Astro Log: September 10th, 2013

Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue, 6mm eyepieces, 2x Barlow, OIII filter, Paracorr.

New objects observed: NGC 6755, NGC 6781, NGC 752, NGC 1245

Previously viewed objects: Messier 31, Messier 32, NGC 7009

I got a good night for observing for the first time in nearly two months. Ugh. I was mostly pursuing Herschel 400 objects this night, but did spend some time observing the Andromeda Galaxy for a while. It looked pretty good, especially for being in the city - not only was the nucleus nice and bright, but there were hints of the rest of the galaxy around it, even the barest hints of the dust lanes. It wasn’t easy to see, but I could definitely tell something was there. Messier 32 was easy as always, but this was not a night that I was able to get Messier 110 at home, sadly. I did it once (from home; I’ve seen it remotely several times), but not this night.

Otherwise, it was an open cluster and planetary nebula sort of night. The open clusters I observed weren’t anything to write home about, but I wanted to knock them off the list anyway. They are, at least, among the easier Herschel 400 objects to see in the city. NGC 6781 was a pretty tough planetary nebula, but I was able to see it faintly with the OIII filter. The Saturn Nebula was easy, although I did not see the weird protuberances that give it its name this time. On a lark I decided to try using my 2x Barlow that I’ve barely ever touched with the 12mm TV, but it didn’t work out very well. I know some people like Barlows, but I’ve never had much luck with them. Many of the galaxies on the Herschel 400 are extremely difficult or impossible to see from my house, and I don’t get very excited about open clusters. I think I’ll spend more time chasing planetary nebulae around for a while.

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