observation log – 28/08/2006

On the eve of ganesha festival, amar,akarsh,rakesh,nithesh and me set out for an observing trip to hosahalli. We were at first thinking of going by bus but after some persuation by Rakesh, we went in his car. At the time of leaving, the sky was beautiful and blue. So we were expecting good skies. But as we were reaching hosahalli, we began to see dark rain clouds which covered the entire sky. we went to hosahalli expecting the sky to clear by 10 P.M or so. At first, it started clearing in patches and then in no time, the sky was clear. I saw the best ever Sagittarius milky way yesterday. the northern milky way was also very prominent. We had taken akarsh’s 8″f/8 newtonian reflector there along with my 4.5″f/9 celestron newtonian reflector.Me and akarsh assembled the scopes while amar was giving a sky-tour to rakesh and nithesh.after assembling, we first saw jupiter which we first mistook for an aeroplane! it was so damn bright!! then amar showed us M 22 in sagittarius… man this was marvellous! it appeared like stars were sprinkled on the centre of the globular! it was beautifully resolved!! then we saw M 80 in scorpius.. this was cometary in appearance… small and dense.. in the mean time, i was preparing to take some astrophotos through my 50mm f/2 pentax camera piggybacking it on my 4.5″.. after setting that up, i took two shots of sagittarius, each of 5 minutes duration. I had no referrence lines for tracking, so i had to use a dust speck in the eyepiece of my scope.. i dont know how good these have come.. coz i wasnt too happy with my tracking.. after taking these two pictures, i went back to observing and saw the globular cluster M 30 in capriconus.. this was just a patch of light! i couldnt make out any details.. after that, i took on the challenge of finfing helix nebula in aquarius without a finderscope. i forgot to mention that my finderscope got dislodged during assembly of the scope and as a result, i had to do without it. i took a real lot of time to find it…. i took about 20 minutes to find this object. this object was really faint and extremely large! i then tried to search for plabetary nebula M 76 in perseus… i drifted 30 degrees and found andromeda galaxy! at that particular time, that galaxy had degraded to it’s worst! only the core was visible and nothing else was!

then, we saw something peculiar in the sky… it was a “blinking star” which wouldnt stay in one position but keep moving.. amar saw this through the scope and said that it was a “blinking star”,that’s it… no more details could be seen…. then i started observing with amar who was hunting galaxies in andromeda and cepheus… he showed us two galaxies and man were they faint!! by this time orion had risen and i took a tracked photogarph of orion tracked for 5 minutes… by this time, twilight had set in.. and we packed up and left hosahalli at 6 A.M we were in bangalore by 8:30 A.M…. it was a nice trip. i really cant wait to go again… the photos taken by me are being developed and will be posted tomorrow….




6 Responses to “observation log – 28/08/2006”

  1. The cynic Says:

    cool…amar’s excellant company..especially if you want to increase your deepsky count..
    Mine had been relatively stagnant at 50 for about 2-3 years now ..lol..most of it being bright messiers and brighter ngc clusters…In one night ..It’s shot well past 100…and 90% of the new additions are amar’s galaxies !

  2. digirak Says:

    You guys must now of an amazing discobvery by sashank at the same time, which he out of gr8 humilty I am sure left out. Soem where around 1230 I guess..he let out a violent yell, of discovery, we gathered that he had apparently discovered a comet, well our on field comet expert Amar was called and he verily verified the discovery.
    Nitesh and myself were relative newcomers so we just loooked on thoroughly stupified at the celebration. Akarsh was by now all over Sashank’s telescope and was strangely very quite, he just turned around, smug smile on his face, “Guys thats Andremeda galaxy”, the haze had just tricked the comets out of us [:)]
    Hey lets kep having awesome fun liek this, no offfense intended, but it was an awesome experience [:)]

  3. hjshashank Says:

    oh yes…. that was fun… for sure. me and akarsh still dont know what DESTROYED andromeda galaxy at that particular time! i am expecting some more “discoveries” in the near future 😀

  4. akarshsimha Says:

    Well… actually Amar pointed that out first…. that the stuff was M31… but then I had realised that what he was pointing to was some damn Naked eye object in the sky, but I was too slow to realise that it was Andromeda Galaxy. Shows that I have a long long way to go as far as my knowledge of the sky goes!!!

  5. amar10sharmaa Says:

    First when Akarsh and Shashank called me and asked me to verify what that object was, I came and looked into the eypiece. After peeking there I too was a little surprised as to it’s existance, I unknowingly moved it here and there, and saw two companions of the Andromeda galaxy. Just as both of them had loudly yelled that it was a “new comet discovery” I yelled back saying “It is Andromeda galaxy”. Poor chaps !! All that over-excitement just got drained our of their face =)) because I had stripped them out of their rights of discovering India’s first comet ever !! Ya no one except Prof. Vainu Bappu has done it in entire India’s history.

    But initially even I was confused as there was no way Andromeda galaxy could have looked like that, without it’s spiral arms. And the position of the finder scope was also moved by way more than 10 degrees so there was just no way possible to know where we are looking in the sky.

  6. amar10sharmaa Says:

    Continuing from the previous topic of “discovering India’s first comet” I would like to make a bold statement here. Well, Akarsh and Shashank both that day who came close to a “comet discovery” know very very well that the first discovery in India by an Indian from Indian soil is going to be made only by ME. I’m extremely confident of this statement. And very soon I’ll start working for it and just after that I’ll prove the worth of this statement. Both of them are aware of my excessive mad obsession with comets and that Mother India has kept the first comet discovery copyrighted only for me…no one else will be getting it before that. I hope this statement will be useful for future reference. So keep it carefully.

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