(IAAC) Obj: M36, M37, M38 - Inst: Meade 10" f4.5 reflector

Observer: Harold Williams
Your skills: Beginner (< one year)
Date/time of observation: 01/20/98  9:00pm EST
Location of site: Philadelphia, PA (Lat , Elev )
Site classification: Urban
Sky darkness: 3 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 5 <1-10 Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: Meade 10" f4.5 reflector
Magnification: 65x
Filter(s): none
Object(s): M36, M37, M38
Category: Open cluster
Constellation: Aur
Data: mag   size 
Position: RA :  DEC :
I live in the city of Philadelphia, PA. I am always surprised when I
can see anything clearly with my telescope. To make matters worse, I
live immediately next to a commuter train station with lots of yellow
sodium lights. But, on this night I decided to venture out since it
was clear by city standards. I decided to point my scope at Auriga
because it was overhead in the clearest part of the sky. I use a
Telrad which makes locating objects very easy. I didn't hold out much
hope though since it is quite bright around here. I was quite
surprised to come across M37 after a few minutes of hunting. Even
though it wasn't extremely bright, it was quite clear. It was quite
easy to make out many individual stars. M36 was also clear. The
individual stars were brighter, just not as many. While bright, M38
was the least enjoyable because few stars were visible. All in all, I
was quite pleased with my first observations from an urban area. Until
this, I had made regular trips to a state forest about 50 miles west
of the city. Several neighbors came by and were pleasantly surprised
at what they saw. The most common comment was, "Wow".
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