The Spring Waharau has rolled around again and despite the dodgy weather plaguing us over the recent month, Friday night looked promising.

I arrived at just after 4PM and the others started arriving soon after. Skies were clear and winds were light. Setup up the telescope in the light and waited for the sky to darken.
 
Observations as follows;
 
Object Type Magnification Notes
M57
Ring Nebula
Planetary Nebula
113X
The Ring Nebula. Not logged for 4 years, just have not been out at this time of the year, with a clear view of the North.
NGC6781
Pacman Nebula
Planetary Nebula
113X
Bright and easy. Large diffuse planetary.
Cr399
Brocchi's Cluster
Open Cluster
113X
Observed through Kevin Barker's 110mm Binoculars.
M71 Globular Cluster
113X
Loose Milky Way globular.
M27
Dumbell Nebula
Planetary Nebula
113X

IC5148
Spare Tyre Nebula
Planetary Nebula
113X
The Grus Planetary. Enhanced with UHC filter.
NGC6101 Globular Cluster
113X
Diffuse globular cluster in fine field. Not resolved.
NGC7009
Saturn Nebula
Planetary Nebula
113X
Saturn Nebula. Easy. Round and bright with Ansae visible.
NGC7006 Globular Cluster
113X
Remote globular cluster
M72 Globular Cluster
113X
Small compact Messier galaxy in Aquarius.
M2 Globular Cluster
113X
Bright Messier Globular. Not logged for over 4 years.
Jupiter Planet
274X
Nice views of Jupiter with the Red Spot prominent due to a lack in the southern belt. No festoons. There appears to be many small dark ovals following the Red Spot which are visible clearly when the seeing improves.
NGC7293
Helix Nebula
Planetary Nebula
87X
Quick look at the Helix Nebula with and without filters.
NGC253
Silver Coin Galaxy
Galaxy
87X
Sculptor galaxy. Fills the FOV, heavily mottled.
NGC7599
Grus Quartet
Galaxy
113X

NGC7590
Grus Quartet
Galaxy
113X

NGC7582
Grus Quartet
Galaxy
113X

NGC7552
Grus Quartet
Galaxy
113X

Jn1
Jones 1
Planetary Nebula
113X
Large and faint and very difficult even when using an OIII filter.
K3
Kron 3, Brock's Glob (L8)
Globular Cluster
113X
Kron 3. This object is very small unresolved globular cluster, in the SMC. Not far from 47 Tucanae.
NGC602 Open Cluster
113X
Interesting emission nebula
NGC247
Claw Galaxy
Galaxy
87X
Fairly faint but large oval galaxy. No real detail noted.
Triton Planetary Moon
274X
Using Skytools 3, which accurately plots Triton in it's orbit around Neptune, we found had good field stars to help identify the moon's position relative to Neptune. We waited for Neptune to be on the meridian for this exercise (around midnight). We had about 6 people in total having a look...but do not know how many actually knew what to look for.

Using both Dave Brock's 20 inch Dobsonian and my 13 inch Dobsonian, we found the moon easily. Triton was directly visible regularly in the 20 inch and occasionally directly visible in the 13 inch. Averted vision made identification even easier.

At mag 13.5, you would expect Triton to be easy...as the two field stars were mag 13.5 and easily visible. The reason for the difficulty is that Neptune is bright and Triton was only about 8 arc seconds from the limb of Neptune. Given another 5 days and Triton would have been further from Neptune, making identification easier.
     
A good night of observing with a leisurely pace. Enjoyed the east and the difficult tonight pushing the observing skills with Jones 1 and Triton. Staring at Jupiter for awhile was good for a change as well.

As with these events there is people wanting to look through the telescope so there was a certain amount of bright object observing as well and it did seem that we saw Jupiter's Red spot cross the disc of the planet. I forget how fast Jupiter rotates.

The telescope performed well and there were no problems...just I need to get a more pernenant Altitude encoder arm, four years I have been using the tempory one!!
 
Paul Kemp
13.1" f5 Reflector with Argo Navis
Auckland, New Zealand
36° 55' 09 " South, 174° 43' 30" East
-- The Southern Sentinel --