TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for May 2024

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kt4hx Online United States of America
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for May 2024


Post by kt4hx »

Here are some observations that I've had over the years of this month's southern objects while being closer to the equator during business trips.

(NGC 5139 and NGC 5286 were observed using my AR127 refractor on 12 May 2012 from a location at about 18° N latitude. The location was estimated as a Bortle 4 quality sky.)

NGC 5139 (Centaurus, globular cluster, mag=3.7, size=36.3’, SBr=11.2, class=8
My first target this evening was the supremely beautiful Omega Centauri. It was easily discerned with the naked eye as a hazy patch, and very bright in the 8x50 RACI finder, were some modest resolution was beginning to show. Moving to the main scope at 46x, it was truly stunning. Its very large and very bright globe appeared like an exploding ball of stars, emanating from an intense core. This cluster is mesmerizing and it is truly one of the most gorgeous objects in the night sky. Taking a look with both 59x and 94x intensified the overall impression, as the cluster was blindingly bright and entrancing.

NGC 5286 (Centaurus, globular cluster, mag=7.4, size=11.0’, SBr=12.3, class=5):
Finding the naked eye star, mag 4.6 HD 119834 (sometimes listed as M Centauri) I only had to point the scope at the star. NGC 5286, at mag 7.4 was easily seen immediately adjacent to the starht next to the star at 46x. The globular was not large by any means, but is quite easy to see as a fairly bright small puff of cotton. It appeared to be pretty condensed, and certainly not overpowered by the star. Also viewed at 59x and 94x, it was a small round disk with a bright and compressed core. Some stars were resolved at the edge of its field.

(Messier 68 was observed using my AR127 refractor on 19 May 2012 from a location at about 18° N latitude. The location was estimated as a Bortle 4 quality sky.)

Messier 68 / NGC 4590 (Hydra, globular cluster, mag=7.3, size=11.0’, SBr=12.2, class=10):
About 3.5° SSE of mag 2.6 Beta Corvi (Kraz) I easily located this object. Using 43x the cluster was a small and bright diffuse round glow. Viewed with 59x and particularly at 94x, the core exhibited some brightness, The outer halo was partially resolved, but mostly remained a hazy glow of unresolved suns. Nonetheless, even in the 5 inch refractor this was a fine globular to observe.

(NGC 4388 and NGC 4372 were both observed using my ED80 refractor on 27 May 2016 from a location at about 5° S latitude. The location was estimated as a Bortle 5 quality sky.)

NGC 4833 (Musca, globular cluster, mag=8.4, size=14.0’, SBr=13.9, class=8):
I had subtly observed this globular during an earlier session on this trip, but it was not easy at the time due to weak transparency. This evening, I easily swept up a large and very apparent diaphanous round misty glow using 34x. Though it does not have a strongly condensed core, it did seem to show a very subtle uptick in central brightness. Though I also observed the cluster at 54x and 71x, I preferred the view at 34x as it seemed to give the best balance of visibility for the globular due to its lower surface brightness. I also noted a mag 8.8 star in tight attendance to its north. Overall it was much easier to see tonight than during previous sessions, though it was not boldly obvious in the eyepiece using the 80mm under my conditions at this location. I did not resolve any stars in the cluster.

NGC 4372 (Musca, globular cluster, mag=7.2, size=18.6’, SBr=13.3, class=12):
Heartened by the better visibility of NGC 4833, I had some hopes of finally spotting this more elusive globular 41’ southwest of mag 3.8 Gamma Muscae. On previous attempts I could never conclusively say I saw it. As a class 12 globular it has no central concentration, therefore, though its surface brightness is a little higher than the previous object, at 13.3 mag/arcmin2, without any increased core brightness it is merely a ghost of NGC 4833. I star hopped to it at 34x and didn’t perceive anything southeast of the mag 6.6 star HD 107947. At 43x I had a very, very fleeting sense of something there, but I was also concerned about reflections from the lights around me. I shielded my view by draping a cloth over my head and eyepiece, and still had the “feeling” that something was there. Going ahead up to 54x, and using averted vision I was catching sight of a extremely subtle glow dropping in and out of view. Jiggling the scope slightly helped reinforce this sensation. I did try at 71x, but the appearance didn’t change. It was definitely there, but it was never held steady even with averted vision. I know the seeing was changing very quickly and that may have been the reason why it was drifting in and out all the time. Not the best of observations, but I was satisfied that I had finally seen it. Wish I could drag the 12 inch along on these trips!

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"No good deed goes unpunished." (various)
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?” (Scarecrow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
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John Baars Netherlands
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for May 2024


Post by John Baars »

Great images, Greame, Thanks!
Refractors in frequency of use : *SW Evostar 120ED F/7.5 (all round ), * Vixen 102ED F/9 (vintage), both on Vixen GPDX.
GrabnGo on Alt/AZ : *SW Startravel 102 F/5 refractor( widefield, Sun, push-to), *OMC140 Maksutov F/14.3 ( planets).
Most used Eyepieces: *Panoptic 24, *Morpheus 14, *Leica ASPH zoom, *Zeiss barlow, *Pentax XO5.
Commonly used bino's : *Jena 10X50 , * Canon 10X30 IS, *Swarovski Habicht 7X42, * Celestron 15X70, *Kasai 2.3X40
Rijswijk Public Observatory: * Astro-Physics Starfire 130 f/8, * 6 inch Newton, * C9.25, * Meade 14 inch LX600 ACF, *Lunt.
Amateur astronomer since 1970.
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Graeme1858 Great Britain
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for May 2024


Post by Graeme1858 »

John Baars wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 8:09 am Great images, Greame, Thanks!

Cheers John

Glad you liked them.

Celestron 9.25 f10 SCT, f6.3FR, CGX. Sky-Watcher Evostar-120, HEQ5
ASI1600MM Pro, ASI294MC Pro, ASI224MC
APM 11x70 ED APO Binoculars.

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