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Palatable Deep Sky Objects

Palatable Deep Sky Objects

Connoisseur Observation Scale:
FS JJJ = Filet Mignon steak: wow, awesome, spectacular, unbelievable, must see to believe!
NS JJ = New York steak: nice, ok, satisfying, good.
GS J = Ground steak: yawn, will do, give me aperture or give me Nagler eyepiece!
SL & = Galactic salad: on photon diet, real tough object to observe. See also The Light Cup holy grail

Symbol: ® - seen by TV-102 Light Cup ® - other observers with 4-inch TV refractor
® - other observers with 4" refractor Å - other observers with 85mm, 80mm or less
J - other observers with 4½" Newtonian ³ - visible only with nebula filter
NGC - part of Herschel 400 List3 TV-102 favorite (color coded)

Updated: 06/03/03
Total non-Messier objects bagged by TV-102: 215. Herschel-400 objects: 111.
Total non-Messier objects harvested by 4-inch refractor: 408.

Object ID

Cons Typ Scale


Messier Objects - - - See the Ambrosial Messier Objects.
NGC 1 ? Peg GX This has got to be an interesting object, being #1 on the NGC list I mean. Although this galaxy is listed at magnitude 13 and a minimum aperture of 8 or 10 inches have been stated, it may be within a striking distance of a 4-inch. So let us 4-inchers give it a try!
NGC 23 ® Peg GX
NGC 40 ®J Cep PN FS A grand planetary nebula with great view all the way up to 293x! Most interesting in that the central star appeared to be much brighter than the nebula itself! A must see!
NGC 55 ® Scl GX Houston noted that NGC 55 reminded him of the better known, but smaller, M82.
NGC 128 ? Psc GX Houston saw it through his 5-inch, but wrote "it is beyond the grasp of his 4-inch Clark." If he were still here with us today, I bet he would challenge us to see if we can nail it through the 4-inch.
NGC 134 ® Scl GX
NGC 147/185 ® Cas GX
NGC 188 ® Cep OC
NGC 246 ®®J Cet PN FS A very interesting and strange planetary nebula in that there are a few stars “embedded” in it! A must see!
NGC 247 ®® Cet GX NS Best view at 110x, which looks like a comet tail with the star GSC 8549:2326 as the coma.
NGC 253 ®® Cet GX NS "Sculptor Galaxy". Alas, light pollution sculptured out some of the beauty of this galaxy. A darker sky may make it taste like FS J.
NGC 255 ® Cet GX
NGC 281 ®®Å Cas EN NS Some dubbed it "Pacman Nebula". The TV-102 couldn't detect any shape. But with UHC filter, it became a more pleasing object.
NGC 288 ® Scl GC
NGC 404 ®® And GX NS Also known as "Mirach's Ghost". Ed Ting used this galaxy to compare contrast between the FS102 and AP Traveller. Very interesting galaxy as it contrast with the very bright star Mirach.
NGC 436 ÅJ Cas OC
NGC 457 ®ÅJ Cas OC FS "ET Cluster". Definitely looked like an ET through the TV-102, not an Owl! The “eyes” are the most striking feature, which gives the impression of being crossed-eye: the 5th magnitude 34 Phi Cassiopeiae being a much brighter “eye” than the 7th magnitude SAO 22187 eye”. Hence, my Light Cup has re-christened this favorite cluster to the "Crossed-Eye ET Cluster" J.
NGC 467/470/474 ® Psc GX SL Not at all easy. Walter Houston only wrote about NGC 470. The toughest one for the TV-102 was NGC 467.
NGC 488 ®® Psc GX GS Another galaxy in close proximity to a star.
NGC 520 ® Psc GX GS Another galaxy in close proximity to a star.
NGC 524 ® Psc GX
NGC 578 ® Cet GX
NGC 584/596 ® Cet GX
NGC 604 Å Tri EN
NGC 654 ® Cas OC GS Same FOV as M103. Dimmer than its mag 6.5.
NGC 663 ® Cas OC GS Same FOV as M103. Dim.
NGC 720 ® Cet GX
NGC 752 ® And OC NS Large, almost fill the 3º FOV at 22x, even though it is listed at only 50'. Two bright yellow stars of equal magnitude to the south.
NGC 772 ®® Ari GX GS This galaxy is extremely faint smudge like M74 but perhaps smaller.
NGC 821 ® Ari GX NS Another galaxy in close proximity to a star.
NGC 869/884 ®® Per OC "Double Cluster". How can an observation be written for such a beautiful cluster? There are two interesting yellowish white stars of equal brightness in NCG 869 that looked like eyes: 6.6 mag SAO 23178 and 6.6 mag SAO 23182. The eyes looked like they belong to a face hidden behind a veil. Above SAO 23178, there is a group of stars that forms a semi-circle that looked like an eyebrow (at 60x). The eyebrow is very notable at 110x. The stars that made up the eyebrow are: 9.4 mag GSC 3694:1772, 8.1 mag GSC 3694:3804, 8.6 mag GSC 3694:3807, and 9.3 mag GSC 3694:2324. An all-time favorite and a required observation!
NGC 891 ®® And GX SL This galaxy almost got put into my 4-inch holy grail, but perseverance paid off. Torturously dim and very difficult. This was the galaxy that convinced me that tough galaxies can be kidnapped by a meager 4-inch aperture.
NGC 925 ®® Tri GX SL Large and much dimmer than NGC 972 and not a piece of cake as I thought before observing.
NGC 936 ® Cet GX
NGC 972 ® Ari GX SL Prior to NGC 972, my TV-102 and I had a dimmo-phobia from dim galaxies. I used to limit my list to galaxies brighter than 10th magnitude. The magnitude 12.2 NGC 972 was the dimmest galaxy the keen-eye TV-102 caught last year and source of encouragement to include magnitude 12 galaxies into my list!
NGC 1022 ® Cet GX
NGC 1023 ®Å Per GX
NGC 1032 ® Cet GX
NGC 1055 ® Cet GX
NGC 1084 ® Eri GX GS Definite oval shape with brightening toward the center.
NGC 1232 ® Eri GX
NGC 1300 ® Eri GX
NGC 1316/1317 Å For GX
NGC 1332 ® Eri GX GS Very elongated with bright core.
NGC 1365 Å Eri GX
NGC 1432 ® Tau RN SL "Maia Nebula." RASC Deep Sky Challenge Object. Round shape is quite evident.
NGC 1435 ®®® Tau RN SL "Merope Nebula." RASC Deep Sky Challenge Object. The fan shape is quite evident.
NGC 1491 ®Å Per EN NS Christened by the Light Cup as the "Fan Nebula". A fan shape is well seen under an 8mm TV Radian (110x).
NGC 1499 ®® Per EN ? "California Nebula". I spent a lot of time on this nebula last year without filter and I thought I caught a glimpse. Alas, the astro-wagon train to California stopped short L for the Light Cup. But we're due for a rematch in Episode II: Attack of the Filter J .
NGC 1501 Å Cam PN
NGC 1502 ® Cam OC FS "Kemble's Cacade". A must see for a 4-inch and use a wide field eyepiece for a 3º panoramic FOV; otherwise, it can't be fully appreciated! Did you dive into the waterfall?
NGC 1514 ® Tau PN "Crystal Ball Planetary". Houston noted that the central star can be seen in his 4-inch Clark stopped down to 2-inch!
NGC 1535 ®J Eri PN FS "Cleopatra's Eye". I dare assert that this planetary nebula is as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor in her movie Cleopatra! Bright and green color (like Elizabeth 's eyes) through my TV-102 all the way up to 293x! I glimpsed the 12.1 magnitude central star (3 times) at 293x; could this be the “Cleopatra’s Eye” as its name suggest? If the Light Cup ever chair the Royal Astronomical Society, this nebula would have been renamed to the "Elizabeth's Eye" nebula J .
NGC 1555 ® Tau RN "Hind's Variable Nebula". This one just wouldn't get into the cup of the Light Cup last year. A definite rematch in Episode II.
NGC 1569 ? Cam GX Houston wrote that it is “well within the range of an 8-inch instrument, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were picked up by a skilled observer using a 4-inch.” We 4-inchers accept the challenge.
NGC 1637 ® Eri GX
NGC 1644 ® Eri GX

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