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Barnard's galaxy bagged...

Started by Zhimbo, 07/30/2003 08:13AM
Posted 07/30/2003 08:13AM Opening Post
I must be getting lots of vitamins these days. I also drove out to Michigan's "Dark Sky Preserve", Lake Hudson State Recreational Area, the best skies I have within a reasonable drive. I knew I wasn't going to get a better southern sky anytime soon, so I thought I'd give Barnard's galaxy another chance.

Knowing that Barnard's was near the "little gem" planetary, I pointed the scope (6" f8 dob) there and panned around at 50x (1.36 degrees). At one point I felt I saw just a hint of brightening of the background, very diffuse, very subtle. When I panned the scope, it moved, too. So diffuse, so subtle. I purposefully put it out of the field and slowly panned back, and saw it appear from the edge. SO diffuse, SO subtle. I sketched some distinctive asterisms in the field of view both above and below the "glow" (too strong of a word!), including a distinctive little "kite" or cross of faint-ish (about mag 11) stars just above (above = south). Later, Skytools confirmed it... Barnard's is exactly where I placed it in my sketch!

Needed to share... the wife just doesn't understand, and I won't be seeing any of my Astro buddies for a little while.

The seeing was also really good that night, and I was treated to a jaw-dropping view of Mars before I packed up. I ran out of magnification! I'm not equipped for really good seeing, since it's so rare in these parts.
Posted 07/30/2003 08:38AM #1
Congratulation and a two-thumb up, Jim! This one too was my 4-inch Light Cup's nemesis for 2 years until it was nabbed this year under a very dark 6000-foot sky. We now know where and what to look for, but it's incredible to me how Barnard could have found it!

Ron B[ee]
Posted 07/31/2003 08:20AM #2
From what I've read, it seems NGC6822 is easier to see using smaller apertures, or even good binoculars, as opposed to light buckets, which seems counterintuitive to me. After looking for it unsuccessfully for about a month, I observed it this past weekend from a dark site at 4200', using an 18" dob at 70x. It was pretty subtle. I used the same "kite" of 11th mag stars as a pointer.
Posted 08/05/2003 06:08AM #3
Jim,

As it turns out two of the many objects that I observed from a dark site in Pennsylvania's Tuscarora State Forest on 7/30 UT were NGC 6822 and NGC 6818. The conditions were excellent. I used my Tele Vue Geneis sdf refractor for those particular objects and many others as well. Also employed on that very busy night was Tony Donnangelo's 14.5" Starmaster.

Prior to this my smallest aperture observation of NGC 6822 was with a 114mm Newtonian.

Dave Mitsky

Chance favors the prepared mind.

De gustibus non est disputandum.