Southern Sentinel Observing Report
Monday 11th December 2006
|Date:||11th December 2006 (Local)|
|Time:||22:00 - 00:00 NZDT (UT +12)|
|30 Minutes from Home|
Mild, Breezy with Hazy Conditions with Occasional Cloud, Low Contrast Skies despite no Moon.
Limiting Magnitude 5.0, transparency 2/5, seeing 3.5/5
13.1 Inch Dobsonian, TeleVue Paracorr & Eyepieces & Lumicon Filters
|Dave Ek Box and PalmDSC|
Again, a long time between drinks. I have not been out since late September mainly due to cloud, wind and increased workload as my work hours increase.
Still windy but clear. However after dark, the sky was very light and hazy, due to smoke from Australian bush fires. Cloud was not to much of a problem but scuttled through as the night progressed. I got to Kumeu at 8 PM and set up early. Dave Moorhouse and Alan Kane arrived at about 8:15 and Guy and Alistair tuned up a little after that.
The plan of attack was to use the PalmDSCs and catch up with a few unobserved Herschel II objects in the Cetus, Eridanus region of the sky.
Observations as follows;
|NGC 2354||Open Cluster||114x||Bright OC with about 80 or 90 members. Even brightness of members, 25 of which are brighter than 12th Mag. In a starry region of the sky so the cluster looks poor in comparison to other off Milky Way clusters. Herschel 400 Object.|
|M 33||Galaxy||114x||Pinwheel Galaxy. Large 2:1 Oval Galaxy. Diffuse with a brighter core.|
|NGC 2292||Galaxy||114x||Circular galaxy with an even brightness. Galaxy sits W and SW of a pair of 12th Mag stars.|
|NGC 1070||Galaxy||114x||Small round galaxy just N of two 12th Mag stars. Has a bright core and an faint halo. Possibly a face-on spiral. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 1055||Galaxy||114x||Elongated oval galaxy, even in brightness. Easy. Makes a equilateral triangle with two 8th Mag stars. Herschel 400 Object.|
|NGC 1032||Galaxy||114x||Small oval galaxy which makes a box shape with 3 14th Mag stars. Bright core. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|M 77||Galaxy||114x||Bright Messier galaxy with a strong defined core. Fainter outer halo.|
|M 74||Galaxy||114x||Large Messier galaxy. Fairly easy with a bright core. Faint outer halo visible with adverted vision.|
|NGC 1084||Galaxy||114x||Moderately large galaxy, oval (2:1), even in brightness with a defined outer halo. Herschel 400 Object.|
|NGC 991||Galaxy||114x||Moderately large galaxy, faint and diffuse with no detail. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 1035||Galaxy||114x||Elongated oval galaxy, easy, in a line of 10th Mag stars. No core, evenly bright but some mottling noted. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 1045||Galaxy||114x||Small galaxy with a stellar type core. Equidistant between two 11th Mag stars. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 1052||Galaxy||114x||Small bright galaxy in the same FOV of the large and faint NGC1042. Herschel 400 Object.|
|NGC 1042||Galaxy||114x||Very hazy & diffuse galaxy, large slightly more oval than round. No core or detail, fairly difficult without adverted vision due to size and sky conditions.|
|NGC 1162||Galaxy||114x||Compact galaxy with an even brightness. You could mistake this galaxy for a star, especially at first glance. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 1172||Galaxy||114x||Small galaxy, rather faint with no detail. Clearly visible inside a triangle of stars. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 1199||Galaxy||114x||The brightest member of a galaxy group. Not difficult, small but has a stellar core. None of the other members are visible tonight in the low contrast skies. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 1209||Galaxy||114x||Bright galaxy, 3:1 oval and looks lenticular. Stellar core. Easy. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 1300||Galaxy||114x||Large galaxy with extensive mottle. Oval and bright. Low contrast skies kills any fainter detail.|
|NGC 1297||Galaxy||114x||Bright galaxy with an even brightness. In the same FOV of NGC1300.|
|NGC 1353||Galaxy||114x||Fairly bright galaxy, a skinny oval. A moderately bright core, not stellar and a faint halo. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 1360||Planetary Nebula||114x||Bright, large, oval PN with good definition. Central star is strong, possibly 11th Mag.|
|NGC 1398||Galaxy||114x||Globular looking galaxy. Faint halo with a strong core. More round than oval.|
|NGC 1201||Galaxy||114x||Faint galaxy with a condensed core. Round with a fainter halo.|
|NGC 1097||Galaxy||114x||Conditions tonight not good for seeing the spiral nature of this galaxy. Bright with a clearly defined central bar.|
|NGC 1079||Galaxy||114x||Easy galaxy, slightly more oval than round. Bright core. Small halo.|
|NGC 1114||Galaxy||114x||Small galaxy between two 9th Mag stars. Faint and small. No detail. Previously unobserved Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 720||Galaxy||114x||Bright oval galaxy with a condensed core. Lenticular looking in shape. Herschel 400 Object.|
|NGC 1514||Planetary Nebula||114x||No nebulosity noted in this object without a UHC filter. Once the filter is employed the nebula reacts strongly. PN 4 arc minutes in diameter. The central star is very bright (about 10th Mag) and looks just like a field star. Both filters clearly show irregularity in the PN with the SE being brightest. Herschel II Object.|
|NGC 104||Globular Cluster||114x||Logged for completeness. Very nice yellowish stars in the core tonight.|
|NGC 288||Globular Cluster||114x||Big sparse globular cluster about 10 arc minutes wide, Easy, but not that contrasty tonight. Possibly over 300 members. Herschel 400 Object.|
|NGC 253||Galaxy||114x||Sculptor galaxy. Fills the FOV, heavily mottled. Elongated to about 8:1, edge on. Herschel 400 Object.|
|NGC 247||Galaxy||114x||Bright elongated oval (3:1), no surface details noted. Easy. 10th Mag star on the southern edge. Herschel 400 Object.|
|NGC 246||Planetary Nebula||114x||Bright and large, 4 arc minutes in diameter and definitely ring shaped. Four stars plus a bright central star are visible within the halo. With the UHC and the OIII irregularity is noted throughout the PN. PN very faint tonight without the filters due to the low contrast conditions. Herschel 400 Object.|
Again no issues with equipment tonight, and the setting circles invaluable again. No realignments or pointing errors of note.
Haze reduced the contrast on many galaxies and actually had Guy and Dave leaving at 11 PM. Alan and I continued through to midnight. Tonight was the lightest I have seen the sky from Kumeu without the moon present. The scatter from the light from Auckland was very noticable. Cloud actually rolled in as I packed up and by the look of the cloud meter it was cloudy from then onward.
Moved through a predetermined list using Uranometria and the PalmDSCs, this proved very effective and I caught up with 11 new Herschel II objects and as many again re observed Herschel 400 objects. No stunning objects and the reduced contrast killed the spiral detail often seen on galaxies in this region of the sky.
Had a good look at planetary nebulae NGC1514, NGC1360 and NGC246 . Nice detail using the OIII and UHC filters.
Home by 1 AM.
Views of the Dob just on Dark.
|Auckland, New Zealand|
|36° 55' 09 " South, 174° 43' 30" East|
|-- The Southern Sentinel --|