Richard Navarrete's 111 Best of the Herschel 400

I've been working diligently on observing the Herschel 400 list since July
2001 when I purchased a used Meade 16" dob. I had previously been working
the list on and off for a number of years with a 12.5" Meade dob, 10" Coulter dob,
and 8" Meade SCT. The new scope spurred me on to complete the list. The final
observing session took place at Henry Coe State Park in Northern CA. A large park,
and a favorite spot of local amateur astronomers. The observing area is a ridge almost 2000
feet above the greater San Jose area just above the city of Morgan Hill. The
night started breezy and cool, but this is normal for the area. Not long
after sunset, the wind died, the sky became dark, and I began work on finding
and observing the final 29 objects on the list. They were all galaxies in
Virgo. I mostly used a TeleVue 22mm Panoptic eyepiece, a 9mm Nagler, and
TheSky software running on a laptop. I've also used a 35mmPanoptic, 12mm Nagler,
and 6.7 Meade UWA for my observations. This project would have been much harder for me
without this electronic star atlas. Being able to zoom in and out, rotate the field, and match star
fields to verify found objects was invaluable. I managed to find the remaining objects after three
hours of hunting.

I've been working very quickly through the list, and I did not spend the time
observing each object with the diligence they deserved. In eleven observing
sessions since July 2001, I made over 400 new observations plus the various
Messier and other eye candy objects that are favorites.

All in all, I am very glad I decided to work through the Herschel 400. There
are lots of wonderful objects on the list, enough really to last many years
if one takes the time to study and learn about each object. I will say there
were a fair number of unremarkable open clusters that were quite the chore to
track down and observe, and then gave little to the aesthetic soul other than
the fact that those stars are an enormous distance away and may in fact have
living beings orbiting on tiny balls of rocks peering back at us. O.K., maybe that's
not such a bad thing. Over the course of observing these objects I marked
those objects that gave me the most interesting views. I've compiled
these into a personal 111 Best of the Herschel 400, so I can go back at my
leisure and observe them again.



Richard Navarrete
El Cielo de Luz Observatory
RichardN22@aol.com
Web Page - members.aol.com/richardn22

 

Richard Navarrete's 111 Best of the Herschel 400

observed and compiled by Richard Navarrete

e-mail: richardn22@aol.com

web page: members.aol.com/richardn22

Entire list--with notes--can be found here.

 

Object

Constellation

Type

Mag

Description Other Designation

Scope

Site

Date

NGC 0404 Andromeda Galaxy

10.1

Big and bright. In same field with Beta Andromeda. 12.5" Dob

8/1/99

NGC 0891 Andromeda Galaxy

10

Elongated and bright. 12.5" Dob

8/1/99

NGC 7723 Aquarius Galaxy

11.9

Same field as 7727. Not as bright. 10.1" Dob Fiddletown

9/19/98

NGC 7727 Aquarius Galaxy

11.5

Big, bright and round. Near a bright star. Pretty. 7723 in same field. 10.1" Dob Fiddletown

9/19/98

NGC 5676 Bootes Galaxy

11.8

Makes a pretty pair with 5660. 12.5" Dob Bumpass Hell

7/14/99

NGC 2655 Camelopardalis Galaxy

10.1

Nice! Bright. 16" Dob Henry Coe

1/11/02

NGC 2403 Camelopardalis Galaxy

8.4

Wow! Large and bright. A keeper. No good guide stars. 12.5" Dob Fremont Peak

1/8/00

NGC 4449 Canes Venatici Galaxy

9.4

Elongated. 12.5" Dob

3/13/99

NGC 4490 Canes Venatici Galaxy

9.8

Nice and bright with interesting companion 4485. 12.5" Dob Fremont Peak

4/17/99

NGC 4631 Canes Venatici Galaxy

9.3

Very nice! Long slash. Bright. Small companion visible. Whale 12.5" Dob Fremont Peak

6/5/99

NGC 4656 Canes Venatici Galaxy

10.6

Great view with 4631. Another bright slash. Hockey Stick 12.5" Dob Fremont Peak

6/5/99

NGC 4111 Canes Venatici Galaxy

12

Bright edge on. Nice field with 3 other galaxies. 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 4618 Canes Venatici Galaxy

11.5

Large and bright. One spiral arm! 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 5005 Canes Venatici Galaxy

11.5

Bright, elongated, large, stellar core. 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 5033 Canes Venatici Galaxy

10.5

Larger than 5005 but similar in appearance. A bit dimmer. 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 7789 Cassiopeia OC

6.7

Wonderful open cluster. A rich field of dim stars packed into a ball. Seems almost like a globular. 12.5" Dob Bumpass Hell

7/14/99

NGC 0457 Cassiopeia OC

6.4

ET cluster. Beautiful! Lots of bright stars, rich, with many interesting shapes. ET Cluster 16" Dob LSA

9/14/01

NGC 0559 Cassiopeia OC

9.5

Pretty open cluster. Small, condensed with many members. Nice arc of dim stars. 16" Dob LSA

9/14/01

NGC 0654 Cassiopeia OC

6.5

Interesting irregular shape. Mag 7.3 star in field. 16" Dob LSA

9/14/01

NGC 7510 Cepheus OC

7.9

Cute. Parallel line of stars. Small. 12.5" Dob Henry Coe

8/26/00

NGC 6939 Cepheus OC

7.8

Pretty open cluster in same wide field view with NGC 6946. Used 35mm Panoptic. 16" Dob LSA

9/14/01

NGC 6946 Cepheus Galaxy

9.9

Wonderfully bright and large galaxy. Difficult from urban skies but a treasure from dark sky with OC NGC 6939. 16" Dob LSA

9/14/01

NGC 0246 Cetus PN

8

Cool! Huge planetary and small galaxy NGC 255 in the same field. 10.1" Dob Sierra Buttes

8/22/98

NGC 0157 Cetus Galaxy

10.4

Large, very nice! Between mag 8.5 and 9.4 stars. 12.5" Dob LSA

9/30/00

NGC 0908 Cetus Galaxy

10.2

Large, elongated and bright. 16" Dob LSA

9/15/01

NGC 1055 Cetus Galaxy

11.6

Easily seen. Long, bright, hint of structure. Mag 6.5 and 7.5 stars nearby. 16" Dob LSA

9/15/01

NGC 4314 Coma Galaxy

10.5

Strange shape, elongated, star on one edge, brighter center. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/13/02

NGC 4448 Coma Galaxy

11.1

Nice! Elongated, bright. Next to Gamma Comae Berenices 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/13/02

NGC 4414 Coma Galaxy

10.3

Extended, bright, stellar core. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/13/02

NGC 4710 Coma Galaxy

11.9

Nice edge-on. Bright! 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/13/02

NGC 4565 Coma Galaxy

9.6

8" SCT Fremont Peak 5/?/96
NGC 4038 Corvus Galaxy

10.9

Double galaxy. Antenna. Antenna 12.5" Dob Fremont Peak

6/5/99

NGC 4027 Corvus Galaxy

12

Oddly shaped. Disrupted? Very interesting object. 12 Nagler worked well. 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 4361 Corvus PN

11

Large, bright, round with rough edges. 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 6826 Cygnus PN

10

Blinking planetary. 10.1" Dob Fiddletown

9/19/98

NGC 6866 Cygnus OC

7.6

Very nice! Lots of chains of stars. Spellbinding. 10.1" Dob Fiddletown

9/19/98

NGC 7000 Cygnus DN North American nebula. Observed with C102 WF refractor, 35 panoptic and UHC filter. Awesome! North American neb 12.5" Dob LSA

9/30/00

NGC 7008 Cygnus PN

13

Large mottled ring. Brighter at one end. Central star easily visible. Used a 9mm Nagler for 203x. View was better without filter. 16" Dob LSA

9/14/01

NGC 6905 Delphinus PN

12

Cool! Large, pretty star field. Nice in 9 Nagler and Ultrablock filter. 12.5" Dob

8/1/99

NGC 6934 Delphinus GC

8.9

Large and bright. Well resolved. 12.5" Dob

8/1/99

NGC 5866 Draco Galaxy

10

Beautiful star field and a condensed galaxy. M102 12.5" Dob Fremont Peak

6/5/99

NGC 5907 Draco Galaxy

11.3

A treat! Bright edge on. 12.5" Dob Bumpass Hell

7/14/99

NGC 6543 Draco PN

9

Cat's eye. Cat' Eye nebula 12.5" Dob Bumpass Hell

7/15/99

NGC 2392 Gemini PN

10

Eskimo neb. Fairly dim from Del Valle in 8" SCT. Round, no detail. Eskimo 8" SCT Del Valle

12/3/99

NGC 6229 Hercules GC

9.4

Nicely mottled. Pretty. 10.1" Dob Sierra Buttes

8/22/98

NGC 3242 Hydra PN Large, easy to spot without filter. Ghost of Jupiter. Ghost of Jupiter 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 3621 Hydra Galaxy

10

Huge! Bright with a mottled appearance. 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 2903 Leo Galaxy

10

A beauty. Bright, large, extended. Brighter core. 12.5" Dob Dinosaur Point

3/17/01

NGC 3227 Leo Galaxy

10.8

Easy find with bright partner 3226. 12.5" Dob Fremont Peak

4/17/99

NGC 3377 Leo Galaxy

10.8

Easy to find and bright. 12.5" Dob Fremont Peak

5/15/99

NGC 3607 Leo Galaxy

11

Bright with a companions 3605 and 3608. 12.5" Dob Fremont Peak

4/17/99

NGC 3628 Leo Galaxy

9.6

Fairly bright, extended. Part of Leo Triplet. 12.5" Dob     Spring 1999
NGC 3521 Leo Galaxy

8.9

Big and bright. Dusty core, elongated. 8" f/7 Dinosaur Point

4/21/01

NGC 3395 Leo Minor Galaxy

12.1

Great field! 3396 almost super-imposed on 3395. Also 3413, 3424, 3430 in field. 16" Dob Henry Coe

1/11/02

NGC 3432 Leo Minor Galaxy

11.3

Bright, large, extended. 16" Dob Henry Coe

1/11/02

NGC 2683 Lynx Galaxy

11

Long, narrow, bright center. 12.5" Dob Dinosaur Point

3/17/01

NGC 2244 Monoceros OC

4.8

80 plus mag 6 members and dimmer. 12.5" Dob Dinosaur Point

3/17/01

NGC 2343 Monoceros OC

6.7

Pretty field. 16" Dob Henry Coe

1/11/02

NGC 6304 Ophiuchus GC

8.4

Well resolved with many bright pairs of stars in the field. 12.5" Dob Bumpass Hell

7/15/99

NGC 7448 Pegasus Galaxy

12.1

Another fine galaxy for a 10 inch scope. 10.1" Dob Fiddletown

9/19/98

NGC 7479 Pegasus Galaxy

11.5

Large and bright. Very pretty. Bright star at edge of galaxy. 10.1" Dob Fiddletown

9/19/98

NGC 7331 Pegasus Galaxy

9.5

A showpiece! Elongated and bright. With NGC's 7335 and 7340. Deerlick group 16" Dob LSA

9/14/01

NGC 1528 Perseus OC

6.4

Lots of bright stars. Somewhat Christmas tree shaped. 10" Dob Henry Coe

12/30/99

NGC 1545 Perseus OC

6.2

Spread out with chains of bright stars. A few pairs of contrasting colored stars. Some very bright members. 10" Dob Henry Coe

12/30/99

NGC 1245 Perseus OC

8.4

Very pretty! Salt on velvet. Many dim stars, somewhat compact. 16" Dob LSA

9/15/01

NGC 1342 Perseus OC

6.7

Many bright members. Fairly loose, pretty field. 16" Dob LSA

9/15/01

NGC 0869 Perseus OC

4

Double Cluster Double Cluster 8" SCT
NGC 0884 Perseus OC

4

Double Cluster Double Cluster 8" SCT
NGC 2359 Puppis OC

6.5

Bright double on one corner. Fan shaped cluster. Pretty in 35 Panoptic. 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 2438 Puppis PN

10

Planetary ring within M46. 8" SCT
NGC 2613 Pyxis Galaxy

11

Edge-on. Bright with a beautiful field of stars. 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 6520 Sagittarius OC

8

Pretty. Mixed bright and dime stars. Compact. 12.5" Dob Henry Coe

8/26/00

NGC 0288 Sculptor GC

8.1

Big! Resolved to core. Low on horizon. Check when higher in sky. 16" Dob LSA

9/14/01

NGC 0613 Sculptor Galaxy

10

Large, bright, pretty. Mag 9.5 star in field. Good CCD target? 16" Dob LSA

9/14/01

NGC 0253 Sculptor Galaxy

7.1

Big, bright, long, elongated, detailed. 12.5" Dob LSA

9/30/00

NGC 6664 Scutum OC

7.8

Scattered cluster rich in stars. 12.5" Dob Bumpass Hell

7/15/99

NGC 6712 Scutum GC

8.2

Big, bright, irregular, dark lane. 12.5" Dob

8/1/99

NGC 3166 Sextans Galaxy

11.5

The Eyes. Bright, not quite round. A showpiece! The Eyes 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 3169 Sextans Galaxy

11.5

The Eyes. Bright, not quite round. A showpiece! The Eyes 16" Dob Dinosaur Point

2/9/02

NGC 1817 Taurus OC

7.7

Very nice! Rich, almost like a globular. Definite edge. Many bright and dim stars. 12.5" Dob Fremont Peak

1/8/00

NGC 2768 Ursa Major Galaxy

12

Large, extended, dusty. 12.5" Dob Dinosaur Point

3/17/01

NGC 2841 Ursa Major Galaxy

10.5

Large, bright, extended, brighter core. Mag 11 star involved. 12.5" Dob Dinosaur Point

3/17/01

NGC 3898 Ursa Major Galaxy

11.6

Bright, elongated. Near 3 bright stars that form a line. With 3888. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 3675 Ursa Major Galaxy

10.9

Large and bright. Very elongated with a brighter center. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 3079 Ursa Major Galaxy

10.6

Very large, bright, edge on galaxy. Pretty field. Takes magnification well. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 3953 Ursa Major Galaxy

10.1

Large, bright, spiral. Excellent! Stellar core. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 4051 Ursa Major Galaxy

10.3

Large, bright, extended. Stellar core. Nice view! 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 3726 Ursa Major Galaxy

10.4

Face on spiral. Large, bright. Check again under darker skies. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 3877 Ursa Major Galaxy

12

Next to Chi Ursa Majoris. Bright edge on. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 3893 Ursa Major Galaxy

10.9

Large spiral, bright. Next to 3896. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 3938 Ursa Major Galaxy

10.4

Large, bright, round face-on spiral. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 3982 Ursa Major Galaxy

12

A gem of a field! Bright, round, no detail. In a group of 6 with 3998. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 3998 Ursa Major Galaxy

10.6

Brightest in fine group. Large, round. With 3982. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 5746 Virgo Galaxy

10.1

Edge on spiral, dark lane. Large and bright. 16" Dob Bumpass Hell

7/18/01

NGC 4030 Virgo Galaxy

12

Large, bright spiral. Hint of arms. Dim star on one end. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 4179 Virgo Galaxy

10.9

Medium size, stellar core, very elongated. At the end of a chain of crooked stars. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 4762 Virgo Galaxy

11

Very bright, elongated, gradually brighter towards middle. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/13/02

NGC 4754 Virgo Galaxy

11.3

Bright, round, stellar core. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/13/02

NGC 4429 Virgo Galaxy

11.1

Embedded in a chain of brighter stars. Elongated, bright, with brighter core. Excellent view! 16" Dob Henry Coe

5/4/02

NGC 4442 Virgo Galaxy

10.2

Very nice field with four galaxies. Bright, extended, brighter core. 16" Dob Henry Coe

5/4/02

NGC 4526 Virgo Galaxy

9.6

Excellent! Bright, very elongated, between two bright stars. 4535 in same wide field view. 16" Dob Henry Coe

5/4/02

NGC 4535 Virgo Galaxy

9.8

Very nice! Very large, diffuse. Sprinkling of stars embedded. 16" Dob Henry Coe

5/4/02

NGC 4527 Virgo Galaxy

10.4

Bright, extended. Nice view. Two bright stars on edge of field. With 4536. 16" Dob Henry Coe

5/4/02

NGC 4654 Virgo Galaxy

10.5

Bright, large, a bit extended. Hints of detail. 16" Dob Henry Coe

5/4/02

NGC 4697 Virgo Galaxy

9.3

Bright, fairly elongated. Good view! 16" Dob Henry Coe

5/4/02

NGC 4781 Virgo Galaxy

12

Fairly bright, elongated, some structure hinted. 16" Dob Henry Coe

5/4/02

NGC 4845 Virgo Galaxy

12

Interesting! Fairly uniform brightness, very extended. 16" Dob Henry Coe

5/4/02

NGC 4866 Virgo Galaxy

11

Bright slash. Nice view! 16" Dob Henry Coe

5/4/02

NGC 4216 Virgo Galaxy

11

Excellent field of galaxies. Large and bright, very extended. With 4206 and 4222. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 4261 Virgo Galaxy

10.3

Large, bright, round. Brightest in group of 8. 16" Dob Henry Coe

4/2/02

NGC 6940 Vulpecula OC

6.3

Bright, rich. Twisted chains of stars. 16" Dob Bumpass Hell

7/18/01

 

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