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Observations 26/12/09 - Planetary Nebulae/couple of galaxies


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Well, since starting full time work in October, There was exactly 0 clear weekends up until now. But living in Melbourne, that is actually far more clear weekends than the annual average for this forsaken locale.

I had cleaned my extremely dirty mirror on my 12" dob at the start of October and haven't got the chance to use the scope since then.

Ofcourse, the holidays fall on a full moon period. FAIL. So last night promised only 3-3.5 hours of darkness, and predictably, that was cut short by MELBOURNE CLOUD racing in at the speed of sound. mad.gif I had to take a few shots of Tequila.

Otherwise, it was a good session. Seeing varyied quite alot thoughout the night, was Rubbish at the start (around 11pm) then became good, gooood but not great, then turned to absolute mush towards the end, just before MELBOURNE CLOUD ruined the night. Transparency was average, lots of maritime haze, which at sunset looked like a layer of MELBOURNE CLOUD near the horizon.

Date: 26/12/09

Time: 11:30pm-2:30am

Scope: 12" F/4.6 dob

Seeing: 2-5/10

Transparency: 3/5


Super uber detailed at 176x, even with the moon, seeing was quite poor aswell, as the trapezium stars were being distorted into all sorts of disturbing shapes. But yeah, don't think I've ever seen the central region take on such a curdled appearance. Must be the newly cleaned mirror happy04.gif

NGC 1535

PNe, Eridanus, Size 48"x42", Mag 9.6,

Mag 12.5 central star easily visible at 176x. Bright inner orb surrounded by a fainter outer halo which appeared to double its size. Pale blue colour. Annulus clearly seen at 353x, with the W/SW half distinctly brighter than the east. The interior surrounding the central star was uneven in brightness. At 442x the southeastern interior appeared darker and a brightening could be seen in the N/NE portion of the annulus.

IC 418

PNe, Lepus, Size 12x12", Mag 8.95

Small, bright central star obvious with a faint oval well defined haze surrounding it at 176x. Oval figure clearly defined at 283x, oriented approx N-S. Colour appeared white, and surface brightness uniform. At 566x, the edge of the nebula appeared to consist of an annulus which was very slightly brighter than the rest of the object, with the northern end slightly more diffuse than the rest. At this magnification, some very subtle variances in surface brightness was seen, particularly at the northern half which was very slightly darker than the rest of the neb.


PNe, Orion, Size 6.4", Mag 12.9

Very small PNe, virtually stellar at low powers. At 283x with OIII it was clearly elongated roughly NNW/SSE. The object seemed to sport a very HSB "spine" running approx 2/3 along its length, but oriented more NW/SE with respect to the main body, with a bright knot at its southern end, giving the nebula a somewhat triangular appearance. Seeing was deteriorating at this point and use of higher mags provided no improvement in the view.

NGC 2438

PNe, Puppis, Size 64", Mag 10.1

Easily visible as a tiny faint orb at 44x amongst the stars of M46. At 176x a fat, puffy ring was seen, somewhat uneven in surface brightness. The imposter central star is slightly offset to the NW for mthe real mag 17 central star. At 283x with the OIII, the W/NW edge of the ring was noticably fainter than the rest, giving the object a horseshoe appearance. Using the 3.5mm LVW for a magnification of 404x revealed a second faint star just within the SW edge of the ring. Adding the OIII filter revealed the NE edge of the ring to be clearly brighter than the rest.

Minkowski 1-13

PNe, Canis Major, Size 10", Mag 12.6

A small PNe, but obvious from the rich Canis Major starfield at 176x by its diffuse nature. At 404x with the OIII, the PNe was elongated roughly N-S, with a shape that resembled a diamond rather than the more typical oval. The PNe lies just 1' north of an 11 mag star, which aided in finding it greatly.

NGC 2440

PNe, Puppis, Size 16", Mag 10.8

Very bright. At 283x, two closely spaced bright knots could be seen, connected by a "bridge", oriented approx NNW-SSE. This feature is immersed in an oval halo, irregular surface brightness, oriented NE-SW. A filament at the SW edge could be seen, curving back towards the south. The two bright knots and perpedicular oval form give this PNe a somewhat creepy appearance, like an alien with glowing eyes helpsign3.gif Increasing mag to 566x revealed a couple of faint knots in the SW portion of the halo, and what appeared to be dark lane nearly seperating the SW 3rd of the cloud from the main complex.

ESO 362-11

GX, Columba, Size 4.9'x0.8', Mag 13

Faint spindle of light oriented NW/SE, nearly midway between a pair of mag 9 and mag 12 stars. Faint, LSB at 283x, southern edge slightly better defined then northern edge. Approx half its listed length was visible.

ESO 362-12

GX, Columba, Size 1.1'x0.9', Mag 14.42

Faint at 283x, but not terribly difficult. A faint, non-descript ball of fluff, no real shape or form visible. Located approx 6-7' SE of ESO 362-11.

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