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Badger Farm Saturday 25/01/2014.


oldfruit
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Last week the long term forecast showed a good possibility of Saturday night being clear, so I posted on Facebook  about the possibility of an extra meeting at Badger Farm.


Myself, Paul (tbird) and Col (foundaplanet) decided to go up to Badger farm for an observing session.


Earlier on in the day I think we had all had the storms at some point, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it clearing nicely as I set off.


Paul was first to arrive and we started with our usual chat to catch up with events etc, and though it was quite windy :brr:  we decided to set up my dob and Paul set up a wide field imaging rig. The Milky Way was looking pretty stunning as were all the Winter stars. The area around Orion was seemingly packed with stars, something seldom seen from home.


 


The first object for tonight was a no brainer. Having seen images and read so much about the SN in M82 I just had to have a look for myself. Having found M82 in the finder, I put in the 16mm Nirvana (93x) and had a look. I was surprised, the galaxy is itself bright but the SN stood out really well, looking like a foreground star. Col remarked when he arrived that "it must be lighting up the whole galaxy"! Just imagine how bright it would be if it were in the local neighbourhood!  The usual mottling was visible in M82 also but the SN was just too much of a distraction to continue observing it.


 


The scope was then turned to M81. I have to say that I do not think I have seen the outer halo of M81 extend this far before. There were hints, and I mean just hints that this was a spiral galaxy but it was one of the best views that I personally have had of this object.


 


Whilst in the area I had a quick look at the Owl Nebula (M97). Very obvious even without an 0iii filter. I spent a couple of minutes looking but could not really make out any hint of the eyes, though I have found this easier as the object gets higher in the sky.


 


I turned the scope to M42 (Orion Nebula) and it was showing lovely detail in the dob, with the nebulosity arcing round and under, you could write a whole essay about the detail visible in just this one object that never fails to amaze, The Running Man nebula was visible but I could not make out the shape seen in images.


M78 showed up well and with this poor weather we have been having it reminded me of 2 headlights coming out of the fog.


The Flame Nebula was showing tonight but I have seen it showing better on other occasions so thought I would leave this object for another night.


 


I had set off to Badger Farm with some more difficult targets in mind. The Rosette Nebula, Thors Helmet, Hubbles Variable Nebula. Here is how I got on.


 


The Rosette Nebula, I found the cluster NGC2244 in the finder and had a glance through the 28mm Nirvana (53x), there were hints of something there so I put the 0iii filter in and this did increase the contrast. Through the eyepiece the nebulosity below the cluster was the most obvious, with other parts of the nebulosity extending up and around the right of the cluster, though these parts were not so obvious. I think the next time I view this particular object I will probably use the ED80 to give a larger field of view as the object is so big.


 


Thors Helmet (NGC2359), Having forgotten to take one of my books with me I was struggling to find the location of this object in the book that I had, it turned out that it is also listed as the Duckbill Nebula. Once I found it on the chart I navigated to the position with the finder and looked through the 16mm Nirvana (93x). This particular object is quite faint but not so faint that you cannot see it. It was there but it was difficult to tease out any detail. I put the 0iii filter in and the view was quite improved and more of the nebula was showing though I needed to use averted vision. The overall shape looked almost round but I could not really make out either of the extensions (horns) that give this object its name. I think I will spend more time on this object another night.


 


Hubbles Variable Nebula (NGC2261), Having found this object, I thought it was quite small. It was obvious through the eyepiece and reminded me of 2 things, firstly it looked like a comet pointing upwards and even appeared to have a bright head. The second thing it reminded me of was un upside down Star Trek Badge, like the old ones from the original series. :)


 


Numerous open clusters were observed as well as few other of the better known dso`s.


 


By about mid-night we decided to call it a night but a pleasant evening it was. So thanks to Paul and to Col for your company. :2thumbsup:


 


Clear skies.

Edited by oldfruit
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These reports are great to read, reminds me of my old ones I did.


 


Some fantastic objects there, you done really well to the Rosetta visually as it's got a very low surface brightness and very hard to pick up.


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Lovely report. Reading it give you the impression you are actually there, all wrapped up, peering into a scope.

 

Thanks.

 

The description of the Milky Way sounds great, I really do need to get over to Badger Farm sometime.

 

JD
 

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Guest foundaplanet

Good report Mark, lets hope next Saturday night is as good! Got 2 extra cars coming with me! :)

 

Well you will keep buying new gear Ron. Have you thought about getting a van... :D

 

It was a good clear and enjoyable evening. Great write up Mark... :thumbsup:

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These reports are great to read, reminds me of my old ones I did.

 

Some fantastic objects there, you done really well to the Rosetta visually as it's got a very low surface brightness and very hard to pick up.

Cheers Mick, I must admit to being chuffed to have found the Rosette Nebula. I think the 1500mm fl of my dob is a bit too much for this one though, hence wanting to try the ED80 next time.

 

Lovely report. Reading it give you the impression you are actually there, all wrapped up, peering into a scope.

 

Thanks.

 

The description of the Milky Way sounds great, I really do need to get over to Badger Farm sometime.

 

JD

 

Thanks James, you would always be welcome to join us.

Edited by oldfruit
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Sounds great. Shame I'm about 200 miles away. Many of the objects I've never seen at all and you've had better views than I've ever had of those I have seen before.


 


One thing I found helpful with a long focal length telescope was using a focal reducer.


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