Sky Object(s) of the Month

OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – MAY, 2019

OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – MAY, 2019 By Glenn Chaple NGC 4036 – Lenticular Galaxy in Ursa Major (Mag: 10.7 Size: 3.8’ X 1.0’) For the third month in a row, the Observer’s Challenge brings us face-to-face with a pair of galaxies – this time, in Ursa Major. Our main quest is the lenticular galaxy NGC 4036 […]

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OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – APRIL, 2019

OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – APRIL, 2019 By Glenn Chaple NGC 2964/2968 – Galaxies in Leo (NGC 2964 Mag: 11.3 Size: 3.0’ X 1.7’) (NGC 2968 Mag: 11.8 Size 2.2’ X 1.5’) As was the case last month, our Observer’s Challenge consists of a pair of galaxies – in this case, NGC 2964 and NGC 2968, located […]

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OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – MARCH, 2019

OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – MARCH, 2019 By Glenn Chaple NGC 2300 – Elliptical Galaxy in Cepheus (Magnitude: 11.0 Size: 3.2” X 2.8’) Ask a veteran deep-sky observer to name an NGC object close to Polaris, he or she will mention the open cluster NGC 188, located in Cepheus just 3½ degrees to its south. We can […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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