Archive for November, 2014

Brew & Slew under a transparent sky

After a real wet and drab day yesterday I grabbed an observation of a real cracking Arp galaxy in Leo Minor before work this morning at 05.30am. The sky was the most transparent that I have enjoyed in 2014 thus far. I got out into the observatory with a lovely brew of boiling hot tea and quickly decided upon my target in Leo Minor, initially using bright regulus to get my scope and Carte du Ciel planetariun software in harmony. I was delighted with the detail I was able to see on the monitor.
After I had sketched the galaxy, I had a pleasing visual observtion of Jupiter through the 153mm taking the power to 172x which was more than the poor seeing could stand. It was lovely to be looking a Jupiter again, my first look of this oposition.
I hope that my sketch and detail map of Arp 206 are of interest?

The striking Arp 206 complete with jet & faint companion

Labelled detail map of Arp 206


Clear Skies, Dale

It turned out to be good!

A really dear friend of mine Stan Waterman, physicist extraordinaire dropped me an email letting me know he was giving a public lecture in Letchworth on Wed Nov 12th, on the subject of ‘the fabric of the universe’ in layman’s terms, what is the universe made of?

Well 12 months previously Stan had given the previous lecture in the series and I hadn’t gone! He was clearly disappointed, I couldn’t let him down this time, but I have to admit astro-physics is not my cup of tea, I have an understanding but I don’t do it to a geeky level. So I committed to go but I wasn’t looking forward to it, I have to admit.

Shame on me it turned out to be a great night, fantastic talk well delivered by Stan, who was pleased to see me. In addition there was a  highly educated up-date going on with the comet lander, which was the big news of the day, the audience contained some Astrium Staff who had inside knowledge of the project. I got to meet up with quite a number of friends whom I had not seen for a while. So I left happy with a good grasp of the Higgs Boson particle and an even better understanding of how the immense CERN Hadron Collider works.

Stan Waterman and his wonderful home built Proton model


Playing catch up

Here are a few observations that I have omitted to post here made during late October and early November:

Here is a sketch that I made on the 27th of October of NGC 6956 under very hazy conditions, using my 20″mirror and Watec 120n+ video camera. Delphinus isn’t usually associated with galaxies but this one is well worth checking out radiating at mag 12.3.


On November the 9th As part of my ongoing project to observe and sketch as many of the Arp peculiar galaxies as I can, I caught Arp 113 a very busy group in Andromeda, the interest comes from the number of galaxies in the field not so much the detail within the members, although I did pull out some! There are some faint smudges that I haven’t identified at this point in time. I have added my labelled identifier too.

Here are 3 sketches that I made on November 14th of some NGC galaxies in Pegasus, conditions were poor so I left the more challenging Arp’s for a better night. Hope these will have some interest for you.

The set up was my usual 505mm F3.7 mirror, Watec 120N+ cooled video camera, sketches made from CRT b&w monitor screen using black pen for stars and pencil and blending stump for the deep sky objects, then inverted in ‘paint’

NGC 1 & 2, NGC2 is the upper galaxy

NGC 16

NGC 23

A little post script, you see that bright star in the halo of NGC 23, well, I only had one image in my paper library of that galaxy, and being an old and ‘burnt’ out one it didn’t show that star, I therefore thought it maybe a SN! So….I posted an alert of to Guy Hurst, Callum Potter & Tom Boles, wasting their time as I now know, Callum went to great trouble and imaged the galaxy with a remote scope, Guy sent me a few images clearly showing the star as a regular feature…doh sorry gents, I had better be sure next time I press the alarm, Tom didn’t respond at all, he probably thought….prat!!


Clear skies, Dale





Return top