Observing site: Ulvila observatory, Finland
Instrument: C280/2750mm (11” Catadioptric)
SQM: 19.20 – 19.60
Darkness of the background sky: 4
Weather: Clear sky, calm, snow on the ground, -2C
Objects observed: NGC 2281, 2158, 2129, 2440
In the night between 1st and 2nd of March 2016 after the club meeting of Porin Karhunvartijat at the Ulvila observatory, I stayed in the observatory after everyone else had already left as the sky was clear. During this session, I observed four objects: NGC 2281, 2158, 2129 and NGC 2440.
During my session, conditions were OK winter conditions. Moon was absent, and it wasn’t too cold. During this session, I was also able to test the recently bought Baader Hyperion Zoom ocular of our club. I was quite satisfied with the Zoom -ocular, image quality is good, stars are sharp and the overall quality of this eyepiece seems to be solid and good. I cannot find anything to complain about this eyepiece, not at least in the course of a short session like this.
My first object of the night was NGC 2281, an open cluster in the constellation of Auriga. The object is located near the psi -stars of Auriga, in the eastern part of the constellation, 10 degrees ESE from Beta Aurigae and less than degree SW from Psi 7 Aurigae. Of this object I wrote following notes:
@69x: A rather small and pretty cluster. The brightest stars of the cluster seem to be in a shape of an arc. The cluster is somewhat concentrated and detached. The cluster seems to have a large brightness range.
After having observed that not-so-well-known open cluster in Auriga, I went on to observe another often overlooked object in the constellation of Gemini. This object is NGC 2158, which is located just 30′ SW from Messier 35, a famous open cluster in Gemini. NGC 2158 is a very faint object, and it is overshadowed easily by the large and bright-starred Messier 35. But it is still a nice object to observe for the owners of larger telescopes. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
@172x: A small, faint and compact, well detached open cluster. The cluster lies just 30′ SW from M35. Most of the stars are barely visible, even with averted vision. The cluster is mostly visible as a glow. The cluster seems to be elongated in W-E direction.
My third object of the session was NGC 2129, another open cluster in Gemini. This object is located just at the border between Gemini and Taurus, 3 degrees WNW from eta Geminorum. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
@138x: A rather small, compact and well detached cluster. Not very rich, but still pretty. Brightest stars of the cluster are in shape of a triangle.
The last object of this night was NGC 2440, a small but bright planetary nebula in the northernmost part of constellation of Puppis. The object is located 9,5 degrees SE from Sirius. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
@229x: A small and bright planetary. It appears as a bright, glowing disk, that I suspect to be little bit elongated in NW-SE direction. It looks like as if there were some details visible just in the threshold of visibility, but I can’t be sure. OIII didn’t improve the view much.