Background Image - The Horsehead Nebula (IC434 + B33) and Flame Nebula (NGC2024) Complex.  Courtesy of Derrick Farley

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Latest Website Update [22nd July 2014] >> July 2014 Double Star of the Month - Bob Argyle

June 2014 - Picture of the Month

NGC 6188 & NGC 6193 in the Constellation of Ara

Image Courtesy of Steve Crouch, Canberra, Australia

NGC6188 & NGC 6193 - Image Courtesy of Steve Crouch

Click on image for a high resolution version

Steve's Observation Notes:

 

Description: A combination of faint emission nebulosity and a bright but scattered open cluster. The complex is about 4000 light years distant.

Image Details:

Catalogue and Alternative Designations: NGC 6188 and NGC 6193

Type: Emission nebula and open cluster

Position: 16 40 05, -48 47

Constellation: Ara

Camera and Telescope: STXL6303 and 36.8cm RCOS Ritchey Chretien Focal Ratio F9

Exposure Details: HaRGB 345:110:110:125 with Astrodon series 2 filters

 

For more images from Steve please visit his CCD Astronomical Images from Canberra website.


July 2014 - Double Star of the Month

 

zeta Her (16 41 17.46 +31 36 07.0) is part of the Keystone of Hercules, the south preceding component of the four stars in the pattern.  Only 35 light years from us, it has long been known to be a close and difficult pair, but at the time of writing it is opening up and will soon be as easy to resolve as it gets.  The ephemeris for the 34.5 year period orbit shows that in summer 2014 the stars are at 140° and 1".20.  The difficulty comes with the large difference in magnitude - in the visual the components are magnitudes 2.95 and 5.40.  The writer has followed this pair since 1990 and has been able to measure it each year since apart from 2001 - 2004 inclusive when it was too difficult for the 20-cm Cooke refractor at Cambridge.  Over many years there have been suggestions of a sub-period due to one of the stars being a close, unresolved pair, and in 1983 a third component was detected in the infra-red but since then no confirming observations have been made and at present it is assumed that zeta is a simple binary star.  The primary star is of spectral type early G and sometimes appears orange to observers with the companion appearing green by contrast.

 

eta Oph (17 10 22.66  -15 43 30.5) was one of S W Burnham's later discoveries and is also known as BU 1118.  This bright, twin pair of white early A stars of visual magnitudes 3.05 and 3.27 was separated by 0".4 at discovery in 1889.  Like zeta Her above this pair is now close to its maximum separation and is actually starting to close.  In summer 2014 it will be found at 232° and 0".57.  This needs 30-cm on a night of very good seeing as it is low from the UK.  The orbital motion accelerates rapidly as periastron approaches in 2024 at which time the stars are 0".006 apart and moving at 15 degrees per DAY.  The period of this highly inclined and very eccentric (e = 0.95) orbit is 88 years.  There are two faint comites of magnitude 11.2 and 12.4 both about 100" distant.  Eta (combined magnitude 2.4) can be found about 15 degrees north following Antares.

 

Bob Argyle - Double Star Section Director


Object of the Season - Spring 2014 & Summer 2014

 

The Webb Deep-Sky Society Nebulae & Clusters Section Director Wolfgang Steinicke has requested observations for the following deep-sky objects:-

 

Object of the Season (Spring 2014): Globular Cluster NGC 5466 in Bootes.  Details will be published in DSO163 and the results will be presented in DSO 165.  Click here for Object Details.

 

Object of the Season (Summer 2014): Planetary Nebula NGC 40 in Cepheus. Details will be published in DSO164 and the results will be presented in DSO 166.  Click here for Object Details.

 

NGC 5466 in Bootes

NGC 40 in Cepheus

NGC 5466 - Image Courtesy of SDSS

[Image Credit: SDSS]

NGC40 - Image Courtesy of Capella Observatory: Stefan Binnewies, Rainer Sparenberg, Josef Pöpsel

[Image Credit: Capella Observatory: Stefan Binnewies, Rainer Sparenberg, Josef Pöpsel]

Click on images for high resolution versions

The complete schedule, including further objects, is published in the Deep Sky Observer (DSO).

 

Observations should be sent to: steinicke-zehnle@t-online.de

Wolfgang Steinicke, Gottenheimerstr. 18, D-79224 Umkirch, Germany.

June 2014 - Galaxy of the Month

NGC 6118 in Serpens Caput

Image Courtesy of Astro Works Corporation & Norma Rose Observatory, Queensland, Australia

NGC6118 - Image Courtesy of Norma Rose Observatory, Queensland, Australia

Click on image for a high resolution version

 

Summer is not the best time for viewing galaxies as the northern skies never really get dark and the sky is dominated by the Milky Way and its attendant star clusters and nebulae.  There are however some galaxies to be seen and my choice this month is the galaxy NGC 6118 in Serpens Caput.  First discovered by William Herschel in 1785 this is a nearly edge on spiral galaxy.  Classified as a grand design spiral NGC 6118 is believed to lie at a distance of about 83 million light years and at that distance its size would be about 110000 light years across, making it almost the same size as our Milky Way.  Its full classification is SA(s)cd suggesting it has tightly wound spiral arms along with a small bar.  Deep images show that it has a lot of star formation going on in its arms which are highlighted by the blue star clusters.  In 2004 NGC 6118 was host to the type Ib/c supernova 2004dk.  These are relatively unusual objects that are thought to occur in binary systems where mass is stripped from one star by the other. Unusually NGC 6118 does not appear to be part of any galaxy group but appears to be an isolated field galaxy.  As such it is of interest is determining how galaxies evolve when found in isolation rather than the usual groups.  As the galaxy is large and faint it can be a challenge to see with smaller telescopes and has earned the name of the Blinking Galaxy because of its tendency to flicker in and out when different eye positions are used (I suspect this is a reference to the use of averted vision).  Even though its total magnitude is fairly bright the size of the galaxy suggests that its surface brightness will be quite low and you will need a medium/large aperture telescope and a dark sky to see more than the core.  It is regarded as one of the toughest of the Herschel 400 objects to find because of its faintness.  Strangely based on this it appears in Michael Bakich’s book 1001 Celestial Wonders to see before you die!!.

 

A fine image of the object can be found here at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) website

 

Owen Brazell - Galaxy Section Director


Supernova 2014bc in M106

Image Courtesy of David Davies, Cambridge, UK

Supernova SN2014bc in M106 - Image Courtesy of David Davies

Click on image for a high resolution version

David's Observation Notes:

'Hello everyone,

Here is my processed stack of 11 x 7 minutes of luminance images showing supernova sn2014bc in M106 captured on 18 May.

This is an interesting processing challenge. If you stretch the image in the usual manner to bring out the details of the galaxy, then the core tends to burn out and the supernova becomes impossible to see. In this image I have processed the image twice: once to reveal the details of the galaxy, in the usual way, and then a second time to just reveal the galaxy core. I then merged these two images together.

[Update]

I managed to get out on Saturday 25 May and captured some RGB data on M106. I have combined this with the luminance data captured on 18 May to produce the attached LRGB image. Regards David' 

Image details:

Exposure Details:11 x7 minutes of luminance, binned 1 x 1; 8 x 5 minutes of each RGB binned 2 x 2

Telescope: 254 mm newtonian plus Paracorr coma corrector at F/4.5

Camera: QSI 583 wsg plus Lodestar off-axis guider

Mount: NEQ6 controlled via EQMOD

For more images from David please visit his Flickr Photostream page.

Current Deep-Sky Observer - DSO164

 

DSO 164 Cover

In This Issue

 

AGM Report 2013

Bob Argyle

 

Webb Society Accounts

For the Year to 31st March 2013

Steve Rayner

 

The Teenage Deep-Sky Wonder

Mark Bratton

 

Next Object of the Season

 Planetary Nebula NGC 40

Wolfgang Steinicke

 

Hickson 22

Ronald J Morales

 

Object of the Season

Bipolar Nebula NGC 2163 in Orion

Wolfgang Steinicke

Deep-Sky Observer (DSO) No 153 - Free Sample

 

DSO153 Cover

 

This free journal is DSO 153 from 2010. You can download it as a PDF file onto your computer by right clicking the link below and choosing either 'Save Target As' or 'Save Link As'....

Download DSO 153 (2MB PDF file)

Supernova 2014J in M82

Sketches Courtesy of Dale Holt, Hertfordshire, UK & Andrew Robertson, Norfolk, UK

Supernova in M82 - Sketch Courtesy of Dale Holt

Supernova in M82 - Sketch Courtesy of Andrew Robertson

Click on sketches for a higher resolution versions

Dale's Observation Comments:

'Hi All, here is my sketch of M82 with the glorious Supernova, such a privilege to be able to see such amazing happenings in the universe from ones own garden :) My estimate of current magnitude is Mag 11 to 11.5 using local stars as known reference. I hope that you get to see it soon too, if you haven't seen it already.'

Andrew's Observation Comments:

'My sketch from last night [25th Jan 2014] using the 12" D-K Mewlon, pleased with this one. Diagonal used, laterally inverted. Pentax 20mm E/P, 70° AFOV , x180. Not very transparent; Mag 5 Nelm , Ant III Seeing Haven't got a clue where North was (diagonal used, equatorial mount, near the pole etc)' :-)

Supernova 2014J in M82

Image Courtesy of Dave Adshead, Doncaster, England

Supernova in M82 - Image Courtesy of Dave Adshead

Supernova in M82 - Image Courtesy of Dave Adshead

Click on images for a higher resolution versions

 

Dave's Observation Comments:

'This is my effort of the supernova in M82. Taken yesterday evening at an earlier time than I normally image. So, there are some vibrations, well quite a few actually. Taken with a Takahashi FSQ106ED, QSI 583 CCD camera and an Avalon M-Uno mount. The camera was looking through a Ha 3nm filter.' Dave

 

For more images from Dave please visit his gallery

Sketch of Supernova SN2014L in M99

Sketch Courtesy of Dale Holt, Hertfordshire, UK

SN2014L in M99 - Sketch Courtesy of Dale Holt

Click on sketch for a higher resolution version

Dale's Observation Comments:

'At last I caught the supernova in M99, I made this sketch using the 505mm mirror and Watec 120n+ video camera on Thursday 27th Feb." Clear Skies to you.' Dale

Keep up to date with Dale's observations from Chippingdale Observatory by reading his Blog


Clear Skies Observing Guides (CSOG)

Courtesy of Victor van Wulfen

Clear Skies Observing Guides Banner

Webb Deep-Sky Society member Victor van Wulfen produces the CSOG.  Samples of these guides can be found here. There are four versions or formats of this guide True and mirrored images MH, MV and MHV to best match the view in different mirroring telescopes.

"The advantage of this publication is that with a suitably dimmed laptop or tablet/iPad you have at your finger tips an excellent resource" - Owen Brazell, UK review in The Deep-Sky Observer (DSO 160, Quarterly Journal of the Webb Deep Sky Society)

For more details please visit Clear Skies Observing Guides website

The Brightest Planetary Nebulae Observing Atlas - 2nd Edition

Courtesy of Massimo Zecchin - Italy

 

Massimo has just completed the 2nd Edition of an atlas of planetary nebulae observed with small apertures and from suburban locations, entitled: "The Brightest Planetary Nebulae Observing Atlas". The atlas is freely available in two versions, Black (for display) and White (printer friendly with the images in negative).

 

The Brightest Planetary Nebulae Observing Atlas (2nd Ed) Black - Courtesy of Massimo Zecchin

The Brightest Planetary Nebulae Observing Atlas (2nd Ed) White - Courtesy of Massimo Zecchin

 

The 2nd Edition contains:-

- Six additional objects.

- Data of visual magnitude, central star magnitude and object size from the Strasbourg-ESO Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae (SEC catalogue) and in a few cases from the Saguaro Astronomy Club database (SAC catalogue).

- Calculated surficial brightness for any object (in magnitude per square arcsec).

- Six additional tables showing the objects sorted by magnitude, surficial brightness, size, central star mag, constellation and declination.

- A general position map.

 

Either version of the atlas can be downloaded as a PDF file onto your computer by right clicking the respective image above and choosing either 'Save Target As' or 'Save Link As'....

Please note that the Black version is 14MB and the White version 10MB

DSO162 - Erratum

It has been brought to my attention that there are a number of transcription errors in the Ron J. Morales article on the 'NGC 1550 Region in Taurus'. I have attached a corrected version of this article here. Most of these articles are scanned and the OCR software sometimes has issues with the material. I apologise for this production error.  Owen BrazellDSO Editor

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