Observing in Plymouth 2.24.08

RobCos
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Observing in Plymouth 2.24.08

Unread post by RobCos »

SHOCKER! :shock: Rob Cosgrove posting an observing report? Really?

Okay, while i've been observing over the past months, once i'm done logging everything in Deepsky, I can never get the energy to repost it here on the board. However, here's a few of my nights highlights and lowlights while using the Antares 10" dob. :D

For all these observations(except M42) I was using 70-95X for magnification.

Lets start with the ugly.....

Object: NGC 2129 in Gemini

Garbage. Fairly faint cluster. 40 or less stars. No concentration.

This baby has nothing going for it.

Not even beer goggles can help this one.


Object: IC 1805 - OCL 352 Perseus closer to Cassiopia

I found this one in the Sky at Night magazine. This one is also known as the Heart Nebula.

Wow! At 70x and 82 degree FOV, this was very cool. I should have gone to even lower power for an even wider FOV but that's another time.

I could see TONS of faint nebulosity all over the place with no discernable shape(with serious apeture and nice photography you can see a heart). I wanted to be sure I was seeing what I thought I was, so I removed the OIII filter and the view was night and day. Not even a hint of nebulosity with the filter. Very cool! I strongly urge the reader to check out this object!

I'm coming back for sure next night out and use lower power to take in the entire view.

Object: NGC 1976 - M42 - Orion Nebula, Trapezium Cluster (center of M42)

I thought i'd have some fun and compare my Siebert 7mm Ultra(70deg) with my TMB 7mm(60). I could easily make out the E component in the Trapezium and thought i'd follow it through the FOV and see how the viewcompared edge to edge between the two eyepieces.

On axis both eyepieces are sharp. Nice tight stars and great contrast blah blah blah. I followed the E component in the TMB edge to edge and the brightness of this star never seemed to drop off uin brightness all the way to the very edge ( a sign of decent coatings?). With a smaller FOV at 60deg, I couldn't see any astigmatism or coma in the eyepiece whatsoever. The view never changed at all save for a hint of coma at the VERY edge as I tilted my head very far to see the Trapezium disappear from view. Not bad.

The Siebert shared the same view on axis with perhaps a tad less contrast than the TMB eyepiece. However, as the E component neared the far edge, I did have to strain a bit more to keep this star in view-though I could still barely see it (probably a sign of less effective coatings?).

If I had to make a choice, i'd say the TMB is the better eyepiece, but I really have an affinity for the Siebert eyepieces. They're light as a feather, have decent optics, and are handmade here in the USA and for some reason that keeps me coming back to them. Go figure.

FWIW, this is coming from a guy that tries out Astronomy equipment the way Imelda Marcos tried on shoes.

Object: NGC 2244 - NGC 2239 in Monoceros


A decent open cluster, without a whole lot of central concentration. I was guessing somewhere between 40-60 stars both faint and bright.

What I didn't look at(or for) was the Rosette Nebula that surrounds this cluster! Ha! What was I thinking? :oops:

Apparently this is a young star formation that may have begun shining about less than half a million years ago. It's a little baby! The young age and heat from these stars are what provide the radiation for the Rosette.

Okay, so now i've learned something and I need to go back here again. Next time out for sure.

Object: NGC 2232 - OCL 545Monoceros

Very loose cluster set by itself in the general area of NGC2244(Rosette). This is a really large one that's spread out quite a bit. I drew a V shape to remember it for confirmation purposes and as it turns out, the small batch of stars nearby was also part of this cluster. The V shape located SSE is the more sparse of the two sections while the nearby mini cluster is to the NNW.

Taking the dual member clusters together into account-it's actually a decent cluster o check out if you get a chance.

Object: NGC 2068 - M78

I'm pretty sure this is one of the few I needed to find for completing my Messier in it's entirety so I figured i'd forego the Sky Commander DSC for a bit and have a look. Believe it or not, i've continued to bypass M78 since I began the hobby. Boy was I missing out!

Beautiful wispy nebulosity surrounds two 10th magnitude stars. Nebulosity is brightest near the stars(i'm assuming these puppies are HOT) with some fading as you move away. A short ways away is NGC 2067..an extra bonus puff of nebulosity.

Very nice. I would like to have spent more time on this one and I will next night out along with the Rosette.

Object: NGC 4258 - M106 Canes Ven.

This is another Messier that i've seen but not officially logged towards my Messier certificate. One of very few that I still have left. So again, I disregarded the Sky Commander DSC's and hopped on over to Alioth at Ursa Major and made my way over to M106.

Problem was it was fairly bright down and it was low in the sky at this point. Lots of water vapor was killing the view for galaxy's at this point. I popped in the Baader version of a broadband filter and panning over from Alioth, managed to finally find M106. Very faint and certainly not as good a view as the image attached. lol

But I found it nonetheless so i'm happy.

Finally, I thought i'd check out Saturn. Wow. It was one of my best views ever. At 171x it was crystal clear without any softness. in both the TMB and Siebert 7mm eyepieces. I actually loved the tilt of the rings with this view. Seeing "more" of the globe was very cool. I could easily make out one very nice band on the globe and could barely make out the cassini division. At this tilt, finding the Cassini is a challenge to be sure.

Going to 240x revealed a still very nice view-but it was softened a bit to be sure. I just picked up the TMB 6mm to help fill the gap between 171 and 240x for situations such as these.

So all in all this was a great night after hibernating for most of the Winter. Spring is around the corner. It helps to see Leo coming up with Virgo not far behind it. Yahoo!

Bring on the Milky Way baby!
Lacking a witty and/or insightful signature line i'll just say "WHO'S YOUR DADDY!?"
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AstroGeek
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Unread post by AstroGeek »

A very entertaining report Rob. Tell it like it is. :wink:

Steve
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Galactus
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Unread post by Galactus »

Great report Rob! I always enjoy your reports as it is like standing at your shoulder. I wish we lived closer, so that we could observe together more often. However, since I guess I'll need to wait until Miles Standish, I just wish you would post your reports more often...lots of fun. :wink:
Last edited by Galactus on Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RobCos
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Unread post by RobCos »

Thanks guys! There's a few spelling and grammatical errors in there that I was too lazy to check. Go figure. Will I fix 'em? Nah....
Lacking a witty and/or insightful signature line i'll just say "WHO'S YOUR DADDY!?"
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Mark G
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Unread post by Mark G »

Nice reprt Rob. I like your blog reports link too. The images attached for the NGC's are nice. 8)
Last edited by Mark G on Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RobCos
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Unread post by RobCos »

ASSNEman1 wrote:Nice reprt Rob. I like your blog reports link too. The images attached for the NGC's are night. 8)
Thanks Mark. They come from the DSS images database. I'm sure all of two people(me and you) have ever looked at that blog page.

I like adding the pictures just in case, on the off chance, someone does look at the page. I think having the picture to go with the observation works nicely-as long as the potential newbie knows that's not quite what they're going to see. :wink:

As for the Blog itself.....I mostly put stuff out there because, well, Deepsky lets me do it. I've not put stuff on it in months, but i'm going to get back to doing it-as well as start putting reports back on the board on a regular basis again as I used to.
Lacking a witty and/or insightful signature line i'll just say "WHO'S YOUR DADDY!?"
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Galactus
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Unread post by Galactus »

Rob C Wrote:
I'm sure all of two people(me and you) have ever looked at that blog page.
Make that three people (Me too) and I really like it, so I will be a regular visitor from now on, so keep posting there, even when you get too lazy to repost on the ASSNE Board... :lol:
Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
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Rotorhead
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Unread post by Rotorhead »

Welcome back, Rob! Your reports are always good ones. The level of detail, both good and bad, make them very entertaining as well as informative.

M78 is easy to bypass. I remember the first time I saw it on a chart and could not believe how many times I had been in that area and only looked at M42. And sometimes it is hard to find, even though it is relatively bright.

The Heart Nebula has a companion several degrees away that is sometimes called the Fetus or Baby Nebula. Wide-field shots look like the mother's heart over the fetus. I've meant to hunt this pair down but have not. After your description, I will put this on my to-do list for sure.

You must be approaching the end-point of your Messier list, isn't it about time to get you that AL honorary Messier pin??? :)
Bob M
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RobCos
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Unread post by RobCos »

Rotorhead wrote:
You must be approaching the end-point of your Messier list, isn't it about time to get you that AL honorary Messier pin??? :)
Yep, i've got like 5 left Bob. LOL...I will sooner or later. It's the "remembering to check 'em out" part that I need to work on. lol....Especially now that my yard has the FOV that I was lacking before.
Lacking a witty and/or insightful signature line i'll just say "WHO'S YOUR DADDY!?"
Bruce D
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Unread post by Bruce D »

Thanks Rob, and welcome back! The Heart nebula. I never heard of it. I'll have to check it out sometime.
Bruce D
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