Southern Sentinel Observing Report
Friday 13th July 2007
|Date:||13th July 2007 (Local)|
|Time:||19:00 - 00:00 NZDT (UT +12)|
|Location:||Gary Beal's Place. Cambridge|
|2 Hours from Home|
Very Cold, Very Calm. Occassional Cloud Early, then Clear.
Limiting Magnitude 5.5, transparency 3/5, seeing 3/5, 4/5 Later
13.1 Inch Dobsonian, TeleVue Paracorr & Eyepieces & Lumicon Filters
After a prolonged period of rain, nearly 3 weeks, the weather cleared for my first outing with my new Argo Navis and Feathertouch focuser.
I decided to travel down to Gary Beal’s Place in the Waikato and observe down there. This would be my first Observing Night out of the Auckland region in nearly 3 years, not including Waharau. I was looking forward to going observing with Gary & Dave which I only see normally at Waharau. All up we had seven of us out at Gary's;
Gary Beal, Rob Beck, Jason Harris, Dave Brock, Steve Chibnell & Jethro.
Others from Auckland were haeading out to Kumeu.
Packed up and went at about 3PM and arrived at Hamilton at the Hamilton City Motor Camp where I was going to stay the night, had a quick rest and then onto Gary’s another 10 minutes away.
The semi-rural skies at Gary’s are slightly better than Kumeu, possibly due to the lower trees making more of the sky seem available.Tonight was a bit of a familiarisation night of the newly installed Argo Navis and the debut of the Feather touch focuser, so other than just observing there was some learning to be done. No plans to work through any lists or projects, just put the Argo Navis through it’s paces and enjoy the opportunity to be out again.
Observations as follows;
|Boomerang Nebula||Bright Nebula||114x||Small patch of nebulosity suggested by Dave Brock in the Crux region. Found using the Argo Navis and confirmed with Uranometria 2000 Second Edition. Looked at this object early so only moderate power was used. Not listed in Skymap Pro v11.|
|Sh2-3||Bright Nebula||114x||Very diffuse milky region of the sky. Shows as a faint arc, more a brightening of the background field.|
|NGC 6242||Open Cluster||114x||Bright open cluster with about 80 members. About 12 arcmins in diameter. One bright orange star dominates the cluster.|
|NGC 6231||Open Cluster||114x||Bight open cluster in the tail of Scorpius. Has 12 to 15 bright members about 9th Mag, with perhaps 50 fainter members. Fairly loose but well associated.|
|NGC 6322||Open Cluster||114x||Small open cluster inside an equilateral triangle of 8th Mag stars. About 30 members and five are probablt around 10th Mag.|
|NGC 6256||Globular Cluster||114x||Very faint globular cluster, enhanced by adverted vision. Casually looking at the field you could easily overlook this globular. Compact and unresolved.|
|NGC 6624||Globular Cluster||176x||Fairly bright, compact globular cluster. Partially resolved with a strong core. Not far from Messier 69.|
|NGC 6445||Planetary Nebula||176x||Small, irregular PN. Nice pair with as the globular NGC6440.|
|NGC 6440||Globular Cluster||114x||Compact globular. Not resoved at all. In the same field as NGC6445.|
|NGC 4337||Open Cluster||114x||Small faintish, compact open cluster. Has a small double star nearby.|
|IC 4499||Globular Cluster||176x||Fairly faint, unresolved southern globular in Apus.|
|DUN 207||Star||114x||Pair of 10th Mag Orange stars. Equal brightness and about 10 arcsec apart.|
|NGC 5844||Planetary Nebula||176x||Another look at NGC5844 with Jethro. Nice object...overlooked.|
|NGC 5307||Planetary Nebula||176x||Small PN in Centaurus. Same size as the Blue Planetary at high power, without the colour.|
|NGC 3918||Planetary Nebula||176x||Nice high power views of the Blue Planetary. A hint of irregularity.|
|NGC 6392||Galaxy||176x||Compact, round galaxy with a condensed core. Fairly faint,|
|NGC 6101||Globular Cluster||176x||Faint southern globular. Beginning to be resolved.|
|IC 4654||Galaxy||176x||Very faint difficult galaxy in Apus.|
|NGC 7293||Planetary Nebula||114x||First look at the Helix in a while. Easy at moderate power without the filters.|
|NGC 7009||Planetary Nebula||176x||Saturn Nebula. Easy. Round and bright with Ansae visible.|
|Neptune||Planet||176x||A quick look at Neptune. I will have to come back here to see if I can spot Triton.|
|M 72||Globular Cluster||176x||Messier globular cluster in Aquarius. Very compact and only partially resolved.|
Everything worked very well, the Argo Navis pointed very well and the Feathertouch was a pleasure to use. Got familiar with the Tour and the Identify modes on the Argo Navis and just plodded around the sky, checking the pointing and finding some objects not seen for awhile. I did not log any of the regular bright objects, just obscure off the beaten track objects. Looked at a few objects in Apus.
I was very cold, possibly close to freezing. We just could not observe after midnight. Packed up and left Gary's just before 12:30am Frozen, we ended up at the nearby Burger King for some hot food. Stayed at the Motor camp (Cabin Pictured Below) and headed home on Saturday morning. Top night enjoyed myself immensely.
|13.1" f5 Reflector with Argo Navis|
|Auckland, New Zealand|
|36° 55' 09 " South, 174° 43' 30" East|
|-- The Southern Sentinel --|