OR: First Light At "Tranquility Base" 8/27/22

This was my first trip to a place those who joined me have dubbed "Tranquility Base" in California's Santa Lucia coastal mountain range. I was certainly impressed. Sunset with all of us in shadow and the mountain to our south lit in gold tones, clear blue sky overhead, about a dozen cars filled with kids, new observers and experienced observers, Imagers, some who are becoming familiar faces. This new remote site was easy to get to on a good road, quiet to the point of no crickets or coyotes, and no (seriously, zero) vehicular traffic at night. Even the next morning the place was a treat to wake up to. No required "get out time" making for an unrushed easy pack up and departure home.

During the night I did a Finnish Triangles star count in Cepheus and came away with limiting magnitude 7.1. A new worthwhile place.

I was at the eyepiece early, working on Palomar, Djorgovski and Terzan globulars, and even more so on Abell Planetaries - there are sure a bunch up right now. The Pals and Abells worked well, but some of the others in the heart of the Milky Way presented real star hopping challenges. I'll return to them though.

Here's what views I came away with it.

Mark Wagner

IC 1257 17 27 08.4 5" 13

172X dim haze between directly on line between two bright stars about 14' apart, around 3' in diameter, easily noticeable.

Abell 45 PK 20-0.1 = PN G020.2-00.6 18 30 15.4 -11 36 56 302"x281" 12.8

104X larger oval at 172X annular and broken, pronounced with edge brightness to W and SW, other side to E shows wisp.

Abell 46 PK 55+16.1 = PN G055.4+16.0 18 31 18.9 +26 56 17 63"x60" 13.8 15

104x exceedingly dim, just contrast brightening round haze with ragged edges if there is an edge. Fills approx 12'.

Abell 50 PK 78+18.1 = NGC 6742 = PN G078.5+18.7 18 59 19.7 +48 27 57 31"x30" 13.4

293X small bright slightly elongated wnw with bright star to sw 6'. Slightly annular.

IC 1276 (Palomar 7) 18h 10m 44.20s -07° 12' 27.4" 10.34 8 5.4

293X three resolved stars over a dim round haze, small, estimate 8'. Easy location between a wide pair brightest in field and above very bright elongated acute naked eye trio.

Terzan 11 18h 12m 15.80s -22° 44' 31.0" 15.63 1 6.9

293x small dim round glow unresolved, but four stars overlaying, brightest to the west, next two north-south, occasionally a fourth to east. "There but not."

Pal 8 18h:41m:29.9s -19d:49m:33s 5.20 11.02

172X round, obvious, unresolved, dim, 9'. 294X granularity, stars overlaying northern edge.

Pal 9 18h:55m:06.2s -22d:42m:03s 5.40 9.28

293X bright ,resolved or overlayed with fiend stars, actually intense for Pal glob.

Abell 51 PK 17-10.1 = PN G017.6-10.2 19 01 01.1 -18 12 15 64"x58" 14 15.4

102X large round annular glow brighter edges, with star in center.

Abell 55 PK 33-5.1 = PN G033.0-05.3 19 10 30.4 -02 21 02 47"x32" 13.2

102X large round and dim with brighter edges, easy location, somewhat averted.

Abell 57 PK 58+6.1 = PN G058.6+06.1 19 17 06 +25 37 30 40"x34" 14.4 17.7

172X three bright stars arcing along the west and northwest edge,dim
star on east edge,, dimmer star in the center. Perhaps 12' with defined
southern edge, somewhat defined northern edge. Contrast change over
outside in the center.

Abell 72 PK 59-18.1 = PN G059.7-18.7 20 50 02.0 +13 33 28
134"x121" 12.7 16.1

I jumped ahead to this one, as someone wanted to get a view of it. 102X round, featureless gray contrast increase, sits just touching small flat isosceles triangle of stars with brightest at apex opposite nebula.