Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Deepsky Night of 2008!

Although it’s again clear this evening I was not really planning to observe. I felt a bit tired. Luckily Jan V. called and we decided to go observing together again at the place of Charly. I needed this little push by Jan to go out for the 5th observing session this week. And it was a good thing (thanks Jan!) – the night was again very clear (but cold too). We’ve been observing until 2UT.

Location: Boutersem (Charly)
Equipment: Obsession 18”
Eyepieces: 24mm; 16mm, Powermate 2,5x
Nelm: 5,2
Seeing: moderate
Time 23:00Hr UT to 2Hr00 UT
Temperature: -6°C

The objective of the day is again the Herschel II list.

NGC 2253 – open cluster in Camelopardalis.
This object does not exist! Really, see the discussion on:
I was looking at the right place, but there is nothing to see.

NGC 2347; IC 2179 – galaxies in Camelopardalis
NGC 2347 is continuously visible at 127x. It’s an oval spot of 2’ without any core. It’s located on one of the edges of a triangle of 3 bright stars. 15’ north is IC 2179. Also this one is continuously visible at 127x. It’ has a round shape but is a bit smaller than NGC 2347. A faint core is visible.

NGC 7245 – open cluster in Lacerta
At 211x I can see with averted vision the glow of unresolved stars and something like 5 faint stars, on an area on 5’. The cluster is located in rich area of stars. Visibility is better at 316x. A small but nice asterism with a shape of a keystone is located 8’ north of the cluster.

NGC 1207 – galaxy in Perseus
I have tried this one with my 20cm Newton but without success. With the 18” it’s an easy galaxy at 124x. The oval is 2’ long and 1’ wide and contains a faint core.

I still need to do 3 Herschel II objects in Pisces, but it’s going to be a challenge – Pisces is currently located (SW) in an area where there is quite some light pollution. I’m not quite sure this will work but let’s try it out.

NGC 706 – galaxy in Pisces

This is galaxy of mag 12.5. In this light pollution it’s quite tough. I can only see it at 211x and not even continuously (80%) as a oval spot of 2’, without any core. I’m not going to try the galaxies in the neighbourhood because it does not make sense in these conditions.

NGC 718 – galaxy in Pisces
This is galaxy of mag 11.7 In this light pollution it’s quite tough. I can only see it at 211x and not even continuously (80%) as a oval spot of 2’, with a faint core.

NGC 741 – galaxy in Pisces

This is in fact a pair of galaxies (NGC 741 and NGC 742) of mag 13. 3. With this light pollution I can see only 1 round, but rather large oval of 3’ (larger than NGC 718 and NGC 706). It’s probably the combine light of the 2 galaxies, but I cannot make any distinction between the 2.
This is surely an observation to repeat in order to view the smaller NGC 742.

NGC 821 – galaxy in Aries

This one is easy, even at 124x. Located SE to a bright star. The galaxy does not touch this star. It’s 1’ large and contains bright core. Visible with direct vision.

NGC 890 – galaxy in Aries

NGC 890 is at 124x a bright galaxy of 2’ with a striking core. The core is as bright as the brightest star of a little triangle west of the galaxy. I’ve seen this one also with my 20cm Newton. At that time I could not see any core (but nelm was only 4.9)

NGC 925 – galaxy in Triangulum
NGC 925 is a huge galaxy in Triangulum. It’s visible at 84x but the best view is at 84x with Deepsky filter. I estimate the galaxy to be larger than 7’ and as wide as 3’. Three faint stars are close (in or out of the galaxy, difficult to say) to the galaxy. The galaxy is a bit brighter at its centre.

NGC 1012 – galaxy in Aries

NGC 1012, of mag 12.1 is already visible at 84x. At 124x I can see a large almost round spot of 2’ with a large but faint core.

NGC 1156 – galaxy in Aries
Observation at 124x. It’s a strange object of 3’. The shape is not really oval – it looks like a piece of the oval has been cut away. It’s maybe due to the 3 stars which are location the NW edge.

Beta Monocerotis
Observed with the 15” Obsession of Jan. A nice triple star (forgot to note the colours)

Now we go more south to Lepus

NGC 1832 – galaxy in Lepus
Observed at 124x. An oval of 2’ close to a moderate bright star. 2’ no core.

NGC 2196 – galaxy in Lepus

At 211x it’s visible 10% of the time, between 2 faint stars. It’s an almost round spot of 2’.

NGC 2139 – galaxy in Lepus
Very very difficult but I have been able to see it during a 5 short moments as a large spot, both at 211x and at 316x.

The next objects are in Puppis

NGC 2396 – open cluster in Puppis
A very loose open cluster. 10 bright stars in an area of 10’. There is north of the cluster a nice double star with orange and blue colors.

NGC 2414 – open cluster in Puppis
At 211x I see 1 bright and 6 faint stars in an arc of 5’. Located SE of straight line of 4 bright stars.

NGC 2432 – open cluster in Puppis
At 211x I see 15 stars (moderately bright and faint ones) in an arc of 5’, going north south.

I looked for NGC 2525 – a galaxy in Puppis, but I’m not sure I have seen it.

NGC 2467 – open cluster with nebulosity in Puppis.
This object is still very low, less than 10°. I can see at the right location 1 bright star and 10 faint stars. This is the open cluster. I could not see any nebulosity. Observation at 211x. Will need to redo this observation.

At this moment I have enough to see all these faint HII objects. It’s time for some show pieces.

NGC 2438 – planetary nebula in M46 – Puppis
Fantastic at 211x and 316x. This is a large disc! One star on the disc, but off centre is visible at 211x. A 2nd star becomes visible at 316x, still off centre. A bright star is located at the SE edge. With averted vision a ring structure (dark centre) becomes visible.

NGC 2440 – planetary nebula – Puppis
NGC 2440 is another planetary in Puppis. It’s a very bright disc. At 316x I can see a curl on the western edge. Nice object.

Looked also at Eskimo (once more!) and NGC 2371 (idem, once more).
Tried to look for the supernova in M61 but at 2Hr UT the galaxy is still too low .
I have seen the Medusa Nebula through the 15” scope of Jan (with OIII filter).

NGC 3079 – galaxy in Ursa Major.
I ended the night with a fantastic object, NGC 3079, a galaxy in Ursa Major. It’s a long streak of 5’ (elongation around 1:7) with a very bright core of 1” which is offset toward the east. Due to this offset, the galaxy looks bended! Observation at 211x.

This ends a very nice observation night.

162 / 400 Herschel II objects.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Observation session with Jan V on Dec 29, 2008

The 4th observation night but not alone this time, as Jan V. joined me to observe during a few hours. It’s again one of those cold nights, the ServoCat of Jan was indicated -6° at midnight.

Location: Boutersem (Charly)
Equipment: Obsession18”
Eyepieces: 24mm; 16mm, Powermate 2,5x
Nelm: 5,2
Seeing: moderate
Time 22:30Hr UT to 0Hr30 UT

Before the real observing work started I had the visit of Charly and Sebastien. Charly, the oncle of Caroline, is the owner of the piece of ground were we are currently observing. They had the opportunity to see a couple of deepsky objects through the 18” Obsession. We started of course with easy objects and went to a bit more difficult targets. They’ve seen M42, M37, M35, M81 and M82 (dark lane seen), M76 (they noticed the peanut shaped) and ended with M34. 7 Messiers in half an hour. Not bad I would say.

Around 23:30 UT I could start observing the Herschel II list. I still have one object to do in Cepheus. But the major part of the evening will be open clusters and nebula’s in Monoceros.

NGC 7139 – planetary nebula in Cepheus
Bad planning, as I had already seen this one in the Provence. Anyway, here at a Nelm 5.2 sky it’s a difficult object. At 211x I can see a very faint disc of 1’, with a faint star at the NE edge. An UHC enhances the visibility. The southern edge seems to be brighter, which is confirmed on the DSS picture.

NGC 1663 – open cluster in Orion
This is a very loose cluster in Orion. Also this one is badly planned, as I had seen it with my 20cm scope earlier this year. I absolutely need to update my HII list! At 124x I see 4 bright stars in an arc. It’s not even sure if these stars are part of the cluster. North of this arc there are 7 faint stars in an area smaller than 10’. No more stars at 211x.

NGC 2170 – reflection nebula in Monoceros
A little round nebula around a bright star, visible at 84x and 211x, without any filter. No glare.

NGC 2182 – reflection nebula in Monoceros
This is not glare, but a nebula around bright star. Visible at 211x.

NGC 2236 – Open cluster in Monoceros
A small open cluster of less than 10’. At 211x 15 faint stars are distributed in a triangular shape. A bright star is at the western edge. An ars of 4 bright stars is located 5’ east of the cluster.

NGC 2245; NGC 2247 – reflection nebula in Monoceros
Close to the Xmas cluster we find a beautiful little nebula. It has a triangular shape. A bright star is located at one of the Northern corner of the triangle. The southern edge is more diffuse than the 2 other edges. Also the brightness is increasing in the direction of the star. Observation at 211x. This nebula reminds me of Hubbles variable nebula. NGC 2247 is located 20’ north of NGC 2245. This one is more difficult. With averted vision a faint nebula of 2’ is visible around a bright star. This is no glare because the view is different when compared to another similar bright stars.

NGC 2252 – open cluster in Monoceros
This is a large open cluster of 20’. With a lot of fantasy, I can see it like a fish with a big tail. There are 20 bright stars and only a few faint ones (211x). This cluster is located just north east of the Rosette nebula.

NGC 2254 – open cluster in Monoceros
A small open cluster with 6 moderately bright stars distributed on an arc. 5’ large. There is a glow of unresolved stars (211x)

NGC 2259 – open cluster in Monoceros
Another small open cluster in Monoceros. In an area of 5’ I can find with averted vision 15 very faint stars (211x). A fun object!

NGC 2302 – open cluster in Monoceros
A loose open cluster with 8 bright stars in an area of 5’. Observation at 211x.

NGC 2309 – open cluster in Monoceros
This is again a loose opne cluster. At 211 I can see 20 stars in an area of 10’. 7 of them are quite bright, the rest are faint.

NGC 2316 – reflection nebula in Monoceros
A cute little nebula. At 316x it’s a small but bright nebula. Il looks like it’s made out of 2 more or less round parts. The centre looks brighter but it could also be a star. Becomes less visible with UHC filter.

Ended this very cold night (-6°C and I’m starting to get real cold) with Eskimo, M81, M82, M107.

146 Herschel II objects.

Observation Dec 28, 2008

The 3rd observation night. It’s colder than last time, somewhat around -5 or -6°, but strangely, I don’t feel it like that. I had less cold this night than the previous time.

Location: Boutersem
Equipment: Obsession18”
Eyepieces: 24mm; 16mm, Powermate 2,5x
Nelm: 5,0
Seeing: moderate
Time 21:30Hr UT to 0Hr30 UT

I observed for about 3 hours and then I had to stop due to an issue with the ServoCat. The engines were not responding anymore.

The objective of this night is to continue with Herschel II; have another try at the emission nebula in Auriga, and to stop with some showpieces. But first and Arp to start with.

I started with M37 and M1.

NGC 93 – Arp65 – galaxies in Andromeda
This Arp group contains 2 galaxies, NGC 91 and NGC 93. I could only see NGC 93 but only with a lot of efforts. I can see it only 10% of the time. It’s so faint I cannot determine if it’s round or oval. It’s 1’ and has no core. NGC 91 was not visible. More to the west are 2 easier galaxies: NGC 83 is a round spot of 1’, located close to a small triangle of bright stars. No core. NGC 80 is also a 1’ round spot, but here it seems to have a stellar core. Observations at 211x.

Before going for the Herschel II I tried the emission nebula in Auriga:

IC 405 – flaming star – Auriga
I’m convinced I have seen nebulosity (with the help of an UHC filter) around the bright star located 10’ NW of AU Aurigae. It looked like a triangular shape located NW of this star – see drawing. Most observers are finding nebulosity around AE Aurigae, but I did not see anything except for the glare. I need to develop a technique to notice the difference between glare and nebulosity.

IC410 – emission nebula - Auriga
Again, the C-shape was clearly visible. This is an easy nebula

IC 417 – emission nebula - Auriga
I think I saw some faint nebulosity (with UHC) around the triple star in the middle of the Stock 8 cluster.

Next observations are Herschel II objects.

NGC 410; NGC 414; NGC 407 – galaxies in Pisces
NGC 410 is not visible at 124x. I need 211x to see it as a round nebula of 2’, without core. It’s quite easy at this power. SW is NGC 407, an elongated galaxy (3:1) of 2’. There is not core. Only 20% of the time visible. On the other side of NGC 410 is NGC 414. This is an easier target than NGC 407 although it’s a smaller one with its 1’. Here also no core is visible.

NGC 428 – galaxy in Cetus
At 211x I can see this stand alone but large nebula whose shape is difficult to determine. Visible only 20% of time.

NGC 514 – galaxy in Pisces
Again a stand-alone galaxy, this time in Pisces. Also this one is difficult as I can see it only 20% of the time at 211x. It’s a large round nebula of 3’, without core.

NGC 636 – galaxy in Cetus
This is a very easy galaxy, visible with direct vision even at 124x. It’s 3’ large, round but has no core.

NGC 660 – galaxy in Pisces
NGC 660 is a huge galaxy of 6’ and very easy to see. It’s oval shaped and has no core.

NGC 665; IC 156; IC 154– galaxy in Pisces
This is a little group of 3 galaxies in Pisces which has not yet been logged in . NGC 665 is relatively easy at 211x as it is continuously visible. It’s an oval of 2’ with a core. IC 156 is located NE of NGC 665 and is a small round spot of 1’. A bit further north is IC 154 which is extremely difficult. I could see at 316x only a few times an elongated smudge of light. A moderate bright star is located at the southern edge. Check the DSS picture, its quite nice!

NGC 1184 – galaxy in Cepheus
NGC 1184 is one of the few galaxies in Cepheus. At 124x it’s visible with direct vision. It’s an elongated nebula of 2’ (elongation 3:1) with a bright core. See also DSS picture for this nice galaxy.

NGC 1175; 1177; IC 284 – galaxies in Perseus
A trio of galaxies in Perseus which is located 2° NW from Perseus A cluster. NGC 1175, which is an easy one, is visible as oval spot of 2’ at 124x and has a faint core. NGC 1177 is very difficult. I’ve seen it only a few moments at 316x. It’s smaller than 1’. IC 284 is visible half of the time at 211x. It’s a large oval of 5’ and has no core.

NGC 4291; 4319; 4386 – galaxies in Draco
NGC 4291 is a very nice object. It’s a bright round spot of 2’. There is a faint star on the nebula, and another one at the western edge. I did not notice the 2nd star at the western edge. It’s located very close to a small triangle of bright stars. NCG 4319, 5’ SE of NGC 4291 is an oval of 3’. NGC 4386, mote to the NE, is bright oval of 2’, visible with direct vision. The core is visible too.

I ended with Eskimo nebula, and NGC 2371, another planetary in Gemini. I could see the central star (I did not notice this last time).

At this time the Servocat was not functioning anymore so I decided to stop. It was once more a very nice observation session.

I have seen 136 Herschel II objects.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Observation December 26, 2008

The 2nd clear night in a row. Transparency is a bit less than yesterday but it’s still OK with nelm of 5.0. It’s however much colder. I guess it’s -4°C., which is doable for a few hours.

Location: Boutersem
Equipment: Obsession18”
Eyepieces: 24mm; 16mm, Powermate 2,5x
Nelm: 5,0
Seeing: moderate
Time 19Hr UT to 24Hr UT

I started with M37, as usually during winter time.
Spend some time looking for the nebula in M45, but except some glare around the brightest stars I could not see any hint of it.
M76 is a fantastic object. Lot’s of details to see, as well as some brightness differences. Could see the brightest part of the outer halo.

Cat’s Eye and IC 4677 – planetary nebula in Draco
Tried to look for IC 4677 which is according to some sources a galaxy, and to other sources a bright patch of the outer shell of the Cat’s Eye. After looking at the DSS picture I’m choosing for the 2nd option. It’s a difficult object in mag 5.0 sky. I have seen it a little while at 211x. It reacts positively to an UHC filter, as now I could see it during 10% of the time.

Now we go for HII objects.

NGC 7419 – open cluster in Cepheus
Small concentrated cluster containing 10 stars in an area of 7’. It’s located in line of 2 bright stars. At 211x 20 stars are visible; many of them are quite faint. Cute little cluster.

NGC 7600 – galaxy in Aquarius
124x: oval smudge of 2’ with a small but bright core. Averted vision required. Visible 50% of time.

NGC 7785 – galaxy in Pisces
124x: This is an easy object. It’s located in the middle of a triangle of 3 bright stars. NGC 7785 is an oval of 2’ and has a faint core.

I did not found NGC 7832, galaxy in Pisces

NGC 23 and NGC 26 – galaxies in Pegasus
NGC 23 is very easy. I can see it with direct vision at 124x. It’s a smudge of 2’ with a bright core. A faint star is located close to the eastern edge. NGC 26, located 10’ SE of NGC 23 is much more difficult. Only 20% of the time visible at 124x. It’s a smudge of 1’. It becomes a bit better visible at 211x.

NGC 125; 126; 128 – group of galaxies in Pisces
NGC 125 is the Herschel II object. With averted vision at 124x it’s a small smudge, smaller than 1’. A nice double star is located south of the galaxy. NGC 128 is a nice edge on galaxy of 3’, with an elongation of 4:1. No core. NGC 126 is difficult. I could only see it a few times at 211x. NGC 127 and 130 were not visible.
Worthwhile to redo!

NGC 151 – galaxy in Cetus
A large object of 3’ but only visible 10% of the time, at 124x. The visibility increases a lot at 211x. NGC 163 which is located SE of NGC 151 was not visible.

NGC 182; 186; 193; 194; 198; 199; 200; 204 – group of galaxies in Pisces
NGC 198 is the Herschel II object. It’s oval an easy to see at 124x. NGC 200, located 7’ north, os a faint large oval of 2’, visible at 211x. No core. Continuing north are more galaxies. NGC 194 is easy to see at 211x. It’s round, 1’ and has a faint core. NGC 199 is more difficult. It’s an oval visible only 20% of the time. More north is NGC 193, an oval galaxy without core close to a faint star. Visible half of the time. NGC 204 is located east of NGC 193 and is also a bit smaller than NGC 193. No core. NGC 186 is more to the west. This oval of 1’ without core is almost continuously visible. 15’ east of NGC 198 is NGC 182, a very faint galaxy. NGC 208, west of the Herschel II object was not visible. NGC 202 and 203 were not on may finder chart, so I did not look for it L

NGC 217 – galaxy in Cetus
NGC 217 is an elongated galaxy of 2’ (elongation 3:1) without core. At 124x it’s visible 80% of time. This galaxy has not yet been observed in dslog.

NGC 315; 311; 318 – galaxy in Cetus
NGC 315 is a an easy object. At 124x it’s round, has core, and is larger than 2’. NGC 311 is also visible at 124, but the core appears only at 211x. Is 1’ long. NGC 318 is a stellar object at 211x located east of a faint star.

Up to here the faint Herschel II objects. It’s time to do something else. I wanted to redo some observations in Auriga.

IC 410 – emission nebula in Auriga
I looked at this one also yesterday. The C-shape is very clear. The C is wider and brighter at its west side. Nice object.

IC 405 – flaming star – Auriga: looked for a while, but could not see any nebulosity, apart from the glare around the brighter stars.

IC 417 – emission nebula in Auriga
Yesterday I was not very sure I have seen the nebula. Today, I still cannot confirm at 100% Maybe I have seen some nebulosity (with UHC) but it’s far from being sure.

NGC 2392 (Eskimo) – planetary in Gemini
I wrote it yesterday that I need to look for the concentric ring within the inner disc. (I also wrote to look for the colors, but I forgot to do this). Well, I’ve seen the concentric ring. So there 3 distinct area’s: The outer halo, a triangular shaped inner disc, and a concentric ring, and of course the central star. Those 3 areas are best visible at 316x with filter. But without filter it remains slightly visible. During a few moments I thought I could see some structure in the halo (2 dark area’s, each of them ¼ of a circle).

NGC 2371/72 – planetary nebula in Gemini
A double lobed planetary nebula (peanut shaped). It’s quite impressive in the 18” at 211x with UHC filter. The SW lobe is the brightest one and contains a bright area. The NE lobe also contains at its eastern edge a brighter area. The centre (the area between the 2 lobes) is dark. Nice object.

I’ve been spending almost 4 hours in the cold, time to get inside. Quite glad of this evening session.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Deespky Observation on Dec 25, 2008

It has been a while (Oct 22) that I have been observing. Bad weather and other things on my mind have been the root cause. Finally, today Dec 25 it’s a very clear night.

Location: Boutersem (Belgium)
Equipment: Obsession 18”
Eyepieces: 24mm; 16mm, Powermate 2,5x
Nelm: 5,2
Seeing: moderate
Time 22Hr UT to 2 Hr UT

I started by observing M37 in Auriga. I like this cluster very much.

M1 - supernova remanent in Taurus
Next one is M1. Even with the 18” this object is quite disappointing. The shape is quite obvious with sharp edges and the centre is brighter than the edges. But there is no structure to see in this large object. I see no stars superimposed on M1.

NGC 1514 - planerary nebula in Taurus
NGC 1514 is a planetary nebula in Taurus. Without filter this object is almost not visible, but with filter, wow, this becomes a splendid view.

M77 - galaxy in Cetus
211x: M77 has a large core surrounded by a faint disc. It’s slightly oval. The disc does not reach until the bright star located east of M77. During one moment I had the impression to see faint spiral arms in the halo.

NGC 1055 - galaxy in Cetus
This galaxy is located NW from M77. At 124x I can see it as an elongated object of 4’. It is much thicker in the middle. At 211x the northern edge appears sharper than the southern one. It’s probably due to the dark lane.

NGC 1072 - galaxy in Cetus
This galaxy is located between M77 and NGC 1055. At 211 I can see a star and nebula during 20% of the time.

NGC 1090; 1087; 1094 - galaxies in Cetus
This trio is located south east from M77. At 211 NGC 1090 looks like an oval (elongation 3:1) of 2’. Visible 50% of the time. No core. NGC 1094 is an easy object. It’s a little oval smaller than 1’. It’s continuously visible. NGC 1087 is a large smudge, almost round, without any structure.

Hickson 16 (NGC 833; 835; 838; 839) – galaxies in Cetus
Hickson 16 is a quite easy group of galaxies in Cetus. At 124x I can see 3 members. NGC 835 is an easy object. NGC 835 is visible 50% of the time and NGC 829 is only now and then visible. The 4th member, NGC 833 becomes visible at 211x. At this power, I can see the core of NGC 835. NGC 839 remains difficult.

After these objects in Cetus I decided to go for some objects that Demelza described in her December targets.

NGC 1501: planetary nebula in Cameleopardalis
This is a splendid object at 211x. The central star is obvious. The edges are sharp. The northern edge appears brighter. The disc contains dark areas. Next time I need to see if I can see some color in there.

IC 3568: planetary nebula in Cameleopardalis
IC 3568 is another planetary in Cameleopardalis but much smaller than NGC 1501. It’s only 6” big. I can see it as a round bright little disc, close to a mag 13 star. Observation at 211x. No more details with a UHC filter.

IC 410 – emission nebula in Auriga
The nebula is well visible at 124x with an UHC filter. It’s a big one filling almost completely the field of view. I guess this one is larger than 25’. It looks like a C. Some of its edges are sharp; some other ones are more diffuse. The western part is brighter than the rest.

Stock 8 and IC 417 - open cluster and emission nebula in Auriga.
I tried to look for IC 417, another nebula in Auriga. First I thought it was some nebula around Phi Aur, a beautiful orange star. But what I saw was nothing else than glare. IC 417 is located in Stock 8, which is a quite loose open cluster of 20 stars located in an area of 20’. It difficult to say where the cluster starts or ends because it is so loose. Did I see IC 417? Certainly not without any filter. I have guessed it at 124x with an UHC filter, but I could not confirm it. Will need to repeat this observation.

Abell 8 – planetary in Auriga: not found

K 2-1 – planetary nebula in Auriga
The first successful observation in Deepskylog. The object is visible at 127x with UHC filter. Difficult to say what kind of shape it is. It looks irregular or oval and must be at least 2' big. Averted vision is of course needed to see it. 50% of the time visible. At least on star is visible on the nebula, and some others very close to it.

NGC 2242 – planetary nebula in Auriga
This planetary is not visible at 127x. I can see it at 211x as a very small disc. Averted vision is required to see this mag 15.2 object. An UHC filter gives a positive effect.

NGC 2392 (Eskimo) – planetary nebula in Gemini
A marvelous object at 316 with UHC filter. I could see the typical Eskimo image. An inner bright disc, with central star, is surrounded by a large but fainter outer shell. The inner disc has a kind of triangular shape, which is so typical on pictures of the nebula. Next time I need to look for colors and for the concentric ring within the inner disc.

M35 and NGC 2158 – open clusters in Gemini
Marvelous. For the first time I can completely resolve NGC 2158. At 211 I can see something like 20 stars in this little OC.

Rosette – emission nebula in Monoceros.
Again, marvelous! I can clearly see the nebula cover its complete circumference. The background of the centre is completely dark and filled with many stars of NGC 2244, the open cluster. The nebula is wider and brighter at its northern edge. I can see many brightness is differences in the nebula. To see its full splendor, this object should be seen with an eyepiece that provides a larger field of view.

Xmas tree – could not see the nebulosity.

I continued the night with some classics such as M42 and M43. Again these are splendid objects in the 18” scope. M42 was clearly mottled and contained many details. Also M43 was spectacular. Also spend some time on the flame nebula (NGC 2024). Also I tried to look for the Horsehead nebula with an UHC filter. I had the impression to see some nebula (not the Horsehead itself) but cannot confirm it.

NGC 2359 (Thor’s helmet) – emission nebula in Canis Major
The object was still low in the sky, but nevertheless it was already nice to look at. The typical shape was clearly to see at 211x and UHC filter. The nebula consists of 2 segments; the southern one is an elongated patch going west to East. The northern segment is almost a full circle. The northern part of the circle is the brightest one.

I ended the night with M82 (beautiful), M81 and M97.