Deep Sky Observations with Vespera May to June 2023

Conditions | Observation Overview | List of Observed Sky Objects | References

Since the end of July 2022, I own a Vaonis Vespera telescope for observing and taking photos of deep sky objects. On this page, I collect information about observations from May 2023 on. The photos that were taken during this phase are presented elsewhere (on the detail pages for the DSO).

 

Conditions

Sky Region and Objects

From May 2023 on, 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)

Observation Time

The observations in this phase took place from May to June 2023. They typically took place shortly after dusk, when it was sufficiently dark for a successful initialization of the Vespera. In May, this was after 10.p.m., and in June it was after 11 p.m. (MESZ)!

Observation Location

The observations took place in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (Germany):

Equipment Used

When observing with the Vespera, I only needed the Vespera and my iPhones or iPad.

General Conditions

In general, the sky above Mühlhausen/Kraichgau is "light-polluted" (SQM 20.5) and does not invite you to search for deep sky objects. For astro photography, however, light pollution is not as disturbing as for visual observations.

 

Observation Overview

Observation Dates

Date
2023
Observed Objects Observed Objects, Details Remarks Further Remarks
May 18
MH
G: M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438, NGC 4435, NGC 4388, NGC 4387 Order: NGC 4438 and "companions" in a 2.8° x 2.0 mosaic (about 1 h = one round)
List: M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438, NGC 4435, NGC 4388, NGC 4387
Vespera; iPad Vespera: used from about 10 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.; SQM not measured; moon not up (nearly new), clear sky

Goal: Photograph Markarian's chain (Virgo Challenge by Vaonis in May 2023); includes the Great Galactical Face

May 30
MH
G: M 95, M 96, M 105, NGC 3345, NGC 3346, NGC 3357, NGC 3367, NGC 3377, NGC 3384, NGC 3389, NGC 3391 Order: M 95 and "Companions" (M 96, M 105) in a mosaic (one round); stopped when obstacles appeared (too low) > M 96 group = Leo I group
List: M 95 (NGC 3351), M 96 (NGC 3368), NGC 105 (NG 3379), NGC 3346, NGC 3391, NGC 3357, NGC 3377, NGC 3367, NGC 3384, NGC 3389, NGC 3345 (not identical with M 96 group)
Vespera; iPad Vespera: used from about 10:30 p.m. until 11:40 p.m.; SQM 18-19; clear sky, shortly after half moon

Goal: Photograph the M 96 group

May 31
MH
G: M 95, M 96, M 105, NGC 3345, NGC 3384, NGC 3389 Order: M 95 and "Companions" (M 96, M 105) in a mosaic (one round, 2310s) > M 96 group = Leo I group
List: M 95 (NGC 3351), M 96 (NGC 3368), NGC 105 (NG 3379), NGC 3384, NGC 3389, NGC 3345
Vespera; iPad Vespera: used from 11:30 p.m. until 11:40; SQM 18-19; clear sky, near full moon

Goal: Photograph the M 96 group without cancellation because of clouds

Jun 2
MH

G: M 101
SN: SN 2023ixf

Order: M 101 with supernova SN 2023ixf (2 trials, the second one with 1860s) Vespera; iPad Vespera: used from about 10:30 p.m. until 11:40 p.m.; SQM 17-18.5; clear sky, shortly after full moon

Goal: Photograph M 101 with supernova SN 2023ixf

Jun 6
MH
G: M 65, M 66, NGC 3628 Order: M 65, M 66, and NGC 3628 (Leo Triplet) in a 1.6° x 1.9° mosaic (2880s). Vespera; iPad Vespera: used from 10:50 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. (one round, about 40 min)/00:10 (without me, but soon aborted; I finished the observation in the early morning); SQM 17-18.5; clear sky, shortly after full moon; mosaic 1.6° x 1.9°

Goal: Photograph the Leo Triplet

Jun 7
MH
G: M 65, M 66, M 106, NGC 3628 Order: M 66 (+ M 65 + NGC 3628*) = Leo Triplet (two observations, the second was longer = 2390s), M 106 (1388 frames = 13870s = 3:51:20h)
*) Section modified "by hand"...
Vespera; iPad Vespera: used from 10:45 p.m. until 11:30 p.m./until 3:30 a.m. alone; SQM 17 - nearly 20 before midnight; clear sky, after full moon

Goal: Take "normal" photos of the Leo Triplet and M 106 "; check how the section is to be arranged (for several objects).

Jun 8
MH
G: M 99, M 100 Order: M 99 and M 100 and small galaxies (360 frames = 3600s); evaluation by nova.astrometry.net:
IC 781, IC 783, IC 3177, IC 3238, IC 3244, NGC 4262, NGC 4298, NGC 4302, NGC 4322, NGC 4223, NGC 4328, NGC 4312
Vespera; iPad Vespera: used from 10:40 p.m. until 11:45 p.m./until 2:50 a.m. alone; SQM 17 to nearly 20 at midnight; clear sky, after full moon; probably clouds appeared in the morning (there were none as I went to bed); mosaic 1.6° x 2.3°

Goal: Photograph M 99 and M 100 in a mosaic

Jun 9
MH
G: M 58, M 87, M 89, M 90 and further NGC galaxies Order: M 87 (target), some M galaxies and many small galaxies (697 frames = 6970s); evaluation by nova.astrometry.net (without IC galaxies):
M 58, M 87, M 89, M 90;
NGC 4473, 4479, 4476, 4478, 4491, 4497, 4501, 4503, 4506, 4528, 4531, 4550, 5454, 4564, 4567/4568 (Siamese Twins), 4584
Vespera; iPad Vespera: used from 11:45 p.m. until 00:00/until 2:30 a.m. alone; SQM 17 to nearly 20 at midnight; clear sky, after full moon; mosaic 2.3° x 2.5°

Goal: Photograph M 87 (Virgo A) with surround in a mosaic

Jun 10
MH
G: M 51 Order: M 51 (1 h = 3600s), M 51 (34:30 min = 2070s), M 51 (1 h 29 = 5340s) >> 3 observations with different SQM at start and different lengths Vespera; iPad Vespera: used from 10:38 until 11:39 p.m. / from 11:40 p.m. to 0:14 a.m. / from 0:15 a.m. to 1:50 a.m. alone; SQM 16.4 to 20 at midnight; clear sky, after full moon

Goal: Photograph M 51 "normally" and somewhat longer plus restarts for "darker start"
exposure times roughly: 1 h, 1/2 h, 1.5 h

Bold: First observation during this observation period; G = galaxy, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster, GN = galactic nebula, PN = planetary nebula, SP = star pattern, DN = dark nebula, C = comet, SN = supernova

 

List of Observed Sky Objects

Object details can be obtained via the links to the relevant deep sky objects.

DSO Details
Name Constellation Type Remarks
M 51 Whirlpool Galaxy, together with NGC 5195 Canes Venatici G Nice spiral galaxy with connected satellite galaxy NGC 5195
M 58 With M 87 Virgo G Barred spiral galaxy
M 65/66 With NGC 3628 (Leo Triplet) Leo G M 65 and M 66 together with NGC 3628 in a mosaic (Leo Triplet)
M 84 With M 86 Virgo G Elliptical galaxy seen with the complete Markarian's Chain, of which it is a member; forms together with M 86 and NGC 4387 the "Great Galactic Face".
M 86 With M 84 Virgo G Elliptical galaxy seen with the complete Markarian's Chain, of which it is a member; forms together with M 84 and NGC 4387 the "Great Galactic Face".
M 87 Virgo A Virgo G Elliptical galaxy; has a jet stream; center of the Virgo galaxy cluster (Virgo A)
M 89 With M 87 Virgo G Elliptical galaxy, a small bright and fuzzy dot...
M 90 With M 87 Virgo G Spiral galaxy, spiral can be guessed
M 95 With M 96, M 105 and many small galaxies Leo G Member of the M 96 group (together with a number of small galaxies in a mosaic), barred spiral galaxy
M 96 With M 95, M 105 and many small galaxies Leo G Member of the M 96 group (together with a number of small galaxies in a mosaic), spiral galaxy
M 99 With M 100 Coma Berenices G Spiral galaxy, almost seen face-on, similar to M 100; together with M 100 in a mosaic; discovered some more galaxies on a mosaic!
M 100 With M 99 Coma Berenices G Spiral galaxy, almost seen face-on, similar to M 99; together with M 99 in a mosaic; discovered more more galaxies on a mosaic!
M 101 Pinwheel Galaxy Coma Berenices G New supernova SN 2023ixf discovered in M 101 (May 19, 2023); photographed on June 2, 2023.
M 105 With M 95, M 96 and many small galaxies Leo G Member of the M 96 group (together with a number of small galaxies in a mosaic), elliptical galaxy
M 106 Together with small galaxies Canes Venatici G Larger and bright spiral galaxy with bright core; close to it there is the small spiral galaxy NGC 4248, somewhat farther apart the galaxy NGC 4220
NGC 3628 Hamburger Galaxy Leo G Spiral galaxy seen edge-on; forms a conspicuous group with M 65 and M 66 in the Leo triplet; in the Vespera the whole triplet can be seen (mosaic).
NGC 4220/4248 Companions of M 106 Canes Venatici G/G Small companion galaxies of M 106
NGC 4387   Virgo G Forms the nose of the "Great Galactical Face"
NGC 4388   Virgo G Forms the mouth of the "Great Galactical Face"
NGC 4402   Virgo G Forms an "unofficial" eyebrow of the "Great Galactical Face"
NGC 4435/38 The Eyes Virgo G NGC 4435 is a lenticular galaxy and interacts with the lenticular galaxy NGC 4438, that is about 100,000 light years more distant. Both galaxies are members of Markarian's Chain.
NGC 4458/61   Virgo G The galaxies NGC 4461 (lenticular) und NGC 4458 (elliptical) in constellation Virgo are members of Markarian's Chain and interact with one another.
NGC 4473   Coma Berenices G Elliptical galaxy, member of Markarian's Chain
NGC 4477   Coma Berenices G Lenticular galaxy, member of Markarian's Chain
NGC 4567/68 Siamese Twins, Butterfly Galaxies, together with M 87 Virgo G NGC 4567/8 are two spiral galaxies in the Virgo galaxy cluster; they are also called "The Siamese Twins" or "The Butterfly Galaxies".

G = galaxy, GaC = galaxy cluster, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster, GE = galactic emission nebula, GR = galactic reflection nebula, DN = dark nebula, C = comet, PN = planetary nebula, SP = star pattern, HII = HII region (emission nebula in other galaxies)

 

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23.02.2024