Sky and Telescope - September 2018 - 56

SEPTEMBER 2018 OBSERVING
Deep-Sky Wonders

and is known to sport two lengthy
tails of hydrogen whose origins remain
mysterious.
Let's wander up to northern Lacerta,
where dwell the only two stars on the
little lizard that carry Bayer designations, Alpha (α) and Beta (β) Lacertae.
Our lizard's nose and head are deeply
dipped in the misty river of the Milky
Way, so we find more star clusters
adorning this part of his domain.
Alpha and Beta point directly to
IC 1442. This cluster may be confusing because it's plotted 5′ to 6′ too far
northeast on some atlases. In the correct position, the 130-mm scope at 117×
reveals a northeast-southwest band of
faint to very faint stars measuring 4′ ×
1½′. It's flanked by a 9th-magnitude
star to the southeast and a 3-star line of
11th- and 12th-magnitude stars to the
northwest, which roughly parallels the
band. At 164× about 20 stars round out
the group. IC 1442 isn't very conspicuous even in my 10-inch scope at 116×,
but half again as many stars pop out.

u The components of double star h975
are separated by some 52 arcseconds,
making this a fairly easy split under low
magnification. A bit more power will draw
out the faint elliptical galaxy NGC 7426
just east of the star pair.

In a low-power view of IC 1442,
you may notice a hazy patch 22′ to the
north-northwest, NGC 7245. Through
the 10-inch reflector at 166×, it's a
pretty group, rich in very faint stars.
They bunch together in the cluster's
central 1½′ and then thin to outliers
that expand the group's diameter to 5′.
NGC 7245 is about 12,400 light-years
away from us, while its neighbor is a bit
more distant at 7,700 light-years.
While in the area, let's border-hop
into the neighboring constellation
Cepheus, where the 2′ open cluster
NGC 7226 resides. The 130-mm scope
at 63× shows a fairly faint glow with

NGC 7426

h975

an 11th-magnitude star perched on
its northern edge, and even at 234×
only a few feeble stars or stellarings
pop in and out of view. The 10-inch
scope at 166× plainly discloses several
faint stars, while others are intermittently seen. The charm of this cluster
comes through in a large scope. A flower

q Two 7th-magnitude stars act as sentinels for the open cluster NGC 7394. While the stars of this
group may not be physically related, they still pose prettily as a group in the eyepiece. Look for the
yellow-orange double star h1820 east-northeast of the cluster's center.

c

b
¡
LACERTA
`

9

_

+50°

4
Star magnitudes

2

+40°

11

15

k
16

6

14 13

2
3
4
5
6

12
10 8
1

PEGASUS
/
23h 00m

56

22h 30m

22h 00m

S E P TE M B E R 2 018 * SK Y & TELESCOPE

NGC 7394

POSS-II / STSCI / CA LTECH / PA LO M A R OBSERVATORY (2)

h1820

5



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