Off the Beaten Path With Steve Gottlieb

Hickson 87

Do you find you're returning to the same group of favorite objects season after season because, well, you're just not sure where else to turn? These pages will introduce you to some interesting targets which are off the beaten path -- and will challenge everyone from beginners to seasoned veterans. Some are accessible to 8-inch scopes in good conditions, but many will tax the observing skill of the 16-inch and larger crowd.

Most of these objects were observed with my 17.5-inch f/4.4 Dobsonian from the Sierra foothills in northern California at a site with an average naked-eye limit of 6.5. Many will require using detailed finder charts to pinpoint the location and for some you'll need a narrow bandpass nebula filter. I typically use wide-field eyepieces yielding 220x-280x on deep sky objects and the DSS images accompanying the descriptions generally have corresponding fields of about 14 x 20 arcminutes.--Steve Gottlieb


Index of Challenge Objects

Abell 4Early Winter Hind's Variable NebulaEarly Winter
Abell 31Late Winter Integral Sign GalaxyLate Winter
Abell 33SpringMaffei 1 Early Winter
Abell 72AutumnMarkarian 205 Spring
AGC 539Late WinterNGC 3 Group Autumn
AGC 2199SummerNGC 100 Autumn
Arp 2SummerNGC 2366 Spring
Baade 1Late WinterNGC 3158 Spring
Cave NebulaAutumnPalomar 2 Late Winter
Cederblad 62Late Winter Palomar 12Autumn
Djorgovski 2SummerParsamyan 21 Summer
EGB 1AutumnPease 1 Early Winter
Egg NebulaAutumnPegasus Dwarf Early Winter
Elephant's TrunkSummer Shakhbazian 49Spring
Fornax FourEarly Winter Sharpless 2-68Summer
Frosty LeoSpringSharpless 2-71 Summer
Hickson 1Early Winter Taffy GalaxiesAutumn
Hickson 22Late Winter Tombaugh 1 & 2Late Winter
Hickson 56SpringUGC 5459 Spring
Hickson 87Summerna na