Southern Sentinel Observing Report
Saturday 17th February 2007
|Date:||17th February 2007 (Local)|
|Time:||22:30 - 00:30 NZDT (UT +13)|
|120 Minutes from Home|
Mild, No Wind or Cloud. Perfect Night with Excellent Contrast
Limiting Magnitude 6.0, transparency 5/5, seeing 4/5
13.1 Inch Dobsonian, TeleVue Paracorr & Eyepieces & Lumicon Filters
|Dave Ek Box and PalmDSC|
Third night out at Pauanui.
This night I had to setup just outside Pauanui down a lane between kiwifruit orchards, due to weekenders being in the houses around ours ruining the chance of observing from the bach. Of the three nights, this was a stunner. The skies were very still and very contrasty.
Planning to catch up on a few overlooked Herschel objects, particularly between Canis Major and Monoceroes, and some southern objects not seen in awhile in the south. Used the Palm to good effect tonight using the observation list as a chain, to reduce hopping all over the sky.
Observations as follows;
|C/2006 P1 McNaught||Comet||114x||Still naked eye and has a large bright coma. Tail curves off 5 degrees towards Tucana.|
|B 33||Dark Nebula||114x||Horsehead slightly easier tonight with even better contrast.|
|NGC 2414||Open Cluster||114x||Small open cluster which is not more than a bright knot in the Milky Way. Has about 15 to 20 stars, with 3 being between 8th and 11th Mag.|
|NGC 2364||Open Cluster||114x||Open cluster that has two chains of stars, both of about 5 stars each. The E chain is twice the length of the W chain. All the stars are approx 11th Mag.|
|NGC 2367||Open Cluster||114x||Small open cluster of about 20 stars. On the SE edge the stars are bright (10th Mag). Fairly compact and distinct from the background stars.|
|NGC 2309||Open Cluster||114x||Faint open cluster. Compact and fairly rich. Good contrast with the background stars. 10th Mag star is just to the N of the cluster.|
|NGC 2299||Open Cluster||114x||Small open cluster of about 15 members. Has a circle of stars and is fairly loose despite its size.|
|M 41||Open Cluster||114x||Large Messier open cluster. Fills the FOV at 45 arcminutes. Needs lower power but still remarkable.|
|NGC 2380||Galaxy||114x||Small galaxy, slightly more oval than round with an even brightness.|
|NGC 2207||Galaxy||114x||A pair of interacting galaxies. Distinctly separate in the eyepiece with IC2163 being brighter than NGC2207. Irregularity all over the place here.|
|IC 2163||Galaxy||114x||A pair of interacting galaxies. Distinctly separate in the eyepiece with IC2163 being brighter than NGC2207. Irregularity all over the place here.|
|NGC 2196||Galaxy||114x||Small round galaxy, with a small condensed core. Fairly faint.|
|NGC 3109||Galaxy||114x||Large long (6:1) galaxy. Over 20 arc minutes long. Even in brightness, but with irregularity. Conspicious.|
|NGC 2997||Galaxy||114x||Large round galaxy with a strong core. Irregularity noted, but no spiral arms.|
|NGC 3132||Planetary Nebula||114x||Very bright and conspicious PN. Oval in shape with what loks to be multiple shells with a dark ring around a 10th Mag central star.|
|NGC 2986||Galaxy||114x||Bright galaxy with a companion galaxy. Even in brightness.|
|NGC 2374||Open Cluster||114x||Another Milky Way knot. This cluster is below a equilateral triangle of three 12th Mag star. Cluster has about 50 stars and is in a very rich star field. There is a curve of about 10 stars to the SW.|
|ESO 566-4||Galaxy||114x||Small companion galaxy to NGC 2986. Adverted vision confirmed this object.|
|NGC 3223||Galaxy||114x||Small but bright oval galaxy. Has a strong core and has a 12th Mag star on the E edge.|
|NGC 3175||Galaxy||114x||Large, bright oval (3:1) galaxy with a condensed core. Nice.|
|NGC 3250||Galaxy||114x||Bright galaxy with a condensed core. Oval in shape.|
|NGC 3096||Galaxy||114x||Small galaxy group centred around NGC3091. Probably 4 galaxies in this FOV. All are faint and have no real detail.|
|NGC 3091||Galaxy||114x||Small galaxy group centred around NGC3091. Probably 4 galaxies in this FOV. All are faint and have no real detail. NGC3091 is the largest and brightest of the group.|
|NGC 3085||Galaxy||114x||Small galaxy group centred around NGC3091. Probably 4 galaxies in this FOV. All are faint and have no real detail.|
|NGC 3059||Galaxy||114x||A particularly faint galaxy only spotted on the secong sweep. No detail, but possibly has a faint core.|
Struck a problem with the scope tonight. To cut a long story short, I blew a fuse that powers the Ek Box, so that the DSC's would not work properly. Took about 25 minutes of mucking round and swaping batteries until I just swapped the fuse and they powered back up. No hint that the fuse had blown.
Michelle came out with me tonight.
Had a look at Comet McNaught which was borderline naked eye, which probably put it's brightness at 5.5 to 6.0.
Worked two regions tonight, more Herschel objects between Canis Major and Monoceroes, and also a few galaxies in and around Antlia and into Vela. NGC 3109 is an overlooked stunner in Hydra. Fainter objects were pretty easy tonight with an ESO galaxy spotted and the Horsehead being more defined than 4 nights ago. Open clusters have been on the menu for the last three nights and there are some nice clusters near some larger brighter Messier clusters.
Packed up and in bed 15 minutes after starting to pack up. Sweet.
This ends an excellent week of observations. Over 80 in all...probably 100 including objects I don't log every time like Omega Cen, Jewel Box etc.
|Auckland, New Zealand|
|36° 55' 09 " South, 174° 43' 30" East|
|-- The Southern Sentinel --|