Well, I opted not to go to Wolf Creek Tonight. My friend Alan was going to FR006 on the Wasatch/Cache National Forest Land south of Vernon, Utah, so I opted to go there. I love observing with my friend Alan. We get along great, we get observing, he on his beloved double stars and me on my deep sky. I enjoy being Alan's goto scope, where I find the objects and he comes an take a good look at the objects. Alan can confirm that my 17.5 is dialed in, motions are great and easy to use, and the views are wonderful in that scope.
So this night I actually got out before Alan, and set up. As always here are the pics from that setup. I was interested that the mountains and the site, while turning into the summer brown, still had quite a bit of green to them from our extra wet spring. Here are the pictures. First comes the telescope, my 17.5" which has the nickname of Star Catcher, though in the blog I refer to her as my 17.5." I guess I need to start adding Star Catcher to it as I like that nickname. I grew up in the era of WWII being something in my comics and the books I read, and my Dad was an avaiation nut, so besides flying, he made sure I knew a lot of the air campaigns of WWII, the planes, their squardrons and their naming of their aircraft. I guess that is where my naming of my scopes comes from. I'll show the Star Catcher 17.5" from a variety of angles.
Looking SE moved in closer to the Star Catcher
Closer view of Star Catcher looking SE - S
Looking West at Star Catcher, the 17.5's" left side.
Looking N and front on view of Star Catcher; primary cooling, secondary open
Looking E - SE at Star Catcher's upper ring; secondary mirror, Telrad on 4" riser; Green Moonlite Focuser and Stellarvue Finderscope
Looking S at Star Catcher and the rear view.
Looking S at my set up. Outback, hauler, camper, table to hold Pelican cases with Eyepieces, battery, CPAP machine, 2 inch memory foam, air mattress underneath; pillow, safety items. Then my portable red table, atlas, sketching material, books in waterproof bag, both next to a rear leg of the table; portable Levono Notepad on table running SkyTools 3 with rubylith and acrylic clear red screen; 15-70 binoculars (review coming) on Tripod; Alan's green chair, my chair is at my table; step ladder 3 steps for Star Catcher, 17.5" f/4.4 dob; homemade astronomy chair made out of Red Oak, and Star Catcher. Hanging on the driver door of the Outback is my duck hunting bibs and coat. I didn't need them on this warm summer night but you never know in the West Desert of Utah.
Here is my friend's Alan set up for going after doubles. He had pretty good success this night. The dark skies sure help!
Click on the Pan to view it. Shows from the view east on the far left, to the south view which dominates the how hills just left of center to the western sky over the Sheeprock Mountains and toward the lone Juniper, which heads toward the grove of Juniper's, thus the name for this site. You can see the ground and vegetation moving to a more summer view here.
Looking N center to NE to the right edge of the photo.
Looking E from the observing site.
Looking SE from the observing site
Looking S from the observing site
Looking S - SE from the observing site.
Looking W from the observing site.
Sorry that you have to endure my images of the site. I am actually trying to document it for several reasons.
So I did observe this night, and I actually sketched every object I observed. So here we go.
1. Messier 4 Globular Cluster in Scorpius; July 7th, 2016; 11:20pm MDT; FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi II, SQM:-L: 21.8; 17.5" Star Catcher Dob; 22mmNaglerT4, Paracorr Type II;
Rich globular cluster with a bright lane in the center of stars. The bright lane leans to the right in the sketch. Many stars in evidence and to be honest, one of the best views I have had of this globular. Raw sketch from the field.
2. NGC 6818 Little Gem Planetary Nebula in Sagittarius; July 7th, 2016, 11:55pm MDT; FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi III, conditions are beginning to degrade with slight wind increasing, mild 70 degrees F; 17.5" Star Catcher Dob with 22mm NaglerT4, 10mm Pentax XW, Paracorr Type II, OIII and NB Thousand Oaks Filters;
Little Gem has a bluish color to it, round in shape and with magnification more detail is evident. Inner structure with outer halo clearly observed. Fun object as always.
3. NGC 6822 Barnard's Galaxy in Sagittarius; July 8th, 2016, 12:15am MDT; FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi III, low 70's F for temperature; 17.5" Star Catcher Dob; 22mm Nagler Type4, 20mm Pentax XW, 10mm Pentax XW; Paracorr Type II; OIII Filter Thousand Oaks;
Rather faint galaxy and large, spread out, with an uneven surface brightness. OIII shows HII knots in the galaxy which is cool. Diffused appearance with some brightening in the core region. Averted vision helps with this. I was in the area so I garnered a look and I think did my best sketch of the night here, I like how this came out.
4. NGC 5928 Galaxy in Serpens; July 8th, 2016; 12:30am MDT; FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi III, low 70's F temperature, wind increasing; 17.5" Star Catcher Dob; 22mm Nagler T4, 10mm Pentax XW, Parcorr Type II;
Galaxy is faint, oval in shape, elongated slightly E to W. It has a small bright core region associated with it.
5. NGC 5996 Spiral Galaxy & NGC 5994 Galaxy in Serpens Caput; Arp 72; July 7th, 2016; 11:10pm; FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi II; 17.5" Star Catcher Dob; 22mm Nagler T4, 10mm Pentax XW; 7mm DeLite; Type II Paracorr;
This galaxy is moderately large in size (NGC 5996), elongated N-S with a bright inner core and a faint stellar nucleus that is evident with direct and averted vision. I can hold the core with averted vision. Some structure hinted at here. NGC 5994 is very faint, small and roundish, a knot next to its interacting companion, no structure is seen in NGC 5994. Fun! NGC 5996 is the large of the two galaxies in the sketch. NGC 5994 is the small round one.
6. NGC 5954 a spiral galaxy & NGC 5953 a lenticular galaxy in Serpens Caput. NGC 5954 is the one on top, elongated, NGC 5953 is the round one underneath with the bright core. Arp 92; July 8th, 2016; FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi III, wind increasing, warm; 17.5" Star Catcher Dob; 22mm Nagler T4, 10mm Pentax XW, 12mm Delos; Type II Paracorr;
Interacting galaxies. NGC 5953 is oval, elongated slightly E-W, with an even surface brightness and sharp define edge with brightening near the core.
NGC 5954 is oval in shape and lays N-S, even surface brightness with some brightening on the southern side of the galaxy where it connects to NGC 5953. Small in size for both overall. Interesting pair.
Due to conditions, the wind began to gust after this to around 20mph, steady wind at 10mph to 15mph so with the scopes shaking we closed up shop around 1:45a.m. MDT that night. Shame, because outside of the wind, it was a wonderfully clear night. Conditions continued to degrade from there, so it was a good thing. Some observing is better than no observing, and connecting with a friend is always a good thing.