AQUARIUS
by Steve Coe
17.5" f/4.5 unless noted

NGC 6962 13" Cherry Rd. 8/10 Pretty faint, small, little elongated in
PA 75. 5 other galaxies in a 20 FOV, all are faint, small and
round, except one which is elongated 2X1.

NGC 6981 (M 72) Bright, pretty large, round, much compressed, much brighter in the middle. Easily resolved at 150X. Has a inner bright
region with a well-resolved outer section which showed 20 stars
resolved on a night I rated 7/10 for seeing. Seen in 10X50 finder.
13" pretty bright, pretty large, much brighter middle, triangular
shape, 12* resolved at 220X on a 5/10 night from Buckeye.
Sentinel 8/10 13" pretty bright, pretty large, round, considerably
compressed middle, not resolved at 100X. 220X--11 stars counted,
much compressed, going to 330X resolved 15 stars. It is seen
as a low surface brightness object in the 11X80.


NGC 6994 (M 73) a small asterism of four stars, looks like a
miniature of the Water Jar at 60X.

NGC 7009 is the Saturn Nebula, a famous planetary with outer ansae
(wing-like projections) and a bright inner disk. It was discovered
by William Herschel in 1782 but Lord Rosse was the first to see the
extending ansae. The projections reminded him of the planet Saturn
and he gave this object its' nickname. Amateurs have been trying to
duplicate that observation ever since.

Using the 13" at Cherry Rd. on a 8/10 night; Bright, pretty large,
elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 75, at 220X the central star and ansae are
obvious and the nebula is light green.

This observation of the Saturn Nebula is made with Helen and Richard
Lines' 20" f/6 Newtonian in Meyer, Az. The nebula is bright, small,
somewhat elongated and light green at 150X. Raising the power to
225X will show the ansae as faint projections from the bright
central section. At 400X the central star is obvious and the ansae
stand out more clearly. One of the bright spots along the ansae
(Helen Lines calls them wing tanks) is visible at this higher power.
All these observations are on a night I rated 7/10 for seeing and
transparency and I found that the UHC filter did NOT help with
either the central disk or the ansae detail. Several observers,
myself included saw the nebula as light green, without the UHC
filter installed.

Ultimate Star Party, McDonald Obs. Oct. 95, S=6, T=8, 36" f/5--

NGC 7009 in 36" f/5 with 16mm eyepiece. My best view ever, a lovely
blue-green oval with a blazing central star. The ansae or wings of
the Saturn nebula are immediately obvious, as is the left hand "wing
tank", a bright knot in the extension of the nebula. The right hand
"wing tank" is seen better with averted vision, both are seen as
thickenings within the ansae. The central section is elongated 2.5
X 1 and there is a small dark region which surrounds the central
star. WOW!!

NGC 7009 in 25" with 12mm, it is a florescent aqua, and the oval
shape is obvious. There is a light glow that surrounds the entire
planetary. The effect of a "large central star" shows a disk star
in the middle.

NGC 7009 in 13" from Eagle Eye site S=6, T=7.
220X--Bright, pretty large, elongated 1.8X1 in PA 75, nice aqua color is easy, averted vision makes it much larger, approx. 50%.
330X--center section is pretty dark, no star seen, however. Wings are seen about 30% of time, averted vision helps to see the ansae. Wing tanks only glimpsed about 10% of the time.
440X--does not help with wings or wing tanks, but central star now seen about 20% of the time. Kinda flashes on and then off.

NGC 7088 is faint, large and elongated 2x1 E-W. This star cluster is
26' North of M2. It took a 38mm eyepiece which gives a one degree
field to get some contrast surrounding this cluster. It is just a
faint glow with some mottled structure and 6 stars superimposed across
the face. I have heard this object called Baxendell's
Unphotographable Nebula, probably because it could be seen but not
photographed with older technology. In the era of long focal ratio
scopes and slow emulsions, this was "unphotographable".

NGC 7089 (M 2) this is the showpiece of the constellation. It is
bright, very large and very bright in the middle at 100X. This
globular is easy in the 10X50 finderscope. At 250X in the 17.5" f/4.5
there are 12 stars resolved in the central core region and a profusion
of stars in the outer corona. All these stars are superimposed on an
unresolved background haze of stars. Lovely chains of stars meander
outward from the bright core and several dark lanes are visible
through the cluster. In the 13" from Cherry Rd. on a 8/10 nite I
counted 41 stars at 220X. There are two dark areas on the SE side.
The entire globular has a lot of background sparkling stars.

Sentinel 13" 8/10 S+T 100X=--!! Bright, very large, very much
brighter middle, many very faint stars. Averted vision makes it
explode with faint stars, there are three levels of brightening.
40 stars counted. 11X80 obvious, even looks like a glob. here.
220X--200 stars estimated by counting 50 in NW quadrant. Many
lovely chains of stars wind out from a bright core. There is
a star of approx. 8th mag. on the north side. Thin dark lane
on east edge of core, where core meets the star chains.
440X not quite resolved to the core, the dark marking is more
prominent. A great view on a steady night at high power.

Sentinel S=6 T=7 6" /f 22mm-obvious globular, bright, pretty large, round, much brighter middle. No stars resolved but very sparkly.
8.8mm never any resolution that I can hold steady, but very ragged edges and sparkly across the face.
6.7mm 4 stars resolved, at edges. All very faint but steady.


NGC 7171 Faint, pretty small, elongated 2X1 and somewhat brighter in the middle at 100X.

NGC 7184 Faint, pretty small, much elongated 4x1 with a bright
nucleus. There is a hint of a dark lane with averted vision at 135X.
There are two attendant galaxies 20' to the NE, they are both very
faint, small and round.

NGC 7189 13" only suspected, no obvious object at this position.

NGC 7198 13" Buckeye 6/10 Extremely faint, pretty small, round, very
little brighter in the middle, this dim low surface brightness object
can only be seen with the hood and averted vision, it was never held
steady. From Dugas Rd. on a 7/10 night--Pretty faint, pretty small,
bright middle, elongated 2X1 in PA 110 at 135X. There is an 11th mag
star on the eastern tip. Best view is had by getting Alpha AQR out
of the field of view.

NGC 7215 13" only suspected very faint, round glow.

NGC 7218 Pretty faint, pretty small, somewhat elongated with a bright
nucleus at 135X. There is a pretty faint star involved in one arm.

NGC 7239 13" Extremely faint, pretty small, not brighter in the
middle, round, tough to see at 135X.

NGC 7247 Very faint, very small, round, very little brighter in the
middle, not much at 100X from Cherry Rd in the 13". Double star
to the west, approximately 10th and 12th mag, separation 5".

NGC 7252 Faint, small, round, not easy to pick out in a field of
faint stars at 100X.

NGC 7260 Very faint, pretty small, little brighter middle, round,
just barely held with direct vision at 135X.

NGC 7266 13" Very faint, very small, little brighter middle, round,
not much at 135X.

NGC 7284 Faint, small, elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 90. A double star
is involved with this galaxy. At 100X it just appears as a fuzzy
double star, going to 165X makes it look like a galaxy with two
stellar nuclei that are separated by one arc minute.

NGC 7285 is a pair with NGC 7284, not much, averted vision makes it
grow in size.

NGC 7288 13" Extremely faint, pretty small, little brighter in the
middle and round, not much at 135X.

NGC 7293 Pretty bright, Very large, annular at 100X. The UHC filter
helps the contrast very much. Seen as uniformly illuminated disk in
10X50 finder or binocs. The central hole can be held steady at times,
but is generally more prominent with averted vision. There are 5
stars involved within the Helix shape. If you are looking for a real
observing challenge for your next observing session, the Helix can
supply a toughie! The picture of the Helix on page 195 in Burnham's
Celestial Handbook shows a very faint edge-on galaxy at the edge of
the Helix Nebula. It is located at the end of the Helix that opens up
near a pretty bright star. Using the 17.5" on a night I rated 9/10 at
8000 ft. in the Central Mountains of Arizona, I could just pick it out
at 300X.

Sentinel 13" 38mm 60X Bright, large, round, nice view. 5 stars
involved and nice double star at south edge. Center is darker,
but no "halo" around the brighter annulous of nebulosity.
100X 7 stars involved, still no hole. Adding UHC makes it very
contrasty with a much darker middle, reduces stars to 5, but a
very nice view. 150X is best view, it takes up about 60% of
the field of view. There are 11 stars involved, several very faint.
The north side of the nebulosity is brightest. Adding the
UHC at this power shows a very dark middle, but not completely
free of nebulosity.

Sentinel S=6 T=7 6" f/6 22mm no filter--moderately easy to see, pretty low surface brightness.
14mm +UHC much easier to see, about 1/3 of field of view, 3 stars involved within nebulosity. Brighter on the east side. Central section is darker than edges, but not completely free of nebulosity.

NGC 7300 Faint, pretty small, elongated 2x1, bright nucleus at 135X.

NGC 7302 Faint, pretty small, round, somewhat brighter middle at
135X. Both NGC 7300 and NGC 7302 can fit in a medium power eyepiece.

NGC 7309 Pretty faint, pretty small, round with a bright middle at
135X. Averted vision makes this object grow much larger.

NGC 7344 13" Very faint, small, little brighter in the middle,
little elongated in a PA of 45, it is tough to determine the PA
because it is so dim.

NGC 7351 13" Faint, pretty small, brighter in the middle, elongated
2 X 1 in PA 15, averted vision makes it grow at 135X.

NGC 7371 Faint, pretty small, round with a brighter middle at 135X.

NGC 7377 Pretty faint, pretty small, round with a brighter middle at
135X.

NGC 7392 Faint, pretty small, somewhat elongated 2x1, brighter middle at 135X.

NGC 7492 Extremely faint, pretty small, round, not much brighter in
the middle at 100X. This is a very low surface brightness globular
with no stellar resolution at any power. If you are ready to take an
observing break, this an easy object to locate. Put Delta AQR in the
field of a low power eyepiece, turn off the drive and take a 13.7
minute break. When you return to the scope NGC 7492 will be in the
field, honest. It was very faint, pretty small, round and not much
even at 165X. It was not easy in the 17.5" on a night I rated 8/10
for transparency.

NGC 7585 Pretty bright, pretty large, round, bright almost stellar
nucleus at 165X. There are two other galaxies in a 30' field of view.
That 100X field will also include 96 AQR, a nice white and blue double
star.

NGC 7600 Faint, pretty small, somewhat elongated and has a bright
middle. It is not much at 100X.

NGC 7606 Pretty bright, pretty much elongated and brighter in the
middle with a stellar nucleus at 165X.

NGC 7721 Faint, pretty large, elongated 2x1, with a somewhat brighter middle.

NGC 7723 Pretty faint, pretty large, somewhat elongated. It has a
stellar core at 100X. The core is about 10" in size at 220X.

NGC 7727 Pretty faint, round, pretty bright nucleus, averted vision
helps the contrast of this galaxy. There is an attendant galaxy about
20' to the West. I believe it is NGC 7724.


Double Stars

Tau 1 (69) AQR Results of several people observing with 17.5":
A.J. white and pale blue
Gerry Rattley yellowish and orange
Dave Fred and Me blue-white and green
Gene Lucas blue-white and pale blue
George deLange white and yellowish

Tau 2 Orange and royal blue

Zeta AQR Split about 10% of the time at 220X, both white.

29 AQR is a close matched pair of white stars that I could notch at
100X and get a clean split at 200X.

41 AQR Split at 135X, Orange and blue

53 AQR Notched into a figure 8 shape at 135X, split in good seeing
at 220X, both light yellow.

69 AQR Split at 100X, white and light blue.

Psi 1 AQR (91 AQR) Easy split at 100X, yellow and royal blue

94 AQR Adm. Smyth called the colors of this pair a poetic "pale
rose and emerald". Regardless of the poetry, I do see this pair
as a nicely tinted yellow and light green.

107 AQR is easily split at 100X and I see this pair as white and light
green.

Struve 2809 Easy split at 100X, white and light blue.

Struve 2838 Split at 100X, yellow and light blue in a nice curved
stream of stars.

Binocular fields

I have always loved to sit back in a lounge chair and just enjoy
the sights of Our Galaxy with a pair of binoculars, it is very
relaxing and just plain fun. There are several places in Aquarius
that are worth some time scanning with binoculars. I recommend the
areas near Psi and Omega AQR. These areas contain some beautiful
curved chains of stars that cross each other and form interesting
patterns in my pair of 10X50's. I would highly recommend looking
at the sky with both eyes for a while.