Observing site: Stormälö, Parainen, Finland
Instrument: N250/1200 mm (10” Newton)
SQM: 20.8 – 21.15
Darkness of the background sky: from 2 to 1 (a scale from 1 to 5, 1 best, 5 worst)
Transparency: from 2 to 1 (a scale from 1 to 5, 1 best, 5 worst)
Weather: In the beginning some high clouds, then the sky cleared up, calm, humid air, from +5C to +1C
Objects observed: NGC 3147, 3982, 3998, Minkowski 1-92, NGC 4036, 4041 and 5907
During the night between 1st and 2nd of October 2016, I was able to have a second observing session in a row! During this session, I was also observig in Stomälö, Parainen. During this night, it was totally calm, and because of this humidity of air was causing problems. This night was also much colder than previous night, and in the beginning of the session there were some high clouds in the sky. Nevertheless, I was anyway able to observe 7 new objects in total!
My first object of this night was NGC 3147, a galaxy located in the westernmost part of Draco, just at the boundary to Ursa major. This galaxy can be found 7 degrees NW from lambd Draconis. About this object, I wrote following notes:
@120x, a small galaxy, pretty bright, rather round in shape, the brightness of the galaxy increases slightly towards the core, the core appears to be nearly stellar. This galaxy is rather easy object with 120x magnification.
The second object for me during the night was NGC 3982, a galaxy located in Ursa major. This galaxy resides in the famou Big Dipper, and it can be found when moving just 1,5 degrees north from gamma Ursae majoris. Of this object, I wrote as follows:
@120x, this galaxy appeared as a faint, diffuse, featureless glow with even brightness distribution. No details visible.
My next object was NGC 3998, yet another galaxy in Big Dipper. This galaxy is very close to the previous one, it is located only 24′ north from NGC 3982. Of this object, I wrote following lines:
@120x, a small, compact and bright galaxy, the galaxy has a bright, stellar core. The galaxy appears to be round in shape.
After having observed two galaxies in Big Dipper, I aimed my telescope to southwestern sky, where the celestial Cygnus was flying along the starry paths of the Milky Way! There my target this time was Minkowski 1-92, a famous planetary nebula also known as the “Footprint nebula”. It is a two-lobed bipolar nebula, whose shape resembles a figure of a footprint. It is a very small object, and ideally you would use much bigger instrument for observig it. But nevertheless, I wrote following notes of my observation:
@240x, this planetary nebula appeared as a very small, faint and practically stellar object. No details visible, poor OIII response.
After briefly visiting Cygnus for observing Minkowski 1-92, it was time for me to return to the northern sky, where the celestial bears are dwelling! Now I was there after NGC 4036, a galaxy in northen part of Ursa major. It can be found for example moving 6 edegrees east from alpha Ursae majoris. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
@120x, a small, bright galaxy with rather bright, almost stellar core, strongly elongated in shape, long axis in W-W orientation, the galaxy appears to be in edge on -orientation.
After having observed NGC 4036, I observed NGC 4041, another galaxy, that is residing very close to NGC 4036. Actually the galaxies are so close to each other, that they easily fit in the same field with low power. About this object I wrote as follows:
@120x, a small and faint galaxy, the galaxy gets slowly brighter towards the core, roundish in shape.
My seventh and last object for this session was NGC 5907, a great galaxy in the constellation of Draco. This galaxy that is visible in edge on -orientation to us, is famous for its flat and elongated shape. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
@120x, a faint, very thin and strongly elongated edge on -galaxy, the galaxy gets slowly brighter towards the core, the galaxy appears to have a core that is slightly brighter than the rest of the galaxy. The galaxy is best visible with averted vision and sweeping, the long axis of the galaxy is in NW-SE -orientation.
So, that was my first observing session in October 2016. I was still able to have some more observing session during this month, so keep tuned for more observing session reports!