Observing Catch Up! March 10, 2016

Well, I am sick and am running back and forth to a certain room in the house today, so I figured I can update my blog since I am certainly not working today. I have three entries I am going to post on.  My first is on my observing done on March 10th, 2016 out on Forest Road 006 at the Owl's Roost site.  Here are my usual photos from the set up and from twilight moving in.

Looking West 

Looking West - North-West at Twilight. 

Upper Ring with Curved Spider of the 17.5" 

17.5" Star Catcher Set up.  You can see my -50 degrees F bag set out in the back of my Outback. 

17.5" Set Up with My Observing Chair: Balmy at 50 degrees F. 

Twilight with Clouds Leaving 

Set Up: Observing Table, Chair with padding, Observing Chair, Step Ladder and the 17.5"

Belt of Venus with 17.5" 

17.5" Set Up, Cooling 

Clear Skies Looking East 

Clear Bright Skies looking South to the SheepRock Mountains 

17.5" Set Up in AWESOME Skies! 

Fun with Jupiter and the Galileo Moons

 The Waxing Crescent Moon

The evening of March 10th, 2016 was extremely clear and beautiful.  Temperature was in the mid fifties and I was itching to get out and observe. I loaded up the Outback and took the 17.5" this time, I had considered the 14" since it has been a year since I had that scope out.  I took the 17.5" though as I was and am going after some fainter objects.  Driving out to FR006 I found that the main road was heavily gutted by ATV's and 4WD's driving out there over the winter which was wet and snowy.  Here are a couple image: 

Above is from a different day's shot, but show the ruts that are deep, but okay for an Outback.

 I love observing out here at this time of the year.  The grass was green, fresh and the land is flush with new growth.  I got set up at FR006 Juniper's Grove as I call it now, the site after the cattle guard off of FR006 where you turn right immediately after the cattle guard.

It was totally clear, crisp and at sunset a few cirrus clouds came in but blew out after sunset.  This night I was going to work on some fainter objects in Orion, Monoceros, and Hydra.

 1. Messier 78 or NGC 2068 Reflection Nebula in Orion (upper left/central).  NGC 2071 (lower right) diffuse nebula in Orion. FR006 Site 1 Owl's Roost; 08:01 pm MST or 2:01 UT on 3/11/16; Antoniadi I, clear, mild at 45 degrees F.  17.5" Dob Star Catcher with 10mm and 20mm Pentax XW and Paracorr Type II; No Filter. SQM 21.8.

Rather easy to find as always from Alnack  I observed both objects with no filter, and with a Thousand Oaks NB and OIII, both reducing the visible nebula but the OIII enhancing the nebula detail a little more.  Winter Milky Way easily visible with structure, dark lanes showing. M78 is a little larger and brighter near the star and fading of behind it.  NGC 2071 is a little more diffused but the concentration appears brighter to me.

2. NGC 1762 Galaxy in Orion; March 10, 2016 at 8:51pm MST or 2:51 UT on 3/12/16;  FR006 Site 1 Owl's Roost;  Antoniadi I; Clear, some clouds to the far north, no impact, mild 46 degrees F; 17.5" dob, Star Catcher; 20mm & 10mm Pentax XW, Paracorr Type II.

At first I thought this was an extremely faint and small galaxy. With averted vision I could detect more size. Has a bright inner core area with a somewhat stellar nucleus, possibly, won't confirm. Fun object to observe.

3. NGC 2245 Diffuse Nebula in Monoceros; March 10, 2016; 09:49pm MST or 3:49 UT on 3/11/16; FROO6 Site 1 Owl's Roost; Antoniadi I; SQM 21.8; 20mm & 10mm Pentax XW; Paracorr Type II: No Filter.

Rather easy to find from a diamond asterism. I used both the Thousand Oaks DGM Narrowband and their OIII filter.  The DGM NB seemed to be the better filter to me on this, giving some more detail on the object.  Nebula flames out behind a star that is probably lighting it up.  Brighter nebulosity near the star and then fades as it fans out behind it.  Very fun object to observe, I spent a good ten minutes simply observing it.

4. NGC 2718 Galaxy in Hydra: March 10th, 2016, 10:20pm MST or 4:20 UT on 3/11/16; FR006 Site 1 Owl's Roost; Antoniadi II, clear, mild at 42 degrees F, clouds are beginning to move in. 17.5" dob Star Catcher; 20mm & 10mm Pentax XW with Type II Paracorr.

Relatively easy to find galaxy in Hydra going from L Hydra.  Galaxy is best viewed with averted vision showing a bright inner core region, with a fainter shell. No nucleus is observed.  Fun Galaxy.

After this observation, I captured four more galaxies in Hydra, and then the clouds begin to pour in so I spent some time looking in Leo and Virgo on the Messier objects for fun. By midnight I was breaking down, and though I had planned to spend the night, there was no use sleeping the cold with clouds pouring in that could threaten moisture with exposed equipment when I could pack up and be in bed by 1:30am MST.  So that is what I did. Still, I had a wonderful evening and enjoyed my time out at the site alone.

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