Try these weekend observing targets

Posted by David Eicher
on Friday, November 20, 2009

Did you ever find yourself out under a clear, dark sky in November wondering what to look at? How about targeting a few objects in the constellation Pegasus, one of my favorite autumn constellations. Here are some suggestions:

Galaxy NGC 7479 is one of the most popular objects for viewing in the constellation, as it shows a distinct, nearly face-on barred spiral structure. Photos of NGC 7479 appear frequently in astronomy magazines and on the web and give this object a familiar form. This galaxy lies at the end of a long string of stars that appear starkly to viewers with a 3-inch scope. In a 6-inch scope, this galaxy appears as a bar with a faint haze surrounding it. Larger scopes show much more detail, however, including the asymmetrical arms arcing away from the central glow.

Pegasus I galaxy clusterHow about targeting the two most conspicuous members of the Pegasus I galaxy cluster (pictured at right)? NGC 7619 and NGC 7626 are worth viewing even in small scopes. The galaxies lie just 7 arcminutes apart; the former shows a bright starlike nucleus while NGC 7626 has a tiny center.

If novelty’s your game, you could also target the first two objects in the NGC — NGC 1 and NGC 2. These galaxies are just 1.8' apart and are easily visible in a 6-inch scope under a dark sky.

Have you ever seen these galaxies? Do you spend time tracking down deep-sky objects in Pegasus? Let us know what your favorite November sky objects are and what you’re viewing them with.

Additional online observing resources from Astronomy magazine:StarDome interactive star chart

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