January’s Sky Challenges

Astronomers and Star Gazers need a challenge when observing. Novices can be easily overwhelmed by long lists of challenging objects. Expert observers can be so focused on their projects, they easily can ignore the challenge provided by observing with different instruments.

By presenting three objects in each of several different groups, the hope is to provide all observers, no matter what their experience level, no matter what type of instruments they have access to, challenging objects to observe. There is even a group for the one instrument we are all born with, the naked-eye. Astrophotographers and astroimagers are not ignored here, either.

No matter what your experience, no matter what you use to observe, get outside and “Keep looking up!”

January’s Sky Challenges

Naked-Eye Challenges

  • The constellation Lepus
  • Seven or more stars of the Pleiades
  • M33

Binocular Challenges

  • NGC 2244, an open cluster in the Rosette Nebula in Monocerotis
  • NGC 2264, an open cluster of about 40 stars in Monocerotis, also known as the Christmas Tree Cluster
  • M46, an open cluster of about 100 stars in Puppis

Small Telescope Challenges

    For 2″ to 6″ telescopes:

  • Epsilon Monocerotis, a multiple star system consisting of a pale yellow A8 primary, an F5 secondary described as steel blue in color, and a 12th magnitude star about 95″ away
  • Melotte 71, an open cluster of about 80 stars in Puppis
  • NGC 2539, an open cluster of about 50 stars in Puppis

Medium Telescope Challenges

    For 8″ to 14″ telescopes:

  • NGC 2438, a planetary nebula in M46 in Puppis
  • NGC 2360, an open cluster of about 80 stars in Canis Majoris
  • NGC 2509, an open cluster of about 150 stars in Puppis

Large Telescope Challenges

    For 16″ and larger telescopes:

  • NGC 2337-39, the Rosette Nebula
  • NGC 2261, an emission nebula in Monocerotis, commonly called “Hubble’s Variable Nebula”
  • NGC 2298, a globular cluster in Puppis

Urban Skies Observing Challenges

  • NGC 2438, a planetary nebula in the open cluster M46 in Puppis
  • M79, a globular cluster in Lepus/li>
  • Meteors

Astrophotography/Imaging Challenges

  • Novice: Star Trails
  • Intermediate: Galilean Moons
  • Expert: B33/IC434 – The Horsehead Nebula

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Welcome , today is Friday, June 23, 2017