2012 08 20 – NGC1907/H 7.39 and M38/NGC1912

2012 08 20, 1017 UT – NGC1907/H 7.39 and M38/NGC1912
Erika Rix – Liberty Hill, Texas
AT6RC f/9 1370mm, LXD75, 13mm Ethos, 105x
70F, 71% H, calm/clear, Pickering 6, T 2/6

Open cluster in the constellation Auriga containing 30+ stars, 05h 28.0m, +35deg19´, 0.6´, m8.2v, distance 4500 ly

Open cluster in the constellation Auriga containing 100+ stars, 05h 28.7m, +35deg50´, 20´, m6.4v, distance 4200 ly, calculated diameter 21 ly.

M38 is located within 2.3 degrees of M36 and was discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna before 1654 then independently discovered by Le Gentil in 1749. Messier later catalogued it in 1764. It’s a beautiful open cluster of approximately 100 member stars that forms almost an obtuse isosceles triangle with Elnath and Theta Aurigae. It was only after sketching this beauty that I noticed an “X” asterism within it. Turning my sketch upside down, the “cross” was very evident with a pair of stars in each arm of the cross.

I opted to use my 100 degree apparent field of view 13mm Ethos for this observation specifically so that I could include NGC1907 in the same field of view as its northern companion, M38. At 105x magnification, this small compact open cluster resembles a stellar lenticular galaxy set in the middle and slightly south of stars HIP25476 (giant at 6.5m) and HIP25733 (variable multiple star at 6.75m). There are close to 30 9th to 12th magnitude stars within it, but I could only plot around 10 within the hazy backdrop of this cluster at 105x magnification using the 6-inch RC. With more aperture and a small increase in magnification, an observer will be able to pick out close to 30 stars and star chains within this object.

Sketches created with AL template, #2 graphite pencil, loaded blending stump with charcoal, super-fine Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen “S”, 0.5mm mechanical pencil.

The Astro-Tech 6″ f/9 is actually my husband’s telescope that had yet to see first light. He was holding on to it until he could pick up another mount that would be suitable to use with it. I do feel slightly guilty that after all this time, it was me who had first light with this gem instead of Paul. It fit really nice on top of my LXD75 and even though transparency was poor, I enjoyed several hours with it during the night and wee hours of this morning! With any luck, tonight’s sky conditions will be slightly better for a better “test” of it’s visual use.


~ by Erika Rix on August 20, 2012.

2 Responses to “2012 08 20 – NGC1907/H 7.39 and M38/NGC1912”

  1. Erika–an incredibly fine drawing of a pairing of clusters that has been a personal favorite of mine for nearly a full generation. Who could fail to see this beautiful and accurate rendering, and not agree that it just wonderfully evokes a fine eye-view?

    I can assure you that when I get the time I shall append your website to my own site’s article of my favorite, recommended amateur astronomers’ pages.

    Steve Waldee
    San Jose, CA.

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