NexStar 50 Club Observation Log

Name: Gene Smith
NexStar Telescope Model: Celestron CPC-800 XLT ( 8” SCT – F/10 )
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Object: 1 - Orion Nebula… M42 / NGC1976
Date Observed: 11/18/08 - 10:04
Comments: 27 mm EP - A large area of nebulosity taking up about 1/3 of the FOV. It looks almost like winged object. One of the few DSO that provide a noticeably complex shape rather than just an elliptical smudge.

Object: 2 - Hercules Cluster… M13 / NGC6205
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 10:02
Comments: 17 mm EP – Larger and brighter than nearby M92. Stars are resolvable to the center. Fills about 1/5 FOV of 17 mm EP ( ~7’ ). This was the first object I viewed with my first telescope, a homemade 8” F/8 Newtonian over 40 years ago.

Object: 3 – Ring Nebula… M57 / NGC6720
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 10:36
Comments: A favorite. Looks like a smoke ring.

Object: 4 - Saturn
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 9:05
Comments: 17 mm EP – Hazy in that direction. Can see shadow of the rings but not much else.
Date Observed: 6/6/08 – 9:28
Comments: 8.8 mm EP – Much better view tonight. Can occasionally see split in rings and one band. Two moons are obvious with the brighter one to the right. 8.8 mm EP seems about the maximum useable power ( ~231x )

Object: 5 - Moon
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 8:45
Comments: 35 mm EP – Very slight crescent. Moon more than filled FOV. Even though Earthshine was evident w/o the telescope, no features were visible on the dark part of the moon. Moon was approx 57 hours old

Object: 6 – Andromeda… M31 / NGC224
Date Observed: 9/4/08 - 8:15
Comments: 35 mm EP- waxing crescent moon - Large and bright. Showed up as about 1/5 of the FOV (~15'). Fades gradually toward the edges, so that it is difficult to determine actual extent. It may be slightly oblong. I am obviously only seeing the core.

Object: 7 – Dumbbell Nebula… M27 / NGC6853
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 10:06
Comments: 27 mm EP – A large amorphous blob; not compact like most PN’s. Faint and difficult to determine size and shape

Object: 8 – Pleiades / Seven Sisters… M45
Date Observed: 11/15/08 - 6:55
Comments: 35 mm EP - Best seen through finder because of large size. It exceeds the FOV of the 35 mm EP. Bright stars, widely spaced. A hint of nebulosity around the brighter stars.

Object: 9 – Jupiter
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 10:47
Comments: 17 mm EP – 3 moons visible along with 3 bands. Shimmering because of the altitude, low over the desert.

Object: 10 – Wild Duck Cluster… M11 / NGC6705
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 10:10
Comments: 27 mm EP – Many closely packed but very faint stars that are just resolvable.

Object: 11 – Bodes Galaxy… M81 / NGC3031 & Cigar Galaxy… M82 / NGC 3034
Date Observed: 6/6/08 – 8:53
Comments: 35 mm EP – Both M81 and M82 fit in one FOV. M81 is oval with wider dimension in a NE-SW direction. M81 also seems to have a more intense core and less outer regions to the SW. M82 is fainter than M81 and is very long and thin, Its long axis is oriented at right angles to the long axis of M81.

Object: 12 – Swan Nebula… M17 / NGC6618
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 10:14
Comments: 27 mm EP – Very faint, but large. Difficult to determine actual size or shape, but does not appear to be regular ( ie.; round or oval ). Appears to have dark lanes.

Object: 13 – Albireo-Double… Double List
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 10:41
Comments: 17 mm EP – Beautiful blue and gold pair. Gold star appears slightly brighter.

Object: 14 – Perseus Double Cluster… NGC869 & NGC884
Date Observed: 9/4/08 - 8:25 - waxing crescent moon
Comments: 27 mm EP (FOV = 0.9°). Two beautiful clusters. Both just fit in the same FOV. N869 ha a more compact center. Both have a large number of bright stars.

Object: 15 – Whirlpool Galaxy… M51 / NGC5194
Date Observed: 6/6/08 –9:13
Comments: 35 mm EP – Appears to be two parts. Much larger part is up and to the right. Smaller part down and to left about 1/10 FOV away ( ~5’). Both are approximately round.

Object: 16 – Lagoon Nebula… M8 / NGC6523
Date Observed: 6/7/08 –10:17
Comments: 27 mm EP – Large fuzzy area near what appears to be an open cluster. Much more is visible with A/V

Object: 17 – Beehive Cluster… M44 / NGC2632
Date Observed: 6/6/08 – 8:47
Comments: 35 mm EP – Open cluster. Totally fills the FOV of the 35 mm EP. Many bright stars, but far apart.

Object: 18 – Western Veil Nebula… NGC6960 & Eastern Veil Nebula… NGC6992
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 10:47
Comments: 27 mm EP – Eastern veil has hints of nebulosity coming in and out when using A/V. Very, very faint.
Date Observed: 9/4/08 – 8:37 - waxing crescent moon
Comments: 27 mm EP w/ OIII filter - N6992 appears to be a long thin irregular vertical band crossing the entire FOV vertically and about 1/10 of the FOV wide. N6960 is a faint ill-defined nebulosity to the right of a bright star.

Object: 19 – Omega Centauri… NGC5139
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 9:10
Comments: 17 mm EP – Hard to see because of very low altitude and in the glow of the city of Tucson, AZ. Appears round and fills approx 1/3 of the FOV of the 17 mm EP ( ~12’ ). Stars are resolvable.

Object: 20 – Globular in Sagittarius… M22 / NGC6656
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 10:20
Comments: 27 mm EP - Large, approximately 1/8 of FOV of EP ( ~7’ ). Stars are resolvable. Does not have as pronounced a core as most GC’s

Object: 21 – Butterfly Cluster… M6 / NGC6405
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 9:50
Comments: 35 mm EP – Very widely spaced cluster. Fills about 2/3 of the FOV of 35 mm EP ( ~34’). About 3 dozen bright stars spread out.

Object: 22 – Double Double – Epsilon Lyra 1 & 2… Double List
Date Observed: 6/6/08 – 9:48
Comments: 8.8 mm EP – 4 stars, two well separated pairs that look very similar, each consisting of a close pair of approximately equal magnitude stars. The two pairs themselves are separated by about ˝ FOV of the 8.8 mm EP ( ~11’). All 4 stars appear to be about the same magnitude and the 2 stars in each pair are just resolvable in the 8.8 mm EP.

Object: 23 – Jewel Box… NGC4755 – Substitute M3
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 9:27
Comments: 17 mm & 35 mm EP - Bright, and easy to spot. Individual stars are resolvable. Approximately round and about 1/5 FOV of 17 mm EP ( ~7’). Stars are slightly resolvable in 35 mm EP

Object: 24 – Blue Snowball Planetary Nebula… NGC7662
Date Observed: 9/4/08 - 8:46 - waxing crescent moon
Comments: 27 mm (76 x) & 14 mm EP's - Very small and bright but definitely larger than stellarin the 27mm 14 mm offer no change in appearance other than being larger.

Object: 25 – Spiral Galaxy… M66 / NGC3627
Date Observed: 6/6/08 – 9:02
Comments: 35 mm EP – Very faint, but visible w/o A/V \. Cannot determine size or shape because of faintness.

Object: 26 – Coathanger – CR399… Asterism List
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 10:24
Comments: 35 mm EP – Quite obvious in finder, but difficult to see in EP becase it is larger than the FOV of the EP. Made up of bright, approximately equal magnitude stars.

Object: 27 – Galaxy in Leo… M65 / NGC3623
Date Observed: 6/6/08 – 9:05
Comments: 35 mm EP – In same FOV as M66. Slightly fainter and down and to left of M66. Cannot determine size or shape.

Object: 28 – Ptolemy’s Cluster… M7 / NGC6475
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 9:53
Comments: 35 mm EP – Very similar to nearby M6. Slightly smaller and fewer stars but of a similar pattern. Looks a little like a terrier.

Object: 29 – Bernice’s Hair Clip… NGC4565
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 9:45
Comments: 35 mm EP – Very faint so it is difficult to see features It is much longer than high (wide).

Object: 30 – Globular in Pegasus… M15 / NGC7078
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 11:27
Comments: 27 mm EP – Very compact GC. Very pronounced small, intense core.

Object: 31 – Owl Cluster… NGC457
Date Observed: 9/4/08 - 8:54 - waxing crescent moon
Comments: 72 mm EP - The owl shape is obvious with two bright stars for eyes and outstretched wings. Also looks like a twin engine jet fighter on afterburner.

Object: 32 – Milky Way
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 9:11
Comments: 27 mm EP - Swept slowly in azimuth through the Milky Way in Cygnus along the neck of the swan. Many areas had stars almost as dense as some star clusters. Sweeping the scope at low speed through dense star fields was a new experience. A real treat.

Object: 33 – Trapezium in Orion… Center of M42
Date Observed: 11/18/08 - 10:04
Comments: 27 mm EP - Four bright stars in a center blank area of M42. The asterism is not a symmetrical trapezoid. The base lies vertically in the FOV, and the center of it is not centered on the top, but lower than the center of the top. Consequently, the 2 sides have different slopes.

Object: 34 – Open Cluster in Puppis… M46 / NGC2437
Date Observed: 11/19/08 - 1:19
Comments: 27 mm EP - A beautiful open cluster with what seems like hundreds of resolvable stars

Object: 35 – Double Triangle (Star Gate)… Asterism List
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 9:21
Comments: 35 mm EP – Looks like a triple triangle. Has the appearance of the spreader at the bottom of the tripod. All stars are at about the same magnitude.

Object: 36 – 24 Com Double… Double List
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 10:11
Comments: 17 mm EP - Spacing on double is about 1/16 of the FOV of the 17 mm EP ( ~2’ ). Two bright stars both very bright; one pale blue and the other yellow-white. Blue star is slightly fainter.

Object: 37 – Open Cluster in Sagittarius… M25 / IC4725
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 10:24
Comments: 27 mm EP – Bright stars widely spaced. Because there are many stars in the area, it is difficult to determine which are members of the cluster.

Object: 38 – Open Cluster in Gemini… M35 / NGC2168
Date Observed: 10/18/08 - 10:21
Comments: 27 mm EP - Beautiful open cluster. Fills almost the entire FOV with hundreds or thousands of stars, from moderately bright to just visible.

Object: 39 – Open Cluster in Cepheus… NGC7510
Date Observed: 9/4/08 (9:02) - waxing crescent moon
Comments: 27 mm EP - Small ( ~1/12 FOV) asterism of 6 or 7 bright stars surrounded by many very faint stars

Object: 40 – Globular Cluster in Hercules… M92 / NGC6341
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 9:59
Comments: 17 mm EP – Compact but bright. Outer stars are resolvable

Object: 41 – Tucanae… NGC104 – substitute M5
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 9:32
Comments: 17 mm EP – Beautiful GC. Using 17 mm EP, stars are resolvable from edge to center. Totally, it appears to fill about 1/2 FOV ( ~ 17’ )

Object: 42 – Galaxy in Andromeda… NGC891
Date Observed: 9/4/08 (9:10) - waxing crescent moon
Comments: 27 mm EP - Not visible. Will try again later in the year when it will be higher
Date Observed: 11/15/08 - 7:15
Comments: 35 mm EP - Averted vision definitely required for this one. Very faint Hard to see size or shape, but does appear to be slightly elongated.

Object: 43 – Open Cluster in Ophiuchus… NGC6633
Date Observed: 6/6/08 – 9:56
Comments: 35 mm EP – An open cluster with about three dozen bright stars widely spaced.

Object: 44 – Galaxy in Coma Berenices… M100 / NGC4321
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 10:16
Comments: 17 mm EP – Very faint. Difficult to see size of shape.

Object: 45 – Table of Scorpius… NGC6231
Date Observed: 6/5/08 – 9:40
Comments: 35 mm EP - A rather wide-open open cluster. It has about 16 bright stars widely spaced. It is very low over the desert so there is a lot of shimmering.

Object: 46 – Trifid Nebula… M20 / NGC6514
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 10:28
Comments: 27 mm EP – Very faint. Requires A/V, which makes it difficult to determine size and shape

Object: 47 – Betelgeuse… Named Star
Date Observed: 10/18/08 - 10:15
Comments: A very bright, very orange star

Object: 48 - Globular in Sagittarius... M55 / NGC6809
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 11:22
Comments: 27 mm EP – Very faint and diffuse because of being at a very low altitude.

Object: 49 – Open Cluster in Auriga… M36 / NGC1960
Date Observed: 11/15/08 - 8:46
Comments: 35 mm EP - A large open cluster with widely spaced stars far apart. Approximately in the shape of an "X". A 3/4 moon had risen by that time an was nearby, degrading viewing considerably.

Object: 50 – Eagle Nebula & Cluster… M16 / NGC6611
Date Observed: 6/7/08 – 10:32
Comments: 27 mm EP – The cluster is obvious and takes up about ˝ FOV (~27’), with moderately bright, well spaced stars. A hint of nebulosity is apparent with A/V.