Second Exploratory Trip to the Pinnacles

This a report on my second exploratory trip to the Pinnacles. (Please see the earlier blog post on the first trip for some of the details on the Pinnacles itself)

On Sunday 12-1, me and 4 others from the SJAA met down at the Pinnacles (Nhan Nguyen, Guna Purushothaman, Sanjaya Srivastava and Srinivas P) For me, this was a second exploratory trip. On the first trip I did some imaging, but on this trip my goal was to see how good the viewing could be at this dark location. Guna, and Srinivas were imaging and the rest of us were viewing.

I brought my 6 inch scope to see what could be seen with a modest size scope under the dark skies. As the sun went down, the Milky Way and other stars began to light up the night sky. Venus again was so bright it was casting a glow over southwest. As Venus set, I started to do some observing on some of the objects I have never been able to see from RCDO with my 12′ SCT. Here is a list of some of the objects.

NGC6960 – The Veil Nebula, Using a OIII filter and my 40mm 72 degree eyepiece both east and west sides of the Veil Nebula easily seen with shape and detail.

NGC7000 – The North American Nebula, Using a nebula filter and my 40mm 72 degree eyepiece this nebula was easily visible, showing the shape and some detail to it. I’ve tried many times from RCDO with the 12″ to see this but, never was able to, so I was quite happy to see it this time.

IC1396 – Elephant Trunk Nebula, Using a nebula filter and my 40mm 72 degree eyepiece I could barely make out some outline of the object. Need bigger scope for this one.

IC1318 – Gamma Cygni Nebula, Using a nebula filter and my 40mm 72 degree eyepiece I could barely make out some outline of the object. Need bigger scope for this one.

IC1805 – The Heart Nebula, Using a nebula filter and my 40mm 72 degree eyepiece I could make out outline of the object. A bigger scope is needed to see more detail of it

M74 – A nice face on galaxy Mag 9.39, Using my 14mm 100 degree eyepiece, I could easily see the object and the spiral arms. I’ve tried many times from RCDO with the 12″ to see this but, never was able to, so I was quite happy to see it this time.

M33 – Another nice galaxy, Using my 14mm 100 degree eyepiece, I could easily see the object and the spiral arms. I’ve tried many times from RCDO with the 12″ I could see a smudge, but never was able to see the spiral arms, so I was quite happy to see them this time.

IC342 – A nice face on galaxy Mag 8.39, Using my 14mm 100 degree eyepiece, for some reason, I could not see this one, even though it’s supposed to be brighter then M74. Might need a bigger scope to see this one.

Overall, we had a good time on this trip, I did learn that dark skies really do make a difference as far as what is visible to you in your scope. Kudos again to Nhan Nguyen for finding this site. I think there is a possibility for this location for club members who want to view at a dark site within 2 hours of home base. I’m planning to go back again when I have the opportunity. If you would like to go view at this site with others, let us know hopefully we can get a group of people to go again.

-Ed Wong

Posted in Articles, Observing Reports, Trip Reports

2 comments on “Second Exploratory Trip to the Pinnacles
  1. Sanjaya Srivastava says:

    It was nice and satisfying trip, I have a beginner telescope and it was fun observing the north sky. I got very good views of
    M31
    M110
    M33
    NGC 7000
    and NGC 884/869

    Next challenge is to get ring nebula.

    After coming back, I played with my Nikon control SW so I can focus and image properly.

    Having Ed, Nhan, Srini and Guna was educational and fun.

    Definitely recommend this site.

  2. Ed Wong says:

    Comment from: Sanjaya Srivastava

    It was nice and satisfying trip, I have a beginner telescope and it was fun observing the north sky. I got very good views of
    M31
    M110
    M33
    NGC 7000
    and NGC 884/869

    Next challenge is to get ring nebula.

    After coming back, I played with my Nikon control SW so I can focus and image properly.

    Having Ed, Nhan, Srini and Guna was educational and fun.

    Definitely recommend this site.

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