Archive for January 2017

NGC 1545 – Open Cluster in Perseus – Beautiful and Colorful Triple Star in the Central Region

January 13, 2017

January Observers Challenge Report:  january-2017-observers-challenge-ngc-1545-1

NGC 1545 – Open Cluster; Perseus; Mag. 6.2; Size 12′ – “Near the center of this cluster 6 cm shows a pretty 2′.5 triangle pointing SW, formed by blue, orange, and yellow stars (moving clockwise from the SW apex). In 30 cm about 35 stars are visible in an 18′ area.” Skiff & Luginbuhl  “Observing Handbook and Catalog of Deep-Sky Objects” 

Pencil sketch using an 5 x 8 notecard with colors inverted:


Image provided by Mario Motta from Massachusetts, using an 8-inch RC telescope.  


The following image by James Dire of Hawaii:

My first image here is of both NGC-1545 and NGC-1528 taken with a 70mm (2-3/4-inch) f/4.8 APO using an SBIG STF-8300C CCD camera. The field of view is approximately 1.5° from left to right. I have circled and labeled the two star clusters. The brightest star in the image is b Persei, a foreground star 318 light-years away.   James Dire 




M74 – NGC 628 – Galaxy in Pisces

January 10, 2017



Date: December 17, 1997  

Telescope: 10-inch f/4.5 reflector 

Magnification: 143x

Description: Faint mostly round glow, very low surface brightness. Brighter middle, fairly uniform halo, but with irregularities using averted vision. Two stars toward the east, and a line of stars ending with a brighter star north of the galaxy. I’ve always considered M74 to be the most difficult object in the Messier catalog. (See sketch)

Date: November 10, 1999
Telescope: 102 mm refractor f/9.8
Magnification: 63x
Description: Very faint with extremely low surface brightness halo that fades very gradually outwards. A brighter center, however, not well concentrated.

Date: November 1995
Telescope: 4-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain f/10
Magnification: 63x
Description: Brighter middle with a faint diffuse halo. Mostly round well concentrated nucleus.

Roger Ivester