Thursday, 27 September 2012

Lunar sketch - Aristarchus



Crater Aristarchus sketched last night in between spells of low level cloud which eventually stopped me  from adding the finishing touches so in a way this sketch isnt quite complete.
Nearly 25 miles in diameter and 2.3 miles deep with Prinz (lower left) and Bayley (top) craters nearby.

Antoniadi IV seeing so I used a fairly low power 7mm Pentax XW giving me x218 magnification.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

M74



M74 / NGC628 / The Phantom
Constellation - Pisces
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 32 Million Ly
Mag - 9.4

Date - 22/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III
SQM - 21.24 (NELM 6.2)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 17.3mm Delos x88 TFoV 0˚49

Sketch notes
An easy find with direct vision but even after spending time with averted vision and changing EP's I still found it really hard to pick out any finer detail, infact only one spiral arm was seen sweeping around and over the top of the galaxy. Compared to M33 this was a small galaxy and any detail found was soon lost by increasing EP magnification. Very few background stars in this area.

M56



M56 / NGC6779
Constellation - Lyra
Globular cluster
Distance - 31000 Ly
Mag - 8.4

Date - 21/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III
SQM - 21.27 (NELM 6.2)

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

Sketch notes
Fuzzy glob but easily resolved to the core with a couple 'branches' sweeping out into a busy background of Milky way stars.

M33



M33 / NGC598 / Triangulum galaxy
Constellation - Triangulum
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 2.3 million Ly
Mag - 6.2

Date - 22/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
SQM - 21.20 (NELM 6.2)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 17.3mm Delos x88 TFoV 0˚49

Sketch notes
An easy find in both 10x50 binos and the scope.
At first sight I couldnt pick out any detail just an oval smudge which wasnt very bright at all. Swapping between low and medium power EP's really helped to show just how big the galaxy is. Although a low power EP (x59) made the galaxy appear brighter I wasnt able to see the spiral arms until I slightly increased the magnification up to x88 and after a while of using averted vision two main spiral arms appeared branching out pointing NW to SW. After a while longer I started to notice a slight mottling effect in the arms and also a faint suggestion of smaller arms each side of the main ones. Averted vision also brought out faint stars within the galaxy which would pop out only to dissapear agin with direct vision.
Although we had fairly dark skies at the zenith Plymouths skyglow to the East probably didnt help viewing this and M74 but I am quite happy that I managed to get this amount of detail. I found it similar to the Whirlpool galaxy where you had to put a bit of 'work' into it to eventually see any detail.
A definate must see when observing under dark skies.

M29



M29 / NGC6913 / Cooling Tower
Constellation - Cygnus
Open cluster
Distance - 4400 Ly
Mag - 6.6

Date - 21/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
SQM - 21.26 (NELM 6.2)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 17.3mm Delos TFoV 0˚49

Sketch notes
Small cluster of stars which were fairly tricky to ID because of all the back ground stars from the Milky way, the only thing that made the cluster standout was that they are brighter at around mag 8.
No idea why it has been given the name Cooling Tower??

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

M73



M73 / NGC6994
Constellation - Aquarius
Asterism
Distance - Unknown
Mag - 8.9

Date - 19/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III
SQM - 21.17 (NELM 6.2)

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

Sketch notes
hmmmm....dont know what to think of this really?! Come to think of it I dont know what Mr Messier was thinking when he added to his list as there was nothing that made me think it was anything like a comet!
Its a small 'cluster' of four stars which is quite easy to look over when searching for it. At low power (x59) I could only just seperate the stars but it took a medium power EP and another sweep of the area to confirm its ID and increase the power for the sketch.

M72




M72 / NGC6981
Constellation - Aquarius
Globular cluster
Distance - 56400 Ly
Mag - 9.2

Date - 19/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III
SQM - 21.13 (NELM 6.1)

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

Sketch notes
Fairly dim but was able to resolve all the stars to the centre.
No real shape to the outside stars.

M9



M9 / NGC6333
Constellation - Ophiucus
Globular cluster
Distance - 225000 Ly
Mag - 7.8

Date - 18/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III
SQM - 21.02 (NELM 6.1)

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

Sketch notes
Evenly spread brightness although just wasnt enough to show any real detail and resolve alot of stars so remained a fuzzy blob.
Once again very few surrounding stars.

M75



M70 / NGC6864
Constellation - Sagittarius
Globular cluster
Distance - 59300 Ly
Mag - 8.6

Date - 18/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III
SQM - 21.15 (NELM 6.2)

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

Sketch notes
Small and distant globular with very bright core, once again few background stars to add to the sketch.
Unable to resolve hardly any stars but still an intersting globular to observe as its different appearance to others.

M30



M30 / NGC7099
Constellation - Sagittarius
Globular cluster
Distance - 26700 Ly
Mag - 6.9

Date - 19/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III
SQM - 21.06 (NELM 6.1)

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

Sketch notes
Most striking globular of the evening with a bright core which spread out evenly showing three main arms underneath.
Lack of fainter stars on the FoV possibly due to fairly poor seeing.

M10



M10 / NGC6254
Constellation - Ophiucus
Globular cluster
Distance - 14300Ly
Mag - 6.6

Date - 18/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III some cloud
SQM - 21.10 (NELM 6.1)

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

Sketch notes
Suprised to see a fairly faint and fuzzy glob considering is 6.6 magnitude but this could be due to poor fairly conditions?
Medium size with evenly spread brightness from the core, three noticeable 'arms' branch out while the core remained very hard to resolve.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

M55




M55 / NGC6809
Constellation - Sagittarius
Globular cluster
Distance - 17000 Ly

Date - 14/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
SQM - 21.11 (NELM 6.1)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 17.3mm Delos x88 TFoV 0˚49

Sketch materials - White pastel pencil and white ink pen

Sketch notes
Large globular cluster which gradually brightens from the core but with few bright stars, this was the case when I viewed it with higher mags aswell.
One satellite and two comets streaked through the FoV while observing M55!!

M54



M54 / NGC6715
Constellation - Sagittaius
Globular cluster
Distance - 70000 Ly

Date - 14/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
SQM 20.9 (NELM 6)

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

Sketch materials - White pastel pencil

Sketch notes
Suprised at how small and dim this globular was with hardly any resolvable stars.
Must be the faintest Messier globular?

M31/M32/M110



M31/NGC224 M32/221 M110/NGC205 - The Andromeda galaxy
Constellation - Andromeda
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 2.3 million Ly

Date - 15/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
SQM 21.24 (NELM 6.2)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 26mm T5 Nagler x59 TFoV 1˚39

Sketch materials - White pastels, black charcoal and white ink pen.

Sketch notes
Easily naked eye object, appeared as a large grey smudge. 1 1/2 hours spent observing this galaxy and could spend alot more time on it but dew started to settle on my primary towards the end of the sketch.
Two notable dark regions of spiral arms and sometimes caught glimpses of dark lanes around the sides of M31.
M110 was fairly dim with no real core visible where M32 glowed like a very large fuzzy star.
Using x158 power I could see dozens of 'stars' within M31.
Looking forward to coming back to Andromeda with a more detailed star chart to pick out some globulars within it.

M25



M25 / IC4725
Constellation - Sagittarius
Open cluster
Distance - 2300 Ly

Date - 14/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
SQM 21.18 (NELM 6.2)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 26mm T5 Nagler x59 TFoV 1˚39

Sketch materials - White pastel pencil and white pen

Sketch notes
Mixed group of bright and dim stars but found it very similar to M23 where its a nice object but not one which really grabbed me.

M23



M23 / NGC6494
Constellation - Sagittarius
Open cluster
Distance - 2100 Ly

Date 14/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
SQM 21.21 (NELM 6.2)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 26mm T5 Nagler x59 TFoV 1˚39

Sketch materials - White pastel pencil and white ink pen

Sketch notes
Fairly unremarkable open cluster but still easy to pick out from the backdrop of thousands of Milky way stars.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

M92



M92 - NGC6341
Constellation - Hercules
Globular cluster
Distance - 25400 Ly

Date 13/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
SQM - 20.4 (NELM 5.7)

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

Sketch materials - Conte pastels and white ink pen

Sketch notes
Beautiful cluster which I'd put in my top 5 globulars viewed so far.
Tight core which which spreads out evenly and was able to resolve stars all the way to the centre using high power. Quite hard to pick out any asterisms in stars around the edges.

M34



M34 - NGC1039
Constellation - Perseus
Open cluster
Distance - 1450 Ly

Date - 13/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
SQM - 20.3 (NELM 5.7)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 26mm Nagler x59 TFoV 1˚39

Sketch materials - Conte pastels and white ink pen

Sketch notes
Fairly easy find by placing my Telrad in the approximate area and then using a sweeping motion.
The cluster easily stood out from the background sky and using high power was able to pick out a couple of the double stars within it.
Nice cluster worth looking at again if in that area.

M103




M103 - NGC581
Constellation - Cassiopeia
Open cluster
Distance - 8130 Ly

Date - 31/10/15
Seeing - Antoniadi II
SQM 19.4

Telescope - 12" f/5.3
EP - 14mm Delos x114 TFoV 0˚38

Sketch materials - Conte pastels and white ink pen

Sketch notes
Very easy find, just a couple degrees NE of Ruchbar in Cass.
Fairly open cluster with alot of fainter back ground stars which almost takes away the initial impact of M103.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

M70



M70 - NGC6681
Constellation - Sagittarius
Globular cluster
Distance - 35200 Ly

Date - 8/9/12
Seeing - III with poor transparency
SQM - 21.2 (LM 6.3)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 10mm Pentax XW x 153 TFoV 0˚27

Sketch materials - white pastel and ink

Sketch notes
Very low altitude and poor conditions made this another frustrating object to view, could just about tease out individual stars after 20 mins and changing between 7mm and 10mm EP's.
Bright central core evenly spread out with almost mottled 'arms' very much like a spiral galaxy (e.g. M33).
A little more impressive than M69, worth a revisit again next year.

M69



M69 / NGC6637
Constellation - Sagittarius
Globular clster
Distance - 33600 Ly

Date - 8/9/12
Seeing - Antoniadi IV with poor transparency
SQM - 21.3 (LM 6.3)

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

Sketch materials - white patels and ink pen

Sketch notes
Small glob which required high mag but still hardly resolving any stars, could only just about make out the key stars which makes the pattern of the glob.
Core brightness was very evenly spread.
Poor seeing and transparency made this a very hard object to view but I'm sure more detail could be seen in better conditions.

M26



M26 / NGC6694
Constellation - Scutum
Open cluster
Distance - 5000 Ly

Date - 9/9/12
Seeing - III
SQM - 21.3 (LM 6.3)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 13mm Ethos x115 TFoV 0˚87

Sketch materials - white pastel and ink pen

Sketch notes
Found it quite difficult to ID as its situated amongst a backdrop of other stars, so many faint stars in this area that I have only included the ones which really stood out.

M18



M18 / Black swan / NGC6613
Constellation - Sagittarius
Open cluster
Distance - 4000 Ly

Date - 9/9/12
Seeing - III
SQM - 21.3 (LM 6.3)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 13mm Ethos X115 TFoV 0˚87

Sketch materials - white pastel and ink

Sketch notes
Didnt find this cluster very spectacular and couldnt really define the outline of the 'wing' of the swan even though the bright outline of 10th magnitude stars should of shown it? Will try again next year. :)

M16



M16 / NGC6611 / Eagle nebula
Constellation - Serpens
Open cluster and emission nebula
Distance - 9000 Ly

Date - 9/9/12
Antoniadi III
SQM - 21.2 (NELM 6.3)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 13mm Ethos x115 TFoV 0˚87

Sketch materials - white pastel and ink pen

Sketch notes
Went in search of M16 without a filter, found the open cluster easily but hardly any trace of nebulosity. A UHC filter greatly improved the view but I'm pretty sure a OIII filter is better suited.
Quite dim at first but after a while the outline became alot more apparent.