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11/19/2009

November 16th and 17th Observations

A bit of a story on these three objects. I observed these objects two nights in a row because on November 16th, 2009, these objects I observed, but not as well as I wanted. So the next night I was at a darker location and observed them prior to observing locations failing due to high humidity.

The first object is NGC 253 a mixed spiral galaxy in Sculptor. It has a listed magnitude of 7.1 and I used my XT10 with my 21mm and 13mm Stratus. This galaxy was very faint at first, then with averted vision and direct vision, a little more of it appeared. With patience and practicing I was able to see more. The galaxy runs northeast to southwest between two ninth or tenth magnitude stars. The core is somewhat bright, elliptical in shape and starlike. The edge is diffused and at 92x I could detect some faint hints of structure. This is one I will hopefully see again. I did not show a bright core here because in my sketch at the scope it kept coming and going.












NGC 288 is a globular cluster in Sculptor though O'Meara's guide says it is in Cassiopeia (I'll have to check that, you know me, sometimes I am tired and make mistakes). This is a nice globular and shows good details at 57x in which it is a nice ball, 92x and 240x show irregular core which is brighter than the halo. Several chains of stars give the globular an irregular shape on the edges. Fun to come back at high power and examine the core on this.



















The last object is another galaxy in NGC 247 a galaxy in Cetus. It has a magnitude of 8.9 and I used my XT10 with my 21mm and 13mm Stratus. Seeing is a 6/10 and transparency is a 2/5. This is a nice looking spiral galaxy that given the right aperature and right conditions would be a great item to look at. This galaxy is very dim in the sky and is low in the sky making it harder to get good details. I can only see this galaxy with averted vision and in keeping one eye dark adapted. The galaxy has a small core bright, star like. Averted vision shows a halo around the core that is extremely faint. 92x showed more of the shape of the galaxy averted vision. No other structure is visible.

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