Deep Sky Observations with Vespera Pro Beginning with May 2024

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

Since the beginning of May 2024, I own a Vaonis Vespera Pro telescope for observing and taking photos of deep sky objects. On this page, I collect information about observations beginning with May 2024. 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 2024 on, I observed mostly the following sky area (some observed objects are indicated, also some that were not observed...):

<in preparation>

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 2024 on. They typically took place shortly after dusk, when it was sufficiently dark for a successful initialization of the Vespera Pro. In May, this was typically after 10 p.m., later even after 10:30 p.m..

Observation Location

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

Equipment Used

When observing with the Vespera Pro, I only needed the Vespera Pro and my iPhone or iPad. Moreover, I purchased filters for the Vespera (Pro).

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
2024
Observed Objects Observed Objects, Details Remarks Further Remarks
May 9
MH
Sun Sun in the late afternoon

Initiualization did not work in the evening/night (several attempts)

Vespera Pro; adjustable tripod; iPad Initiualization did not work in the evening/night (several attempts, did not turn it off...)
May 10
MH
G: M 81, M 82, M 95, M 96, M 105, NGC 3077 Order:
First mosaic: M 95, M 96, M 105, plus many smaller galaxies
Second mosaic: M 81, M 82, NGC 3077, plus some smaller galaxies
Vespera Pro; adjustable tripod; iPad M 95/96 observed from 8:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., M 81/82 observed from 9:35 p.m. to 2:15 a.m. Potentially polar lights disturbing...

Initialization worked on the first go.

May 12
MH
G: M 63, M 64 Order:
M 64 (Black Eye Galaxy): 30 minutes (as rec.), still noisy then
M 63
(Sunflower Galaxy): aborted after 4 minutes because of clouds (not noticed, left the V. outside during the night)
Vespera Pro; adjustable tripod; iPad Initialization problems: First initialization aborted, then reinitialized. Aborted again, shut down (switched off) and restarted. Then it worked on the 1st attempt.

M 64 (10:45 p.m.): quickly visible, even the typical appearance... End after 30 min (as recommended), still very noisy at the end; some clouds, especially at the end.
M 63 (11:25 p.m.): also very noisy at the beginning. Then went to bed (11:30 p.m.) and left Vespera alone outside. Did not realize that the observation had already been interrupted after 4 minutes due to clouds (I guess)!!!

SQM 19.7-8 (shortly before 11 p.m.)

May 13
MH
G: M 51, M 64, M 65, M 66, NGC 3628 Order:
Tried M 63 and M 64, but did not work; M 51 also did not work; then new start (off/on), and the initialization worked
M 51
: noisy (7.5 min)
M 64: noisy, multiple objects in noise pattern (30 min, as rec.)
M 65/66, NGC 3628 (Leo Triplet): mosaic, aborted after 8 min
M 65/66, NGC 3628 (Leo Triplet): mosaic, automatically aborted after more than 2 h exposure (left V. outside over night)
Vespera Pro; adjustable tripod; iPad First initialization worked (around 10 p.m.)! But the telescope did not find any targets (M 64, M 63, M 51). Then I switched the Vespera Pro off, new initialization, forever “Focus correction”, briefly “New Star pattern analysis”, then “Autofocus” (SQM 19.5, 10:40 p.m.).

M 51 (10:42 p.m., SQM 19.5): Galaxy immediately recognizable, but very noisy, somehow double images; AF started with restart (after 10:45 p.m.), finished after 7:50 min
M 63 (11:10 p.m., SQM 19.8): as noisy as everything so far, initially multiple contours in the noise pattern, up to 30 min (rec.)
M 65 : mosaic, aborted after about 8 min
M 65: mosaic, continued overnight: 750 frames = 2:05 hours exposure; was 812 frames (3 hours) incl. unstacked frames; sky too bright at the end - from about 300 frames = 50 min

May 14
MH
G: M 64, M 84, M 86, M 104 Order:
M 104: 30 min (as rec.), initially, bright stars have "partners"
M 64: initially very noisy, 30 min (as rec.), still noisy
M 86 / Markarian's Chain (with M 84 and more): mosaic, 30 min (as rec.), also noisy
Vespera Pro; adjustable tripod; iPad Software updated, initialization worked at the first attempt (10:04 p.m.)

M 104 (10:14 p.m., SQM 17.7): 30 min (recommended), initially very bright stars have “doubles” (10:20 p.m.: SQM 18.2; 10:40 p.m.: SQM 19.1-19.2)
M 64 (10:50 p.m., SQM 19.2): very noisy at the beginning, 30 min (as recommended)
M 86 / Markarian's chain (11:30 p.m.): mosaic, 30 min (as recommended), also noisy...

May 22, 2024 G: M 101, M 106, M 108, NGC 4565
PN: M 97
Order:
M 101 (21 min): 2 attempts, 2. quickly aborted
M 106 (30 min as rec.)
NGC 4565 (20 min)
M 97/108 (9 min): mosaic M 97 with M 108
Vespera Pro; adjustable tripod; iPad Too bright for first initialization (about 10 p.m.); second initalization worked (shortly after, different direction); nearly full moon

M 101 (30 min rec.): from 10:10 p.mp, 10:18/16.8, 10:30/17.8; 11:45/18.4; 21 min observed; 2. attempt did not work well (shown in orange), quickly aborted...
M 106 (30 min rec.): about 11 p.m., 11:30/18.8, 30 min observed
NGC 4565 (30 min rec.): 11:40/18.6, aborted after 20 min, clouds in the South
M 97/108 (30 min rec.): 00:05 a.m./18.6, smallest mosaic; aborted after 9 min because of clouds in the SW.

May 25
MH
G: M 51, M 108, NGC 4631
PN: M 97
Order:
NGC 4631/4656 (30 min as rec.): normal
NGC 4631/4656 (25 min): mini mosaic, 2 rounds
M97/108 (25 min): mini mosaic, 2 rounds
M 51: 2 rounds up to about 0:42; stopped shortly before 3 a.m., nearly 6 rounds, clouds
Vespera Pro; Gitzo High Tripod; iPad First initialization successful (from about 10:20 p.m., SQM 16.7); several days after full moon (full moon very low)

NGC 4631/4656 (30 min rec.., normal): 10:30/17.4 > 18.6, 19.2 > 11:00/19.5, until 11:05 p.m.
NGC 4631/4656 mini mosaic (30 min rec.): from 11:08/19,8, 11:15/20, 11:25/20,1, stopped after 2 rounds = 25 min
M97/108 mini mosaic (30 min rec.): from shortly before midnight 12; SQM 20,1, did not improve further... after 25 min = 2 rounds stopped
M 51: mini-Mosaik (30 min rec.), 2 rounds at about 0:42/19,8-9; stopped shortly before 3 a.m., nearly 6 rounds, clouds (no SQM)

Jun 4
MH
GC: M 5, M 13, M 92
G: M 109
Order:
M 13 (15 min as rec.): normal
M 92 (15 min): normal
M 5 (2:40 min): normal, autom. abort because of clouds
M 109 (3:30 min): normal, aborted manually because of clouds
Vespera Pro; Gitzo High Tripod; iPad First initialization successful (from about 10:20 p.m., SQM 15.7); two days before new moon; observations from 10:30 to 11:45 p.m..

M 13 (15 min rec., normal): SQM 16.5 at start (10:32 p.mp), SQM 17.2 after 5 min, SQM 18.4 after 15 min (end)
M 92 (20 min rec., normal): SQM 18.3 at start (10:53 p.m.), 19,3 after 15 min (end), clouds appear..
M 5 (30 min rec., normal): SQM 19.1 at start (11:14 p.m.), clouds from begin on; after 2:40 nothing happened, SQM below 19... Had aborted automatically, but I did not realize that...
M 109 (30 min rec., normal): SQM 19.6 at start (11:38 p.m.), just after starting clouds again; aborted manually after 3:30 min because of clouds (11:45 p.m.)

Jun 7
MH
GC: M 3, M 5, M 53, NGC 5053
G: M 101, NGC 5005, NGC 5033
Order:
M 3 (15 min): normal
M 5 (15 min): normal
M 53/NGC 5053 (13 min): mosaic, 1 round
M 101 (30 min as rec.: normal)
NGC 5005/5033 (12 min): mosaic, one round, manually aborted because of clouds
Vespera Pro; Gitzo High Tripod; iPad First initialization successful (from about 10:30 p.m., SQM 16.4); one day after new moon; observations from 10:40 p.m. to 1:00 a.m..

M 3 (30 min rec., normal): from 10:40/16.9, 10:47/17.64
M 5 (30 min rec., normal): from 11:05/18.9, 11:16/19.4, 11:30/19.9
M 53/NGC 5053 (1°; 30 min rec, small mosaic, 1 round with 13 min): from 11:35/19.9, 11:45/20.9
M 101 (30 min rec., normal): from 11:56/20.1, 0:12/20.1, until 0:35
NGC 5005/5033 and more (40'; 2h rec., mosaic, 1 round with 12 min): from 0:40/20.2, briefly before 1 clouds appeared, aborted manually after 11:50 min/1 round

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, SR = supernova remnant

 

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 3   Canes Venatici GC Nice globular cluster, one of the larger ones
M 5   Serpens Cauda GC Nice globular cluster, one of the larger ones, larger than M 3
M 13   Hercules GC Nice globular cluster, one of the largest ones, larger than M 5 and M 92
M 51 with NGC 5195 Canes Venatici G Nice spiral galaxy with connected satellite galaxy NGC 5195
M 53 with NGC 5053 Coma Berenices KS One of the smaller globular star clusters
M 63 Sunflower Galaxy Canes Venatici G Nice, elongated spiral galaxy
M 64 Black Eye Galaxy Coma Berenices G Impressive spiral galaxy with unique look
M 65 with M 66, NGC 3628 Leo G Thin, elongated spiral galaxy, spiral hard to see; part of the Leo triplet (with M 66 and NGC 3628); with Vesp Pro the whole triplet can be observed.
M 66 with M 65, NGC 3628 Leo G Elongated spiral galaxy, spiral visible; part of the Leo triplet (with M 65 and NGC 3628); with the Vesp Pro the whole triplet can be observed.
M 81 with M 82, NGC 3077 Ursa Major G Nice spiral galaxy; the spiral is not very conspicuous in the eVs; can be seen together with NGC 3077 and M 82 in the Vsp Pro (mosaic).
M 82 with M 81, NGC 3077 Ursa Major G Elongated irregular galaxy (cigar), dirsturbed by an encounter with M 81; can be seen together with M 81 and NGC 3077 in the Vsp Pro (mosaic).
M 84 Great Galactic Face, Markarian's Chain Virgo G Elliptical galaxy that can be seen together with M 86 (+ NGC 4387 and NGC 4402); forms together with M 86 and NGC 4387 the "Great Galactic Face".
M 86 Great Galactic Face, Markarian's Chain Virgo G Elliptical galaxy that can be seen together with M 84 (+ NGC 4387 and NGC 4402); forms together with M 84 and NGC 4387 the "Great Galactic Face".
M 92   Hercules GC Nice globular star cluster with compact core
M 95 with M 96, M 105 Leo G Small barred spiral galaxy, relatively faint, but the bar is visible. Forms a pair with M 96. M 96 and M 105 can be included in the mosaic mode of Vsp Pro.
M 96 with M 95, M 105 Leo G Spiral galaxy, forms a pair with M 95. M 95 and M 105 can be included in the mosaic mode of Vsp Pro.
M 97 Owl Nebula, with M 108 Ursa Major PN Small green dot with two dark spots; can be observed together with M 108 with Vespera Pro.
M 101 Pinwheel Galaxy Coma Berenices G Faint; better in second attempt, but still very noisy (30 min)
M 104 Sombrero Galaxy Virgo G Spiral galaxy, seen nearly edge-on; the dust ring and the bright nucleus led to the name.
M 105 with M 95, M 96 Leo G Bright elliptical galaxy; close to the galaxies NGC 3384 (elliptical) and the smaller NGC 3389 (spiral). In the Vespera Pro mosaic additionally together with M 95 and M 96.
M 106   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, as well as the pair NGC 4231/32 (Holm 356)
M 108 mit M 97 Ursa Major G Barred spiral galaxy, nearly seen edge-on; can be observed together with M 97 with Vespera Pro
M 109   Ursa Major G Barred spiral galaxy; manually aborted after about 2 minutes because of clouds
NGC 3077 close to M 81 (and with M 82) Ursa Major G Small companion of M 81
NGC 3628 Hamburger Galaxy, with M 65, M 66 Leo G Spiral galaxy seen edge-on; it forms a conspicuous group with M 65 and M 66, the Leo Triplet (Arp 317, Holm 246).
NGC 4565 Needle Galaxy Coma Berenices G One of the most prominent and famous edge-on spiral galaxies in the sky; together with NGC 4562 and NGC 4494, NGC 4565 forms the small galaxy group LGG 294.
NGC 4631/27 Whale/Herring Galaxy, with NGC 4627 Canes Venatici G Spiral galaxy seen edge-on; above it, there is a compagnion, the elliptical dwarf galaxy NGC 4627, a little farther apart the galaxy NGC 4656/57.
NGC 5005 with NGC 5033 Canes Venatici G Oblique spiral galaxy with bright core, forms a pair together with NGC 5033, which influence each other weakly.
NGC 5033 with NGC 5005 Canes Venatici G Spiral galaxy, forms a pair together with NGC 5005, which influence each other weakly.
NGC 5053 with M 53 Coma Berenices GC Very loose globular star cluster near M 53 (1°)

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, A = Asterism, SR = Supernova remnant, HII = HII region (emission nebula in other galaxies)

 

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10.06.2024