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Selected Objects from June 15, 2018 Session at Blue Canyon
When I arrived at Blue Canyon, about 4
others were already there setting up. When I
finished setting up, 2 others showed up making a total of
7 of us there on a rare Friday evening observing session
for me. I decided to make the trip a day early as
the forecast called for 10-20% chance or rain the
NELM was about
6.5, but seeing was above average and transparency was
above average for this site. This
collection of objects listed below were high over the
southwestern horizon and fairly close to the upper part of
the Sacramento light dome.
It was nice getting out and taking a more "serious" approach to observing. The level of difficulty of these object is a bit less challenging than what I'm accustomed to. Not "seriously observing for 4 years, I didn't want to be frustrated, so I selected some mid-level objects based on my capability.
Note: The coordinates, size and magnitudes are from the VV list otherwise noted. References and components are always listed from west to east according to RA.
Equipment used for this observing session:
22” f/4 reflector with Crossbow platform
24mm TeleVue Panoptic finder eyepiece
12.5, 9 and 7mm Baader Genuine Orthoscopics
10 and 6mm Zeiss ZAO-II Orthoscopics
VV 335 (13 55 59.6 +17
30 21 0.9x0.6', 0.7x0.2' mag 14.5,
VV 103 (14 07
00.1 0.8x0.5' mag 14.8)
VV 299 (14 13
06.9 +08 37 31 0.6x0.2', 0.6x0.6'
mag 15.8g, 15.0)
VV 70 (14 13
38.8 +07 39 34 1.0x0.5'', 0.8x0.7''
mag 14.5, 15.5)
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey image
shows it as a mini version of the Antennae Galaxy (NGC
4038, 4039) in Corvus.
VV 223 (14 13
44.7 +08 13 13 1.0x0.2', 0.4x0.2',
0.5x0.2' mag 16.0g, 14.7, 15.3)
VV 109 (14 46 02.8 +08 30 11 1.2x0.4', 0.4x0.2' mag 15.4, 15.7g)
(22” – 184, 255, 328 and 383x) – Component a was not an easy object is it is literally to the north of a magnitude 11.5 star. Using averted vision and a bit of patience, I picked it up popping in and out more than 75% of the time. Appeared as a 4x1 elongated ghostly even surface brightness glow with somewhat diffuse edges. PA is about 90 degrees. It's neighbor, component B was fairly easy to see, a 2.1 elongated glow with defined edges and a much brighter center. Component B is about half the size of component A.
VV 26 (14 56 53.1 +09 16 18 1.0x0.9', unlisted mag 14.4, 18.7 (from SDSS))
(22” – 255, 328 and 383x) – Component A was seen as a round glow with diffuse edges and a very slightly brighter center. A double star is just off the NE edge. Component B was apparently picked up about 50% of the time. After looking at the magnitude (found to be mag 18.7 from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) after the observing session, I'm not quite sure if I saw it. I will take another look at it.
I scattered a few "eye candy" objects throughout the evening. Some notables:
Whirlpool Galaxy M-51 - Wow! the spiral arms showed a lot of structure, dark lanes, bright knots within the apiral arms. It was a pleasing view. This is a good indication on how the evening will go.
Veil Nebula - How could I go on without looking at this one? With the "NPB" filter, I saw all kinds of detail. Funny thing is that I thought I pulled out the Lumicon O-III filter and put it on, but found out much later that it was the NPB filter.
Ring Nebula M-57 - Picked up the central star fairly easily at 688x. IC 1296 was fairly easily seen.
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