Monday, 30 July 2012

Lunar sketch - Gassendi



Sketched at the eyepiece in my garden at x300 magnification on 29/7/12. Occasional good seeing but with wisps of mid level cloud at times.

Gassendi is 110kn in diameter and 1.9kms deep and sits at the northern edge of Mare Humorum.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Lunar sketch - Archimedes, Aristillus and Autolycus



Archimedes (excuse the spelling mistake on the sketch!) is the largest crater is 83km in diameter and 2.1km deep, Autolycus is the smallest at 39km x 3.4km and Aristillus 55km x 3.6km at the bottom.

Didn't have much time for this as the moon was quickly heading for the horizon, seeing condition were also poor with occasional mid level cloud.

M11



M11 / NGC6705 / Wild duck cluster
Constellation - Scutum
Open cluster

Location - Narkurs
Date - 28/7/12
Time - 2345-0035
Seeing - III/IV
SQM 21.11(NELM 6.1)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 10mm Pentax XW x153 TFoV 0˚27

Sketch materials - White pastel and white ink on black paper.

Sketch notes
Tightly grouped open cluster which I passed over a couple times mistaking it for a globular cluster at low power. Almost rectangular in shape with a zig zag gap running through the centre.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

M51



M51 / NGC5194 / Whirlpool galaxy
Constellation - Canes Venatici
Spiral galaxy

Location - Narkurs
Date - 24/7/12
Time - 0115-0245
Seeing - II
SQM 21.42 (NELM 6.3)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 7mm Pentax XW x218 TFoV 0˚19

Sketch materials - white pastel on black paper

Sketch notes
Taking a break from the Sagittarius region I decided to have another attempt at sketching M51. I gave up on the last attempt as I wasn't sure if I could see the spiral arms so this time I made a lot more effort, I observed for 1 1/4 hours and the sketch took just 15 minutes.
I switched between three EP's (x117/x158/x218) which helped to show the actual brightness and contrast but the main technique I used to pick out the spiral arms was gently rocking the OTA and this was the only time that the spiral arms really became evident. If I stopped rocking the arms would all but vanish and would only occasionally and briefly come back into view.
There were very few background stars at x218.
Although the sketch appears very basic for me this is the best sketch I have done yet because of learning new observing techniques more than what actually was put on to paper.

M21



M21 / NGC6531
Constellation - Sagittarius
Open cluster

Location - Narkurs
Date - 24/7/12
Time - 0030-0110
Seeing - II
SQM - 21.34 (NELM 6.3)

Telescope - 12" f/5 dob
EP - 13mm Ethos x117 TFoV 0˚51

Sketch material - white pastels and ink pen on black paper

Sketch notes
Could quite of easily sketched this cluster within the same FoV as M20 but decided not to as I wanted to use high power on the Trifid nebula.
Very open cluster, and fairly unremarkable on its own with no real bright or large stars.

M20



M20 / NGC6514 / Trifid nebula
Constellation - Sagittarius
Bright nebula

Location - Narkurs
Date - 24/7/12
Time - 2330-0025
Seeing - II
SQM - 21.27 (NELM 6.2)

Telescope - 12" f/5 dob
EP - 7mm Pentax XW x218 TFoV 0˚19

Sketch materials - White pastels on black paper

Sketch notes
Easy find as it was just above the Lagoon nebula which was naked eye visible.
Looked very small when I first saw it but the more time observed the more visible the dark lanes appeared. Swapping between 7mm and 10mm EP's showed the best contrast but sketched with 7mm as it showed the dark lanes better.

M27



M27 / NGC6853 / Dumbbell nebula
Constellation - Vulpecula
Planetary nebula

Location - Narkurs
Date - 24/7/12
Time - 2300-2330
Seeing - III
SQM 21.17 (NELM 6.2)

Telescope - 12" f/5 dob
EP - 10mm Pentax XW x153 TFoV 0˚27
UHC filter

Sketch materials - White pastels on black paper

Sketch notes

At first I was quite surprised at how little the dumbbell shape was defined but after 20 mins of viewing the shape suddenly became clear but still not as bright as I expected.

Monday, 23 July 2012

M8


M8 / NGC6523 / Lagoon Nebula
Constellation - Sagittarius
Diffuse Nebula and cluster

Location - Narkurs
Date - 23/7/12
Time - 0025-0130
Seeing - II
SQM - 21.33 (NELM 6.3)

Telescope - 12" f/5 dob
EP - 13mm Ethos x117 TFoV 0˚51
UHC filter

Sketch material - White pastels/ink pen on black paper

Sketch notes
This was an easy find as it was a naked eye object in LM 6.3 skies.
Really enjoyed having a good look around the nebula and star cluster with all magnifications. The small  cluster of stars were very bright but not large compared to the three stars in the NE and SW of the sketch which I added diffraction spikes to as they were the most dominant in the FoV.
UHC filter slightly improved contrast but not dramatically.

M22


M22 / NGC 6656 / Great Sagittarius cluster
Constellation - Sagitarrius
Globular cluster

Location - Narkurs
Date - 23/7/12
Time - 2315-2345
Seeing - II
SQM - 21.13 (NELM 6.1)

Telescope - 12" f/5 dob
EP - 13mm Ethos x117 TFoV 0˚51

Sketch materials - White pastels/ink pen on black paper

Sketch notes
Very impressive globular which was easily resolved all the way to the centre. The actual cluster seemed a little more open compared to M5/M13 but not quite as bright in appearance.

M28


M28 / NGC 6626
Constellation - Sagittarius
Globular cluster

Location - Narkurs
Date - 23/7/12
Time - 2345-0020
Seeing - II
SQM - 21.22 (NELM 6.2)

Telescope - 12" f/5 dob
EP - 7mm Pentax XW x218 TFoV 0˚19

Sketch materials - White pastel/ink pen on black paper

Sketch notes
Very faint globular compared to M13/M5/M22, could only just resolve the stars in the centre.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

M24


M24 / Sagittarius Star Cloud / NGC 6603
Constellation - Sagittarius
Open Cluster

Location - Narkurs
Date - 21/7/12
Time - 0015-0115
Seeing (Antoniadi)  - II
SQM - 21.45  (NELM) 6.2

Telescope - 12" f/5 dob
EP - x57 26mm T5 Nagler

Sketch materials - White pastels and white ink pen on black paper.

Session notes.
I found M24 quite tricky to find as its quite a large cluster of stars in a very rich star field, I managed to eventually ID it thanks to the dark nebulosity surrounding the emission nebula IC1284.
Quite hard to sketch as the whole area is literally peppered with small stars the brightest stars were probably the three 'inside' IC1284.

Amazing night to be an astronomer though, NELM at Ursa Minor was 6.2 which meant that our southerly sea views of the Milky way were absolutely amazing!