Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 2014 Indiana Astronomical Society Novice/Urban Observing List

indiana astronomical society observing list
Phil Dimpelfeld from the Indiana Astronomical Society creates a Novice/Urban Observing List each month for newbies like myself with not-so-dark skies and not-so-powerful equipment. Phil splits the list into different levels based on difficulty. Level 1 objects are relatively easy to find, and Level 2 and 3 are fainter and therefore more challenging to spot. To complete the monthly challenge, you must observe at least 6 objects regardless of the difficulty level.

Last month, I observed Saturn through my telescope but didn't photograph it. I also got a shot of the moon with my iPhone hand-held through my 6mm eyepiece. I failed on the rest of the list because we're gearing up for the move AND had a string of rainy unpredictable weather here in Indiana.

The June list should be my first list in a new house with a backyard patio and no reception hall marquee glaring on the horizon. I'm excited for some bright Messier objects to test out my tracking mount for the first time. I'm a little sad and glad at the same time that I've already observed all of the Messier objects on this list previously.

LEVEL 1

Beta Scorpii, “Graffias”, Double Star in Scorpius, 16h 05.4m, -19° 48', mag = 2.6, 4.9, sep = 13.6"

16/17 Draconis, Triple Star in Draco, 16h 36.2m, +52° 55', mag = 5.4, 6.4, 5.5, sep = 3.4, 90 (Easy double star in binoculars/finderscope)

M13, Globular Cluster in Hercules, 16h 41.7m, +36° 28', mag = 5.7, size = 17.0' (One of the BEST Globular Clusters! Look for it in the Keystone.)

Alpha Herculis, “Rasalgethi”, Double Star in Hercules, 17h 14.6m, +14° 23', mag = 3.5, 5.4, sep = 4.7"

IC 4665, Open Cluster in Ophiuchus, 17h 46.3m, +05° 43', mag = 4.2, size = 70.0' (A nice target for binoculars!)

LEVEL 2

M4, Globular Cluster in Scorpius, 16h 23.6m, -26° 32’, mag = 5.8, size = 26’ (Despite its bright magnitude, this globular can be difficult to spot with moderate light pollution due to its low surface brightness.)

M92, Globular Cluster in Hercules, 17h 17.1m, +43° 05', mag = 6.4, size = 11.0'

M6, Open Cluster in Scorpius, 17h 40.1m, -32° 13’, mag = 4.2, size = 33’

M7, Open Cluster in Scorpius, 17h 53.9m, -34 49’, mag = 3.3, size = 80’

LEVEL 3

NGC 6210, Planetary Nebula in Hercules, 16h 44.5m, +23° 49', mag = 8.8, size = 48"

M12, Globular Cluster in Ophiuchus, 16h 47.2m, -01° 57’, mag = 6.8, size = 15’

M10, Globular Cluster in Ophiuchus, 16h 57.1m, -04° 06’, mag = 6.6, size = 15’

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