder to discern.

Shame the clouds yet again ruined the session.

 

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1 minute ago, mapstar said:

Both myself and mate Soupy agreed that the amount of moisture in the atmosphere made focus on targets difficult. Like looking through static on an old fashioned crt tv. Not a nice view or mushy as we put it. 

Sounds a bit like our session on Friday Damian, a shame given how infrequently we manage to get to a dark site!

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Just now, Stu said:

Sounds a bit like our session on Friday Damian, a shame given how infrequently we manage to get to a dark site!

Seems to have been a lot of Moisture in the atmosphere for the last couple of years Stu.

I've discussed with quite a few other visual guys and they all seem to tell the same story. The combination of this and LED lighting seems to just bounce LP around more. 

Having not been to the viewing spot I used for a good 6 months the light dome above middlesborough 40miles north has a distinct white hue to it whereas it was definitely sodium orange the last time I was there.

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42 minutes ago, mapstar said:

Having not been to the viewing spot I used for a good 6 months the light dome above middlesborough 40miles north has a distinct white hue to it whereas it was definitely sodium orange the last time I was there.

Such a shame. I hadn't realised quite how much the LP was encroaching on the supposedly 'protected' dark sky areas. Far more obvious to you I'm sure as you do it more regularly.

The light from Bognor Regis was definitely white this time around. Not sure when they changed over bit it seemed more extensive than last year. Might just have been the humidity bouncing it around more of course.

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In Preston the dome appears to have a blue tinge nowadays, not good.

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They seem to regard green belt as "flexible" these days so perhaps the same attitude is eroding dark sky areas :dontknow:

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Apologies to Scarp as it wasn't my intention to hijack the thread into a LP discussion. Just to be clear it was the moisture giving mushy views. 

Back to Hercules and it's delights :wink:

Edited by mapstar
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That's fine Damien it is a valid point and relevant to the thread, conditions such as we have had are not really optimum for observing much as what is currently in this discussion. On such occasions it is good to plan, a galaxy within Hercules I have not yet encountered is NGC 6482. Described as faint, small round with a hazy outer / Stellar like centre, requiring high power, compared in an account like a dim planetary nebula. Anyone anything to add if you've encountered this? 

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