On A Clear Night...

by Richard Navarrete

In a message dated 2/2/2003 1:02:06 PM Pacific Standard Time, Mark Wagner writes:

Before I continue, I have to remark that some of my favorite views of the night tuned out to be through Richard's scope. Richard was chasing open clusters in Monoceros. His "affection" for open clusters is well known. But, compared to many of the barely visible nondescript tiny smudges I would hunt this night, the opens were full of variety and character. I find myself liking them more and more as I continue to observe.

Now that's what I call an observing report. Made me feel like I was there. :-) Any way, Mark was working the BIG Herschel list, and I was working my way through the Herschel II list. I had winter targets to tackle, so that meant open clusters. I actually was looking forward to the task as it had been since October that I'd had the 18" out under a clear, dark sky. Last week at Coe doesn't count as we got fogged. Winter weather hasn't been kind to me. My notes are still in the truck. Too lazy to unpack. I managed to reach and pass log entry 1,000 last night, so that was a bit of a milestone for me. I still have plenty of objects left on the HII list, and that's a good thing. It will keep me busy for many more years. I kinda zoomed through the Herschel 400 list once I decided to be serious about it. I'll be a bit more leisurely with the current project.

Saw some new stuff, lots of open clusters, here's the list.

Two stars mean the object is a member of the Herschel II list. An extra single star means it was an object I found particularly interesting.

NGC 2783CancerGalaxy14Hickson 37a. Small, round, next to two bright stars. With a companion.
NGC 2789CancerGalaxy14Faint glow.
MCG 5-22-20CancerGalaxy15.5Very dim speck in a line with the two bright stars near 2783.
NGC 2283Canis MajorGalaxy13** Verified field, imagined I saw a faint glow of the galaxy.
NGC 2374Canis MajorOC8** Kinda nice. Random scattering of medium bright stars.
NGC 2274GeminiGalaxy13.1** Small, round with a bright core.
NGC 2331GeminiOC9** Loose grouping of medium bright stars
NGC 2275GeminiGalaxy14.1Small, round.
NGC 2236MonocerosOC8.5** * A bit faint. Central bulge of stars with a trail leading off one end. The cluster looks like a comma.
NGC 2252MonocerosOC8** Double chain of bright stars. A haze seems to be surrounding it, or in the background.
NGC 2254MonocerosOC9.7** Small grouping of 6 stars in a horseshoe shape, then a smattering of dim stars.
NGC 2269MonocerosOC10** Small, compact, random grouping of stars.
NGC 2302MonocerosOC8.9** Sprinkling of stars. Mag 6.5 star in field.
NGC 2309MonocerosOC11** * Large scattered grouping of fairly bright stars. Pretty field.
NGC 2259MonocerosOC11** * Similar to 2236. Faint glow of stars with a less dense chain leading off. Looks like the letter "C".
NGC 2346MonocerosPN.** Small, fairly bright. Central star is visible.