Sunday, March 9, 2014

March 2014 Indiana Astronomical Society Novice/Urban 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. March marks the 1-year anniversary of the Novice/Urban Observing List. Phil recently announced the addition of a Level 1 list for true beginners to get familiar with important and recognizable objects. I'll continue pursuing the Level 2 list with slightly more challenging objects.

Last month was quite a challenge, with a number of double and triple stars too close to separate with my camera (plus I'm unmotivated to take my telescope out in the snow or into the field of dog poop land mines). I'm still counting down to our new house that's being built in Noblesville. I can't wait to have a yard with a south-facing back yard, and a concrete patio to myself.

All in due time, for now here is the Novice/Urban Observing List (Level 2) for March. Plenty of decent sized objects, and fairly bright. It should be a breeze to knock this out!

Zeta Cancri (08h 12.2m, +17° 39'), Double Star in Cancer, mag = 5.6, 6.0, sep = 6”

M48 (08h 13.8m, -05° 48'), Open Cluster in Hydra, mag = 5.8, size = 54’

M44 (08h 40.1m, +19° 59'), the “Beehive Cluster” in Cancer, mag = 3.1, size = 95’

Iota Cancri (08h 46.7m, +28° 46'), Double Star in Cancri, mag = 4.2, 6.6, sep = 30”

M67 (08h 50.4m, +11° 49'), Open Cluster in Cancer, mag = 6.9, size = 29’

38 Lyncis (09h 18.8m, +36° 48'), Double Star in Lynx, mag = 3.9, 6.6, sep = 3”

M81 (09h 55.6m, +69° 04'), Galaxy in Ursa Major, mag = 6.8, size = 26’x14’

M82 (09h 55.8m, +69° 41'), Galaxy in Ursa Major, mag = 8.4, size = 11’x5’

Atlas – crater on the Moon (first quarter)

Mare Imbrium – the Moon (third quarter)

Challenge Object:
SN 2014J – supernova in M82 (the only star visible in M82). (If you observed SN 2014J earlier in the year, your observation still counts!)

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