Deep Sky Summer/Autumn Observations September - Mid-October 2019

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

In September 2019 up to the beginning of October, I did simple "deep-sky summer / autumn observations," which might be of interest to other beginners and are therefore described here. They took place in Sumène, Haute Loire, France, and were carried out with a borrowed Sky-Watcher StarTravel 120/600 refractor, my Omegon Photography Scope 72/432 refractor and with my binoculars.

In mid-October 2019, I observed some selected DSO with the borrowed Sky-Watcher StarTravel 120/600 refractor, my Omegon PS 72/432 refractor, my Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PDS Newtonian tube, and my Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 Maksutov-Cassegrain tube for a comparison of the telescopes; I add these observations to this page.

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). Note that more than 20 of the about 50 observation objects above were new to me:

 

Conditions

Sky Region and Objects

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

Overview Maps

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

Overview: North-East (not observed: M 39, M 52, M 101, M 106, M 108, NGC 281, NGC 7789) (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)

Detail: Northeast (not observed: M 52, NGC 281, NGC 7789) (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)

Overview: South-West (not observed: IC 4756, M 5, M 6, M7, M 62, NGC 6572, NGC 6633, NGC 6934) (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)

Detail: Southwest (not observed: M 6, M7, M 62, NGC 6451; observed: M 14) (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)

Click the maps for a larger version - they open in a new window

Observation Time

The observations were done in September/October 2019, typically after 9 p.m. and up to 11 p.m. or shortly after midnight (once).

Observation Location

The first series of observations took place in Sumène (close to Saint Julien-Chapteuil), Haute Loire (France):

The observations in mid-October 2019 took place in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (Germany):

Devices Used

In France, I used my Leica Trinovid 10 x 25 BC binoculars (LT binoculars), my TS 10 x 60 binoculars, my Omegon 2.1 wide field binoculars (OM21), a borrowed Sky-Watcher StarTravel 120/600 refractor and my Omegon PS 72/432 refractor. I used my UWA eyepieces (7 mm, 4 mm), a Televue Delos 10 mm eyepiece, and a 24 mm Televue eyepiece for a maximum overview. Sometimes, I also used a TSED35 eyepiece (2", 35 mm focal length, 69° angle of view) and a borrowed TSWA32 eyepiece (2", 32 mm focal length, 70° angle of view). So this time I observed "manually" without any GoTo control!

ST120 on AZ Pronto mount on vacation in France

In mid-October 2019, I with the borrowed Sky-Watcher StarTravel 120/600 refractor, my Omegon PS 72/432 refractor, my Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PDS Newtonian tube, and my Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 Maksutov-Cassegrain tube for a comparison of the telescopes. I used eyepieces in a manner to achieve a similar magnification (which was not always possible).

General Conditions

The sky above Sumène, Haute Loire (France) is relatively dark (the Betz observatory used by the Orion43 group is near-by). The milky way could be seen very well at times. In Mühlhausen/Kraichgau, the sky was not as dark as in France.

 

Observation Overview

Date
2019
Observed Objects Details, Remarks Further Observations and Remarks Devices Used Eyepieces Used
Sep 17 G: M 31 (Andromeda Galaxy)
P: Cr 399 (Coat Hanger)
OC: Mel 20 (Mirphac Cluster), NGC 884/869 (Perseus Double Cluster), M 11 (Wild Duck Cluster)
OM21: M 31 small, Cr 399 seen just "half" and with viewing indirectly, Mirphac cluster seen, Perseus Double Cluster seen as a glow.
Wandered along the sky; Dolphin, Cassiopeia seen as entire constellations; saw several "asterisms" (pattern like structures).
All in all, the stars were much better to see than with the naked eye, but the sky background was quite bright...

LT/TS: M 31; Cr 399, M 11 seen with "trapezium"; Mel 20; NGC 884/869 seen with "oval".
Wandered along the sky and the Milky Way.

Observations with OM21, LT and TS binoculars; a nice sky overall at about 9 p.m.; around 10 p.m. the moon was too bright OM21 binoculars, LT and TS binoculars  
Sep 18 G: M 31, M 51, M 81/82 (Bode/Cigar Galaxy)
P: Cr 399
GC: M 15, M 2
OC: M 11, M 18?, M 23?
GN: M 17? (Omega/Swan Nebula)

Planets: Jupiter

LT binoculars (Astrid): Cr 399 (hard to see), M 31
TS binoculars: M 31; used binoculars as a search aid

Observations with the ST120

Andromeda: M 31 (24, 10 mm) large, more or less round
Ursa Major: M 81/82 (24, 10 mm) seen well, probably never before that well, but still faint
Canes Venatici: M 51 (24, 10 mm) more guessed than seen; Astrid saw two "spots"

Pegasus: M 15 (24, 10, 4 mm) beautiful, but not resolvable
Aquarius: M 2 (24, 10, 4 mm) beautiful, but not resolvable
Scutum: M 11 (24, 10, 4 mm) fine stars at 60 x and more
Sagittarius: M 17/M 18 - saw the nebula M 17 with a straight nebula-like glow at the center, below the nebula there was a small OS (M 18) (leaves from trees disturbed the observation of both objects); both not identified initially; found both again on Sep 19 and identified them.
Found some more open clusters in the South, but did not identify them (24, 10 mm), probably M 23 was one of these.

Jupiter: 4 moons, somewhat "colored" (24, 10 mm).

First observation night with the StarTravel 120/600 .

ST120: Bright stars had a somewhat bluish tint, no color fringes for DSOs.

The moon disturbed observation a little, but at that time, I had more or less finished my observations ...

ST120 on AZ Pronto, LT and TS binoculars UWA 4 mm; WA 10 mm, 24 mm
Sep 19 G: M 31, M 33 (Triangulum Galaxy), M 51, M 81/82
GC: M 22, M 28
OC: M 11, M 18
GN: M 17 (Omega/Swan Nebula)

Planets: Jupiter, Saturn

Observations with the PS 72/432

Andromeda: M 31 (24, 7, 4 mm) very nice
Triangulum: M 33 (24 mm) very faint
Canes Venatici: M 51 (24, 7 mm) seen similarly well or poorly as with ST120 (as far as I remembered...)
Ursa Major: M 81/82 (24, 7, 4 mm) seen well; with 4 mm both galaxies were located at opposing edges of the field of view; I therefore observed them alone; I was able to see both in the field of view with the other eyepieces.

Scutum: M 11 (24, 7, 4 mm) again seen very beautifully

Sagittarius:
M 22
(24, 7, 4 mm) beautiful and large, resolved at the periphery; M 28 (24, 7, 4 mm) close to M 22, much smaller.
M 17/M 18
(24, 7, 4 mm) - saw the nebula and the small OC below it just like the day before; identified them according to Stoyan as M 17 (Swan/Omega Nebula) and M 18.

Planets
Jupiter (24, 7 mm): only 3 moons visible, 2 stripes visible, not as colorful as with the ST120.
Saturn (7, 4 mm): very nice

"Comparison observations" with my PS 72/432, a few new objects.

At about 10:15 p.m., the sky was still very dark (I thought that the moon would disturb, but that was not the case...). I saw even M 31 (more indirectly) and the Perseus Double Cluster with the naked eye.

PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto UWA 4 mm, 7 mm; WA 24 mm
Sep 20 G: M 31, M 51
GC: M 22, M 28, M 54
OC: M 11, M 18, M 23?, NGC 884/869
GN: M 8 (Lagoon Nebula), M 16 (Eagle Nebula), M 17
Observations with the ST120

Andromeda: M 31 (24, 7, 4 mm) very nice; seen or guessed with the naked eye.
Perseus: NGC 884/869 (24 mm): very nice; seen with the naked eye.
Canes Venatici: M 51 (24, 7 mm) very faint once again

Scutum: M 11 found by chance...
Serpens Cauda: M 16 - only found the star cluster (not IC 4703)

Sagittarius
M 22 (24, 7, 4 mm) nice and large, resolved from 7 mm on; M 28 (24, 7, 4 mm): close to M 22, much smaller
M 54 (24, 7, 4 mm) very small, but seen well, not resolved; I was not able to find the other two DSOs to the right of it, probably, they were already too low at the horizon...
M 17
(24, 7, 4 mm) seen well; M 18 had only few stars (24, 7 mm)
M 23: seen well, but still not identified (there was a star nearby, just as with M 23...)
M 8 (24, 16, 7, 4 mm) seen very well

The sky did not seem as dark to me as the day before, but I could still see the Perseus Double Cluster and M 31 with the naked eye, before the sky, probably due to the moon, got brighter again. ST120 on AZ Pronto UWA 4 mm, 7 mm, 16 mm; WA 24 mm
Sep 28 GC: M 4, M 9, M 10, M 12, M 19, M 22, M 28, M 80, M 107
OC: M 11, M 21
GN: M 8, M 20 (Trifid Nebula)
Observations with the ST120

Scorpius: M 4 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm): very low, very faint, with 4 mm probably resolved a bit into stars; M 80 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm): low, but a little higher up than M 4; somewhat brighter, small, between two stars (vertical line), with 4 mm perhaps resolved in to stars...

Ophiuchus
M 107 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) seen well, because higher up than the Scorpius globular clusters, with 4 mm perhaps resolved into stars.
M 10 und M 12 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) searched for a long time for them, because there are no guiding stars nearby; M 10 with 4 mm perhaps resolved in to stars; M 12 resolved into stars, smaller than M 10 and seemingly somewhat irregular.
M 9 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) small, bright core, appeared as somewhat irregular; not resolved.
M 19 (?) faint, because already very low, but still just seen; below two stars that were at an oblique angle; used Jupiter as a search aid (only possible at this time...)

Sagittarius
M 22 und M 28 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm): M 28 resolved into fine stars with 4 mm; M 22 appeared as resolved already at 24 mm, but definitely at 10 mm; M 28 smaller, M 22 very nice, particularly at 24 and 10 mm.
M 8 (24, 10, 4 mm): Beautiful at all sizes down to 7 mm; nebula and fine stars, large.
M 20 (?): Faint glow, only stars otherwise.
M 21 (?): Only stars, not really identified (only position: small triangle in rhombus).

Scutum: M 11 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm): Very nice at all magnifications.

New Moon; observed mainly globular cluster in constellation Ophiuchus. ST120 on AZ Pronto UWA 4, 7, 16 mm; WA 10 mm, 24 mm; 32 mm Plössl (initially)
Sep 29 GC: M 13
OC: NGC 884/869, NGC 663?

Planets: Jupiter

Observations with the ST120

At first I thought that I would be able to continue my observations in the SW, but after dinner the sky was covered there. There were holes at Cassiopeia, where I tried to compare the 32 mm and 35 mm 2" eyepieces. I also walked along the sky a bit there. In between, a jump to Hercules, when Cassiopeia was covered, then back again, when Hercules was covered... An evaluation of the two eyepieces was difficult for me, especially since clouds often appeared when I wanted to test the other eyepiece. Shortly before 10 p.m. observations were no longer possible, and I ended my observations. I was still able to observe (with both eyepieces, no difference detected):

  • Perseus: NGC 884/869
  • Hercules: M 13
  • Cassiopeia: maybe NGC 663?

Everything looked nice, but was still relatively small (about 17 x / nearly 19 x, that is, twice the size as in 10 x binoculars).

Jupiter seen at low magnification , 4 moons (Jupiter only used as search aid).

Comparison of the 32 mm and 35 mm eyepieces (2", with 2" zenith mirror). Cloudy sky, which forced me to stop my observations.

The 35 mm eyepiece can just be brought into focus! There is no room for fine focusing.

ST120 on AZ Pronto TSWA32, TSED35
Sep 30 G: M 31
GC: M 4, M 14, M 19, M 22, M 28, M 54, M 55, M 75, M 80
OC: M 11, M 25, M 26, M 45, M 69, M 70, Mel 20, NGC 884/869

Planets: Jupiter

Observations with the ST120

Scorpius: M 4, M 80 (24, 10 mm) very low, particularly M 4 faint; M 80 somewhat better

Ophiuchus: M 19 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) had 3 stars on top of it, 2 to the right (= left) of it -> for identification - somewhat larger, faint, because low; not resolved; M 14 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm): was accompanied by three stars and a triangle -> for identification; small, faint at 4 mm, not resolved.

Sagittarius
M 22 and M 28 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) - M 22 nice, large, resolved at 4 mm; M 28 smaller.
M 69 (24, 10, 4 mm) small star nearby -> for identification; still small at 4, faint at 4 mm; M 70 (24, 10, 4 mm) located close to a longer chain of stars -> for identification; small; M 54 (24, 10, 4 mm) very small, bright core at 4 mm.
M 55 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) found more or less by chance, nice, larger, resolved at 7 and 4 mm, fairly faint at 4 mm; M 75 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) was very hard to find, at 4 mm still very small, not resolvable.
M 25 (24, 10 mm) wide-spread, large

Scutum: M 11 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) very nice as always; M 26 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) forms an obtuse triangle with two other stars, saw only few stars, but there should be 30 and more...

At the end, I observed M 45, Mel 20, NGC 884/869, and M 31 with the 35 mm ED eyepiece; all were very nice; M 31 without structure, but with a bright core.

Planets
Jupiter briefly: 3 moons, Saturn up to 150 x (used for orientation purposes)

With that I probably had found all accessible lower DSO in the southwest; M 6, M 7, and M 62 did not seem to be accessible anymore. ST120 on AZ Pronto UWA 4, 7 mm; WA 10, 24 mm; TSED35
Oct 3 G: M 31, M 33
GC: M 13, M 56, M 71, M 92
OC: M 18, M 21, M 23, M 25, M 34, M 45, M 103, Mel 20, NGC 457, NGC 663, NGC 752, NGC 884/869
GN: M 8, M 17, M 20, NGC 7000 (North America Nebula)
PN: M 27, M 57, M 76 (Small Dumbbell Nebula)
SM: Kemble's Cascade, Cr 399
Part of the Milky Way: M 24 (Sagittarius Cloud)

Planets: Jupiter, Saturn

Observations with the ST120

Sagittarius
M 17 and M 18 (24 mm); M 24 (Sagittarius Cloud, part of the Milky Way) below, large, many stars; M 25 to the left - all observed with 24 mm
M 8 for orientation, then M 20 and M 21 above it; only seen stars for M 20, no nebula; M 21 fine stars - all observed with 24 mm
M 23 (24 mm) large, fine stars

Hercules: M 13 and M 92 seen well ; M 13 nearly from 10 mm on resolved into fine stars, but definitely from 7 mm on; M 92 from 7 mm on resolved into fine stars.

35 mm ED Eyepiece (together with Astrid)
Camelopardis: Kemble's Cascade very nice, vertical chain of stars, slightly bent at the bottom.
Further targets for this eyepiece were: Mel 20 and NGC 884/869 (Perseus), M 45 (Taurus), and M 31 (Andromeda)

Lyra
M 57 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) not found with 24 mm, but found with 10 mm and shorter; also observed with 7 and 4 mm; guessed a hole/ring at 4 mm...
M 56 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) small with 24 mm, then observed with 10, 7, and 4 mm; slightly resolved at 4 mm.

Sagitta: M 71 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) somewhat resolved at 4 mm, nice, but faint

Cygnus
NGC 7000 (North America Nebula): searched for with 24 and 10 mm, perhaps a glow - that would be more than ever...
NGC 6995 (Cirrus Nebula etc.): Nothing found... (24 mm)

Vulpecula
Cr 399 (24 mm) just fits the field of view at 24 mm, nice (turned upside down)
M 27 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm) nice, large, maybe a little square-like...

Perseus
M 34 (24, 10 mm) wide-spread
M 76 (24, 10, 7, 4 mm): Not found with 24 mm, only with 10, 7, and 4 mm; very small
NGC 884/869 (35 mm, see above) fits the field of view including the "oval", very nice
Mel 20 (35 mm, see above) very nice

Andromeda
NGC 752 (24, 10 mm): Large, wide-spread
M 31 (24, 10 mm; the last DSO that I observed) very nice also with 24 and 10 mm (larger than with 35 mm, of course); but apart from the bright core no structure or satellite galaxies detected...

Cassiopeia
NGC 457 (24, 10 mm) found surprisingly well with 24 mm thanks to the "bright eyes"; large with 10 mm; wonderful with 10 and 24 mm, never seen so clearly (I think so...); shown to Astrid, but she was not as enthusiastic as I was...
M 103 (24 mm) probably seen but not verified
NGC 663/654 (24 mm) - 663 probably seen, 654 probably not...

Triangulum: M 33 (24, 10 mm) was still a glow, but more distinct than ever before...

Planets
Jupiter (24 mm) only :briefly observed at the beginning, 4 moons
Saturn (24 mm): ring visible; accessed for orientation purposes in constellation Sagittarius

Galaxies in and around Ursa Major: nothing found (only searched for 10X-Galaxies, not for M 81/2) ST120 on AZ Pronto UWA 4, 7 mm; WA 10, 24 mm; TSED35 (briefly)
Oct 12
MH
M 42/43, M 45, M 35 Comparison StarTravel 120/600 with 10 mm Delos eyepiece (60 x) and 2" zenith mirror versus PS 72/432 with 7 mm UWA eyepiece ( 62 x) and 2"-to-1.25" Amici prism
Due to a lack of suitable adapters, I had to use the Amici prism for simultaneous observations.

Orion Nebula M 42/43 (60 x): After the telescopes had dried in the morning, the nebula was visible, but not as good as I have seen it already sometimes. Especially, Astrid found the nebula in the ST120 much better - the larger aperture paid off. After the drying, the trapezium could also be seen well in both telescopes, including the 4th weaker star.

In the ST120 the upper and lower star in the sword just fit in at the edges (there were probably more than one); in the PS72 I did not check that...

Orion Nebula M 42/43 (nearly 20 x with 32 and 35 mm 2" eyepieces): I was not able to find any differences between the two eyepieces. However, the trapezium, which was now tiny, was slightly better visible in the 32 mm eyepiece of 32 (like a star with ears...); probably due to the slightly higher magnification of 18.75 x versus 17. 14x.
According to my previous experiences, the visible differences between the eyepieces that I find during the day disappear at night.

Further Targets: M 45 (Pleiades) were beautiful with 35 mm and probably also with 32 mm eyepiece.
M 35 only faintly visible, but it was probably this cluster (35 mm or 32 mm eyepiece), because it could be confirmed in the TS binoculars (position); in the binoculars, it appeared almost a bit like a nebula, but very distinct.

Various targets seen with LT and TS binoculars: M 42/43, M 45, M 35

The evening before (Oct 11) I set up the telescopes and briefly observed Jupiter and Saturn with them (60 x). In the morning they were full of dew and had to be dried at the eyepiece and lens (the ST120 was a bit better because of the large dew cap, but also not free of dew).

Observation time approx. 4:50 to 5:50 o'clock on Oct 12 early in the morning. At the beginning, the moon was still visible, later its light still disturbed a little, although it had already set. Altogether, the situation in the morning became more and more unfavorable now, because the moon set later and later.

The telescopes were fogged over after the observation, and therefore I left them in our winter garden; they were still wet in the morning. The ST120 was inside, probablyfogged over on the rear lens, and I let it dry up at noon for several hours outside and partly in the sun without a lid and open at the back. At first the thicker dew disappeared, but then the fine one as well. Thereafter, I packed it in its bag (after 2 - 2.5 hours).

ST120 on AZ Pronto, PS 72/432 on Sirui tripod (I could not access higher up targets with it, e.g. Pleiades)
LT and TS binoculars
WA 10 mm, UWA 7 mm, TSWA32 (2") 32 mm, TSED35 (2") 35 mm
Oct 13
MH
M 11 Comparison StarTravel 120/600 with 10 mm Delos eyepiece (60 x) and 2" zenith mirror versus PS 72/432 with 7 mm UWA eyepiece ( 62 x) and 2"-to-1.25" Amici prism
Due to a lack of suitable adapters, I had to use the Amici prism for simultaneous observations.

M 11 (Wild Duck Cluster)
M 11 was hard to find initially. Found it with the PS72 frist, thereafter also with the ST120, that I controlled manually using the handbox.
M 11 with PS72: Nebula-like shimmer faint and diffuse, small stars hardly to recognize (yes, but only with difficulty))
M 11 with ST120: 3 small stars were seen easily, nebula-like shimmer was more distinct; according to Astrid, clear winner...

Full moon, clear sky, upcoming clouds at the end...
The sky did not improve ober time...
ST120 on Star Discovery mount (manually), PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto mount WA 10 mm, UWA 7 mm
Oct 14
MH
M 11

Jupiter, Saturn

Comparison StarTravel 120/600 with 10 mm-Delos eyepiece (60 x) and 2"-to-1,25" Amici prism versus Skymax-127 with 24 mm eyepiece and 1,25" Amici prism
Then comparison versus PS 72/432 with 7 mm UWA eyepiece and 2" zenith mirror
Finally, comparison PS 72/432 versus Skymax-127, both with zenith mirror (2" and 1,25")

M 11 (Wild Duck Cluster)
Again somewhat hard to find, the hardest with Skymax-127 on the Star Discovery mount... Using the AZ Pronto mount, this was always relatively easy, the day before, too.

  • In the first test, the ST120 was superior to the SM-127, the nebula was better visible, but also the sky background brighter. Opinions between Astrid and me diverged regarding the recognizability of the stars in M 11 (about 3...): Astrid found them better in the ST120, I rather in the SM127 (because of the darker background).
  • In the second test, the ST120 was even more superior to the PS72. The nebula was much better to see, but also the sky background was brighter. This time, the fine stars were better visible in the PS72 than the day before.
  • In the third test, the SM-127 was clearly superior to the PS72. The nebula was better to recognize, as were the fine stars.

Jupiter/Saturn
Observed with ST120 and SM-127 at the beginning. The latter provided fewer color fringes, Jupiter appeared whiter. Saturn was similar for both at 60 x. At high magnification (200 x), Saturn was less muddy in SM-127 than in ST120 (150 x).

Clear sky, upcoming clouds at the end...

On this day, too, the sky did not get better in the course of time...

>> I have probably never seen M 11 as bad as on these two days!

>> The outcome of the test is actually as expected. A further comparison with the Explorer 150PDS would be interesting!

 

ST120 always on Star Discovery mount, Skymax-127 OTA initially on AZ Pronto mount, later (versus PS 72/432) on Star Discovery mount, PS 72/432 on AZ Pronto mount WA 10 mm, UWA 7 mm, WA 24 mm
Oct 16
MH
M 11

Jupiter, Saturn

Comparison StarTravel 120/600 with 10 mm Delos eyepiece (60 x) and 2" zenith mirror versus Explorer 150PDS with 16 mm eyepiece and 24 mm eyepiece with 2 x focal extender
At the end, I observed with diverse eyepieces (7/10 and 4/7 ST/Exp), to check for higher magnifications

M 11 (Wild Duck Cluster)
Found M 11 after some effort with both telescopes. Then I compared them at a magnification of about 60 x. On the Exp150 with 16 mm (47 x) and 24 mm/2x FE (62.5 x). With the latter, the picture appeared clearly larger than in the ST120, with the former probably clearly smaller...
Altogether, I did many tests under varying conditions. A decision was difficult for me, sometimes one telescope seemed better, sometimes the other... Astrid voted more clearly in favour of the Exp150. At the end of the day, this is to be expected from the larger aperture...

Jupiter/Saturn
Observed Jupiter and Saturn with ST120 and Exp150PDS at the beginning. The latter delivered fewer colour fringes at Jupiter. Saturn was similar with both at 60 x. At high magnification (190 x), Saturn was clearly better visible and less muddy in the Ex150PDS than in ST120 (150 x).

Clear sky, upcoming clouds at the end...

On this day, as well, the sky became a little better in the course of time, but cloud strips came again and again, and at the end, clouds came in from southwest.

>> The test actually went as expected: the Explorer 150PDS probably had some advantages compared to the ST120 (this was mainly Astrid's opinion).

Summa Summarum (October 12-16)

The performance order seems to follow the "effective" aperture:

  • Exp150 > ST120 > SM127 > PS72

The Exp150 may be a bit better than the ST120, but it is not for travel!

ST120 on AZ Pronto mount, Explorer 150PDS on Star Discovery mount (manually; this time, it worked quite well!)

10 mm WA, 16 mm UWA, 24 mm WA, 4 mm UWA, 7 mm UWA
2 x focal extender

Bold: First observation during this observation period; all observations up to Oct 3, 2019 in Sumène/Haute Loire (France), the remaining ones in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (Germany); 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* PS72 ST120 Other Remarks
M 81/82 Bode Galaxy (M 81), Cigar Galaxy (M 82) Ursa Major G   yes yes   Seen well, but still faint with 4 mm both galaxies were located at opposing edges of the field of view; I therefore observed than alone; I was able to see both in the field of view with the other eyepieces.
NGC 457 Owl, E.T. Cluster Cassiopeia OC     yes   Found it surprisingly well with 24 mm thanks to the "bright eyes"; large with 10 mm; wonderful with 10 and 24 mm, never seen so clearly (I think so...)
M 103   Cassiopeia OC     yes   Probably seen but not yet verified
NGC 663   Cassiopeia OC     yes   Probably seen NGC 663 with 24 mm, NGC 654 probably not; maybe also seen with 35 mm.
  Kemble's Cascade Camelopardis P     yes   Very nice, vertical chain of stars, slightly bent at the bottom (35 mm)
M 51 Whirlpool Galaxy Canes Venatici G   yes yes   Hardly seen, more guessed with ST120; Astrid at least saw two glowing spots; with PS72 as good or bad as with ST120 (from my memory...); when repeated with ST120 very faint again.
M 13 Hercules Cluster Hercules GC     yes   Nice with 35 mm, but relatively small; seen well with shorter eyepieces; fine stars almost seen from 10 mm on, but definitely from 7 mm on.
M 92   Hercules GC     yes   Seen well; fine stars from 7 mm on.
M 57 Ring Nebula Lyra PN     yes   Not found with 24 mm, but found with 10 mm and shorter; also observed with 7 and 4 mm; guessed a hole/ring at 4 mm...
M 56   Lyra GC     yes   Small with 24 mm, then observed with 10, 7, and 4 mm; slightly resolved at 4 mm.
M 9   Ophiuchus GC     yes   Small, bright core, appeared as somewhat irregular; not resolved.
M 10   Ophiuchus GC     yes   Searched for a long time for M 10 and M 12, because there are no guiding stars nearby; with 4 mm perhaps resolved in to stars
M 12   Ophiuchus GC     yes   Searched for a long time for M 10 and M 12, because there are no guiding stars nearby; resolved into stars, smaller than M 10 and seemingly somewhat irregular.
M 14   Ophiuchus GC     yes   Small, faint at 4 mm, not resolved (was accompanied by three stars and a triangle -> for identification)
M 19   Ophiuchus GC     yes   Somewhat larger, faint, because already low, but just seen; not resolved (under two oblique stars; had 3 stars above it, 2 on the right (= left) -> for identification/clarification!!!)
M 107   Ophiuchus GC     yes   Seen well, because higher up than the Scorpius globular clusters, with 4 mm perhaps resolved into stars.
M 4   Scorpius GC     yes   Very low, very faint, with 4 mm probably resolved a bit into stars.
M 80   Scorpius GC     yes   Low, but a little higher up than M 4, therefore somewhat brighter, small, located between two stars (vertical line), with 4 mm perhaps resolved in to stars...
NGC 7000 North Amerika Nebula Cygnus GNE     yes   searched for with 24 and 10 mm, perhaps a glow - that would be more than ever...
Cr 399 Coat Hanger Vulpecula P TS, LT, OM21   yes SM127 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 SM127 Nice, large, maybe a little square-like...
M 71   Sagitta GC     yes SM127 Somewhat resolved at 4 mm, nice, but faint
M 11 Wild Duck Cluster Scutum OC   yes yes Exp150, SM127 Again seen very nicely at all magnifications; from a magnification of 60 x and up appeared fine stars.
M 26   Scutum OC     yes   Forms an obtuse triangle with two other stars, saw only few stars, but there should be 30 and more...
M 16+IC4703 Eagle Nebula (OC: M 16/NGC 6611, GN: IC 4703) Serpens Cauda OC/GN     yes   M 16 denotes the star cluster, IC 4703 the GN around it; only found the star cluster (not IC 4703; no nebula filter)
M 8+NGC 6530 Lagoon Nebula (OC: NGC 6530, GN: M 8/NGC 6523) Sagittarius OC/GN     yes   M 8 denotes these days the GN NGC 6523, Stoyan includes the OC NGC 6530 in it; seen very well, beautiful at all sizes; nebula and fine stars, large
M 17 Omega/Swan Nebula (GN: M 17/NGC 6618) Sagittarius GN   yes yes   Saw the nebula M 17 with a straight nebula-like glow at the center, below the nebula there was a small OS, namely M 18 with only few stars; both not identified initially; found both again on Sep 19 and identified them according to Stoyan as M 17 and M 18. Saw them well later again.
M 18   Sagittarius OC   yes yes   Saw the nebula M 17 with a straight nebula-like glow at the center, below the nebula there was a small OS, namely M 18 with only few stars; both not identified initially; found both again on Sep 19 and identified them according to Stoyan as M 17 and M 18. Saw them well later again.
M 20 Trifid Nebula Sagittarius GN     yes   Faint glow, only stars otherwise; saw only stars at further observations.
M 21   Sagittarius OC     yes   Only stars, not really identified (only position: small triangle in rhombus); fine stars at a second observation (24 mm)
M 22   Sagittarius GC   yes yes   Large and beautiful, particularly at 24 and 10 mm; appeared resolved differently on various days
M 23   Sagittarius OC     yes   Seen well, large, fine stars (there was a star next to it)
M 24   Sagittarius MW     yes   The Sagittarius Cloud is part of the Milky Way, is large, and has many stars (24 mm)
M 25   Sagittarius OC     yes   Large, to the left of M 24 (24 mm)
M 28   Sagittarius GC   yes yes   Close to M 22, much smaller, resolved into fine stars with 4 mm
M 54   Sagittarius GC     yes   Very small, but seen well, bright core, not resolved. At my first attempt, I was not able to find the two other DSOs (M 70, M 69) to the right of it, because they were already too low. I found them at a later date.
M 55   Sagittarius GC     yes   Found M 55 more or less by chance, nice, larger than the nearby M 75; resolved at 7 and 4 mm, fairly faint at 4 mm.
M 69   Sagittarius GC     yes   Still small at 4 mm, faint at 4 mm (small star nearby -> for identification)
M 70   Sagittarius GC     yes   Small (located close to a longer chain of stars -> for identification)
M 75   Sagittarius GC     yes   Very hard to find, at 4 mm still very small, not resolvable.
M 15   Pegasus GC     yes SM127 Beautiful, but not resolvable
M 2   Aquarius GC     yes SM127 Beautiful, but not resolvable
M 31 Andromeda Galaxy Andromeda G   yes yes   Already seen with the naked eye (very faint); small with OM21, good to see with LT/TS binoculars; very nice with ST120 (also with 24 and 10 mm), but no structure or satellite galaxies found.
NGC 752   Andromeda OC     yes   Large, wide-spread
M 33 Triangulum Galaxy Triangulum G   yes yes   Faint to very faint; at best it was still a glow, but more distinct than ever before...
NGC 884/869 Perseus Double Cluster Perseus OC     yes   Already seen with the naked eye; very nice at low magnification and in binoculars; at 35 mm, the "oval" still fits into the field of view. Observed under various conditions.
M 34   Perseus OC     yes   Wide-spread
M 76 Small Dumbbell Nebula Perseus PN     yes   Very small; not found with 24 mm, only with 10, 7, and 4 mm
Mel 20 Alpha Persei Cluster, Mirphak Cluster Perseus OC LT/TS   yes   Very nice; observed with binoculars and long-focal eyepieces.
M 45 Pleiades/Seven Sisters Taurus OC LT/TS yes yes   Seen very nicely (later at night, in the morning)
M 42/43 Orion Nebula Orion GN LT/TS yes yes   Visible, but not as good as sometimes already seen (in the morning)
M 35   Gemini OC LT/TS yes yes   Only faintly visible, but confirmed with binoculars (in the morning)

*) 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

Searched for, but not found: M 6, M 7, M 62

 

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05.09.2020