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8/02/2009

August Observing Sessions

I spent some of my time today thinking about what I am going to observe. I still have some Messier Objects to sketch to finish sketching all 109 of them (about 14 left) and I am working on the following lists:

The Urban Club
RASC Best of the NGC
Herschel 400
Double Star List (Astronomical League)

So, as usual for me over the next week instead of taking it off, I am going to go after some of the summer doubles on my list. I'll start with Bootis which is position well for me right now for seeing as soon as astronomical twlight ends. Here are the stars I'm going after:
Kappa Bootis, Iota Bootis, Pi Bootis, Epsilon Bootis, Xi Bootis, Delta Bootis, and Mu Bootis.

Next I will go after Delta Serpentis, Zeta Corona Borealis, Struve 1999, Beta Scorpii, Kappa Herculis, Nu Scorpii, Sigma Corona Borealis, 16/17 Draconis, Mu Draconis, Alpha Herculis, Delta Herculis, 36 Ophiuchi, Omicron Ophiuchi, Rho Herculis, Nu Craconis, Psi Craconis, 40/1 Draconis, 95 Herculis, 70 Phiuchi, Epsilon Lyrae, Zeta Lyrae, Beta Lyrae, Struve 2404, Otto Struve 525. Quite a few stars but spread out over two or three sessions this week I should be able to get most of these.

Once I'm done with doubles and the full moon, and back to DSO's, I'll be working on Best of the NGC Summer portion. Objects that will be focused on are NGC 6633, 6712, 6781, 6819, 6445, 6520, 6802, 6940. The ones in Cephus I will probably leave for September/Fall.

The Best of the NGC are for when sky conditions may make it hard to go after Herschel conditions. September through early November (depending when the winter storms start arriving) can give excellent to outstanding skies.

My final observation for DSO's is my primary focus when skies are good and that is the Herschel 400.. I also think this will be the primary focus (not the only, but the primary focus) for my blog. I own Steve O'Meara's Herschel 400 Observing Guide and will use that as what I'm going to blog on. So after the full moon and the waning gibbous moon are gone, I will be starting with the first night for August from Mr. O'Meara's guide. Objects for the first night include NGC 6118 a spiral galaxy, NGC 6517 a dim and tiny globular cluster, NGC 6426 which is another small and dim globular cluster; NGC 6633 a wonderful open cluster according to the guide. Then after finding those four items I'll either move to night two or move into the Best of the NGC.

Night two in the guide is from pages 233 to 235 and includes NGC 6445 (I've already observed) NGC 6440 a globular cluster; NGC 6638 and 6642 both globular clusters and NGC 6629 a PN.

Night three is NGC 6624, 6528, 6522and 6569 all globular clusters.

The fourth night for August focuses on NGC 6520 OC, NGC 6540, 6544 and 6553 all GC.

The fifth night will focus on NGC 6514 (which is the Trifed Nebula but NOT M20 which is the open cluster discovered by Messier. O'Meara points out it is William Herschel that noticed the "true nebulosity" in this object. It is Herschel who saw the three patches of nebulosity and for the Herschel list that is what has to be seen (which I have done). Next is NGC 6568 OC, NGC 6583 OC, and NGC 6645 an OC.

The sixth night is NGC 6818 (observed and that is a key point. This is on the Best of the NGC and often one can observe an item and record it correctly for multiple lists if one is organized); NGC 6644 OC; NGC 6712 GC,

The seventh night is NGC 6755 OC, NGC 6756 OC, NGC 6781 PN and that will end August's part of Steve O'Meara's guide.

There are some other objects that I want to go after NGC 6803, 6852, 6790, 6741, all PN's in Aquila and I need to visit M27 since I haven't taken a view of that.

So there is what I'll be doing. I think it will be fun to use O'Meara's guide and blog about using it, perhaps providing some insight online for others to follow. At one point I wanted to sketch the entire 400 and that is still a goal but on the objects that are not very promising I'll do an observation and a quick sketch on the form I'll use to document. I'll probably combine a few of ther Herschel's nights together since after the 21st I'll be teaching and that means I get out about once during the work week and then the weekends. Clear skies wherever you are!