Deep Sky Spring Observations April 2020

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

In April 2020, I did simple "deep-sky spring observations," which might be of interest to other beginners and are therefore described here. They took place in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (Germany)..

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).



Sky Region and Objects

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

Overview Map

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,

Observation Time

The observations were done in April 2020.

Observation Location

The observations took place in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (Germany):

Devices Used

I used the C8 on the AZ4 mount, the PS72 on the AZ Pronto mount, and the Skymax-127 also on the AZ Pronto mount.

General Conditions

In Mühlhausen/Kraichgau, the sky was not particularly dark.


Observation Overview

Observed Objects Details, Remarks Further Observations and Remarks Devices Used Eyepieces Used
Apr 4-6
GN: M 42/43 Orion:
Apr 4: Observed with SM-127, photographing the Orion Nebula was difficult (hitting the target, focusing), but I got a result
Apr 5: Observed with SM-127; Orion nebula (focusing difficult), but results with RX100 M4, visually, the nebula was hardly visible because of the moon ; moon with RX100 M4 and also purely visually, but already very faint...
Binoculars (LT, OM): Venus and Pleiades, in the Pleiades only the biggest stars ("carriage") visible
Apr 6: Observed and photographed with PS72 and SM-127.
PS72: Half-Venus seen well with 24, 16, and 4 mm (108 x); at the end with less "color"; also observed and photographed M 42 with RX100 M4 (with and without zoom)
SM-127: again observed and photographed with RX100 M4 the now nearly full moon
Attempts to photograph the Orion Nebula M 42/43 with small telescopes and a normal camera, PS72 on AZ Pronto, Skymax-127 on AZ Pronto 32 mm
Apr 23
G: M 65, M 66, M 95, M 96, NGC 2903


Observed NGC 2903 (very faint), the pair M 65/66, M 95, M 96, and NGC 3628 (eVscope only) in parallel to the eVscope; all the galaxies were rather faint (Astrid saw them better than me); M 65 and 66 could be seen in the same field of view. Overall, all the galaxies were very faint despite new moon; probably, the PS72 would have found none of them... The eVscope found all the galaxies, but had some problems with the Enhanced Vision mode (at most with NGC 2903)
Comparison of the C8 with the eVscope based on some Leo galaxies; new moon, but the sky was still fairly bright.

Venus crescent photographed with C8

C8 on AZ4 C8: 40, 26 mm

Bold: First observation during this observation period; all observations done in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (MH); 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.

Name Constellation Type Bino* PS72 SM127 C8 C8R Remarks
M 42/43 Orion Nebula Orion GN   yes yes     Made photo attempts with the Sony RX100 M4
M 65   Leo G       yes   Faint, observed together with M 66 in the same field of view
M 66   Leo G       yes   Faint, observed together with M 65 in the same field of view
M 95   Leo G       yes   Faint
M 96   Leo G       yes   Faint
NGC 2903   Leo G       yes   Very faint

*) 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, C = comet




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