GEMINI
by Steve Coe
13" f/5.6 unless noted

NGC 2129 Pretty bright, pretty small, not compressed, 22 stars counted at 100X. Several nice pretty bright stars involved.

NGC 2158 Pretty bright, pretty small, very compressed, very rich, just barely resolved at 100X, going to 165X brings out more stars. I have seen this cluster with a wedge or arrowhead shape on a variety of nights using many different apertures. My best view of this cluster was in Richard and Helen Lines' 20" f/6 at 200X. The stars filled the field of view and it was difficult to tell where the cluster ended and the Milky Way began.

NGC 2168 (M 35) Bright, large, not compressed and very rich at 60X using my 38mm Giant Erfle eyepiece. There is a lovely orange star near the center of the cluster. This cluster is just seen naked eye from my best observing locations in the mountains of central Arizona. In my 10X50 binoculars M 35 is resolved with about 20 stars displayed. One of my best views of this object was with an 8" f/4.5 and a 20mm Erfle eyepiece. The almost 2 degree field framed the cluster nicely and NGC 2158 was easily seen to the SW. Lord Rosse counted 300 stars in this cluster, I will check that out when I get my 72" working.

6" f/6 Sun Valley Parkway 5/10 S+T 40X 74 stars counted, very bright, very large, somewhat compressed, very rich. There is a lovely chain of 12 stars on the north side and it ends in a light orange star. There are many dark lanes that wind their way through the cluster. Going to the 14mm EP shows off many faint members and is also a great view of this famous object.

NGC 2234 Pretty faint, pretty small, not compressed. 10 stars in a Milky Way field at 135X.

NGC 2266 Pretty bright, pretty small, rich, somewhat compressed 50 stars counted at 165X. Several members are pretty bright.

NGC 2304 Faint, pretty small, somewhat compressed. 11 stars in a 5 arc minute area. Curved "comma" shape to the cluster.

NGC 2331 Pretty bright, large, not compressed, about 25 stars in a 15 arc minute area, includes a small group in a ring shape at 100X.

NGC 2339 Faint, pretty small, not brighter in the middle, little elongated, not much at 100X.

NGC 2355 Pretty bright, pretty large, much compressed. About 80 stars of a wide variety of mags with a bright yellow star in the middle. It can be seen in the 11X80 finder, this fine cluster has many curved lines of stars at 135X.

Granite Wash Mt. S=8 T=9 WOW 13" 11X80 tiny fuzzball next to 7th mag star 100X--pretty bright, pretty small, pretty rich, considerably compressed. 26 stars counted with fuzzy background. Averted vision shows the background as grainy, so use higher power. 150X--32 stars counted, a much better view. The cluster is about 50% of the field of view. Double star on the east side is now seen as triple with delicate 13th mag companion. The "double" star is yellow and light blue, faint one is white. All the stars seem resolved. 220X adds nothing.

Salome S+T=7 6" f/6 22mm pretty bright, pretty large, much compressed, 4 stars resolved. 14mm best view. 14 stars resolved, with a very grainy background, another 12 stars pop out with averted vision. Lots of very faint members at the limit of 6". 8.8mm is too much power, stars dissappear, only 6 resolved.

NGC 2371-2372 Bright, large, elongated box shape at 100X. Higher powers bring out much structure. Using 200X on a night I rated 7/10, a central star could be held with direct vision. This planetary is grey at all powers. Going to 320X has this object appear as a figure 8 with a star involved, a dark lane cuts the "8" shape into two fairly equal pieces. I am certain this is why this planetary got two NGC numbers.

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

NGC 2371 and 2372 is grey in color with the 36" and 12mm. There are two sections and dim nebulosity between, with a central star between the two parts. One of the parts is obviously brighter than the other.

Sentinel star gaze 25 Apr 98 13" 8/10 100X bright, pretty small, elongated 1.5X1 in PA 135, double nature seen 10% of the time with averted vision. 220X + UHC Elongated 2X1 now, west side contains a bright "blob". with the filter the faint outer nebulosity is seen, never easy but held steady with averted vision, brighter on north side. central star held about 30% of the time. 330X--great view, double object is obvious the two nebulae are split with a thin dark lane between them. The west lobe is brighter and there is a faint, 13th mag star just between the two lobes.

NGC 2392 Pretty bright, large and round, with obvious central star at 100X. At 240X two rings surround the star and several dark markings appear. This object has been light green in every telescope I have ever owned. In the 13" it takes a great night, but the features which make up the "face" of the Eskimo Nebula can be seen.

Ultimate Star Party, McDonald Obs., Oct. 95, S=7, T=9, 25" f/5--

Eskimo Neb 25" 12mm; beautiful, dark green color, dark lane around the central star, several small dark markings within neb.; averted vision shows a fuzzy annulus surrounding the entire nebula. The "face" of the Eskimo is obvious once you orient your eye correctly and see the markings as a human face with a fur monk's hood.

Sentinel Star Gaze 24 Apr 98 13" 8/10 100X-bright, pretty large, round, bright nucleus, even at low power a nice aqua disk with obvious central star. Averted vision is almost startling--straight on is star only, averted vision is big, bright disk. There is a bright star, about 8th mag to the north and an 11th mag star just to the NW of the nebula. Pumping the power to 440X is a great view. The central star is still obvious and stands out from the nebula nicely. The disk is BIG and there are several dark markings. Two are curved around the central star from the "face" of the Eskimo. There is a fainter outer rim of nebulosity that looks like a "fur collar" in photos from large scopes. A terrific view of a terrific object, lots of fine detail.

NGC 2395 Bright, large, somewhat compressed. 40 stars counted at 100X. Seen with 11X80 finder. This nice cluster is elongated 2X1.

NGC 2420 Bright, large, compressed. 30 stars counted at 100X. An unresolved background of stars persisted even at 165X. A lovely curved chain of stars around the central clustering has the shaped of Corona Borealis, look for yourself.

IC 443 Extremely faint, large, elongated, irregular shape. Seen only with UHC filter, a dim wisp at 100X. Borrowing Chris Schur's OIII filter helps some, but this is still a difficult nebula. I would not have found this supernova remnant if it had not been for Uranometria 2000 providing the exact position. I also tried putting a piece of cloth over my head and found it helped some.

IC 444 Very faint, pretty large, irregularly round, star 12 Gem in the center, the UHC filter is no help. Averted vision does help this low surface brightness nebula.

IC 2157 Pretty faint, pretty small, not compressed. 19 stars counted at 100X. On a better night, which I rated 8/10, I counted 28 stars, but this cluster is still not much.

J 900 Pretty bright, very small, somewhat elongated, grey-green in color. This object can be found at 100X and going to 285X with averted vision makes it grow. From R. Jonckheere PN catalog early in this century

Abell 21 Faint, pretty large, elongated, irregular shape. Quite noticeable at 100X with the UHC filter. It has a half moon shape with the southern end brighter and several stars involved. This is the object marked PK205+14.1 on U 2000 chart 184. It is called the Medusa Nebula in Sky Cat 2000. Anybody know why?

PK189+ 7.1 is also M1-7. This is planetary was just seen as non-stellar at 100X in the 13", going to 220X makes it an obvious disk that is pretty bright, pretty small and smooth disk that is very light grey-green in color. There is no star seen and the nebula is very little elongated, 1.2X1 in PA 135 degrees. The UHC filter really helps the contrast of this object. It is located in a rich, Winter Milky Way field of view. 330X very rarely (5%) a central star is glimpsed at high power.


Sharpless 2-247 Extremely faint, large, roundish at 100X with the UHC filter. Very dim blob with 5 stars involved, rocking the scope helps increase the contrast some.


Double Stars


Gamma GEM Rev. Webb says that in a low power eyepiece stars radiate out in all directions from Gamma GEM. He is right! Put in a low power and the stars look like a starfish, with arms outward from Gamma, a very fascinating effect.

Delta GEM Split at 165X, white and bluish.

Epsilon GEM Very wide, yellow and bluish.

Mu Gem Wide at 100X, yellow and blue.

Lambda Gem Split at 165X, large magnitude difference, blue-white and greenish. The "pendulum" effect is very noticeable on this star. Tap the tube and the secondary "swings around" the primary.

15 Gem Easy split at 100X, deep yellow and blue. A mini Alberio.

20 Gem Split at 100X, yellow and white, almost matched mags.

38 Gem Just split at 100X, better at 165X, white and light blue.

Struve 830 Split at 100X, one yellow, one white and one blue. Forms a 30-60-90 triangle.

Struve 1108 Easy at 100X, yellow and blue. In a very nice, rich Milky Way field.

Struve 1140 Just split at 100X, better at 165X, yellow and a lovely sky blue. There is another wide pair to the SW about 15 arc minutes.