Summer Challenges for dob owners

As some may know, I am hopeful that this month I see the arrival of my Zambuto mirror to go into my XX14i.  So in lieu of that I thought I would push my current mirror this next weekend (I am worried about the forecast as it shows monsoonal moisture coming in mid-week here) and then compare and contrast  the performance to the Zambuto mirror the follow weekend after installing and resolving my balance issues that I anticipate I'll need to do.  I'll then post my results of these very faint objects as a comparison.  So here is my list: .  

IC 1296 in Lyra near M57 barred spiral galaxy with mag around 14.8 with low surface brightness.

IC 4617 a 15.3 or 15.5 mag galaxy with low surface brightness.

IC 1276 or Palomar 7, faint globular.  Here is a finder chart in this link.

NGC 6927 Galaxy in Delphinus mag. 14.4, very small, very faint

NGC 6960 Galaxy in Delphinus mag. very faint to faint at 13.5, near NGC 6927

IC 5146 the Cocoon Nebula in Cygnus Very Faint and difficult

NGC 6027 and its group, called Seyfert's Sextet mag. 13.9 to 16.5, six galaxies in close formation; see this link for image and information. THIS IS A CHALLENGE AND great image.

Abell 49 Planetary Nebula in Scutum mag. 16.1; See this link to a Small Wonders article has directions and findercharts near the end of the article. This link is to a sketch with a 16" F4.5 dob.

Abell 70 a Two for one list.  Abell 70 is a planetary Nebula in Aquila with a vMag of 14.5.  There is an edge on galaxy with it that is on the north side.  Here is a link to more info on this fun object.

Also if you want to hunt some doable Abell planetary nebula you can go to this link for a choice of PN or go to this link and do them by season.

Abell 74 in Vulpecca and in the Sky Atlas 2000.  Here are its notes: Abell 74: 74x/118x and O-III: A dim to faint Pn that is only seem with averted vision. First used 118x and I began to notice a very large yet weak glow. Seemed circular though could not make out entire annularity. 74x revealed object a little better but still with averted vision. Object is a large ring with only segments visible, faintly glowing above the background sky. Difficult

Then if there is time, perhaps these . . . late morning.

Deer Lick Group: NGC 7340 mag. 13.9; NGC  7337 mag. 14.6; NGC 7335 mag. 13.6; NGC 7336 mag. 14.6 and faintest of the group.

Personally I am not sure how many I am going to get as time finding might be a bear.  I do feel this is a very challenging list, one that will push the views.  The ones I do find I'll also sketch and record the observatino digitally to compare the view when I replace the stock XX14i mirror with my new Zambuto mirror.  Even for others I think this makes a good list to go after for one or two nights. So the question I have, up for a challenge to hunt these down in July or August?


  1. Anonymous7/09/2012

    Hi Jay,

    I've got another Summer Challenge for you too.

    Sometimes the most "ordinary" DSO can hold some surprises. M7 is one of them. Within its 80 arc minutes of size lie some 7 planetary nebulae, three other open clusters, one globular cluster and a cris-cross network of dark lanes and nebulae.

    The other surprise of M7 is that aperture isn't necessary to spy out many of these details. On the contrary. For the dark lanes and nebulae binoculars or a small aperture rich field telescope are your best friend! The globular cluster can be spied out with an 8" scope close to M7's core. It is a faint cluster, heavily obscurred by interstellar dust, resisting resolution with anything below 14" with high magnification. Yet it makes for a delightful vista as it sits between M7's core and one of the other open clusters.

    All of the PN's in M7 are small. Yet they will make for an interesting hunt by "blinking" with an OIII filter.

    All of the open clusters are easily visible in a scope. The make for a fantastic contrast with the brilliance of the stars of M7, and the fainter, almost ruby like appearance of the stars of these other OC's in comparison.

    Clear skies,


  2. Alex,

    Thank you!!! I'll add this to my list. Some very exciting objects there.

  3. Hi Jay. I just discovered your blog today. Great stuff! I will be checking back regularly. Keep up the good work.
    I just purchased a 12" Lightbridge and i am excited to explore the heavens with my new light-bucket.
    Eventhough i live in the heavily light polluted Los Angeles, i will try to drive out to dark sites and check out your observations.
    Clear Skies!

    Alex Aguilera