From the notebooks 2 – Obscure Planetaries from Australia

Here are some more sketches from that 1997 trip Down Under. These are some of the more obscure planetary nebulae I observed on that trip. All of these sketches were made at the 1997 Queensland Astrofest at Lions Camp Duckadang, Linville, Queensland on 25/26th and 26/27th August 1997. The scope I used was a 20 inch Dobsonian.

Henize 2-111, Centaurus

Henize 2-141, Norma

Henize 2-207, Ara

Longmore 16, Scorpius

Menzel 1 (PK 322-2.1), Norma

Shapley 1 (PK 329+02.1), Norma


PK 322-5.1, Triangulum Australe

The observatory is still not up yet. That is because our weather has gone completely to pot and is now more like that of October than it is of mid-July. There are gale-force winds, low temperatures (17C/63F) and rain. Plenty of rain. This will please the miserable buggers who have moaned about the heat and lack of rain and who have now got their own way but I hate this crap and want summer back as soon as possible. Apart from anything else, there’s no observing to be had but even before the weather completely broke up we’d been stuck in a cycle of clear afternoons and cloudy nights for a couple of weeks.

I might have to rethink getting a big scope. I have not yet been able to find a permanent full-time job and the agency work has completely dried up, although I have some part-time seasonal work delivering tourist guides. I have an interview in two weeks’ time for a part-time data-entry job which offers just over £6000 ($9000) and if I get that, which won’t be enough on its own, I could at least combine it with the seasonal work. Unfortunately this seasonal job only lasts for the duration of the holiday season before dropping back to a few hours a week.
A 16″ Meade Lightbridge, at +/- £1800 is not beyond my financial reach on part-time/low wages but a custom-built scope at just over £3100 is, as things stand. Maybe I should just get a LB and then go for a custom-built David Lukehurst Dob when/if my work and financial situation improves? LB’s aren’t bad scopes with a bit of tweaking, although their mirror boxes are incredibly heavy for the size of the scope. Hopefully, though, by the time I have managed to put away £1.8K things might have improved.