Kingly Clusters in Cepheus

by Tom Campbell


July 26, 2003

ObserverTom Campbell
LocationIola, Kansas (Long: 95°24'W Lat: 37°55'N)
EquipmentDiscovery DHQ 8" dobsonian
Eyepieces1.25" Plössls - 25mm (49x), 15mm (81x), 10mm (122x), 6mm (203x), 4mm (305x)
Time10:00pm - 12:00am CDT (03:00-05:00 UT)
TransparencyClear (8/10)
SeeingVery Stable (9/10)
WeatherTemperatures in the 90s. There was an occasional light breeze.

Observing Summary
CEPHEUSNGC-6939, NGC-7142, NGC-7380

I had a garage sale this weekend, so I was pretty tired, but the sky was clear and the Moon was near new, so I decided to do a little observing. I'm glad I did. After some quick tweaking, my telescope was collimated, and the stars looked like pinpoints. The air was steady and the airy discs were sharply defined, as were one or two diffraction rings around the brighter stars.

NGC 7027CygnusPlanetary Nebula10:05pm CDT
RA: 21h 07m 02sDec: +42° 14'Mag: 10.4

This planetary appeared elliptical and was best viewed at 304x. It was bright and with averted vision, the core appeared stellar. Perhaps this was the central star. At low power, the nebula appeared slightly bluish, but the color disappeared at higher powers. No details were seen within the nebulosity.

NGC 6905DelphinusPlanetary Nebula11:15pm CDT
RA: 20h 22m 23sDec: +20° 06'Mag: 11.9

This planetary appeared fairly large and somewhat faint. The best view was at 203x. The shape was not quite round and had a bit of a mottled appearance.

NGC 7380CepheusOpen Cluster11:30pm CDT
CR 452RA: 22h 47m 00sDec: +58° 06'Mag: 7.2

This cluster wasn't very impressive. The best view was at 88x. The overall shape was that of a wavy line. Higher magnification revealed a smattering of much fainter stars, but it was difficult to tell whether or not they belonged to the cluster.

NGC 7142CepheusOpen Cluster11:40pm CDT
CR 442RA: 21h 45m 54sDec: +65° 48'Mag: 9.3

203x offered the best view of this cluster. About 10 stars were visible, of varying magnitudes. The overall shape reminded me of a Christmas stocking. The brightest two stars in the cluster formed the top of the stocking.

NGC 6939CepheusOpen Cluster11:55pm CDT
CR 423RA: 20h 31m 32sDec: +60° 39'Mag: 7.8

This compact open cluster was fairly faint, but it did have several members. 203x offered the best view. About a dozen stars were seen with direct vision and several more popped into view with averted vision. Its shape was irregular, but near the center of the cluster was a square asterism of fairly bright stars.