Deep sky -meeting 6.-8.9.2013

Group photo of the Deep sky -meeting 2013 (not all participants present). Photo: Juha Ojanperä

The deep sky -observers of Finland gathered again to the annual Deep sky -meeting to the Tähtikallio Observatory, Artjärvi. The meeting was organized in early September, in the weekend 6.-8.9.2013. The total number of participants was about 30. During the meeting, we heard many interesting lectures about different topics, for example Veikko Mäkelä gave a presentation about the revision project of the Messier objects -observing guide book.

We were blessed with clear skies during both nights of the event, and all of the telescopes of Tähtikallio Observatory were in active use during the whole event! Besides the fixed telescopes of the observatory, also a transportable 25” (63 cm) Obsession telescope was there on the event site, and at least Iiro Sairanen was making some observing with it. Both visual- and photographic observations were made. For example, I observed following objects with the gigantic 36” Astrofox telescope of Tähtikallio observatory: IC 1296, Parsamian 21, Abell 4 and NGC 4319 & Markarian 205.


First night: 6.-7.9.2013

During the first night of the event, we were observing visually together with Riku Henriksson and Marko Tuhkunen with the 36” Astrofox -telescope.

IC 1296


IC 1296 is a small and faint spiral galaxy only 4′ NW of Messier 57, and it is overlooked by many. This galaxy appears as an elongated, fuzzy nebula with almost stellar core. The long axis of this galaxy is oriented in SW-NE -direction, so this galaxy is oriented in similar way than Messier 57. With averted vision, it is possible to see hints of spiral structure in the NW and SE sides of the galaxy.

Parsamian 21


Parsamian 21 is a small reflection nebula in the constellation of Aquila. There aren’t many visual observations of this object in the whole world yet, and with Riku Henriksson, we propably made the first visual observations of this object in Europe, or even the whole world!

This small reflection nebula was relatively easy to see visually with this instrument. The object has a really comet-like appearance! The nebula has a tail pointing northwards roughly to position angle 360°. The star lighting-up this nebula is embedded within the ‘head’ of the nebula. The star itself wasn’t visible visually.

Abell 4


Abell 4 is a small planetary nebula in Perseus, only about 40′ east of Messier 34. With OIII -filter, this planetary nebula was visible as a round, featureless disk. With the filter, the nebula was easy to see. The central star wasn’t visible.

Second night: 7.-8.9.2013

During the second night, I was observing visually with Marko Tuhkunen with the Astrofox -telescope. During the first couple of hours of the night, we were giving a star show for a group of visitors, who haven’t ever been observing with a telescope like this! During this star show, we observed for example Messier 57, Messier 51, NGC 7009 and planet Uranus. All the objects we watched were absolutely stunning and awesome when seen through a telescope of this size! The visitors were also happy to see the celestial objects with this unusually large instrument! After the visitors had left, we were doing some group observing with the participants. For example, we viewed galaxy NGC NGC 4319 & quasar Markarian 205 and also many other ‘eye-candy’ objects. NGC 4319 & Markarian 205 was the only object that I could properly observe and sketch.

NGC 4319 & Markarian 205

juoja_ngc_4319 & markarian 205

NGC 4319 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Draco, Markarian 205 is a quasar just 1′ south of the galaxy. The distance of the galaxy is about 70 million light years, whereas the quasar is much more further away, the distance of it is about 1 billion light years! NGC 4319 was visible as an oval-shaped nebula with bright, stellar core. The long axis of the galaxy is oriented in NW-SW -direction. The visual size of the galaxy is roughly 2´x1´. In the NW and SE edges of the galaxy, hints of the spiral structure can be seen. The quasar Markarian 205 was visible as a star-like object 1′ south of the core of NGC 4319. The brightness of the quasar is roughly 15 magnitudes.


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