July 28th and August 29th 2016 Observing Reports

It has been a LONG time since I have found the time to sit down and write up my observing reports for these two dates.  As always a seasonal approach to where I observed.

     So I need to begin by sharing my observing map from Google Maps of my observing locations on Forest Road 006.  On the night of July 28th, as I arrived on Forest Road 006, what I had suspected would happen this year did. Every three years cows are allowed to graze on this part of the National Forest land and they do a great job of removing grass and vegetation that could lead to fire. As I drove past the first site, the one I call Owl's Roost, there were literally about fifty or more cows in that area. Well, I am not observing with cows, calfs and a few bulls in that area so I drove on.

     My favorite observing area, FR006 Juniper Gove was occupied by the ranchers in their RV and camp, and for that I was grateful. It would mean a clean or almost clean site as I moved back in the area come August. By that I mean no abudance of left over cow patties on the site.  I then moved on and FR006 Cougar Jump was occupied so I moved on. I had a pickup and a trailer in front of me and so when they pulled over to look at FR006 Coyote's Howl, I moved around them and pulled up to FR006 Top of the World. There were no cow's in this observing area, it was clear, clean and so I set up. The pickup and trailer came up after me, then turned around and went back to Coyote's Howl.

Here are some images of that location.

Some of the last images of my Green 2011 Outback.  I sold it and bought a 2017 Outback that is Tungston or Gold in color.  

The 17.5 set up and cooling. 

Looking east from my observing site FR006 On Top of the World 

A lot closer to the Sheeprock Mountains from FR006 Top of the World. Looking southwest.

17.5" Star Catcher cooling to Star Catch later that night. 

17.5" Star Catcher, my observing table with atlases, resoruces and my sketching material. 

Looking directly east. This spot becomes important about 2a.m.! 

     After setting up, and getting the site ready, I made sure I was ready to go and had everything arranged in the back of the Outback and on my observing table. There were cows about 25 to 50 yards out that were walking on a game trail but they didn't bother me. I got some fantastic pictures of sunset this evening from this very open location. 

17.5" Ready to Go; Sun disappearing. 

Bye Bye Sun, hello magic time! Actually, I love the contrast of colors here. 

Belt of Venus showing nicely. 

Anotehr of the 17.5", my observing chair and step ladder. 

One more of sun setting. 

My company for the evening . . . or so I thought. 

     It was a lovely evening and as dusk fell, my friend Daniel drove up to observe with his binoculars. I really enjoy Daniel's company and sharing what we see and observe with each other. This night my object was on observing some objects I haven't seen for a while and I had down quite a few globulars in Sagitarrius and Ophichus. This was the night I tested out the 14mm Baader Morpheus which without the Paracorr I did not like at all, preferring the Delos 14mm then the Pentax 14mm XW (even with its curvature). With the Paracorr I'd rate the Morpheus almost equal to the Pentax XW 14mm (yep, bias is the difference probably and contrast).  That report is else where on this blog and you can read that for how the first part of the evening went. 

1. Messier 107, Globular Cluster in Ophichus; July 28th, 2016; 11:53pm MDT; FR006 Top of the World; 14mm Pentax XW with 17.5" Dob Star Catcher; Paracorr Type II.  Antoniadi I.  Clear, mild. 

Nice globular, small, tight and round with a bright inner core region.  Stars are in evidnece and they face as you get closer to the core. Fun revisit! Two images of the sketch with different resutls by the camera and playing with it. I am posting both. 

2. NGC 6205 Globular Cluster in Ophichus; July 29th, 2016; 12:11a.m. MDT; FR006 Top of the World; Antoniadi I; 17.5" dob, 14mm Pentax XW, Type II Paracorr. 

Small roundish dob with a bright inner core region.  Core is off round, almost retangle in shape. Nice fun object to observe. 

Those were the only two sketches I got done that night. During the early morning as I was studying Sharpless 2-91, the other SNR in Cygnus down near Alberio, and looking at other objects, there was a noice out in the brush, a good 30 yards away. At one point I put a very bright LED flashlight I have in white color (after covering my observing eye) and caught a low set of eyes.  By 2:00a.m. I was breaking down and Daniel drove off.  As I was alone, I heard the noises again and then watches in dark adapted eyes as I saw a badger emerge and march 30 yards north of me in a straight line, going across the dirt road and off to the east into the clump of Juniper's in the picture above (he was traveling west to east).  He looked once at me and ignored me as I had the bear spray out and other protection as badgers can be quite angry animals.  Anyway, he left me alone and off he marched! 

August 29th, 2016

     On the night of August 29th, 2016 I took the following day, a Tuesday off, and headed off to my favorite site. This time, FR006 Juniper Grove was wide open and though there were about 5 cow paddies (old ones) in the area, they responded to a quick flick of the shovel and went flying out of the way.  I set up that night and and got ready to observe. I was hoping that my good friend Alan was going to join me, but as day turned to twilight, and twilight to night, Alan hadn't shown. So as usual, here are pics of the site and the setup and my new Outback. Note that the green of spring and ealry summer has given way to the burnt crisp grasses and dry conditions of a long, dry, hot summer. 

Here are two good examples (above) of the drive out to the observing area. Good gravel, dirt road where in my Outback I average 40mph, a little slower in a couple of spots as it gets rough in those locations. High cirius that latter cleared out. 

This is the back of my new 2017 Outback that is Tungston in color. The color actually matches the dust and dirt of the road out to the observing location. 

Another view above of the new 2017 Outback that I use to transport and as I did later this night, sleep in.  The back seats have covers on them to protect the fabrie and I learned that the 2" memory foan is not enough to sleep comfortably on the back on the Outback. I need my inflatable air matress that I use for camping to aid in my comfort. 

17.5" set up with some pesky clouds in the back. They cleared off by full darkness so it was crystal clear. 

Looking south from where I set up.  

Looking south. 

My favorite location to observe from. Set up is facing south. I would sleep in the back of the Outback as usual with my battery and CPAP and slept wonderfully after getting comfortable with my inflatable air mattress under my 2" memory foam. 

Close up of set up. 17.5" Star Catcher dob, step ladder, chair for table, observing table, laptop in box, sketching material on table on on bag on the right side of the picture and my observing chair for sketching. 

Collimated and ready to go. 

Belt of Vensus coming on! 

     As dark was falling, my friend Alan showed up, set up and we were ready to go observing. I wish I could take you as the reader of this blog to this site at the time period above. It is so peaceful, calm, relaxing and it is just impossible to describe.  It allows you to be one with nature and the universe. This night I mainly stayed in the constellation of Hercules as I had plenty of objects to hunt down there as I continue to move on in my Herschel 2500. I am only noting the ones I sketched here.  

1. NGC 6058 Planetary Nebula in Hercules: August 29th, 2016; FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi II, clear, mild, 58 degrees F; 10:38pm MDT; 17.5" Truss Dob; 20mm Pentax XW, 12mm TeleVue Delos; Type II Paracorr; 1 1/4 Farpoint UHC Filter; 
The small planetary nebula is easy to find and stands out in the 20mm Pentax XW. The 12mm TeleVue Delos showed off the shape of the nebula more with a retangular shape, more than a round one. A 7mm Pentax XW showed this to be extensions that are north to south.  Averted vision helped. Filter enhanced the view and the FarPoint is well worth it.  Outer envelope is very birght and this object takes magnification very well. 

2. NGC 6106 Galaxy in Hercules. August 29th, 2016; 11:07pm MDT; Antoniadi II, clear, mild 55 degrees F; FR006 Juniper Gove; 17.5" Truss Dob Star Catcher; 20mm & 10mm Pentax XW; 12mm TeleVue Delos; Type II Paracorr.  
Very faint spiral galaxy. Sky Tools Chart was needed to identify the field.  Averted vision was needed to pop the galaxy into view. Nice challenge object but nothing to really see.  A very, very faint fuzzy, core is somewhat brighter with averted vision. 

3. NGC 6146, 6414, 6145; August 29th, 2016; 10:05pm MDT; Antoniadi II; 17.5" Truss Dob Star Catcher; 12mm TeleVue Delos & 22mm Nagler T4; Type II Paracorr.  
NGC 6146 is relatively bright, small galalxy with a high concentration of brightness near the core with a stellar nucleus. It is the top galaxy in the sketch.  
NGC 6141 is a very faint, small galaxy with an even surface brightness. The middle galaxy in the sketch. 
NGC 6145 is just slightly smaller than NGC 6146, not as bright with a inner core with no nucleus visible. Even surface brightness. Nice trio though small. 

4. NGC 6173, NGC 6174, NGC 6175 or Abell 2197, galaxies in Hercules. August 29th, 2016; 11:20pm MDT; FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi II, mild, 54 degrees F; 17.5" Truss Dob Star Catcher; 22mm Nagler T4; 12mm TeleVue Delos, 10mm Pentax XW; 
NGC 6173 is the largest of the three galaxies. Bright and well defined oval in shape with a strong bright inner core. It is the center galaxy in the sketch.
NGC 6174 is a small and very faint galaxy, perhaps elongated and requires averted vision to detect. It is the bottom galaxy in the sketch. 
NGC 6175 is a rather faint galaxy and averted vision helps but it is detectable with direct vision. Even surface brightness, no other details. 

5. Abell 2199 Galaxies in Hercules: NGC 6166 (main large galaxy in sketch); NGC 6166a, 6166b, 6166c, 6166d. August 30th 2016, 12:05am MDT; Antoniadi II; FR006 Juniper Grove; 17.5" Dob Star Catcher; Type II Paracorr; 22mm Nagler T4; 10mm Pentax XW. 
NGC 6166 or 6166a is the largest of brightest member of Abell 2199. 6166a has an even surface brightness, and is somehwat bright.  Other components are faint and there is some pushing of the limits of the sky conditions this night to observe the components. The two nearest are hinted at with averted vision. 

6. NGC 6160 a Galaxy in Hercules. August 30th, 2016; 12:45am MDT; Antoniadi II, cool, 50 degrees F; FR006 Juniper Grove; 17.5" Truss Dob, Star Catcher; 20mm Nagler T4; 10mm Pentax XW. 
This is a rather faint galaxy and has a rather small and bright inner core. The sketch magnfies the size of the core somewhat. 

7. IC 4593 Planetary Nebula in Hercules. August 30th, 2016; 01:50am MDT; FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi II; mild 50 degrees F; 17.5" Truss Dob Star Catcher; 22mm Nagler T4; 10mm, 7mm, 5mm Pentax XW; Type II Paracorr. 
Faint but not too taint planetary nebula that is round, with some variance in brightness on the outer edge giving it a ring like view.  Central star is easily seen.  Averted vision helps tease out details. OIII Thousand Oaks 1 1/4 filter pops the planetary out in this stellar field.  Faint bluish color at lower power, turning to white with higher magnification. Nice one. 

8. NGC 6210 Planetary Nebula in Hercules, The Turtle Nebula; August 30th, 2016; 01:35am MDT; FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi II; mild; 17.5" Truss Dob, f/4.4 Star Catcher; 22mm Nagler T4, 10mm & 7mm Pentax XW; Thousand Oaks OIII filter and UHC filter 1 1/4. 
Very FUN object to observe! At first it appears round and green in the 22mm Nagler T4. The 10mm Pentax XW shows a elongation on the East-West axis/ends.  The 7mm Pentax XW brough out the outer halo (that I tried to capture and feel I did in the sketch) with a clear evident elongation.  Greenish or Sea Green in color.  The OIII pops out the planetary and gives some more details in the elongation for me.  This object takes magnification extremely well at a dark site! Probably best object viewed of the night. 

9. Messier 57 The Ring Nebula Planetary Nebula in Lyra; August 30th, 2016: 2:15am MDT; Antoniadi II, mild; 17.5" Truss Dob f/4.4, Star Catcher; 22mm Nagler T4, 10mm & 7mm Pentax XW; FarPoint UHC 1 1/4 Filter.   
It's been awhile but it is the Ring Nebula.  Outer edge has varying levels of brightness and the inner region is even surface brightness with some hint of varyiness at higher magnfications.  Central Star visiable with averted and direct vision. 

There you have it. I will be posting up some objects to view for fall and September in the next couple of days so watch for that post, probably either tomorrow or Friday.