Let’s Party for January
Astronomical objects for public (and private) star parties, arranged by type.
by Fulton Wright, Jr.
Prescott Astronomy Club

Flashy, deep-sky objects, visible in the middle of the month, at the end of astronomical twilight, 7:10 PM this month, (when it really gets dark). This list customized for Prescott, Arizona, should work well anywhere in the state, and be usable anywhere in the old 48 states.

**Double Stars (2 or 3 stars, close together)**

Name: Gamma Andromedae
Alt name: Almach
Magnitudes: 2.1 & 5.0
Separation: 10 arc-seconds
R.A.: 2hr 5min
Dec.: +42deg 45′

Name: Gamma Arietis
Alt name: Mesarthim
Magnitudes: 3.9 & 4.6
Separation: 7 arc-seconds
R.A.: 1hr 55min
Dec.: +19deg 23′

**Open Clusters (about 50 bright stars)**

Name: M37
Alt name: NGC2099
Magnitude: 5.6
Size: 14arc-minutes
R.A.: 5hr 53min
Dec.: +32deg 33′

Name: Double Cluster
Alt name: NGC869 and 884
Magnitude: 5.3 and 6.1
Size: 18 and 18 arc-minutes, centers 28 arc-minutes apart
R.A.: 2hr 22min
Dec.: +57deg 12′

Name: M 45
Alt name: Pleiades
Magnitude: 1.5
Size: 120 arc-minutes
R.A.: 3hr 48min
Dec.: +24deg 10′

**Globular Clusters (about 200,000 dim stars)**

Name: M2
Alt name: NGC7089
Magnitude: 6.5
Size: 16 arc-minutes
R.A.: 21hrs 34min
Dec.: -0deg 45′

Name: M15
Alt name: NGC7078
Magnitude: 6.2
Size: 18 arc-minutes
R.A.: 21hrs 31min
Dec.: +12deg 15′

Name: M79
Alt name: NGC1904
Magnitude: 7.7
Size: 10 arc-minutes
R.A.: 5hrs 25min
Dec.: +24deg 31′

**Galaxies (about 200,000,000 very dim and distant stars)**

Name: M31 (M32 & M110)
Alt name: Andromeda galaxy
Magnitude: 3.4 (7.9 & 8.0)
Size: 180 x 70 arc-minutes (8 x 5 & 16 x 10)
R.A.: 0hr 44min
Dec.: +41deg 22′

Name: M77
Alt name: Cetus A
Magnitude: 9.0
Size: 6 x 6 arc-minutes
R.A.: 2hr 44min
Dec.: +0deg 4′

**Diffuse Nebulae (gas and dust lit by a nearby star)**

Name: M42
Alt name: Orion Nebula
Magnitude:
Size: 85 x 60 arc-minutes
R.A.: 5hrs 36min
Dec.: -5deg 26′

Bame: NGC2239
Alt name: Rosette Nebula
Magnitude: 5.5
Size: 80 x 60 arc-minutes
R.A.: 6hrs 31min
Dec.: +5deg 2′

**Planetary Nebulae (gas shell from exploding star, looks like Uranus in telescope)**

Name: NGC1535
Alt name: Cleopatra’s Eye
Magnitude: 9.4
Size: 0.8 arc-minutes
R.A.: 4hr 15m
Dec.: -12deg 42′

[This is a first draft of the first month of a year long project. I would be happy to get feedback. Did I make any mistakes? Did I leave out your favorite object? Is there information I should include or leave out? Do you have any other suggestions? Please email me at nancyfulton34@nullicloud.com.]

 


 

Let’s Party for February
Astronomical objects for public (and private) star parties, arranged by type.
by Fulton Wright, Jr.
Prescott Astronomy Club

Flashy, deep-sky objects, visible in the middle of the month, at the end of astronomical twilight, 7:40 PM in February, (when it really gets dark). This list customized for Prescott, Arizona, should work well anywhere in the state, and be usable anywhere in the old 48 states.

Double Stars (2 or 3 stars, close together)

name: Sigma Orionis (triple star) (another double nearby)
alt name: SAO 132406
Magnitudes: 3.8, 6.3, 6.6
separation: 13 arc-seconds, 42 arc-seconds
R.A.: 5hrs 39min
Dec.: -2deg 36′

name: Alpha Gemini (bright)
alt name: Castor, SAO 60198
magnitudes: 1.6 & 3.0
separation: 5 arc-seconds
R.A.: 7hr 35min
Dec.: 31deg 53′

name: Gamma Andromedae (colorful)
alt name: Almach, SAO 37734
magnitudes: 2.1 & 5.0
separation: 10 arc-seconds
R.A.: 2hr 5min
Dec.: +42deg 45′

name: Gamma Arietis
alt name: Mesarthim, SAO 92681
magnitudes: 3.9 & 4.6
separation: 7 arc-seconds
R.A.: 1hr 55min
Dec.: +19deg 23′

Open Clusters (about 50 bright stars)

name: Double Cluster
alt name: NGC 869 and NGC 884
magnitude: 5.3 and 6.1
size: 18 and 18 arc-minutes, centers 28 arc-minutes apart
R.A.: 2hr 22min
Dec.: +57deg 12′

name: M 37
alt name: NGC 2099
magnitude: 5.6
size: 14 arc-minutes
R.A.: 5hr 53min
Dec.: +32deg 33′

name: M 45 (binocular object)
alt name: Pleiades
magnitude: 1.5
size: 120 arc-minutes
R.A.: 3hr 48min
Dec.: +24deg 10′

Globular Clusters (about 200,000 dim stars) (this is not a good season for globulars.)

name: M 79
alt name: NGC1904
magnitude: 7.7
size: 10 arc-minutes
R.A.: 5hrs 25min
Dec.: +24deg 31′

Galaxies (about 200,000,000 very dim and distant stars)

name: M 31 (M 32 & M 110)
alt name: Andromeda galaxy
magnitude: 3.4 (7.9 & 8.0)
size: 180 x 70 arc-minutes (8 x 5 & 16 x 10)
R.A.: 0hr 44min
Dec.: +41deg 22′

name: M 82 and M 81
alt name: Bode’s nebula, NGC 3031 and NGC 3034
magnitudes: 6.8 and 8.1
size: 21 x 11, 11 x 5 arc-minutes, 37 arc-minutes apart
R.A.: 9hrs 55min
Dec.: +69deg 55′

name: M 77
alt name: Cetus A
magnitude: 9.0
size: 6 x 6 arc-minutes
R.A.: 2hr 44min
Dec.: +0deg 4′

Diffuse Nebulae (gas and dust lit by a nearby star)
(The Orion Nebula is by far the best.)

name: M 42
alt name: Orion Nebula
magnitude:
size: 85 x 60 arc-minutes
R.A.: 5hrs 36min
Dec.: -5deg 26′

name: NGC 2261
alt name: Hubble’s Variable Nebula (small and dim)
magnitude: 9
size: 4 x 2 arc-minutes
R.A.: 6hrs 39min
Dec.: +8deg 45′

name: NGC 2024
alt name: Flame Nebula
magnitude: 10
size: 8 x 7 arc-minutes
R.A.: 5hrs 42min
Dec.: -1deg 52′

Planetary Nebulae (gas shell from exploding star, looks like Uranus in telescope)

name: NGC 2392
alt name: Eskimo Nebula
magnitude: 9.2
size: 0.8 arc-minutes
R.A.: 7hrs 29min
Dec.: +20deg 55′

name: NGC 1535
alt name: Cleopatra’s Eye
magnitude: 9.4
size: 0.8 arc-minutes
R.A.: 4hr 15min
Dec.: -12deg 42′

name: NGC 246
alt name: Skull Nebula
magnitude: 10.4
size: 3.7 arc-minutes
R.A.: 0hrs 47min
Dec.: -11deg 52′

Miscellanous (Supernova Remnant)

name: M 1
alt name: Crab Nebula
magnitude: 8.4
size: 6 arc-minutes
R.A.: 5hrs 34min
Dec.: 22deg 01′

[ This is a first draft of the second month of a year long project. I would be happy to get feedback. Did I make any mistakes? Did I leave out your favorite object? Is there information I should include or leave out? Do you have any other suggestions? Please email me at nancyfulton34@nullicloud.com .]