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Messages - pnatscher

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Observing Intents / Re: New Moon weekend
« on: April 17, 2017, 06:58:07 PM »
Forecast shows plenty of sun and clear skies for this weekend starting Thurs/Fri.  I might do FP or Pinnacles West main parking lot Thursday night cuz I will be up in Oregon this weekend.  Hoping the following weekend 4/29 forecast remains sunny also --  although there's a 3 day old waxing Moon setting high up in W. Gemini later on Saturday 4/29.

Observing Reports / Planetaries In Puppis
« on: March 29, 2017, 10:54:04 AM »
The weather was very good Tuesday night for observing a few planetary nebula with my 16" f/4.5 Dob from the FPOA Observatory on Fremont Peak last night, March 28, 2017.  Temperature was in the 50°F range with no dew, 70%RH, and light occasional wind that didn't affect the seeing.  The SQM by 10pm was 20.94. The seeing was very good at 1 arc-sec and transparency good for viewing my target objects positioned at -14°, -18°, -27° declination.I wanted to capture three small and medium size planetaries lying in Puppis before this winter time constellation disappears for another nine months.  Manually located and observed were:

NGC 2438 Puppis; RA 07 41 Dec -14 44; mag 11; 73"x68".
Moderate size circular ring nebula, ghostly grey in appearance with slightly darker center. Nebula easily spotted at 100X. At 350X, ring appeared uneven in brightness. A faint field star positioned at nebula's dark center but not the central star. Northern side of ring appeared brighter. NPB and OIII narrowband filters similarly enhance nebula shape and ring uneveness.

NGC 2452 Puppis; RA 07 47 Dec -27 20; mag 12.2; 31"x24".
Smaller disk shaped nebula among many field stars, grey in color and spotted at 100X. At 350X, uneven in brightness with north and south ends being brighter.

NGC 2440 Puppis; RA 07 41 Dec -18 12; mag 9.4; 74"x42".
Nebula was easily located at 100X as a small grey hazy oval patch with brighter center. With 350X, much detail was seen within the core as two small bright knots (NW-SE orientation) connected by a "U" shaped bridge bending north-westward between the two.  The elongated halo was finely extended at least 80 min in length. Use of NPB and OIII filters both enhanced the core area and halo.

Observing Intents / Re: Observing Tuesday NIght?
« on: March 27, 2017, 10:51:03 AM »
Going to Fremont Peak after all since the latest forecast shows the RH% considerably lower.  I'll be at the FPOA observatory offering a great S. horizon view into Puppis. I want to observe and sketch three planetaries in Puppis before that constellation is no longer visible by April new Moon.

Observing Intents / Observing Tuesday NIght?
« on: March 27, 2017, 07:45:40 AM »
The weather forecast looks good for Tuesday night at our observing sites.  It’s New Moon on Tuesday!  The Moon sets too late for Friday and the weekend observing.  Anyone interested in getting out to observe Tuesday night?

TAC Visual / Mars MRO Video
« on: March 21, 2017, 06:57:48 PM »
An inspiring video from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to enjoy during our rainy weather.  View full screen!

Observing Reports / Re: Dinosaur Point what a night, 23 February
« 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.

I'll be there by 5pm.  :D

Observing Reports / Re: OR: Dino Sat Jan 28 - A grouping of fellow TACOs
« on: February 07, 2017, 08:47:51 PM »
R Leporis has a color index of 5.9 being the redist carbon star but close to it is DY Crucis at 5.8 that Dave C. and I observed from Oz last spring.  It's a lot more striking to see in the same filed of view being so close to bright blue Beta Crucis.

Observing Intents / Re: Dinosaur Point Saturday night
« on: January 27, 2017, 07:12:03 PM »
I'm in also for Saturday. I'll take the clear wintertime skies as they come.

The three of us, with George Feliz and Jamie, had had great observing last night (Thursday) at Dino! Temps were 36°-41° and moderate RH at around 75%. NELM was 6.2-6.3.  Wearing multiple layers of clothing, the climate was fine. We saw rabbits running around the parking lot at sunset and so we observed in Lepus!

Observing Intents / Re: Dinosaur Point Thursday night, 26 January
« on: January 26, 2017, 02:31:02 PM »
I'll be at Dino, ETA 4:30pm.  Dress for 30's temps!  I'll be observing fall and winter planetaries and galaxy groups with the 16" JP Astrocraft Dob!!

Observing Intents / Re: OI - Fremont Peak Tuesday 1/17/2017
« on: January 15, 2017, 08:10:26 AM »
WX is looking more unstable during the week.  Rain on Wednesday. Will watch and go for it if at the last minute if clear skies opportunity arises.  Maybe Thursday or Friday according to the SkippySky forecasts.

Observing Intents / OI - Fremont Peak Tuesday 1/17/2017
« on: January 14, 2017, 02:28:25 PM »
I might observe from Fremont Peak, in the SW Lot or the FPOA Observatory gated area on Tuesday night.  I'll watch to see if the Wx remains favorable. Right now (Saturday), the Wx forecast is for clouds and rain Wednesday and through the weekend so Tues. might be the last chance to get out for observing this week.

Rants and Off Topic / Re: The Beginning And End Of The Universe
« on: January 08, 2017, 07:04:29 PM »
What a downer!  You coud'a watched "Singing In The Rain" ;)

TAC Visual / Re: Head's Up for New Year's Eve Mars/Neptune Conjunction
« on: December 31, 2016, 07:15:15 PM »
I can see them nicely in my tripod-mounted 10x54 binos.

TAC-AL / Re: More TAC-AL Awards (and full list)
« on: December 30, 2016, 01:03:31 PM »
AL Awards:

Herschel 400 (manual locating with sketches) 2003
Herschel II (manual locating with sketches) 2007

I guess I'm due for another list for 2017?

Peter Natscher

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