URSA MINOR
by Steve Coe
13.1" f/5.6 unless noted


NGC 3172 Faint, small, little elongated, very little brighter in the middle, it is not much at 135X. Polarissma is the only deep sky object for amateurs near the North Celestial Pole and it is tough. One way to make your equatorial mount easier to deal with is to turn it to the east or west while trying to find this little galaxy. There is an 11th mag star nearby to the south.

NGC 5144 Pretty faint, small, round and somewhat brighter in the middle at 135X.

NGC 6068 Faint, pretty small, brighter middle and elongated 3X2 in a N-S PA at 165X. There is a very faint, small companion that is seen with averted vision only.

NGC 6217 Pretty bright, pretty large, elongated 3X2 and somewhat brighter in the middle at 100X.
There is a stellar nucleus at 165X.

NGC 6251 Very faint, somewhat elongated (3X2) and little elongated at 135X. NGC 6252 is very close, it is extremely faint, little elongated and not brighter in the middle. 6252 can only be held steady with averted vision.

Ursa Minor Dwarf (UGC 9749) Very faint, large, elongated 1.5 X 1 at 60X in a 38mm Giant Erfle eyepiece that gives a one degree field in the 13". This is a big, low surface brightness object, so save it for a dark site.

Double stars

Polaris is easily split at 135X. It is light yellow and blue.

Herschel 2682 is easy at 100X, white and light blue. There is a distant third star about 50" away from this pair.

Pi UMI is easy to split at 100X, white and yellowish.

Hussey 917 is a tough split at 320X. I could only get a clean split at 10% of the time with a 12.5mm eyepiece and a 1.8X Barlow lens. The faint star on the south side of the primary would occasionally show itself as a distinct star point in the best moments of seeing.