CANIS MAJOR
by Steve Coe
17.5" f/4.5 unless noted

NGC 2204 Bright, pretty large, compressed, rich, 54 stars counted in the 13" f/5.6 at 220X. Several nice chains of stars with a background of fainter members, easily seen at 100X. Years earlier I saw a "K" shape, 30 stars and a somewhat milky background of stars with one orange 9th mag * to one side using the 17.5" at 100X.

NGC 2207 Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 90 and much brighter in the middle at 150X in the 13". There is a 12th mag star just west of the nucleus and the star is involved within the galaxy. IC 2163 is interacting with NGC 2207, it is pretty faint, pretty small, round and not much brighter in the middle. The two galaxies were never seen as two distinct objects even at 220X.

NGC 2211 Faint, small, elongated 2 X 1 in PA 30, somewhat brighter in the middle at 220X in the 13" f/5.6.

NGC 2212 Very faint, small, little elongated in PA 0, not brighter in the middle at 220X in the 13" f/5.6.

NGC 2216 Faint, pretty small, round, very little brighter in the middle at 220X. Not much, just barely detected at 100X.

NGC 2217 Small, Elongated 2X1 with averted vision, Bright Nucleus at 150X.

NGC 2223 Faint, pretty small, round, little brighter middle at 220X using the 13". There is a 12th mag star at the northern edge of this galaxy. It is a low surface brightness object and averted vision helps quite a bit. NGC 2227 Faint, pretty small, elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 30, little brighter in the middle at 220X in the 13".

NGC 2243 pretty bright, Compressed, Round, many faint stars, looks like a globular somewhat

NGC 2280 faint, somewhat elongated, brighter in the middle, not much at 150X.

NGC 2287 (M41) On a night I rated 8/10 for seeing and transparency at Sentinel this cluster is easy in the 11X80 finderscope, with 11 stars resolved in a rich Milky Way field. Using 60X in the 13" this cluster is very large, very bright, pretty rich and little compressed, with stars of 9th mag on down. I counted 47 stars against a faint glow of unresolved members. There are several lovely chains of stars and beautiful bright orange member near the center of the cluster. Going to 100X provides the best view, the cluster is about 60% of the field of view. I count 83 stars at this power, including many faint members. There is a delicate chain of stars near the orange bright one in the middle. At the edges of the cluster it is difficult to tell where the cluster ends and the Milky Way begins. At 150X it seems that you are seeing all the stars there are to see in this grouping.

Sentinel S+T=6 6" f/6 Very bright, large, little compressed, star mags 8...., rich, many faint members at the limit of resolution of the RFT. Medium orange star in the center of this cluster with many curved chains. Easily a naked eye spot when the transparency is above 5 and it is well above the horizon. Going to 14mm eypiece resolves 83 stars and makes it difficult to mark the edge of the cluster.

NGC 2283 Small, very faint, somewhat brighter middle, marked as EN on Skalnate Pleso Atlas.

NGC 2325 Small, pretty Faint, * on one end

NGC 2327 Faint, Round, Knob on one end seen at 100X, not much

NGC 2345 pretty bright, somewhat compressed, arrowhead shape points to starless region. Star at tip of arrowhead is double. Pretty rich cluster at 150X.

NGC 2354 Bright, large, not compressed at 100X. 40 * in Milky Way field, several dark lanes in group with nice chains of stars. Just seen in 10X50 binoculars.

NGC 2359 Pretty bright, large, Irregular shape. Nebulosity extends out of the 30 minute field at 100X. UHC filter helps the contrast of this object a lot. I have always heard this object called the Duck Nebula because the shape includes a side view of a duck head with a bill. Sentinel 13" 7/10 -- 11X80 just barely seen, 100X pretty bright, large, irregular figure, "duck head" shape seen immediately without UHC filter, adding UHC make the field explode with nebulosity, many wisps cover the field from edge to edge. 220X + UHC lots of detail within Duck head, several dark areas and stars involved. 150X + UHC Best view, much neby around Duck Head and detail within, faint nebulosity to east, bright edge on north side.

Ultimate Star Party, McDonald Obs., Oct. 95, S=7, T=9, 36" f/5--

NGC 2359 the Duck, with 36" with 27mm and UHC shows as much detail as I have ever seen photographed in this object. 14 stars involved and large nebulosity extends out of the field in several directions. Some parts of the nebula are almost spiral nebula in shape. The detail around the "eye of the Duck" or central star is amazing, shows mottling all around it. Going to 16mm and no UHC shows a wealth of detail around the central part of this nebula; small bright areas and dark lanes swirl throughout this object with stars and bright knots in every field. Easily my best view of this object.

Granite wash Mt. 13" S=7 T=9 100X--"Duck" features obvious. 150X with no filter--even without the UHC there is an excellent amount of detail involved within the nebula and 15 stars involved. The nebulosity is brightest on the east side. 150X + UHC--WOW!! Nebulosity all over the field of view, there are streams of nebula out from the Head of the Duck beyond the field of view to the North and Northeast.


NGC 2360 Bright, large, compressed, rich and round. Easy in 8X50 finder. At 100X there are about 20 pretty bright stars with another 50 for fill in. This is a winter favorite.

NGC 2362 pretty bright, pretty large, somewhat compressed, round at 165X. Tau CMA and about 45 stars. Tau has dark band around it, then cluster members. Tau has two companions that form almost a straight line. Tau is white, the two comes are bluish and both are on one side of Tau. Having a bright triple star in the center of a cluster is quite unique and I return to this object often.

Sentinel S+T=7 6" f/6 22mm--Tau CMA is a single star and there are 19 companion members. Going to the 8.8mm pretty large, pretty bright, pretty rich, considerably compressed, stars mags 10...., including Tau. Tau is double, faint and light blue companion to the east of Tau primary star.

NGC 2374 pretty bright, pretty large, not compressed. Seen in finder, 20 * in Milky Way field, somewhat flattened shape at 100X.

NGC 2383 not much at any power, faint brightening, small nebulous spot at 100X.

IC 2165 pretty Bright, Small, Round, found at 165X. Greenish, brighter central section, dimmer outer shell at 320X. Slight blinking effect.


Non- NGC objects

Col 140 is a very large open cluster I have called The Tuft in the tail of the dog. There is a naked eye fuzzy spot at the end of the tail of Canis Major. I have found it to be an excellent area with the binoculars. It includes a wide double, Dunlop 47, which is 5.3 and 7 mag, sep 99 ", which I see as blue and light yellow in the telescope at 100X.

PK 233-16.1 Not detected at 220X using the 13". There is nothing non-stellar at this position on a 5/10 night at Buckeye.

Sharpless 301 Pretty bright, pretty large, irregular shape at 100X on a night I rated 8/10 for seeing and transparency in the mountains of central Arizona. My first observation of this object was from a somewhat light polluted site and I called it faint. All these observations are with the UHC filter, it helps a lot on this object. This nebula has a three branch structure with many stars involved. There are a few detached sections of nebulosity that are out of the 30 minute field. This is an unmarked box on the Tirion Atlas.

Van Den Bergh 96 reflection neby 8/10 evening could not find

Double and red stars

Sirius -1.4 and 8.7 mag, 10" and closing to end of century, get it now! 8/10 night for seeing. Split at 320X in 17.5", It can be held steady for several seconds at a time, then it blurs into an elongated, bright star at 320X.

6 Canis Nice, easy at 100X, yellow and blue

h 3945 beautiful yellow and royal blue, a favorite, easy split at 100X.

Es-Birm 188 Orange at 100X in rich field

W Canis orange in Milky Way field

Mu Canis yellow and light blue, 165X tough split

VY Canis Major orange and blue, wide double. No hint of neby at 100X.

Nu 1 is an easy split at 100X. The colors are somewhat subtle and as a group we often all take a look and keep our opinions about the color to ourselves until the everyone has had a chance to look at the pair and then we blurt out what colors we believe are the "true" color of that pair. Here are the results of just such an informal survey.

Bill Anderson and Dave Fredericksen yellow and green (like seafoam), A.J. Crayon yellow and blue-green, Jerry Maurer yellow and pale blue, George deLange gold and light blue-green, Steve Coe yellow and dark blue ( Alberio-like ). Try this at your next club star party and see what results. If it is a fight, I will deny ever saying a word.