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(IAAC) Observing summary - Lew Gramer, 15/16 Oct 1999



We were out for another New England Fall night of faint fuzzies and fast flying
streaks Friday night. Once again our site was Myles Standish Forest - this time
Camp Squanto road. Arriving just after moonset, Matt Ben-Daniel and I found
fellow ATMs of Boston members Steve Clougherty and Randy Roos already hard at
work - gleaning galaxies in Psc with their 17.5" dob and 8" SCT, respectively.
Matt set up his 10" dob and began working diligently on Herschel 400 objects,
while Steve and I convened on a list of the "truly obscure and difficult". :)
We began with an excellent list of "Galaxy Triplets" - highly compact groups of
galaxies which, because they lack fourth and succeeding members, never made it
into Hickson's famous Compact Galaxy Group Catalog. We observed five groups from
this list ( http://redshift.home.pipeline.com/triplets.htm ), respectively in
Lacerta, Delphinus, Pisces and Pegasus. All were challenging, due to a hint of
ice haze plaguing Southern New England tonight - but all were intriguing.
Based on our successes with these Triplets, we decided to view Jones 1: tonight
was my first attempt at this PN so close to the city (just an hour's drive from
downtown Boston). But after transcribing the position of this RASC Challenge
object from Uranometria to my much more usable AstroAtlas, we hopped to the area
with a UHC filter at 90x, and found this ghostly, complex ring at once!
Filled with hubris, we now decided to challenge the elusive Supernova Remnant
Simeis 147 in Taurus - a far more challenging object than Jones 1! Although we
plied this LARGE region of the sky with Randy's donated H-beta filter, and more
carefully with an OIII, we could find nothing at 90x or 125x but a suspected
brightening near the East edge of this region, near a mag 12 star.
Among the other highlights of the night was a suspected sighting of Barnard's
Loop in Orion, naked-eye with Randy's H-beta filter carefully shielded from
stray light. ("Suspected" means I was fairly certain I observed it, but no one
else was able to confirm it...)
Finally, at the end of the night, as dawn and exhaustion approached, Matt and I
shared excellent views of NGC 2403 in Camelopardalis, and M93 in Puppis.
During Matt's later perambulations, I managed to lie out for a 20 minute meteor
session: imagine my chagrin at having forgotten sufficient covering to make
observing a full hour feasible! Still during this 0.33 hour "casual" session,
the chill of which took me over a half hour to recover from, I logged 2 ORIs
(-0.5,+5), 1 EGE (+1), 2 STA (+3,+4) and 3 Spor (+2,+2,+4)! My LM was 6.4.
Had I more wisely been prepared for a full observing session that night, I might
very well have logged an enjoyable 20 or more meteors per hour... :(
Full observing logs on select deep-sky objects to follow on 'netastrocatalog'.
Clear skies all!
Lew Gramer
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