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Friday, December 21, 2007
Geminids Immersion Camp 2007Observation Report Report by Mooey~ Photographer: Jin Peng (Photo below: On the boat ride to ubin) Came back from ubin 2 days ago. Barely had time to write an observation report for the trip. Seem like a bad period to go ubin, considering it’s monsoon and weather refuse to clear up prior to the trip. Many have backed out from the trip due to fears of bad weather. Nothing venture, nothing gain, we went against all odds and made our way to ubin. 5 of us went, jin peng, teck lim, ah heng and ming wei. (photo below: all happy playing Risk while waiting for high clouds to pass)
We met up at RP at around 1500, bus left RP at 1600. reached change beach and had our dinner and did a little bit of last minute shopping. Took the ferry service(more like sampan ) and managed to reach ubin around 1800.
Had a hard time getting our transport to the ob site. Seems like our usual driver, uncle moh, wasn’t available. However he directed us to uncle chu. We went back to our usual spot, the quarry just after the thai temple. For those who did not know, the thai temple has been torn down, some works are going on outside the quarry. A new drain was being built, prolly used to drain water out from the quarry. As there is construction work going on, the road to the quarry was in a pretty bad shape. Our driver did not like the idea of going in as there’s a good chance he might get stuck in the mud.
Finally reached the ob site at close to 1700. quickly got our tent set up. Had dinner at change, so no issue with cooking on the first day. Skies turn dark quickly, but the clouds did not clear up yet. We went into the tent and played some board games.
Soon, at around 2100, skies cleared up quite nicely. We went out and start to set up our scopes. Teck lim and ah heng managed to get the r200ss set up. Jin peng pulled out his 120 f/5 refractor. I only brought along a pair of 12x50 binos and a nice chair as mention by jin peng in the previous post. As usual, the chair is one of the best made choice, allowing me to observe comfortably. I also brought along a tripod adapter for the bino, but observing from a tripod was pretty awkward and I gave up on the bino adapter. Pls tell me if u ever have luck with those bino adapter.
Initially the area towards the north was a little clouded, but the part of skies towards the east was pretty good. First object was pretty obvious, m45. had to work on the easier stuff to get accustomed to the bino first. Pan my bino over to m45 and I was little surprised by the views. M45 is a big cluster. Stars are well resolved in the puny bino. Using 2 eyes seem to give a 3d like effect. I could count maybe 6 brighter stars, and 2 slightly dimmer but still very bright stars in the cluster. Makes me wonder who came up with the idea of “7” sisters. Y not 6 sisters or 8 sisters?
Moving on, I took down hyades, which is just above aldebaran. Quite large open cluster, somewhat in a Y shape.
Moving downwards was m35, seems like mars is in a gd position, just slightly top right of mars would be our pretty m35 cluster. Took a quick peep and m35 and it’s nearby companion, ngc 2158. as usual, m35 look gd with all the fine little stars.
Next target was another nearby object, m42. quite a lot of nebulosity was being seen, but the trapezium was just too close together to be resolved. 12x is not a lot of power, so can’t expect too much.
It seems that observing with a bino is a pretty fast thing, all u have to do is to roughly point towards the area, pan around a little, pick up ur object and move on to the next. However the main problem is that the views tend to be at very low magnification, and not much details can be seen.
Took down m41 next, m41 was still large enough to resolve with the 12x50 binos. At this point, someone suggested looking for the comet. Did not have any updated charts with me, so could not find it. However panning around persus region I managed to pick up m34. this time round, m34 was a little too small to be resolved. Only managed to make out a round shape, like wat u see in those gobular cluster. However looking thru the 120 f/5, it is pretty much an open cluster. With brighter stars towards the center of the cluster.
Moving a little up, took down m79 in lepus. I was blessed with gd skies, or else this would be a near impossible task. Tiny weenie little gob, even tinier in the bino. Barely a small smudge. Btw, for those with a pair of bino, do remember to peep around the star at the center of persus, algebia or something. There’s a large open cluster there. By now north have pretty cleared up and clouds moved towards east. Tried to look for m31 but somehow failed. Only later on I realised andro is no longer standing up, but more of lying on it’s sides. After figuring out the constellation, I managed to pick out the very bright galaxy thru my binos.
Cassiopeia was quite near, I moved towards the double cluster. Another nice object to be seen with binos. 2 tight patches side by side. Went for a tour in auriga, easily pick up the 3 smaller clusters, m36/m38 and m37. Skies started to cloud up again, we retreat back to our tent and had a few more games of risk.
Somewhere in the night, maybe 2am or so, skies started to clear up again. We went out for another round of obbing. By now sirrus is pretty high up, the area around puppies, vela and carina is available for viewing. Moving towards the bottom of the triangle in canes major, 2 bright stars left and hit m93 in puppies. Did not spend much time there since I have the entire region to play with in carina. Panning around the vela/carina region was pretty fun. Everywhere u go u see background stars, finding cluster is not hard, anything that looks more than background stars is prolly a cluster. Took down a few other clusters that I do not know wat number or wat name(sadly my book is written by those ang mohs who live too north and can’t see carina).
Somehow I remember that I have missed m50, 46 and 47 earlier. Looking up was sirrius and proycon, somewhere in between the 2 of the was m50. moving a little up(or was it down? Maybe left?) was m46 and 47 and one more ngc, can’t remember wat number. Looking somewhere north, a little downwards from castor and pollux was a bright patch glowing away. Point my bino over and found a large cluster. Took down m44. Almost 4am, clouds started to pour in again. We went back to the tent and had our rest. Managed to wake up the next day to cook our breakfast. Noticed that one bicycle and one guy is missing. Oh well.
Skies did not look gd, no sun to see. Went back tent to play more dai dee and risk. Skies started to look gloomy. Started to pour in the afternoon. We survived the first wave, or should I say the tent managed to survive the first wave. Subsequent waves of rain weren’t that nice to us. The tent started to leak from both top and bottom. Spades from the nearby construction came in useful. But still it didn’t really help with the flooding situation in the tent. Rain stopped in the evening, cooked dinner and went back to rest. Skies refuse to clear up. The floor of the tent was wet making it hard for us to lie down and sleep. Once again, my chair came in useful. At least didn’t have to get wet. Somewhere in the middle of the night the tent kind of dried up, but the skies still refuse to clear up. Oh well, back to wonderland.
Morning was a little bit better, this time round blue skies was seen. I took out the pst(on loan from lee, have not returned to him yet). found one prominence at maybe 5 o’clock. Later on as the clouds started to clear up more, we managed to find many other prominence, there was actually 1 more prominence beside the one we saw earlier, and one more at maybe 7 o’clock. Soon we saw our van, quickly packed up our stuff and went back home. ~MooEy~
posted at 10:14 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Geminids Watch on 14th December Observation Reportby Jin Peng
Hm…Anyone miss the Geminids on the 14th Dec? Skies seem super clear at certain point of time in the night and good weather. Just recall I kena own in Ubin last year – with the record high in amount of rainfall last dec. So I take my 5inch refractor with the potra mount and went CCK mrt station meet up mooey. We are like carrying so many bags and people started to look at our stuff on the train. So we alight at Tenah Merah station and transfer to bus 2 to Changi Village.
Had dinner at Changi Market, Chicken rice for only $2 and can eat till so full, not a bad deal. Then moved over to Changi beach to meet up RJC, RGS, BPGH people. At around 9plus, the sky was good, clear! So I start to setup my 5inch with the potra mount, While mooey happily unpack a foldable chair (which he enjoy alot) and take out a binoculars and start sweeping the sky. (Below picture: The 120f/5 refractor)
Spotted Cassiopeia, and quickly find the double cluster. M31 was hinder by the tree, damn! Then see a bright patch at Taurus, M45, the seven sisters, look nice with 40mm eyepiece.Quite a magnificent sight. (Below picture: TeckLim looking at M45)
I tried to find NGC 457, also know as the dragonfly cluster and some Ang Mo call it owl cluster. Spend some time finding it, and realise high clouds are coming in… give up! (Below picture: RGS girls posting...)
Next challenge was find M34 as Perseus is nearly cover by trees (maybe I setup too inside). Nevertheless we managed to find it. Thourgh 7x50 finder, you can see a grainy patch, very fade. At 40mm you can see stars very spread out, quite even and there is one very distinct orange colour star. Many times got fool by the rich star field in the area, thought is M34 but is was not. (Below picture: RJ people lying down)
Soon all people get so engross with the meteors and all start lay down viewing, so while entertain them, we find M42 - Great orion neb. a fuzzy patch was seen, M78, M37 and M38 at Auriga, that day left out M36, ops! M37 look like got a lot of loose stars, fairly bright and the centre are much brighter, abit hazy look. Some people ask me find M1, I just show them my hp M1 plan can already. Ultimate sia, ask me find M1 in Singapore! (Below picture: Jin Peng doing some decent observation)
Then I start to spilt a multiple star system in Sigma Orionis, just bottom of the belt of Orion. Very bright stars, can see at least, A,B, C, D and my eye just cant find the E. Some can tell me see F, that answer make the area so smoky… Then some finally tecklim and ah heng from RP came. So I take a break, while mooey start setup its new toy, is pink in colour! 4 inch china made scope! And while he fitting the finder, it drop on the sandy ground. OWNAGE! Finder have not yet had its first star light, but first fall.(Below Picture: Mooey and his pink scope)
Soon I entertain myself and find M35, as Gemini is rising… more meteors and fireball seen… All the woo…ahhh… At a glance I thought M35 are large, rich in stars, while eyepiece is stars…
M41 was next. Located in canis major, this is one of the easier to find open cluster for the winter skies. In the finder you can see the obvious lumpy patch. There is a reddish-orange star in it.
Mars was in the area too. I took a look at the disk. Getting brighter since last week, i guess opposition would make a very nice view.
I noticed lepus was pretty obvious, So I try find m79. M79 is one of the very few gobular cluster available in this season. I have no idea why but I say I cant find it, then mooey say “I saw it in the binoculars.” Kena own… Took me quite a while to find it as it's pretty small. A 12.5mm was used. It appears very round with a core bright enough to notice it. Very fuzzy small ball.
Then wanted to find NGC 2362 but lazy, see mooey got chair to sit, tempting sia… I want to own one chair too! So then spotted PJC peeps, so go around entertain them, and another side there is a group of people, thought is astro peeps too, so when there and discover is a group of students not from any astro clubs, youths from the public came in a group of 7-8, came and enjoy the meteors. So invite them to join us and have a mini interaction, mingle with them and show them mars, Saturn was up too, nice disk. (Below picture: Venus shine brightly before sunrise)
Somehow, not much has been seen and lots of time had passed. Before the sunrise, we see the bright Venus, and mooey ask me to take a look at a galaxy, seriously forget the name but amazing.
Then tata, photo taking time and all dismiss by around seven plus. Then mooey, tecklim and ah heng and I waited… the PST! Yes, solar ob time… and the sun finally rise after some waiting. See the sun sprew out something at 5o’clock of the view of the sun… not bad, but getting very tired, we decided to leave. (Below picture: Yew Tee from NP viewing the sun through the PST)
Below are the group photos. Thanks to RJ ppl taking the group pics.
posted at 11:48 PM
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
3 December 2007! What a great day with good weather the whole day!
We have nice sunny day and is windy, great! And a clear night sky, COOL!
Tonight I harvest M31, 35, 41, 42, 45, 37, 38, 39, Mars, NGC 2362. What a great time viewing telescope tonight...
Yawn... So for those of you who are at home. Try every night peep out of the windows and try to identify the constellations, it can be outside your kitchen window! Grab a star chart or a stellarium in your laptop and start training!
Get prepare for the Geminids Immersion Camp 2007!
posted at 12:03 AM
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