21 DSOs Observed
Posted: 19 January 2012
On my previous two reports, I mentioned that the new HH:MM:SS digital clock for the observatory had failed. The dealer is shipping a replacement. Hope this one works better.
The observatory was opened Wednesday, 18 January, at 1814 MST, 60°F, to a clear sky. I began observing at 1818 MST. (I love being able to start observing so quickly!) First, Venus at 77X. Next was Neptune at 133X and 206X. Then Jupiter at 133X; four moons and the Great Red Spot were visible. Seeing was better this night than on the previous night.
At 1858 MST, I did a quick handheld image of the constellation of Orion with the iPhone using an app that I am testing for an upcoming review. I tweeted the unedited photo. I then got into my observing session.
I used Observer Pro on the iPhone to see what DSOs were currently available for viewing. I selected several and at 1907 MST, after SYNCing on the star Aldebaran, I started observing DSOs with the 8" LX200-ACF. In observing order, I viewed these at 77X:
M33 (Triangulum Galaxy)
NGC2537 (Bear Paw Galaxy
M34 (open cluster)
M103 (open cluster)
NGC2264 (Christmas Tree cluster and Cone Nebula)
M1 (Crab Nebula)
NGC2024 (Flame Nebula)
IC434 (Horsehead Nebula)
NGC2194 (open cluster)
M44 (Praesepe, Beehive Cluster)
M79 (globular cluster)
M31 (Andromeda Galaxy)
M32 (M31 satellite galaxy)
M110 (M31 satellite galaxy)
NGC2440 (globular cluster)
I also used a 2" 50mm (40X) eyepiece on M31, M42 (Great Orion Nebula), the Flame Nebula, and the Horsehead Nebula.
I ended DSO observing at 2050 MST. Many of the DSOs were excellent and I have selected several as imaging targets for future sessions.
Prior to closing the observatory, I did some quick handheld images of the constellation of Orion with the iPhone using the same app as earlier. As a preview to my upcoming review, here is an edited version of the best one:
Amazing for an iPhone. And just to show something else amazing for an iPhone, here is M42 in Orion taken the previous night using the same app:
My review will be available soon. Stay tuned.
Closed the observatory at 2108 MST, 50°F.
Go to the previous report.
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