16
January
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Observing Report: SHARPLESS 2-240 LOG DESCRIPTION

Posted: January 16, 2017
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By Scott Kranz

Sharpless 2-240 (Simeis 147) 05 40 33.9 +27 57 04 (J2000.0)
Date: 11/2/2013
Location: ASKC DSS
Time: 01:42 CDT
Seeing: above average transparency, SQM 21.34
Instrument: 20-inch f/4.3 dob
Eyepiece(s): 17 Nagler = 148x = 33’, 12 Nagler = 209x = 23’

Sharpless 2-240 is a supernova remnant that is roughly 3,000 light-years away and 40,000 years old. It is 3.5° by 3.2° in size. While this supernova remnant was climbing much higher in the sky now, I spent nearly two hours picking out the brighter areas. I’ve searched and logged three of the brighter areas once before, but with the night being as good as it was, I went through and tried to tease more out of the huge object. Most times the filaments were visible without a filter. An Ultra-high contrast filter helped to isolate them more, but it didn’t really help to show more detail. All were seen with averted vision only at some level and usually seen best as the area moved into the Field of View and then lost for a bit once I stopped moving the scope. I started on the west side, star-hopping from beta Taurus, El Nath and worked my way around counterclockwise.

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:15
09
July
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Location, Location, Location

Posted: July 09, 2016
(2 votes)

By Jim Ketchum (Master Observer Certificate #3)

If any of you have ever bought or sold a house you have heard what realtors say are the three most important factors to consider, “Location, location, location.” Although it’s somewhat a tongue in cheek saying, it holds a lot of truth. The same could be said about our little corner of the universe. You probably have heard the expression “life-habitable zone.” These “zones” are extremely important to sustain life as we know it. And they are extremely rare. If Earth were any closer or farther away from the sun, life would not exist on this planet. That’s just one of over a hundred factors that determine our existence on this “pale blue dot.” If any of these factors were to change, conditions would be unfavorable to sustain life on Earth. A side benefit to our location is that we reside in a very dark place, the Earth’s moon not withstanding. In fact, Earth’s solar system resides in the darkest part of the Milky Way Galaxy’s life-habitable zone. Even more interesting, the Milky Way resides in the darkest life-habitable region of its galaxy cluster, which lies in the darkest life-habitable region of its supercluster of galaxies.

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:15
30
June
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My Dark Adaption Secret

Posted: June 30, 2016
(1 Vote)

By Jim Ketchum (Master Observer Certificate #3)

You aren’t in this astronomy hobby for long before you hear about the importance of dark adaptation. It takes from 20 minutes to an hour to become dark adapted. I’m guessing the 20 minutes is the minimum and to become totally dark adapted it may take up to the hour listed. To take advantage of a dark night out observing — the longer the better. I’m sure we can all agree with that I’ve had the ability to see faint objects very well. Many times I’ve tried to point out a faint galaxy to someone at my telescope only to have the person say they couldn’t see it. Sometimes it was because of the person’s experience level at viewing small faint fuzzies. It does take practice. Other times it was simply a physical ability that stood in the way. I have sort of a secret that I believe gives me an advantage in seeing small, faint deep sky objects.

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:15

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