My Deep Sky Observations - Overview

Introduction | Overview of Observed Objects (Sorted by Names) | Overview of Observed Objects (Sorted by Season) | Remarks | References | Appendix: Overviews of the Observation Pages

Since 2016, I conducted simple "deep sky observations," which might be of interest to other beginners and are therefore listed here. This page provides an overview of the respective observations.

For your convenience (and my), the observed objects are listed in two orders: (1) alphabetically by catalog, and (2) by prime season and constellation. Note that some singular observation are not contained in these lists.

I selected the observation objects primarily on the basis of my literature (see references).

Note: The collection of the original lists from my observations series, on which this page is based, can now be found here.

 

Conditions

Observation Location

Most observations were conducted in Mühlhausen/Kraichgau (Germany):

I conducted further deep sky observations in Erkerode (near Braunschweig, Germany) as well as in France (Sumène, close to Saint Julien-Chapteuil, Haute Loire, France):

Devices Used

I used all my telescopes (as long as I owned them...) and, except for the GSD 680 (8" Dobsonian), also used them at times on my Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount. Moreover, I used my 10 x 25 binoculars (Leica Trinovid), which are not all night glasses. In October 2017, I also acquired TS 10 x 60 binoculars.

I used all kinds of eyepieces, but preferred my UWA eyepieces (16 mm, 7 mm, 4 mm) as well as a 32 mm Plössl eyepiece and a 24 mm WA eyepiece for maximum overview.

General Conditions

In general, the sky above Mühlhausen/Kraichgau is "light-polluted" and does not invite you to search for deep sky objects. This is certainly one of the reasons why I found some of the deep sky objects that I wanted to observe only sometimes or not at all. Often, the sky was not yet dark enough for observing deep sky objects ...

I conducted further deep sky observations in Erkerode (near Braunschweig, Germany) and later in autumn also in France (Sumène, Haute Loire, France). The sky above Sumène, Haute Loire (France) is relatively dark (the Betz observatory used by the Orion43 group is near-by).

 

Overview of Observed Objects (Sorted by Names)

Messier Objects

DSO Details Name Constellation Type Bino Telescope Prime Season* When Observed? Remarks Rec.
M 1 Crab Nebula Taurus GE   P130 GT, GSD 680, 150 PDS GTAI Winter Feb, Mar very faint, n.f. with 100P, seen with AI  
M 3   Canes Venatici GC   150PDS GT Spring May similar to M 5 and M 92, somewhat grainy at high magnifications +
M 5   Serpens Caput GC   150PDS GT Spring May similar to M 3 and M 92, somewhat grainy at high magnifications +
M 8 Lagoon Nebula Sagittarius GN+OC   100P, 100P GT, SM102 GT Summer Aug, Sep saw only stars, perhaps some glow...  
M 10   Ophiuchus GC   SM102 GT Summer Sep a faint glow  
M 11 Wild Duck Cluster Scutum OC LT, TS SM102 GT, P130 GT Summer Sep, Nov saw stars, a nebula within; probably not seen in Nov with binoculars  
M 12   Ophiuchus     SM102 GT Summer Sep a faint glow  
M 13   Hercules GC LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, 102 GT, P130, P130 GT, 150PDS GT, GSD 680 Summer May, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov largest observed GC, some stars visible with 4 mm eyepiece (187.5 x), grainy, somewhat resolved into stars +
M 15   Pegasus GC   100P, 100P GTAI, 150 PDS GTAI Autumn Sep, Oct, Jan not as large as M 13 +
M 16   Serpens     SM102 GT Summer Sep distant, IC 4703 n.f.  
M 17 Omega/Swan Nebula Sagittarius GE   SM102 GT Summer Sep saw only stars, a faint glow at best  
M 20 Trifid Nebula Sagittarius GE   100P, 100P GT, P130 GT Summer Aug, Sep saw only stars, not a real "find"...  
M 21   Sagittarius OC   ??? Summer ???   ?
M 23   Sagittarius OC   ??? Summer ???   ?
M 24   Sagittarius SP   ??? Summer ???   ?
M 27 Dumbbell Nebula Vulpecula PN   100P GT, 100P GTAI, 150PDS GTAI Summer ???, Jan a glow, with AI recognizable  
M 29   Cygnus OC   ??? Summer ???   ?
M 31/32   Andromeda G LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, GSD 680, SM 102, SM 127, SM 127 GTAI Autumn Sep-Nov, Jan-Feb seen best in France, even with binoculars; M 32 seen with AI +
M 34   Perseus OC LT, TS 100P Autumn Nov in binoculars more of a glow  
M 35   Gemini OC LT, TS 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT, 150PDS GT(AI), GSD 680, SM 102, SM 127 Winter Feb, May, Dec, Jan-Mar rich of stars and nice +
M 36   Auriga OC TS 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT(AI), GSD 680 Winter Feb-Mar the brightest cluster of M 36-38 +
M 37   Auriga OC TS 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT(AI), GSD 680 Winter Feb-Mar outside of Auriga's "body" +
M 38   Auriga OC TS 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT(AI), GSD 680 Winter Feb-Mar most difficult to find of M 36-38 +
M 39   Cygnus OC LT, TS   Summer Nov at the upper left end of an Y  
M 41   Canis Major OC   100P, P130 GT, GSD 680, 150PDS GT(AI) Winter Feb-Apr does not impress in the telescope...  
M 42/43 Orion Nebula Orion GE LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT(AI), GSD 680, SM 102, SM 127 Winter Nov-Mar beautiful, particularly at higher magnifications; at higher magnifications, the Trapezium can be resolved +
M 44 Praesepe/Crib Cancer OC LT 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT Winter Feb, Mar, May very nice also in binoculars; ditto in the telescope +
M 45 Pleiades Taurus OC LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, GSD 680, SM 127 GTAI, 150PDS GTAI Winter Oct-Mar large and nice, particularly in binoculars +
M 46   Puppis OC   100P, P130 GT Winter Mar M 46 cluster seen, faint but nice; like a nebula at low magnifications; nebula NGC 2438 not seen  
M 47   Puppis OC   100P, P130 GT, 150PDS GT Winter Mar brighter than M 46  
M 48   Hydra OC   P130 GT, 150PDS GT Spring Mar nice, but not bright  
M 49   Virgo G   150PDS GT Spring May small, but seen well  
M 50   Monoceros OC   P130 GT, GSD 680, 150PDS GT(AI) Winter Mar-Apr nicer than M 48, filled the view  
M 51 Whirlpool Galaxy Canes Venatici G   150PDS GT Spring May glow (brighter nucleus?), diffuse something...  
M 53   Coma Berenices GC   150PDS GT Spring May smallest observed GC, somewhat grainy, brighter nucleus at high magnification  
M 56   Lyra GC   100P100P GTAI, 150PDS GTAI Summer Sep, Oct, Jan sphere visible, but clearly smaller than M 13 and M 92  
M 57 Ring Nebula Lyra PN   SM102 GT, P130 GT, 100P, 100P GTAI, 150PDS GTAI Summer Sep, Oct , Jan ring may be guessed at high magnifications at best, seen well with AI  
M 64   Coma Berenices G   150PDS GT Spring May glow, but seen well  
M 65/66   Leo G   150PDS GT Spring May sometimes, I could see two faint galaxies, often only one  
M 67   Cancer OC   150PDS GT Winter Mar, May somewhat distant OC  
M 71   Sagitta GC   ???, 150PDS GTAI Summer ???, Jan M 71 was very distant, seen well with AI  
M 78   Orion GR   P130 GT Winter ??? hard to see...  
M 81/82 Bode Galaxies, Cigar Galaxy (M 82) Ursa Major G   100P, P130 GT, 150PDS GT North Feb, May, Sep two galaxies, oblique to the left, rounder to the right (+)
M 87   Virgo G   150PDS GT Spring May perhaps a spherical glow, not much to see  
M 92   Hercules GC LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, 102 GT, P130, P130 GT, 150PDS GT, GSD 680 Summer May, Aug, Sep, Oct similar to M 3 and M 5, somewhat grainy at high magnifications (+)
M 93   Puppis OC   100P, P130 GT, 150PDS GT Winter Mar nice at high magnification, a only glow otherwise  
M 94   Canes Venatici G   150PDS GT Spring May glow  
M 96   Leo G   150PDS GT Spring May sometimes, a faint galaxy could be recognized, mostly none  
M 103   Cassiopeia G   100P North Oct more like a small star pattern...  
M 104 Sombrero Galaxy Virgo G   150PDS GT Spring May oblique flat glow, but no sombrero  
M 106   Canes Venatici G   150PDS GT Spring May found, weak glow?  

Further Catalogs

DSO Details
Name Constellation Type Bino Telescope Prime Season* When Observed? Remarks Rec.
CR 399 Coat Hanger Vulpecula OC LT, TS 100P Summer Sep, Oct, Nov in binoculars better than in the telescope +
IC 4665   Ophiuchus OC   SM102 GT Summer Sep saw only relatively distant stars  
IC 4756   Serpens OC   ??? Summer Sep? n.f. ?
Mel 20 Alpha Persei Cluster Perseus OC LT, TS 100P Autumn Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan-Mar very nice, even to the naked eye +
Mel 25 Hyades Taurus OC LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, GSD 680 Winter Oct-Mar very large +
Mel 111 Coma Berenices Cluster Coma Berenices OC LT 100P Spring May distant OC of relatively bright stars, only for opera glasses; a faint glow to the naked eye +
NGC 457 Owl Cluster Cassiopeia OC   100P North   rather small, the "eyes" stand out  
NGC 663/NGC 654   Cassiopeia OC   100P North   663 probably seen, 654 not  
NGC 884/NGC 869 Perseus Double Cluster Perseus OC LT, TS 100P, P130 GT, GSD 680 Autumn Oct-Mar seen with the naked eye, nice in binoculars (both together) +
NGC 2237/2244 Rosette Nebula Monoceros GE+OC   P130 GT Winter Feb, Mar only star cluster NGC 2244 seen  
NGC 2264 Christmas Tree Cluster Monoceros OC   P130 GT, 150PDS GTAI Winter Feb, Mar, Apr "Christmas Tree" not recognized in Feb, but in Mar; nebula within the cluster not seen  
NGC 2360   Canis Major OC   ??? Winter Mar n.f.? ?
NGC 2362   Canis Major OC   100P, P130 GT, GSD 680 Winter Mar primarily, I saw an "L" shape...  
NGC 2392   Gemini PN   P130 GT Winter Mar guessed a small dot...  
NGC 6633   Ophiuchus OC   P130 GT Summer Sep n.f., too low in Sep ?
NGC 6960/6992/5 Cirrus Nebula Cygnus PN   ??? Summer ??? n.f. ?
NGC 7000 North America Nebula Cygnus GE   ??? Summer   n.f. ?
St 2 Muscle Man Cassiopeia OC LT, TS   North Oct, Nov saw stars, but did not recognize the shape  

Double Stars

DSO Details
Name Constellation Type Bino Telescope Prime Season* When Observed? Remarks Rec.
beta Cyg Albireo Cygnus DS   100P Summer Sep nice difference in color +
alpha Gem Castor Gemini DS   100P Winter May    
epsilon Lyr Double Double Lyra DS   100P Summer Sep seen only as pair  
zeta UMa Mizar/Alkor Ursa Major DS   100P North Sep double star; visual double star with Alkor +

Legend

*) "Prime Season" describes when the sky objects are in the South (this is how they are assigned to season in books etc.). Of course, you can observe most sky object in other sky regions at other times of the year. Column "When observed?" lists, when I observed the sky objects.

Rec.: + = preliminary recommendation of (fairly) easy to find objects; (+) = these objects are nice, but harder to find or require a darker sky; ? = not found or details forgotten

Bino: LT = Leica Trinovid 10 x 25 BC, TS = TS 10 x 60 LE; Telescope: GT means GoTo mount, GTAI means with Atik Infinity camera on GoTo mount, , GT(AI) means both configurations

PN = planetary nebula, GE = galactic emission nebula, GR = galactic reflection nebula, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster, DS = double star, SP = star pattern, SC = star cloud

 

Overview of Observed Objects (Sorted by Season and Constellation)

The following version of my observation list is sorted by primary season and by constellation. Its order follows, including the order of the objects themselves, the book Deep Sky Reiseführer by R. Stoyan.

North

DSO Details Name Constellation Type Bino Telescope When Observed? Remarks Rec.
M 81/82 Bode Galaxies, Cigar Galaxy (M 82) Ursa Major G   100P, P130 GT, 150PDS GT Feb, May, Sep two galaxies, oblique to the left, rounder to the right (+)
zeta UMa Mizar/Alkor Ursa Major DS   100P Sep double star; visual double star with Alkor +
NGC 457 Owl Cluster Cassiopeia OC   100P   rather small, the "eyes" stand out  
M 103   Cassiopeia G   100P Oct more like a small star pattern...  
NGC 663/NGC 654   Cassiopeia OC   100P   663 probably seen, 654 not  
St 2 Muscle Man Cassiopeia OC TS   Oct, Nov saw stars, but did not recognize the shape  

Spring

DSO Details Name Constellation Type Bino Telescope When Observed? Remarks Rec.
M 96   Leo G   150PDS GT May sometimes, a faint galaxy could be recognized, mostly none  
M 65/66   Leo G   150PDS GT May sometimes, I could see two faint galaxies, often only one  
M 48   Hydra OC   P130 GT, 150PDS GT Mar nice, but not bright  
M 106   Canes Venatici G   150PDS GT May found, weak glow?  
M 94   Canes Venatici G   150PDS GT May glow  
M 51 Whirlpool Galaxy Canes Venatici G   150PDS GT May glow (brighter nucleus?), diffuse something...  
M 3   Canes Venatici GC   150PDS GT May similar to M 5 and M 92, somewhat grainy at high magnifications +
Mel 111 Coma Berenices Cluster Coma Berenices OC LT 100P May distant OC of relatively bright stars, only for opera glasses; a faint glow to the naked eye +
M 64   Coma Berenices G   150PDS GT May glow, but seen well  
M 53   Coma Berenices GC   150PDS GT May smallest observed GC, somewhat grainy, brighter nucleus at high magnification; not in Stoyan  
M 49   Virgo G   150PDS GT May small, but seen well  
M 104 Sombrero Galaxy Virgo G   150PDS GT May oblique flat glow, but no sombrero  
M 87   Virgo G   150PDS GT May perhaps a spherical glow, not much to see  
M 5   Serpens Caput GC   150PDS GT May similar to M 3 and M 92, somewhat grainy at high magnifications +

Summer

DSO Details Name Constellation Type Bino Telescope When Observed? Remarks Rec.
M 13   Hercules GC LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, 102 GT, P130, P130 GT, 150PDS GT, GSD 680 May, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov largest observed GC, some stars visible with 4 mm eyepiece (187.5 x), grainy, somewhat resolved into stars +
M 92   Hercules GC LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, 102 GT, P130, P130 GT, 150PDS GT, GSD 680 May, Aug, Sep, Oct similar to M 3 and M 5, somewhat grainy at high magnifications (+)
epsilon Lyr Double Double Lyra DS   100P Sep seen only as pair  
M 57 Ring Nebula Lyra PN   SM102 GT, P130 GT, 100P, 100P GTAI, 150PDS GTAI Sep, Oct , Jan ring may be guessed at high magnifications at best, seen well with AI  
M 56   Lyra GC   100P100P GTAI, 150PDS GTAI Sep, Oct, Jan sphere visible, but clearly smaller than M 13 and M 92  
M 12   Ophiuchus     SM102 GT Sep a faint glow  
M 10   Ophiuchus GC   SM102 GT Sep a faint glow  
IC 4665   Ophiuchus OC   SM102 GT Sep saw only relatively distant stars  
NGC 6633   Ophiuchus OC   P130 GT Sep n.f., too low in Sep ?
beta Cyg Albireo Cygnus DS   100P Sep nice difference in color +
M 29   Cygnus OC   ??? ???   ?
NGC 6960/6992/5 Cirrus Nebula Cygnus PN   ??? ??? n.f. ?
NGC 7000 North America Nebula Cygnus GE   ???   n.f. ?
M 39   Cygnus OC LT, TS 100P Nov at the upper left end of an Y  
CR 399 Coat Hanger Vulpecula OC LT, TS 100P Sep, Oct, Nov in binoculars better than in the telescope +
M 27 Dumbbell Nebula Vulpecula PN   100P GT, 100P GTAI, 150PDS GTAI ???, Jan a glow, with AI recognizable  
M 71   Sagitta GC   ???, 150PDS GTAI ???, Jan M 71 was very distant, seen well with AI  
M 11 Wild Duck Cluster Scutum OC LT, TS SM102 GT, P130 GT Sep, Nov saw stars, a nebula within; probably not seen in Nov with binoculars  
M 16   Serpens     SM102 GT Sep distant, IC 4703 n.f.  
IC 4756   Serpens OC   ??? Sep? n.f. ?
M 23   Sagittarius OC   ??? ???   ?
M 20 Trifid Nebula Sagittarius GE   100P, 100P GT, P130 GT Aug, Sep saw only stars, not a real "find"...  
M 8 Lagoon Nebula Sagittarius GN+OC   100P, 100P GT, SM102 GT Aug, Sep saw only stars, perhaps some glow...  
M 21   Sagittarius OC   ??? ???   ?
M 24 Small Sagittarius Cloud Sagittarius SP   ??? ???   ?
M 17 Omega/Swan Nebula Sagittarius GE   SM102 GT Sep saw only stars, a faint glow at best  

Autumn

DSO Details Name Constellation Type Bino Telescope When Observed? Remarks Rec.
M 15   Pegasus GC   100P, 100P GTAI, 150PDS GTAI Sep, Oct, Jan not as large as M 13 +
M 31/32   Andromeda G LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, GSD 680, SM 102, SM 127, SM 127 GTAI Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb seen best in France, even with binoculars; M 32 seen with AI +
NGC 884/NGC 869 Perseus Double Cluster Perseus OC LT, TS 100P, P130 GT, GSD 680

Oct-Mar

seen with the naked eye, nice in binoculars (both together) +
M 34   Perseus OC LT, TS 100P Nov    
Mel 20 Alpha Persei Cluster Perseus OC LT, TS 100P Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan-Mar very nice, even to the naked eye +

Winter

DSO Details Name Constellation Type Bino Telescope When Observed? Remarks Rec.
M 38   Auriga OC   100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT(AI), GSD 680 Feb-Mar most difficult to find of M 36-38 +
M 36   Auriga OC   100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT(AI), GSD 680 Feb-Mar the brightest cluster of M 36-38 +
M 37   Auriga OC   100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT(AI), GSD 680 Feb-Mar outside of Auriga's "body" +
M 45 Pleiades Taurus OC LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, GSD 680, SM 127 GTAI, 150PDS GTAI Oct-Mar large and nice, particularly in binoculars +
Mel 25 Hyades Taurus OC LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, GSD 680 Oct-Mar very large +
M 1 Crab Nebula Taurus GE   P130 GT, GSD 680, 150 PDS GTAI Feb, Mar very faint, n.f. with 100P, seen with AI  
M 42/43 Orion Nebula Orion GE LT, TS 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT(AI), GSD 680, SM 102, SM 127 Nov- Mar beautiful, particularly at higher magnifications; at higher magnifications, the Trapezium can be resolved +
M 78   Orion GR   P130 GT ??? hard to see...  
M 35   Gemini OC LT, TS 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT, 150PDS GT(AI), GSD 680, SM 102, SM 127 May, Dec-Mar rich of stars and nice +
NGC 2392   Gemini PN   P130 GT Mar guessed a small dot...  
alpha Gem Castor Gemini DS   100P May    
NGC 2237/2244 Rosette Nebula Monoceros GE+OC   P130 GT Feb, Mar only star cluster NGC 2244 seen  
NGC 2264 Christmas Tree Cluster Monoceros OC   P130 GT, 150PDS GTAI Feb, Mar, Apr "Christmas Tree" not recognized in Feb, but in Mar; nebula within the cluster not seen  
M 50   Monoceros OC   P130 GT, GSD 680, 150PDS GT(AI) Mar-Apr nicer than M 48, filled the view  
M 41   Canis Major OC   100P, P130 GT, GSD 680, 150PDS GT(AI) Feb-Apr does not impress in the telescope...  
NGC 2360   Canis Major OC   ??? Mar n.f.? ?
NGC 2362   Canis Major OC   100P, P130 GT, GSD 680 Mar primarily, I saw an "L" shape...  
M 47   Puppis OC   100P, P130 GT, 150PDS GT Mar brighter than M 46  
M 46   Puppis OC   100P, P130 GT Mar M 46 cluster seen, faint but nice; like a nebula at low magnifications; nebula NGC 2438 not seen  
M 93   Puppis OC   100P, P130 GT, 150PDS GT Mar nice at high magnification, only a glow otherwise  
M 44 Praesepe/Crib Cancer OC LT 100P, 100P GT, P130 GT, 150PDS GT Feb, Mar, May very nice also in binoculars; ditto in the telescope +
M 67   Cancer OC   150PDS GT Mar, May somewhat distant OC  

Legend

Column "When observed?" lists, when I observed given sky objects.

Rec.: + = preliminary recommendation of (fairly) easy to find objects; (+) = these objects are nice, but harder to find or require a darker sky; ? = not found or details forgotten

Bino: LT = Leica Trinovid 10 x 25 BC, TS = TS 10 x 60 LE; Telescope: GT means GoTo mount, GTAI means with Atik Infinity camera on GoTo mount, GT(AI) means both configurations

PN = planetary nebula, GE = galactic emission nebula, GR = galactic reflection nebula, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster, DS = double star, SP = star pattern, SC = star cloud

 

Remarks

The above lists contain (almost) all celestial objects that I have tried to observe. For many, I succeeded, for some more or less, and for others not at all. Some of the latter objects are listed as a reminder to try again...

Observation details can be found on the pages describing my observations, as well as on the pages dedicated to the individual celestial objects; the latter pages are linked to in the tables above.

 

References

Books

Websites

Lists of Own Observations

On this Website

 

An den Anfang   Homepage  

gerd (at) waloszek (dot) de

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16.05.2018