Sunday, 25 October 2015

Crater Prinz and Rilles




Prinz + Rilles
24/10/15  2115UT
Phase 37.7˚
Lunation 11.85 days
Illumination 89%
Orion Optics UK VX12L

To start with very poor Antoniadi V conditions showed Prinz crater swimming in turbulence with no sign of the small rilles that I was looking for. The jet stream forecast was for it to move north as the evening went on so I headed back inside hoping seeing conditions would change.
The view an hour later was completely different, Prinz glowed in the early morning lunar sun and below it even with a medium powered EP I could see the dog leg rille of Prinz I.
Increasing magnification still didn't show Prinz II, hoping the seeing conditions wouldn't quickly change for the worse I made a quick sketch of everything I could see in the area.
It wasn't until later that I realised I had actually seen the deepest section of Prinz II and marked it on my sketch.
Seeing such small details on the lunar surface, making a sketch and then confirming what I'd seen later was a very enjoyable experience.

More details on the Prinz Rilles here .

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

NGC 6939




NGC 6939
Constellation - Cepheus
Open Cluster
Distance 5900 Ly
Mag 7.8

Date 12/10/15
Transparency 6/10
SQM 19.8

Telescope 12" f/5.3
EP 14mm Delos x114 (TFoV 38')

Sketch notes
Faint grouping of stars which looks far more impressive when framed with a low power EP and including the nearby NGC 4946 Fireworks galaxy from a dark site.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

NGC 6946 / The Fireworks galaxy




NGC 6946
Constellation - Cygnus
Spiral galaxy
Distance 20MLy
Mag 8.8

Date 8/10/15
Transparency 4/10
SQM 21.2

Telescope 12" f/5.3 OOUK
EP 10mm Delos x159 TFoV 27'

Sketch notes -
Lovely face on spiral galaxy, kinda reminds me of M33 but easier to observe.
Transparency was fairly poor, at first all I could see was an elongated smudge but during patches of clear skies the first two upper and lower arms came into view. Changing from a 14mm to 10mm with 1.9mm exit pupil really helped making those arms more prominent and two smaller side arms were revealed.
Total observing time was around 30minutes.

NGC 6888 / The Crescent nebula




NGC 6888
Constellation - Cygnus
Emission nebula
Distance 5400 Ly
Mag 7.4

Date 7/10/15
Transparency 5/10
SQM 21.2

Telescope 12" f/5.3 OOUK
EP 14mm Delos x114 (TFoV 38')
Filter - DGM NPB

Sketch notes -
Average transparency making detail very hard to see.
The central spike was very hard to see, more of a bump than the spike like I have seen in the past. In the past its always reminded me of a Euro € sign but it was more of an actual crescent shape last night.
The lower edge was thicker and brighter.
I tried both OIII and NPB filters but I preferred the NPB, maybe in better transparency the dimmer but more contrasty OIII would have been better?

Saturday, 3 October 2015

NGC 281 - The Pacman nebula




NGC 281
Constellation - Cassiopeia
Emission nebula
Distance 4100 ly
Mag 7.4

Date 2/10/15
Transparency 7/10
SQM 21.6

Telescope 12" f/5.3
EP 24mm ES x66 (TFoV 1.2˚)

Sketch notes -
At first glance the central mouth area was most obvious with a small group of stars inside just about to get swallowed up. The longer I observed it the more nebulosity became visible until I could see two 'corners of the almost triangle shape nebula stretch quite far out from the main body.
Interesting nebula that is worth another visit soon.

NGC 1491




NGC 1491
Constellation - Perseus
Emission nebula

Date 2/10/15
Transparency 7/10
SQM 21.6

Telescope 12" f/5.3
EP 14mm Baader Morpheus x114 (TFoV 4')
Astronomik OIII

Sketch notes -
Odd emission nebula with little shape or structure to it, wider on the side opposite the 'centre' star.
Another object where I wish I had a UHC over the OIII.

NGC 40 / The Bow Tie nebula




NGC 40
Constellation - Cepheus
Planetary nebula
Distance 2700 ly
Mag 10.6

Date 2/10/15
Transparency 7/10
SQM 21.2

Telescope 12" f/5.3
EP 6mm Baader Morpheus x245 (TFoV 18')
Astronomik OIII

Sketch notes -
Fairly small at x245, a OIII help show an almost rectangular shape, the two longest sides appeared slightly brighter. I had a couple glimpses of an outer halo, maybe a UHC type filter would show this better?

Friday, 2 October 2015

NGC 7000 / The North American Nebula




NGC 7000
Constellation - Cygnus
Emission nebula
Distance 2600ly
Mag 4

Date 1/10/15
Transparency 9/10
SQM 21.4

Telescope - 9x50 finder
Astronomik OIII filter

Sketch notes -
As everyone knows the NA Nebula is a huge object, way too big for my 1600mm f/l telescope even with the widest EP.
It was just visible to the naked eye, using a OIII filter increased its presence but it wasn't until I popped that filter onto of my finder that the small increase in magnification gave me the best view.
In a race against the rising moonlight I turned all my lights off and got properly dark adapted and then the fainter IC 5070 (Pelican nebula) glowed but was very faint.

NGC 5907




NGC 5907
Constellation - Draco
Spiral galaxy
Distance 44 Mly
Mag 10.3

Date 1/10/15
Transparency 7/10
SQM 21.3

Telescope 12" f/5.3
EP 9mm Baader Morpheus x177 (FoV 25')

Sketch notes-
Small almost edge on spiral galaxy with very few background stars.
Occasionally appeared to have a mottled appearance but was sure enough of this to record it in the sketch.

NGC 6210




NGC 6210
Constellation - Hercules
Planetary Nebula
Distance 6500Ly
Mag 8.8

Date - 1/10/15
Transparency 7/10
SQM 20.8

Telescope 12" f/5.3
EP - 6.5mm Baader Morpheus x245 (FoV .18')
Filter - Astronomik OIII

Sketch notes -
Very small PN even at x245, the only way to could distinguish it from the nearby stars was it had a fuzzy glow instead of sharp pin points of light.
I used a OIII filter to try and make it stand out against the background stars more than improve contrast to see detail but due to its size I don't think it would make much difference filtered or not.
Its not a show stopper but worth a look just for the challenge.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

NGC 869 / NGC 884 - The Double Cluster




NGC 869 / NGC 884
Constellation - Perseus
Open Cluster
Distance 6.8Kly + 9.6Kly
Mag 6.3 + 5.3

Date 30/9/15
Transparency 5/10
SQM 19.5

Telescope - 12" f/4.5
EP - ES 24mm 82˚

Sketch notes -
Even from home with moderate light pollution and average transparency the Double Cluster still filled the FoV. I think its been said many times before but observing it really is like seeing diamonds on black velvet!
The last time I saw it was through my 16" in dark skies where it really is almost overwhelming to sketch, just so many stars, almost too many to accurately plot. Sketching it from home was the easier option but still very enjoyable.