Saturday, September 15, 2018

2018 CalStar third night

Conditions were better and I felt more relaxed, and I was likely more productive.  Observing without a plan has the charm of finding new discoveries, but one needs a particular frame of mind to keep interest and attention, and to keep the observing pleasurable.  At times I wished I had a plan to keep me more focussed.  I was not over tired and that helped keep me going, though I petered out at around 2:30am.  It would have been nice to keep going since the sky conditions were very good.  Tonight should be the best night yet so I hope to rest up and be able to make the most of it.  I do feel tired this morning and have the beginnings of a sore throat.

As I go through my notes I find I observed some of the same objects twice within this session -- I simply forgot from a few minutes before what I had seen before.

NGC 7013: 205x.  Fairly bright and large, bright small core, elongated 3:1 NNW-ESE, diffuse but mottled halo with fading edges.  Faint star on the NNW tip of the halo.  Faint tumbling satellite passed by in the FOV during the observation, fun to watch it flash and flicker.

MWP 1: 205x.  Exceedingly faint large shell seen with averted vision & OIII filter only; it hangs from a string of stars like a water drop. Brighter on the SW rim, and barely there through the rest of the shape; seems to have ghostly rings inside the shell?  Edges are soft but not diffuse. A small star is green with the OIII but it is not central to the nebulosity and not clear to me it is a central star.  [According to Kent Wallace in his Visual Observations of Planetary Nebula, it is called the "Methuselah Nebula" due to its age, estimated at 150,000 years, old for a PNe; the shells of most dissipate within 50,000 years.  He also says the first known visual observation of this object was made during 2002 CalStar, probably in the same baseball field I was set up in, also in a 20-inch, and that a certain Jeff Gortatowsky verified the sighting!]

Alves 1 = ALV1 (PN G079.8-10.2): Very marginal observation.  Large amorphous glow in a scattering of stars, irregular shape, very exceedingly faint -- more felt than seen; maybe seen because I thought something should be there.  205x & OIII only.  [Credit for the image, the full version of which also includes MWP 1, is here.]

NGC 7037: Poor cluster, arc of stars and a triangle; 205x. [I only noted the ~10 brighter stars; there are fainter stars in the group -- needed to have a wider field to show it separated from the rich field.]

UGC 11761: Small extremely faint, elongated with brighter nucleus.  Two bright stars to the north and north east.  205x [Doubtful if seen; 0.19"x0.19", 13.8b -- well maybe?]

UGC 11781: Round core, very faint extended halo which brightens with averted vision.  205x  [v13.05, S0]
IC 1392 & UGC 11775: The IC has a bright 2:1 E-W elongated core, with a very faint halo haze around it; it is preceded by a group of five brighter stars, which include some faint doubles.  The UGC is very faint, small, and round 4' to the SE; it has a star just to the SE of the core.  205x

Abell 78: Very soft, faint large oval glow between two stars.  After some longer looks, the shell has a brighter arc along the southern rim.  205x w/ OIII

UGC 11762: Small, faint, round!

BU 167: Elongation but not in the right PA; some faint stars about but too far....  667x  [consider not seen...]
21H 36M 13.98S +30° 03' 19.5" P.A. 88 SEP 1.7 MAG 6.37,9.95 SP G8III

NGC 7116: Averted vision to see but can then hold with direct vision.  Moderately large and fairly faint, 4:1 WNW-ESE halo with a gradually brighter core offset to the NW.

UGC 11834: Extremely faint E-W elongated glow, even surface brightness; hindered by star on south rim.  205x

NGC 7137: Halo looks like a stumpy comet tail attached to a faint star attached to the rim and preceding it it to the NW.  The glow is wedge shaped with a uneven surface brightness.  Interesting!   [v12.4, SBc]

Abell 74: Barest hint of round faint round nebulosity.  Large.  Barely there.  OIII only 205x.

NGC 7052: Bright elongated / bulging core with hazy halo, 3:1 NE-SW.

NGC 7080: Rather faint halo, mostly round, fairly small, within a triangle of bright stars.  Interesting curve shape in the halo -- may be barred spiral? [v12.3, SBb]

And-G1: I see a faint round haze, rather large, fairly bright (direct vision) at the star hop location -- but I remember reading I should be seeing "Mickey Mouse" ears composed of two stars plus the globular.  So I'm not sure what I saw.

And I = PGC 2666: 4:1 elongated glow, extremely faint.  Used yellow filter which seemed to help a little.  Doubt the observation a little.  [Did not see -- the galaxy is far fainter and more diffuse than described.]

Baade A & B: Two extremely faint, slightly elongated glows, both with stellar nuclei.
Need to find a photo...

NGC 317: Small, fairly faint, 3:1 elongation E-W, with a gradually brighter core.  There's a small but bright non-stellar round glow hugging the NW rim of the galaxy. 205x, SBbc, v13.4 [The non-stellar glow is UGC 593, v13.56, SAB0a.  UGC 594, not noticed, is in the eastern spiral arm].

Mad 1: I tried up to 667x, no close split.  There is an orange star preceding a pretty blue bright star.  [Not seen...]
01H 00M 35.58S +47° 19' 14.6" P.A. 358.2 SEP 0.76 MAG 7.66,9.05 SP A2

IC 66: Curve shaped spiral 4:1 elongated NW-SE, pretty large, bright core.  Two stars on edge of SE end.  [Seems the curve shape comes from the brighter halo on the NW end giving the galaxy a twist look in visual.  205x.]

UGC 522: Faint, moderately large, very faint stellar nucleus with hints of spiral in the halo.  205x

NGC 278: Quasi-stellar nucleus and large round bright mottled halo -- wants to show spiral but not quite.  Bright star due north.  333x. [v10.8, SBb].

BU 257: Wide split 2-3 delta mag. [Not seen, this is a close double...]
00H 40M 13.00S +47° 15' 21.0" P.A. 253 SEP 0.6 MAG 8.06,9.11 SP G0 DIST. 246.31 PC (803.46 L.Y.)

NGC 185 = Hodge V: Glowing ball-like core slightly brighter than larger halo, 3:2 E-W, with knots scattered within.  Wants to show some kind of structure but remains hazy.  205x.
NGC 147: Very large 3:1 NE-SW glow with a gradually brighter core and a central star or stellar nucleus.  I see a dark lane or cut-off running along the SE side.  Quite diffuse and large.  [It is a foreground star in the center of the galaxy.]  205x
BU 394: Faint, 3 delta mag, wide separation.  [Not seen, is a close separation.]
00H 30M 45.56S +47° 31' 47.5" P.A. 277.6 SEP 0.84 MAG 8.49,8.77 SP G0 DIST. 49.33 PC (160.91 L.Y.)

Perseus Cluster: A dozen and more galaxies in each eyepiece view, swarming.  I did not try to sketch or describe, only to take it all in.  After a while of looking into the far distance, I pulled away from the scope, and looked into our own galaxy -- perhaps much like those I had seen at such a great distance.  I was isolated on the field, with its night sounds and wind, but felt what I was seeing, though strange and wondrous, was familiar, and was home.

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