Two planetaries in winter sky

Date: 23./24.12.2013
Time: 21:15-23:10
Observing site: Ulvila observatory, Finland
Instrument: C/280/2750mm

NELM: 5.0
SQM: 20.57
Darkness of the background sky: 3
Seeing: 2
Transparency: 2
Weather: Clear sky, windy, +3C°, no Moon, no snow

Objects observed: NGC 2022, IC 2149

In the night between day before christmas eve and christmas eve, I went to the Ulvila observatory to do some observing. This time Moon wasn’t glowing in the sky, and there was no snow on the ground, and thus the background sky was relatively dark. That made me thinking about deep sky observing, especially because I hadn’t been doing that for a while.

During this night, I decided to observe two planetary nebulas, that are well located in the winter sky in this time of year in northern hemsphere! This objets were NGC 2022 and IC 2149.

NGC 2022 is a small planetary nebula in constellation of Orion. In the constellation, this object is easy to find, it is located just about 1,5° degrees SE from Lambda Orionis. I observed this object with the 11” Celestron of Ulvila observatory. I wrote following notes from my observation: @69x: a very small and faint nebula @367: rather small, round, diffuse nebula, no central star or internal structure O III didn’t improve the view much.

NGC 2022 observed with 11'' Catadioptric
NGC 2022 observed with 11” Catadioptric

The other target of the night was IC 2149, a very small but excessively bright planetary nebula in constellation of Auriga. About this target, I made following notes: @69x: bright, stellar object @183x: very small and bright disk, no more stellar @367x: bright, small, oval-shaped disk, the long axis of the oval is oriented in direction NNW-SSE. No central star or internal structure visible. This object appears as a very bright glowing disk with OIII, but it doesn’t improve the view much.

IC 2149 observed with 11'' Catadioptric
IC 2149 observed with 11” Catadioptric

So far, this winter has been unusually mild here in Finland. This year we didn’t have white christmas, at least not here in Southern Finland. It has also meant, that the weather has been very cloudy and rainy. But I was lucky to do at least some observing also in December, although the weather hasn’t been very favourable. And even now when i’m writing this post, there isn’t any snow on the ground, but according to the weather forecast, it should be getting colder, much colder, at least temporarily..

 

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Second night of Deep sky -meeting 2013

Date: 7./8.9.2013
Time: 22:00-05:00
Observing site: Tähtikallio Observatory, Finland
Instrument: N910/3680mm (36” Folded-newton)

NELM: 6.6
SQM: 21.20
Darkness of the background sky: 1
Seeing: 2
Transparency: 1
Weather: Clear sky, +10 °C, calm, no Moon, no aurorae

Objects observed: NGC 4319 & Markarian 205

During the second night of the Deep sky meeting 2013, I was observing visually with Marko Tuhkunen with the Astrofox -telescope. During the first couple of hours of the night, we were giving a star show for a group of visitors, who haven’t ever been observing with a telescope like this! During this star show, we observed for example Messier 57, Messier 51, NGC 7009 and planet Uranus. All the objects we watched were absolutely stunning and awesome when seen through a telescope of this size! The visitors were also happy to see the celestial objects with this unusually large instrument! After the visitors had left, we were doing some group observing with the participants. For example, we viewed galaxy NGC NGC 4319 & quasar Markarian 205 and also many other ‘eye-candy’ objects. NGC 4319 & Markarian 205 was the only object that I could properly observe and sketch.

NGC 4319 & Markarian 205

juoja_ngc_4319 & markarian 205

NGC 4319 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Draco, Markarian 205 is a quasar just 1′ south of the galaxy. The distance of the galaxy is about 70 million light years, whereas the quasar is much more further away, the distance of it is about 1 billion light years! NGC 4319 was visible as an oval-shaped nebula with bright, stellar core. The long axis of the galaxy is oriented in NW-SW -direction. The visual size of the galaxy is roughly 2´x1´. In the NW and SE edges of the galaxy, hints of the spiral structure can be seen. The quasar Markarian 205 was visible as a star-like object 1′ south of the core of NGC 4319. The brightness of the quasar is roughly 15 magnitudes.

First night of Deep sky -meeting 2013

Date: 6./7.9.2013
Time: 22:00-05:00
Observing site: Tähtikallio Observatory, Finland
Instrument: N910/3680mm (36” Folded-newton)

NELM: 6.6
SQM: 21.20
Darkness of the background sky: 1
Seeing: 2
Transparency: 1
Weather: Clear sky, +10 °C, calm, no Moon, no aurorae

Objects observed: IC 1296 (visual, sketching), Parsamian 21 (visual, sketching), Abell 4 (visual, sketching)

During the first night of Deep sky -meeting 2013, we were observing visually together with Riku Henriksson and Marko Tuhkunen with the 36” Astrofox -telescope.

IC 1296

juoja_ic_1296

IC 1296 is a small and faint spiral galaxy only 4′ NW of Messier 57, and it is overlooked by many. This galaxy appears as an elongated, fuzzy nebula with almost stellar core. The long axis of this galaxy is oriented in SW-NE -direction, so this galaxy is oriented in similar way than Messier 57. With averted vision, it is possible to see hints of spiral structure in the NW and SE sides of the galaxy.

Parsamian 21

juoja_parsamian_21-4

Parsamian 21 is a small reflection nebula in the constellation of Aquila. There aren’t many visual observations of this object in the whole world yet, and with Riku Henriksson, we propably made the first visual observations of this object in Europe, or even the whole world!

This small reflection nebula was relatively easy to see visually with this instrument. The object has a really comet-like appearance! The nebula has a tail pointing northwards roughly to position angle 360°. The star lighting-up this nebula is embedded within the ‘head’ of the nebula. The star itself wasn’t visible visually.

Abell 4

juoja_abell_4

Abell 4 is a small planetary nebula in Perseus, only about 40′ east of Messier 34. With OIII -filter, this planetary nebula was visible as a round, featureless disk. With the filter, the nebula was easy to see. The central star wasn’t visible.