Deep Sky Autumn Observations End of October - End of Autumn 2019

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

From Mid-October 2019 up to the end of autumn (December 19, 2019), I did simple "deep-sky autumn observations," which might be of interest to other beginners and are therefore described here. They took place in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau and Erkerode (near Braunschweig, Germany), and were carried out with various telescopes and with my binoculars.

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

I selected the observation objects primarily on the basis of my literature (see references).

 

Conditions

Sky Region and Objects

I observed in various sky areas as shown in the sky maps below.

Overview Maps

The following inverted map shows approximately the sky area that I primarily browsed during my observations (and some of the observed objects):

Click the map for a larger version - it opens in a new window (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)

Observation Time

The observations were done from the end of October to the end of autumn 2019.

Observation Location

Tthe observations took partly place in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (Germany):

Some observations also took place in Erkerode near Braunschweig (Germany):

Devices Used

I used the Skymax-127 on the AZ Pronto mount, and the C8 on the Star Discovery and the AZ4 mounts, as we well as my binoculars. I also used various borrowed and own eyepieces.

General Conditions

In Mühlhausen/Kraichgau, the sky was really dark. In Erkerode it was also not the best one...

 

Observation Overview

Date
2019
Observed Objects Details, Remarks Further Observations and Remarks Devices Used Eyepieces Used
Oct 31
Erk
GC: M 2, M 15, M 71
OCS: M 11
SP: Cr 399
GN: M 27
Scutum:
M 11 (32, 24, 16, 10 mm): low magn.: nebula-like, two distinct stars; high magn.: large, fine stars

Vulpecula:
Cr 399 (32 mm): only part of it in the field of view (region around the hook)
M 27
(32, 24, 16 mm): large, more round (perhaps a little elongated...) glow, seen well - located above Sagitta

Sagitta:
M 71 (32, 16 mm): close to Sagitta, looked always more like a nebula and faint, at least fainter than M 27 (I had some problems with finding it...)

Pegasus:
M 15 (24, 16, 10 mm): beautiful at various magnifications, not resolved even at high magnification

Aquarius
M 2 (24, 16, 10 mm): beautiful at various magnifications, not really resolved even at high magnification; perhaps more beautiful and brighter than M 15; I had problems with finding M 2, because I used the wromng star for the connection line to Enif. Using the correct star (eps Aqr), it worked immediately! M2 is positioned at about a fifth on the line at the bottom between Enif and beta Aqr.

Actually, it was about the conjunction of the crescent moon and Jupiter, which could practically not be observed in the Skymax-127, because both did not fit together into the field of view.

At first, I observed the conjunction beetween moon and Jupiter (17-19 o'clock) as well as Saturn (32, 10 mm), then M 11 (moon was setting when observing M 11 and then gone), Cr 399, M 27 and M 71, later M 15 and M 2.

>> All in all, I was very satisfied with the SM127 with respect to DSO performance!

At higher magnifications, however, focusing (sharpness) seemed problematic or difficult to adjust (on small stars)... Maybe, the reason was that the sky was not quite clear...

Observed Cr 399 in TS binoculars; Astrid ditto with LT binoculars, and also M 11

SM-127 on AZ Pronto mount, LT and TS binoculars 32mm Plössl, 24 mm WA, 16 mm UWA, 10 mm WA
Nov 27
MH
OC: M 45
GN: M 42/43
Orion:
M 42/43: Very nice as long as clouds did not cover the Orion Nebula

Taurus:
M 45: Also nice (only with 56 mm)

New Moon; the clouds were very disturbing and at the end, observations were no longer possible... C8 on Star Discovery mount (manually) 56mm-Plössl, 35 mm WA, 28 mm LET
Nov 29
Erk
GC: M 15 Pegasus:
M 15: Very nice in all the eyepieces. Here are some observations:
  • 56...28 mm: Very bright core is clearly visible
  • 18/16 mm: glimpses of fine stars
  • 10 mm: large, structured, fine stars with averted vision; a little bit "faint" already (EP = 1)...

Eyepiece comparison (see here)

Als ich M 2 versuchen wollte und nicht finden konnte, kamen Wolken - und nichts ging mehr... Später waren sie wieder weg, aber es war alles etwas schwach zu sehen, also wohl doch feine Wolken...

C8 on Star Discovery mount (manually) 56mm-Plössl, 35 mm WA, 28 mm LET, TSWA32, TSWA38, 18 mm ES, 24 mm, 16 mm, 10 mm
Nov 30
Erk
OC: M 45
GN: M 42/43
Orion:
M 42/43: Observed with 56, 38, 35, 32, and 28 mm: Very nice wings; at the end, clouds appeared...

Taurus:
M 45: Seen just a section with 56 and 38 mm eyepieces. Nice, but probably better in other telescopes...

Crescent of the moon
See my eyepiece comparison

Astrid also saw all this.

C8 on Star Discovery mount (manually) 56mm-Plössl, 35 mm WA, 28 mm LET, TSWA32, TSWA38, 18 mm ES, 24 mm, 16 mm, 10 mm
Dec 2
Erk
--- --- Crescent of the moon
See my eyepiece comparison
C8 on Star Discovery mount (manually) ditto
Dec 4
Erk
GC: M 2, M 15
OC: M 45
GN: M 42/43, M 78
Aquarius:
First, I observed M 2 in different eyepieces (56, 35, 28, 24, 18, 16, 10); at long focal lengths, the bright core was clearly visible; even at 100 x to 200 x. I was not able to resolve the cluster into stars, probably because of the full moon. The sky background was relatively bright, because the moon was still to the left of M 2/M 15.

Pegasus:
Then, I observed M 15 in different eyepieces (56, 35, 28, 24, 18, 16, 10), which was basically very similar to M 2; at long focal lengths, the bright core was clearly visible. I was not able to resolve the cluster into stars, probably because of the full moon. The sky background was relatively bright, because the moon was still to the left of M 2/M 15.

Orion:
M 42/43 seen well in various eyepieces (56, 38, 35, 32, 28, 18) despite of the half moon; at the end, it looked better and better. Beautiful wings, Trapezium seen well.
Seen well with 28 mm at minimum, 18 mm already enlarged too much.

Taurus:
Saw always just a section of M 45 (Pleiades); I could "walk" a little along M 45 (by moving the telescope)... I used only long focal lengths; there was a shimmer around the brighter stars. No differences found between the 30 mm eyepieces except for details... Also found no differences with regard to edge blur, except at the beginning (possibly, the view in the 32 mm eyepiece was somewhat more blurred).

Orion:
For the first time, I saw M 78 well: a roundish glow and two stars inside; I clearly identified it this way... I used different eyepieces, but did not enlarge too much, because then M 78 became too faint (28 mm was the limit).
(Tests at the Horse Head Nebula did not yield anything...)

Orion:
At the end (the moon had almost set), I tried three filters on M 42/43. No effect found for the light pollution and O III filters, but the UHC filter (actually also only a contrast filter for light pollution...) brought out the Orion Nebula even better (especially, Astrid said so; but maybe she was not enough dark-adapted before...) - and so you can also read it on the astroshop.de Website...
In any case, the sky behind Orion was then relatively dark, the setting moon did not disturb so much anymore.

Venus
"Colorful" and probably about "half Venus" - not much to recognize...

Half moon
See my eyepiece comparison

>> The ES18 eyepiece was quite usable for observing M 2 / M 15!

Later, I tested two small craters and found them visually:
(1) Ammonius in crater Ptolemaeus - 9 x 8 km
(2) Albategnius C in crater Albategnius - 6 x 6 km

C8 on Star Discovery mount (manually) 56mm-Plössl, 35 mm WA, 28 mm LET, TSWA32, TSWA38, 18 mm ES, 24 mm, 16 mm, 10 mm
Dec 10
MH
PN: M 57,
DS: Albireo
Lyra
M 57 with C8 (35 and 28 mm) and Skymax-127 (24 mm).
C8: with 35 mm eyepiece, the ring at least "suspected" with averted vision, with 28 mm, it was more clearly visible; in the SM127, M 57 was just a "round glow"...

Cygnus
Albireo observed with C8 (35 mm) and Skymax-127 (24 mm)
In the Skymax-127 beautiful star image, in the C8 the stars were "jaggy", that is, not beautiful...

  C8 on Star Discovery mount (motor-driven, no alignment / manually), Skymax-127 on AZ Pronto mount 35 mm WA, 28 mm LET, 24 mm
Dec 19
MH
OC: M 35, M 45, Mel 25
GN: M 42/43
Taurus:
M 45 (Pleiades) seen beautifully with 56 and 40 mm; Mel 25 (Hyades) seen only sections with 40 mm

Orion: M 42/43 seen beautifully with 40 mm, wings and Trapezium; no success when using my UHC filter, reflections and everything war darker...

Gemini:
M 35 seen beautifully and large with 40 mm!

  C8 on AZ4 mount 56, 40 mm WA

Bold: First observation during this observation period; all observations done in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (MH) and Erkerode (Erk); G = galaxy, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster, GN = galactic nebula, PN = planetary nebula, P = star pattern, DS = double star

 

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* SM127 C8 Remarks
M 57 Ring Nebula Lyra PN   yes yes SM127: Not found with 24 mm (62.5 x) , but found with 10 mm (150 x) and shorter; also observed with 7 and 4 mm; guessed a hole/ring at 4 mm (375 x)... At another time, the ring nebula was just a "round glow" (24 mm)... C8: with 35 mm eyepiece, the ring at least "suspected" with averted vision, with 28 mm (73 x), it was more clearly visible.
Cr 399 Coat Hanger Vulpecula P TS, LT, OM21 yes   With OM21 seen just "half" and with viewing indirectly; just fits the field of view at 24 mm, nice (turned upside down). Incomplete with SM127.
M 27 Dumbbell Nebula Vulpecula PN   yes   Nice, large, maybe a little square-like...
M 71   Sagitta GC   yes   Somewhat resolved at 4 mm, nice, but faint
M 11 Wild Duck Cluster Scutum OC   yes   Again seen very nicely at all magnifications; from a magnification of 60 x and up appeared fine stars.
M 15   Pegasus GC   yes yes Beautiful, but mostly not resolvable; in the C8 the bright core was well seen at low magnifications, somewhat resolvable at about 200 x.
M 2   Aquarius GC   yes yes Beautiful, but not resolvable; in the C8 the bright core was well seen at low magnifications.
M 45 Pleiades/Seven Sisters Taurus OC LT/TS   yes Seen very nicely (later at night, in the morning); only partially visible in the C8, but nice
Mel 25 Hyades Taurus OC     yes Only sections seen with C8/40 mm
M 42/3 Orion Nebula Orion GN LT/TS yes yes Visible, but not as good as sometimes already seen (in the morning); very good in the C8, particularly with UHC filter
M 78   Orion GN     yes Saw M 78 well for the first time: a roundish glow and two stars inside; I clearly identified it this way...
M 35   Gemini OC     yes Beautiful and large with C8/40 mm!

*) LT = 10 x 25 binoculars, TS = 10 x 60 binoculars; G = galaxy, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster, DS = double star, P = star pattern, GN = galactic nebula, PN = planetary nebula, MW = Milky Way

 

References

Books

On this Website

 

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05.09.2020