Archive for February 2015

M35 and NGC 2158 – Open Clusters In Gemini

February 25, 2015


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

February 24, 2015


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.  



Carbon Star Observing – The Astronomical League Brings It Back With 100 Of The Finest Carbon Stars In The Northern Hemisphere

February 20, 2015


Red star observing was a very popular facet of amateur astronomy from about the 1750’s until the mid-1960’s.  

I became interested in carbon stars during the mid-70’s, but it would be more than twenty years before I would become a serious student of these beautiful gems of the night sky. 

Tom English, a friend and member of our local astronomy club gave several presentations during the 90’s.  Tom discussed not only the visual beauty, but also the (B-V) color index-scale, explaining in precise detail…exactly what it meant.  

Please take the time to research more about the the B-V color index-scale, as there are many sources online available.   

The Astronomical League has introduced a new observing program, covering 100 of the finest carbon stars in the northern hemisphere.

In recent years I’ve spent all of my observing time on galaxies, nebulae and star clusters, but I’m now ready to get back to enjoying the beauty of red stars.   

The great thing about carbon stars:  They can be observed in highly light polluted locations….even with a moon.  This should be appealing to many amateurs today, as each and every year there are fewer and fewer dark backyards.  

A small to medium aperture telescope, using low magnification is all that’s needed to enjoy the beauty of red stars.   Roger Ivester


My First and Second Telescopes From The 1970’s

February 3, 2015

The telescope to the right is my first serious telescope which I purchased in March of 1977, an Edmund Scientific 4.25-inch f/10 reflector.  Realizing the need for more aperture, I purchased the 6-inch Criterion RV-6 a year or so later.  My oldest son Roger Chadwick “Chad” is standing beside both telescopes, in 1977 and 1979 respectively…