In January and February 2021, I did simple "deep-sky winter observations," which might be of interest to other beginners and are therefore described here. They took place in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau.
In January and February 2021, I observed mostly the following sky area (some observed objects are indicated):
Click the map for a larger version - it opens in a new window (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)
The observations were done in January and February 2021, mostly directly after sunset.
The observations took place in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (Germany):
I used the TLAPO1027 on the Star Discovery mount, the C5 on the AZ-GTi and AZ Pronto mounts, and the Skymax-127 on the AZ Pronto and the Star Discovery mounts. I also used the Sony RX10 M4 on the AZ-GTi and AZ Pronto mounts.
In Mühlhausen/Kraichgau, the sky was not particularly dark.
|Observed Objects||Details, Remarks||Further Observations and Remarks||Devices Used||Eyepieces Used|
|OC: M 35, M 37, M 45
GN: M 42/43
|Comparison C5 - Skymax-127:
M 42/43: C5 mostly with 2" zenith mirror and eyepieces (26, 40 mm); SM127 with 24, 25, 32 mm - both tubes on par
M 45: C5 with 40 mm, SM127 with 24 mm: C5 shows M 45 more or less completely (nice), SM127 only a section (nice as well, but not the same...)
M 35: C5 with 26 mm, SM127 with 24 mm - both tubes in par >> nice bent star chain
M 37: C5 with 26, 40, 16 mm, SM127 with 24 mm - SM127 better initially; C5 on par after I had added a dew cap (to prevent stray light) >> M37 small, like a nebula at small magnifications
|Overall, the C5 did well (mostly used with 2" accessories),
but the Skymax-127 is at least on par.
The TLAPO1027 refractor was somewhat disappointing at M 42 compared to the C5 - I expected it to be better...
|C5 on AZ Pronto, Skymax-127 on AZ Pronto and Star Discovery, TLAPO1027 on Star Discovery||40, 32, 26, 24, 16 mm|
|OC: M 45
GN: M 42/43
|M 42 (several times, 1 s), M 45 (1 s)||Photos taken with the Sony RX10 M4 on AZ Pronto||Sony RX10 M4 on AZ Pronto mount||---|
|OC: Mel 25, M 35, M 45, M 50
GN: M 42/43 , M 78, NGC 2024
|1) Order: Constellation Orion (start photo), M 43/43 (two
45 (Pleiades), Mel 25 (Hyades), M 35, Alnitak (NGC
2024, Flame Nebula; nebula invisible), M 78, M 50;
all exposed with 1second
2) M 42/43 exposed with 5, 10, and 30 seconds
1) Photos taken with the Sony RX10 M4 on AZ-GTi (GoTo with handbox) with angle bracket for camera, exposed for 1 second
(2) Photos taken with the Sony RX10 M4 on AZ-GTi (GoTo with handbox) with angle bracket for camera, exposed 5, 10, and 30 seconds
|Sony RX10 M4 on the AZ-GTi mount||---|
|OC: M 35, M 36, M 37, M 38, M 45, M 50
GN: M 42/43, M 78
|Order of observations:
M 42/43: observed several times, got better over time
M 45: only a part visible in the eyepiece
M 35, M 36, M 37 (compact), M 38
M 78: very faint
"NGC 2044" was not accepted by the mount control; nothing to see around Alnitak, which I used instead... I was in error, I wanted to see NGC 2024 (Flame Nebula)! But there was nothing to see as well...
M 1: not found
M 50: initially hidden (too low), later found with some effort (tested with Sirius for the GoTo error; then I was able to find it...)
|Crescent of the moon just visble (the dark area as well)
Starting at about 7 p.m. with C5 on AZ-GTi (handbox, 2 star alignment
using Rigel and Castor), f/6.3 reducer/corrector and 24 mm eyepiece
After 15 minutes tracking test, M 42/43 was lost in the eyepiece, but I was able to get it back by issuing a GoTo command for M 42/43 (it was nearly at the center after that); seemed to be wrong or no tracking???
|C5 auf AZ-GTi, f/6.3 reducer/corrector, 1.25" visual back||24 mm|
Bold: First observation during this observation period; all observations done in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (MH); G = galaxy, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster, GN = galactic nebula, PN = planetary nebula, P = star pattern, DS = double star
Object details can be obtained via the links to the relevant deep sky objects.
|M 35||Gemini||OC||yes||yes||yes||yes||Nice, saw a star chain|
|M 37||Auriga||OC||yes||yes||yes||At low magnification like a nebula, smaller than M 35, most compact of M 36-38|
|M 42/43||Orion Nebula||Orion||GN||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||Orion Nebula nice, my objective was in part to compare several of my telescopes.|
|M 45||Pleiades, Seven Sisters||Taurus||OC||yes||yes||yes||yes||Nice, "rich field" with 40 mm at the C5 (2"); only a section wiuth the SM127|
|M 50||Monoceros||OC||yes||yes||Found after some GoTo issues...|
|M 78||Orion||GN||yes||yes||Very faint (photographed quite OK)|
|NGC 2024||Flame Nebula||Orion||GN||no||Nothing to see, only Alnitak...|
*) LT = 10 x 25 binoculars, TS = 10 x 60 binoculars; G = galaxy, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster, DS = double star, P = star pattern, GN = galactic nebula, PN = planetary nebula, MW = Milky Way, C = comet