Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue eyepiece, Paracorr. New objects observed: NGC 6756, NGC 6802, NGC 7086, NGC 7128 Previously viewed objects: Messier 13, NGC 6755, Coathanger This was only the third night I was able to get out this year. It sucks, but I did get some new objects at least. Messier 13 is, of course, not a new object. My six year old son had expressed a desire to look at something in the telescope though, so I went and got it in view before I went to try and wake him up.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue eyepiece, Paracorr. New objects observed: NGC 4435, NGC 4443, NGC 4419, NGC 4450, NGC 4350 Previously viewed objects: Messier 89, Messier 90, Messier 87, Messier 86, Messier 84, Mars, NGC 4478, NGC 4438, NGC 4458, NGC 4477, NGC 4459 This was the first night I got any telescope since last September, ugh. The weather the entire winter was not at all cooperative. I didn’t have high hopes for the evening, since the fence between my neighbors and I got replaced over the winter because it fell over, and it’s letting more light into my yard.
Last year I started working on observing the Herschel 400 (and cataloged my results for 2012 back in October). While for a variety of reasons 2013 wasn’t the best year for amateur astronomy for me, I was still able to get some observing time in and added some more objects to my Herschel 400 tally. How did I do in 2013? NGC 752 NGC 1245 NGC 2548 (Messier 48) NGC 3007 NGC 3034 (Messier 82) NGC 3607 NGC 3608 NGC 4216 NGC 4251 NGC 4261 NGC 4273 NGC 4274 NGC 4281 NGC 4303 (Messier 61) NGC 4631 NGC 4656 NGC 5273 NGC 5557 NGC 5866 NGC 5907 NGC 6207 NGC 6229 NGC 6633 NGC 6755 NGC 6781 NGC 6826 NGC 6882 NGC 6885 NGC 6934 NGC 7000 NGC 7006 NGC 7008 NGC 7009 NGC 7062 NGC 7160 NGC 7217 NGC 7296 NGC 7331 NGC 7790
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue eyepieces, OIII filter, Paracorr. New objects observed: NGC 7008, NGC 7129, NGC 7160, NGC 7788, NGC 7790, Frolov 1 Previously viewed objects: NGC 6826 (Blinking Planetary Nebula), NGC 6939 There were two reasonably clear nights in a row. That doesn’t happen real often. I spent some time looking for Herschel 400 galaxies, but sadly right now there don’t seem to be a whole lot of them out.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue, 6mm eyepieces, 2x Barlow, OIII filter, Paracorr. New objects observed: NGC 6755, NGC 6781, NGC 752, NGC 1245 Previously viewed objects: Messier 31, Messier 32, NGC 7009 I got a good night for observing for the first time in nearly two months. Ugh. I was mostly pursuing Herschel 400 objects this night, but did spend some time observing the Andromeda Galaxy for a while. It looked pretty good, especially for being in the city - not only was the nucleus nice and bright, but there were hints of the rest of the galaxy around it, even the barest hints of the dust lanes.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue eyepieces, Paracorr. New objects observed: NGC 6882, NGC 6885, NGC 7062, NGC 7296 Previously viewed objects: Coathanger (Cr 399), NGC 7082 The skies were looking pretty good this evening, so I ended up taking the telescope out. The moon’s getting bigger, and this will probably be the last night for a while that I’ll be able to go out observing for at least a couple of weeks.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 6mm, 12mm TeleVue, Paracorr, plus looking through some other people’s telescopes New objects observed: NGC 5907, NGC 4631, NGC 4656, NGC 4627, NGC 5273, NGC 5557, NGC 5529, NGC 7000, NGC 7217, T Lyrae Previously viewed objects: Messier 57, Messier 81, Messier 82, NGC 3077, NGC 7331, Messier 51, NGC 5195, Messier 7, Neptune, Messier 8, NGC 5866, NGC 7318, NGC 7320, NGC 6940, NGC 6910
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue eyepieces, Paracorr. New objects observed: NGC 6229, NGC 6633, NGC 6934, NGC 7006 Previously viewed objects: Messier 13, NGC 6207 An unexpectedly good night. It was clear, but the area around Mt. Rainier was looking quite hazy on the bottom, and the other mountains were hard to see through the haze. I went out to see how the sky looked around midnight, though, and it looked pretty good, so I set up and knocked a few objects off the Herschel 400 list along with observing M13 once again (which is always pretty striking).
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm eyepiece, Paracorr. New objects observed: none Previously viewed objects: Messier 81, Messier 82, Messier 3 Not a good night, it turned out. Mt. Rainier looked pretty good from my window, so I thought I might be able to pull off some quality observing, but it was not to be. I initially tried looking for some Herschel 400 objects, but wasn’t having any luck there. To get a feel for the overall quality of the night, I looked at Messier 81, 82, and 3, since they would be in pretty good positions and should be fairly easy to find.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue eypieces, Paracorr. New objects observed: NGC 3607, NGC 3608 Previously viewed objects: None. Not that great of a night. I did see two new Herschel 400 objects, NGC 3607 and 3608, but even getting those took a while. This night was, sadly, murkier than the Clear Sky Chart indicated it might be (the smog’s still hanging around, and while it wasn’t as bad as it was for the previous few days it was still pretty bad), and that’s all I ended up being able to see.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 6mm, 12mm TeleVue eyepieces, Paracorr. New objects observed: NGC 4216, NGC 4251, NGC 4278, NGC 4274, NGC 4283, NGC 4526, NGC 4414 Previously viewed objects: None. All new things this time. The weather’s been pretty nice here over these last few days. Now that I’ve observed all of the Messier objects, I decided to take a crack at the Herschel 400. Everything I was looking for this night was pretty difficult; there were a number of galaxies that I was looking for that I never was able to definitely find, but I was able to find many of the ones I did set out to find.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue eypieces. New objects observed: Messier 61, NGC 4261, NGC 4260, NGC 4270, NGC 4273, NGC 4281, NGC 4268, NGC 4324, Messier 98, Messier 100, NGC 4312, Messier 83 (Update: Geez, how did I manage to forget to actually list these when I first wrote this? I plead distraction by kids.) Previously viewed objects observed: Messier 44, Saturn Location: Near Mt. St. Helens I had been on the verge of having observed all of the Messier objects for a while, but conditions here haven’t been good for observing for months.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue eyepieces, OIII filter. New objects observed: NGC 1027, IC 1805, NGC 6823, NGC 6834, NGC 6866, NGC 6905 Previously viewed objects: Coathanger (Cr 399), NGC 6910, Messier 57 A somewhat hazy night here, sadly. It ended up being one of those nights where you mostly look at open clusters because that’s mostly what you can see. I did at least observe some more of the Herschel 400 open clusters (and some were even challenging), and for the heck of it looked at M57, because I haven’t for a while.
A while back, I started working through the Herschel 400 catalog, because I only had seven Messier objects left to observe and none of them were currently in the night sky. That was back in August. How have I been doing since then? NGC 40 NGC 129 NGC 136 NGC 185 NGC 205 (Messier 110) NGC 225 NGC 278 NGC 381 NGC 404 NGC 436 NGC 457 NGC 488 NGC 598 (Messier 33) NGC 637 NGC 654 NGC 659 NGC 663 NGC 869 NGC 884 NGC 891 NGC 1023 NGC 1027 NGC 1501 NGC 1502 NGC 5195 (Messier 51b) NGC 6823 NGC 6830 NGC 6834 NGC 6866 NGC 6905 NGC 6910 NGC 6939 NGC 6940 NGC 6946 NGC 7479 NGC 7606 NGC 7686 NGC 7789 This is currently a total of 38 objects, which isn’t too bad for about a month and a half.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm eyepiece New objects observed: NGC 7606, NGC 404, NGC 488, NGC 1023, NGC 891, NGC 7479, Palomar 13 Previously viewed objects: Messier 31, Messier 32, Messier 33, Messier 110 Location: Sunrise, up at Mt. Rainier. This was not the best night to have gone up to Sunrise, but it’s unclear if I’ll be able to make another trip up this year, so I went last night. To get a feel for how the night was going to go I found M33 and was not encouraged; it was rather faint, despite being at 45º altitude.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm Tele Vue eyepieces, OIII filter. Once again, no ParaCorr this evening. New objects observed: NGC 40, NGC 278, NGC 7686, NGC 7789, NGC 6940 Previously viewed objects: Messier 31, Messier 32, Messier 110, NGC 185, NGC 6939, NGC 6946, Messier 51, NGC 5195 New Location: Paradise, up on Mt. Rainier. My eight year old daughter has been wanting to come with me on one of my observing excursions sometime.
SkySafari, the star chart app I use on my iPhone (and an all around find product, in my experience) has quite a few lists of objects that come with it. Unfortunately, none of them are a list for the Herschel 400. Never fear, though. You can import and export observing lists with SkySafari, and I’ve built one for the Herschel 400. There’s one object that’s left out because it’s a dubious duplicate of another object on the list, and the total objects on the list is a little over 400 because there’s a few objects on the Herschel 400 that have multiple NGC numbers that I included, but other than that it should be accurate.
Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm Tele Vue eyepieces. No ParaCorr this evening. OIII filter. New objects observed: NGC 129, NGC 136, NGC 225, NGC 436, NGC 637, NGC 663, NGC 659, NGC 381, NGC 1501, NGC 1502 Previously viewed objects: NGC 457, NGC 869, NGC 884 Since I only have seven Messier objects left to observe, and none of them are in the sky right now, I’ve started working on the Herschel 400.
Since I’m very close to finishing up observing all the Messier objects (I have seven left at the moment, which I have to wait on getting back into the sky before I can go looking for them), I’ve started looking for more obscure objects, like I did the last time I went out. The sky’s a big place, though, and it can be hard to decide what to look for among the NGC or other catalog objects.