Observing site: Koski, Kullaa, Finland
Instrument: N250/1200 mm (10” Newton)
SQM: 20.82 – 21.11
Darkness of the background sky: 2 – 1
Weather: Clear sky, light breeze, some high clouds, +9 to -1C
Objects observed: IC 4997, NGC 3610, 3613, 3619, 5557
During Autumn 2016 I was on a quest to find a reasonably good dark sky -obsrving site near my home in Ulvila, Satakunta region, Finland. During the night between 5th and 6th of October 2016, I went on to check another potential dark sky site. This site is located in Kullaa, eastern part of Ulvila municipality near village of Koski. This place seems to be yet another small gravel quarry. The place is only 30 minutes from my home in Ulvila, so it is quite easy to go there when I want to do some observing under darker sky. The sky there is darker than for example in Ulvila observatory, but perhaps not as dark as in Saarijärvi, Lavia. Nevertheless, it should be a reasonably good option for a dark sky site!
During this session, I made 5 observations. My first object was IC 4997, a small but bright planetary nebula in the constellation of Sagitta. It is located in the easternmost corner of Sagitta constellation, just at the boundary to Delphinus. It can be found when moving for example 5 degrees SE from eta Sagittae. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
@120x, a very small planetary nebula, that appears stellar at all powers. The nebula is relatively bright, strong OIII response.
My second object during the night was NGC 3610, a galaxy in Ursa major. This galaxy can be located within the Big Dipper, for example when moving 3,5 degrees SE from alpha Ursae majoris. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
@120x, a small, relatively bright galaxy, the galaxy has an almost stellar and bright core.
My next object was yet another galaxy in Ursa major. This galaxy is located very close to NGC 3610, it can be located just 50′ south of NGC 3610. Of this galaxy, I wrote as follows:
@120x. a small, relatively bright galaxy, the galaxy has a pretty bright core, the galaxy is elongated, long axis is in W-E orientation.
After having observed two galaxies in Ursa major, I still had one galaxy in this constellation on my list for tonight. This galaxy was NGC 3619, which is actually residing in the same field with NGC 3613. It is located only 15′ SE from NGC 3613. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
@120x, a faint and small galaxy, the galaxy has even brightness distribution, and it possibly appears to have a small and faint stellar core. The galaxy seems to be slightly elliptical in shape, long axis of the galaxy appears to be in SW-NE orientation.
My fifth and last object for this night was NGC 5557, a galaxy located in the constellation of Bootes. It can be found when moving about 3 degrees SW from gamma Bootis. Of this galaxy, I wrote following lines:
@120x, a faint and roundish galaxy, even brightness distribution, best visible with averted vision and sweeping.
So that was my last observing session in October. In late September/early October we had a long period of clear skies here in Finland. During late September and early October, I was making observations during six nights in a row! 5/6 of these night were dedicated to deep sky observing, and during one night I just made quick routine variable star observations.