20 December 2019
In my post on the Spring equinox I mentioned it was a pretty sparse time for astronomers. Well, that's over, and the Summer glut of things to catch is here!
Start with 47 Tuc, the Pleiades, try the Sculptor Galaxy, then a bit later move to M42, the Great Nebula in Orion, and just go from there.
The one I'm waiting for this year is the Rosette Nebula. The Rosette itself might be too dark to see with anything but a large telescope, but it also has a pleasant star cluster in the middle. It's also huge, 1.3 degrees, so you'll need the longest eyepiece you've got. This is suited to a Dobsonian telescope which has a low focal length and wide aperture.
Here's the list - as usual I'm giving you the name as well as its rough transit time - the time on the 21st when it's highest in the sky. Some of them don't set.
My poor photo is the Horsehead and Flame nebulas in narrowband.
- Globular cluster: NGC 104 - 47 Tucanae (07:55 PM)
- Galaxy: M 31 - Andromeda Galaxy (08:09 PM)
- Galaxy: NGC 253 - Sculptor Galaxy (08:09 PM)
- Galaxy: NGC 292 - Small Magellanic Cloud (08:24 PM)
- Galaxy: M 33 - Triangulum Galaxy (09:07 PM)
- Galaxy: M 74 - Phantom Galaxy (09:07 PM)
- Double star: Rho Eridani - Cat's Eyes (09:07 PM)
- Double star: - Zeta Reticuli (10:48 PM)
- Galaxy: NGC 1365 - Great Barred Spiral Galaxy (11:02 PM)
- Open cluster: M 45 - Pleiades (11:16 PM)
- Open cluster: Mel 25 - Hyades (12:00 AM)
- Galaxy: ESO 56-115 - Large Magellanic Cloud (12:43 AM)
- Globular cluster: M 79 - (12:43 AM)
- Bright nebula: M 1 - Crab Nebula (12:57 AM)
- Bright nebula: M 43 - De Mairan's Nebula (12:57 AM)
- Diffuse Nebula: M 42 - Orion Nebula (12:57 AM)
- Bright nebula: NGC 1977 - Running Man Nebula (12:57 AM)
- Bright nebula: NGC 2070 - Tarantula Nebula (12:57 AM)
- Dark nebula: B 33 - Horsehead Nebula (01:12 AM)
- Diffuse nebula: NGC 2024 - Flame Nebula (01:12 AM)
- Variable Red Star: Betelgeuse - Alpha Orionis (01:26 AM)
- Double star: Canopus - Alpha Carina (01:55 AM)
- Cluster with nebulosity: NGC 2237 - Rosette Nebula (01:55 AM)