NGC 2683 – Galaxy In Lynx – Beautiful Edge-On Spiral

Posted April 6, 2015 by rogerivester
Categories: Observer's Challenge Reports

Pencil sketch with the colors inverted using a 10-inch Newtonian reflector @ 183x.   Rogers NGC-2683a The following image by Dr. James Dire of Hawaii, using an Orion 190 mm Maksutov-Newtonian with an exposure of 60 minutes (6 x 10)  NGC2683 MARCH 2015 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – NGC-2683-1 Roger Ivester

Orion Telescope and Binoculars Article – The Virgo Diamond

Posted March 24, 2015 by rogerivester
Categories: Orion Telescope and Binoculars Monthly Challenge Objects: 2014 Ivester


Observing The Entire Messier Catalog, But Please….Not In One Night!

Posted March 8, 2015 by rogerivester
Categories: Roger's Articles



The Astronomical League Messier awards certificate book, offers an excellent visual description of each of the entire 110 object Messier catalog, by two very experienced observers.   It includes many pencil sketches as well as some excellent images. The book can be purchased from the AL for only $10.00 plus shipping.  A great buy…indeed! 

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced amateur, this is an excellent book for either. The author’s, Kathy Machin and Sue Wheatley did an excellent job in documenting their observations with detailed notes, plus a lot of supporting information.

I like the following quote from the introduction: “We hope you will not rush through the objects, saying, yep, that’s one. What’s next? The Messier List is not a race.”

I continue to use my copy of the AL Messier Objects even after many years, and actually had the previous edition (the author used a 3.5-SkyScope reflector) before this update version.  Unfortunately, I gave the first edition to someone who I thought would use it, but never did.  I sure wish that I had it back!   Roger

With so many astronomy clubs sponsoring Messier Marathons on the weekend of the 21st, it would be a great opportunity for each club to promote the Astronomical League Messier Awards certificate.

As I’ve mentioned in published articles, emails, and presentations and other:  “Observing with a purpose” is seemingly the most important thing any amateur can do to continue with that passion we all had when we first started.

Glen Chaple quoted me on this in his “Observing Basics” in the March Astronomy Magazine.

What if only two or three amateurs in each of the clubs across the country, sponsoring a marathon would use the night for an opportunity to carefully study each object, making visual notes, and beginning a lifetime of serious amateur astronomy?  I’m betting that the number of serious amateur astronomer’s would increase dramatically!  

Maybe even using the night as a start for achieving their Messier Awards Certificate and pin, and finding their “observing with a purpose”  for many years to come.  

Roger Ivester

Roger and Debbie Ivester

Posted March 4, 2015 by rogerivester
Categories: Roger's Articles

A Cold windy day:  February 2015


Globular Cluster M13 and The Elusive Propeller – Orion Telescope and Binocular Article

Posted March 1, 2015 by rogerivester
Categories: Uncategorized

Originally posted on rogerivester:

If you’ve never seen the three dark lanes in M13, known as “the propeller” let 2014 be your year.   

To read the full article on the Orion Telescope and Binocular site:  Go to the “Community Page” then “Deep-Sky Challenge” or just click on the following Orion link.

M13 And The Elusive Propeller

View original

M35 and NGC 2158 – Open Clusters In Gemini

Posted February 25, 2015 by rogerivester
Categories: Observer's Challenge Reports


M35 and NGC 2158 have always been favorites of mine.  Years ago when using a 4.5-inch reflector, it could be difficult, especially from my light polluted backyard at that time.  I often used NGC 2158 to determine transparency. 

M35:  102 mm refractor is extremely bright with the most noticeable feature being a curving star chain crossing through the center of the cluster.  The cluster contains mostly bright bluish-white stars.  NGC 2158 appears as a faint, mostly round patch of light without resolution, however, one brighter star (requiring averted vision) can be seen on the western edge.  

NGC 2158:  10-inch reflector at 256x will resolve about 40 or so faint stars.  Excellent seeing and high magnification is required to resolve this beautiful, faint and small open cluster.

The following is a pencil sketch using a No. 2 pencil, blank 5 x 8 note card with a 10-inch reflector at 44x.  Color inverted via computer and standard color sketch…

Rogers NGC-2158


The following image of open cluster NGC 2158 is by Dr. James Dire of Hawaii, using an 8-inch RC f/8 telescope with 6 x 10 minute exposures. 


NGC 1569 – Galaxy in Camelopardalis

Posted February 24, 2015 by rogerivester
Categories: Observer's Challenge Reports

Galaxy, NGC 1569 sketch using a No. 2 pencil, and a blank 5 x 8 note card.  


Inverted pencil sketch via computer by Fred Rayworth of Nevada.   My scanner is not working due to an update in operating systems with my MacBook Pro.  A new flat bed scanner is on the agenda for purchase this year.

Rogers NGC-1569

The following image, compliments of Dr. James Dire of Hawaii, using an 8-inch RC f/8 telescope, with an exposure of 90 minutes.  


Observers Challenge Report:  JANUARY 2015 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – NGC-1569


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