Observing on Mt. Teide 7./8.4.2016

Date: 7./8.4.2016
Time: 23:00-02:00 (local time)
Observing site: El Retamar (2100m), Teide N.P., Tenerife, Spain
Instrument: L80/400mm (3” refractor)

NELM: 6.3
SQM: 21.45-21.30
Darkness of the background sky: 1
Seeing: 2
Transparency: 1
Weather: Clear sky, calm in the beginning, gusty, moderate wind in the end, +6 C

Objects observed: NGC 3372, 3293, 3532, 2237 & 2244, 3228, 3621, 5102

The night between 7th and 8th of April 2016 was my third observing night during my second trip to Tenerife. During the night, I was observing again in the same site than during the previous nights. During the night, it was calm in the beginning, but towards the end of the session the wind started rising again.

NGC 3372

When I had arrived my observing site, I realized that constellation of Carina was partly visible below Vela in southern horizon, and that mayby it would be possible to observe some objects in that constellation. I started my trial by finding NGC 3372, the famous Carina nebula. To my surprise, I was able to locate it from the horizon, and even to make a decent observation of the nebula! Of course, the nebula wasn’t visible optimally, but anyway, I was able to observe it. When I was observing it, the altitude of the nebula was only 2 degrees. I made following notes of this observation:

I was surprised that I was able to see The Carina nebula at all from the horizon of Teide! Of course, it was at very low altitude, and only the brightest parts of the nebula were visible. I was able to see two or three separate parts of the nebula. The brightes part appeared as large and bright, triangle -shaped nebulosity, which was already weakly visible without OIII filter, but it becomes well visible with the filter. The long axis of this part of the nebula is in N-S orientation, the tip of the triangle is pointing towards north. in the southern side of the triangle, there is another relativey bright nebulosity. In the W side, there appears to be very weak nebulosity.

160407-08_NGC 3372
NGC 3372 observed with 3” refractor.

NGC 3293

As I had now proven to myself, that it is possible to observe some objects in Carina from the horizon of Teide, I went on to to bserve more objects in that constellation. My next stop was NGC 3293, an open cluster in Carina, located less than two degrees NW from Carina nebula. Of this object I wrote following notes:

A small, compact and bright-starred copen cluster, very beautiful!

160407-08_NGC 3293
NGC 3293 observed with 3” refractor.

NGC 3532

After having observed that open cluster, there was still one more object for my on my list in Carina. That object was open cluster NGC 3532, located less than three degrees NE from the Carina nebula. Of this object, I wrote following notes:

Very large, bright and rich cluster! The cluster is elongated in shape (long axis in W-E direction). The cluster has pretty even brightness range. The cluster is well detached and somewhat concentrated. The stars weem to be quite faint (may be caused by low altitude), but still this is pretty impressive sight.

160407-08_NGC 3532
NGC 3532 observed with 3” refractor.

NGC 2237, 2244

Following object is above horizon also in Finland, but Finnish winter conditions often make observing this object very difficult. This object is NGC 2237, the famous Rosette -nebula. There is also an open cluster associated with the nebula, known as NGC 2244. This object is extensive and very large roughly a ring- or donut -shaped nebula around NGC 2244, and ideally the sky should be pretty dark if one is about to otbserve this nebula. In Finland in wintertime the sky usually doesn’t get dark enough, because there is snow on the ground reflecting light to the sky. But its’ different thing in Tenerife, where the sky was dark! That’s why I decided this object from Tenerife instead of Finland. Here are my notes of my observation:

Very large and faint, ring-shaoed nebula (NGC 2237) surrounding open cluster NGC 2244. The westernmost half of the nebula is most obvious one, other parts are fainter. The nebula becomes visible with OIII filter and averted vision.

160407-08_NGC 2237, 2244
NGC 2237, 2244 observed with 3” refractor.

NGC 3228

After compliting my observation of the Rosette -nebula, I went on to constellation of Vela to observe an open cluster NGC 3228. This cluster is located less than 5 degrees SW from mu Velorum. Of this object, I wrote following notes:

A rather small, pretty faint-starred and compact open cluster.

160407-08_NGC 3228
NGC 3228 observed with 3” refractor.

NGC 3621

My next object was NGC 3621, a very faint nearly edge on -galaxy in Hydra. This galaxy is located 3 degrees SW from xi Hydrae. Of this galaxy, I wrote following notes:

A very faint, edge on galaxy, long axis in NW-SE direction, no structure visible.

160407-08_NGC 3621
NGC 3621 observed with 3” refractor.

NGC 5102

The last object for this night was NGC 5102, a lenticular galaxy in Centaurus, just 18′ ENE from iota Centauri. Of this object I wrote following notes:

A small, faint edge on-galaxy, the galaxy has a pretty bright core, best visible with averted vision.

160407-08_NGC 5102
NGC 5102 observed with 3” refractor.

So, this was my third observing night on Mt. Teide during my second observing trip.


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