NexStar 50 Club Observation Log

Name: Vassilis Apostolopoulos
NexStar Telescope Model(s): NexStar 8i XLT

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Object: 1 - Orion Nebula… M42 / NGC1976
Date Observed: 19/20/22 Sep 2004
Comments: Staying very late sometimes rewards! After seeing Betelguese I realized that Orion had rised behind a small hill. M42 was visible with naked eye. It was an easy target even manually! Nebula was impressive and slight blue color was apparent. Excellent view. (88x was used)

Object: 2 - Hercules Cluster… M13 / NGC6205
Date Observed: 13/17/18/19 Aug 2004, 13/19 Sep 2004
Comments: The first globular cluster I have ever seen, impressive, I used up to 225x nice view at 135x and 185x.

Object: 3 – Ring Nebula… M57 / NGC6720
Date Observed: 17/18/19 Aug 2004, 13 Sep 2004
Comments: Used up to 225x to enjoy small at 81x, nice at 135x. No star seen at the center
(LPR not necessary)

Object: 4 - Saturn
Date Observed: 19/20/22 Sep 2004
Comments: At about 3:30am I saw it rising behind a small hill. Initially it was rather low so it looked orange. I saw it using 88x and 185x. The last day quality was better. I just didn’t dare to use a Barlow because it would magnify the slight atmosphere problems. Last day at around 4:00AM it’s color had changed to almost white and I could barely see one band in the middle.

Object: 5 - Moon
Date Observed: 22 Aug 2004, 19/21 Sep
Comments: After seen it so many times the first days I got the scope, I finally used alignment so as to be able not only to locate it (easy anyway) but to track it as well. I used 81x magnification which resulted an impressive view (although it revealed a little the effects of air) and 135x which wasn’t so sharp but decent enough.
Sept: At 19th I saw it with orange color before it set, quality suffered. At 21 it was partly hidden by thin clouds but occasionally I was able to see it with my 23mm Axiom comfortably (a little less bright than usually but craters clearly seen)

Object: 6 – Andromeda… M31 / NGC224
Date Observed: 18/19/20/21/22/25 Aug 2004, 13/19 Sep 2004
Comments: Huge, the first Galaxy I ever saw, after seen it with my Nexstar it was easy to locate it and enjoy it with 7X50 binoculars too! Even 81x (25mm Plossl) was too much and anyway I needed wider angle and even then it wouldn’t be possible to include it as a whole on the field of view. (32 mm Plossl didn’t made any difference since it had narrower field of view)
Sept: I used my new 23mm 70 degree Axiom eyepiece with f/6.3 reducer. View was much better, I really enjoyed it!

Object: 7 – Dumbbell Nebula… M27 / NGC6853
Date Observed: 17/18/19 Aug 2004, 13 Sep 2004
Comments: Very nice nebula enjoyed up to 135x (LPR not necessary)
Sept: Used 185x, very nice...

Object: 8 – Pleiades / Seven Sisters… M45
Date Observed: 18/19 Aug 2004, 13 Sep 2004
Comments: First really enjoyed in 7x50 binoculars then used 81x (25mm Plossl) and of course I had to use the controls to move the scope to see them all. Easy target even of you try to locate it manually.
Sept 13: Even with reducer and wide angle eyepiece (Axiom 23mm) I had to move telescope to see them, so binoculars are still the best for M45!

Object: 10 – Wild Duck Cluster… M11 / NGC6705
Date Observed: 21/22/25 Aug 2004, 19 Sep 2004
Comments: Impressive at both 81x and 135x although my fantasy is not so advanced to see it as Wild Ducks! Sept: I used 88x and 185x.

Object: 11 – Bodes Galaxy… M81 / NGC3031 & Cigar Galaxy… M82 / NGC 3034
Date Observed: 19/21 Sep 2004
Comments: At Sep 19 moon has set early so there was time to observe. At 21 Sep it had not set yet but it was hidden partly by some clouds, so even so I was able to view both. I used my 23mm 70 degree Axiom and at the same time I used the f/6.3 reducer to enjoy both in the same Field of view.

Object: 12 – Swan Nebula… M17 / NGC6618
Date Observed: 20 Aug 2004
Comments: I used LPR filter with 81x to see the nebula…

Object: 13 – Albireo-Double… Double List
Date Observed: 8/9/13/17/18/19 Aug 2004, 13/15/19 Sep 2004
Comments: Nice double with different magnitude and colors. Good enough even in the light polluted area I live! (One of those I can look at without leaving home!) However when I am at the country I can enjoy Milky Way too so the view is much better.

Object: 14 – Perseus Double Cluster… NGC869 & NGC884
Date Observed: 18/19/25 Aug 2004, 22 Sep 2004
Comments: Impressive I used only 81x to try to see as much as possible I suspect I needed something wider to have a full view. Even so very nice.
Sept I used my 23mm Axiom and f/6.3 reducer. So finally both clusters fell into view! Excellent.

Object: 16 – Lagoon Nebula… M8 / NGC6523
Date Observed: 22/25 Aug 2004
Comments: Very impressive Nebula seen at 81x with LPR filter. (White patches/transparent areas seen).

Object: 18 – Western Veil Nebula… NGC6960 & Eastern Veil Nebula… NGC6992
Date Observed: 19 Sep 2004
Comments: I didn’t have an OIII filter so I used my LPR. Even so I could see patches of nebula as I moved the scope. Interesting view.

Object: 19 - Globular Cluster Canes Venatici… M3 / NGC5272
(Replacement for Omega Centauri… NGC5139)
Date Observed: 20 Aug 2004
Comments: ‘small’ globular cluster seen at 81x with LPR and at 135x (without LPR)

Object: 20 – Globular in Sagittarius… M22 / NGC6656
Date Observed: 17/18/19/25 Aug 2004
Comments: Impressive! As nice as M13! I used 81x and 135x.

Object: 21 – Butterfly Cluster… M6 / NGC6405
Date Observed: 25 Aug 2004
Comments: Nice cluster seen at 81x, I cannot claim I had observed a butterfly shape (and I didn’t even know that “nickname” up to that moment!)

Object: 22 – Double Double – Epsilon Lyra 1 & 2… Double List
Date Observed: 8/9/10/18 Aug 2004, 9/15/20 Sep 2004
Comments: Aug: Never really enjoyed it very much, the double double barely seen at 270x (135x with 2x barlow) and 335x, however quality suffered so much that made it almost worthless! Almost as bad as from a very light polluted area (my home!) as from a dark place! Maybe my new SCT needs collimation, I am not sure about it (at least at 81x it doesn’t seem to…) or better quality high power eyepieces?
Finally I saw it at 9/9 I used 225x and 335x. Haze was apparent but the separation was evident (needed some focusing attempts at these high magnifications also)
Sept 15: My first collimation, in combination with TeleVue's Nagler 11mm resulted a very nice view at 185x. Really enjoyed it for the first time!
Sept 20: Just for test I barely saw it using 88x!!! (From the country with good conditions, I didn’t try this from home!)

Object: 23 - Globular Cluster in Aquarius… M2 / NGC7089 (Replacement for Jewel Box… NGC4755)
Date Observed: 20 Aug 2004
Comments: very nice globular cluster seen at 135x, even at 225x.

Object: 24 – Blue Snowball Planetary Nebula… NGC7662
Date Observed: 13 Sep 2004
Comments: Saw it up to 185x. Like a snowball but no details inside as in pictures.

Object: 26 – Coathanger – CR399… Asterism List
Date Observed: 13 Sep 2004
Comments: To see a large part of it (it was impossible to fit it in the FOV) I used an F/6.3 reducer with my new 23mm, 70 degree Celestron Axiom eyepiece. Even then I had to move the scope to see the whole Asterism.

Object: 28 – Ptolemy’s Cluster… M7 / NGC6475
Date Observed: 22 Aug 2004
Comments: Nice open cluster seen at 81x, few bright stars observed.

Object: 30 – Globular in Pegasus… M15 / NGC7078
Date Observed: 17 Aug 2004
Comments: Another globular cluster seen (with a bright star in the view?) at 81x

Object: 31 – Owl Cluster… NGC457
Date Observed: 13/22 Sep 2004
Comments: Very nice, 2 stars seem brighter than the others, guess these are the eyes of the owl. Anyway nice view.

Object: 32 – Milky Way
Date Observed: 19/20 Sept 2004
Comments: Like an open cluster everywhere! I pointed scope to three places and used manual control:
1) Albireo 2) Deneb 3) Cassiopeia

Object: 33 – Trapezium in Orion… Center of M42
Date Observed: 20/22 Sep 2004
Comments: Used 88x and 185x. However it was clearly visible at 88x. Trapezium’s 4 stars clearly seen
A nice view in the center of another (M42) !

Object: 37 – Open Cluster in Sagittarius… M25 / IC4725
Date Observed: 22 Aug 2004
Comments: Very nice open seen at 81x

Object: 38 – Open Cluster in Gemini… M35 / NGC2168
Date Observed: 20 Aug 2004
Comments: Open cluster, rather few bright stars seen at 81x

Object: 39 – Open Cluster in Cepheus… NGC7510
Date Observed: 13/15 Sep 2004
Comments: I saw it at 88x, nice easy target, but to see the triangle inside comfortably I switched to 185x.
Stars seen inside triangle.

Object: 40 – Globular Cluster in Hercules… M92 / NGC6341
Date Observed: 13 Aug 2004, 13 Sep 2004
Comments: That’s the second globular cluster I have seen (after M13) not as impressive as M13 but nice too.

Object: 41 - Globular Cluster in Auriga... M38 / NGC1912
(Replacement for 47 Tucanae… NGC104)
Date Observed: 20 Aug 2004
Comments: Nice open cluster, 81x enough, it seemed less bright than M37.

Object: 42 – Galaxy in Andromeda… NGC891
Date Observed: 25 Aug 2004
Comments: Rather faint to enjoy and LPR filter didn’t help.

Object: 43 – Open Cluster in Ophiuchus… NGC6633
Date Observed: 15 Sept 2004
Comments: Open cluster fitted comfortably in the field of view. Didn’t seem to follow a specific pattern

Object: 45 - Galactic Cluster in Auriga... M37 / NGC2099
(Replacement for Table of Scorpius… NGC6231)
Date Observed: 20 Aug 2004
Comments: Nice open cluster, 81x was enough.

Object: 46 – Trifid Nebula… M20 / NGC6514
Date Observed: 22 Aug 2004
Comments: Nebula surrounding a star, barely seen at 81x with the help of LPR filter.

Object: 47 – Betelgeuse… Named Star
Date Observed: 19/20/22 Sep 2004
Comments: I saw it rising behind a small hill. Color was orange and remained so after rise.
Color seen with naked eye.

Object: 48 - Globular in Sagittarius... M55 / NGC6809
Date Observed: 20 Sept 2004
Comments: Managed to see it at 88x before clouds hide it.

Object: 49 – Open Cluster in Auriga… M36 / NGC1960
Date Observed: 20 Aug 2004
Comments: Nice open cluster , 81x was big enough to enjoy it.

Object: 50 – Eagle Nebula & Cluster… M16 / NGC6611
Date Observed: 22 Aug 2004
Comments: Rather than a nebula and open clusters it looked more like a globular one to me!