Deep sky observing report (2009 May 26)

posted: 3031 days ago, on Monday, 2009 Jun 08 at 01:23
tags: astronomy, deep sky, observing report, Sutherland.

Observer: Auke Slotegraaf

Deep sky observing logbook for Tuesday/Wednesday, 2009 May 26/27.

All observations were made with a 12-inch f/4.9 Dobsonian, "Bertha", set up in the Theatre on Sterland, Sutherland.

Heavy dew. Skies clear. Temperature dropping to –4°C.

Photos of the Sutherland trip are in the Picasa gallery.

ESO 124-14

A very faint, very small round glow, looking like a fuzzy star. (25mm, 60x)

Three 9th mag stars about 6' to the north/northwest help secure its position. Rough sketch made (60x).

Question if there is a very very small star close north-west? (Barlow + 25mm, 120x)

(Millenium Star Atlas chart)

ESO 124-15

Marginally visible at 60x (25mm ep), much better at 120x (Barlow + 25mm ep).

A very, very faint oval glow, not much brighter to the middle. It is oriented roughly north-south and measures 1' x 0.5' (3/4AB x 1.5AB; reference stars marked in the rough sketch).

Two very small stars seem involved, or I'm seeing a bright nucleus with a close-by star.

300x (Barlow + 10mm ep) shows it, but indistinctly.

At times, the two stars seem excentrically located, with the major nebulosity off to the west.

Rough sketch made (120x) showing its location near mag 9.8 and 10.6 stars (marked 'K' and 'M' in the sketch).

A POSS-2 image confirms that there are indeed two small stars offset from the galaxy.

(Millenium Star Atlas chart)

ESO 124-18 & ESO 124-19

Rough sketch (10' across) made of the faint stars around the position shown on the MSA chart.

I see here two small glows, set apart from each other, where I was only expecting one, as per the MSA chart.

The western one seems to extend away from two small stars, which seem at first to be involved in the nebulosity, but then later I noted that the nebulosity is actually separate from the two small stars. (Barlow+25mm ep, 120x).

The eastern nebula is pretty much elongated (1:1.5) NW-SE and lies between two small stars.

Unsure if these are real nebulae, or just faint star-glow halos.

After consulting Aladin, the western nebula is ESO 124-18, and the eastern one (not plotted on MSA) is ESO 124-19.

How delightful to 'discover' a galaxy!

NGC 5786


Faint, elongated (1:1.5) glow with a very bright star (kappa Cen, V=3.1) disturbingly closeby (6').

60x (25mm) does not show the galaxy, while 300x (Barlow + 10mm) shows it with attention.

Rough sketch made showing the faint stars nearby.

(Uranometria 2000.0 chart 405)

NGC 5882

Wow – that's one fat star! A very bright, round, disc, with soft edges and an even light across its surface. Gray colour or perhaps an intensely pale blue. Takes up to 500x well.

(Uranometria 2000.0 chart 405)

Closeby (5') to the north of the planetary is a soft triangular puff of light; a triangle of faint stars lies close-east of the puff. The puff is half the size of this triangle. Crude sketch made.

From a POSS-2 image of the region, the triangle is made up of V~10.8 stars, NNE of the planetary. The eastern-most star of the triangle is double, as my rough sketch shows. From the measured size of this triangle, my estimate for the diameter of the 'puff cluster' is thus almost 1.5-arcminutes.

The 'puff cluster' shows up quite well on the POSS image as a distinct grouping of half-dozen or more dim stars south-west of 10.7 mag TYC8294-01461-1.

The anonymous grouping could be designated Anon 151654.5-453439.

NGC 6326

Pale grey fat dot, 25" across, in a very rich field. Has soft edges and an even light across its face. Two stars attend it, almost at right-angles (one north, the other east), with a third fainter star (east-southeast) even closer.

The nebula's diameter is 0.7x the separation between the attendant duo.

Crude sketch made.

Aladin: Duo separation = 36", nebula = 25".

(Uranometria 2000.0 chart)

IC 4651

Wow! A delightful large, loose cluster of equally-bright stars. More precisely, there is a single bright star, a dozen moderately bright stars, and many faint stars, which are arranged in looped arcs of stars. Between these stars there winds tunnels of dark spaces, like a black maze, creating prominent patches of black sky within the starry surrounds. The cluster diameter is about 13'. (60x, 25mm & 120x, B25mm)

Two dark patches side-by-side are quite striking; with some imagination, they make the eyes-sockets of a grinning skull, as the caricature shows.

(Uranometria 2000.0 chart)


Two stars, and four much fainter stars, perhaps surrounded by a 1.6' envelope of very faint nebulosity. Or am I seeing dew?

Crude sketch made showing the six stars.

nothing more to see. please move along.