Archive for 'Articles'

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE – FEBRUARY, 2019

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – FEBRUARY, 2019 By Glenn Chaple for the LVAS NGC 2175 –Reflection Nebula in Orion Magnitude: 6.8 Size: 40’ X 30’ This month’s Observer’s Challenge, the Monkey Head Nebula, has an identity crisis where its NGC designation is concerned. Is it NGC 2174 as some star atlases and observer’s guides note, or […]

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – JANUARY, 2019

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE – JANUARY, 2019 By Glenn Chaple for the LVAS NGC 1514 – Planetary Nebula in Taurus Magnitude: 10.9 Size: 2.3’ X 2.0’ This month’s Observer’s Challenge changed William Herschel’s idea about the construction of the universe. Early in his astronomical career, he considered all nebulae to be unresolved masses of stars much […]

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – DECEMBER, 2018

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – DECEMBER, 2018 By Glenn Chaple for the LVAS NGC 1003– Spiral Galaxy in Perseus Magnitude: 11.5 Size: 5.5’ X 2.0’ When William Herschel conducted his systematic sky surveys during the latter part of the 18th century, he placed his deep sky finds into 8 categories, or classes. Class I through III […]

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – OCTOBER, 2018

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – OCTOBER, 2018 By Glenn Chaple for the LVAS NGC 7129– Cluster/Nebula in Cepheus MAGNITUDE: 11.5 SIZE: 7’ X 7’ Young open star clusters are often embedded in the nebula that spawned them. An example is this month’s Observer’s Challenge, NGC 7129. This one-million-year-old cluster was discovered by William Herschel on October […]

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – NOVEMBER, 2018

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – NOVEMBER, 2018 By Glenn Chaple for the LVAS NGC 147– Dwarf Galaxy in Cassiopeia in Cepheus Magnitude: 9.5 Size: 13’ X 8’ This month’s Observer’s Challenge, the dwarf elliptical galaxy NGC 147 in Cassiopeia, has been glimpsed with 7X35 binoculars yet can be a challenge for a 10-inch scope. Its 9.5 […]

SKY OBJECT OF THE MONTH – SEPTEMBER, 2018

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – SEPTEMBER, 2018 By Glenn Chaple for the LVAS NGC 6818 (“Little Gem Nebula”) – Planetary Nebula in Sagittarius MAGNITUDE: 9.3 SIZE: 15” X 22” Tucked away in the northeast corner of Sagittarius is the relatively little-known planetary nebula NGC 6818, aka the “Little Gem Nebula.” Its anonymity is understandable when you […]

Sky Object of the Month – August 2018

Sky Object of the Month – August 2018 (Courtesy LVAS Observer’s Challenge*) IC 1295 – Planetary Nebula in Scutum (Mag. 12.7; Size 1.7’ X 1.4’) This little-known planetary nebula was discovered by American astronomer/mathematician Truman Henry Safford on August 28, 1867. Its listed magnitude of 12.7 might cause backyard astronomers to shy away, but IC […]

Sky Object of the Month – July 2018

Sky Object of the Month – July 2018 (Courtesy LVAS Observer’s Challenge*) Messier 4 – Globular Cluster in Scorpius (Mag. 5.8; Size 26’) For the second straight month, the Las Vegas Astronomical Society’s Observer’s Challenge is a Messier object – this time, the globular cluster M4 in Scorpius. M4 is bright and easy to find […]

Sky Object of the Month – June 2018

Sky Object of the Month – June 2018 (Courtesy LVAS Observer’s Challenge*) Messier 51 – Face-on Spiral Galaxy in Canes Venatici (Mag. 8.4; Size 11.2’ X 6.9’) If you’ve been actively engaged in backyard astronomy for any length of time, you must certainly have trained your telescope in Messier 51. One of the brightest of […]

Sky Object of the Month – May 2018

Sky Object of the Month – May 2018 (Courtesy LVAS Observer’s Challenge*) NGC4236 – Barre d Spiral Galaxy in Draco (Mag. 9.7; Size 22’ X 7’) A galaxy with a magnitude of 9.7 should be an easy telescopic target, right? Wrong! Not if the light of said galaxy is spread across an area 21 by […]

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