Blackbird September 1, 2010...
- Doug Norton
Blackbird, September 1st, 2010
Tonight was an amazing night! It was bone dry all night. Not one single drop of dew. The scope stayed dry all night and the finder didn’t even dew up once. It was very transparent but the seeing was not very steady. Jupiter wasn’t even worth looking at. But deep space objects showed very well.
My goal was to hunt down some globulars in Sagittarius while there was still time. I was viewing globulars as far down as minus 39 degrees in declination. Robert Bunge wrote an article in Deep Sky #34 (Spring 1991) about non-NGC globulars in Sagittarius. I checked his list against mine and found some objects I hadn’t observed. So I wanted to try and fill in as many as I could.
After this hunt was over I switched gears and went hunting for Planetary Nebulae in Cygnus and Aquila. Along the way I looked at some open clusters and double stars. I spent a lot of time running each object through every eyepiece I have. For the planetaries I used a UHC to confirm and/or bring out more detail.
Below are my observing notes. It was a fruitful night with objects way off the beaten path. Thanks Bob for inspiring me to veer way off the beaten path nearly 20 years after you wrote your article!
The moon rose a bit after midnight. I left the field a little after 1:30am.
Palomar 8 Nestled in a 3 star asterism shaped like an L. Very small and just barely glows above the background. 24mm shows it. 19mm Pan shows it more of a halo. 15mm Pan darkens background, increases contrast. 13mm Nagler really makes it stand out from the background. No resolvable stars. Just a hazy patch of round fuzzy light.
Palomar 9 aka NGC6717 Wow! Two bright stars in the field. NGC6717 right below one of the stars! Very small and condensed ball. Fairly bright considering its proximity to the star. 24mm Pan shows it easily. 15mm Pan shows it more oddly shaped, less round. Bright center. 13mm Nagler shows almost lobed appearance. Two seemingly bright lobes. 9mm TMB really opens it up and shows more of the lobed appearance.
NGC6540 In a nice star field. 24mm Pan shows it medium sized, fairly dense with hints of outer halo. 15mm Pan shows best so far. More contrast. Cluster seems more oblong but brighter. Almost resolves stars in 13mm Nagler. 9mm too powerful but shows the brightest part of the core elongated.
NGC 6520 Wow! Awesome open cluster! Loose, small, 4 bright stars in a line going across the face. Really pretty in 24mm Pan! 19mm Pan opens it up, shows more of the fainter members concentrated in the center. Higher powers do little to increase the beauty. Best at low power.
NGC6833 Wow! A stellar object. Only found it because of chart. No mags bring any detail. UHC filter shows its true nature.
NGC7048 PN in Cyg. Fairly large, spread out, faint, tough to find. Requires UHC for clear view. Best in 19mm Panoptic.
IC5117 Tiny planetary in Cyg. Right next to a star slightly brighter than the nebula. Nearly stellar. High powers show it slightly less stellar than the star it is next to. UHC filter brightens it and gives its true nature away. Challenging but easily seen once star field is recognized.
He 2-438 Campbell's Hydrogen Star. Seems to have slight fuzziness. Brightens under UHC filter. Higher powers show more nebulosity, nearly stellar. Easy to find. 9mm TMB shows best.
M 1-92 Minkowski's Footprint. Extrememly small but fairly bright. Easy to find in the field. Right next to a star. Highest powers show it is not stellar. Almost elongated, not quite rounded. It is a tiny planetary!
NGC6790 Very small, fairly bright, nearly stellar. Highest powers show nonstellar. Slightly blue-green as opposed to surrounding stars.
NGC7128 Open Cluster in Cyg. Small, tight, few members, one bright slightly orange star in group. Best at lowest power.
STF2799 Pretty double close to M15. Very tight pair, equal magnitudes. 24mm Panoptic shows hint of being double. Higher powers reveal both components. 9mm TMB shows a nice easy split. Equal white colors.