October 2020 Monthly Challenges

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kt4hx
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October 2020 Monthly Challenges

#1

Post by kt4hx »

I was at the dark site the evening of 13 October and part of my planned activity was to revisit the two challenge objects for this month utilizing the 17.5 inch f/4.5 dob. Here are my notes for those two objects.

NGC 205 / Messier 110 (Andromeda, elliptical, mag=8.1, size=21.9’x11.0’, SBr=14.0):

Easily spotting M31 with the naked eye, I quickly aimed the scope using the Rigel Quikfinder unity finder and quickly studied the larger field through the 8x50 RACI optical finder. M32 was easily spotted as a small condensed non-stellar brightness south of the core of M31. I thought perhaps I could just discern M110, but was never certain. Anyway moving to the ES 82 18mm (110x) I quickly located M110 and studied its disk.

It was an extremely bright and large oval, stretching about halfway across the field of view in its major axis. Overall it was quite diffuse in appearance, and its core was a subtle broadly bright presence within the galactic disk. Studying it further at 152x and 198x, its light seemed to be fleetingly uneven at times, perhaps indicative of its elusive dark lanes, but I could not confirm. The galaxy was quite pretty and bright.

I next targeted the brightest globular cluster in M110 (G73) utilizing an image plotting its position about 6’ east of the galaxy’s core. Orienting myself to the field utilizing the image, I thought I caught a brief glimpse of a stellar point at the correction position at 110x and went up to 152x. I then could hold the object steadily though it changed in intensity as the seeing shifted. Using 198x it was easier as a steady yet dim (mag 14.9) stellar point at the correct position almost 1’ SSW of a mag 12.66 field star.


NGC 7293 (Aquarius, planetary nebula, mag=7.6, size=16.2’x12.3’, SBr=13.3):

Later in the session, after chasing some galaxies in western Aquarius I broke off to pay a return visit to the southern challenge object for this month. Hopping down to 47 Aquarii, I swept ENE toward Upsilon Aquarii and easily picked up the famous “Helix Nebula” in the 8x50 RACI as a fairly bright and slightly out of round diffuse glow. I blinked the DGM NPB filter in front of the finder eyepiece and it really popped out of the field.

Aiming the scope I easily saw a large out of round and very bright glow at 110x without a filter. Particularly with the NPB its annular appearance was readily apparent with brighter areas along the northeastern and southwestern edges of the rim. The western end of the annulus appeared weak and the because of this the nebula put me in the mind of a horseshoe with the weaker western edge being the opening. I tried the O-III filter as well but didn’t find any substantial difference from the NPB because of its good responsiveness in the O-III range.

The mag 13.5 was very obvious and there were upwards of a dozen stars imposed upon the disk without a filter. I viewed it from 110x to 283x both with and without filters. It was nice with no filter, but using either th NPB or O-III made it pop better to the eye. Overall this was a fantastic view of this object, which in light polluted areas can be quite challenging.
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
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Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenges

#2

Post by helicon »

Thanks for the in depth tour of M110 and NGC 7293 Alan. I had never even thought of looking for globulars in M110, so that is a major score. Also, anytime you can make out the Helix easily as a visual object is a major success. (Very dim and hard to see here in my LP). Congrats
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kt4hx
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Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenges

#3

Post by kt4hx »

helicon wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:14 pm
Thanks for the in depth tour of M110 and NGC 7293 Alan. I had never even thought of looking for globulars in M110, so that is a major score. Also, anytime you can make out the Helix easily as a visual object is a major success. (Very dim and hard to see here in my LP). Congrats
Thanks MIchael. As you well know, dark skies are the great equalizer. The fact that I could easily see NGC 7293 with the 8x50 RACI without a filter is a testament to that truism.

Picking up globulars in other galaxies is a curious side project to pursue. In most cases they are quite faint and nothing more than stellar in appearance at best. But there are some within reach of 10/12 inch scopes. Of course dark skies really do make a difference, but I have seen G1 (mag 13.7), the brightest in M31 at home in my typical Bortle 5 sky using a 10 inch. Good charts or images are a must of course, as is observing experience.

If interested in this, here is a short article for your reading. Within it are links to several other resources. :)

https://skyandtelescope.org/sky-and-tel ... -clusters/
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
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"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenges

#4

Post by yobbo89 »

nice report on the helix,it's a hard target to image let alone view in the eyepiece, visual is hard at bortle 6 for me, i did some travel awhile ago with some binos at bortle 1 and ohh yeah visual is night and day with good sky .
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Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenges

#5

Post by Graeme1858 »

kt4hx wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:41 pm
Easily spotting M31 with the naked eye,

Sounds like the stuff of dreams!!!

Regards

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Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenges

#6

Post by Shabadoo »

Is this where I put it?
Wed. Oct 14th.
I didn’t know at the time M110 was the Oct. monthly challenge.
I look at M31 every night I get out because it still fascinates me every time I see it, and like your first girlfriend/ boyfriend- you never forget- it was my first galaxy.
This time, for the first time, I saw what looked a small Smokey, bigger than a star, ball above it.
I assume it was M110 and noted it for next outing.
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kt4hx
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Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenges

#7

Post by kt4hx »

yobbo89 wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:15 pm
nice report on the helix,it's a hard target to image let alone view in the eyepiece, visual is hard at bortle 6 for me, i did some travel awhile ago with some binos at bortle 1 and ohh yeah visual is night and day with good sky .
Thanks. I am sure at Bortle 6 it is a bit challenging. My observations were made under about Bortle 3 conditions, which is typical there. I've seen it as good as about Bortle 2, but that is not frequent. The difference between our home backyard (B5) and the dark site house (B3) is exponential. :)
Graeme1858 wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:02 pm
kt4hx wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:41 pm
Easily spotting M31 with the naked eye,

Sounds like the stuff of dreams!!!

Regards

Graeme
Actually for myself, I find M31 easy prey naked eye at home (typically Bortle 5) on all but the worst nights. I recall a time at the dark site when transparency was so good that I could discern both the core area and outer galactic disk as separate parts of M31 using the naked eye. That night the outer extensions of M31's galactic disk reached farther than typical and actually engulfed M32, effectively dimming it a little. This in turn made M110 seem brighter than M32, which is pretty atypical. Again, there is no substitute for darker skies. :)
Shabadoo wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:08 pm
Is this where I put it?
Wed. Oct 14th.
I didn’t know at the time M110 was the Oct. monthly challenge.
I look at M31 every night I get out because it still fascinates me every time I see it, and like your first girlfriend/ boyfriend- you never forget- it was my first galaxy.
This time, for the first time, I saw what looked a small Smokey, bigger than a star, ball above it.
I assume it was M110 and noted it for next outing.
It is up to you whether to post it here or in the Reports forum. I purposely revisited the two objects for this months challenge to post them here, but that was part of a much larger observing session, the whole of which I would post in the Reports forum.

While I do not regularly observe M31 and its main satellites, M32 and M110, I have observed them countless times over the decades. They are a fascinating package without a doubt. Given your description plus the vertical and horizontal flips associated with a newtonian, I suspect what you are seeing is M32 vice M110. M32 should appear above M31 through your scope as it does in mine. M110 is an ellipse while M32 is round and more compact. When dealing with LP, M32 punches through much better than does M110. From home, which is typically Bortle 5, I always see M32, but on the worst nights with weak transparency, sometimes M110 will simply fade into the sky glow.
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenges

#8

Post by BABOafrica »

Always a pleasure, Allan, to read your report on the Monthly Challenge!

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Re: October 2020 Monthly Challenges

#9

Post by kt4hx »

Thanks Joe, appreciate you taking the time to give it a read.
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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