Observing site: Stormälö, Parainen, Finland
Instrument: N250/1200 mm (10” Newton)
SQM: 21.22 – 21.35
Darkness of the background sky: from 1 (a scale from 1 to 5, 1 best, 5 worst)
Seeing: 2 (a scale from 1 to 5, 1 best, 5 worst)
Weather: Clear sky, calm, no Moon, only very little snow, aurora arc in northern horizon
Objects observed: NGC 2232, 2251, 2286 and 2311
During the night between 17th and 18th of February, I was able to do some visual deep sky observing in Stormälö, Parainen. During the night, observing conditions were rather good! Sky was clear, Moon was absent and there wasn’t much snow on the ground. During the night I observed following objects: NGC 2232, 2251, 2286 and 2311. All of these are open clusters in Monoceros and all of them are also listed in Herschel 400 observing list.
My first object of the observing session was NGC 2232, an open cluster in SW corner of Monoceros. This cluster is rather large, it’s diamterer is 30′ which is comparable with diameter of full Moon! Of this object I wrote following notes:
@32x: Relatively large open cluster, moderately concentrated and detached, rather large brightness range, not very rich.
My next target was yet another open cluster in Monoceros. This cluster was NGC 2251, which is located near the famous Cone nebula, less than 2 degrees SW from it. I wrote following lines about this cluster:
@50x: a rather small, faint open cluster, the cluster has triangular shape, moderately detached, not very well concentrated.
My third object for this night was NGC 2286, yet another open cluster in Monoceros. This cluster is located about half way from beta Mon to delta Mon. About this cluster, I wrote following notes:
@50x: a faint-starred, scattered cluster, not very well detached, in rich star field.
My fourth and last object for this night was NGC 2311, an open cluster in Monoceros. This cluster is located about 5 degrees SW from delta Mon. This cluster is rather small and faint-starred. About this object, I wrote following notes:
@71x: a small, faint-starred open cluster, quite compact, well detached.
So this was my first observing session in February 2017. In february, I was able to do one more short observing session besides this, more about that later!