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(IAAC) Obj: NGC 3132 (pk272+12.1, Eight-Burst) - Inst: TV-102 (102mm f/8.6 APO refractor)



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Observation Poster: Ron B[ee] <ronby@cox.net>
Observer: Ron B[ee]
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 03/03/02 10:00pm PST
Location of site: 117h 9m W (Lat 32h 43m N, Elev 2000 ft.)
Site classification: Exurban
Sky darkness: 4.9 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 3, gust of winds, light pollution <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: TV-102 (102mm f/8.6 APO refractor)
Magnification: 22x, 30x, 44x, 73x, 110x, 146x, 176x
Filter(s): none
Object(s): NGC 3132 (pk272+12.1, Eight-Burst)
Category: Planetary nebula.
Class: 22x, 30x, 44x, 73x, 110x, 146x, 176x 
Constellation: Vel
Data: mag 8.0 (9.4s)  size 48"
Position: RA :  DEC :
Description:
I've always been envious of southern observers. Objects so beautiful and yet so down under beyond our reaches. So tonight under an unsteady sky, gust of winds on many occasions, much light pollution from the western and southern sky, the 
TV-102 Light Cup bursted open the Eight-Burst Planetary Nebula, on 15 degree 
above the horizon!
Before I attempted NGC 3132, the Eight-Burst Planetary, I tried the Carina
Galaxy. No luck, the whole FOV was bright gray and it was way too low! Took a
while for the Light Cup to locate NGC 3132 with surface brightness of mag 9.4 
because I was totally unfamiliar with constellation so low in the sky. In fact, 
it was only 15 degree high in the sky! At 22x (40mm Pentax XL), I wasn't sure 
where it was and 44x (20mm TV Plossl) with only 50 degree AFOV wasn't much 
help. So I reverted to the 30mm Ultima (30x) and the PN was *bursted* by the
TV-102 Light Cup as non-stellar and now 44x showed it clearly non-stellar. 73x 
(12mm TV Radian) showed nebulosity clearly; its mag 10.1 central star could be 
easily seen. At 110x (8mm Radian), it looks about the size of Jupiter at 73x, 
very bright despite it being very low in the sky.  Stunningly, at this 
magnification, it looks like a jade ball (since its color is green) trapped 
inside a crystal (American) football (or a rugby) formed by the following stars 
ranging from mag 9.5 to mag 11: GSC 7711:1393, GSC 7711:1489, GSC 7711:1075, 
GSC 7711:1721, GSC 7711:496, GSC 7711:2523, GSC 7711:1211, GSC 7711:1719. All 
stars just fit into the FOV of the 8mm Radian. At 146x (6mm Radian), the PN has 
a similar surface brightness as the mag 8.5 star SAO 221781. Greenish and 
bright with the central star still clear seen. Using my “jack-ass” technique 
(i.e. jacket covering the head ;-), grainy texture could now be detected at 
176x (5mm Radian) while retaining its green color and is still bright! This PN 
definitely goes into the Light Cup favorite bucket.  Although my research have 
shown that NGC 3132 got the name Eight-Burst from the photographs, I couldn't 
figure out why however. Then, the Light Cup and the 8mm TV Radian bang my head 
as I was grabbing another EP from the case:
   8 surrounding stars that looked like a football = Eight Burst!
Get it ;-)?
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