Time: 20:15-23:00 (local time)
Observing site: El Retamar (2100m), Teide N.P., Tenerife, Spain
Instrument: L80/400mm (3” refractor)
Darkness of the background sky: 1
Weather: Clear sky, light wind, +13 – +12 C
Objects observed: Messier 19, 54, 55 62, 69, 70, NGC 6822
During the second night of my week on Tenerife, I drove to the same place on the Teide mountain to do observing, actually this time the place was about 100 m forward along the road from my previous place last night.
Last night weather and observing conditions were ideal, and so were they also know, only thing that was causing some challenges was fresh breeze, that was prevailing during the second night.
Tonight I continued observing the southern Messier objects that are not visible from Finland. Tonight my first target was globular cluster Messier 62 in the southernmost part of Ophiuchus on the Ophiuchus-Scorpius borded. My notes of this object are as follows:
A small, rather faint globular cluster, gets brighter towards core, not resolved.
From Messier 62 I went on to observe Messier 19, which is another globular cluster in southern Ophiuchus. I wrote following notes of this object:
A small, quite well concentrated globular cluster. The cluster gets brighter towards the core, the cluster is not resolved.
The area near the center of the Milky Way which is located in Sagittarius is the promised land for friend of globular clusters. After two globular clusters, there was also third one similar looking globular cluster, this time Messier 69 located within the teapot asterism of Sagittarius, 2,5 degrees NE from epsilon Sagittarii. I wrote following notes of this object:
A small, rather faint globular cluster, gets brighter towards the core, not resolved.
Messier 69 was not the end of my tour of southern globular clusters in the area of Sagittarius, also the next target of the night was a globular cluster in Sagittarius! This object was Messier 70, located 2,5 degrees east from Messier 69. Of Messier 70, I wrote as follows:
A small, faint globular cluster, not resolved.
There are many globular clusters in Sagittarius, and with instrument of this size, they all look pretty much similar, unresolved nebulous patches of dim light. Also the next target, Messier 54 is like that. It is located in the teapot of Sagittarius, less than 2 degrees west from zeta Sagittarii. I wrote as follows of this object:
A small, faint globular cluster, gets brighter towards the core, not resolved.
Then there was one more Messier globular cluster in Sagittarius to be observed! That object was Messier 55 located 8 degrees ESE from zeta Sagittarii. In this location, this object is quite isolated from the other globulars in the constellation. This was also the last Messier object that I observed during this trip. Now I had observed all Messier objects excluding Messier 68 and 83 that I still have to observe during another trip! Of Messier 55 I wrote as follows:
Pretty large and bright globular cluster, gets slowly brighter towards the core. Not resolved.
After having observed all Messier objects (except two mentioned above), it was time for me to go on to observe southern Caldwell and Hidden treasures (by Stephen O’Meara) that are always below horizon in Finland.
My first such object was NGC 6822 (Caldwell 57) also known as Barnard’s galaxy in the northern part of Sagittarius constellation. Barnard’s galaxy is a barred irregular galaxy and it is member of the Local Group. In it’s location, it rises above horizon also in Finland, but it’s always at low altitude. Because of it’s low altitude in Finland, it is next to impossible target in Finland. And it wasn’t a piece of cake in Tenerife either! Of this object, I wrote as follows:
Extremely faint galaxy, barely visible at times with averted vision and sweeping. Long axis is propably SW-NE oriented. A very challenging object!