Observing 25./26.3.2017 in Stormälö

Date: 25./26.3.2017
Time: 22:00-00:00
Observing site: Stormälö, Parainen, Finland
Instrument: N250/1200 mm (10” Newton)

NELM: 6.6
SQM: 21.32 – 21.36
Darkness of the background sky: from 1  (a scale from 1 to 5, 1 best, 5 worst)
Seeing: – (a scale from 1 to 5, 1 best, 5 worst)
Transparency: –
Weather: Clear sky, calm, no Moon, no snow, -2 – -7C

Objects observed: 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak , NGC 2964, 2968; 3226, 3227; 3607, 3608, 3599; 3681, 3684, 3686, 3691

This night was my first observing night in March 2017. During the night, I observed several galaxies (all of them in Leo, many of the Herschel 400 objects), and also comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak. During the night, conditions were really good, NELM was about 6.6 in Ursa minor and SQM was better than 21.3!

41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak

My first target for the night was comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak, that was flying high in the sky in constellation of Ursa major. I wrote following notes of my encounter with this comet:

I easily found the comet with my finderscope, and it was visible as a fuzzy star in the finder. In the eyepiece @32x, I observed, that the coma of the comet is roundish in shape, and that it is very diffuse. There is a weak central brightening in the middle of the coma. No visual tail observable. Diameter of the coma is roughly 10′, measured from the sketch.

170325-26_Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak
Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak observed with 10” Newton 25./26.3.2017.

NGC 2964, 2968

After having observed the comet, I started my journey in the starry heavens! During this night, I had galaxies in Leo on my list. My first target was pair of galaxies, NGC 2964 and 2968. This pair is located in northernmost part of Leo, close to Leo minor border. This is quite close pair, the distance between these galaxies is only 6′. NGC 2964 is of type SBbc R and 2968 is of type Sa. Of this pair of galaxies, I wrote following notes:

@71x: two galaxies in the field, NGC 2964 is the brighter of these two, 2968 is slightly fainter and more diffuse in appearance. Both galaxies are visible as a featureless nebulous patches.

170325-26_NGC 2964-2968
NGC 2964 and 2968 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 3226, 3227

My next stop during my journey was another pair of galaxies in Leo, NGC 3226 and 3227. This pair is located only 50′ E from gamma Leo. This pair is also very close, distance between them is only 2′. NGC 3226 is an elliptical galaxy and 3227 is SBa -barred spiral galaxy. Of this galaxy pair I wrote following lines:

@71x: two galaxies in the field, NGC 3227 is the southern one of these two, it seems to have a nearly stellar core, this galaxy is elongated, long axis in NW-SE. NGC 3226 is fainter and more diffuse in appearance, no visible core or other details.

170325-26_NGC 3226-3227
NGC 3226 and 3227 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 3607, 3608 and 3599

My third stop was at galaxy pair NGC 3607 and 3608. Besides these, there was also a third galaxy visible in the field, NGC 3599. These three galaxies can be located when moving 2,5 degrees SSE from delta Leo. NGC 3607 is classified as E-S0, which means that it is a hybrid between elliptical and lenticular galaxy, NGC 3608 is elliptical (E) galaxy and 3599 is lenticular (S0) galaxy. Of these three galaxies I wrote as follows:

@71x: Three galaxies in the field, NGC 3607, 3608 and 3599. NGC 3607 and 3608 are very close to each other, NGC 3607 is the southernmost of these two. NGC 3607 is a roundish and small galaxy with bright core that stands out clearly. NGC 3608 is also roundish in shape, and also it has a bright core. NGC 3599 is located farther away to NW from these two. It is visible as a rather faint and diffuse, featureless patch of light.

170325-26_NGC 3607-3608-3599
NGC 3607, 3608 and 3599 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 3686, 3684, 3681 and 3691

My fourth and last stop was a field with (at least) four galaxies. The main target of this field for me was NGC 3686, a galaxy listed in Herschel 400 observing list. Other galaxies in this field were NGC 3684, 3681 and 3691. All four galaxies were located in elliptical area which is about 30′ long and 20′ wide. NGC 3686 is SBbc spiral, 3684 is of type Sbc, 3681 is another SBbc spiral and 3691 is peculiar SB -spiral. Of these four galaxies I jotted down following notes:

@71x: four galaxies in the field: NGC 3686, 3684, 3681 and 3691. NGC 3686, 3684 and 3681 are in roughly NE-SW orientedline, 3691 is slightly to south from these three galaxies. NGC 3686 appears as a round, diffuse, featureless nebulous patch. NGC 3684 is elongated and featureless, long axis in NW-SE direction. NGC 3686 is small, round and faint featureless galaxy. NGC 3691 is small and rather faint, featureless patch of light, it is the faintest galaxy in the field.

NGC 3686-3684-3681-3691
NGC 3686, 3684, 3681 and 3691 observed with 10” Newton

So, that was my first observing session in March 2017! When counting individual catalogued objects, I observed during this night 11 deep sky objects and one comet! When counting sketches made, I made 4 sketches of deep sky objects and one of a comet. This night was a good one, and conditions were favorable! Only thing that I have been thinking that I could have done otherwise is, that I should have perhaps used more magnification with the galaxies, now I observed all galaxies with the same, rather small magnification. Conditions would have supported even larger magnifications! But nevertheless, I was quite satisfied with my results! During this march, I still had couple of more observing sessions, more about them later!

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Observing 17./18.2.2017 in Stormälö

Date: 17./18.2.2017
Time: 22:00-00:15
Observing site: Stormälö, Parainen, Finland
Instrument: N250/1200 mm (10” Newton)

NELM: 6.4
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)
Transparency: –
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.

NGC 2232

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.

170217-18_NGC 2232
NGC 2232 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 2251

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.

170217-18_NGC 2251
NGC 2251 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 2286

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.

170217-18_NGC 2286
NGC 2286 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 2311

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.

170217-18_NGC 2311

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!

Observing 27./28.1.2017 in Stormälö

Date: 27./28.1.2017
Time: 20:30-22:30
Observing site: Stormälö, Parainen, Finland
Instrument: N250/1200 mm (10” Newton)

NELM: 6.6
SQM: 21.03 – 21.00
Darkness of the background sky: from 2  (a scale from 1 to 5, 1 best, 5 worst)
Seeing: 2 (a scale from 1 to 5, 1 best, 5 worst)
Transparency: –
Weather: Clear sky, calm, light breeze, only very thin layer of snow on the ground, no Moon, +2C – -3C, some mist rising from the sea at the end of the session

Objects observed: NGC 1980, 2215

This was my last observing session in January 2017. This time I was able to do some observing in my Stormälö observing site in Parainen. During the night conditions were relatively good, but dew and frost were causing problems in the later part of the session. During this session I observed two objects listed in Herschel 400 list: NGC 1980 and 2215.

NGC 1980

This object is a small bright nebula immediately to south from famous Orion Nebula Messier 42. The cluster is also known as Collinder 72. NGC 1980 refers to the nebula. I tried to observe the nebula, and I was quite convinced that I was able to see it. Of my observation, I wrote following notes:

@50x: a small, poor cluster, that is located immediately south of M42, the cluster is relatively well detached. Not very well concentrated. Some weak nebulosity is visible around the brightest star of the cluster (iota Ori) and slightly SW from that star. The outer edges of M42 are extending all the way to iota Ori. The nebulas were visible without filter, UHC filter enhanced the view only slightly. No moisture observable on optical surfaces, good conditions.

170127-28_NGC 1980
NGC 1980 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 2215

My second and last object for this session was NGC 2215, an open cluster in Monoceros. This object is located 2 degrees WSW from beta Mon. About this object I wrote as follows:

@71x: an obvious open cluster, pretty well concentrated, well detached, relatively faint-starred.

170127-28_NGC 2215
NGC 2215 observed with 10” Newton

So, that was my last observing session in January 2017. Next time I was making observations in February, I’ll post something about the February observing sessions later.

Observing 1./2.10.2016 in Stormälö

Date: 1./2.10.2016
Time: 22:30-01:15
Observing site: Stormälö, Parainen, Finland
Instrument: N250/1200 mm (10” Newton)

NELM: 6.6
SQM: 20.8 – 21.15
Darkness of the background sky: from 2 to 1 (a scale from 1 to 5, 1 best, 5 worst)
Seeing: 2
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!

NGC 3147

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.

161001-02_ngc-3147
NGC 3147 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 3982

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.

161001-02_ngc-3982
NGC 3982 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 3998

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.

161001-02_ngc-3998
NGC 3998 observed with 10” Newton

Minkowski 1-92

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.

161001-02_minkowski-1-92
Minkowski 1-92 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 4036

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.

161001-02_ngc-4036
NGC 4036 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 4041

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.

161001-02_ngc-4041
NGC 4041 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 5907

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.

161001-02_ngc-5907
NGC 5907 observed with 10” Newton

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!

Observing 30.9./1.10.2016 in Stormälö

Date: 30.9./1.10.2016
Time: 22:00-02:15
Observing site: Stormälö, Parainen, Finland
Instrument: N250/1200 mm (10” Newton)

NELM: 6.6
SQM: 21.03 – 21.17
Darkness of the background sky: 1
Seeing: 2
Transparency: –
Weather: Clear sky, fresh breeze, dry air, +11C – +9C

Objects observed: NGC 6207, 6247, 7217, 7448, 488, 524, 2742A and 2768

I got yet another observing chance in the very end of September, when the sky was clear and Moon was not interfering. During the night between 30.9. and 1.10.2016 I drove to my Stormälö observing site in Parainen, Finland. During the night the sky was clear, but it was very windy! The wind was causing slight problems, but on the other hand, because of it, the air was dry and there weren’t any humidity problems during this night, which is actually quite exceptional here in Finland!

NGC 6207

I started my observing session by observing NGC 6207, a galaxy in the vicinity of Messier 13, the Great Cluster of Hercules. This galaxy is located only 0,5 degrees NE from the cluster. Of this object I wrote following notes:

@120x a rather small, elongated galaxy, long axis in SW-NE -direction, the galaxy has a bright, almost stellar core. The galaxy seems to be in edge on -position. Very close to Messier 13!

160930-1001_ngc-6207
NGC 6207 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 6426

After having observed NGC 6207, I aimed my scope to NGC 6426, a globular cluster located in Ophiuchus, just 1,5 degrees SSE from beta Ophiuchi. Of this object, I wrote as follows:

@71x a small and faint globular cluster, appears as a diffuse nebulous patch. The brightness distribution of the cluster appears to be pretty even. The object is best visible with averted vision and sweeping.

160930-1001_ngc-6426
NGC 6426 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 7217

My third object of this night was NGC 7217, a galaxy located in the northwestern corner of Pegasus, nearly 8 degrees W from eta Pegasi. Of this object I wrote following notes:

@120x, a small but bright and compact galaxy with bright core. The galaxy appears to be round in shape. The galaxy was already visible with 31x magnification.

160930-1001_ngc-7217
NGC 7217 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 7448

My fourth object of the night, NGC 7448, was actually an unplanned duplicate observation. I had already observed this in early September in Leistilänjärvi, but for some reason I just didn’t remember, that I had observed it recently. Anyway, here are my notes of this object from this session:

@120x, a galaxy that is elongated in NW-SE -direction, it is apparently in edge on -position, the galaxy has even light distribution and it is pretty bright and easy.

160930-1001_ngc-7448
NGC 7448 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 488

My fifth object of this rather productive night was NGC 488, a galaxy located 4 degrees SW from mu Piscium. Of this object, I wrote:

@120x, a small, moderately bright galaxy. The galaxy appeared as a round, nebulous patch, that gets slightly brighter towards center. The galaxy is slightly elongated with long axis in NW-SE -direction

160930-1001_ngc-488
NGC 488 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 524

After having observed NGC 488, I went on to observe NGC 524, yet another galaxy in Pisces. This galaxy is located roughly 3,5 degrees NW from mu Piscium. This object inspired me to write following notes:

@120x, a small galaxy, that appears as a roundish, nebulous patch, relatively bright, gets slowly brighter towards the core, the core is slightly diffuse, non-stellar

160930-1001_ngc-524
NGC 524 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 2742A

Last two of my objects of this session were located in the opposite direction of the sky, these last two objects reside in Ursa major, the Great Bear of the northern sky. The second last object of my session was NGC 2742A, a galaxy located in western part of Ursa major, 6 degrees NW from upsilon Ursa majoris. Of this object I wrote as follows:

@120x, this galaxy appeared as a very faint, diffuse patch of light, the galaxy seems to be elongated with long axis in NW-SE -orientation, best with averted vision and sweeping, low surface brightness, even brightness distribution, not visible with 31x magnification

160930-1001_ngc-2742
NGC 2742A observed with 10” Newton

NGC 2768

My last object of this night was NGC 2768, located 5 degrees W from upsilon Uma and 2 degrees south of NGC 2742A. Of this object I wrote following lines:

@120x, a pretty bright galaxy, elongated in W-E -direction, gets moderately brighter towards the core, core non-stellar, pretty easy object, visible already with 31x.

160930-1001_ngc-2768
NGC 2768 observed with 10” Newton

So these were my observations in September 2016. Stay tuned for more observation reports!

 

Observing 27./28.8.2016 in Stormälö

Date: 27./28.08.2016
Time: 23:30-02:30
Observing site: Stormälö, Parainen, Finland
Instrument: N250/1200 (10” Newton)

NELM: 6.6
SQM: 21.04-21.22
Darkness of the background sky: 1
Seeing: 2
Transparency: –
Weather: Clear sky, light breeze, dry air, no dew problems! +13 – +11 °C

Objects observed: NGC 6756, 7296, 7510, 7142, 1245

In late August I was able to go to observing in my Stormälö observing site, in Parainen, in the archipelago of Turku! The night was as close to perfect as it ever can be! It was warm and air was dry, which made observing very pleasent!

NGC 6756

During the night I made 5 observations, first object of the night for me was NGC 6756, and open cluster in Aquila. The object is located near NGC 6755, another, slightly brighter open cluster in the constellation. These two objets are located 4,5 WNW from delta Aql. Of this object, I wrote following notes:

@120x: a small, faint open cluster, pretty well detached from it’s background, compact. Most of the stars visible as a starglow.

160827-28_ngc-6756
NGC 6756 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 7296 (= NGC 7295)

My next target was NGC 7296, an open cluster located in the constellation of Lacerta. The object is locatd just at the “head” of the lizard, only 45′ E from Beta Lac. Of this object, I wrote following notes:

@120x: a small, faint open cluster in rich star field. Compact, pretty well detached from the background, not very rich.

160827-28_ngc-7296
NGC 7296 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 7510

The third object of my night was NGC 7510, an open cluster in the easternmost part of Cepheus, about 5 degrees NE from delta Cep, about halfway between Beta Cas and delta Cep. Of this object I wrote following notes:

@120x: a small, compact open cluster, well detached from the background, the cluster has pretty large brightness range. The cluster is triangular in shape, the long axis of the cluster is in SW-NE -direction.

160827-28_ngc-7510
NGC 7510 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 7142

After having observed NGC 7510, I aimed my scope to NGC 7142, yet another open cluster in Cepheus. This cluster is located about 5 degrees SE from beta Cep and 4 degrees NE from alpha Cep. Of this object, I wrote following notes:

@120x: a faint-starred open cluster, not very concentrated, not very ell detached from the background, small brightness range, at least the brightest stars of the cluster are in a shape of an arc that is opening towards south.

160827-28_ngc-7142
NGC 7142 observed with 10” Newton

NGC 1245

The fift and last object for me for this night was NGC 1245, an open cluster located in the constellation of Perseus, just 3 degrees SW from alpha Per. Of this object, I wrote as follows:

@120x: A faint-starred, pretty rich open cluster, well detached from the background, pretty well concentrated and compact, the cluster has moderate brightness range. The stars of the cluster appear to be in shape of arc or bow.