Observing Report for August 9th and 11th, Forest Road 006

Well, this is the fifth time I have tried to post this so I'll try one more time.  On the night of August 9th I went to the Forest Road 006 site on the National Forest Land south of Vernon, Utah.  There my friend Mat and I observed til late, broke down and went to bed.  Here are some pictures from the next morning. You'll notice just the Pathfinder and both Mat and I came out in the Pathfinder as his van is still in the shop from the last time we observed together.

Mat's Tent and Dob, my base and Pathfinder. I slept in the back on my 2 inch memory foam with my CPAP machine working and I slept great! 

Here you can see where the scopes were set up on the field (this is the field we'll use for the Utah Star Party) and looking toward the West. 

Looking more north-west to the field and the camp.  

This is the view looking south form the observing field. 

On Sunday night, August 11th,  when I went to the same area to observe with my friend Jorge, there was a fire to the north about 30 miles away called the Patch Springs Fire. You can see the picture I took here. Luckily the smoke did not impact our observing that night. 

Well on Friday night I had an outstanding night of observing, probably the best skies since last June. Sunday night was good, but not quite as good. Here are some of the objects I observed with their STSci Images.

 1. NGC 6772 Planetary Nebula in Aquila; August 12, 2013, 01:00a.m. MDT or 07:00UT; FR006 Site 2, Cougar Paws; Antoniadi II; 14" dob., 10mm Pentax XW w Narrowband and OIII filters;

This is a round diffused ball.  It appears to be teal or a taint of green to it but mainly it is a diffused ball.  The central star is not visible at this magnification or with these filters.  It is a fun PN to observe because the NB filter shows its shape and brightness, yet the OIII filter shows the PN as smaller with more mottling and edges of brightness forming an outer ring.  Use the NB filter to pop it, then observe it with the PN.

2. NGC 5490. On accident I actually did a sketch of this galaxy on each night. So I'll include both.

STSci Image

NGC 5490 Galaxy in Bootes; August 9th, 2013; 10:20pm MDT or 04:20UT; Antoniadi II; FR 006 Site 2 Cougar's Paws; 14" Dob., 14mm Pentax XW, 10mm Pentax XW & 10mm Baader Classic Ortho; Paracorr Type I.

Small bright galaxy, round in shape, then elongates just a little with averted vision.  Outer diffusion with bright inner core, and a stellar nucleus.  The Baader Classic Ortho showed slightly more detail in terms of a few fainter stars and some minor detail in the shape of the galaxy then the Pentax 10mm XW. The Pentax did extremely well but there is something about less glass here that works and on other objects. The Pentax XW will be my primary eyepieces, but the Baader Classic Ortho I'll use to bring out just that tad more detail. I really saw this with M13.

NGC 5490 Galaxy Galaxy in Bootes, August 11th, 2013; 10:30pm MDT/04:30UT; Antoniadi II; FR 006 Site 2 Cougar's Paw; 14" dob; 20mm, 10mm Pentax XW; Paracorr Type I;

Fairly bright galalxy with the out structure diffused, bright inner core and stellar nucleus. Sits inside a quadrilateral of stars.

3. NGC 5523 Spiral Galaxy in Bootes;  August 9th, 2013; 11:15pm MDT or 05:15 UT: FR006 Site 1 Owl's Roost; Antoniadi II; 14" Dob, 20mm Pentax XW and 17.3 TeleVue Delos; Paracorr Type I;

Very faint object that shows better with averted vision.  Averted vision shows brightening in the core region. No stellar nucleus is evident. The Pentax 20mm XW showed the galaxy much brighter and with more detail than the 17.3mm Delos.  The contrast for me was better in the Pentax XW 20mm than the 17.3mm Delos. I openly admit that may be because my eye is trained so well with the Pentax line so it knows what to expect but I really preferred the 20mm Pentax XW in this observation.

STSci Image

My Sketch

4. NGC 5529 Galaxy in Bootes; August 10th, 2013, 11:55p.m. MDT or 05:55 UT; FR 006 Site 1 Owl's Roost; Antoniadi II; 14" Dob; 14mm Pentax XW; 10mm Baader Classic Ortho; Type I Paracorr;

This is a faint but very elongated galaxy. Averted image shows a brightening near the core but no stellar nucleus. In the image you can see a wonderful dust lane since we are viewing it edge on but the dust lane was not evident in the observation. The 10mm Baader Classic Ortho once again showed slightly more detail then the 14mm Pentax XW.

STSci Image

My Sketch

5. NGC 5533 Galaxy in Bootes; August 11th, 2013; 12:25a.m. MDT or 06:25 UT; FR006 Site 1 Owl's Roost; Antoniadi II; 14" dob, 10mm & 14mm Pentax XW, 10mm Baader Classic Ortho;

Bright galaxy with a bright core and a stellar nucleus. The outer structure shows hint of structure in the observation with the 10mm Pentax XW and the 10mm Baader Classic Ortho.  On a side not I got a SQM-L reading of 21.88 while observing this object.

STSci Image

My Sketch

6. NGC 6751 Planetary Nebula in Aquila; August 12th 2013; 12:30a.m. MDT or 06:30 UT; Antoniadi II; FR 006 Site 2 Cougar's Paws; 10mm Pentax XW, Type I Paracorr; OIII and NB Filters;

Small roundish/ball shape PN in the NB filter.  Central star was visible at all magnifications and with both filters.  OIII filter shows a ring shape to the PN and provides the best view for details of the PN.  With the OIII the ring shows an uneven brightness.

STSci Image

My Sketch

NGC 6751 as this photograph of the sketch is a little brighter so I'll include it.

7. Sharpless 2-91, Supernova Remanent (SNR) in Cygnus;  This sketch is done over 2 nights; July 29th, 2013, Wolf Creek Pass; 11:36pm MDT or 05:36 UT at 8500 feet, Antoniadi II;  8/10/2013 FR006 Site 1 Owl's Roost @ 01:10 am MDT or 07:10 UT, Antoniadi II; 14" Dob with 27mm TeleVue Panoptic & OIII filter. 

This is a very faint object but when identified, is relatively easy in terms of viewing as a thin ribbon. The image I posted is not what I saw. I saw a faint and thin ribbon that brightened in certain areas. The ribbon was brightest around and above star HD185735 as it runs above that star and then through some 11th and 12th magnitude USNO stars.  OIII allowed me to follow it to star TYC2150-1413-1 where it flares and fades out.  Very excited to have observed and captured it.  I recommend that if you go after this that you are use to viewing faint DSO's or spending time finding as much detail out of the fainter DSO's you search.  This is where having gone after many of the fainter Herschel 2500 really helped out. 

I have a second sketch I did to confirm and I made it brighter as you will have to play with the sketch below to see it. The second sketch is brighter and I'll add it tomorrow after I photograph it.  


 My Sketch

Now for a different highlight. That Sunday night and Monday morning Jorge and I put out stuff up as it got very windy and watched the Perseids as they were bright and wonderful. Jorge made a nice video of the Perseids at this link on YouTube. We went to bed around 3:00a.m. in our SUV's and had a pretty good night of observing and talking.

Here is the other sketch from the morning of August 12th, 2013 after 1:00a.m. or so.


I have become frustrated with the blog over the last 3 weeks. I have attempted to load 7 different entries and I only get part saved and then it doesn't post the entries. As such I am going to have to decide whether I want to continue with this site or move the blog. If you suggestions on a blogging site that is free please let me know.  I'll try to post these again and see what happens.