NexStar 50 Club Observation Log

Name: Timm Bottoni
NexStar Telescope Models: NexStar 114GT with NexStar Plossl Eyepiece set

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Object: 1 - Orion Nebula… M42 / NGC1976
Date Observed: March 2004 – various Dates – 12-14-04
Comments: Pretty easy to see, was able to get views numerous times. Looks pretty cool, was expecting to see color the first time, how silly of me. Couple of times was able to see pretty good detail in 9mm, and entire object is nice in 32mm, and even 25mm. Viewed nice details on 12-14-05, tried zooming all the way in with the 6mm and was able to see nice wisps of details

Object: 2 - Hercules Cluster… M13 / NGC6205
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: Finally got a good view of this really nice cluster. Had trouble earlier because it was too close to zenith. Liked the view in 6mm the best. Could just barely make out some stars, but mostly just a nice fuzzy bright ball

Object: 3 – Ring Nebula… M57 / NGC6720
Date Observed: 7-31-04
Comments: The ring is hard to see but visible in 15mm . Best view seemed to be at 9mm. Could not see much detail, but it was interesting to see

Object: 4 - Saturn
Date Observed: Various times in Spring 2004 and 12-14-04
Comments: Observed over the course of several months. 6mm and 9mm provide the best views. 4mm got really soft. The rings were very clear on several occasions but divisions were not visible. 12-14 - Zoomed all the way in with a 4mm and 6mm, under very clear skies. Could make out the most details I have seen so far.

Object: 5 - Moon
Date Observed: Various times in 2003 and 2004
Comments: The moon filter works well, and the blue filter was interesting as well. The 15mm and 9mm produced very nice views. I like the 6mm as well, as it lets in a very nice close view. The 4mm is just too much mag for this scope.

Object: 6 – Andromeda… M31 / NGC224
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: Was finally able to see it this night, as the seeing conditions were excellent. The M31 turned out to be a real challenge, as it was blocked by the neighbors house until it was up high enough, and light pollution towards the NE is bad, as it looks towards the city of Chicago. 32mm produced a soft haze, and 15 mm showed some details, but was too high of a mag to take in the shape completely. 12-14-04 - Now that I have seen it, I find it rather easy to find, and it looked very nice tonight as it was up high in the sky.

Object: 7 – Dumbell Nebula… M27 / NGC6853
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: Excellent viewing conditions this night. Was able to see it rather well this night, and was best viewed in 9mm EP. 6 didn’t seem to really help much, and 15 worked ok but it was a bit small and hard to see.

Object: 8 – Pleiades / Seven Sisters… M45
Date Observed: Various times in Fall/Winter of 2003 and 9/22/04 and 11-12-04
Comments: Need to look at this again, as I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing the first time I looked at it. Spend some time on 9/22/04, as it was just viewable over the neighbor’s house. I needed the 32 mm to get a full appreciation of the beauty here. It looks much better now that “I know what I’m doing” Looked great again on 11-12-04, could see most of the stars in the 32mm, but zooming in to the 9mm showed lots of little sets of double stars that are interesting to see.

Object: 9 – Jupiter
Date Observed: Numerous times in 2004
Comments: Jupiter is my favorite solar system object. Able to see 2 bands nearly all the time, 9mm and 6mm views were good. 4mm is just a blur. Why do I keep trying it? Saw additional detail one night when vis was good. Haven’t been able to see the great spot yet – will probably have to wait until I have more aperture.

Object: 10 – Wild Duck Cluster… M11 / NGC6705
Date Observed: July and Aug 2004 – numerous times
Comments: This is my favorite cluster. Looks nice in all eyepieces, lots of details when visibility is good.

Object: 11 – Bodes Galaxy… M81 / NGC3031 & Cigar Galaxy… M82 / NGC 3034
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: Yeah! Finally saw it this night. I have tried no less than a dozen times before and saw nothing. Really clear skies showed 81 and 82 (barely) and while fuzzy and dim, it was definitely there.

Object: 12 – Swan Nebula… M17 / NGC6618
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: This is hard to see – it looks more like a smudge of dirt on the eyepiece, and is very non impressive in this scope. I was able to make out more of the shape on this occasion.

Object: 13 – Albiero-Double… Double List
Date Observed: July 30 2004
Comments: Really nice colors are visible on this double star. This is my favorite DS and its holds up well at all magnifications. I can even use the 4mm and it looks pretty good.

Object: 14 – Perseus Double Cluster… NGC869 & NGC884
Date Observed: 8-21-04
Comments: Excellent viewing tonight – best that I have seen so far. Nice set of two groups of well defined stars. 32mm showed overall view, and then 9mm was used to move around within the 2 clusters.

Object: 15 – Whirlpool Galaxy… M51 / NGC5194
Date Observed: 8-5-04 – 9/22/04
Comments: I think I saw it this night. Conditions were good, I had the GoTo putting objects in the center of a 9mm and I could make out a slight image as the scope moved over it. Averted vision, and moving the scope seemed to be the only way I could really see it. I hope that I can try to get some better looks at it soon. This needs really good seeing to even get a glimpse at.
Second viewing – looked good last night – viewing was excellent. Still small and fuzzy, but interesting. Looked more like a small fuzzy star, with no real details.

Object: 16 – Lagoon Nebula… M8 / NGC6523
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: Very hard to see. After I stared at it a while, I seemed to notice more. I will definitely spend more time looking at this when I get good seeing conditions.

Object: 17 – Beehive Cluster… M44 / NGC2632
Date Observed: 12-14-04
Comments: Nice open cluster – was able to see most of it at once using the 32mm eyepiece. Maybe it was too cold for the bees to be out, but I didn’t see a beehive anywhere in this cluster. Perhaps I just have no imagination any more. It looks more like a flock of wild ducks to me, in fact more so than the Wild Duck cluster.

Object: 18 – Western Veil Nebula… NGC6960 & Eastern Veil Nebula… NGC6992
Date Observed: Nope – no matter how many times I tried, I still can’t see it.
Comments: Send all checks and cash to me directly for my new charity, Timm’s N11GPS fund.

Object 19 Alternate – M2 Globular cluster in Aquarius
Date Observed: Viewed M2 several times during August
Comments: It’s a nice fuzzy cluster, that makes for a really good check to see if my alignment is good, and to see if the sky is reasonably clear.

Object: 20 – Globular in Sagittarius… M22 / NGC6656
Date Observed: 7 - 04
Comments: Nice to look at – have viewed this several times. 15mm and 9mm are nicest views but 6mm shows more details but kind of gets lots

Object: 21 – Butterfly Cluster… M6 / NGC6405
Date Observed: July and Aug 2004
Comments: Really nice to look at 32mm and 15mm look good. I can make out the butterfly shape pretty easily now that I have seen it a few times.

Object: 22 – Double Double – Epsilon Lyra 1 & 2… Double List
Date Observed: Aug 5, 2004
Comments: Have looked at this on a couple of occasions. Nice but not really that interesting.

Object 23 Alternate – M3 – Globular cluster in Canes Venatici
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: Nice and not hard to see. Looks very fuzzy to me, would be great in a bigger scope I bet.

Object: 24 – Blue Snowball Planetary Nebula… NGC7662
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: Rather cool looking nebula. Need really good seeing for this one. I was surprised that I saw it on my first attempt this night. I had the goto working really well. Maybe I got lucky, or maybe I am actually getting better at this.

Object: 26 – Coathanger – CR399… Asterism List
Date Observed: July and Aug 2004 – various times
Comments: Nice in the 32mm – it actually looks like a coathanger. Surprised that its right side up in my scope. Needs 32mm to see it all at one time and have it look like a coathanger. Now that I know where it is, its fun to look at with binoculars too.

Object: 28 – Ptolemy’s Cluster… M7 / NGC6475
Date Observed: July 30 2004
Comments: Nice to look at – 15mm and 9mm look great. Lots of stars to look at. I will spend more time on this as the summer progresses.

Object: 29 – Bernice’s Hair Clip… NGC4565
Date Observed: Just can’t see it – no matter how many times I try
Comments: I’ve added PayPal to my acceptable funds for anyone reading this and sending money to my savings account for a new Nexstar 11GPS

Object: 30 – Globular in Pegasus… M15 / NGC7078
Date Observed: 9-2-04 and 9/22/04
Comments: Nice typical globular cluster – reasonably bright, about like M13, or M92 but perhaps larger and more dense. Can’t really see individual stars – perhaps on a night with better seeing.

Object: 31 – Owl Cluster… NGC457
Date Observed: 8-5-05
Comments: Nice - but not too thrilling. Just looks like stars to me, don’t see the owl.

Object: 32 – Milky Way
Date Observed: 9/22/04
Comments: I don’t think I will ever be able to see this with my naked eye from Bartlett IL. I spent some time looking at it, slowly moving around in the Summer Triangle area. The sky was very clear, so I was amazed at how much I could see by just slowly moving around. The 32 mm and 15mm eyepieces both gave excellent views. I stumbled onto several interesting small open clusters or groupings of stars, probably in the Mag 9 or 10 area, but I have no idea what they were.

Object: 33 – Trapezium in Orion… Center of M42
Date Observed: 11-12-04
Comments: Easy to see, nice to look at using the 9mm and 15mm eyepieces. Not too interesting actually, because of light pollution to the East, so most of the nebula around it was washed out. The stars are clearly visible, and if the weather permits it should be much better viewing for me in late Winter

Object: 35 – Double Triangle (Star Gate)… Asterism List
Date Observed: July and August 2004 – various times
Comments: First observed this without even knowing what it was. Interesting, but not all that exciting.

Object: 36 – 24 Com Double… Double List
Date Observed: July 30, 04
Comments: Nice double star – easy to find and see.

Object: 37 – Open Cluster in Sagittarius… M25 / IC4725
Date Observed: July 30, 04
Comments: Lots of stars – 32mm shows the entire area nicely, zoomed in up to 6mm to look at several small groups of stars within the open cluster

Object: 38 – Open Cluster in Gemini… M35 / NGC2168
Date Observed: 11-12-04
Comments: Looked at M35, M36, M37, and M38. M35 was pretty easy to see, lots of stars in a nice open cluster. It was probably my favorite of these 4 open clusters.

Object: 39 – Open Cluster in Cepheus… NGC7510
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: Very hard to see – have to try and see this again when seeing conditions are excellent

Object: 40 – Globular Cluster in Hercules… M92 / NGC6341
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: Small and fuzzy no matter what I did to see it. Gotta try and see this again when I’m not so tired. Viewed again on 8-21-04. Looked better this time. Still can’t really see any detailed stars much, can just start to see a few, even at 6mm, but its nice to look at.

Object 41 Alternate – M37 or M38 Open Clusters in Auriga
Date Observed: 11-12-04
Comments: Observed M37 and M38 with M38 being much easer to see and resolve. M37 was much fainter, as the stars were less bright. M38 was nice, relatively open, with lots of stars that I could see.

Object: 43 – Open Cluster in Ophiuchus… NGC6633
Date Observed: 7-31-04
Comments: Nice open cluster – my 114 does pretty well with the open clusters. 32mm provides a wide view. Will have to get some closer views next time

Object 45 Alternate – M5 Open cluster in Serpens
Date Observed: 7-31-04
Comments: Easy to see, nice open cluster, not that exciting but its easy to find and look at.

Object: 47 – Betelgeuse… Named Star
Date Observed: Spring 04 and 11-12-04
Comments: Observed many times – makes a good alignment star. Interesting to look at for a few minutes, then on to something more challenging. It has a pleasing color to it, if that makes any sense.

Object: 49 – Open Cluster in Auriga… M36 / NGC1960
Date Observed: 11-12-04
Comments: Looked at M35, M36, M37, and M38. M36 was easy to see. There were lots of stars visible and some interesting clumps of stars that I could resolve pretty well.

Object: 50 – Eagle Nebula & Cluster… M16 / NGC6611
Date Observed: 8-5-04
Comments: Easy to see the cluster – but I can only barely see a hint of the nebula. Viewing was very good, so this is probably as good as it will get without a bigger scope. Something to look forward to when I get a bigger scope.