Southern Sentinel Observing Report

Sunday 13th June 2004

Date: 

13 June 2004 (Local)

Time:  

00:30 - 03:15 NZST (UT +12)

Location:  

Rimmer Rd, Woodhill Forest

40 Minutes from Home

Weather:

Cool Clear and Occasionly Breezy. No Fog.

Seeing: 

Limiting Magnitude 6.0, transparency 4/5, seeing 4/5

Moon:  

No Moon. Waning Moon, rises 02:45

Equipment: 

13.1 Inch Dobsonian, TeleVue Paracorr & Eyepieces & Lumicon Filters

Sensational weather in the last week meant that getting out was only a matter of organising the session not the weather. Another perfect day. The evening was planned and are a trip north of the city was decided as Dave was at the resturant until 10:30 PM. Conditions were excellent on sunset. So after the All Blacks game against the World Champion English, which we beat the Poms 36-3, I headed out with a trailer packed after last weeks trip to Symes Rd.

I waited at Hull Rd but the conditions were going to close in with fog already present. When Dave & Guy arrived it was decided to go across to Woodhill Forest and hope the gate was open. I had not observed from Rimmer for more than 3 years...getting close to four actually, not since the 13 Inch has been built. We we arrived on the western side of the island after 20 minutes, but we found the gate shut. We headed another 100 metres down the road and were suprised to find a dark flat sealed area with a good turnaround. We arrived started setting up just on Midnight. With the moon up at just before 3 AM, we would get three good hours observing. 

This site had a dark northern aspect and was contrasty. Being closer to Auckland the skyglow to the south was well in altitude but this did not affect the west, east or north.

A continuation of the Hartungs list and some Herschel II galaxies were objects to be observed tonight.

 

Object Type Magnification Notes
M 26 Open Cluster 88x Messier Open cluster, easy through the finder. Condensed with 80 members of similar brightness. Cluster has one bright yellowish star of 9th Mag included that stands out.
Sh2-55 Bright Nebula 88x Faint nebulosity just to the south of the IC 1287. Reacts well for the UHC filter and almost indistinguable from the backgrounf glow without it. Rather large and elongated E-W. Adverted vision and the UHC combined gived best views albeit faint.
IC 1287 Bright Nebula 88x Faint milky nebula around Sturve 2325, difficult to distingush from light bleed, but this is not noted surrounding a similarly bright star to the east.
IC 4756 Open Cluster 20x Large open cluster in a starry field, many stars are 6th Mag while the rest of the members are considerably fainter. Far better through the finder than the 22mm Nagler with the Dob.
NGC 6749 Globular Cluster 114x Very faint globular cluster only just spotted after some looking. No detail and only just on the detection limit of this aperture. Spent a total of about 5 minutes on this object.
NGC 6760 Globular Cluster 114x A globular cluster about 10 arc minutes in diameter. Unresolved through the dob and detectable through the finder.
NGC 6790 Planetary Nebula 114x Small planetary nebula. Non stellar despite size. The PN is strongly enhanced by the UHC filter and gives the nebula away.
NGC 6070 Galaxy 176x Small slightly oval galaxy just SE of a 6th Mag star. Faint but adverted vision not necessary to see it, although adverted vision helps to define the halo. CE Filter actually help define object.
NGC 5643 Galaxy 176x Large face on spiral galaxy. Stellar core with a 3 arc minute diameter halo. Spiral arm detail suspected but not confirmed.
M 27 Planetary Nebula 114x Dumbell Nebula was truely stunning tonight and not yet transiting the meridian. 'Apple core' clear with and without filters, with the 'bite marks full of faint wisply nebulosity. This object when observed from a dark site with no lights in the north is a sensational sight. Superbly framed in the 11mm Nagler. 7mm pushed the power too far and softened the object.
M 57 Planetary Nebula 114x The Ring. Again contasty and detailed. While not as large as M27, The Ring is just as sensational. The CE filter seemed the best enhancing the contast while keeping the subtle details visible, unlike the UHC Filter. The detail in the ring is fine and looks like a multiple layer as in flaky pastry. 7mm pushed the power too far and softened the object.
NGC 7009 Planetary Nebula 276x The Saturn Nebula was showing excellent detail with ansae clearly visible at 276x. The interesting thing tonight is the lumpy irregular nature of the nebula that is offset by 90 degrees. This top and bottom regions show a 'doublr shell' that is faint and not noticable at lower powers.
NGC 7171 Galaxy 176x Fairly faint galaxy with an even brightness. Adverted vision not necessary, but helps. At the end of a line of three stars.
NGC 7218 Galaxy 176x Oval galaxy with no real features and even in brightness. Not a difficult object.
NGC 7188 Galaxy 176x A faint round galaxy that sits just outside the FOV of the brighter edge on galaxy NGC 7184. NGC 7180 and another galaxy NGC 7185, also nearby.
NGC 7185 Galaxy 176x A faint round galaxy that shares the same FOV as the brighter edge on galaxy NGC 7184. NGC 7180 and another fainter galaxy, NGC 7188, nearby.
NGC 7184 Galaxy 176x A long oval galaxy about four times as long as wide. A hint of irregularity in the halo but otherwise even in brightness with no core noted. There are three small galaxies all round nearby. NGC 7180 & NGC 7185 along with a fainter galaxy NGC 7188.
NGC 7180 Galaxy 176x A faint round galaxy that shares the same FOV as the brighter edge on galaxy NGC 7184. NGC 7185 and another fainter galaxy, NGC 7188, nearby.
NGC 7392 Galaxy 176x Small compact oval galaxy with a stellar core.
NGC 7377 Galaxy 176x Round galaxy with a condensed core with a halo that is not defined. The CE helps to define the halo by increasing the contrast.
NGC 7293 Planetary Nebula 88x Nice views of the Helix. The Helix is visible also easily through the finder and enjoys low power in th Dob also. All filters improve contrast. Through Dave's Binos you can clearly see that the Helix is not a ring shape but a 'C' where the gap in the 'C' is filled by finer detail.
NGC 6995 Bright Nebula 88x The Veil - Eastern Segment.

The OIII is the best filter for this object giving excellent contrast gains. The details stretchs from one side of the eypiece and out further both sides. The southern segment has many bays and points and looks like a backward 'E' not noticed before. Still visible with the CE filter and UHC filter but undeinably sensational through the OIII. Dark and contrasty northern views.

NGC 6960 Supernova Remnant 88x Veil Nebula - Western Segment, long and wispy.

The OIII is the best filter for this object giving excellent contrast gains. The details stretchs from one side of the eypiece and out further both sides and winds like a road. Still visible with the CE filter and UHC filter but undeinably sensational through the OIII. Dark and contrasty northern views.

 

 

 

Had a bit of difficulty getting the mirror section onto the cradle section which delayed setup time by about 15 minutes. Some work is needed here as this is not the first time this year that this has happened.

Some stunning views were to be had tonight with the views of the bright planetary nebulae outstanding. Widefield views of the Veil Supernova Remnant were also breathtaking especially with the OIII Filter. The Sirius CE proved invaluable tonight with the subtle enhancement of the skies a real benefit for objects below 60 degrees in altitude.

Cheers.

 

Paul Kemp

3.1" Reflector

Auckland, New Zealand

36 55' 09 " South, 174 43' 30" East

 

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