Deep Sky Spring Observations April - June 2019

Observation Conditions | Observation Overview | Remarks | References

From the end of April 2019 to the beginning of June, I conducted simple deep sky "spring observations", which might be of interest to other beginners and are therefore described here.

List of observed deep sky objects (the links lead to pages describing the DSOs):

I mostly selected my observation objects on the basis of my previous observations.

 

Observation Conditions

Sky Region and Objects

Initially, at the end of April 2019, I restricted myself to the sky between Cancer, Gemini, Orion, Auriga and Taurus, because all this was in about the same direction for me (southwest to south).

At the beginning of June 2019, I searched for well visible open and globular star clusters in Cancer, in Coma Berenices and around Arcturus in Bootes. So the targets were sometimes quite far apart.

Overview Map

The following map shows approximately the sky region that I browsed during my observations end of April/beginning of May:

Click the map for a larger version - it opens in a new window. The deep sky objects that I tried to observe are indicated by red dots.

The following map shows approximately the sky region that I browsed during my observations at the beginning of June:

Click the map for a larger version - it opens in a new window. The deep sky objects that I tried to observe are indicated by red dots.

Observation Time

The observations of deep sky objects started after it was sufficiently dark.

Observation Location

All observations were conducted in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (Germany):

Devices Used

General Conditions

The observations startedafter full moon or briefly after new moon.

In general, the sky above Mühlhausen/Kraichgau is "light-polluted" and does not invite you to search for deep sky objects. This is certainly one of the reasons why I found some of the deep sky objects that I wanted to observe only sometimes or not at all.

 

Observation Overview

Observation Dates

Date
2019
Observations Details, Remarks Further Observations and Remarks Devices Used Eyepieces Used
Apr OC: M 44 (Praesepe), M 45 (Pleyades), M 35 M 44, M 45, and M 35 as easy test objects for the SynScan WLAN module Test observations with PS 72/432 on Star Discovery mount with SynScan WLAN PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto mount n.a.

 

April 28 OC: M 35, M 36, M 37, M 38 M 44 with various eyepieces (10-35)
M 35, M 36, M 37, M 38 with 10 mm (M 35 also with other eyepieces): all the objects faint and fine dots (M 35)
Test observations with PS 72/432 on Star Discovery mount with SynScan WLAN PS 72/432 on Star Discovery mount, SynScan WLAN 10 mm - 35 mm
May 1 OC: M 35, M 36, M 37, M 38, M 44 M 44 with various eyepieces (16?, 24?, 35)
M 35, M 36, M 37, M 38 various eyepieces: all the objects faint and fine dots, but better than with PS72/432

Test observations with Explorer 150 PDS on Star Discovery mount with SynScan WLAN

Explorer 150PDS on Star Discovery mount, SynScan WLAN 16 mm, 24 mm, 35 mm
Jun 2

OC: Mel 111 (Coma star cluster), M 44
GC: M 3, M 5

M 44 (Praesepe): faint (PS 72/432 and TS binoculars)
Mel 111 (Coma star cluster): large (PS 72/432, TS binoculars, Omegon-star field binoculars)
M 3, M 5 (PS 72/432 and TS binoculars): M3 smaller than M5, both with a bright core and surrounding glow, no stars recognizable

Observations with PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto mount, TS binoculars and Omegon star field binoculars

PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto mount
TS binoculars, Omegon star field binoculars
4 mm, 10 mm, 35 mm; open star clusters only with 35 mm
Jun 6 GC: M 3, M 5, M 53 Similar as with PS 72/432: M3 smaller than M5, both with a bright core and surrounding glow, no stars recognizable; M 53 smaller than both First observations of globular star clusters with Skymax-127 Skymax-127 on Star Discovery mount, SynScan WLAN 10 mm, 24 mm, 35 mm

Bold: First observation during this observation period; all observations in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau; GE = galactic emission nebula, GR = galactiv reflection nebula, PN = planetary nebula, G = galaxy, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster

Observed Sky Objects

Details can be obtained via the links to the relevant deep sky objects.

DSO-Details Name Sternbild Typ Bino* PS 72/432 SM-127 150PDS Bemerkungen
M 3   Canes Venatici GC yes yes yes   small, bright core
Mel 111 Coma star cluster Coma Berenices OC yes yes     large
M 53   Coma Berenices GC     yes   small, bright core; smaller than M3 and M 5
M 5   Serpens Caput GC yes yes yes   small, bright core; larger than M 3
M 36   Auriga OC   yes   yes very fine dots, faint
M 37   Auriga OC   yes   yes very fine dots, faint
M 38   Auriga OC   yes   yes very fine dots, faint
M 45 Pleyades Taurus OC   yes     large
M 35   Gemini OC   yes   yes very fine dots, faint; larger than M 36-38
M 44 Praesepe, Crib Cancer OC   yes   yes large

*) 10 x 60 TS binoculars; GE = galactic emission nebula, GR = galactic reflection nebula, G = galaxy, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster

 

Remarks

Preparation

When looking for deep sky objects, a good preparation is mandatory - you can read this, and I can confirm it. "Good preparation" basically means that you compile a list of the objects that you would like to observe, and to find out where and how the objects can be found.

Is it it or not?

If you point your telescope with the help of the red dot finder approximately to the desired sky object, look into the eyepiece and see nothing or only "nebulous clouds," but not something that resembles the object in question, the question arises: Is the sky too light-polluted that I can recognize the object or does the telescope point in the wrong direction? Admittedly, I was - even after repeated attempts - not able to clarify this question for some of the objects that I tried to observe manually.

 

References

All the star maps were created with SkySafari Pro for Apple Macintosh.

Books

On this Website

 

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10.06.2019