Here are my offerings for February’s Challenges. With either clouds, or -10F temperatures in the near future, or a full moon in the middle of the month, I don’t think I’m getting to these any time soon. Enjoy
Asteroid (3) Juno. Originally thought to be a planet with a diameter of as much as 2,290 km – it actually has a diameter of 233 km. It has high albedo, and thus can be as bright as mag 7.5. On 2/15 it is predicted to be mag 9.1. It moves pretty fast, with a velocity of 55 arc seconds per hour. Catch it if you can.
Bonus conjunction. For those with wide fields of view, try getting Mars and Uranus in the same field of view on the evening of 2/13. At dusk they will be about 1 degree apart.
Two in Lynx
NGC 2683, aka the UFO galaxy. A near edge-on spiral with a magnitude of 10.0 and a surface brightness of 21.7. It is 9.5’ x 2.7’ in size.
The Intergalactic Wanderer, NGC 2419, a globular cluster with a magnitude of 10.3 and a diameter of 4.6’. Its name was bestowed when it was erroneously thought not to be in orbit around the Milky Way. It is more distant from the Milky Way than the Magellanic Clouds, and takes almost 3 Billion years to orbit the galaxy.
NGC 1514, the Crystal Ball Nebula. A magnitude 10.8 planetary in Taurus. It is only 2’ in diameter. This object caused Herschel to reconsider his view that nebulae were simply clusters of stars too far away to be resolved, and to suggest that perhaps the nebulosity wasn’t stars at all.
And, for the show-offs, the Rosette.
Neither is particularly challenging, but not often seen in this forum. Got a very wide FOV (5 degrees) ? Get the both in the same frame.
47 Tucanae, or NGC 104. A large, bright magnitude 4.0 globular that’s 30’ in diameter. It is both bigger and brighter than M13, and nearly the same as Omega Centauri.
Small Magellanic Cloud. A dwarf galaxy about 200,000 light years away and containing about 7 billion solar masses. Closer than the Intergalactic Wanderer !