DEEP SKY OBSERVING
January 2009
by Mark Wagner

Targets are rated 1 to 4 for challenge, with 1 very easy, 4 most difficult. Targets are in a one hour window of R.A., and arranged north to south, for easy star hopping. Available as a Megastar .obs file or Excel spreadsheet.
Rating
 Object  Const. Type
Size 
Mag 
R.A.
Dec
2
Arp 184 Cam GX
4.5'x2.9'
11.7B
05 42 04
69 22 44
NGC 1961 - 17.5" (12/8/90): moderately bright, moderately large, elongated 2:1 E-W, weak concentration, small bright core. A mag 13 star is 30" SSE of center and a mag 12 star is just off the W edge 2.4' from center. Appears to have a dark patch between this star and the core. Forms a pair with CGCG 329-011 7.6' NE (not seen).

4
AGC 0554 Cam GXCL
10.1'
17.0
06 18 42
67 25 00

4
AGC 0542 Cam GXCL
9.0'
17.5
05 37 54
64 01 00

2
NGC2126 Aur OC
6.0'
10.2
06 03 00
49 52 00
13.1" (2/25/84): 25-30 stars mag 12-14.5, fairly dense, small, pretty cluster. The cluster is dominated by mag 6.1 SAO 40801 which lies on the NE side of the cluster.

4
AGC 0553 Aur GXCL
13.4'
15.3
06 12 36
48 36 00

2
N2192 Aur OC
5.0'
10.9
06 15 18
39 51 18
13.1" (12/22/84): two dozen very faint stars in a 4' diameter over unresolved haze.

4
Sh 2-232 Aur BN
37.0'
-
05 42 27
36 09 00

4
Sh 2-231 Aur BN
11.4'x5.8'
-
05 39 20
35 56 00

4
Sh 2-235 Aur BN
7.8'x3.2'
-
05 41 00
35 51 29

4
Sh 2-233 Aur BN
2.0'
-
05 38 31
35 51 18

2
NGC1931 Aur OC/DN
6.0'
10.1
05 31 26
34 14 42
Sh2-237 - 18" (1/20/07): bright, high surface brightness nebula, ~2'x1.5', surrounds six stars including two mag 11/12 stars, a mag 13 star and three fainter stars. The central 4 stars = ADS 4112 (one difficult in fairly poor seeing) form a small trapezium asterism. Best view is unfiltered.

1
M36 Aur OC
12.0'
6.0
05 36 18
34 08 24
8": very bright, large, loose, includes two curving star lanes. Double star 737 = 8.5/9.0 at 11" is near the center.

4
B34 Aur DN
20.0'
4
05 43 30
32 39 00
Round; starless; indefinite

1
M37 Aur OC
23.0'
5.6
05 52 19
32 33 12
8": very large, very rich cluster, over 150 stars, rich in mag 10-13 stars. A reddish star is near the center. Best of the three bright Messier open clusters in Auriga and one of the top open clusters in the sky.

4
Sh 2-241 Aur BN
2.0'
-
06 04 00
30 15 00

4
Sh 2-240 Tau SNR
200.0'
-
05 39 00
28 00 00

4
Sh 2-242 Tau BN
7.1'x6.5'
-
05 51 50
27 01 20
18" - Difficult Observation: Very dim object. Only suggested with OIII filter. Best seen when scope is shaken. Approximately 6'X3' in apparent size. Very faint, with visibility increasing with eye's adaptation at the eyepiece. H-beta filter: Visible in H-beta filter. Very faint in the field of view, but more visible than with the OIII filter. Art Russell.

1
M35 Gem OC
28.0'
5.1
06 09 00
24 21 00
8": very bright string cluster, very large, excellent field but not rich in faint stars. Many of the stars are arrange in rows and loops. Visible naked-eye in dark sky.

2
NGC2158 Gem OC
5.0'
8.6
06 07 26
24 05 48
18" (2/24/06): at 323x, this rich, irregularly shaped cluster is beautifully resolved into 45-50 stars that are peppered over a 5' background glow. Appears like a resolved globular of low concentration class. Includes a couple of dozen mag 13.5-14.5 stars along with a rich carpet of fainter mag 15 stars. There are several close pairs (1"-2" and possibly closer) and the number of stars keep increasing in moments of rock steady seeing as they seem to emerge from the background. A single brighter star is at the east edge.

2
NGC2129 Gem OC
6.0'
6.7
06 01 07
23 19 15
17.5" (12/20/95): bright, fairly rich group surrounding two mag 7.5 and 8 stars (SAO 77842 and 77839) oriented N-S. There are about three dozen stars mag 10-14 in an 5' well-detached circular group with several double stars including a faint pair preceding the northern mag 8 star. The southern mag 8 star has a couple of very faint companions. This group is apparently an asterism based on a 1994 study (1994, RMxAA, 28, 139).

4
Sh 2-243 Tau BN
6.0'
-
05 39 22
23 17 26

4
Sh 2-247 Gem BN
8.4'x7.5'
-
06 08 27
21 37 00

4
Sh 2-252 Ori BN
29.0'x27.0
-
06 09 38
20 29 00
N2174/N2175/IC 2159 - 17.5" (1/16/02): at 64x and OIII filter, this is a beautiful, detailed nebulosity surrounding a mag 8 star (SAO 78049), extending at least 20' diameter. The OIII filter gives a dramatic contrast gain. With averted vision and careful viewing, the outer borders extend to ~25'. Structure includes interior streaky dark lanes visible to the west of the star. The rim is slightly brighter or has a higher contrast on the western edge but slightly more nebulosity is visible on the following side of the star.

4
Sh 2-253 Gem BN
5.0'
-
06 25 40
20 00 46

4
Sh 2-254 Ori BN
11.0'x7.9'
-
06 12 18
18 02 30

4
Sh 2-257 Ori BN
3.8'x3.0'
-
06 12 42
17 59 15
IC 2162 - 17.5" (3/2/02): at 100x without filter, IC 2162 is an easternmost of two faint, round glows surrounding mag 10.5-11 stars. IC 2162 = Sh 2-255 is the brighter and larger of the pair, nearly 4' in diameter and quite symmetric. Just under 5' due west is a separate 3' diameter glow (this is Sh 2-257). These pair of HII knots are situated midway between two mag 6 stars with a 50' separation near the edge of the 20 Nagler field. Close SW of Sh 2-257 is a very faint patch of nebulosity, Sh 2-256, but this was not seen visually, nor was the larger HII region but much lower surface brightness region, Sh 2-254, to the west (11' diameter).

4
Sh 2-255 Ori BN
4.0'
-
06 12 54
17 59 00

4
Sh 2-256 Ori BN
1.5'
-
06 12 36
17 57 02

4
Sh 2-258 Ori BN
1.0'
-
06 13 27
17 55 32

4
Sh 2-259 Ori BN
2.0'
-
06 11 28
17 26 18

4
Sh 2-261 Ori BN
33.0'x29.0'
-
06 08 39
15 47 10
12.5" Binocular Newtonian - A BRIGHT NEBULOUS REGION,FILLS WHOLE FIELD NEAR DOUBLE STAR H 114, NO DETAILS SEEN EXCEPT POSSIBLY ONE BRIGHT REGION, MARGIN OF NEBULA MORE EASILY DETECTED BY MOVING SCOPE. TIME TO GET AN UHC FILTER? - Dan Duriscoe

4
Sh 2-266 Ori BN
1.5'x1.2'
-
06 18 45
15 17 02

4
Sh 2-267 Ori BN
4.0'
-
06 15 50
14 16 12
LBN 875 = PK 196-01.1

1
NGC2169 Ori OC
6.0'
5.9
06 08 25
13 57 54
17.5" (1/19/91): 20 stars mag 7.5-13 in bright, distinctive group. Fairly small, about 6' diameter, not rich. The stars are divided into two main subgroups - along the west side is a string of six stars aligned N-S in a very shallow "V" asterism. The northern two stars in this string form the wide double 844 = 8.8/9.9 at 24" and less than 2' S is mag 8.7 SAO 95271. The eastern subgroup consists of 9 stars forming a distinctive triangle outline and includes the close double star 848 = 7.5/8.0 at 2.5". The brighter stars form a fairly distinctive "37" pattern! Located 0.9 degrees WSW of Xi Orionis.

4
Sh 2-269 Ori BN
3.0'x2.0'
-
06 14 39
13 49 53

4
Sh 2-270 Ori BN
1.0'
-
06 10 13
12 48 44

2
NGC2194 Ori OC
10.0'
8.5
06 13 46
12 48 24
13.1" (1/18/85): at least 50 stars in a 5' region including many mag 14/15 stars, very rich with averted. Includes a few brighter stars on the E edge.

4
B30 Ori DN
67.0'
4
05 30 16
12 46 00
Large dark area with few stars. There is a nebulous border, .5 degree wide, to the semi-vacant region extending 1 degree east and north from BD +12 803 (magnitude 7.0). Apparently this nebulous border extends many degrees east in a very diffused manner. There is a narrow dark lane extending south from the semi-vacant region, running close west of BD +12 803 to a point nearly 1 degree south of BD +12 801 (mag 6.9). There is a small fan-shaped nebula close north of small star in the position 5h24m30s, +12 3.9' (1875.0). A small strip of nebulosity extends 5' southwest from this star. These two nebulae are probably the brighter parts of a large obscure nebulosity.

4
B31 Ori DN
30.0'
4
05 32 01
12 45 00
Extended NE and SW; the E. and darkest part of B 3

4
Sh 2-271 Ori BN
2.0'
-
06 14 53
12 21 23
PK 197-02.1

4
Sh 2-272 Ori BN
1.0'
-
06 15 01
12 19 54

 
Abell 14
Ori
PN
40"x27"
17.5P
06 11 08
11 46 43
  22” f/4.1 (155, 203 and 293x) This is a very faint and elongated smudge with an aspect ratio of about 2 to 1. Its 40” x 20” surface is even throughout and PA = 0º. Its 15th magnitude central star was spotted in the center. This nebula was spotted on my third attempt! Alvin Huey
 
4
Sh 2-264 Ori BN
75.0'
-
05 36 18
09 58 00
4.1" - Cr 69 consists of the three bright stars of Orion's head plus about 40 more in 1o. The surrounding nebulosity is very large and shows up faintly with the OIII filter. Sue French

2
Abell 12 Ori PN
37"
12.4
06 02 20
09 39 14
 
22” f/4.1 (203, 293 and 377x) – This nebula is a very bright and obvious round smudge with a sharply defined edge. A 6th magnitude star lies very, very close to the southwest. The surface showed a little mottling with averted vision. Estimated size is about 35” across. No central star. Alvin Huey

3
NGC2022 Ori PN
35.0"
12.4P
05 42 06
09 05 13
18" (2/24/06): at 220x appeared moderately bright, fairly small, round, ~25" diameter, very slightly elongated, irregularly lit and brighter along the western half of the rim giving a "C" appearance. A faint sparkle is occasionally visible on the WSW edge of the rim and images show this may be a faint superimposed star or knot in the planetary. Excellent view at 320x. The planetary is weakly annular with the rim a bit dimmer on the SE side. At 435x, the shape is slightly elongated SW to NE, ~27"x22" with a mottled interior and a brighter rim, particularly along the western half. The appearance is quite patchy at 565x and the sparkle on the SW end is still evident. No central star seen at any power.

2
N2236 Mon OC
6.0'
8.5
06 29 40
06 49 48
13.1" (1/18/85): two dozen faint stars in a 5' region over background haze. The brighter stars are in a rich 1' triangular outline with the brightest mag 11 star in the cluster. A long curving arc of fainter stars emanates from the group. Fairly striking cluster.

4
Abell 10
Ori
PN
35"x32"
14.0
05 31 45
06 59 09
 
22” f/4.1 (203, 293 and 377x) – This nebula is a very bright and obvious round smudge with a sharply defined edge. A 6th magnitude star lies very, very close to the southwest. The surface showed a little mottling with averted vision. Estimated size is about 35” across. No central star. Alvin Huey

2
NGC2186 Ori OC
4.0'
8.7
06 12 08
05 27 30
17.5" (1/19/91): at 140x about 30 stars in a 4' diameter including three mag 10 stars. Includes a prominent subgroup with a mag 10 star on the N side and a double star 11/12 at 10". A clump of mag 13/14 stars is just W of this subgroup.

4
Abell 13
Ori
PN
174"x134"
15.3
06 04 47
03 56 36
 
PK 204-8.1 = PN G204.0-08.5 = YM 28

2
N2112 Ori OC
11.0'
9.1
05 53 46
00 24 36
17.5" (2/8/91): three dozen stars over unresolved haze, roughly 10' diameter. The brightest star (mag 10) is at NW edge. Includes a string of five mag 12-13 stars on the N side but most stars are very faint. This cluster is fairly rich but not dense. Barnard's Loop passes just west of the cluster heading south and NE where it is brightest!

3
N2071 Ori BN
8.0'x7.7'
-
05 47 05
00 18 00
17.5" (12/20/95): fairly bright reflection nebula surounding a mag 9.5 star, 3.5' diameter. Shape appears irregular (although no distinct borders) but extends more to the south side of the star which has a faint companion close south. A second mag 9.5 star (not involved) lies 3.5' NW. The field is strangely lacking in stars due to obscuration.

1
M78 Ori BN
8.4'x7.8'
8.3
05 46 45
00 03 30
17.5" (12/20/95): very bright reflection nebula surrounding two mag 10.5 stars with a mag 13 star involved at the S end. Large, irregular shape, 6'x4'. Brightest along the north side which has a sharply defined slightly bowed-out edge with one of the mag 10.5 stars near the midpoint. A brighter knot is just following this star. Irregularly fans out towards the south and fades with no distinct borders but tapers somewhat at the south edge.

2
NGC2024 Ori BN
30.0'x22.0'
-
05 41 39
-01 48 00
17.5" (2/8/86): bright, very large. Consists of two main parallel sections elongated SSW-NNE separated by prominent detailed dark lanes. Excellent structure with ragged edges, gaps, streaks, rifts and various brightness levels. The eastern strip has one or two indentations or a scalloped inner edge. The inner edge of the connecting strip has a sharply defined edge and the gap at the base connecting the brighter western section is obvious. Zeta Orionis lies 15' NE detracts and the best view is unfiltered.

2
N2023 Ori BN
10.0'
-
05 41 42
-02 15 00
13.1": fairly prominent nebulosity surrounds mag 7.8 SAO 132464. The Horsehead nebula lies 15' SW.

3
B33 Ori DN
-
4
05 40 52
-02 27 00
16" - IC434(the backlight) and its sharp boundary were clearly defined. The torso of the horse was fairly easy with direct vision, and with effort coupled with averted vision, I was able to trace the outline along the top of the horshead as it pointed downward. I was able to trace the contours along the top of the head down the lengh of the snoot, but wasn't able to do the same for the underside of the nose. As you can imagine, I spent a fair amount of time on this to see what detail could be coaxed. All in all, considering the conditions, you could say I was pretty thrilled with the results. For kicks, once I knew exactly where it was, I tried without the filter. I could still faintly make out IC434 and its sharp boundary, but making out the torso was very hard. With averted vision, the notch was barely glimpsed. Without the benefit just using the filter and knowing its exact size and position, it would have been a negative report. Transparency was hit and miss on this night, so I was very happy with the results. "Paul"

3
Sh 2-279 Ori BN
29.0'x20.0'
-
05 35 25
-04 47 00
N1973/1975/1977 - 13.1": extensive bright nebulosity including N1975 and N1977, very large, elongated ~E-W. Involves several bright stars including 42 (V = 4.7) and 45 Orionis (V = 5.3). Irregular and detailed nebula with detached segments. Extends N-S beyond 42 Orionis. Located N of M42 and south of the bright cluster N1981.

1
NGC2232 Mon OC
29.0'
4.2
06 28 02
-04 50 48
17.5" (12/28/94): at 100x appears as a scattered group of bright stars surrounding 10 Monocerotis (V = 5.1) with the remaining stars forming a wedge tapering to the SW. Includes 7 brighter mag 8-10 stars and another two dozen fainter stars. Richest surrounding 10 Mon and five brighter stars form a distinctive box around the bright star. Too large and scattered for higher power.

1
M43 Ori BN
7.0'x4.0'
9.0
05 35 29
-05 16 30
13.1": large detached piece of M42, mottled outer region, very bright center. Has a large rotated "comma" shape with a dark indentation on the E side. A mag 8 star is embedded.

1
M42 Ori BN
60.0'
3.0
05 35 00
-05 25 00
17.5" (10/12/85): best emission nebula in northern sky, fantastic view under all conditions, bright colored wings sweep to the east and south. The remarkable structure is difficult to describe but includes bays, filaments, knots, nebulous stars and a huge outer loop. Definite colors are visible including pale greens and pinks. Highlighted by the Trapezium which contains six stars and appears to reside in a darker hollow. The bright portion surrounding Theta probably has the highest surface brightness of any HII region in the sky with an "electric" appearance. Dark streaks and a dark wedge = "fish's mouth" intrudes on the NE side. Using an H-Beta filter, the nebulosity significantly dims in general but there is one outer wing or loop on the W side (oriented N-S) which obviously increases in contrast with the filter!

4
NGC1980 Ori OC
15.0'
2.5
05 35 26
-05 55 00
13.1" (1/28/84): very faint, large nebulosity of low surface brightness surrounding Iota Orionis (V = 2.8). Very difficult to distinguish from glare of Iota. M42 lies 30' N.

3
NGC2185 Ori BN
2.0'
-
06 11 06
-06 13 00
18" (1/13/07): faint, fairly small, 1' reflection nebula surrounding a mag 12-12.5 star. This glow is a few arcminutes NE of a group of 4 mag 12 stars which are also encased in a larger 3' haze of weak nebulosity. Both of these pieces are part of N2185. Located 5' E of N2183.

3
N2182 Mon BN
2.0'
-
06 09 30
-06 19 38
18" (1/13/07): bright reflection nebula, round, ~2' diameter, surrounding 9.3 HD 42261. In a group of reflection nebula with N2170 28' WSW and N2183 20' ENE.

3
N2170 Mon BN
4.7'x4.4'
-
06 07 29
-06 24 15
18" (1/13/07): fairly bright, moderately large reflection nebula surrounding a mag 9.5 star, ~2.5' diameter. There are two stars bracketing the nebula at the north and south ends with the brighter southern star 10th magnitude. Reflection nebula vdB 69 lies 8.5' ENE.

2
NGC1999 Ori BN
21.5'x18.0'
-
05 36 14
-06 39 00
18" (2/24/06): spectacular view at 565x. The bright mag 10.5 central star appears slightly offset east of center, though this may be an optical affect due to the Bok globule on the west side. The bright, 2' reflection nebula is slightly brighter just following the central star. The irregular dark vacuity is large and detailed at this power and appears anvil-shaped. The base of the anvil is along the western side and oriented N-S. There is a narrow extension to the south that tapers to a wedge. Along the north side, the globule extends to the east and partially wraps around the central star. This was the first time I've seen the globule take on an appearance similar to the well-known HST image.

2
NGC2215 Mon OC
11.0'
8.4
06 20 50
-07 17 00
17.5" (12/28/94): about 50 stars mag 11-14 in a 12' region, pretty evenly distributed and stands out well in the field at 100x. At the W edge is a faint detached group of 8 stars. Near the center are several wide pairs and one close evenly matched fainter pair. The cluster is not well defined on the E side and merges into the general field.

2
NGC2204 CMj OC
12.0'
8.6
06 15 33
-18 40 00
13.1" (1/28/84): two dozen stars mag 12-14 in a 10' diameter. Two mag 9 stars are on the SW and NW edge and many stars are aligned in strings. Mag 6.0 SAO 151274 in field to NNW about 11'.

3
N2196 Lep GX
2.8'x2.1'
11.8B
06 12 09
-21 48 22
13.1" (1/28/84): fairly bright, fairly small, almost round, increases to a small bright core.

3
NGC1964 Lep GX
5.6'x2.1'
11.6B
05 33 21
-21 56 47
17.5" (12/3/88): fairly faint, fairly large, very elongated 3:1 SSW-NNE, unusually bright stellar nucleus. A mag 13.5 star is at the W edge 0.7' from center and a mag 14 star is at the SSW edge of the major axis 1.2' from center. Located just SW of a thin triangle of mag 9.5-10.5 stars, the closest being mag 9.3 SAO 170546 1.7' NW of center.

4
N2139 Lep GX
2.6x1.9
12.0B
06 01 07
-23 40 26
17.5" (12/8/90): moderately bright, moderately large, slightly elongated, broad concentration, core appears offset to NW of center. A mag 14 star is at the N edge 1.3' from center and a mag 11 star lies 3.5' SSE.

4
Abell 15
CMa
PN
34"
15.8
06 27 02
-25 22 50
 
PK 233-16.1 = PN G233.5-16.3

4
AGC 0548 Lep GXCL
56.0'
13.7
05 47 06
-25 36 00

Source catalogs


Herschel 400 are identified as NGCXXXX, Herschel 400-II are indentified as NXXXX.


All descriptions are from Steve Gottlieb's NGC Notes or Adventures In Deep Space unless otherwise attributed.

visitors since August 31, 2007