NexStar 50 Club Observation Log

Name: Steve Yarbrough
NexStar Telescope Model(s): NexStar 114GT


Object: 1 - Orion Nebula… M42 / NGC1976
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Bright Nebula with 4 stars in the middle. Also has 3 stars in a row at the edge of the nebula. There was a dark band clearly separating the two areas of the nebula. Clearly visible with 25mm, 10mm, and 5mm.

Object: 2 - Hercules Cluster… M13 / NGC6205
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Was low on the horizon (14-degrees) but was seen as a faint "fuzzball" with my 25mm eyepiece. Could also see with 10mm using averted vision.

Object: 3 – Ring Nebula… M57 / NGC6720
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Definite "donut" shape nebula. Visible with 25mm & 10mm but was too faint to be seen with 5mm.

Object: 4 - Saturn
Date Observed: 4/25/2002
Comments: Great view of rings and faint but definite gap for the Cassini Division. Conditions weren’t great and could only see one moon, which was at about the 5:00 position (in my inverted view). There was some very faint cloud swirl visible with the 10mm eyepiece… especially when using the blue filter. Tried the 5mm but conditions weren’t good enough to get much definition at that power.

Object: 5 - Moon
Date Observed: 4/25/2002
Comments: Moon was at about 98% full. Was extremely bright even when using my moon filter along with a blue filter. Can get the entire moon in view using the 25mm eyepiece. There was one very large crater and several other large craters that were giving off significant light rays across the moonscape. Because of the fullness of the phase, there was very little transition area to view but several craters were viewable, especially with the 10mm eyepiece. In addition, there was one area at about the 1:00 position that appeared to combine craters and mountains. This was especially apparent with the 5mm eyepiece.

Object: 6 – Andromeda… M31 / NGC224
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Appeared as a bright oval fuzzy patch with a somewhat brighter center. There was also another small galaxy in the same FOV with my 25mm eyepiece. Very impressive site.

Object: 7 – Dumbell Nebula… M27 / NGC6853
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: At 25mm, looked like a fuzzy patch but at 10mm looked like a cylinder with a constricted center area.

Object: 8 – Pleades / Seven Sisters… M45
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Bright broad group of bright stars with a triangle formation in the middle of the cluster. Best viewed with my 25mm eyepiece.

Object: 9 – Jupiter
Date Observed: 4/25/2002
Comments: Very bright and the 4 main moons were clearly visible. The moons were in an almost perfect alignment, with 3 moons on one side of Jupiter and one moon on the other. The closest moon on the side with 3 appeared to almost be touching the giant planet. There were two bands clearly visible and they were traversing the planet at almost the same angles as the moons… from about 11:00 position to the 5:00 position. The band on the left appeared to be darker and wider than the other. The blue filter really brought the bands out. In addition, the blue filter also brought out the darker polar regions. The best viewing was with the 10mm eyepiece.

Object: 10 – Wild Duck Cluster… M11 / NGC6705
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Dense cluster of stars which was better viewed with my 10mm eyepiece. One bright star and a double group just outside the cluster highlighted it. There were fewer stars in the center area of the cluster.

Object: 11 – Bodes Galaxy… M81 / NGC3031 & Cigar Galaxy… M82 / NGC 3034
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: M81 appeared as a fuzzy oval with a bright core. M82 appeared as a fuzzy streak. Could see both in the same FOV with my 25mm. Good view with the 10mm also. Could view the core only with 5mm.

Object: 12 – Swan Nebula… M17 / NGC6618
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Gas cloud almost shaped like a fat checkmark on its side. It had a small open cluster nearby.

Object: 13 – Albiero-Double… Double List
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Double star with one brighter than the other. One star also had a bit of a red tinge. Could be separated with 25mm eyepiece.

Object: 14 – Perseus Double Cluster… NGC869 & NGC884
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Nice smaller double cluster on it side. One of my favorite clusters. Full view with 25mm eyepiece but could only get about half of each cluster with the 10mm eyepiece.

Object: 15 – Whirlpool Galaxy… M51 / NGC5194
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Looked like a faint sideways "6" with a bright area at the top of the "6" and a brighter area at the bottom of the "6".

Object: 16 – Lagoon Nebula… M8 / NGC6523
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Fairly bright open cluster nebula. Brighter part of nebula has more faint stars.

Object: 17 – Beehive Cluster… M44 / NGC2632
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Similar to M45 but more stars in the group. There were a couple of star groups within the cluster that formed triangles. Best viewed with 25mm.

Object: 18 – Western Veil Nebula… NGC6960 & Eastern Veil Nebula… NGC6992
Date Observed: 5/20/2002
Comments: Extremely faint. Could only tell it was there by a slight haze around one of the brighter stars in the area. Could actually see better with a pair of binoculars I had with me.

Object: 19 – Substitution - SUN
Date Observed: 10/18/2002
Comments: Viewed with a Celestron Baader Full Aperture Filter. Through this filter the sun looks white. There were three different groupings of sunspots... at 3:00 (near the edge of the sun), at 7:00 (about ¼ of the way in), and at 11:00 (about 1/3 of the way in). The cluster at 3:00 had one very large sunspot that had a prefect inner very dark circle surrounded by a lighter perfect circle area. The one at 7:00 had 3 main sunspots while the one at 1:00 was made up of several small spots spread out over a considerable area.

Object: 20 – Globular in Sagittarius… M22 / NGC6656
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: At 25mm, just looked like a fuzzy ball. At 10mm, could make out more pinpoint stars… mostly on one side of the cluster.

Object: 21 – Butterfly Cluster… M6 / NGC6405
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Definitely could see where it got its name… an irregular open cluster with two groupings that somewhat resembled two butterfly wings. Could get full view in 10mm but looked better in 25mm.

Object: 22 – Double Double – Epsilon Lyra 1 & 2… Double List
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Double star with identical brightness. Also had considerable spacing. Was no problem to separate with 25mm eyepiece.

Object: 23 – Substitution - Open Cluster in Auriga... M37
Date Observed: 10/18/2002 AM
Comments: Fairly dense medium size cluster. Has an inner core which is more dense than the outer. Fairly uniform star brightness and a very nice formation.

Object: 24 – Blue Snowball Planetary Nebula… NGC7662
Date Observed: 5/20/2002
Comments: Had some trouble finding this one. Was looking of a larger area. It is a very small “faint fuzzy” patch about the size of a small planet. Could even be seen with my 7mm and 2x Barlow (about 260 power).

Object: 25 – Spiral Galaxy… M66 / NGC3627
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Faint oval galaxy with small grouping of faint stars at one end of the galaxy.

Object: 26 – Coathanger – CR399… Asterism List
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Grouping of about 9 bright stars that form a coathanger shape (with some imagination ;-) )

Object: 27 – Galaxy in Leo… M65 / NGC3623
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: There were 2 galaxies of similar size next to each other. Could barely get both in the FOV on 10mm

Object: 28 – Ptolemy’s Cluster… M7 / NGC6475
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Fairly broad open cluster filled the FOV on my 25mm eyepiece. Group of stars in the center of the cluster almost appears spear-like.

Object: 29 – Bernice’s Hair Clip… NGC4565
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Very faint… almost looked like fuzzy star. At the end of the galaxy was a series of stars forming a convex shape.

Object: 30 – Globular in Pegasus… M15 / NGC7078
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Was brighter in the center but, even with the 10mm eyepiece, I could not make out any individual stars. Looked like a "fuzzball"

Object: 31 – Owl Cluster… NGC457
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Small cluster which was very irregular. There were two bright stars that, if you considered them as eyes, it looked like it formed a "stickman" with outstretched arms.

Object: 32 – Milky Way
Date Observed: 4/25/2002
Comments: Although it wasn’t visible most of the early morning hours, the moon (at about 85% phase) finally set and the Milky Way finally became visible about 3:30am. It stretched across the night sky, I would judge at about 40 to 50 degree altitude, from the south to the north.

Object: 33 – Trapezium in Orion… Center of M42
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Four stars forming a box shape. One star brighter than rest and an additional 3 bright stars in a row also in the field of view. Could view with 25mm, 10mm, and 5mm.

Object: 34 – Open Cluster in Puppis… M46 / NGC2437
Date Observed: 4/20/2002
Comments: Faint large open cluster with a very regular pattern. It contained a red star at the edge of the FOV with my 25mm.

Object: 35 – Double Triangle (Star Gate)… Asterism List
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: three stars forming a triangle with a double star in the middle. Could also be viewed as two triangles.

Object: 36 – 24 Com Double… Double List
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: One of the stars appeared about twice as bright as the other.

Object: 37 – Open Cluster in Sagittarius… M25 / IC4725
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Fairly circular open cluster. One area of more dense stars near the center, with 6 brighter stars. Could get most of the cluster in my 10mm FOV.

Object: 38 – Open Cluster in Gemini… M35 / NGC2168
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Very broad open cluster with somewhat denser outer. Also, many fainter stars scattered throughout.

Object: 39 – Open Cluster in Cepheus… NGC7510
Date Observed: 5/20/2002
Comments: Very small cluster highlighted with a brighter star at each end. Shaped like a very flat oval. With the 7mm eyepiece, could count about 10 brighter stars but there were many more faint ones in the background.

Object: 40 – Globular Cluster in Hercules… M92 / NGC6341
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: With my 25mm eyepiece looked like a fuzzball with brighter core. There were still no discernable features using the 10mm. Was low on the horizon (13-degrees)

Object: 41 – Substitution - Open Cluster in Auriga... M38
Date Observed: 10/18/2002
Comments: Nice open cluster somewhat irregular and not as dense or broad as M37. Has a couple of “strings” of stars that line up and radiate from the center in a somewhat straight line outwards.

Object: 42 – Galaxy in Andromeda… NGC891
Date Observed: 9/7/2002
Comments: Wow, this was the most elusive of all the items for my little 114mm scope. I searched in vain for this one on many occasions. It finally took a no-moon, very clear, dark-sky site night before I could see it. I can’t even be sure that I actually saw it or if my eyes were playing tricks on me. It appeared to be just barely a wisp of a fuzzy line in the sky.

Object: 43 – Open Cluster in Ophiuchus… NGC6633
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Fairly elongated open sparse cluster. At one end there is a tighter cluster which almost looked like it had a slight nebulosity cloud.

Object: 44 – Galaxy in Coma Berenices… M100 / NGC4321
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Extremely faint "fuzzball". No distinct features or identifying stars surrounding the galaxy.

Object: 45 – Substitution - Globular Cluster in Aquarius... M2
Date Observed: 10/22/2002
Comments: Nice Globular Cluster which is not as large as M13 or M22 but had a somewhat brighter core. I viewed this from my light polluted driveway so I could not resolve individual stars. One interesting feature is that it was inside an upside-down triangle star formation (at the bottom valley of the triangle).

Object: 46 – Trifid Nebula… M20 / NGC6514
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Was a fairly circular gas cloud with a tight cluster off to one side of the nebula. There was also another nebula within a few degrees that looked like a gas cloud at the end of an elongated open cluster. Best viewed with 25mm eyepiece.

Object: 47 – Betelgeuse… Named Star
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Reddish/orange bright star above Orion

Object: 48 – Globular in Sagittarius… M55 / NGC6809
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Was low on the horizon (15-degrees) so it appeared as a fuzzy patch with my 25mm eyepiece. It was barely visible with my 10mm eyepiece. No discernable features or stars.

Object: 49 – Open Cluster in Ariga… M36 / NGC1960
Date Observed: 4/10/2002
Comments: Small open cluster. It filled the FOV in my 10mm. Not many stars but fairly regularly spread.

Object: 50 – Eagle Nebula & Cluster… M16 / NGC6611
Date Observed: 4/23/2002
Comments: Small cluster forming somewhat of a "V" shape. Very faint haziness. Was best viewed with a 10mm eyepiece.