Thursday, 5 December 2013

NGC 6940




NGC 6940
Constellation - Vulpecula
Open cluster
Distance - 2500Ly
Mag 6.3

Date 4/12/13
Seeing - Antoniadi III
Transparency 2/5
SQM 21.15 (LM 6.2)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 28mm ES x68 TFoV 1˚

Sketch notes
Large, bright and easy to find although it sits amongst thousands of background Milky Way starts.
Poor transparency last night so this was the only object I observed.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

NGC 6960



NGC 6960 / C34/ Western Veil nebula
Constellation - Cygnus
Bright nebula
Distance - 2600Ly
Mag 5

Date 1/12/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - 3/5
SQM 21.42 (LM 6.3)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 28mm ES x68 TFoV 1˚
Filter - TS OIII

Sketch notes
My favourite part of the Veil.
The SW edge showed two bright filaments which faded towards 52 Cygni while the east side (of the sketch) throws out great plumes of clouds fading as you scan along it.
The Veil has become my first object to view at dark sites while letting my eyes adapt and scope to cool, I don't think any sketch or image can beat seeing it with your own eyes from dark skies.

NGC 6995



NGC 6995 / C33 / Eastern Veil Nebula
Constellation - Cygnus
Bright nebula
Distance - 2600Ly
Mag 5

Date - 30/11/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - 3/5
SQM 21.44 (LM 6.3)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - 28mm ES x68 TFoV 1˚
Filter - TS OIII

Sketch notes
Slightly fainter than the Western Veil but showed an almost wispy texture to it.

NGC 6826



NGC 6826 / C15 / Blinking planetary nebula
Constellation - Cygnus
Planetary nebula
Distance 4.2Kly
Mag 8.89

Date 30/11/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - 3/5
SQM 21.52 (LM 6.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 10mm Delos + x2 Barlow x379 TFoV 0.11"

Sketch notes
After sketching the Cat eye nebula someone on Cloudy Nights mentioned that you can infact use extremely high magnifications on Planetary nebula which will help show contrast within the PN and well yes it works! :)

At around x200 the central star was obvious but apart from that it just showed as a green smudge. A x2 barlow and 10mm Delos showed a bright bottom edge with hints of detail within but I was confident enough in what I was seeing to record it. I also tried barlowing a 8mm Delos giving x473 but the light wind made the view quite unsteady.

NGC 3079



NGC 3079
Constellation - Ursa Major
Spiral galaxy
Distance 54Mly
Mag 10.89

Date 1/12/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Tansparency - 3/5
SQM 21.64 (LM 6.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP 10mm Delos x189 TFoV 0.22"

Sketch notes
Nearly side on galaxy, easy find with direct vision.
While doing some post research into this galaxy I noticed images with a companion elliptical galaxy (NGC  3073) which I have sketched as a star. This was the last sketch of the night so maybe my tired eyes just didn't spot it and register that it was another galaxy?

NGC 2841



NGC 2841
Constellation - Ursa Major
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 46Mly
Mag 9.19

Date 1/12/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - 3/5
SQM 21.62 (LM 6.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 10mm Delos x189 TFoV 0.22"

Sketch notes
Quite bright, oval shape with no detail or spiral structure seen but its core was very obvious and is surrounded by a a few bright stars.

NGC 2403



NGC 2403 / C7
Constellation - Camelopardalis
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 10 Mly
Mag 8.5

Date 1/12/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - 3/5
SQM 21.52 (LM 6.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 10mm Delos x189 TFoV 0.22"

Sketch notes
NGC 2403 is often compared to M33 and apart from its size I can see why.
Although the galaxy could easily be seen looking directly at it I had to use averted vision to eventually see hints of spiral arms, stellar and the HII regions inside it.

Friday, 22 November 2013

NGC 6819



NGC 6819
Constellation - Cygnus
Open cluster
Distance - 7700ly
Mag - 7.3

Date - 21/11/13
Seeing - Antoniadi III
Transparency - 3/5
SQM 19.8 (LM 5.3)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 17.3mm Delos x109 TFoV0.39

Sketch Notes
Three bright stars pin pointed the actual cluster of maybe a dozen fairly dim stars in the centre. Interesting cluster and fairly easy to find simply because the of the three keystone stars.

NGC 6543



NGC 6543 / Cat Eye nebula / C6
Constellation - Draco
Planetary nebula
Distance - 3200ly
Mag - 8.1

Date - 21/11/13
Seeing - Antoniadi III
Transparency - 3/5
SQM 19.7 (LM 5.1)

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

Sketch notes
Almost mistook as a star at low mag (x68) but the light green colour made it standout against the few stars that surrounded it. Increasing the mag to x109 gave the outline a fuzzy haze but at x189 I got a few glimpses of the central core although even after 15 minutes I still couldn't make out any further detail. The sketch was finally made using x236 which was the upper limit of power I could use observing from home, at first the views were far worse but after 20 minutes of using that EP I managed to get a few brief moments where the air was steady enough for me to spot an oval shape within the nebula with its central core blinking at me with averted vision.


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

N.G.C 6053




N.G.C 6503
Constellation - Draco
Spiral galaxy
Distance 17MLy
Mag 10.19

Date 30/10/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - 2/5
SQM 21.15 (LM 6.1)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 10mm Delos  x189 TFoV 0˚22

Sketch notes
Faint oval with maybe a very slightly brighter core but no obvious detail to spiral arms. 'May' of seen slight mottling of arms but not confident enough to record it.
Poor transparency shows in low SQM reading for this site.
The sketch is a little messy on the left hand side, I was so engrossed in observing I didn't notice the heavy clouds and got caught in a shower!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

NGC 457



N.G.C 457 / C13 / The Owl cluster
Constellation - Cassiopeia
Open Cluster
Distance 7.9kly
Mag 6.4

Date 23/10/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - Good
SQM 20.1 (LM 5.5)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 11mm ES x172 TFoV 0.28

Sketch notes
Very easy find and quite a bright cluster even from home with moderate LP.
I expected to see two bright stars making up the owls eyes, maybe they are there and I just lack the imagination to see them but personally I'm going to notch this up as another objects with an asterism I cant see!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

M97



M97 / NGC3587 / The Owl nebula
Constellation - Ursa Major
Planetary nebula
Distance 1630Ly
Mag 9.9

Date - 2/3/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - poor
SQM 21.74 (LM 6.5)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP 10mm Pentax XW x189 TFoV 0.22˚

Sketch notes
Easy find and due to the dark skies no filter was needed.
Took a while to be certain of the position of 'the eyes' due to poor transparency but every couple of minutes the Owl gave a brief wink.
No sign of the central white dwarf, which I really should of been able to of seen but again I put that down to poor transparency.

M108



M108 / NGC3556
Constellation - Ursa Major
Spiral galaxy (SBbc)
Distance - 46MLy
Mag 10.0
SB 13.0

Date 2/3/13
Seeing - Antoniadi III
Transparency - average
SQM 21.72 (LM 6.5)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 14mm Delos x 135 TFoV 0.32˚

Sketch notes
An easy find just below Merak in Ursa Major.
Very tricky to pick out any dark mottled areas of the spiral arms but a couple brief moments showed they were there but really not enough time for me to draw there exact location, after a frustrating hour observing they showed only twice for a few seconds.
Quite suprised how the galaxy still held detail with a 10mm XW at x189 but settled on the 14mm Delos to show a little of the star field.

M109



M109 / NGC3992
Constellation - Ursa Major
Spiral galaxy (SBbc)
Distance - 55MLy
Mag 9.8
SB 13.5

Date - 2/3/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - Average
SQM 21.78 (LM 6.5)

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

Sketch notes
Fuzzy galaxy which was very hard to pick out any detail. Hints of two spiral arms neither of them seem ed connected to the central bar and were almost lost in the soft glow of the galaxy.
I think this would be a tough galaxy to get any detail out of even under better skies.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Lambert + Pytheas



Lambert (top) and Pytheas (bottom) are both found in the south part of Mare Imbrium.
Lambert has a diameter of 30km and has steep terraced walls with blast fragments north and south. I'd also read about the ghost crater Lambert R but I couldnt make it out, maybe this was because the Terminamator was so close?
Pytheas was similar in appearance to Lambert but smaller at only 20km in diameter.


Telescope / 4" f/11 Lyra
EP 3-6mm Nagler at 6mm x183
2045 UT - 2130 UT
Temp 2˚C
Transparency / Average
Antoniadi II
Colongitude 22.8˚
Phase 67. 8˚
Lunation 9.5 days
Media / Conte pastels and charcoal + black sketch pad

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Eratosthenes



Eratosthenes sits at the north of Sinus Aestuum and rises from a fairly smooth surrounding area and is almost joined by the foothills of the Montes Alpenninus. 58km in diameter and 3.6km deep and a staggering 3.2 billion years old!


EP / 3-6mm Nagler at x220
18/2/2013
2235 UT - 2315UT
Temp 2˚C
Transparency / Excellent
Antoniadi II
Cologitude 11.4˚
Phase 78˚
Lunation 8.6 days

Monday, 18 February 2013

Lunar X



I've wanted to sketch the lunar X for a while now so last night I set my 4" Lyra up with plenty of time to spare.
The position of the X was easy to find even early in the evening before it showed, Werner crater is directly below the X with Aliacensis below that again, the large crater to the side is Playfair G.
The actual X is made by sunlight falling on the crater ridges of La Caille, Blanchinus and Purbach.

Telescope / 4" f/11 Lyra
EP / 3-6mm Nagler zoom at 5mm x220
17/2/2013
2140 UT - 2235 UT
Temp 3˚C
Transparency / Excellent
Antoniadi III
Colongitude 357˚
Phase 90˚
Lunation 7.53 days


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Mare Serenitatis + Julius Caesar



With excellent seeing and transparency I really didnt know exactly what to sketch of the moon as theres so much to explore and its easy to get side tracked but this area north of Mare Serenitatis really stood out with high mountainous regions stretching through the Termiantor.
Its quite a large area to sketch (maybe too much?) and there was a huge amount of detail between Mare Serenitatis (at the top) and the 90km in diameter crater Julius Caesar at the bottom.


Telescope / 4" f/11 Lyra
EP / 3-6mm Nagler zoom at 5mm x220
16/2/2013
1935 UT - 2040 UT
Temp / 2˚C
Transparency / Excellent
Antoniadi II
Colongitude 346˚
Phase 100˚
Lunation 6.5 days

Sunday, 3 February 2013

M41



M41 / NGC2287 / The little beehive
Constellation - Canis Major
Open cluster
Distance - 2100Ly
Mag 4.5

Date 2/2/13
Seeing - Antoniadi III
Transparency - Average
SQM 21.19 (LM 6.2)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x76 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Impressive and bright open cluster, the stars really stood out as a blue colour against the background Milky Way stars.

M50



M50 / NGC2323
Constellation - Monocerous
Open cluster
Distance 3300Ly
Mag 5.9

Date - 2/2/13
Seeing - Antoniadi III
Transparency - Average
SQM 21.44 (LM 6.3)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x76 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Fairly small unremarkable cluster with bright white/blue stars making up its shape.

M46



M46 / NGC2437
Constellation - Puppis
Open cluster
Distance 5300Ly
Mag 6.1

Date - 2/2/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - good
SQM 21.44 (LM 6.3)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x76 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Easily naked eye object.
Seeing and transparency was alot better for this sketch than the previous OC's making the stars sharper but not as bright, I also didnt pick up and colour either.
I used a UHC to 'lose' some of the fainter background stars of the Milky Way and also show more contrast on the PN NGC2438.
Interesting cluster enhanced by the planetary nebula.

M47



M47 / NGC2478=2478
Open Cluster
Constellation - Puppis
Distance 1550Ly
Mag 4.4

Date - 2/2/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - good
SQM 21.39 (LM 6.3)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x76 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Easily naked eye object.
Smaller but brighter than M46, bright blue stars making its shape.

M93



M93 / NGC2447
Constellation - Puppis
Open cluster
Distance - 3600Ly
Mag 6.2

Date - 2/2/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - good
SQM 21.40 (LM 6.3)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x76 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Small, compact and bright open cluster which really showed itself by its blue colour stars against the fainter Milky Way.

M48



M48 / NGC2548
Constellation - Hydra
Open cluster
Distance - 2000Ly
Mag 5.8

Date - 2/2/13
Seeing - Antoniadi II
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.31 (LM 6.3)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x76 TFoV 1.1˚

Sketch notes
Large and openly spread cluster which nearly filled the entire FoV.

M79



M79 / NGC1904
Constellation - Lepus
Globular cluster
Distance - 43000Ly
Mag 7.7

Date 2/2/13
Seeing - Antoniadi IV
Transparency - Poor
SQM 21.15 (LM 6.2)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 10mm Pentax XW x189 TFoV 0.22˚

Sketch notes
Only 14˚ above the horizon when sketched so it was very hard to resolve many stars but I think this would be an interesting globular at a higher altitude.
Even though the skies were dark at SQM 21.15 seeing and transparency really hampered the view.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Craters Pythagoras, Oenopides + Markov



The three named craters in this sketch show along the terminator.
The largest crater at the top is Pythagoras, 130km in diameter with steep 5000m cliffs and a double central mountain (although only one showed at the time of the sketch).
Oenopides is next with steep terraced cliffs, 68km at its widest point and suffers the same crushed walls as Pythagoras from the walled plain Babbage in the centre.
Right at the bottom of the sketch is Markov the smallest crater at 41km in diameter and with 2400m cliffs.

Telescope / 4" f/11 Lyra
EP / 3/6mm Nagler zoom at 6mm x183
Temp / 2˚C
Transparency / average
Antoniadi III
Colongitude 65.6˚
Phase 26.6˚
Lunation 12.99 days

Monday, 21 January 2013

Crater Parry + Guericke



Crater Parry at the top of the sketch has a diameter of 47km and although its heavily damaged and lava flooded, steep cliffs still surround it and cast an ink black shadow which really stood out and was the reason for sketching this area.
Below Parry is the walled plain Guericke at 63km its larger but heavily eroded and partly open to Mare Nubium.

Telescope / 4" f/11 Lyra
EP / 3-6mm Nagler zoom at 5mm x220
Temp / -1˚C
Transparency / clear
Antoniadi II
Colongitude 17.5˚
Phase 69.4˚
Lunation 9.04 days

Sketched with Conte pastels and charcoal on a 12"x8" sketch pad.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

M52



M52 / NGC7654 / The Scorpion
Constellation - Cassiopeia
Open cluster
Distance - 5100Ly
Mag 6.9

Date - 14/1/13
Seeing - Antoniadi III
Transparency - poor
SQM 19.88 (LM 5.4)

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

Sketch notes
Faint cluster, but stands out quite well and a fairly easy find.
Poor transparency (and rain!) made it a tricky sketch.

M76



M76 / NGC650-651 - The Little Dumbbell Nebula
Constellation - Perseus
Planetary nebula
Distance - 3900Ly
Mag 10.1

Date - 14/1/13
Seeing - Antoniadi III
Transparency - poor
SQM 19.95 (LM 5.4)

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 10mm Pentax XW x189 (TFoV 0.2˚)
Filter - Lumicon OIII

Sketch notes
Fairly easy to find even without a filter but both UHC and OIII filters really helped bring out the structure and showed the almost rectangular shape of the central nebula.
Poor seeing and transparency last night so I kept the magnification fairly low to make the sketch but I think it will be worth trying higher mags in a steady sky.