(IAAC) Obj: NGC 1746 - Inst: 7x50 handheld binoculars

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 1998-02-19/20 03:20 UT
Location of site: Medford, MA, USA (Lat 42oN, Elev 5m)
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: 5.6 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 7x50 handheld binoculars
Magnification: 7x
Filter(s): None
Object(s): NGC 1746
Category: Open cluster
Class: III 1/2 p
Constellation: Tau
Data: mag 6.1  size 42'
Position: RA 05:04  DEC +23:49
Well, Sunday night (22 Feb) was another nasty New England surprise:
after a clear night Thursday strongly forecast as cloudy, the week-
end gave us three nights with predicted clear skies, ALL of which
clouded up unexpectedly! Sunday night was the worst... But luckily,
during that unexpectedly clear night, I had time to begin my Astro-
nomical League Binocular Deep Sky certificate observations. And now
as I have nothing else to report on, I have plenty of time to submit
the observing logs for that night to IAAC! Item Three on the AL list
that night (see previous logs for Hyades and n1647) was the fairly
large, bright cluster n1746. This fine little binocular oc showed 6
distinct stars (or concentrations) to direct vision, mags 5-8. These
were set amid a dark field of what seemed relatively few unresolved
stars at 7x. These DV stars, and the few hints of haze beneath, were
scattered across a wide area even in binocs, stretching perhaps 40'.
This cluster was most easily found for me by beginning at zeta Tau
(the fainter "horn" star, near M1), sweeping WNW past the telescopic
multiple 114 Tau, to the pretty, uneven pair 109 & 108 Tau. These two
in turn point NW to a wide (over 2o) binocular asterism which looks
very much like the "X"-shaped head of Serpens. A smidgen SE of the
faint center star of the X, 1746 should stand out well in the field.
** This observing log automatically submitted via the Web from: