Sunday, July 03, 2016

faint and far away (Blue Mountains)

9:52 PM, Saturday 2 July 2016. It noted it was quite busy on the Observing Pad! Nice. I saw Dietmar helping Tony. I saw Steve setting up his Star Adventurer.

I finished submitting two jobs for BGO in Halifax.

We viewed Jupiter.

Dropped the south walls of the Geoff Brown Observatory.

10:27 PM. We viewed Saturn. Lovely. Four or so moons.

10:57. I tried 15-17 CVn again. No joy splitting the tight pair. Gah.

11:04. w00t! Got it. Nailed HR 6267. A was pale yellow, B was dark orange. C was well away. Opposite. C was down, in the field of view, for me tonight. B was above and slightly left. C was 6 o'clock. B was 11:30 or 11:45. Yes! Finally!

Iosif and I talked about globular clusters. He mentioned reading about one very far away. Something about one cast off from Andromeda. Or maybe from the Milky Way headed to Andromeda.

Where Is M13? software showing Milky Way globulars

I launched Where Is M13? and activated the glob preset. And I zoomed out. Wow. Reverse sorted the table by distance. AM 1 in Horologium was 410 000 light-years away! Pal 4 was number 2 and we could see it (potentially) from our location, in Ursa Major, 319 000 ly. Found it in SkyTools: Palomar 4. Magnitude 14+. We slewed to the area...

Nothing... It must be big and dim.

12:12 AM, Sunday 3 July 2016. Very near PGC 1856336.

I decided to try to image the distant globular. Set up the DSLR. Configured for 4 minute sub-exposures...

12:45 AM. We successfully viewed quasar B 1422+231 in Bo├Âtes in Ian's 20-inch Newtonian out on the pad. Beside a little hockey stick of stars. Almost in-line with the pair of stars to the south, J142437.7+225309 (15.8) and J142436.9+225252 (15.8). Magnitude 16.1; redshift or z 3.62; light time 10.0 Gyr. Wow. That one broke our record...

12:48. Completed the 4 minute shot of Pal 4.

star field surrounding Palomar 4 globular cluster

Canon 40D, Celestron 14, Neewer intervalometer, f/11, 240 seconds, RAW, DPP. Can you see it?

Tried 8 minute shots.

1:04. I was getting cold. I put on two more layers.

1:13. I saw nothing in 8 minute image of Palomar 4. Trailing? Or vibration, unfortunately.

Could not see Barnard's Galaxy this evening. It seemed very strange to find this suggestion in the RASC 40 Brightest Galaxies listing.

1:59. Had a long chat with Uncle Tony.

2:01. Checked conditions. 10 min avg 4.8; from W; immediate 3.2; high 19.3; hum 76; baro 1017.7; temp 14.8; dew 10.6.

2:18. Viewed NGC 5322 with the 27mm. A small oval, canted spiral. Somewhat plain field. A dim galaxy. Angled east-to-west. From the Herschel 400 list.

2:27. Viewed NGC 7217. Another small canted galaxy. Noted a little diamond of stars including TYC 02720-1421 1 to the south-west. Wondered for a moment if there was a companion... Also from Herschel 400.

2:50. Viewed NGC 2276. From the Astronomical League list "two in the view." I saw a soft amorphous fuzzy in the centre (that was 2276 proper). It almost looked like a reflection nebula. I saw an oval canted spiral below (east). That was NGC 2300. There was a bright star HD 51141.

3:00. Looked up another "two in the view" items. Viewed NGC 6885 and 6882. Not very exciting. Sounded familiar. Did I view these before?

[ed: Yes, took in 6885 (aka Caldwell 37) a couple of nights prior... The two might be more appealing at low power...]

3:05. I was falling asleep. Headed to my new bed in the Great Room. Hoped it would not be too noisy in the morning...

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