Observing and Sketching Focus November 26th and November 29th, 2013

Sometimes I find I have to take advantage of cool fall nights where the temperature here in Utah is not in the single digits to low teens at night. Such was the night of Tuesday, November 26th 2013 and Friday, November 29th, 2013.  The skies were clear, the temperature was mild, in the low 40's and though no one could go with me, I loaded up the Outback and headed out to the West Desert.  I set up with the sun still up, though heading toward sunset.  The coyote packs came out and howled several times, and yipped.  On the 26th of November I played a podcast from Richard Pogge while observing to keep me company.  It was a wonderful night on on this night I went after a few galaxies in Perseus and a couple of other fainter objects.  Seeing was wonderful that night, with not a lot of twinkling in the stars at zenith, and only a slight twinkle down below 30 degrees.  Here is what I did on November 26th, 2013.

1. NGC 1491 Emission Nebula in Perseus; November 26th, 2013; 10:45p.m. MDT/04:45 UT; FR006, Antoniadi II; 14" Dob; 10mm & 14mm Pentax XW;  OIII and Ultrablock NB Filter.

Wonderful bright emission nebula, roundish in shape, and the OIII shows the best view with a varying surface brightness.  It seems that the mag 10.5 to 11 mag star is illuminating the nebula.  It is diffused on the edges and there seems to be a dark area or node surrounding the star somewhat, though it is not complete. A very fun object to observe and to sketch.

2. NGC 1579 Northern Trifed; Reflection Nebula;  November 26th, 2013; FR 006; Antoniadi II; 14" Dob, 10mm, 14mm Pentax XW; OIII & Ultrablock NB Filter.

A rather bright and rather small nebula.  Filters bring out a contrast that shows some structure and a hint of dark lanes. Nebula appears brighter on the edge.

3. NGC 1579 Reflection Nebula ie Northern Trifed in Perseus.  November 16th, 2013, FR006; Antoniadi II; Malicam; 14" with 5mm and 3.5mm Pentax XW.

This magnification brought out about a 5-6' in diameter with elongated central region.  The outer haze is irregular in shape. Nebulosity extends W-SW of central mass.  Very faint piece to the south and dark lanes are easily evident.

4. NTC 210 Spiral Galaxy in Cetus; 11/29/2013;  09:30pm MST; Antoniadi II; FR006 Site 1; 14" Dob; 5mm & 7mm Pentax XW;

Fairly bright and small spiral galaxy.  Very bright inner core with a stellar nucleus with a mag 11 star near the W-SW from the core.  Slight hint of structure in it so I included that in the sketch.

5. Messier 31 & 32, Spiral Galaxies in Andromeda. Sketch was done on the nights of November 26th and November 29th, 2013; FR 006 Sites 1 & 2.  Antoniadi II; 14" Dob with 17.3mm Delos; 20mm Pentax XW and 27mm Panoptic;  Total Time: 4 hours at the eyepiece.

I have wanted to resketch Messier 31 as I find it a hard object to capture because of its size. I am not totally happy with this sketch as I find it too wide and the core didn't come off like I wanted (the ink from the pen spread out for the stellar core).  I do like the dark lanes and the HII region and some of the globulars I captured. I need to make a label for this sketch. Overall, a worthy start though it is still on my list to do another one.

6. Abell Galaxy Cluster 426 in Perseus; November 29th, 2013; Antoniadi II; 2 hours of sketching time at the eyepiece from 10:15pm to 12:15am MDT or 04:15 to 06:15 UT;  14" Dob, 20mm Pentax XW; ES 24mm 68 degree; 30mm ES 82 degree;

This galaxy cluster is centered around NGC 1275, 1272, 1277, 1278, 1279, 1270, 1269 and several more NGC and IC galaxies.  This is my favorite sketch of the ones I have done and I felt I captured it extremely well.  Again, this is one I need to do a label on the sketch and include it and perhaps I'll have time for that over the winter break.