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NGC 3603

NGC 3603

Drawing data

NGC 3603 Car OC+DF
Date(s) of observation:
2012.06.16/17. Hakos
Place(s) of observation:
Hakos Astrofarm, Namibia, 1835m amsl.
Telescope(s) used:
16" f/4.5 Newtonian (Dobson)
Enlargement(s) used:
300x (6mm Planetary)
Field size:
Author / Observer:
Peter Kiss


NGC 3603 drawing inverted into positive.
NGC 3603 drawing inverted into positive.

Who has already seen the HST photo of NGC 3603 will not forget it: the tiny, compact open cluster is shining in the middle embraced by the orange veils of the nebula. The stars of the open cluster are twinkling in the little cave in the middle of the nebula. The photo has a good feeling and it's also very exotic. One can tell that this is a southern object. This little gem was a very desirable target of mine on our trip to Namibia. To my surprise the real life look in the telescope doesn't lag much behind the photo. Apart from the colors and the delicate ripples one can see what is in the Hubble picture in the telescope as well.

The cluster is very small, about 40" and very bright. Some of its stars can be drawn by position but you can feel that it's mostly unresolved. The nebula is relatively bright as well. A nice, detailed veil surrounding the cluster. Only the inner edges and the northern side show some contrast.

I drew the skeleton of the field - about a dozen star positions (but not brightnesses) - into the sketch from Guide.

Comparison with the photograph

NGC 3603 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photo (resized).
NGC 3603 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photo (resized). Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Source:
NGC 3603 drawing (16" Newtonian telescope).
NGC 3603 drawing (16" Newtonian telescope). Peter Kiss

The above mentioned Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image can be seen to the left with my drawing next to it. My drawing has been rotated to match the orientation of the HST image. In this case the eyepiece impression was pretty convincing. It is woth comparing the stars as well. It will reveal the inaccuracies of the drawing.

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