Sunday, October 23, 2011

Observing 10.22.11

It was a cool and very clear night. Unfortunately I was careless in composing my list - set Cartes du Ciel on the wrong date - and so most of what I intended to see was well in the East and wouldn't be coming up until the wee hours of morning. I didn't have the fortitude to wait for them, so I took in a few favorites and managed to catch some of my list between 11PM and Midnight:

  • NGC7479, Herschel 400, Barred Spiral Galaxy
Very faint and hardly larger than surrounding stars with a 25mm eyepiece. The thing that gave it away was the fuzziness. Magnifying didn't help with clarity, but did help with certainty.

  • NGC524, Herschel 400, Spiral Galaxy
  • NGC488, Herschel 400, Spiral Galaxy
  • NGC437, Herschel 400, Elliptical Galaxy
Like the galaxy in Pegasus, these were recognizable only as faint, tiny smudges. Magnification helped only slightly.

  • NGC246, Herschel 400, The Skull Nebula
A fitting one for the final days of October, the Skull Nebula was smaller but a little clearer than the galaxies in the 25mm eyepiece. The 15mm yielded good results. I tried it out with an O3 filter but I'm not sure it helped reveal any greater detail.

It was a great night for satellites and shooting stars, and I also enjoyed the Wild Duck Cluster, the Double Cluster, Andromeda and companion galaxies M110 and M33, and The Pleiades. Jupiter was a good sight with very visible bands, three moons in a triangle formation on one side and a single moon on the other.

The new reflex finder is great. The lens area is larger and is not hidden inside a deep tube. And there was no problem with dewing up - that is until around midnight and the entire telescope dewed up.

Instruments: 10" f4.7 Dobsonian telescope | Oberwerk 20x80mm binoculars

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