Jump to content

Narrowband

Any ongoing H400 projects?


Skipjack

Recommended Posts

Hi. Someone visually active with H400 out there? It would be nice to share and discuss success as well as non-success as we go. 

Have logged 223/400 right now, and last observation made two days ago. 

Going to hunt down Open Clusters this evening. 

Mainly using a 8" SCT (goto), but also have a 10" SCT (non-goto).

Who is up for the job?

 

//S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sort of ongoing with this @Skipjack but in a very "incidental" way rather than super purposefully. I have only a pitiful 101/400 objects logged for 2-years worth of attention. In that same period i've also picked up a handful of the second Astro League Herschel 400 objects list (H400-II) and of course a few of the full Herschel ~2500 list (as has anybody who observes a low NGC number).

In my defence for slow progress on the H400 list -

  • 2023 (my second year of paying attention and making notes) was rubbish for opportunity in general, and
  • it is (deliberately) very very rarely the source of an dedicated/intended target list for an observing session - my approach to the project typically is simply to be cognisant to check after the fact if what i had been looking at the night before is in any Herschel list or not then mark it up accordingly, and
  • even when i do particularly fancy making an attempt  to have a Herschel specific session i'm inclined to do that with a small (too small) manual GnG scope (i think because i don't want it to become a too quick ticking exercise and i find this style quite contemplative even if not entirely productive)

A small contradiction to the casual approach is i do have some Herschel monthly lists in Sky Safari and if i look at some object targeted for another reason i may flick to one of those to see if there is a Herschel discovered object or two nearby to where i'm pointing. I do love looking up anything of note re. Herschel's own observation of any given object i find i have observed and i'm never less than impressed by the man and his abilities when i do. On that topic i'm about halfway through the brilliant Wolfgang Steinicke "masterwork" on Herschel's life and observations but my reading of that book is also very casual and slow :-).

I have the longterm ambition to steadily do the full Herschel 2500 or so list (i would really like this to be something i "achieve" in the hobby) and i would additionally like quite a bit of that to be sketched. 

At some point a few years into the future when I happen to casually find myself more than half way through the long list - i will use whatever i have left to view on the 2500 list to define what my n+1 scope set-up would need to be to push on in a more focussed way to successfully complete it.

Finally, also at some point, i'm going to have a go at copying Herschel's own sweeping technique - you can basically emulate/replay some of Herschel's own discovery evenings by doing this and i'd like to experience that.

Cheers

Joe

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Marvin/Joe, hi!

Lets get to it then! I passed 275 objects last week, but doing Messiers & Caldwells #1-67 at the same time (many of the Caldwells exists in H400 as you know, so really not that much of an effort). Been observing since 1989, so I have logged a majority of them before, but sadly never did much of recording - just a check in a box - and those papers are long gone. This time I will do it properly. I guess I would need a minimum of 15 years for H2500 so I will likely not be able to finish it. But while waiting for SGR, SCO and the others, I might as well go and make tiny little dent in H2500. 

I set my goals fairly low, want to pass 300 objects before the summer and roughly 350 by the end of the year. But you never know.

 

Edited by Skipjack
Misspelling
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @Skipjack

Contrary to my post above i did have a rare session at the weekend where i had a Herschel target list in hand (thanks a little bit to your post bringing the topic to mind actually). I observed these open clusters in the 6.x to 8.x magnitude range and using an 130mm refractor at x125:

  • NGC 2186 - Seen very poorly as a “four stars in a crooked line” asterism with only a hint of filigree around the middle two stars that came and went.
  • NGC 2194 - Behaved very strangely for an open cluster. Maybe four stars with direct vision but tens and tens with averted vision. With averted vision stars were tiny/faint silvery pin pricks.
  • NGC 2281 - Pretty with a few gold toned stars on initial viewing but this colour impression didn’t last.
  • NGC 1444 - Very sparse, very thin. Brought out mildly with averted vision.
  • NGC 1513 - A seemingly distant faint filigree (condensation) with averted vision. A thin small unevenly circular “fairy ring” remained visible with direct vision.

I have to pace myself with certain types of open clusters as they are my least favoured targets to observe.

I couldn't see NGC 2158 on the edge of M35 though i could see the kind of stick figure asterism just outside of M35 and NGC 2158 should be seen at the feet of this figure. M35 was immeasurably bigger, brighter and more impactful than any H400 OC on tonight's list!

This takes me to a whopping 106 objects.

Whereabouts in Europe are you? i guess 75 objects in a year is not too much to ask IF the skies cooperate and you haven't left all the harder ones to the final push 🙂. i think i will set the goal to get to the halfway point.

Regards

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, josefk said:

Hi @Skipjack

 

  • NGC 2186 - Seen very poorly as a “four stars in a crooked line” asterism with only a hint of filigree around the middle two stars that came and went.
  • NGC 2194 - Behaved very strangely for an open cluster. Maybe four stars with direct vision but tens and tens with averted vision. With averted vision stars were tiny/faint silvery pin pricks.
  • NGC 2281 - Pretty with a few gold toned stars on initial viewing but this colour impression didn’t last.
  • NGC 1444 - Very sparse, very thin. Brought out mildly with averted vision.
  • NGC 1513 - A seemingly distant faint filigree (condensation) with averted vision. A thin small unevenly circular “fairy ring” remained visible with direct vision.

 

That's excellent Joe! Good work!

It turns out I have observed all of these too, and my own notes says;

NGC 2186: Small but noticable. About 25-30 white stars, quite dim, apart from two or three brighter ones.

NGC 2194: Getting an immediate feeling of a small fuzzy cloud or a touch of haze, which suggest many individual relatively faint stars. A handful of brighter stars in the same field of view

NGC 2281: Nice open cluster, but still no wow-sensation. It's possbile to construct an asterism of a jumping salmon, but very sure nobody else would see this. Counting around 15-20 stars, fairly even in magnitude, not entirely sure which of them belongs to the cluster. Irregular in shape, white with a very slight yellowish color.

NGC 1444: Not really remarkable. Very open. Small. Struve 446 in the field, made no attempts of splitting this. 

NGC 1513: Nice open cluster, sparse with some light signs of concentrated stars. Fairly bright. Can construct an asterism similar to that of an "S", or possibly an infinty sign. Counting 15-20 stars, white to possibly white/blue. After some time at the eyepiece the letter "S" asterism changes to the figure "30" or "38" in contrast to the "37"-cluster. Cool!

 

It seems our notes are fairly similar. A good 100 objects is a nice start. Me too find open clusters a bit tedious and a bit boring, although there are exeptions of course. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Skipjack said:

What a cliffhanger Marvin 😂 Perhaps you bagged all of them without knowing it.

I would say not a single one. I am going through my diary this evening just in case. I do however have a personal reset, that says even if I have seen it before.... to start an observing list one must start at 1.

Our observing experience and skill grows despite the reverse of our eye sight with age. I look at my first entries and can't believe that I observed a target and wrote "bright", nothing else! I will start at the beginning for sure.

Marvin

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like swapping notes like that @Skipjack  - yes our notes are similar but I like some of the extra characteristics you have recorded. 
 

I have my own share logs with simple notes like “bright” @Marvin Jenkins  🙂. I like the idea of having a loose mental checklist of characteristics to record to try and raise the quality of my own records but I’m sloppy and don’t follow through. I can filter my logs to see certain target records next to each other even if they were months apart and it’s quite revealing for what caught the eye and got written down on one observation but not another. 
 

good stuff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just finished going through my logs and I register 48 Hershel objects to date. Some in my diary are quite dramatic like the Whale and Crowbar. Definitely in vocal orbit at the fact I can clearly see the bent end of the crowbar which I believe has its own NGC number?

Marv

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have tried to keep lists but I am pretty chaotic and haphazard, so it always peters out and gets forgotten. I also have really bad light pollution to contend with... I am getting a new setup and may have another go at lists. Using a hybrid EEA/visual approach with plate solving I might be able to make some headway. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only way I can ensure any seriousness or longevity in a project is too print it and laminate. 

Laminated ring folder means you have to follow the challenge to the end. Tonight I printed.... tomorrow I laminate... the next four years are the easy bit.

Marv

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Ags said:

I have tried to keep lists but I am pretty chaotic and haphazard, so it always peters out and gets forgotten. I also have really bad light pollution to contend with... I am getting a new setup and may have another go at lists. Using a hybrid EEA/visual approach with plate solving I might be able to make some headway. 

With light pollution that is the direction I would go down. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will be using an ASIAIR with an electronic finder (ASI120MM/ASI485MC and Askar FMA135) and visual scope - currently a C6 but maybe later in the year I will have a 8" scope to play with. The finder can plate solve to the target and can also record an EEA snapshot as I go. Maybe an EEA scrapbook will encourage me to keep better records!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I logged 188 objects of Herschel 400 List.

But I did not updated my Excel log book since 30 January 2020.

I always take scrupulous written notes , sometimes with drawings, so the observations are logged , they need to be processed.

A quick look convinced me that I am for sure at over 200 objects. I'm saying this because Silver Coin Galaxy is not ticked but was many times observed, the objects in Cetus not ticked although I observed them last Autumn.

And every Spring I live more in the Virgo - Coma galaxy cluster than at home.

 

I'm doing an update of my Excel observation log, currently being at August 2022. Soon I will have the actual ''picture''.

 

17 Messier objects are also Herschel 400 objects. Those are included in my 188 logged H 400 objects.

 

Rarely I do purposed H 400 observations. When I do, I use as resource the '' Herschel 400 Observing Guide '' by Steve O'Meara.

The 188 objects I mentioned above are mainly a spin-off of my double star observations. I use to observe one by one all the double/ multiple stars from a chart in CDSA.

Well, if a DSO it happen ''to be in my way'', be sure I will not avoid it.

 

Mircea

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the "by the way" approach @Mircea and definitely recognise it - there's no rush after all!

That Steve O'Meara book is also a great resource - i tend to use it more "after the fact" than in the planning but i have loaded several of Steve's monthly plans into my Sky Safari as "by month" H400 lists and this works quite nicely.

I myself am pretty strict to keep my spreadsheet up-to-date the next day - if i leave it till a second or third observation is in the queue to catch up then it feels like a chore and i wish to avoid that feeling.

All the best

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

josephk

 

You are right, it is a chore, a harsh chore !

I will take care never fall in this position again. It is true I had some health issues during this time but ultimately this is only an excuse.

 

Things are looking good. It is worth keeping an up-to-date observation log.

Working to update my Excel version, I found today  that on June 29 , 2022, I observed with the 250mm Dobsonian NGC 6572, NGC 6369 and NGC 6356.

The last two, are planetary nebulae in Ophiucus and both are H400 objects.

I hope to find some more ...

And when weather will allow, let's do some more observations.

Mircea

 

Edited by Mircea
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 23/01/2024 at 23:12, Marvin Jenkins said:

The only way I can ensure any seriousness or longevity in a project is too print it and laminate. 

Marv

A laminating machine/laminator is Gods gift to mankind! Just love them! We all had our share of damp and soggy papers in the field...

Don't have a laminating machine, so my wife laminate for me at her work. I am dreaming of having my own though. 

 

Herschels... hope for some clear weather next new moon, will continue wrap up some constellations with a few sporadic objects here and there. Then armed and ready for spring and summer objects. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I only picked up this thread a few days ago and this was my first opportunity to reply. 

I started with the Messier objects and recorded my first official observation which I recorded in December 2006. I had great difficulty observing the globular clusters in Sagittarius but I eventually recorded M70 in August 2010 which gave me the whole 110.

I then started the Caldwell group which was more difficult. In the UK I estimated that 67 were visible and by the present date I have seen 63. I have failed to see C4, C9, C51 and finally C67. I went to California in 2018 and saw C77 and C80. I was using an 18.5 inch newt and I will never forget seeing Omega Centauri.

I also used Steve O,Meara's books and I started with 'Hidden Treasurers'. I started in 2009 and of the 109 objects (less 20 not visible from Hereford) I have seen 85. Failed to see Nos 16, 19, 35, and 57.

I started about the same time the H400 which is the main topic of the whole thread. I have so far seen 397 of the list. I have failed to see NGC613, NGC2185 and NGC3621.

Steve O'Meara then introduced 'The Secret Deep' which I started in November 2016. Of the 109 (less 2 which was too low) I have still not seen 14. Steve also added an extra 20 objects which I have not seen 11.

So it is good that the H400 is a great list to go into and certainly I have had great pleasure checking through the various lists.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Currently my H-400 count has stalled at 320 (H-2500 at 588). Most spotted with my Celestron C8, some with big binoculars (Omegon 15x70, Helios Apollo 15x70 and LightQuest 16x80). Haven't had much luck observing the last year or so. Should really try to get more of these objects.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Mark & Michael, good work! 320 and 397 of them is a big dent in the list for sure. Have had productive nights on the 1st of February and 2nd/3rd of February. Spent 5 hours from 11.pm on the 2nd to 4am on the 3rd. During these two sessions I revisited 24 Messiers and logged 28 new Herschel 400's as well as a couple of Caldewells at the same time. I should have passed 300+ Hershels by now. Working on the transcripts from recorder to logbook right now, it's quite the chore.

From the 1st of febraury, logged some remaining objects in ORI & GEM:

NGC 1788 (ORI). At the eyepiece I was pretty sure this was a galaxy! Got a bit of a surprise when doing the research afterwards. Noted about 20 white field stars, with an occasional yellowish at 80x (0.85 deg FOV). Got hints of slight elongation of object at the eyepiece, and I think this was what fooled me into believing it was a gxy.

NGC 1980 (ORI). Much open cluster, a rough count of ten stars, perhaps a few more. One star is much brighter than the others, white to white blue, and some occasional white/yellow.

NGC 1999 (ORI). Logged as "Nearly stellar in center/or nearly stellar slightly off center, with a little halo surrounding it". About 15 dim stars in FOV, with a couple of brighter ones in the outer edge of the field. (This object had me a bit confused, I estimated the size to abt 3-4' but Saguaro Astro where I got my H400-list from claims 16 x 12'...?) 

NGC 2022 (ORI). Very small. Easily found though, as the stars were pinpoints, and the nebula was not. One second I noted the color of the nebula to be whitish-yellowish, and the next second it was white blue. It shifted a few times like that. Nice optical illusion on this very evening. 

NGC 2024 (ORI). Visually pretty large! Tried O-iii, then it nearly disappeared. Shifted to UHC wich made the nebula pop out again and became quite large again. UHC seemed to be the best filter for this.

NGC 2304 (GEM). This one I tried a few times before, but got lost in the very star populated field every time. Now I finally noticed a small pretty dim bunch, hidden well in between their brighter optical neighbours. No fan of open clusters, but this one was nice once found.

NGC 2395 (GEM). Larger and brighter compared to NGC 2304. Very open, mainly white stars, with a couple of white-yellow. Guessing about 15' in size, not really knowing which stars belong to the cluster and which ones do not.

 

//S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.