Astronomy Report


Observing Night April 1, 2003


When someone desides that they want to look up in the sky at the shiny object there are many thing that a person might need. To begin with a map of the sky is a good idea. They come in all shapes and sizes. The Planisphere is a circle that comes in many sizes, and shows the brightess stars in the sky. There are also computer programs that can be used such as starry night backyard and starry night pro. A messier catalog is also a useful tool in observing the night sky, it shows everything that has been cataloged in the sky. More tools that will help an observers are magazens with monthly maps and websites. Now that one has one or all of those tool now what?


Depending on the amount of money one can spend getting into this hobby, or career, there is a wide array of tools that can be purchased. On the low end are binoculars, although they can sometime be pricy. One thing to look at when buying binoculars is how many magnification it has and also how many millimeter lens the binoculars have.


Binoculars that are about $100 can be found in 56mm and 64mm.


Binoculars that are about $400 can be found in 80mm.



Telescopes are the next step in observation. A good first telescope for someone without a lot of money or for a child would be a red barrel reflecor telescope. This telescope is about $60 plus someone can buy extra optics for the telescope also. When looking to buy a telescope there are many different types of telescopes, but one thing to think about it go for lens size not magnification. First there is the Newtonian telescope, a dobsonian mount range in price from $200 to $600. It is a very nice telescope to view messier objects. Next is a refracting, german equatorial mount, price range from $100 to $1000. Also there is a Schmidt Cassegrain which has a shorter tube. This telescope can get pretty expensive in the $3000 range. There is also the fork equatorial mount that can be purchased for the telescope. One of the nicer things for someones telescope is a planet cam, or a CCD camera, both can be fairly expensive.



CCD Camera Computer Software Maps


Dobsonian Refracting Schmidt-Cassegrain


There were a total of 15 objects that I found on the night of April 1, 2003. First of all I looked at Jupiter, and right next to Jupiter is M44 known as the Beehive. The Beehive is located in the constilation of Cancer. M45 is known as the Pleiades and is located in the constellation of Taurus. Another object that is located in Taurus is M1, known as the Crab Nebula. Then the next constellation I observed in was Gemini, there I found NGC 2392, the Eskimo Nebula, and M35 and M36. In the constellation of Canis Major was M41. I observed in Canis Venatici the Whirlpool Galaxy M51, and the globular cluster of M3. In the constellation of Orion, I found the nebula of M42 and M43. In Ursa Major I found the Galaxies of M81, the Bode? Galaxy and M82, the Cigar Galaxy. In Hercules I found the Globular cluster of M13. I also found a double cluster NGC 869 and NGC 884.



Jupiter M35


Distance 5.153151au Right Ascension 06:08.9 (h:m)


Declination +24:20 (deg:m)


Magnitude -2.14 Distance 2.8 (kly)


Visual Brightness 5.3 (mag)


Apparent Dimension 28.0 (arc min)



M36 M41


Right Ascension 05:36.1 (h:m) Right Ascension 06:46.0 (h:m)


Declination +34:08 (deg:m) Declination -20:44 (deg:m)


Distance 4.1 (kly) Distance 2.3 (kly)


Visual Brightness 6.3 (mag) Visual Brightness 4.6 (mag)


Apparent 12.0 (arc min) Apparent 38.0 (arc min)



M44 Beehive M45 The Pleiades


Right Ascension 08:40.1 (h:m) Right Ascension 03:47.0 (h:m)


Declination +19:59 (deg:m) Declination +24:07 (deg:m)


Distance 0.577 (kly) Distance 0.38 (kly)


Visual Brightness 3.7 (mag) Visual Brightness 1.6 (mag)


Apparent 95.0 (arc min) Apparent 110.0 (arc min)



M3 M13


Right Ascension 13:42.2 (h:m) Right Ascension 16:41.7 (h:m)


Declination +28:23 (deg:m) Declination +36:28 (deg:m)


Distance 33.9 (kly) Distance 25.1 (kly)


Visual Brightness 6.2 (mag) Visual Brightness 5.8 (mag)


Apparent 16.2 (arc min) Apparent 16.6 (arc min)



M42 and M43 Orion Nebula M1 Crab Nebula


Right Ascension 05:35.4 (h:m) Right Ascension 05:34.5 (h:m)


Declination -05:27 (deg:m) Declination +22:01 (deg:m)


Distance 1.6 (kly) Distance 6.3 (kly)


Visual Brightness 4.0 (mag) Visual Brightness 8.4 (mag)


Apparent 85x60 (arc min)