Southern Sentinel Observing Report

Sunday 11th April 2004

Date: 

11 April 2004 (Local)

Time:  

19:30 - 22:30 NZST (UT +12)

Location:  

Symes Rd, Maramarua Forest, North Waikato.

60 Minutes fro Home

Weather:

Cool, Clear & Calm with Occasional Cloud & Showers.

Seeing: 

Limiting Magnitude 5.5, transparency 3/5, seeing 3/5

Moon:  

No Moon. Waning Moon, rises 22:30

Equipment: 

13.1 Inch Dobsonian, TeleVue Paracorr Eyepieces & Filters

After a unbelievable bad run of weather through February & March, this is actually the first out of Auckland observing session since Stardate. The highlight of this night was the debut of Dave Moorhouse's 16 Inch Bionculars under a dark sky.

The forecast was for scattered showers and the weather was marginal but we went anyway. Dave M was debuting his 16 Inch Binoculars tonight so we were all keen to see how they would perform after the impressive ’First Light’ 5 days earlier. We travelled though some heavy showers on the way down and a good evenings observing seemed to be not on the cards.

 We arrived just after 7 PM and Dave B arrived from Hamilton only about 3 minutes later. Jason Harris and Guy Thornley had managed to contact us as we were heading south and they decided to come down also. They would be another 40 minutes yet. Dave B and I had completed setting up and then assisted Dave M with his Binos. The others arrived and Guy took over the seeing up with Dave M as Dave B and I had a good look at the comet.

Jason did not set up his 16 Inch Dob preferring to look though the other scopes.

I have planned to work through some unobserved galaxies in the Leo region and finsh off in the LMC looking at nebulosity in the that region. Basically still working through the Hartungs & Herschel lists. I will reobserve some brighter galaxies in Leo.

Object Type Magnification Notes
C/2001 Q4 NEAT Comet 88x Comet filling a large amount of the FOV. Comet in conjunction with very close 6 Mag star clearly naked eye. No magnitude estimate conducted.
NGC 5139 Globular Cluster 88x Omega Cen beautifully framed in the 22mm Nagler.
NGC 5128 Galaxy 88x Easy in the finder and beautiful in the field. Clear sharp dark lane.
NGC 4945 Galaxy 88x Suprisingly easy through the 80mm and contrasty at the lower power.
NGC 3628 Galaxy 88x The Leo triplet was tightly framed in the 22mm but clearly inside the FOV. Extra magnification offered detail inside the Messier galaxies in particular.
M 66 Galaxy 88x The Leo triplet was tightly framed in the 22mm but clearly inside the FOV. Extra magnification offered detail inside the Messier galaxies in particular.
M 65 Galaxy 88x The Leo triplet was tightly framed in the 22mm but clearly inside the FOV. Extra magnification offered detail inside the Messier galaxies in particular.
NGC 5189 Planetary Nebula 88x Widefield look at the Sprial Planetary nebula. More of a confirmation of how to find this object. Although viewed regularly it has need confirmation on exact location.
NGC 3373 Galaxy 88x Compact grouping of three galaxies including M105, M105 being the largest and brightest. NGC3371 & NGC3373 are the junior members.
NGC 3371 Galaxy 88x Compact grouping of three galaxies including M105, M105 being the largest and brightest. NGC3371 & NGC3373 are the junior members.
M 96 Galaxy 88x M95 and M96 just fit inside the FOV of the 17mm Nagler. Both large and bright. No detail observed so they are probably elliptical.
M 95 Galaxy 88x M95 and M96 just fit inside the FOV of the 17mm Nagler. Both large and bright. No detail observed so they are probably elliptical.
M 105 Galaxy 88x Compact grouping of three galaxies including M105, M105 being the largest and brightest. NGC3371 & NGC3373 are the junior members.
M 104 Galaxy 114x Sombero Galaxy needs more power than the 22mm has to offer so I am switching to the 17mm Nagler now that the seeing is better. Easy in the 80mm Finder in a rich field.
NGC 4039 Galaxy 114x Nice views of the Ringtail Galaxies at 114x. Nice comma shapes. Perhaps this object could have responded better at higher powers.
NGC 4038 Galaxy 114x Nice views of the Ringtail Galaxies at 114x. Nice comma shapes. Perhaps this object could have responded better at higher powers.
NGC 2070 Bright Nebula 176x Trantula at higher power. Beautiful and nice to compare with the 16 Inch Binoculars and Dave Brock's 16 Inch Dob. Contrasty.
M 83 Galaxy 114x Easy in the 80mm Finder and hints of a spiral nature with the 17mm Nagler.
NGC 2442 Galaxy 114x Contrasty view with shape difficult to detect without adverted vision. Nice views through the 16 Inch Binoculars. Sometime was spent on this object looking through the other telescopes.
NGC 2434 Galaxy 114x Bright elliptical galaxy in the FOV of NGC 2442. No special detail to note.
NGC 3608 Galaxy 114x A four galaxy grouping between Chort & Zosma. NGC 3608 & NGC 3607 being equally bright with 3607 being slightly larger. NGC 3605 is fainter and closer to NGC 3607 while NGC3599 is further way to the west being fainter than NGC 3608 & 3607.
NGC 3607 Galaxy 114x A four galaxy grouping between Chort & Zosma. NGC 3608 & NGC 3607 being equally bright with 3607 being slightly larger. NGC 3605 is fainter and closer to NGC 3607 while NGC3599 is further way to the west being fainter than NGC 3608 & 3607.
NGC 3605 Galaxy 114x A four galaxy grouping between Chort & Zosma. NGC 3608 & NGC 3607 being equally bright with 3607 being slightly larger. NGC 3605 is fainter and closer to NGC 3607 while NGC3599 is further way to the west being fainter than NGC 3608 & 3607.
NGC 3599 Galaxy 114x A four galaxy grouping between Chort & Zosma. NGC 3608 & NGC 3607 being equally bright with 3607 being slightly larger. NGC 3605 is fainter and closer to NGC 3607 while NGC3599 is further way to the west being fainter than NGC 3608 & 3607.
NGC 3193 Galaxy 114x One of a gouping of four galaxies between Gamma & Delta Leonis. Round and even in brightness probably elliptical. Similar brightness to the more oval looking NGC 3190.
NGC 3190 Galaxy 114x One of a gouping of four galaxies between Gamma & Delta Leonis. Oval looking and slightly irregular in brightnessl. Similar brightness to the more oval looking NGC 3193.
NGC 3187 Galaxy 114x One of a gouping of four galaxies between Gamma & Delta Leonis. Very faint and only a smear. Adverted vision detected the galaxy.
NGC 3185 Galaxy 114x One of a gouping of four galaxies between Gamma & Delta Leonis. Round and at least 15 arc minutes to the SE. No special detail or features. Slightly dimmer than the brighter NGC 3193 & NGC 3190.
NGC 2100 Open Cluster 114x Back to the Trantula Nebula. Just to the east of the Trantula is a globular cluster that is fairly bright, which is listed in Skymap as a globular. This object is definately a globular cluster.
NGC 2074 Bright Nebula 114x Nebulous patch associated with a rather open cluster looking group of stars. Not large but noticable without the assistance of filters. Contrast is good in this direction of the sky tonight.

 

 

 

I debuted the 22mm Nagler Type 4 and the 24mm Widefield in my Finder tonight. Both performed extremely well and every other aspect of the observing went well. The finder was just fantastic with sharp star images and deep sky objects easily seen.

 Cloud scooted through on occasions and a mean shower put all observers into overdrive to cover the scopes quickly. It lasted about 5 minutes but the associated cloud lingered on for about 10 further minutes. We all piled into Dave B’s van and kicked back and discussed the performance of Dave M’s 16 Inch Binoculars.

 Nothing of note tonight but It was good to do a comparison on all the telescopes on NGC 2442, the spiral galaxy in Volans. Add to that nice views of M83. I also worked the brighter galaxies in Leo, the including the Messiers. 

Comet was seen naked eye and was showing a large coma and a tail which was outside the field of 1 deg Max FOV of the Dob.

I do have some photos of interest.

04-04-11a.jpg (49836 bytes)     13 Inch Dob Car & Trailer

04-04-11d.jpg (74803 bytes)     Observers, Car & Trailer

04-04-11c.jpg (76420 bytes)     Fellow Observers From the Left; Jason, Dave Brock & Dave Moorhouse with the new bioculars

04-04-11b.jpg (91133 bytes)     The 'Weta' Nebula. This Weta found its way onto the eyepiece on its own. Nothing like a feeler in the eye !!

All the best.

 

Paul Kemp

3.1" Reflector

Auckland, New Zealand

36° 55' 16" South, 174° 43' 30" East

 

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