Prime Night 2/21

Prime Night 2/21

Postby stephen-jones » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:36 am

I was thinking about cancelling all week, but the Clear Sky Clock claims a 5 or six-hour window of clearing over Columbus during the evening hours, so we're still on. Anyone interested can meet me at the Columbus Whataburger at I-10 exit 696 if you need me to show you where the dark site is; I'll be leaving from there to go to the site at 5:20. Clear skies all!
-Stephen Jones
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Re: Prime Night 2/21

Postby stephen-jones » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:07 pm

I'm at the Whataburger right now. Columbus weather does indeed look much better than what I left in Houston. It still leaves a bit to be desired, but it appears observing is at least possible.
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Re: Prime Night 2/21

Postby stephen-jones » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:06 pm

Thought I'd give a little bit of an observing report - not a whole list of what I observed, but just a quandary and an anecdote.

First the quandary... any tried looking for NGC 1750 off of the Herschel 400 list? Most atlases only have NGC 1746 plotted near that position. According to the NGC, objects 1746, 1750, and 1758 are all right together. Observe: The Herschel Objects states that the three clusters are superimposed on each other. When I viewed the area with the F7 last night, I could definitely see two clusters superimposed on one another, but not three. Burnham's describes the clusters as basically exactly what I saw, identifying the larger cluster as 1746 and the smaller as 1758, leaving out 1750. I guess the reason 1750 is the one mentioned in the Herschel list is because it's the one that the NGC identifies with being identical to Herschel's VIII.43, whereas 1746 is listed as being discovered by d'Arrest. Nonetheless, these smell like the same cluster to me. What do you guys think?

Now the anecdote. I wasn't even looking for Comet Lovejoy last night, since its best days are behind it. However, unbeknownst to me, it was in the same finder scope field as M76 last night, and I just happened to go looking for M76. I turned the F7 to where M76 was supposed to be, and looked in the finder scope. I saw a fuzzy spot and remarked to myself, "huh... I didn't think M76 was that bright." I then moved the scope till the finder was right on the fuzzy spot and looked in the main eyepiece... "Whoa.. that ain't M76!" Somewhere in the afterlife, Charles Messier is shaking his head at me... he spent all that time making a list of nebulae so that no one would get confused by his objects while looking for comets... and here my dumb ass is, looking for one of his objects and getting confused by a comet!
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Re: Prime Night 2/21

Postby steve-fung » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:45 am

I'm glad you got some observing done given the relatively poor condition last night. From the weather reports, looks like a cloudy week, slightly better mid-week, and then rain next weekend - assuming the models are correct.
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