July 2008 Archives

Click image for larger version. Observation Notes: In preparation for an upcoming article, I made a new observation of this interesting little planetary nebula. I noticed no color in it. The southern lobe was the brightest. Both lobes were brightest at their outer apexes. The bright portion of the northern...
Observation Notes: This fascinating planetary nebula was pleasantly large, and easy to spot with my low power eyepiece at 37.5X. I could see no color in the nebula, but there was some color right next to it in the double star HJ 1606. The primary of this double was...

NGC 6543 (Cat's Eye Nebula)

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Move mouse over sketch above to view comparison Hubble photo overlay. Click image for larger version. Observation Notes: I wasn't sure how much I would see, but this planetary nebula turned out to be a great visual treat. It bore a noticeable aqua color and was elongated at a...

NGC 5866 (Messier 102)

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Observation Notes: NGC 5866 appeared small, bright and strongly elongated. I estimated its length at about three arc minutes with a width less than one arc minute. My observation and sketch estimate a PA of 118 degrees. NGCIC.org lists 128 degrees. Although the galaxy possesses a thin dust lane,...

NGC 6891

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Observation Notes: This was my fourth and final observation and sketch during my recent night at Anderson Mesa. I picked it from my Bright Star Atlas since it was a convenient find next to the tail of Delphinus. Sky Atlas 2000.0 provided the star hopping route. At low power...

Struve 2306

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Click image for larger version Observation Notes: Nestled in the rich star fields between the Eagle and Swan Nebulae lies a fascinating multiple star. Struve 2306 was surprisingly colorful for a trio of 8th and 9th magnitude stars. The primary was a strong yellow with a rich blue companion to...

NGC 6210

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Observation Notes: Persistent clouds were making it exceptionally difficult to sketch the core of M16. So I took a break and decided to look for something in a part of the sky not dancing with clouds. Hercules was in decent position, so I scanned my SkyAtlas 2000.0 for something...
Click image for larger version. Observation Notes: This is the time of year when M16, The Eagle Nebula, is at its best...and the summer monsoon is at its worst. I drove out to Anderson Mesa for a long evening with M16 and some of its neighbors. An early evaporation of...

Messier 3

Observation Notes: After touring a trio of Messier galaxies this evening, I settled in for a long look at the beautiful globular cluster, M3. At low power, it appeared as a soft spot on a gray background. At 120X with a bit of averted vision, however, it exploded with...

Messier 58

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Observation Notes: M58 was my final Virgo Cluster galaxy observation on the evening of July 25. The core was faintly stellar and had a soft plateau of brightness that then dropped off gradually at the edges. It was mildly elliptical at a PA of about 70 degrees. The NGCIC...

Messier 59

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Observation Notes: After a satisfying look at M60 and NGC 4647, I moved on to M59. This elliptical galaxy was elongated slightly at a PA of about 160 degrees (ngcic.org lists the PA as 165 degrees). It had a smoothly fading luminosity profile with a pronounced stellar core. Object...
Observation Notes: Through my 8" Dobsonian at 120X, M60 was located in the center of an equilateral triangle of stars. It had a stellar core with a smoothly fading luminosity profile. To the northwest at a PA of about 300 degrees, lay a subtle companion galaxy. OK, it was...

The Cerulean Arc

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