Observation Report from Coyle Field 07/12/02
Well, it was deja vu all over again. I pulled up to Coyle Field and there was a sight I’ve seen on only one other occasion 2 yrs ago. There were tents and Army men all over the field. They were not the big problem though, the huge 1,000,000-watt light they had going was. As the 3 of us sat in our three cars figuring what to do, some of them came over to see what we were doing. Luckily, I recognized one of them from last time. It was the man in charge. He welcomes me and orders his men to “Shut That Light!” I didn’t realize I had such pull. Anyway, we set up with a crown of about a dozen army men watching us with great anticipation. By 10:15 or so, the waiting was over and several guys got their first look at Deep Sky Objects. Of course, this time of year you must start with M13. The night was clear and dark. The air moderately still. M13 directly overhead looked spectacular. I heard someone say it looked like a fiber optic cable broken on the end. During the night we compared M13 with M22. I say M22 was the winner tonight, but I was not in the majority. The Ring Nebula M57 was the second target for the Army. All were very impressed. One guy thought the most exciting object of the night was a satellite that passed overhead. He talked about it the whole time they were there. We showed them M51 with spiral arms clearly visible. M8, the Lagoon nebula was outstanding, even better with the Ultra Block Filter. The Blinking Planetary in Cygnes NGC6826 was very popular. We showed them a few more Messiers including M92, M7, M17 and more I just can’t remember. They had enough and hit the sac about 11:30. Then the real serious observing began.
By around 11:00 my scope was pointed in the direction of Sagittarius and Scorpius where it stayed the duration of the night. It’s just such a rich area filled with real dim objects to hunt down and bright objects to marvel at. Some of the Highlights of items I’ve seen before of note were, NGC6544/6553 two Globular clusters in the same field of view. No resolution of stars here, just a wonderful sight. Another good pair was NGC6440 a Globular and NGC6445 a planetary in the SFOV. Real nice contrasting items. NGC6302 the Bug Nebula looked great. Real bright center with bright extensions like 2 tuning forks on either side. I don’t know how many objects I looked at. Between what I got from my favorites log book and stuff I have logged as seen, well, I didn’t keep trace. I was using the Uranametria South book. There where so many objects to look for, many too dim for my scope but I gave them a shot anyway. Many Planetary nebulas and Globular cluster were out of my reach. These are the ones I found.
NGC6072 – PN, Scor, mag. 14, dia 1.2’, Saw this with the filter only. Couldn’t see it without. Just a round patch on light. Surprisingly big for a seeable 14th magnitude object.
NGC6144 GC, Scor, mag. 9.1 dia 9.3, big dim grainy object.
NGC6565 PN, Sag, mag. 13, dia 12”, Small starlike object. A little fatter than the stars makes it a good find.
NGC6603 OC, Sag, mag 11.0, dia 5.0’. Excellent item. If you haven’t seen this, it’s the open cluster within the star cloud M24. It’s a very dense patch of stars within the cloud. Resembles a fully resolved globular cluster.
NGC6638 GC, Sag, mag 9.2, dia 5.0’, nice size globular. Bright center, smoky out side.
NGC 6642 GC, Sag, mag. 8.8, dia 4.5’, Round, symmetric with a very bright center dot. No resolution.
That was about it for the new items I found. Many of the revisited objects looked new because I have seen them only once or twice. We started packing up about 1:30 and were on the road by 2:00. I would have stayed longer but it’s summer and I have to get up do stuff with the kids. Beside streak cloudy started rolling in which is the signal for us to roll out. It was a great night.