Author Topic: CalStar 2016 Observational Highlight Reel  (Read 735 times)

mccarthymark

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CalStar 2016 Observational Highlight Reel
« on: October 06, 2016, 04:10:40 PM »
It’s one week since CalStar and I’m still transcribing and confirming my observations.  There are many dozens of them, a rich harvest from three consecutive nights of binge observing.  I echo everyone’s praise for the site, the facilities, and friendly company.

Following amounts to a highlight reel of the observations I remember most vividly, and were special to me in some way.

Mars & M8 in same FOV: I had made a 10-inch f3.8 telescope in a unique Springsonian mounting, which permits a 35x 2.3° FOV with seated viewing from horizon to zenith.  The first night I tracked Venus as it set and watched it blink out at the horizon while sitting in my chair.  After dark I viewed Mars and panned to see M8 in other side of the FOV, with globular cluster 6544 in between.  This view happens to be the 10/6/16 APOD, though at 5° to include M20, too.  The little scope had breathtaking views of dark nebulae, Milky Way star fields, M31 and the IFN that surrounds it, the California Nebula, and so much more.  I loved observing with the scope.

In my 20-inch:

NGC 410 & friends, in Psc: Fairly bright, fairly large elliptical, elongated 2:1 NE-SW, with a bright large core and stellar nucleus.  Other galaxies in FOV: NGC 407 to SW, a fairly faint small streak 4:1 N-S with a bright core; NGC 414 to the SE, small, faint, round; CGC 501.119 to the NE, small faint and round.  I missed seeing NGC 408, which would have been a small hazy point just to the west of NGC 410.

NGC 499 & friends, in Psc: Area crowded with galaxies!  499 is pretty bright, pretty large, with a bright oval core and faint halo; oval shape E-W.  Also in field: NGC 501 to the SE, bright, small round, non stellar; NGC 498, to the north, fairly bright, small and round; NGC 496 further north still: very faint, small, elongated 3:1 NE-SE, gradually brighter core; NGC 495 to the west, fairly small, fairly faint, elongated a little N-S.  There are another couple smudges on my sketch which I'm trying to identify, and other galaxies seen panning around beyond the FOV.

NGC 5985, Gx in Dra: Astonishingly beautiful field, with three galaxies in view.  5985 is a large mottled oval halo suggesting spiral structure, 4:3 N-S, with a very bright nucleus.   5982 is to the WNW and is a fairly bright oval, small, 3:2 SSE-NNW, with a very bright nucleus.  Further up WNW, in a row with the other two, is 5981, a long 6:1 faint streak NW-SE; its core brightens with averted vision.

NGC 6166, in Her: Moderately small, diffuse 4:2 core with very faint thin halo around it; orientated NE-SW.  Fairly bright patch to the West is another galaxy, MCG+07-34-055.  There are many other non-stellar / faint patches surrounding the galaxy, which I matched later from my sketch to Aladin: MCG+07-34-076, -048, -050, -056.  This is AGC 2199, so no wonder!

NGC 7562, in Psc: Pretty bright, large oval core elongated 2:1 E-W with a faint halo fading gradually to the edges.   7562A was seen to the SE: small, very faint, round.  Also in view is NGC 7557 to the NE, which is small, fairly faint, and 3:1 N-S.

NGC 7619, in Peg: Several galaxies in the FOV and more seen sweeping the general area, it being the Pegasus I galaxy cluster.  7619 is bright large elliptical, with a bright core and stellar nucleus, with a faint diffuse halo, elongated 3:2 NE-SW.  NGC 7617 was close by to the SW, faint and small, elongated very slightly NE-SW. 

NGC 7626, in Peg: Bright, moderately large, round to oval with very thin diffuse edges.  To its SE near edge of FOV is another galaxy, very faint and very small, a thin streak, seen mainly with averted vision [this is UGC 12535].  Comparing to my sketch later, I also saw 7611 (extremely faint, seen with AV, small, elongated 2:1 NW-SE); IC 5309 (very faint, very small, round to a little elongated but too small to tell the PA); NGC 7615 (very faint elongated patch); NGC 7634 (small but fairly bright core, rice shaped E-W elongation).  My logbook has more galaxies drawn outside the field which I'm still trying to identify.

EGB 1, PN in Cas: @ 333x Rather large but excessively faint glow, no central star, seen with OIII & averted vision only; difficult

NGC 6781, PN in Aql: Wow!  Direct vision unfiltered @ 333x as a pretty large, unevenly illuminated round glow with some thicker bands in the shell and on the rim.  OIII brightens the shell and reveals stronger banding structure.  A faint star flashed within the nebula but was not centrally placed.

Pease 1, PN in M15: Using finder charts from Doug Snyder's website, I quickly identified the trapezium finder stars, and from there the triangular arrangement of finder stars pointing to an unresolved, cone-shaped star mass at the NW rim of the core of M15.  Seeing was not perfect but patient waiting while blinking with OIII revealed a very small, blue-green point which flashed in and out like a beacon.  I let M15 pass through the field 5 times and was able to glimpse the planetary two or three times on each pass.  It is very small and stellar, easy to miss if you don't know exactly where to look.

Zwicky's Triplet (Arp 103), in Her: Noticed on Interstellarum while star hopping to something else (Interstellarum calls it Zwicky's Triplet, but I find it also referred to as Zwicky's Connected Multiple System--but this doesn't have the same ring to it).  Seen as a very faint glow with two condensations; a third very tough patch was separated from the pair.  The brightest was very faint and round; on its SW edge there was a fainter knot; to the north of these two, some distance away and close to a star with an extremely faint small patch, seen with AV only.  Researching this later, the brightest is mag 14.6g, next to it is 15.71, and the faintest is 16.2.

NGC 7463 / 7464 / 7465: Three galaxies strikingly arranged near a bright star.  7463 is pretty bright, pretty large, 3:1 E-W, even surface brightness.  Just off the SE side is 7464: small, round, faint.  Further ESE is 7465, pretty bright, small, 3:2 NNW-SSE, with a just stellar nucleus.  There is a bright star to the west of the group; best kept out of view but can still see the trio with it there.

Pal 11: Faint, but quickly detected with direct vision.  Near a bright star to the NE.  Four stars seen over the face (just foreground?) of the faint glow of unresolved stars which seems larger than I expected.

HGC 96: a: very faint, small and round; c noticed with patient AV as a knot in a's glow.  b: small round glow, very faint.  d: suspected as a non-stellar point with painful AV, but uncertain (17.13b)

HGC 100: a: fairly bright glow, rice shaped E-W.  b: fairly faint patch to the east of a.  c: extremely faint, AV only small glow.  d: suspected as a condensation / very small extremely faint glow.

Shakhbazian 84: My first Shakhbazian object.  @ 333x I noticed a very small, excessively faint curved glow in which I could detect two condensations, only with averted vision.  There are in fact four very tiny galaxies in a curve.  It was a very tough observation, but exciting to be able to see it, and perhaps gives me a future direction to pursue.

Sh 2-216: I saw this plotted in Interstellarum as a huge (more than 1° across) planetary nebula to the NW of Capella.  I tried it in both the 10-inch and the 20-inch.  The 10-inch lacks a finder so I struggled to be sure of the correct field; I tried various filters but nothing certain.  In the 20-inch at 87x 1° TFOV I needed to scan about; I "think" I detected a relatively brighter arc to the NE of where the PN's rim was plotted, but not certain.  I'll be interested to go after this again.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 04:30:20 PM by mccarthymark »
Mark

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Re: CalStar 2016 Observational Highlight Reel
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2016, 08:25:05 PM »
You give interesting report, McCarthy.
>NGC 499 & friends, in Psc: Area crowded with galaxies!

No kidding, you're into the 507 group, lotsa fun to be had poking around there. Over time I've found 14 galaxies that are in that gravitationally related group, mostly in Felix my 11". Starting there, Christmastime 2000, was my first excursion out of our own Virgo Supercluster. That group and a bunch of other galaxies in that area are in the Pisces-Perseus Supercluster, averaging ca 200 mly from here, some 4x farther away then the central Virgo Cluster. That whole area between beta And and M33, Crazy Ed Erbeck, one of the urTACos, used to call his Happy Hunting Grounds.
Fine lucid intro to our big region of space is at - http://www.astronomy-mall.com/Adventures.In.Deep.Space/agcintro.htm
TAC - astro anarchy at work <*>

DDK

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Re: CalStar 2016 Observational Highlight Reel
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2016, 08:36:51 PM »
 ... and once momentarily over the excitement of the 507 group -
5985, -82 and -81 in Draco are in the main tour.
>Astonishingly beautiful field, with three galaxies in view.
As you say, also no kidding, and interesting from what you're looking at, an elliptical, a face-on, and an edge-on, and all pretty and bright.

Pal 11, yesss, I still chuckle over my notes on finding that thing on a second try in Felix: "Haze stayed still."
TAC - astro anarchy at work <*>