Pocket Sky Atlas Challenges for September

Sky and Telescope's "Pocket Sky Atlas" is a wonderful resource for all amateur astronomers. These challenges are designed for spicing up your observing.

Pocket Sky Atlas Challenges for September - John Kulczycki (http://)

Sky and Telescope Magazine's "Pocket Sky Atlas" has found a place in the tool kit of many amateur astronomers. The convenient size makes it easy to use at the telescope without requiring a separate chart table. For urban astronomers, the charts are sufficient for the brighter stars visible under urban skies; the charts offer enough detail for star hops with telescopes or binoculars. When taking advantage of a dark sky location, the details of the charts allow for hours of wanderings per page depending on the size of the telescope and the skill of the operator.

The challenge objects are indexed to the star chart pages containing those objects. The idea is to have fun and perhaps expand your observing past the "usual suspects" that can be found because of past experiences. Seeing conditions may not allow finding these objects every night, but they should be visible at some point during the month.

September Sky

As Summer starts to wane, cooler weather and longer nights are upon us. While this tends to be a busy time for most, there is always a little time to take out a binocular, lean back in a reclining lounger outside for a quick scan of the night sky. Overhead, near Zenith, Vega shines bright, while Arcturus still rules the western sky. In the north east Cassiopeia sits on her throne, offering a wealth of deep sky objects to the keen observer.

By 20:30 hours most amateurs should be able to start observing on a September night: no more almost endless waiting for darkness! Remember to dust off and air out the warmer clothes needed this fall for observing sessions, even September nights can be cold and damp with dew.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to get kids ( yours or the neighbours) out to look at the night sky or to the telescope before the weather turns cold. Any astronomy seeds you plant now will most likely sprout in late spring.

Naked Eye:

  • Pisces (consellation) , Page 3 and 5.
  • Alfirk and Altais, Page 61.
  • M31 Page3.
  • Algol Page 2.

Small Scopes and binoculars:

  • Delta Cephei, Page 73.
  • Alnasl, Page 67.
  • M4, Page 56.
  • NGC 752, Page 2.
  • M27, Page 67.

Larger Scopes:

  • Barnard’s Galaxy , Page 66 .
  • NGC 6217, Page 61.
  • NGC 6939, Page 61 .
  • M33, Page 5 .
  • NGC 6891, Page 64.

Bonus Objects

  • UGC 10822, Page 63.
  • NGC 6800, Page 62.
  • NGC 7635, Page 72.
  • NGC 6633, Page 65.

Happy hunting!

John Kulczycki