Already Set-Up And Waiting To Observe Tonight. Planning Another Look At The Helix Nebula, After 30 Years. Also Hoping For My First View Of Galaxy, NGC 7184 In Aquarius, Which Is The November 2022 Observer’s Challenge Object

August 29th, 1992 and now 30 years ago:

Attending Observers:

Tom English, Chris Glaves, Tom Greene, Ken Vassey, Charlie Rhoden, Bob Eskridge, David Brooks and his son, and myself met at the Guffey Site for an observing session that lasted till the early morning hours. There was a lot of moisture, and even some fog, but it was still a worthy night.Two people that observed that night have since passed away:

Charlie Rhoden: Cyclist and former NC State Road Racing Champion for five years, and also a multiple year, Time Trial Champion. He was a licensed Pharmacist and Drug Store owner. His cause of death was Pulmonary Fibrosis. No one really knows what causes this disease, but I would never have thought that Charlie would die of a lung disease. He was indeed a world-class cyclist, and someone that I rode thousands of miles with over the years.

Tom Greene: A great guy and a maintenance engineer at the local Celanese Plant. Tom died of a heart attack.

Telescopes at the August 1992 observing session:

Celestron C-8, Coulter 10-inch, 16-inch Dob, 14.5-inch Dob, 13.1-inch Coulter Dob, and my 10-inch f/4.5 EQ reflector.

The Guffey Site is a pasture, with planted grass used to bale and feed cows. It is a fairly dark location, with an excellent southern view.

It was during this session that I made my first observation of the Helix Nebula. I was using my 10-inch reflector, using magnifications of (26 mm EP @ 44x) and also (9 mm @ 127x) with and without a UHC filter.

It’s always good to document your observing sessions, not only the deep-sky objects observed, but who was there also observing…if anyone, and/or what’s happening in the world. It will make some interesting reading for the future.

The nebula exceeded my expectations, after wanting to see it for at least a couple of years. So tonight I hope to see the Helix again. But my primary target tonight is galaxy NGC 7184, which is very close to the Helix.

Plans to observe the Helix Nebula, and galaxy NGC 7184 tonight. Saturday, October 15th 2022:

I already have my 10-inch set-up in the back yard, but having to use my “much smaller” and manual mount.

Photos below…Ready for tonight: I have always found that I do my best, when everything is set-up and ready several hours before sunset.

NGC 7184, might be difficult to find from my suburban back yard due to the sparse number of stars in the field. This would be the perfect object for my GoTo mount, but far too heavy to take into the yard.

10:49 PM, Saturday October 15th 2022: The Helix Nebula, and galaxy NGC 7184.

I was able to see the Helix, which was my first time in 30 years. Very large, irregular texture, with a “puffy” appearance. I used a 20mm Erfle eyepiece with a UHC filter. The nebula was invisible without the filter.

It was amazing that I could see the Helix from my backyard, looking over the city of Boiling Springs.

I also used an 11mm EP without a filter to plot the stars encompassing the nebula, and also embedded stars.

Note: I’ll share my sketch of the Helix later, which is my first. Unfortunately, I didn’t make a sketch from that pasture, known as the Guffey Site in August 1992.

I was able to see galaxy, NGC 7184:

The galaxy was extremely difficult, mostly due to the far southerly position. However, I could see it was elongated, oriented NE-SW. The core was very bright, but the surrounding halo was extremely faint, requiring averted vision, and then….only intermittently.

More on this galaxy later….including my sketch.

Explore posts in the same categories: Roger's Articles

%d bloggers like this: