Friday, 26 September 2014

NGC 6802




NGC 6802
Constellation - Vulpecula
Open cluster
Distance 5.8kly
Mag 8.8

Date 25/9/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.15

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x84

Sketch notes
Interesting open cluster just because its so different to the hugely bright Messier OC's!
Through a telescope its very small and faint, made up of maybe half a dozen which showed a haze around them in much the same way that the Double Cluster appears naked eye.

September has been a terrible month for DSO observing, lots of clear nights but with really poor transparency.....Roll on October! :)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

NGC 185




NGC 185
Constellation - Cassiopeia
Elliptical galaxy
Distance - 2 mly
Mag 9.2

Date 24/9/15
Transparency - average
SQM 21.2

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x84

Sketch notes
Fairly bright and quite large, very slightly brighter towards the centre.

Friday, 29 August 2014

NGC 7662 / The Blue snowball




NGC 7662
Constellation - Andromeda
Planetary nebula
Distance 4500ly
Mag 8.3

Date 28/8/14
Transparency - average
SQM 19.21

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP -  Leica ASPH + Baader VIP barlow x340
Filter - DGM Optics NPB

Sketch notes
This was the last object of the night, I didnt hold out much hope for it with the transparency and sky brightness but was surprised that even with x200 I could see a definite structure within the fuzzy halo. At x340, twice I saw two lobes within the main halo although this only showed for around 5 minutes then disappeared.
The blue colour was very obvious without any filter, the NPB filter dulled the blue but slightly enhanced the detail seen inside.

NGC 7789 - Carolines rose





NGC 7789 / Caroline's rose
Constellation - Cassiopeia
Open cluster
Distance 5900Ly
Mag 6.69

Date 28/8/14
Transparency - poor
SQM 18.64

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 17mm Nagler x129

Sketch notes
The rose shape was pointing SE to NW and set against a huge amount of background Milky way stars.
Its the shape of the stars that makes this cluster not necessarily its size or brightness.

NGC 663




NGC 663
Open cluster
Cassiopeia
Distance 7900ly
Mag 7.9

Date 28/8/14
Transparency - Average
SQM 18.91

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x84

Sketch notes
Very large cluster with its main stars being fairly spread out and white in colour.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

NGC 7293 - The Helix nebula




NGC 7293 / Helix Nebula
Constellation - Aquarius
Planetary nebula
Distance 900ly
Mag 7.6

Date 20/8/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.28

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 17mm Nagler x111

Sketch notes
Very large and diffuse in the centre, top and bottom.
The Lumicon OIII really improved the contrast on the PN compared to the smaller ones.
A couple very faint stars inside but transparency made it very tricky seeing them.

NGC 7009 - Saturn nebula




NGC 7009 / Saturn Nebula
Constellation - Aquarius
Planetary Nebula
Distance 3300ly
Mag 7.8

Date 20/8/14
Transparency - Poor
SQM 21.24

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 12mm Nagler x158
Filter - DGM Optics NPB

Sketch notes
Poor transparency made seeing its shape very hard, I've seen it in better conditions in my 12".
I had to use a lot lower magnification to what I would have liked but caught a few glimpses which gave away its shape.

NGC 6781




NGC 6781
Constellation - Aquilla
Planetary nebula
Distance 5000ly
Mag 11.6

Date 20/8/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.3

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH + Baader VIP barlow x223
Filter - DGM Optics NPB

Sketch notes
Average size but clearly showed a 'shell' across its northern edge.

NGC 6572




NGC 6572
Constellation - Ophiuchus
Planetary nebula
Distance 2400ly
Mag 8

Date 21/8/14
Transparency - poor
SQM 21.18

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH + Baader VIP barlow x312
Filter - DGM Optics NPB

Sketch notes
Small, compact and very bright but showed no detail.
Green colour with or without filter.

M13




This was a revisit to M13 which I originally sketched with my old 8" but the accuracy of that sketch wasn't great so I've been looking forward to trying it again with my current scope.

Dark skies and average transparency made M13 light up and was resolved even with a low power EP but as I used the Leica ASPH + Baader VIP barlow to really up the magnification and get that huge ball of stars look in the EP.
At x310 I think I have lost some of the shape of M13's 'arms' which usually stretch out showing its shape but this is the kind of magnification I like to view globs, in the past my globular sketches have all been around x220 but since was the 'king' I thought it deserved special treatment. :)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

NGC 6633




NGC 6633
Constellation - Ophiucus
Open cluster
Distance 1200Ly
Mag 4.59

Date 3/8/14
Transparency -  Very good
SQM 21.33

Telescope - 16" f/4.5
EP - 26mm Nagler x84

Sketch notes
Very large, bright and stretching across nearly all the 1˚ FoV, fairly lose but stands out well against the background stars.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

NGC 6520




NGC 6520
Open cluster
Constellation - Sagittarius
Distance 6.2Kly
Mag 7.59

Date 28/7/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.33

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - 17mm Nagler x129

Sketch notes
Fairly small and compact cluster, built up of mainly faint stars around the same magnitude as the background of Milky way stars.

NGC 6818 - Little Gem nebula




NGC 6818 - Little Gem nebula
Planetary nebula
Constellation - Sagittarius
Distance 6Kly
Mag 9.39

Date 29/7/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.565

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH + Baader VIP
Filter - DGM Optics NPB

Sketch notes
Very small and bright with brighter 'lobes' to the N and S.

NGC 6712




NGC 6712
Globular cluster
Constellation - Scutum
Distance 23Kly
Mag 8.1

Date 29/7/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.61

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH x223

Sketch notes
Resolvable but mainly built up of faint stars.
Not very exciting as far as globs go...

NGC 6445




NGC 6445 - Crescent nebula
Planetary nebula
Constellation - Sagittarius
Distance 6.4 Kly
Mag 10.9

Date 28/7/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.45

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH + Baader VIP x296
Filter - DGM Optics NPB

Sketch notes
Moderate size with lighter areas within to the SW and N.
Few background stars.

NGC 6369 - Little ghost nebula




NGC 6369
Planetary nebula
Constellation - Ophiuchus
Distance 4.9Kly
Mag 11.5

Date 29/7/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.49

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH + Baader VIP x371
Filter - DGM Optics NPB

Sketch notes
Small and faint Pn with few background stars.
Using very big magnifications I could see a near perfectly round shape with a trace of a 'shell' from the SE to NW.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

M62




M62
Globular cluster
Constellation - Ophiuchus
Distance - 22Kly
Mag 6.4

Date 27/5/14
Transparency - Poor
SQM 21.39 (LM 6.3)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH x205

Sketch notes
This was the last observation of the night and some low cloud had drifted across making transparency poor and difficult to resolve the stars.
It did appear bright with a tightly packed core with a few outlying stars.

M19




M19
Constellation - Ophiuchus
Globular cluster
Distance - 29Kly
Mag 6.7

Date 27/5/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.42 (LM 6.3)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH x205

Sketch notes
Tightly packed core with a slight oval shape to it.

M80




M80
Constellation - Scorpius
Globular cluster
Distance - 33Kly
Mag 7.3

Date 27/5/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.45 (LM 6.3)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH

Sketch notes
Bright and tightly packed although all the stars can be resolved to the core.

M4




M4
Constellation - Scorpius
Globular cluster
Distance - 7.2Kly
Mag 5.63

Date 27/5/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.4 (LM 6.3)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH x102

Sketch notes
Very large globular with a band of brighter stars running through the centre from NW to SE.

M107




M107
Constellation - Ophiuchus
Globular cluster
Distance 21Kly
Mag - 7.9

Date 27/5/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.35 (LM6.3)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP - Leica ASPH zoom x205

Sketch notes
Fairly large and open cluster with bright stars that are evenly spread even towards the core.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

M51




M51
Constellation - Canes Venatici
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 27mly
Mag 8.39

Date 2/5/14
Transparency - Excellent
SQM 21.6 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 14mm Delos x135 (TFoV 0.32')

Sketch notes
Compared to the previous observation of M101, M51 was just an explosion of bright twisting arms. At first these arms appeared to circle around the core but when my eyes had settled I started to notice faint breaks in contrast which showed two large arms extending 180˚ from the core.
The bridge connecting M51 to NGC 5195 was just seen with direct vision.
Again this was just off the zenith in perfect transparency, easily the best I have ever seen M51.

M101




M101
Constellation - Ursa Major
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 22mly
Mag 7.9

Date 1/5/14
Transparency - Excellent
SQM 21.51 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 14mm Delos x135 (TFoV 0.32')

Sketch notes
Just a few degrees of the zenith with excellent transparency, this was the best I've ever seen M101 although it still took my eyes a while to adjust and get used to how dim it is due to its low surface brightness. The sketch makes the spiral arms look alot more pronounced than what they actually look like.
I would have liked to increased magnification and maybe try a UHC but nudging the scope at those altitudes was just too hard, I'II come back to this sketch another time and try to add more detail.
Two bright patches were seen, at the top was NGC 5450/5447 and the bottom arm showed another hazy patch which I think was NGC5462.

M61





M61
Constellation - Virgo
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 60mly
Mag 9.69

Date 2/5/14
Transparency - Excellent
SQM 21.65 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 14mm Delos x135 (TFoV 0.32')

Sketch notes
The bright central bar was quite obvious pointing SW to NE, very little detail seen in the lower half of the galaxy but one big arm swept of the top.

M63




M63
Constellation - Canes Venaciti
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 34mly
Mag 8.6

Date 1/5/14
Transparency - Excellent
SQM 21.49 (LM 6.3)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 17.3mm Delos x109 (TFoV 0.39')

Sketch notes
The tilt appeared to be around 45˚ with the oval halo pointing NE to SW with a bright core and only a few very brief moments where fine arms could be seen.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

M49




M49
Constellation - Virgo
Elliptical galaxy
Distance - 55mly
Mag 8.39

Date 29/4/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.58 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 24mm 82˚ ES x79 (TFoV 1˚)

Sketch notes
Bright core and an easy find.

M68




M68
Constellation - Hydra
Globular cluster
Distance - 34kly
Mag 7.84

Date 30/4/14
Transparency - poor
SQM 21.55 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 24mm 82˚ ES x79 (TFoV 1˚)

Sketch notes
Very similar conditions to M83 making the whole globular very hard to resolve even with higher mags which seemed to make the view even worse hence the low power sketch.

M83




M83
Constellation - Hydra
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 16mly
Mag 7.5

Date 30/4/14
Transparency - poor
SQM 21.5 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 17.3mm Delos x109 (TFoV 0.39')

Sketch notes
Just 8˚ above the horizon and caught in a low level mist at sea so it was really difficult to accurately add anything to the sketch!
I did notice a central bar but no signs of any other detail.
I think this would be a great sight at lower latitudes.

M85




M85
Constellation - Coma Berenices
Lenticular galaxy
Distance - 59mly
Mag 9.1

Date 29/4/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.55 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 17.3mm Delos x109 (TFoV 0.39')

Sketch notes
Easy to find and identify as its next to NGC 4394.
Bright core with few back ground stars.

M86 / M84




M86 / M84
Constellation - Virgo
Elliptical galaxies
Distance - 55mly
Mag 8.89

Date 29/4/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.57 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 24mm 82˚ ES x79 (TFoV 1˚)

Sketch notes
M84 is the top brightest galaxy and M86 is center.
I spent maybe 20 minutes just looking around this whole area, its just a great sight to see so many galaxies in the FoV.
The two smaller ellipticals (bottom right) are 'The Eyes galaxies'.

M88




M88
Constellation - Coma Berenices
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 58mly
Mag 9.6

Date 29/4/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.55 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 14mm Delos x135 (TFoV 0.3')

Sketch notes
Bright core with suggestions of two arms going down each side.

M91




M91
Constellation - Coma Berenices
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 51mly
Mag - 10.19

Date 29/4/14
Transparency - average to poor
SQM 21.6 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 14mm Delos x135 (TFoV 0.3')

Sketch notes
The only detail I saw was the slightly brighter bar of the galaxy, the arms were lost in the haze.

M100




M100
Constellation - Coma Berenices
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 47mly
Mag 9.39

Date 29/4/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.59 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 14mm Delos x135 (TFoV 0.3')

Sketch notes
The spiral arms in the sketch look very obvious but they were tricky to pick out due to sky conditions.
Very nice galaxy though, fairly small and compact but its on my list to visit again in better transparency.

M104 / The Sombrero galaxy




M104
Constellation - Virgo
Spiral galaxy
Distance 29mly
Mag 8

Date 29/4/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.63 (LM 6.4)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 14mm Delos x135 TFoV 0.3'

Sketch notes
One of my favourites but really hard to sketch. First time I have viewed it with the 16" but have seen it better in my 12" in excellent transparency.
Dark lane was very obvious stretching nearly all the way across, few background stars.

Friday, 25 April 2014

M99




M99
Constellation - Coma Berenices
Spiral galaxy
Distance 53mly
Mag 9.89

Date 24/4/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.1 (LM6.1)

Telescope 16: f/4.5
EP 14mm Delos x135 (TFoV 0.32')

Sketch notes
The transparency improved for maybe 20 minutes which really helped seeing the spiral arms.
Although the sketch shows the arms looking very obvious at first sight M99 looked like a large fuzzy oval but with time spent two main arms were seen branching out to the NW and SE of the bright core.

M98




M98
Constellation - Coma Berenices
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 44mly
Mag 10.10

Date 24/4/14
Transparency - Poor
SQM 21.1 (LM6.1)

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

Sketch notes
Once again poor transparency made seeing any possible detail very hard, I just couldnt pick out contrast in the arms very well at all although I think that could be tricky in excellent transparency also.
Very few background stars but an easy start hop from Denebola.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

M89 / M90




M89 / M90
Constellation - Virgo
Elliptical galaxy (M89) / Spiral galaxy (M90)
Distance - M89 52mly / M90 3mly
Mag - 9.8 / 9.5

Date 23/4/14
Transparency - Poor
SQM 21.1 (LM6.1)

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

Sketch notes
It wasnt quite fully dark when and once again the transparency wasnt great but these two galaxies were still an easy find.
I did intend to sketch the galaxies individually but increasing the magnifications and reducing the exit pupil showed very little if any difference in M90 so they were sketched together.

M87




M87
Constellation - Virgo
Elliptical galaxy
Distance - 55mly
Mag - 8.6

Date 23/4/14
Transparency - Poor
SQM 21.2 (LM6.2)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 14mm Delos x135 (TFoV 0.32')

Sketch notes
Bright and large, its smaller companion galaxies were almost stellar in appearance at low power but increasing the mag were seen as very small smudges.
I'm not a huge fan of elliptical galaxies but after learning a little about 'Virgo A' post observation, it really is an amazing object to view!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

M58




M58
Constellation - Virgo
Barred spiral galaxy
Distance 62mly
Mag 9.69

Date 21/4/14
Transparency - Poor
SQM 21.2 (LM6.2)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 10mm Delos x189 (TFoV 0.22')

Sketch notes
Poor transparency made any kind of seeing detail very hard.
No spiral arms were seen but the central bar was spotted from east to west.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

M53




M53
Constellation - Coma Berenices
Globular cluster
Distance - 58mly
Mag 7.61

Date 18/4/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.4 (6.3LM)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 17.3mm Delos + x2 TV barlow x218 (TFoV 0.19')

Sketch notes
My favourite object of the night.
No real bright stars in the entire cluster but it still showed the usual 'tendrils' branching out from its core which gave it a nice shape.
I did use a x2 barlow with a 14mm Delos giving around x340 and the whole FoV was just a ball of stars taking up 3/4 of the EP. I dont think you can beat giving globulars lots of magnification for viewing but I sketched it with just x218 so its shape is alot more apparent.

M59 / M60




M59 / M60
Constellation - Virgo
Elliptical galaxies
Distance - 56 mly
Mag 8.8

Date 18/4/14
Tansparency - Poor
SQM 21.5 (6.4LM)

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

Sketch notes
Poor transparency becoming 100% cloud cover just as I finished the sketch.
In the sketch M59 is top right, the only real difference that I saw between the two galaxies was M59 had a bright core where M60 had a fairly uniformed brightness. M60 seemed to be surrounded by faint stars.

M64




M64 / The Black Eye galaxy
Constellation - Coma Berenices
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 24 mly
Mag 8.5

Date 18/4/14
Transparency - average
SQM 21.52 (6.4LM)

Telescope 16" f/4.5
EP 10mm Delos x189 (TFoV 0.22')

Sketch notes
Bright core with the 'black eye' about the 4 o clock position which was quite obvious.
Really not sure if I was seeing spiral arms or not? A couple of times I'm sure I spotted areas of less contrast towards the edge of the galaxy but it may also have been my imagination playing tricks on me.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Grimaldi




Grimaldi
13/3/14  2100UT
Phase 31.8˚
Lunation 12.5 days
Illumination 92.5%

Another large (222km x 222km) crater surrounded by smaller craterlets and its only 4 billion years old!!! :)

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Bullialdus




Bullialdus
10/3/14 - 2000UT
Phase 64.6˚
Lunation 9.5 days
Illumination 71.5%

61km x 61km in diameter and observed while the terminator was sweeping across making it really stand out. The smaller Bullialdus A+B craters are below.

Sinus Iridum




Sinus Iridum
11/3/14 - 2040UT
Phase 53.9˚
Lunation 10.5 days
Illumination 79.5˚

Sinus Iridum is a huge crater at 400km x 260km which sits in the NW corner of Mare Imbrium.
Too many smaller craters to name in this sketch, a low power EP was used on a night of poor seeing.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Jupiter 9/3/14




Good seeing conditions on Jupiter last night, around Antoniadi II reducing to AIII later.
Thats the shadow of Ganymede and IO is just about to transit Jupiter on the following limb.

Sketch notes -
NTZ stretched only halfway across partially separating NPR to NTB.
A couple darkened areas on the lower part of the NTB, couldnt make out if they were ovals or linked?
NEB seemed lighter to when I last viewed Jupiter almost a month ago.
Large central festoon with two either side, hard to make out detail the further into the EZ they went.
Lots going on in the SEB! Large white patch preceeding GRS and two in the wake followed by a dark strip all the way to the following limb almost splitting the SEB.
Salmon pink GRS which was dark in the center with a darkened outline (most detail I've ever seen in the GRS).
No detail seen in entire southern region.

Cassini




Cassini crater measures 57x58km and sits in the SW corner of Mare Imbrium, two smaller craters are inside A + B measure 17km and 9km in diameter.

Date - 8/3/14
time - 20.30 UT
Lunation - 7.5 days
Phase - 86.2˚

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

M94




M94
Constellation - Canes Venatici
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 14Mly
Mag 8.91

Date - 3/3/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.64 (LM 6.4)

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

Sketch notes
Looked just like an elliptical galaxy at first but in a similar way to M106 the more time spent observing the more detail showed. A faint halo surrounding a bright core.
Total time spent observing this and M106 was just over two hours and I enjoyed every minute of it!

M106




M106
Constellation - Canes Venatici
Spiral galaxy
Distance - 23Mly
Mag 8.39

Date 3/3/14
Transparency - Good
SQM 21.60 (LM 6.4)

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

Sketch notes
At first just a fuzzy oval shape could be seen and I thought this would be another disappointing galaxy as far as seeing structure is concerned but after 15 Minutes observing slight changes in contrast could be seen and the spiral arms appeared.
A bright nucleus with two spiral arms the top arm extending out further than the lower arm. Few background stars.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

M105 / NGC 3384




M105 / NGC 3384
Constellation - Leo
Elliptical galaxy
Distance - 32Mly
Mag 9.3

Date 1/3/14
Transparency - Poor
SQM 21.34 (LM 6.3)

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

Sketch notes
M105 appealed the brightest and largest of the three galaxies with a bright nucleus.
NGC 3384 appears in the RASC Finest NGC's was only slightly dimmer with a similar shape and bright core.
The smallest and faintest galaxy of the trio was NGC 3389 which came into view with direct vision as soon as I increased the magnification and lowered the exit pupil.