Tuesday, 11 December 2012

M42 - M43



M42-M43 / NGC1976-1982 / Orion nebula
Constellation - Orion
Bright nebula
Distance - 1500Ly
Mag 3.7

Date - 10/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - Average
SQM - 21.63 (LM 6.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 17.3mm Delos x109 TFoV 0.39˚

Sketch notes
Looked amazing in my new 16" with lots of detail in the gas clouds in M42.
I tried UHC and OIII filters but preferred the unfiltered view as I found the filters too agresive on the fainter parts of the nebulosity and generally didnt really improve the view.
I used the 17.3mm Delos as it filled the FoV and showed more detail than my low power Nagler.

M77



M77 / NGC1068 / Cetus A
Constellation - Cetus
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 47MLy
Mag 8.9

Date - 10/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III
Transparency - Poor
SQM 21.45 (LM 6.3)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 8mm Delos x236 TFoV 0.18˚

Sketch notes
Very small galaxy that improved with lots of magnification. Bright core makes it an easy find even with low mag EP's.
High level cloud made the transparency poor making it very difficult to see any detail but I could just make out a couple spiral arms inside the halo of the galaxy.
Very nice object and will go back to under better conditions.

M1



M1 / NGC1952 / Crab nebula
Constellation - Taurus
Supernova remnant
Distance - 6500Ly
Mag 8.4

Date 10/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - Poor
SQM - 21.64 (LM 6.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 14mm Delos x135 TFoV 0.32˚

Sketch notes
Poor transparency was making these fainter objects very tricky to see and real detail but a few brief moments gave me enough time to see the shape and some structure. Very few background stars.
Last time I viewed M1 was with my 8" so this was still a huge improvement on the very faint smudge that I saw before.

M39



M38 / NGC7902
Constellation - Cygnus
Open cluster
Distance - 950Ly
Mag 4.6

Date - 10/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - Average
SQM - 21.56 (LM 6.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x73 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
I was glad to get this sketch done and finish of the last of my summer Messier sketches.
I actually found it quite hard to find as it was almost hidden away in a backdrop of thousands of stars in out Milky way. I could of spent hours trying to add all the stars that filled the FoV but instead chose just to include the main brighter stars that make the object.

M44


M44 / NGC2632 / Beehive cluster
Constellation - Cancer
Open cluster
Distance - 515Ly
Mag 3.1

Date - 10/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - Average
SQM - 21.64 (LM6.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x73 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Large open cluster that was easily a naked eye object. Bright stars really stood out from the dimmer background stars. Interesting cluster.

M78


M78 / NGC 2068
Constellation - Orion
Diffuse nebula
Distance - 1630Ly
Mag 8

Date - 10/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - Poor
SQM - 21.59 (LM 6.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 14mm Delos x135 TFoV 0.32˚

Sketch notes
I think the best way to describe M78 is that it looks like a thumb print in the sky with no detail just a very faint star in the centre. Very few background stars and an easy find.

Monday, 10 December 2012

M35



M35 / NGC2168
Constellation - Gemini
Open cluster
Distance - 2800Ly
Mag 5.1

Date - 8/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi IV
SQM - 20 (LM 5.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x73 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Nice open cluster but transparency and seeing greatly effected the view

M36



M36 / NGC1960
Constellation - Auriga
Open cluster
Distance - 4100Ly
Mag - 6

Date - 8/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi IV
SQM 19.9 (LM 5.3)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x 73 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Bright stars making an upside down T shape, surrounded by a few faint stars. Again, poor transparency and seeing.

M37



M37 / NGC2099
Constellation - Auriga
Open cluster
Distance - 4400Ly
Mag 5.6

Date 8/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III
SQM 20 (LM 5.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x73 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Slightly more dense in stars compared with the other evenings clusters but also notably dimmer.

M38



M38 / NGC1912
Constellation - Auriga
Open cluster
Distance - 4200Ly
Mag - 6.4

Date - 8/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi IV
SQM - 19.9 (LM 5.3)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x73 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Once again a faint cluster due to poor seeing/transparency but probably my favourite in Auriga as it sits amongst a richer background of stars.

M45



M45 / Pleiades
Constellation - Taurus
Open cluster
Dsiatnce - 407Ly
Mag - 1.5

Date 8/12/12
Seeing - Antoniadi III
SQM 19.8 (LM 5.3)

12x60 Finder
EP 17.3 Delos x14 TFoV 5.32˚

Sketch notes
My 12x60 finder and 17mm Delos gave a very good magnification to see the true shape of M45 which just wasn't capable by using my main scope so I'd say this was the best view I've ever had of it!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Sumerian updates.....


I've had the Sumerian for just over a month now and it has seen dark skies three times.
Initial thoughts on the scope construction and how it handles in the field are very positive with Alt/Azi movements beautifully smooth and all my EP's are balance near enough perfect.

One major problem....I was given a rough 16" GSO primary so the views were very dim and not up to par. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement!
After explaining the views to Michael at Sumerian he immediately set about trying to rectify the problem but we soon found out that Teleskop Service (where he bought the mirror) didnt have any more 16" GSO's in stock and nothing was coming in until Febuary 2013. The solution for the time being is that Michael has lent me his own 16" GSO until that new stock arrives at TS (TS have also said that all those mirrors will be tested before shipping).

So I could point the finger of blame towards Sumerian for not fully testing the scope before shipping but I have to admit that I was pushing Sumerian to send the scope ASAP and due to cloudy weather they werent able to give it that final test.
I am very happy with the way Sumerian have dealt with my problem mirror though, the customer service they have shown has been superb!

On a side note - I was contemplating buying a Orion OpticsUK 16" f/4 primary instead of a replacement GSO). I emailed OOUK enquiring about there mirrors and received short, blunt and unhelpful replies, not what I was expecting considering I was going to spend £1500 on one of there mirrors!