Darkness of the background sky: 1
Weather: Clear sky, gusty, fresh breeze, +8 C
Objects observed: NGC 2451, 2546, 2467, 2571 and 2567
During my fourth and last night of observing on Mt. Teide, I was observing 5 objects in the constellation of Puppis. During the night it was very windy, and I was tired. Because of combination of these two factors, I didn’t felt motivated to start observing, but nevertheless I was able to motivate myself, and I’m glad I made those 5 observations during the night.
During the night I measured lowest SQM readings during my trip, at lowest it was as low as 21.05. This is still a good reading especially in terms of Finland, but in terms of Teide it is a lowered reading. I din’t know reason for this, but actually it could have been caused by dust on my SQM -meter. Before leaving, I wiped off some dust from the sensonr of the SMQ -meter, and the reading jumped to 21.25. That is higher, but still considerably lower than the best readings I usually had during previous nights.
My first object was NGC 2451, an open cluster located in Puppis, four degrees NW from zeta Puppis. With my instrument, it is in the same field with NGC 2477, which I has observed already earlier. Of NGC 2451 I wrote following notes:
A pretty large and bright starred cluster, not very concentrated but it is still well detached. In the middle of this cluster, there is a bright-starred triangle, the star in the upper right corner if this triangle is intensively red! NGC 2477 was visible as a nebulous patch 1,5 degrees east from the cluster.
NGC 2546 is an open cluster in Puppis, located 3 degrees NE from zeta Puppis. Of thos object, I wrote following notes:
an open cluster, that is elongated in NW-SE -direction. The cluster is rather faint-starred. It is not very concentrated, and it is moderately detached from it’s background.
NGC 2467 is an open cluster+nebula combination in the northern part of Puppis, located two degrees SE from xi Puppis. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
A rather faint, roundish open cluster+nebula. The cluster itself wasn’t much visible, but the nebula was easy and obvious. The nebula was already weakly visible without OIII filter, but with the filter it became visible very well.
NGC 2571 is an open cluster located in eastern part of Puppis, 6 degrees SE from rho Puppis. Of this object I wrote following notes:
A small, faint-starred cluster. The cluster is moderately detached and -concentrated.
NGC 2567 is an open cluster in Puppis, it is located less than degree south from NGC 2571. Of NGC 2567 I wrote following notes:
A small, faint and compact cluster, well concentrated and detached.
So, that was my fourth and last night observing of my 2nd Tenerife observing trip! During the trip, I made in total 31 observations during four nights. Objects that I observed, Included fro example Messier 68 and 83, NGC 5128, 5139, 2477, 3372 and 2237+2244. During the trip I was also able to spot the northernmost part of the Southern Cross and I also spotted alpha Centauri, which is the nearest stur to us after Sun. I also finished observing Messier catalogue and photographed the Milky way.
I was doing all of my observations in the same spot every night. The spot was called El Retamar, and it located just outside the caldera in the SW side of the caldera. That was because I had already noticed, that the sky won’t get much darker deeper in the caldera so it doesn’t pay off to drive further, it just takes more time and there is more traffic interference. Observing conditions were good during every night, it was clear during all of my observing nights, but this time it was often very windy. The wind was sometimes very strong, and that was causing problems for my observing attemtps.
After this observing trip I still have 28 Caldwell objects and 20 Hidden Treasures -objects to be observed. Besides that, I still have to observe objects between -62 to -90 from somewhere in southern hemisphere. But that’s going to be hopefully a new trip sometimes in future.
The night between 7th and 8th of April 2016 was my third observing night during my second trip to Tenerife. During the night, I was observing again in the same site than during the previous nights. During the night, it was calm in the beginning, but towards the end of the session the wind started rising again.
When I had arrived my observing site, I realized that constellation of Carina was partly visible below Vela in southern horizon, and that mayby it would be possible to observe some objects in that constellation. I started my trial by finding NGC 3372, the famous Carina nebula. To my surprise, I was able to locate it from the horizon, and even to make a decent observation of the nebula! Of course, the nebula wasn’t visible optimally, but anyway, I was able to observe it. When I was observing it, the altitude of the nebula was only 2 degrees. I made following notes of this observation:
I was surprised that I was able to see The Carina nebula at all from the horizon of Teide! Of course, it was at very low altitude, and only the brightest parts of the nebula were visible. I was able to see two or three separate parts of the nebula. The brightes part appeared as large and bright, triangle -shaped nebulosity, which was already weakly visible without OIII filter, but it becomes well visible with the filter. The long axis of this part of the nebula is in N-S orientation, the tip of the triangle is pointing towards north. in the southern side of the triangle, there is another relativey bright nebulosity. In the W side, there appears to be very weak nebulosity.
As I had now proven to myself, that it is possible to observe some objects in Carina from the horizon of Teide, I went on to to bserve more objects in that constellation. My next stop was NGC 3293, an open cluster in Carina, located less than two degrees NW from Carina nebula. Of this object I wrote following notes:
A small, compact and bright-starred copen cluster, very beautiful!
After having observed that open cluster, there was still one more object for my on my list in Carina. That object was open cluster NGC 3532, located less than three degrees NE from the Carina nebula. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Very large, bright and rich cluster! The cluster is elongated in shape (long axis in W-E direction). The cluster has pretty even brightness range. The cluster is well detached and somewhat concentrated. The stars weem to be quite faint (may be caused by low altitude), but still this is pretty impressive sight.
NGC 2237, 2244
Following object is above horizon also in Finland, but Finnish winter conditions often make observing this object very difficult. This object is NGC 2237, the famous Rosette -nebula. There is also an open cluster associated with the nebula, known as NGC 2244. This object is extensive and very large roughly a ring- or donut -shaped nebula around NGC 2244, and ideally the sky should be pretty dark if one is about to otbserve this nebula. In Finland in wintertime the sky usually doesn’t get dark enough, because there is snow on the ground reflecting light to the sky. But its’ different thing in Tenerife, where the sky was dark! That’s why I decided this object from Tenerife instead of Finland. Here are my notes of my observation:
Very large and faint, ring-shaoed nebula (NGC 2237) surrounding open cluster NGC 2244. The westernmost half of the nebula is most obvious one, other parts are fainter. The nebula becomes visible with OIII filter and averted vision.
After compliting my observation of the Rosette -nebula, I went on to constellation of Vela to observe an open cluster NGC 3228. This cluster is located less than 5 degrees SW from mu Velorum. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
A rather small, pretty faint-starred and compact open cluster.
My next object was NGC 3621, a very faint nearly edge on -galaxy in Hydra. This galaxy is located 3 degrees SW from xi Hydrae. Of this galaxy, I wrote following notes:
A very faint, edge on galaxy, long axis in NW-SE direction, no structure visible.
The last object for this night was NGC 5102, a lenticular galaxy in Centaurus, just 18′ ENE from iota Centauri. Of this object I wrote following notes:
A small, faint edge on-galaxy, the galaxy has a pretty bright core, best visible with averted vision.
So, this was my third observing night on Mt. Teide during my second observing trip.
NELM: 6.6 – 6.2
Darkness of the background sky: 1-3
Weather: Clear sky, fresh, gusty breeze, +8 – +9 C
Objects observed: NGC 5662, 6124, 5986, 6397, 6193 and 6352
During the second night of observing during my 2. trip to Tenerife, I woke up at 2am and drove up to Mt. Teide to observe the morning sky and Milky way!
I arrived at my observing place around 3am, and it was very, very windy up the mountain! The wind was very gusty, on-off wind, at times it was totally calm but soon another gust came and I had to hold on all the papers to prevent wind from throwing them all over! That was quite problematic! Even though the wind was a nuisance, I was still able to make 6 visual observations and to take some wide angle photos of the Milky way!
My first object of this morning was NGC 5662, an open cluster in Centaurus. This object is located in southern Centaurus, roughly 4 degrees from alpha Centauri to north. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
A small, rather poor open cluster, pretty large brightness range, not very concentrated, well detached from background
After having observed that open cluster in Centaurus, I went on to Scorpius to observe another open cluster! This cluster is NGC 6124, which is located in southern Scorpius, about 6 degrees from zeta Scorpi to NW. I wrote following notes of this object:
Large and very beatiful and rich open cluster, the cluster is well concentrated and well detached from it’s background.
From Scorpius I went on to it’s western neighbour constellation Lupus to observe a globular cluster that is residing in the constellation. This globular cluster is NGC 5986, which is located about 8 degrees NW from NGC 6124. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Pretty bright globular cluster, not resolved but it brightens slightly towards the core. Easy!
After observing that globular cluster in Lupus, I went on to observe yet another planetary nebula, this in in southern neighbour of Scorpius, in the constellation of Ara! NGC 6397 is a large and bright globular cluster, it equals M13 in size (both are about 25′ in diameter) that is often considered to be The Great Cluster, at least for us living in the northern latitudes. This was very easy to find with the main asterism of Ara, it is located 4 degrees SE from alpha Arae. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Large, bright globuar cluster, not resolved, brightens slightly towards the core.
After having observed that great globular cluster, I had yet another object on my list in Ara. That object was NGC 6193, an open cluster located in the westernmost part of the constellation near Ara-Norma border. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Very small and compact cluster, easily overlooked with this kind of RTF -telescope.
After having observed that small open cluster, I still had one more object for observing in Ara, although morning twilight had already started making the sky lighter. That obbject was NGC 6352, yet another globular cluster in Ara. This cluster is located less than two degrees NW from alpha Arae. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
A small, rather faint globular cluster, not resolved
Milky way is best visible in the morning in this time of the year. I had taken my camera (Canon EOS 1100D) and couple of wide angle lenses with me to Tenerife and I also bought one of those gorilla pods for a small miniature travel tripod. I supported the camera+8mm Samyang fish eye -lens+gorillapod -combination on some rocks on the ground and took some shots of the Milky way.
I think the Milky way was stunning, but it is easy to see some light pollution from the tourist areas of Los Cristianos-Las Americas in the lower part of the photo. From that photo you can also get some general idea about my observing place. It is a place that has practically zero horizon to the south, only some isolated trees are rising to few degrees, but they aren’t blocking the view and it is easy to move the telescope to get a clear view.
Darkness of the background sky: 1
Weather: Clear sky, calm/light wind, +8 – +4 C
Objects observed: Messier 68, 83, NGC 1851, 2477, 3132, 3201, 5128, 5139, 4945, 5286, 4755, 5694 and IC 2391
During my first observing night of my 2nd Tenerife observing trip, I was able to observe in really good conditions and calm weather on Mt. Teide! I also had very productive observing session that night, I made 13 observations in total!
So this time it was mostly calm, and temperature was comfortably 8 to 4 C -degrees above zero! This time I had decided that I won’t drive further to the caldera, because the conditions don’t seem to differ much when compared with the outer parts of the caldera. During this 2nd observing trip, I stayed every night at my El Retamar observing site just outside the actual caldera in the SW side of the caldera, just at the border of the national park. That place was closest good observing spot for me from my hotel. In this place I had a zero horizon to south and car headlights were disturbing as little as possible.
I started my night by observing NGC 1851, which is a globular cluster in Columba. The cluster is located in SW corner of the constellation, 5 degrees SW from epsilon Columbae. When I was observing this globular cluster, it was already setting and it was at very low altitude in western horizon. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
A small, pretty bright globular cluster, the cluster gets clearly brighter towards the core, the cluster is not resolved into stars.
My next stop was NGC 2477, an open cluster in Puppis. This cluster is located 2,5 degrees from zeta Puppis to NW. This is very rich and concentrated cluster, but with my modest instrument, it appeared quite modest. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
A rather small, compact and pretty faint open cluster, the cluster is well detached and concentrated towards the center. The cluster appears to be rich, the cluster is mostly visible as a starglow.
From Puppis I continued my journey to the neighbouring constellation known as Vela. In this constellation, my first object was IC 2391, also known as Omicron Velorum cluster. This is a large and scattered cluster concentrated around star omicron Velorum. It is located less than two degrees NW from delta Velorum. My notes from this observation are as follows:
Large, beautiful and bright-starred cluster, moderately rich, well detached, not very concentrated.
My next object is also an object in Vela, this time not an open cluster but a planetary nebula. NGC 3132 is a large and bright planetary nebula in northernmost part of Vela, just at the Vela-Antlia border. This object is also known as Eight Burst Nebula or Southern Ring Nebula. Because I didn’t have powerful enough instrument, I wasn’t able to see any fine structure or details in this object. But anyway, my notes are as follows:
A planetary nebula, that appears to be a rather large one, because I was able to see it non-stellar with this small aperture instrument. The nebula was visible as a small, non-stellar bright disk.
Before leaving Vela for now, I had one more object in this constellation to observe! This object was NGC 3201, a globular cluster in eastern part of the constellation. This object is located 6 degrees NW from mu Velorum. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Large, bright globular cluster, not resolved, gets slightly brighter towards the core.
My next object is the 2nd las Messier object, that I still hadn’t observed before this trip. This object was Messier 68 in southern part of the constellation of Hydra. This globular cluster is located below the constellation of Corvus, 3,5 degrees SE fom beta Corvi. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Large and bright globular cluster, not resolved, brightens towards the core.
After having observed Messier 68, I still had one more Messier object to be observed, and then I would have finished observing Messier catalogue! That very last missing Messier object for me was Messier 83 in southernmost part of Hydra. This spiral galaxy is located just at the Hydra-Centaurus border, 7 degrees SW from pi Hydrae, a star that is marking the tip of the tail of Hydra. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Large and bright, almost face-on galaxy, the galaxy has a bright, almost stellar core, otherwise no structure visible
Yey, and there it is, I had dinally completed observing Messier catalogue! After having completed Messier catalogue, I went on further south into the starry realms of the constellation of Centaurus. In Centaurus, my first object was NGC 5128. NGC 5128 is also known as Kentaurus A, which is a large, elliptic galaxy, that has a dark dust lane cutting the object in half. This is one of the most famous deep sky objects in the whole sky, and it is also known as a radio object. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Large, pretty faint galaxy, a little bit oval shaped (long axis in SW-NE direction), the dark dust lane was quite weakly visible with averted vision.
After observing Kentaurus A, I went on to observe an object, that is known as the largest globular cluster in Milky way! This object is NGC 5139, also known as Omega Centauri! It is very large globular cluster, and it’s apparent diameter is about 30′, which roughly equals the diameter of full Moon! Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Very large and very bright globular cluster! The cluster is not resolved, but it appears weakly granular. The cluster brightens slightly towards the core. The object was an easy naked eye -sight, and it was stunning already through the finderscope! Really magnificent object!
Also my next object is located in Centaurus. NGC 4945 is a thin, edge on -galaxy located 4 degrees east from gamma Centauri. This object is pretty faint for my modest instrument (9,3 magnitudes, surface brightness 13,6 magnitudes), and it was a little bit challenging to observe, but nevertheless, I was able to observe it:
Very faint and thin edge on galaxy (long axis in W-E direction), the galaxy is visible weakly with averted vision and sweeping.
After that thin galaxy, I stayed in Centaurus. My next objec was NGC 5286, a globular cluster roughly two degrees NE from epsilon Centauri. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
A small and pretty faint globular cluster, brightens towards the core, not resolved.
After having observed that globular cluster, I was about to leave Centaurus for tonight. At this time, I noticed that the constellation of Southern cross was already visible at the southern horizon! Teide is actually little bit too north after all, because for example the southernmost parts of Centaurus are below horizon and also the southernmost star of Southern cross is below horizon. But nevertheless, the three northernmost stars of the Cross were now above horizon! When seeing the stars of this legendary and famous constellation, I couldn’t resist temptation of trying to actually observe something from the Cross! I noticed that the famous Jewelbox -cluster was just barely above horizon (it’s elevation was only about 1 degree!), so I tried to observe it! It was visible poorly because of very low altitude, but nevertheless, I was able to observe it! My notes of this observation are as follows:
The Jewelbox cluster! The cluster was very weakly visible because of very low altitude, but to my surprise, I was at least able to see the cluster from horizon of Teide! Only the brightest stars of the cluster were visible.
After having a peek on the famous Southern Cross, I went on to have yet another stop in the constellation of Hydra.In the easternmost part of Hydra, there is a small globular cluster, NGC 5694. It is located 5,5 degrees WE from sigma Librae and 7,5 degrees E from pi Hydrae. Of this object I wrote following notes:
A small and faint globular cluster, gets brighter towards the core, not resolved
So, that was my first night of observing during my 2nd Teide observing trip! After having finished observing, I still was admiring the beauty of the southern skies before heading down to my hotel for a sleep.
Darkness of the background sky: 1
Weather: Clear sky, calm, +13C
Objects observed: NGC 6242, 6281, 6520, 6544
During the fifth and last night of observing during my trip to Tenerife, I drove to yet another different observing spot. During this night I drove to place called Tabonal Negro which is located very near the base of the Peak of Teide at altitude of 2362 meters. I was trying to find a place that would be as far away as possible from any light pollution source, just to see if there are any differences between different observing spots in the Teide caldera.
In this place there was another scenary/viewpoint for tourists which was paved and inteded place for parking cars. Otherwise also this spot was good for observing, but there was heavy traffic during the night and the car headlights were disturbing much. And besides this, there were some people coming to the parking place or leaving it causing severe local light pollution disturbance. So it was practically impossible to observe in peace and solitude as I would like to do. I also noticed that there was not any noticeable difference in observing conditions between this and the other places I went to. It was just as good as the others. Nevertheless, here are the observtions from my last observing night on Mt.Teide:
NGC 6281 (Hidden treasure 80) is a rather large open cluster in the southern part of Scorpius. It is located just 2,5 degrees east from mu2 Scorpii. Of this object I wrote following notes:
According to Skymap pro 9 this should be a large cluster with diameter of 3 degrees, instead the size of the cluster visually appears to be about 1 degree. The cluster is pretty concentrated. Best visible @ 27x
My next target was yet another open cluster in Scorpius known as NGC 6242 (Hidden treasure 79). This object was located in the vicinity of the previous object, just 1 degree to SSE from mu2 Scorpii. It is a pretty small open cluster. Of this object I wrote following notes:
A small, faint-starred and poor open cluster. Low elevation of the object may have affected the appearance of the object.
The third object of the night was NGC 6544 (Hidden treasure 89), a globular cluster in Sagittarius located just 1 degree from M8 to SE. I wrote following notes of this object:
A small, faint globular cluster, even brightness distribution, not resolved.
And finally as the last but not least object of the night and my whole observing trip I observed NGC 6520 (Hidden treasure 88), which is an open cluster 3 degrees south from M8. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Small, compact and faint open cluster, mostly visible as a starglow.
So, that was my first observing trip to observing southern deep sky objects not visible from Finland. During the trip, I made in total 27 observations during 5 nights. I noticed, that just in terms of the darkness of the sky, Teide is really good but not extraordinarily good. It is as good as Finland is at it’s best – the best SQM readings on Mt.Teide were about 21.4, which is also the best that I have recorder in Finland. The naked eye limiting magnitude was about 6.6, and I have recorder similar NELM’s also in Finland in very dark places. Of course, Teide still has many very important advantages:
darkness all year round (in Finland light summers restrict observing)
almost always totally crystal clear sky (in Finland, cloudiness is prevailing)
almost always pristine, dark sky (in Finland, the sky is always not so dark, because of light pollution, aurorae, etc)
always comfortable temperature for observing (in Finland, it can be bitterly cold in winter)
dry air (in Finland air humidity problem is a nuicance every night, especially in Autumn)
southern objects well observable (although Magellanic clouds are barely below horizon, southern location is huge advantage in comparison with Finland, where northern location restricts objects available)
easy to travel to
safe and western
There was one disadvantage though, at least based on my observations: it seems that there is quite a lot of traffic in the roads through the Teide caldera, the car headlights will kill your dark adaptation and disturb observing often. And it is possible, that you cannot observe in peace and solitude. So I would recommend finding an observing spot enough off the main roads where you can observe in peace and solitude.
I’m very happy and grateful that I was able to do this trip! and mostly satisfied with my observations and my results. I hope that this wont be my last observing trip to Mt.Teide! If I will have another chance to travel there to observe, I would focus my observing energy to the objects of Centaurus, Puppis, Vela and Carina.
Darkness of the background sky: 1
Weather: Clear sky, light wind, +16 – +15 C
Objects observed: NGC 6231, 6400, 6441, 6541, 6723
On the fourth night of my observing trip to Tenerife, I went observing on a different spot. This time I drove further the road to Teide caldera. From the caldera I found a place called Mirador de Chio, which was a scenary/viewpoint for tourists. There was also a good paved place for parking a car and for observing. The only downside of this spot was that it was along a straight road, and whenever a car approached, the headlights of the car were disturbing observing quite much.
And another thing was that I wasn’t the onlyone interested in stargazing – at some point during the night a tourist bus full of apparenty italian tourists stopped by and their guide started giving them a star show in italian! That was interesting in itself, but it was disturbing my observing. During this night I made 5 observations that I publish. Besides this there was also sixth observation, but I’m very uncertain of it, I doubt that I hadn’t even seen the actual object that I was trying to observe. This target was a small reflection nebula 6729 on Sagittarius – Corona australis border.
Anyway, I’ll present my succesfull observations from the fourth night here:
NGC 6231 (Caldwell 76) is a small and compact open cluster in southern Scorpius, just 30′ north from zeta Scorpii. Of this object, I wrote as follows:
Small, compact and bright-starred open cluster. Pretty nice!
My next target was NGC 6441 (Hidden treasure 86), which is a small globular cluster in the tip of the tail of Scorpius. Of this object I wrote following notes:
Small and faint globular cluster, not resolved, even brightness distribution.
NGC 6400 (Hidden treasure 82) is an open cluster located in the tail of Scorpius, just 1 degree east from lambda Scorpii. I wrote following notes of this object:
A small, faint-starred open cluster, mostly visible as a star glow.
NGC 6541 (Caldwell 78) is a lonely globular cluster in the constellation of Corona australis. Of this object, I wrote following notes:
Rather small, pretty bright globular cluster, gets brighter towards the core, not resolved.
NGC 6723 (Hidden treasure 96) is a globular cluster in southern Saggitarius, just on the Sagittarius-Corona australis border. I wrote following notes of this object:
Rather small and bright open cluster. The cluster has pretty even brightness distribution, not resolved.
Darkness of the background sky: 1
Transparency: 2 to 3
Weather: Some high clouds, otherwise clear sky, calm, +12 C
Objects observed: NGC 55, 253, 288, 6624
The third night of my observing trip to Tenerife was the only night when the observing conditios weren’t ideal. During the early night, there were some high clouds in the sky diminishing transparency. But during the night, the clouds drifted away, and the conditions got better. During this night I was observing exactly in the same spot than during the first night. This night it was totally calm and observing was very pleasent. This time I was quite tired though, and I observed only four objects.
During this night my first object was NGC 6624 (Hidden treasure 91), one of the globular clusters in Sagittarius. This object is located within the Teapot, just 50′ SE from delta Sagittarii. Of this object I wrote as follows:
Small and faint globular cluster, not resolved.
NGC 288 (Hidden treasure 4) is a lonely globular cluster in the faint-starred constellation of Sculptor. It could barely be visible from Finland, but it’s easier to observe it from a southern location. This globular cluster is located in the northern part of Sculptor, near the famous galaxy NGC 253, just less than 2 degrees SE from the galaxy. Of this object I wrote as follows:
Small globular cluster, not resolved, pretty even brightness distribution.
My next object was previously mentioned galaxy NGC 253 (Caldwell 65), also known as the Silver Dollar -galaxy in northern part of Sculptor. I have actually observed this already from Finland, but I decided to observe it again because it was near the other targets that were on my list. In Southernmost Finland this object rises just 4 degrees above horizon and it is barely visible. But when I observed it from Mt. Teide, I wrote following notes of it:
Large and bright edge on -galaxy. The long axis of the galaxy is in SW-NE orientation. The galaxy seems to have a little bit mottled appearance.
The last object of the third observing night was NGC 55 (Caldwell 72), yet another galaxy in Sculptor. This galaxy is located in the southernmost part of the constellation, on the Sculptor-Phoenix boundary. Of this object I wrote as follows:
Large and faint edge on -galaxy. Long axis in SW-NE orientation. Visible only with averted vision.