I arrived at Calstar about 12:30 p.m. on Friday and was immediately handed a beer by Mark Wagner. Nice to have friends. After some chat and a cool down after the 3.5 hour drive from Oakland, I set up my gear and waited for darkness to come. I brought a TV 101 on a Skyview Pro mount and an 18" Obsession. I also recently upgraded my eyepiece collection with the newer 7, 9, and 12 Naglers, replacing the older Type I and II's I had been using. the main reason was for the better eye-relief, but in particular the view in the 12 Nagler somehow seemed wider as compared with the older one. I wouldn't say the view was any better or worse than the old ones, but I didn't try a comprehensive comparison either. I was too busy enjoying the sky. I continue to use the old 20 Nagler as my workhorse, and I think it was Greg Claytor who was amazed at the view in my fast dob and how good the stars looked at the edge of the field without a parracor. I sometimes think people worry about the edge of the field way too much anyway. We're looking at small dim objects in the center of the field for goodness sake! :-)
I also purchased a copy of Alvin Huey's Hickson book, and tracked down a few of those, but mostly I spent my time working through objects on the Herschel 2500 list. I like Alvin's book a lot, and look forward to spending more time with the Hickson's in the future. Wagner and I were set-up next to each other, sometimes working on the same object, sometimes not, but it's always fun to share views. Of course there were views of lots of eye candy, and shared views with friends and friends I'd never met before. It was also great seeing Paul Sterngold, a wayward TACo who forsake his northern California friends for a job in Southern CA.
As has been remarked upon by everyone, this was a tremendous Calstar. The location and friends were the same good group of people, but what set this CalStar apart was the great weather and good seeing. I managed to log 40+ new objects, and crept over the 1800 total logged observations.
Thanks to all for making this a wonderful experience.
NGC 7707 Andromeda Galaxy 14.4
"Extremely faint, small. Next to mag 11 star. At 294x it appeared irregular and mottled."
NGC 7526 Aquarius Asterism
Asterism. Short line of three stars. 103x.
Hickson 89 Aquarius GG
"Observed Hickson A, B, C. 15.4, 16.1, 16.4. All small and dim. Did not see the D component although Wagner did."
NGC 7302 Aquarius Galaxy 13.1
"Small, round with a stellar core. Bright star at southern end. 172x"
NGC 7300 Aquarius Galaxy 13.3
"Dim, large, extended even glow. 172x."
NGC 7298 Aquarius Galaxy 14.4
"Extremely dim, large. Small star on western edge."
NGC 7309 Aquarius Galaxy 12.5
"Round, mottled, large. Bright star on south edge of field. 229x."
NGC 7364 Aquarius Galaxy 12.6
"Very small, dim, stellar core."
NGC 7371 Aquarius Galaxy 12.1
"229x. Round galaxy, gradually brighter core. Dim double star to the Northeast."
NGC 7391 Aquarius Galaxy 12
Very small with a stellar core.
NGC 7393 Aquarius Galaxy 13.4
"Small, extended, even glow."
NGC 7721 Aquarius Galaxy 11.6
"Large, elongated galaxy. A winner!"
NGC 1985 Auriga PN 12.5
"Small, round, very dim. Ultrablock filter gave the best views over the OIII
and the NPB."
Palomar 12 Capricornus GC 11.9
Dim glow below a small triangle of stars. Seemed to be mottled at 412x.
Abell 81 Cepheus PN 14.8
"Just off mag 7 star. At 229x it was a bit oblong with an opaque center.
Good size, no filter. IC 1454."
NGC 6089 Corona Borealis Galaxy 15
"Very small, very faint at 172x. Even glow."
NGC 6104 Corona Borealis Galaxy 14
"Very small, dim even glow. 229x."
NGC 6119 Corona Borealis Galaxy 14.6
"Very small, even glow, dim. Paired with 6120. Uneven double star to the south."
NGC 6120 Corona Borealis Galaxy 15.3
"Small, faint. Paired with 6119. 172x."
NGC 6129 Corona Borealis Galaxy 14.7
"Very small, extremely faint at 103x."
NGC 6137 Corona Borealis Galaxy 13.7
"Small, off-round, almost oval. A triangle of stars to the North."
NGC 6142 Corona Borealis Galaxy 13.8
"Extremely faint glow,small."
NGC 7426 Lacerta Galaxy 12.3
"Extremely small at 103x. Round, almost stellar. West of a mag 5.7 star."
NGC 7515 Pegasus Galaxy 12.4
"Small, round, with stellar core, dim. There is a pair of mag 10 stars to the south. 229x."
NGC 7311 Pegasus Galaxy 12.5
"Small,elongated, bright. Stellar core. Chain of 3 stars to the north. 227x."
NGC 7316 Pegasus Galaxy 13
"Small, round. NW of bright mag. 6.6 star."
NGC 7321 Pegasus Galaxy 13.7
"Very small, slightly elongated. Surrounded by mag 9+ stars. 294x."
NGC 7436 Pegasus Galaxy 13.8
"294x. Small, faint, round. Paired with 7435."
NGC 7435 Pegasus Galaxy 15.1
"294x. Small, faint, elongated spiral facing 7436 to the south."
UGC 12274 Pegasus Galaxy 15.2
"Small, extremely faint. Situated to the west of a mag 11 star."
NGC 7711 Pegasus Galaxy 14
"294x. Very small, dim, elongated with a brighter core."
NGC 7458 Pisces Galaxy 14
Extremely small and dim. Stellar core at 294x.
NGC 7506 Pisces Galaxy 12.9
"Very small, dim, elongated. Stellar core at 294x."
Hickson 2 Pisces GG
"Observed UGC 312 at mag 13.9 the brightest in the group, elongated, brighter core;
314 at mag 15 small, faint.
Not Immediately observable. MCG+1-2-18 at 14.5 was a faint, round, even glow.
UGC 315 not seen."
Hickson 5 Pisces GG
NGC 190 at 14.9 was the brightest and largest in the group. Round with a stellar core.
MCG+1-2-42 is a close companion to 190. Small and round.
PGC 2322 and 2326 were averted vision perhaps 20 percent of the time at mags 16.5 and 17.3.
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