Thursday, September 6, 2001

Backyard observing 9/6/01

Backyard - Los Gatos. Dim Milky Way visible. 8" f/6.9 Dob with 20mm Nagler, 12mm Nagler and 7mm Meade Research Grade Ortho.

This night's targets were varied.

Sigma CrB - easy split at 70x, the brighter component is EENE of the companion. Colors are equal.

17 Dra - mag 5.6 visible naked eye. Nice white pair with 16 Draconis just 7' N. Pair is tight at about 1.5" with brighter star to the W.

Mu Dra - Gold pair that is very tight with a clean split at 100x. The components are equal brightness and lay N/S.

NGC 6913 - M29 - Open cluster in Cygnus. I find this the most difficult of the Messier open clusters, in the heart of the Milky Way, only about 6 bright stars. Components are in two equal length chains of three stars each, arced away from each other. Hints of other faint stars involved. Chains are N/S in the field.

NGC 6939 - Open cluster in Cepheus. At 70x this cluster is small and faint - rather dull. There appear to be no bright stars, just a faint glow. At 100x many faint stars appear. the cluster is maybe 10' in diameter. I looked for NGC 6946 in the field both at 70x and 100x but did not find it.

NGC 7027 - PN in Cygnus. Easy target close to two bright stars E of Deneb. Fuzzy at 70x. At 195x the planetary begins to show elongation of bi-lobed feature. AT 350x it is clearly bi-lobed and a gray-green. The west end is a bit larger and notably brighter. A star may be embedded in the extreme western end.

NGC 7092 - M39 - Open cluster in Cygnus. 70x is a great magnification for this bright but sparse large open cluster. About 20 bright stars comprise the group. I like this better than M41 in Canis Major, and think of it as something of a poor-man's M45. Measured 35' diameter.

NGC 7209 - Open cluster in Lacerta. AT 70x this is a nice large cluster with many components. It is not exceptionally bright, but is easy to identify among the surrounding fields. 8' to 10' in size, it looks like two arcs of stars to the N and S with a large opening to the W and a much smaller one at the E end. Easy to locate star hopping from Xi to Rho Cygni then again the same distance in the same direction.

NGC 7243 - Open cluster in Lacerta. At 70x I had a very nice view. Large, amorphous - approximately 25 bright stars with many dim but resolvable other components. In three groups ... one of 3 stars, another with 15 and the third with about 9. Empty lanes running NNE/SSW ran between the three sections.

Rho Her - 70\x gorgeous right white pair in a nice field showing elongation. 100x split the pair cleanly. The brighter component was to the SE.


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