Deep Sky Summer Observations August/September 2019

Observation Conditions | Observation Overview | List of Observed Sky Objects | References

From August to mid-September 2019, I conducted simple deep sky "spring observations", which might be of interest to other beginners and are therefore described here. However, as can be seen from the small number of observational objects, these observations were primarily concerned with "technology tests."

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

At first, I searched for globular clusters in constellation Hercules. Later, I visited the planetary nebulae M 57 in Lyra (Lyre) and M 27 in Vulpecula (Vixen) as well as the open cluster M 11 in the constellation Scutum (Shield). I also visited the Cygnus (Swan) and observed the double star Albireo.

Overview Map

The following map shows approximately the sky region that I browsed during my observations end of August to mid-September 2019:

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. At the bottom of Cygnus there is a red dot indicating Albireo.

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 started after 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

Date
2019
Observations Details, Remarks Further Observations and Remarks Devices Used Eyepieces Used
22.8. KS: M 13 (Hercules), M 92 (Hercules) M 13 and M 92 observed with LT and TS binoculars. M 13 is part of a triangle and easy to find. M 92 seems to be inside a triangle od stars and is very hard to find in an area with few stars. LT and TS binoculars n.a.

 

23.8. KS: M 13 (Hercules), M 92 (Hercules) M 13 and M 92 observed with LT binoculars - mainly for finding M 92.
M 13 observed with 32, 24, 16, 10 mm eyepieces: from 16 mm and shorter fine stars visible, particularly with indirect viewing; easy to find.
M 92 observed with 32, 24, 16, 10 mm eyepieces: from 16 mm and shorter fine stars visible, particularly with indirect viewing; hard to find, but eventually, I found it... Smaller than M 13, probably brighter at the center?
Both cluster seen very beautifully!
Here it the primarily concern was finding out whether the Skymax-127 is suitable for DSO such as larger globular star clusters.

In addition, I observed Jupiter and Saturn and saw them very beautifully.

Skymax-127 on AZ Pronto mount, LT binoculars 32, 24, 16, 10, 7 mm
24.8. KS: M 13 (Hercules), M 92 (Hercules) M 13 and M 92 observed with LT binoculars - mainly for finding M 92.
M 13 observed with 35, 16, 10, 7, 4 mm eyepieces: saw a larger glow at high magnifications, but not resolved into fine stars; probably poor viewing conditions.
M 92 observed with 35, 16, 10, 7, 4 mm eyepieces: ditto; hard to find, but eventually, I found it...
Here the primary concern was finding out how the PS 72/432 shows larger globular star clusters. It seems to be slightly inferior to the Skymax-127.

In addition, I observed Jupiter and Saturn and saw them very beautifully.

PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto mount, LT binoculars 35, 16, 10, 7, 4 mm
25.8. KS: M 13 (Hercules), M 92 (Hercules) M 13 observed with 35, 24, 16, 10, 7, 4 mm eyepieces: saw a larger glow at high magnifications, a little bit resolved in to fine stars; better than the day before but not as good as two days before.
M 92 with 35, 24, 16, 10, 7, 4 mm: ditto, smaller, bright core; the mount had more problems with finding M 92...
Now the globular star clusters once again with the Explorer 150PDS! Not as good as with the Skymax-127 because of poorer visibility conditions, although the result should be superior.

M 51 and M 57 not found, probably because of the 1-star-alignment, a bright sky around M 51, and bumping the tube against mount when observing M 57; after that the alignment was destroyed...
By chance, I found an unknown nebula while moving the telescope around (somewhere between Dolphin and Deneb).

In addition, I observed Jupiter and Saturn and saw them very beautifully.

Explorer 150PDS on Star Discovery mount; SynScan WLAN with iPad, 35, 24, 16, 10, 7, 4 mm
26.8. KS: M 13 (Hercules), M 92 (Hercules)
PN: M 57 (Lyra), M 27 (Vulpecula)
OS: M 11 (Scutum)
M 13 observed with eyepieces between 35 and 4 mm: resolved into stars at high magnifications, better than the day before and better with 150 PDS than with SM-127.
M 92 observed with eyepieces between 24 and 4 mm: ditto, smaller, bright core.
Found M 27 and M 57 and sow them well; M 57 even with a hole at 190 x.
Now the direct comparison between Skymax-127 and Explorer 150PDS, which, as expected, performed better; the visibility conditions were also better on this day.

M 51 once again not found because of bright sky around M 51.

In addition, I observed Jupiter and Saturn and saw them very beautifully.

Explorer 150PDS on Star Discovery mount with StarSense, Skymax-127 on AZ Pronto mount (only M 13) 35, 24, 16, 10, 7, 4 mm
30.8. KS: M 13 (Hercules), M 92 (Hercules)
PN: M 57 (Lyra), M 27 (Vulpecula)
OS: M 11 (Scutum)
DS: Albireo
Observed M 13 and M 92: with 10 mm eyepiece large, but did not see fine stars; saw also fine stars with 7 mm eyepiece (more or less well...); M 92 clearly smaller than M 13, but also nice.
M 57: beautiful at various magnifications, from very small to about 100 x (7mm = 107 x), and more (4 mm = 187.5 x), but also at 100 x at least guessed the hole.
M 27: nice with 10 mm and 7 mm eyepieces; more or less a square with round corners; of course, no colors...
M 11: beautiful at various magnifications, from very small to about 100 x (7 mm = 107 x), and more (4 mm = 187.5 x); more like a nebula at small magnifications, at larger magnifications (100 to 200 x) many small and fine stars and no impression of a nebula any more. Did not look like a flock of wild ducks...
Observed the region around Albireo at low magnifications and found and separated Albireo; saw the different colors well.
At the beginning, did tests with StarSense, which found enough stars for the alignment only in its third attempt (around 21 o'clock). I probably still found M 13, but not more... When I connected the computer, the "target marker" in SkySafari was diametrically opposed, although time, date, and location seemed to be correct. But they kept changing, especially when I plugged StarSense into the computer.
Even a Quick Align facing north did not seem to bring success, nor a normal Auto Align facing north. The telescope pointer always pointed in the wrong (opposite) direction, even "cheating" did not help. In the end I gave up with frustration...
Fortunately I tried again later, but now used the Synscan WLAN module (with App on the iPad, later also SkySafari on the Mac, which worked after initial problems. There are always problems in between, when the app was no longer in the foreground: then the WLAN network gets lost and changes to another one, etc...
I found two more nebulae, which were rather faint, but was not able to identify them.
Failed attempts: M 71, M 56, M 51...
Explorer 150PDS on Star Discovery mount with StarSense (MBP) or SynScan WLAN (iPad, MBP) 35, 24, 10, 7, 4 mm
3.9. M 11 (Scutum) Compared M 11 in the Explorer 150PDS and the Skymax-127 at a magnification of about 100 x, and even higher in the Explorer. Initially tested StarSense, but the alignment did not work or the "target marker" displayed quite the opposite; aborted again with frustration.

Afterwards, made a comparison between Explorer 150PDS and Skymax-127 at the open star cluster M 11: It looked a tiny bit better in the Explorer 150PDS, but also good in the Skymax-127.

Explorer 150PDS on Star Discovery mount with StarSense and later with SynScan WLAN; Skymax-127 on AZ Pronto mount n.a.
6.9. KS: M 13 (Hercules), M 11 (Scutum) M 13: Observed it in the ST120 at magnifications of up to 150 x; fine stars hard to see, maybe at 150 x (due to the moon).
M 11: Observed it in both telescopes, in the ST120 at magnifications of up to 150 x; saw fine stars, but probably not as many as the days before (due to the moon).
This time, I observed and compared M 13 and M 11 with a borrowed StarTravel 120/600 and my PS 72/4342. The visibility conditions were apparently poorer once again...

Also observed: half moon, Jupiter, Saturn (see moon and planets)

StarTravel 120 on AZ Pronto mount, PS 72/432 on photo tripod  

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

 

List of Observed Sky Objects

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

DSO Details Name Constellation Type Bino* PS 72/432 SM-127 150PDS ST120 Remarks
M 13   Hercules GC yes yes yes yes yes Large, at 100-150 x dissolved into fine stars
M 92   Hercules GC yes yes yes yes   Smaller than M 13, more concentrated at the center, at 100-150 x dissolved into fine stars
M 11   Scutum OC   yes yes yes yes Observed at various magnifications; more like a nebula, when small, at 100 x and more fine stars
M 57   Lyra PN       yes   Observed up to 190 x, saw a hole at high magnifications
M 27   Vulpecula PN       yes   Looked more like a rectangle; of course, no colors seen
Albireo   Cygnus DS   yes   yes   Double seen well with different colors

*) 10 x 25 LT and 10 x 60 TS binoculars; GE = galactic emission nebula, GR = galactic reflection nebula, G = galaxy, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster

 

References

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

Books

On this Website

 

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01.11.2019