TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

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TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

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Post by kt4hx »

June is a transitional month for both hemispheres. Us northern folk will begin summer and our southern friends will commence winter during this month. The richness and beauty of the Milky Way plane starts to take a more prominent place in our night sky, bringing its beauty and treasures to center stage as the northern summer and southern winter progress.

This edition will highlight three interesting and diverse objects from each celestial hemisphere for your consideration. I encourage all to add these to your observing and imaging sessions, whether you would be greeting them for the first time or visiting an old friend. As always, posting your visual reports, sketches and images of these targets are encouraged here in this forum so we can all share and discuss your experience. All submissions are truly appreciated, and with that, let’s get started for the month of June.


Northern Celestial Hemisphere:


Messier 5 / NGC 5904 (Serpens, globular cluster, mag=5.7, size=23.0’, class=5):
Discovered in 1702 by Gottfried Kirch, it was obviously also observed by Charles Messier (1764). One of the premier globular clusters in the sky, it is one of my personal favorites. Bright and large, it can, under the right conditions, be seen with the naked eye. Even in binoculars and small apertures it can be impressive. It shares similar attributes with the Great Hercules Cluster, M13, with a very similar visual magnitude and angular size, as well as both being a class 5 on the Shapley-Sawyer core concentration classification scale.

Personally I prefer Messier 5 visually, as to my eye it presents subtly better visually. Of course that is purely a personal preference that can be difficult to put into words, and is certainly not shared by everyone. So while M13 is not in this month’s challenge list, I encourage you to look at it as well (as I am sure you will!), and do a comparison between the two to see which you prefer. If you are up for a challenge, and have some bigger aperture, why not give the nearby globular Palomar 5 at try. With its numbers (mag=11.8, size=8.0’, SBr= 16.1, class=12) it is very tricky to discern visually, so using detailed charts is required (or accurate go-to, push-to). But even if you are in the right field, its very loose and subtle structure can be challenging to discern in the star field.

NGC 6210 (Hercules, planetary nebula, mag=8.8, size=20.0”x13.0", SBr=6.2):
About 4° northeast of magnitude 2.8 Beta Herculis, between the upraised arms of the mythical strongman, is this bright and beautiful planetary nebula. This object has an interesting discovery history. Although it was first observed by Joseph LaLande in 1799, who recorded it in a star catalogue, he did not recognize it as non-stellar. So typically credit for the NGC object is given to Friedrich Wilhelm Struve, who recognized it as a planetary nebula in 1825 while hunting double stars nearby. In fact, be sure to check out the double Struve (Ʃ) 2094 about 17.5’ SSW of the nebula. This pair is pretty even at mag 6.9 and 7.0 with a tight separation of about 1.2”. A third component at magnitude 11.0 lies northwest of this pair at about 25” separation.

It is informally known as the Turtle Nebula because of its appearance in deep images which reveal jets of material flowing out through its outer shell. This planetary is bright and holds up to high magnification, provided seeing permits. The mag 12.6 central star is not strongly present visually, but can be seen with moderate to larger apertures under good seeing conditions. Moderate to larger apertures may also reveal some subtle outer shell detail, indicating a ring-like appearance. It is well known for its beautiful pale blue color, which is not difficult to see because of the object’s high surface brightness. Some observers may see it as more of a greenish-blue, depending upon how their eyes interpret the color they pick up. It also responds well to narrow-band nebula and O-III line filters, which may enhance internal structural detail. Regardless, it is a fine and beautiful object and well worth a visit whether you do visual observation, sketch or image.

Messier 102 / NGC 5866 (Draco, lenticular galaxy, mag=9.9, size=6.5’x3.1’, SBr=12.9):
The famous “Spindle Galaxy” is found just over the border from northeastern Bootes in the large and meandering Draco the dragon. It is known for its history of confusion almost as much as its beauty as an object. After much ado about the identify behind the 102nd entry in Messier’s list of objects, this lenticular is generally accepted as being the correct object, though not without some disagreement still. If Messier’s colleague Pierre Méchain did indeed discover NGC 5866 in 1781, he did so a full seven years before William Herschel, who is given discovery credit in some camps. Of course, since no one who was involved is around to validate these things, we can only try to interpret the notes they left behind to the best of our ability. In the end there will never be 100% agreement on discovery credit.

As indicated by its nickname, it presents a long and thin disk both visually and photographically. Its main details are an intensely bright core area, which in and of itself may appear as a small lens shape within the larger lens shape of the galactic disk. This central brightness is bisected by a thin dark lane that may or may not be seen visually. This depends on conditions, aperture and the observer’s experience. The galaxy extends away from the core, gradually thinning out to narrow tips. Sometimes in heavier light polluted areas where more subtle details can be lost to sky glow, the tips may appear blunter rather than smoothly transitioning to a thin. This object is full of mystery and intrigue, both in its identity and the beauty of its appearance.


Southern Celestial Hemisphere:


NGC 6025 (Triangulum Australe, open cluster, mag=5.1, size=15.0’, class=II2p):
At the northern edge of the southern triangle, snuggled up against the southern border of Norma, one can find this very pretty cluster. Discovered Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille in the 1751-52 period, in his 8x ½ inch telescope he described it as "three faint stars in line in nebulosity." In reality there is no nebulosity associated with this cluster, and Lacaille was merely seeing light scatter from unresolved members.

The cluster field actually crosses into Norma a tiny bit, with the main body of the cluster firmly entrenched in TrA. It presents a split grouping separated by an area of less stellar density. The northern section is the richer of the two sub-groups, while a smaller boxier bunch lies in the southeastern quadrant of the cluster field. It is a curious and beautiful object that stands out well in a generally rich Milky Way field.

Messier 83 / NGC 5236 (Hydra, barred spiral galaxy, mag=7.5, size=12.9’x11.5’, SBr=12.7):
Here is another Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille discovery during his time in South Africa in the 1751-52 timeframe. In his small telescope he saw it as a “small, shapeless nebula.” This object has the distinction of being the only galaxy that Lacaille discovered. It was of course observed by Charles Messier (1781), who added it to his famous list of objects. It was also observed by other pioneers of early observational astronomy, such as William and John Herschel as well as James Dunlop. Its spiral nature was discovered in 1862 by William Lassell using a 48 inch reflector.

Informally known as the “Southern Pinwheel Galaxy”, at -29°51'56" declination it is the 8th most southern in Messier’s list, lying just 14.5’ north of the Hydra-Centaurus border. Though visible from the mid-northern latitudes, it is not well placed for the most advantageous observation for us up here. The closer one is to the equator or south of it, the better your views of the beautiful face-on spiral. It presents a large thick oval glow with a very bright concentrated core. When seen from darker locations where it achieves higher elevation one may catch a glimpse its delicate ghostly spiral structure.

NGC 5882 (Lupus, planetary nebula, mag=9.4, size=19.8”, SBr=6.7):
Deep into Lupus the wolf, nearly 1.5° southwest of magnitude 3.4 Epsilon Lupi this planetary presents a small glowing disk positioned within a curving line of four field stars ranging from 6th to 8th magnitude. Discovered by John Herschel in 1834, he described it as "a most elegant and delicate planetary nebula.” It was independently discovered by Williamina Fleming on a plate in 1894, this duplication went unchecked by Dreyer who bestowed the second identifier of IC 1108 upon the object, despite Herschel’s accurate position.

This small disk has been described as greenish to blue by some observers. Its magnitude 13.4 central star may be glimpsed with enough aperture, as may some weak internal structure. For most observers it may simply appear as a grayish rounded disk. Regardless, it stands as another testament to the violent and changing natural forces of our universe.


And there you have it for this month. Good luck in your pursuit and please let us know how you fared. It is through sharing of experiences that we can encourage and teach one another to become better at our craft. Until next time, keep looking up and enjoying the vast beauty of our universe, as there is no better show around!
Alan

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
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"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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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

#2

Post by John Baars »

Thanks for the fine choice of nice objects!
My contribution is over here: viewtopic.php?t=34867
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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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

#3

Post by kt4hx »

John Baars wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 12:01 pm Thanks for the fine choice of nice objects!
My contribution is over here: viewtopic.php?t=34867

Thank you John, I saw your report on the northern objects and it is much appreciated my friend.
Alan

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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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

#4

Post by Graeme1858 »

Been out tonight attempting to catch some photons from NGC6210. After waiting till almost 22:00 I set up, rolled off the roof and pulled the coordinates into a NINA sequence I put together earlier in the day. I slewed towards Vega to run an autofocus routine. But intermittent cloud was messing up the HFR calculations! The Cloud cover increased so I parked the telescope and closed the roof. The forecast is good for tomorrow so the Turtle will have to wait another day.

M5 was an early wow moment for me back from my 10" dob visual days, along with the other globular clusters in the area. Here's an image I captured a couple of years ago with the SCT.

22-048_The_Rose_Cluster.jpg


I captured M102 for my resurrected Messier Challenge after putting my observatory back together after the OAS Star Party I went to in May. I always thought I was good at keeping optics clean but it looks like a sherbet dab fell in the filter wheel! Even after stripping everything down for a second time and carefully blowing out every filter there were still donuts on the stretched images. The Moon was close and the wind was knocking out my guiding so I didn't bother processing the stacks, but it was good to get the observatory working again! I had a go at it today and pulled the black levels as far as I could to hide the dust motes and misshapen stars but retain some galaxy image. M102 is an excellent example of a side on view galaxy and I just managed to retain some of the dust lanes in the disc to show it off.

M102_LRGB_02.jpg
Graeme

──────────────────────────────────────────────
Celestron 9.25" F10 SCT, CGX.
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ZWO EFW, ZWO OAG, ASI220MM Mini.
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

#5

Post by kt4hx »

Graeme1858 wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 10:36 pm Been out tonight attempting to catch some photons from NGC6210. After waiting till almost 22:00 I set up, rolled off the roof and pulled the coordinates into a NINA sequence I put together earlier in the day. I slewed towards Vega to run an autofocus routine. But intermittent cloud was messing up the HFR calculations! The Cloud cover increased so I parked the telescope and closed the roof. The forecast is good for tomorrow so the Turtle will have to wait another day.

M5 was an early wow moment for me back from my 10" dob days, along with the other globular clusters in the area. Here's an image I captured a couple of years ago.


22-048_The_Rose_Cluster.jpg



I captured M102 for my resurrected Messier Challenge after putting my observatory back together after the OAS Star Party I went to in May. I always thought I was good at keeping optics clean but it looks like a sherbet dab fell in the filter wheel! Even after stripping everything down for a second time and carefully blowing out every filter there were still donuts on the stretched images. The Moon was close and the wind was knocking out my guiding so I didn't bother processing the stacks, but it was good to get the observatory working again! I had a go at it today and pulled the black levels as far as I could to hide the dust motes and misshapen starts but retain some galaxy image. M102 is an excellent example of a side on view galaxy and I just managed to retain some of the dust lanes in the disc to show it off.


M102_LRGB_02.jpg

Outstanding Graeme! I appreciate you sharing your images of two of the northern targets and I look forward to NGC 6210. Looking at your image of M5, it is easy for me to see what it is my favorite northern globular. It is a true thing of beauty.

Nice job on M102. I like how you pulled out its dark lane bisecting the central bulge. Well done!
Alan

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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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

#6

Post by Graeme1858 »

kt4hx wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 9:55 pm Outstanding Graeme! I appreciate you sharing your images of two of the northern targets and I look forward to NGC 6210. Looking at your image of M5, it is easy for me to see what it is my favorite northern globular. It is a true thing of beauty.

Nice job on M102. I like how you pulled out its dark lane bisecting the central bulge. Well done!

Cheers Mate!

The images are rubbish but the targets are excellent and well chosen. Thanks for the work you put into this challenge Alan, I look forward to it every month.

Last night here was clear sky and reasonable humidity all night, well the four ish hours of nautical all night we get get here in June! So I went for NGC6210 again. Earlier in the day I tried removing my focal reducer to get a narrower field of view for the tiny planetary nebula. I love how you pick a range of targets, NGC6210 is tiny! Just 25 arc seconds across so a challenge at any time! But without my focal reducer it's not possible to fit the OAG and the EFW onto the back of the SCT because the EAF gets in the way! So I had to put it back on again. When darkness fell my first job was to slew to Cebalrai and re-calibrate the PHD2 guiding then I moved north to NGC6210.

After that I just clicked go on my NINA advanced sequence and sat back, my mobile phone pinged a notification of sequence start, I watched a nice even hyperbolic autofocus curve form, the target appeared plate solved at the centre of screen, the guiding picked a star and got going and the first exposure started.

A meridian flip was due at 00:32 and I like to be out there to watch over the cables during the flip so shortly after midnight I went out and sat in the garden to let my eyes settle into the darkness. I like to spend time under the stars while an imaging run is underway on my garden lounger either with or without binoculars. Despite the lack of darkness, there was lots to be seen in the cloudless sky. After a while I could see at least five stars, possibly an AV sixth (my eyes are not that good any more!) in Ursa Minor, always a good sign. I looked around the sky at old friends including Alphecca who would soon have a new friend! I heard the flip start in the observatory so went to supervise.

The cloudless skies gave me 97 x 120 second LRGB subframes, so I was quite pleased with that. I'll have a look at them today and hopefully post an image of this lovely diminutive planetary nebula.
Graeme

──────────────────────────────────────────────
Celestron 9.25" F10 SCT, CGX.
ASI1600MM Pro, ASI294MC Pro, ASI224MC.
ZWO EFW, ZWO OAG, ASI220MM Mini.
APM 11x70 ED APO Binoculars.
──────────────────────────────────────────────
https://www.averywayobservatory.co.uk/
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

#7

Post by kt4hx »

Graeme1858 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:48 am
kt4hx wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 9:55 pm Outstanding Graeme! I appreciate you sharing your images of two of the northern targets and I look forward to NGC 6210. Looking at your image of M5, it is easy for me to see what it is my favorite northern globular. It is a true thing of beauty.

Nice job on M102. I like how you pulled out its dark lane bisecting the central bulge. Well done!

Cheers Mate!

The images are rubbish but the targets are excellent and well chosen. Thanks for the work you put into this challenge Alan, I look forward to it every month.

Last night here was clear sky and reasonable humidity all night, well the four ish hours of nautical all night we get get here in June! So I went for NGC6210 again. Earlier in the day I tried removing my focal reducer to get a narrower field of view for the tiny planetary nebula. I love how you pick a range of targets, NGC6210 is tiny! Just 25 arc seconds across so a challenge at any time! But without my focal reducer it's not possible to fit the OAG and the EFW onto the back of the SCT because the electronic focuser gets in the way! So I had to put it back on again. When darkness fell my first job was to slew to Cebalrai and re-calibrate the PHD2 guiding then I moved north to NGC6210.

After that I just clicked go on my NINA advanced sequence and sat back, my mobile phone pinged a notification of sequence start, I watched a nice even hyperbolic autofocus curve form, the target appeared plate solved at the centre of screen, the guiding picked a star and got going and the first exposure started.

A meridian flip was due at 00:32 and I like to be out there to watch the cables during the flip so shortly after midnight I went out and sat in the garden to let my eyes settle into the darkness. I like to spend time under the stars while an imaging run is underway on my garden lounger either with or without binoculars. Despite the lack of darkness, there was lots to be seen in the cloudless sky. After a while I could see at least five stars, possibly an AV sixth (my eyes are not that good any more!) in Ursa Minor, always a good sign. I looked around the sky at old friends including Alphecca who would soon have a new friend! I heard the flip start in the observatory so went to supervise.

The cloudless skies gave me 97 x 120 second LRGB subframes, so I was quite pleased with that. I'll have a look at them today and hopefully post an image of this lovely diminutive planetary nebula.

No not rubbish! Perhaps because I am not an imager I don't have the same discerning eye as the person who does their own images, but for me they show a lot of detail that I enjoy. So you can pull the wool over my eyes easily with images you may not be happy with! :lol:


I like to try and mix it up sometimes. You look at how large and bright M5 is and then compare that to NGC 6210, quite the contrast alone without even considering the very different type of DSOs they are.

I could see how watching things during the meridian flip could be quite a curious show to see with all the cables and such involved. In my case, as simplistic as my set up is, meridian crossings are fine, but I do avoid "Dobson's Hole" with a passion! :icon-smile:
Alan

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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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

#8

Post by Graeme1858 »

It's been a busy week but I finally got NGC6210 processed. (Without flat frames. (But now I wish I had done some!)) The image is tightly cropped to enlarge the nebula which has bloated the stars (and shown up my collimation/back focus/tilt problem (that I need to get to the bottom of!)) but I've left them as they are so as to keep as much detail of the nebula as possible. The adjacent 7th mag star and 9th mag star are both lovely colours, Stellarium reports B-V 0.98 and B-V 1.67 respectively. The nebula itself shows as a really nice cyan colour and some protuberances to differentiate it from the stars, which I was quite pleased about. A perfectly aligned native F10 9.25 SCT would show some more detail but not sure how much more. What does a 25 arc second target look like visually through a 17.5" Newtonian?
Graeme

──────────────────────────────────────────────
Celestron 9.25" F10 SCT, CGX.
ASI1600MM Pro, ASI294MC Pro, ASI224MC.
ZWO EFW, ZWO OAG, ASI220MM Mini.
APM 11x70 ED APO Binoculars.
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

#9

Post by kt4hx »

Graeme1858 wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 4:23 pm It's been a busy week but I finally got NGC6210 processed. (Without flat frames. (But now I wish I had done some!)) The image is tightly cropped to enlarge the nebula which has bloated the stars (and shown up my collimation/back focus/tilt problem (that I need to get to the bottom of!)) but I've left them as they are so as to keep as much detail of the nebula as possible. The adjacent 7th mag star and 9th mag star are both lovely colours, Stellarium reports B-V 0.98 and B-V 1.67 respectively. The nebula itself shows as a really nice cyan colour and some protuberances to differentiate it from the stars, which I was quite pleased about. A perfectly aligned native F10 9.25 SCT would show some more detail but not sure how much more. What does a 25 arc second target look like visually through a 17.5" Newtonian?

Excellent Graeme. Look forward to seeing your final product.

Visually, the last time I observed it was about five years ago. I only gave it a passing look on that occasion since I was in the midst of galaxy hunting in Hercules and it happened to be near to where I was at the time. In the big scope it was only observed at 110x, but even so it was quite bright (high surface brightness) with a very intense blue coloration. Its shape was oval and it remained a pretty small object. Had I really pushed the mags up, I likely might have discerned a fainter outer halo, but simply moved on to my main purpose of the evening.
Alan

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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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

#10

Post by Graeme1858 »

kt4hx wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 1:33 am Excellent Graeme. Look forward to seeing your final product.

Yeah, probably should have attached the image! 😀

NGC6210_LRGB_03.jpg
Graeme

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

#11

Post by kt4hx »

Graeme1858 wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 5:15 am
kt4hx wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 1:33 am Excellent Graeme. Look forward to seeing your final product.

Yeah, probably should have attached the image! 😀


NGC6210_LRGB_03.jpg

There you go. Really like the color! Yeah, I see the extensions you mention. In looking at some other deep images I notice those are knots are part of larger chaotic structure set within a very dim outer halo. Your image vaguely reminds me of the ansae associated with NGC 7009 in Aquarius. Well done and you did this month's targets proud.
Alan

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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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for June 2024

#12

Post by kt4hx »

Here are some observations of this month's targets from my observing notes. The southern observations occurred while I was traveling abroad on business trips.

(Northern Celestial Hemisphere)

This observation of M5 happened at our dark site property with the 17.5 inch dob about three years ago:

Messier 5 / NGC 5904 (Serpens, globular cluster, mag=5.7, size=23.0’, class=5):
Moving to the eyepiece (152x) was nothing short of an emotional experience. My eye was graced with, in my view, one of the most beautiful and entrancing globular clusters in the sky. Dominating the field it was a large swirling mass of stars. The core was very compressed and extremely bright. Stars were resolved across the face of the core with hazy backdrop of countless unresolved suns. There were swirls of stars flowing in all directions as one’s eye moved across its huge globe. My eye picked up a particularly noticeable string of stars spiraling out from the core and wrapping around through the outer halo. This immediately brought to mind a graceful uncoiling arm within a bright face-on spiral galaxy. The outer halo was extensive and highly resolved, and gradually dispersing into the surrounding star field. While Messier 13 in Hercules is certainly engaging and gets more attention, I personally favor Messier 5. I have always found it a delightfully beautiful cluster that stimulates the senses in a visceral way.

This observation of NGC 6210 is from about five years ago at our dark site house utilizing the 17.5 inch.

NGC 6210 (Hercules, planetary nebula, mag=8.8, size=20.0”x13.0”, SBr=6.2):
Since I was in the neighborhood I decided to give this beautiful planetary a quick look as it had been a while since I had. At 110x it was exceedingly bright as a strong pastel blue orb that contrasted wonderfully with the blackness of the sky. At this lower magnification no real structure was evident within its oval disk. The real treat was its intensely blue coloration. This is simply a wonderful planetary.

I last observed M102 about three years ago with the 17.5 inch at our dark site.

Messier 102 / NGC 5866 (Draco, lenticular galaxy, mag=9.9, size=6.5’x3.1’, SBr=12.9):
Easily swept up at 152x, it presented a somewhat large and bright spindle of light (hence its nickname of the Spindle Galaxy). It displayed a central lens of brightness within its prominent central bulge. Following the major axis outward in both directions from the central bulge, the extensions tapered quickly and ended abruptly at thin tips. There was no hint of its central dark lane this evening, though I have seen some traces in times past. This is simply a beautiful galaxy that was a fine way to end the evening.


(Southern Celestial Hemisphere)

I observed NGC 6025 from a location at about 5° south latitude utilizing my ES ED80 refractor.

NGC 6025 (Triangulum Australe, open cluster, mag=5.1, size=15.0’, class=II2p):
Looking back at Rigel Kent (Alpha Centauri) then to Circinus, I noticed a brighter star winking at me through the tree in front of me. I quickly grabbed the IDSA and checked to see who this newbie was. Ah, Beta Trianguli Australis (mag 2.9)! I haven’t observed any DSOs in that one before so this would be my last stop. I noticed a nice open cluster north of Beta, NGC 6025. Sighting the Rigel on Beta TrA, I star hop/ped up to a Crux-like pattern of stars that straddled the TrA-Norma border. Pushing this group to the western edge of the field of view at 27x I easily picked up the bright cluster. The initial impression was of two groups separated by a void, with the line in the northwestern section more heavily populated than the boxy group in the southeastern portion. At 34x the more populated northwestern portion consisted of a line of 10 stars running southwest to northeast with a curve to the west at its northern end. The southeastern group was a trapezoid of four stars, with three stars appearing in the center void. Using 43x, the northwestern line increased to 13 stars while the other parts remained unchanged. Moving on up to 54x, the brighter line of stars increased its population to 15 members, while the trapezoid to the southeast changed to a pentagon with the addition of a fifth star. The center remained the same with three stars showing. Finally on up to 71x the northwestern line picked up one more to make 16 stars in its zigzag line while the pentagon to the southeast gained a couple of dimmer stars. The center again remained mostly empty with three stars to show for itself. So all in all I was picking up 26 stars. This was a nicely compressed cluster and quite well detached and obvious in a rich field. Topping off the evening with a very pretty cluster and a new constellation in the log, life is good!

This logging of M83 was from about 12 years ago with my ES AR127 refractor from a location at around 18° north latitude.

Messier 83 / NGC 5236 (Hydra, barred spiral galaxy, mag=7.5, size=12.9’x11.5’, SBr=12.7):
I then moved on to the face-on spiral galaxy M83 in Hydra, which I cannot see very well at home because of it's lower altitude. However, here it is much higher in the sky and the skies are darker. I quickly moved the AR127, with the 24mm (34x) back in, up to Menkent (Theta Centauri). Just to the northwest was a nice grouping of 4th magnitude stars easily visible. I swung the scope over this group then continued on to the northwest and the soft, bright glow of M83 slipped into view. This is one fine galaxy, provided you have dark enough skies. Popping in the 14mm (59x) again, I let it drift across the FOV a few times as my eye adjusted to the target. After a bit, I was starting to see some subtle variation in brightness arcing out from the core, which was a fuzzy, bright dot. The more I concentrated, the more I was certain that I was detecting the dark lanes that run prominently along the spiral arms of this magnitude 7.8 (SB 13.0) galaxy. I could trace this very subtle shading outward on both sides of the nucleus. When I last observed M83 from this location it was with my ST120 using a Hyperion zoom, and I suspected I was on the verge of seeing some faint structure. But with the AR127 and ES 82 EPs, I am convinced I could detect it. So it is apparent to me that the better optics of the new scope and EPs are that much better. I alternated between the 14mm and 8.8mm (94x), and also tried the 6.7mm (123x). I found the more pleasing view was at 59x with the 14mm.

NGC 5882 was observed about eight years ago from around 5° south latitude using my ES ED80.

NGC 5882 (Lupus, planetary nebula, mag=9.4, size=19.8”, SBr=6.7):
With the clouds on the move, I decided to try one last object for the night. With two strikes against me tonight with PNe I decided to try one more (third time is the charm – so they say). Again re-aiming the scope to mag 3.4 Epsilon Lupi in Lupus the celestial wolf, I then slipped not quite 1.5° to the southwest to find a northward trending line of 6th, 7th and 9th mag stars. At its northern end it kicks to the west about 18’ to another 9th magnitude star. Before one reaches that final star to the west of the main line I was hoping to find this small planetary. Hopefully with its almost two magnitude higher visual brightness, I would finally pick one off. At 27x, I found a gentle curve to the west and I immediately put in the O-III filter. Then lo and behold I was rewarded with a tiny little disk! I pushed up the magnification some though it really wasn’t necessary. At times it seemed stellar while at other times the disk reappeared. I took this to be minute changes in seeing. I didn’t notice any color to the disk, though I have seen others, with larger aperture, mention seeing it as green. Anyway, the evening ended on a high note and I finally had a planetary to put into the log for this outing.
Alan

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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