Archive for August 2012

M22 – Globular Cluster In Sagittarius – Observer’s Challenge – Updated: September 21st 2012

August 29, 2012

Image by Dr. James Dire From KEASA Observatory, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii.  Camera:  SBIG ST-2000XCM CCD Camera.  Scope: 102 mm f/7.9 APO refractor.  Note the many star chains extending outward from the cluster.   

One of the most observed objects in Sagattarius by amateurs would have to be globular cluster, M22.  When viewed at 191x with my 10-inch reflector the cluster comes alive with many resolved stars.  The cluster has a brighter middle with two strings of stars leading off the SW edge.  A small concentrated patch could be seen on the northern tip, and another, however, smaller was noted toward the east.

The following pencil sketch was made using a 10-inch f/4.5 reflector at 191x from my moderately light polluted backyard in the foothills of  North Carolina.  

 

After careful observing for the longest time, I would suggest that this cluster appears looking like a strange alien creature.  The star chains in the SW edge would be the legs, and the concentrated spots in the N and E would be the eyes.  It is very interesting to note that after many observing sessions over the years, I have never noticed this most interesting comparison.  

Please check out this globular for yourself and see if you too can see the alien. 

My small 76 mm f/4 reflector at 25x presents M22 as a fairly dim ball of unresolved stars.    Roger Ivester

Read the full Las Vegas Astronomical Society report, please click on the following link.

AUGUST 2012 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – M-22

NGC 2419 – Globular Cluster – Lynx – “The Intergalactic Wonderer” Observer’s Challenge For March 2011 – Posted: August 24th 2012

August 24, 2012

See the full report:  click on the following link. 

MARCH 2011 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – NGC-2419

NGC 2903, M105, NGC 3384 and NGC 3389 – Galaxies in Leo – Observer’s Challenge – February 2010 – Posted: August 24th 2012

August 24, 2012

Click on the following link for the full report…

FEBRUARY 2010 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – NGC-2903 and SUPPLEMENTAL

NGC 2264 – Christmas Tree Cluster/Cone Nebula – Observer’s Challenge – January 2010 – Posted August 19th 2012

August 19, 2012

10-inch reflector:

Open cluster NGC 2264 appeared mostly sparse and course with a triangular shape.  The associated and irregular faint nebula was fairly easy to see at low magnification.  It is this observers opinion that the Cone Nebula is best seen with a much larger telescope under darker skies than my backyard.  R. Ivester

To see the the entire report, please click on the following link:

JANUARY 2010 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – NGC-2264

NGC 2261 – “Hubble’s Variable Nebula” – Monoceros – Observer’s Challenge – January 2011 – Posted August 18th 2012

August 18, 2012

Telescope:  10-inch reflector

The illuminating star, R Monocerotis is at the southern tip of the nebula.  The comet shape or fan-tail extends toward the N-W.  Some structure was noted in the nebula when increasing the magnification to 267x.   RI

To read the entire report, click on the following link:

FEBRUARY 2011 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – NGC-2261

NGC 1502 – Open Cluster – And Kemble’s Cascade 3º Star Chain – Camelopardalis – Observer’s Challenge – January 2012 – Posted August 18th 2012

August 18, 2012

Using a 76mm (3-inch reflector) at 13x with a 5 degree field of view:  

I could see both NGC 1502 and most of Kemble’s Cascade, a bright chain of stars cascading from the NW toward the cluster.   At this low power, NGC 1502 appears as a faint patch with several bright stars noted with a triangular shape. 

When increasing the magnification to 70x, I could count 8-10 stars, and double star Struve 485 was very easy.  The central region of the cluster appears a bit hazy due to faint stars in the background, too faint to be resolved with the small scope.   RI

NGC 1502 & Kemble's Cascade-1

To read the entire report, please click on the following link.

JANUARY 2012 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – NGC-1502  

NGC 1333 – Reflection Nebula – Perseus – Observer’s Challenge – January 2011 – Posted August 14th 2012

August 14, 2012

NGC 1333, a reflection nebula in the constellation Perseus.  This object is very faint and associated with a 10.5 magnitude star.  At first glance, using a 10-inch reflector it appears mostly round, but with averted vision and careful viewing it becomes elongated with a NE-SW orientation.  The brightest part of the nebula is SW of the 10.5 mag. star with the NE section being much more faint with some mottling or unevenness being noted.  The overall surface brightness is fairly low, so this object is best observed using low to medium magnification.    RI

JANUARY 2011 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – NGC-1333