On Saturday, 31th August, I went out to test new observing location, about 75 km from my home, or around 1.5h drive. It is placed on Zrinska gora, mountain range of about 400 to 600 m in height, in sparsely populated region of Croatia. I reckon that SQM measurements for this location should be in 21.6 to 21.7 mpas range, much better than in our Dark sky park Petrova gora (21.5) or my local observing site (21.2).
After arriving at location, I was disappointed by the darkness of night sky. SQM measure 21.55, which is good, but sky was bright, low contrast. Whole Saturday was sunny and without a cloud, but sky was bright blue and hazy, hence the reason for bad transparency that night. There were occasional flashes of light from thunderstorm about 30 km to the south.
Again, I used my trusty SkyWatcher 300/1500 GoTo Dobsonian with following eyepieces:
Baader Hyperion 10.5mm (143x, 28’ FOV)
SkyWatcher SkyPanorama 15mm (100x, 50’)
SkyWatcher SkyPanorama 7mm (214x, 22’)
SkyWatcher Planetary 6mm (250x, 14’)
SkyWatcher Planetary 5mm (300x, 12’)
and Baader 2” OIII filter.
I’ve started observing another “sector” from my trusty atlas placed between RA 22h and 23 h, and DEC +30° and 40°. First object on my list was NGC 7331.
NGC 7331, spiral galaxy in Pegasus, m=9.5
143x: Very bright, elongated galaxy with 4:1 difference between longer and short axis. Central parts of it are dominated by bright, oval region, which gets progressively brighter towards center.
214x: Galaxy looks almost same as at 143x, just it is larger. Central bright oval is now better defined, with shaper edges, especially on right.
250x: Central oval looks like it is offset from true center of the galaxy. Also, there is one discrete brightening on lower part of galaxy, halfway between central region and its outer extensions. Sketching!
I also saw few other smudges of light in same field of view with NGC 7331, which are not listed in atlas.
NGC 7335, lenticular galaxy in Pegasus, m=13.3
214x: Faint, small and fuzzy cloud of light. It looks like it is slightly brighter in center.
NGC 7337, spiral galaxy in Pegasus, m=14.4
214x: Small, very faint fudge of light. Roundish with starlike core. It is hard to see any clear details because it “dances” on edge of visibility.
NGC 7340, elliptical galaxy in Pegasus, m=13.7
214x: Small, very faint cloud without any kind of details.
Next is Stephan’s quintet. It is not quintet for my eyes, but only quartet.
NGC 7320, spiral galaxy in Pegasus, m=12.6
214x: Faint, oval cloud which is slightly brighter in center.
NGC 7319, spiral galaxy in Pegasus, m=13.1
214x: Very faint, small and fuzzy cloud.
NGC 7318A/B, interacting galaxies in Pegasus, m=13.1
214x: Oval, very faint cloud which contains starlike object left of center.
NGC 7317, elliptical galaxy in Pegasus, m=13.6
214x: Barely detected with averted vision, extremely faint smudge.
It looks like about 2 or 3’ above Stephan’s Quintet is another extremely faint smudge, jumping in and out of view. Cartes du Ciel says that it could be NGC 7320A, but listed magnitude for this galaxy is 15, so I’m skeptical. I will have to repeat this observation in better conditions.
Moving on to other objects in this sector.
NGC 7265, elliptical galaxy in Lacerta, m=12.1
214x: Oval, faint and smallish cloud. There is a prominent bright disc in center.
NGC 7292, irregular galaxy in Pegasus, m=12.5
214x: Very faint smudge with irregular, not well defined edges. It is somewhat brighter in central parts.
NGC 7217, spiral galaxy in Pegasus, m=10.1
214x: Bright, round galaxy, rather large. It slowly gains in brightness until about ¾ of radius, when brightness suddenly jumps. No other details in texture or surface brightness were noted. The galaxy looks like unresolved globular cluster in small telescope.
This was last object in sector between RA 22h and 23h, and DEC +30° to +40°.
I switched then again to NGC 6879, planetary nebula that eluded detection on my last session.
NGC 6879, planetary nebula in Saggitae, m=12.5
300x with OIII: I’ve scanned sky with and without filter, but no nebulous objects or “fat” stars were seen.
Next was a border region between Andromeda and Perseus.
NGC 891, spiral galaxy in Andromeda, m=9.9
143x: Faint but large galaxy. It spans around quarter of FOV, or about 7’. It is very elongated, I’ve estimated ratio of longer and shorter axis to be 5:1. The galaxy is wider in middle, but not much. Dark lane bisects galaxy and few stars from Milky way are superimposed on it.
NGC 812, spiral galaxy in Andromeda, m=11.3
143x: Very faint, fuzzy nebula. It has even surface brightness without any mottling or variations. It is slightly oval and it is partially obscured by nearby star.
NGC 846, spiral galaxy in Andromeda, m=12.1
143x. Faint, elongated nebula with barely noticeable bar of light along longer axis. I can’t see central brightening, core or any other similar details. Smallish.
NGC 910, elliptical galaxy in Andromeda, m=12.0
143x: I can see two nebulous objects in eyepiece. NGC 910 is one of them. It is faint i tiny cloud with slightly brighter center.
NGC 913, lenticular galaxy in Andromeda, m=15.0
143x: Second nebulous object in eyepiece, near NGC 91 0. Extremely faint streak of light without details.
There are two galaxies near position where I’ve noticed second nebulous object in field of view, NGC 912 and NGC 913. After examining DSS images, I’ve concluded that NGC 913 better fits my description.
NGC 980, lenticular galaxy in Andromeda, m=13.0
143x: Again, there are two nebulous objects in eyepiece instead of one, as shown in atlas. NGC 980 is one of them, very faint with streak of light in middle. That streak of light is somewhat brighter in central parts of galaxy.
NGC 982, spiral galaxy in Andromeda, m=12.5
143x: Very faint smudge, small and round, with blurry edges. It looks like fuzzy star.
NGC 1003, spiral galaxy in Perseus, m=11.5
143x: Faint nebula near faint star. It is small, oval, but on the side which is closer to the star it looks like it has semicircular cutout. Maybe star itself partially blocks galaxy and produces this effect.
NGC 1122, spiral galaxy in Perseus, m=12.1
143x: Faint, small and oval nebula with core that looks like fuzzy faint star.
Messier 34, open cluster in Perseus, m=5.2
100x: Huge, brilliant cluster of hundred or so stars. The cluster fills out eyepiece completely. Central part of cluster has rectangular grouping of stars with many star chains emerging from it. Two most prominent, richest chains are going up (approximately south) from central grouping. Wonderful cluster but it needs appropriate instrument, like small telescope or binoculars, to enjoy it.
NGC 956, open cluster in Perseus, m=8.9
100x: Faint and not overly prominent chain of stars that is shaped like number “2”, at least in Newtonian telescope. The chain contains about 20 stars of different brightness.
Observing session was now over 2h long and I got tired. If I didn’t race 200 km bicycle race on that morning, I would probably continue to observe, but my eyes were getting heavy. Also, there was a 1.5h long drive home that was waiting for me.
Original post in Croatia with drawings:
Edited by Vedran, 03 September 2019 - 12:02 PM.