Observing Report: July 17, 2015

Posted in Observation Record on July 17, 2015 – 10:33 PM
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The skies were clear and I’ve had an itch to visually observe for a while. I got out to my club’s observing session last Friday night, but spent most of the evening helping others, so didn’t get to do much of my own work. I’m fine with that as I really enjoy helping others (especially with kids) how to use their telescope and showing them some of the things that are out there. I am growing increasingly frustrated with my driveway astronomy though – too many trees and too much light. I feel like I try to observe the same targets, but at least I reinforce the placement of constellations and stars… one of these days I’ll learn for good!

Location: Home, Raleigh NC
Telescope: 10″ Dob
Seeing: Good
Other: Poor transparency. Lots of faint clouds. High humidity (some dew, but not bad).

M13: I started the night on M13, the Great globular cluster in Hercules. Easily found in my Explore Scientific 24mm, a ball of stars with noted with a few points of light. However, upon moving up to my 8.8mm, 82 FOV (136X, 0.60 degrees in the eyepiece) many individual stars were noted. Stars had a bluish hue and were tightly packed into a grey mass in the middle with hundreds of distinct stars observable.

NGC 6207: I will need to go back and check my notes about previous observations of this object, but this was a challenging object. I was only able to see it for fleeting seconds with averted vision. Yet, when it did pop into view it seemed somewhat large. At times I felt it was almost circular (a little elongated) and other times I saw more of a crescent shape.

NGC 6229: Continuing on in Hercules, but moving up into the head area is NGC 6229. This was difficult to transpose from the sky atlas to the stars, perhaps because it is reasonably close to the pole. The bright core was obvious, though at no magnification (up to 136X were many stars resolved. The sky was getting hazy which was not aiding in my observation. Howver, this beauty is flanked by two stars of nearly even brightness. Further followup showed them to be 8th magnitude while the cluster is listed at magnitude 9.40.

NGC 6426, IC 4665, 61 Oph: I had a brief window where parts of Ophiuchus were visible between the break in trees where my driveway cuts through. I tried my best to find NGC 6425, but it didn’t happen. There is a spot I think I saw it, but couldn’t confirm. It shouldn’t be hard to find as 61 Oph is a very nice double star nearby (6th magnitude, nearly white, and easily split at 85X). The cluster is listed as magnitude 11.20, but pretty small. Perhaps another day. However, while in the neighborhood I pushed my scope up, just above Beta Oph and came to IC 4665. Open clusters can be a bit boring, but this was a very nice cluster with about 20-30 bright stars (7-8th magnitude) and many more dimmer stars.

I packed it in after about a hour. The humidity and street lights started to get to me and I didn’t have a good observing plan. One day I’ll stick to my idea of using my driveway for stellar observations (double stars)… or I’ll bring out my tracking mounts…

This entry was written by matted, filed under Observation Record.
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