TAURUS
by Steve Coe

17.5" f/4.5 unless noted

NGC 1435 Pretty bright, large, wedge or comet shaped with Merope at the tip. This lovely nebula is about 10 arc min wide and 20 arc min long at 150X. From a dark site almost any optical aid will show a glow around Merope, the smallest instrument I have used in a pair of 8X25 binoculars.

NGC 1514 Pretty bright, pretty large, round with a central star of about 10th mag, which is obvious at 150X without a filter. Going to 220X and putting in the UHC filter makes a big difference in the view of this object. There are several dark markings and I noticed that the nebulosity does not touch the central star. This is a nice planetary nebula.

NGC 1555 Faint and small at 250X. Only suspected at 125X, it needed higher power for confirmation. This is Hind's Variable Nebula, it is associated with T Tauri.

NGC 1590 very faint, small, round, not brighter middle, not much at 220X.

NGC 1633 very faint, small, round, very little brighter middle, not much at 220X.

NGC 1634 very faint, small, round, not brighter middle, this is a pair with NGC 1663, it takes 220X to split them.

NGC 1647 Bright, very large, not compressed, pretty rich, 52 stars counted at 60X in a 13". This big, scattered group is more obviously a cluster in the 11X80 finder than it is in the main scope. Using the 6" f/6 with the 38mm eyepiece I counted 39 members in this cluster and saw a fuzzy background of faint stars. With the 22mm Panoptic it covers half the field with 51 stars involved. There are three nice pairs and a delicate triple on the western edge.

NGC 1746 Bright, very large, poor, not compressed, 60 stars counted at 60X. This group takes up the entire one degree field with several clumps of stars in the eyepiece. Using the 11X80 finder, I counted 14 stars.

NGC 1807 Bright, coarse, 31 stars counted at 135X.

NGC 1817 Bright, rich, about 120 stars at 165X. Many dim members "fill in" this cluster. NGC 1817 and NGC 1807 are in the same field of view at 100X, these two clusters are not condensed and form a Poor Man's Double Cluster in the same wide angle field of view.

NGC 1952 (M 1) Bright, pretty large, elongated and somewhat brighter in the middle at 135X. Powers of up to 300X show a brighter inner region and a faint trace of the "Crab" filaments on the best of nights. There are three or four stars involved in the nebula, but the central pulsar was not seen, maybe it was turned off while we were observing!

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

Crab Nebula in Taurus; 25" with 7mm; tendrils of the crab stand out with averted vision, there is a central bright region that contains 3 stars, it is elongated about 2X1.

White Tanks 6/10 S+T 6" f/6 8.8mm--bright, pretty large, elongated 1.8X1, somewhat brighter middle, edges dimmer than center, the edges look "feathery". Using the 22mm at low power the Crab is very comet-like, I see what Messier started his list.

Sentinel S=9, T=10 13" f/5.6 100X--bright, pretty large, elongated, little brighter middle. 330X--filaments seen, they are a low surface brightness feature within the nebulosity. The pulsar and nearby star are split, they are not easy, but there. There are a total of 7 stars involved. A very faint nebulosity surrounds the pretty bright main body of the nebula.


Mel 22 (M 45) Extremely bright, very large, rich and not compressed at 30X in an 8" f/4.5 RFT. There are many lovely chains of stars in the group and a nice triple star near Alcyone. The nebulosity surrounding Merope was easy and several other stars have a dimmer dusty glow surrounding them. I have seen 12 stars naked eye on a transparent evening and a pair of 10X50 binoculars provide an excellent view.

6" f/6 at Buckeye 7/10 S+T, a SAC star party. Using the 38mm Giant Erfle eyepiece I counted 96 stars in the Pleiades, there is nebulosity around 3 stars, Merope is the most prominent. A Great View! Going to 40X makes the nebulae more contrasty and the multiple stars are easily split. The cluster just about fills the field at this power. There is little color, most of the stars are white or blue-white. "Glittering blue-white diamonds shining though lace".

Vicksberg Rd. S+T=7 binoculars
Naked eye--11 stars seen the last 2 are tough
8X25--24 stars, a nice view, the chain to the south is easy, no nebulosity is seen with the little binos
10X50--36 stars, the Pleiades take up the central half of the FOV, the nice chain to the south is striking. The wedge of nebulosity attached to Merope pretty easy, and there is a little fog around two other stars of the cluster.
11X80--64 stars resolved, a WOW view, the nebulosity is easy around three of the main stars in the Pleiades, it is more prominent with averted vision. The triple star is resolved and there are several nice pairs of stars.

Mel 25 (The Hyades) Extremely bright, extremely large, not compressed at 30X in an 8" f/4.5 RFT. This huge cluster does not quite fit in any telescope I have ever used. My best view of the Hyades is in binoculars. 6" f/6--only 1/6 of the cluster fits at a time, not a telescopic object.

Vicksberg Rd. S+T=7 binoculars
8X25--47 stars resolved, this huge grouping almost fills the field of view. The small binos provide a nice view, with many pairs of stars, including the obvious naked eye pair on the East side of the "V" shape.
10X50--55 stars resolved, not many faint members. This cluster fills up the view, Aldebaren is a nice orange color. There are few chains, but several nice pairs of stars.


IC 359 Very faint, small, fan-shaped with a 12th mag star at the southern tip. The UHC does not help with small nebula. It is not marked on Uranometria and the given catalog size is 15'X10', I saw it as more like 3'X2'.

IC 2087 Very faint, pretty small, little elongated 1.5 X 1 in PA 90. Just seen at 150X, moving the scope helps, but the UHC filter makes it disappear. There are very few field stars in this part of the sky.

PK174-14.1 Buckeye 5/10 13" Faint, pretty small, round, little brighter middle, tiny disk at 220X

Sh2-240 or Simeis 147 Very faint, extremely large, filamentary, it is more noticeable in some places, but it is never easy. I used a 24.5mm Super Wide eyepiece with a UHC filter to be able to see it at all. This is a an excellent site about 120 miles from Phoenix at a dark location in the Arizona desert.