Author Topic: Dinosaur Point what a night, 23 February  (Read 598 times)

DDK

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Dinosaur Point what a night, 23 February
« on: February 28, 2017, 08:11:46 PM »
Thursday night, 23 February, looked like our best weather window for observing this new moon cycle, 3 of us showed up at Dinosaur Point. Boy were we right. Somehow there was no dew, all the clouds dropped by 8 pm, transparency was at 6.3 limiting magnitude for me, and the seeing was sharp, 5/5, which is rare for Dino.

Peter Natscher brought his snazzy 16”, to which he continues to remain true. Mark McCarthy had his 10” Springsonian comet hunter, just an amazing telescope mechanically and visually. As usual he left his Terminagler in the focuser most of the time, for an actual field of view around 2.5 degrees. For fun, I drove my two-seater del Sol and brought the trusty Orion Ultraview 10x50s with a parallelogram mount. You shoulda seen Peter’s moon eyes when I drove up - “How’d you fit Johannes (my 13) in there?” No packing magic, just brought the 2”.

We swapped views back and forth, along with all manner of banter. Highlights included Peter sketching a little blue planetary, which showed bright color in his scope. If I were a better person I’d remember its name. The picture in McCarthy’s scope that sticks in memory was a sharp view of the Leo Triplet, all in the same eyepiece field and all distinct. M65, M66 and ngc 3628, always interesting.

I spent most of the night scanning around in Monoceros and Canis Major. The winter Milky Way there is endlessly fascinating in any aperture. This time I kept coming back to this big fancy dense open cluster, with other bright ones ranging off to the west. Matching the field on the chart, surprise it was M46, with of course no planetary (2438) superimposed to cinch the ID. M47 right next to it, then 2374 and 2360 looking fancy, within 6’ marching due west.

Jupiter was up high enough by midnight for some oohing and aahing, with all 4 big moons in close, along with the GRS. Here comes Jupiter.
And by 1 am we were packed and rolling. We wore enough layers to stay warm with the temps in the mid-30s.

Here’s to Dinosaur Point, with one more winter season in the bin. And good company.
And here's to TAC. There's reason people call us the hardcore observers. And we're here for the fun!
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Peter Natscher

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Re: Dinosaur Point what a night, 23 February
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 09:20:22 AM »
That was IC 2003 in Perseus I was sketching. It is a small 7" diameter planetary at magnitude 12.6 and a nice blue in color.  Recognizable initially at 100X, I sketched and observed it at 350X.

We had excellent seeing last Thursday night.  This was my fifth outing this winter, pretty good considering all the rain we've had.  Winter time observing is all about getting out at the opportune time week nights included, and the temperature is usually near freezing by 10pm. We are fortunate to have Dinosaur Point as a astronomy site.

mccarthymark

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Re: Dinosaur Point what a night, 23 February
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 11:29:57 AM »
Very nice to get out for a while, even on a weeknight (or especially so, if one's work life is hectic!).  I had no particular plan for observing, so mainly lazed about, sweeping different parts of the sky.

As for sights which stayed in my memory, there are two.  M48 was one.  When I did my Messier survey I used my 50mm finder to record the observation since it was too large to fit comfortably in my 12.5-inch; in the finder it was an unimpressive loose cluster.  At Dino I could just make it out naked eye, so finding it was a snap.  It was very nicely framed in the 10-inch and there was enough aperture to make it shimmer -- spangly bright stars forming a long triangle, with a nice arc of stars through the middle, and many faint stars, many of them doubles, filling out the background.  Enough space around it to reveal it as fairly well detached from its background.  I daresay the view approached the below photo.

A surprise find was NGC 2467, a large HII region & OC grouping in Puppis.  It appeared unfiltered as a large grey round mass with a fainter and larger smear of nebulosity running NW-SW tangentially from it.  Another large and more round cloud sprouted from the brighter mass to the S/SE.  The nebula and field were filled with stars.  The nebula brightened considerably with UHC.  The popular name is Skull and Crossbones Nebula.
Mark

DDK

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Re: Dinosaur Point what a night, 23 February
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 01:40:19 PM »
NGC 2467, is a mondo emission nebula, complex, rich. Jeff Blanchard got me onto it first. And what a field of stars. I've spent a lot of time camped out there. Best views I've had have been with an Ultrablock. There's this triangular wedge of stars, just east of the main gout of nebulosity, that I got to call the Baby Hyades. Here are some notes from the Peak, Dino, Peak in that order, all in Felix the 11" -

"Fave of Jeff’s. Superior EN. One main gout of nebulosity full of veins. Darklane to N, another smaller lane to E. Bright triangular wedge to E with neb, brighter in OIII. Cassiopeia shape to S, also with imbedded neb, brighter in OIII.
"19 Jan ‘06, great in Ultrablock. Baby Hyades filled with nebula, just E of main gout.
"1 Jan ‘08, also beautiful and complex in Ultrablock UB. Like the baby Hyades."
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sgottlieb

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Re: Dinosaur Point what a night, 23 February
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 02:20:51 PM »
I'll throw in my notes of NGC 2467 from Costa Rica on 30 Jan '06 using Ray Cash's 13.1" travelscope.  It looks like Jamie also observed it the same month from Dino, though methinks he may have the wrong day of that month.

Bright, large nebulosity at 75x using an OIII filter, ~4-5' diameter, surrounding a mag 7.5 star.  The main section is roughly mushroom shaped, extending generally south of the bright star.  The southern border is locally brighter along a strip oriented NW to SE.  There is a sharp light cut-off (apparently due to dust) passing to the north of the central star and oriented E-W.  Faint haze extends ~15' to the east.  To the north, fainter nebulosity extends 12' E-W, and brightens towards the east end at an elongated group of brighter stars (Haffner 18), oriented NW-SE.  Removing the filter this is a gorgeous low power Milky Way field with numerous faint stars peppered in the region of the nebula.

DDK

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Re: Dinosaur Point what a night, 23 February
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 08:48:15 PM »
Simultaneity, Steve. That New Year's Night '08 was when you and I met up at Ranger Row on the Peak. Comet 17P Holmes was going thru, and Ranger Sheryl knew right where it was, smart woman altogether. We saw Comet Tuttle as well, in Aries. You showed off a serious view of ngc 1535 at 700x (!), planetary with intricate filigree structure between two shells. Also that night I was running down Deepmap galaxies in Eridanus.

Now the night in January '06, Joe Bob and I did a renegade Friday night run to Dinosaur Point. 19 January is the date I have in my paper logbook. Do know we were not inundated by moonlight that night. Just looked at a Jan '06 calendar, might well have been the 27th. I'll never know! Too late to drylab in any case.

Next time out, I am heading straight to CMa and Puppis. Revisiting M46 and 47, checking out the sweep to those bright opens, 2374 and 2360, restudy Thor's Helmet and sit and gaze at 2467. Improve the ole aesthetic sense. Yes with a telescope this time.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 12:26:02 AM by DDK »
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