A Few Objects in Canis Major

I managed to get out for several hours in the West Desert of Utah.  Fun driving up to the site! Anyway, had some great views and did some sketching. Of course pics out to the site (these were taken a couple days before but give a sense of the conditions). Dry, a little rutty but still an easy drive.

A little muddy here, not bad, nothing the Outback can't handle! 

1. NGC 2207 & IC 2163 merging Galaxies in Canis Major.  Feb. 25th, 2017, 07:30pm MST; Antoniadi II, FR006; 17.5" Dob Star Catcher; 22mm T4 Nagler, 10mm & 5mm Pentax XW; Paracorr Type II. 

The top image is using the 5mm Pentax XW  at around 450x (Paracorr II). Second image is with the 10mm Pentax XW and 22mm Nagler.  Reversed image from normal of course since I am using a dob. IC 2163 is the tine bright extension on the right and NGC 2207 is the large spiral galaxy on the left. There was a hint of structure, mottling on the left side of NGC 2207 which I have interpreted as the arms, which seem to be right in their placement.  These two galaxies are actually doing a fly by each other with IC 2163 moving clockwise around the larger spiral NGC 2207.  In about a billion years they will merge and form an elliptical galaxy.  Until then as the rotate around and through each other, dust will be stirred up and there will e lots of star and planetary formation in these galaxies. They are not so well known, but easily seen. I have sketched them before in my 10" and 14" dobs.  Well worth the time. 

2. NGC 2283 a spiral galaxy in Canis Major. Feb. 25th 2017; 08:20pm MST; Antoniadi II, clear, cold, 30 degrees F; FR006; This is a small, dim, even surface brightness galaxy that is the smudge on the sketch. Took longer to sketch in the field stars than sketch the galaxy! 

3. NGC 2327 a Reflection Nebula in Canis Major.  Feb 25th, 2017, 09:00 MST; Antoniadi II, clear, cold 28 degrees F; FR006 Juniper Grove; 17.5" dob, Star Catcher; 22mm T4 Nagler, 10mm Pentax XW; DGM NB and OIII Filter (not needed as it is a reflection nebula and filters did not help) and Paracorr Type II. 

This is a wonderful object to observe and one often overlooked.  My sketch should be brighter but there is lots going on here.  That U shape band of stars in the middle left leads to a wonderful area of nebulosity that has a few filaments and uneven edges. Second area of brighter nebulosity on the middle right after a dark area or dark nebula area with stars around it. Rich star field. Held my observing interest for some time..

4. NGC 2211 (brighter one upper left with small bright core) and NGC 2212 (smaller in the middle below NGC 2211), merging galaxies in Canis Major.  Feb 25, 2017, FR006 Juniper Grove; Antoniadi II, clear, cold; 10:05pm MST; 17.5" dob Star Catcher; 22mm T4 Nagler & 10mm Pentax XW, Paracorr Type II. 

NGC 2211 is basically faint, small, elonganted NE to SW and has a small bright core. NGC 2212 is roundish, very faint and no structure evident. Images of NGC 2212 will show that the galaxy has been distributed by NGC 2211 as they begin the gravitational dance of merging to become an elliptical galaxy. 

5. NGC 2318 Open Cluster in Canis Major. Feb 25th, 2017; FR006 Juniper Grove; 10:30pm MST;Antoniadi II, clear, cold, 25 degrees F; 17.5" dob Star Catcher; 22mm T4 Nagler, Paracorr Type II.  
In truth in the RNCG this is listed as not being an open cluster or an object, basically just a series of Milky Way based Stars Herschel used as he scanned, using the bright star in the middle as a guide star. Either way, this is what is there, and there doesn't appear to be an Open Cluster structure to this so I stay it is just a bunch of stars. 

6. NGC 2362 Tau Open Cluster in Canis Major. Feb 25th, 2017; FR006 Juniper Grove; 11:00pm MST; Antoniadi II, clear, cold, 25 degrees F; 17.5" dob, Star Catcher; 22mm T4 Nagler and 7mm Pentax XW; Paracorr Type II. 

There is not doubt that this IS an open cluster of stars. The star Tau Canis Majoris dominates the central field with its blue hue and size.  I felt I captured the region and NGC 2362 quite well here and really like the sketch.  These are stars that formed together from a nebulous cloud and will over time, disperse away from each other, with the larger stars going supernova. The other bright star here is UW Canis Majoris a rare Blue Supergiant star 2000 light years from us and thought to be a member of the Tau Canis Majoris Open Cluster, thus why I included it.