February 19th and 20th 2009

February 20-21, 2009

It was a beautiful night with seeing at an 8/10 and transparency at a 4/5. My goals tonight are to bag a few more planetary nebulas. I began by revisiting NGC 1535 again to just observe with no sketching or writing of notes. I could make out a blue at 266x tonight and at higher. A beautiful object and one of my favorite items (for now). I was going to go to NCG 1232 but it was behind a tree and would next go behind the foothill behind me.


I have to admit that this was one of those happy mistakes that can occur while observing. I was going after the planetary nebula NGC 2453 and when I put the narrowband filter on to assist, NGC 2467 just stuck out really large and grabbed my attention. Since I was there, and this object was just in my eye piece saying here I am, I modified and went to NGC 2467. I also had taken time to visit M93 which I hadn’t observed in over a month and figured I should say good-bye before spring arrives.

Anyway from M93 I went back to Asmidiske and from there I could see a three star asterism of an arrowhead pointing east and from the bottom star I just moved the eyepiece over to NGC 2467. The nebula disappears on me if I removed the filter. With the filter the nebula is clearly evident. There are three major stars that make a triangle pointing southwest. Diagonally from the star that makes the point, (HIP38430 I believe), is the nebula. Next to the nebula is a bright star that seems to be lighting up this object. The more I kept my viewing eye dark adapted fully, the more detail I saw. This object really reinforced to me the need to keep my eye patch over my left eye (observing/dominant eye) while using the right to write notes and sketch.

The nebula is mainly gray with some whiteness to the southwest. The nebula spreads out more to the south and southwest and is larger in those areas.
The star that makes the point on the triangle seems to have some nebulosity around it. Averted vision brings out more of a white color to the nebula and more of the overall size and details.

The nebula and the cluster here are both bright and the cluster contains about 30 stars. One site I found on the net says that NGC 2467 is vaguely reminiscent of the Rosette Nebula. There is active star birth occurring and a variety of stars at different stages of development. The star I stated in my observation, as seeming to light up the nebula is not. In reality ultraviolet radiation from nearby stars is removing material by a process called photo-evaporation and is thus revealing the underlying dense clouds that likely harbor forming stars. This would be in the left side of the eyepiece in my dob.

I really felt the nebula flowed more to the right then I have in my sketch and I will have to return if I get a clear sky in the next week or two to see what I missed here. Wonderful object to observe and I really enjoyed it.

Here is the rough sketch of NGC 2467:

This is the site from which I took my info on NGC 2467 and it has some good information and a finder chart (digital):

NGC 2467


This was relatively easy to find. I went to Sirius to M47 to M46 . From M46 I went diagonally to HIP36981 which is the bright star that is diagonally down from both M47 and M46 and is relatively bright. Using only my Sky Pocket Atlas I found the shorten triangle below HIP36981 and went to the right corner star on that shorten/flatten triangle. For here I saw the inverted triangle that is underneath the flatten triangle and from the point star at the bottom, went to two stars that are vertically down. Using the 13mm Stratus I put both of the stars that are vertical in the FOV and to the right was that typical grayish blob, a planetary nebula.

At 92x NGC 2440 is a whitish ball with some tease of blue. You know your there by the two stars that may be a double that are up and to the right and are relatively bright.
NGC 2440 really took magnification well this night and I took it up to 266x and 400x and was able to really get a very solid view of this planetary nebula. It appeared at me while just observing it that I could detect two brighter lobes, one on each side so I drew them in my sketch. This planetary nebula really seemed to show her details to me and I really enjoyed the time I took observing, taking notes and sketching and finally observing again.

Hubble Site on NGC 2440

SKETCHING STOPS AT M-65, M-66, M-95, M-105, M-96

My first list had exhausted itself and I decided I wanted a change. So off to see some galaxies! I had observed these about a month ago as I came down from Ursa Major and had a fantastic night and conditions. That night, I saw these items around 3:00a.m. to 4:00a.m, and I did not sketch them and now I regret that decision. Their brightness and the details they offered were far better than the conditions at the time I was there (after 12:00a.m.). Conditions had degraded from 8/10 for seeing to 6/10 seeing and from 4/5 transparency to 2/4.
So I took the time to stop and sketch these items and hope that down the road in the next couple of months, I can find a night of even better conditions and re-sketch these items. It is a good activity I think thought to see objects at different times in different conditions with more or less details.

M84 and M85 in VIRGO

Easy to find. I went to Denebola and then jumped to CB 6. I then went to the star that is next to CB 6 and then down 2 stars. From the bottom star I went diagonally to M84 and M86. I looked at both with 92x in the 13mm Stratus and though 92x showed more brightness near the center of each galaxy, I preferred these two this night in the 21mm Stratus at 53x.

No details were present and one. M84 seems to have a brighter core or central region than M86. M84 also appears to be more rounded perhaps face on is the right term while M86 appears to be more elongated or edge on.

By the time I got done sketching and observing it was 2:00a.m. and I after looking around this wonderful area, and seeing several more galaxies, I called it a night. I wanted to come back the next night but the clouds of winter have come back so maybe in a week or so. Clear skies.

Here is my sketch of M84 and M86:

M84 Info
M86 Info

FYI, all observations are recorded on the AAAA Observation Logs and the notes in the sketches are other observations and goals I have for the sketch. I prefer the actually sketch of NGC 2467 as it shows far more of the nebula which to me is larger. All inversion was done at the scanner.

February 15th 2009 Ngc 1553 & 2438 Planetary Nebula

My goal in tonight’s observation is to view the planetary nebulas on my list, as this would have to be a quick session. Clouds have passed and transparency is at a 3 with seeing at a 7. Wind was slightly up and then fading off as the evening set in. Please observe that the notes on my sketches are just notes. I make a formal written observation on a completely different form.

I began tonight by knowing I wanted to bag NGC 1535 in Eridanus. I use the telrad and went to Zaurak and hopped over to HIP19011. From there I hopped over 2 stars to the left and then up and to the right diagonally to HIP19608. Right above HIP19608 is a triangle of stars that is facing east-southeast. I went to the upper right corner star and put just started moving off to the NW. NGC 1535 is quite evident as a small grayish object with two stars that are close together next to it, and two a little farther apart to the south.

I used 53x to get me to NGC 1535 and then brought 92x when I got there. I observed the object for over twenty-five minutes making notes and admiring it. At 92x the nebula is oval/disk shaped (roundish) and the edge is diffused. I can see the typical gray/white but have caught hints of blue while observing at 92x. At 184x NGC 1535 holds magnification quite well and I actually tried 266x. Seeing conditions wouldn’t allow that tonight and the planetary became too blurry. At 184x I began to see more hints of blue and a brighter area near the center with a diffusion of light, almost like a halo around the brighter area.

NGC 1535 is around 1500 light years from us with an apparent magnitude between 9.3 and 10. It is very similar to the Eskimo Nebula and if your in the area, no. Before Eridanus fades into the spring sky make the time to go and view this object. If you’re into astrophotography take the time to make an image of this wonderful coin. I did not see a central star in my observation and it can be hard to see based on what I found on the web.

Here is my unrefined sketch of NGC1535 (I caught my error after posting and have corrected it from NGC1534 to its correct ID).

This link gives some quick info I included and a beautiful picture in color:

NGC 1553


After viewing NGC 1535 I decided to go back to M46 to try NGC 2438. I sent back using the 13mm Stratus at 92x and later used the 2x Barlow to go to 184x. Conditions remain the same as with NGC 1535, transparency is at a 3 and seeing is at a 7. The wind had died off by now.
Visually I could not see NGC 2438 through the eyepiece. So I took out the 13mm Strat and put my NB filter in. As soon as I looked through the eyepiece there was no doubt about seeing NGC 2438. She stuck out like a sore thumb. I took the filter off after viewing for about 10 minutes and I could now detect the planetary visually (or perhaps since I knew where to look my mind just made the connection) or so I believe. Putting the filter back in I viewed it as a grayish blob at 92x . Also, at 92x I can see a bright core or central star. The nebula stands out in the filter and is diffused across the diameter. Averted vision brings out more of the nebula itself.

At 184x the planetary nebula is even more diffused and is somewhat diffused, brighter on the west to southwest side. Also, what I thought was the central star is not, it is a member of the background cluster of M46 on its southern central side. There is no doubt that NGC 2438 is a foreground object in front of M46. Please see the link below this entry for why the planetary nebula is a foreground object.

This ended my observation on the 19th as I needed to go to work the next day and it was rather late. Please be aware that on the 15th I had observed and sketched M 46 and M 47 with other objects. I had seen both M 46 and M 47 but had not done a detailed enough observation or sketch.

My sketch of NGC 2438; non-inverted:

Info on NGC 2438. First image kinda of reminds me of the Ring Nebula.

NGC 2438 Link 1

M 46 and NGC 2438