(IAAC) Obj: King 12 - Inst: 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain equatorial mount
Observer: Dave Mitsky
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 1998/12/10 03:53 UT
Location of site: ASH Naylor Observatory, Lewisberry, PA, USA (Lat 40.15 d N, 76.9 d W, Elev 390 m)
Site classification: Exurban
Sky darkness: ~5.0 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 6 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain equatorial mount
Magnification: 118x, 202x
Object(s): King 12
Category: Open cluster.
Data: mag 9.0 size 2'
Position: RA 23h:53.0m DEC 61d:58'
On this particular night I observed the "Three Kings", three open clusters that
are discussed on page 80 of the December 1998 Astronomy. Appropriate viewing
for this season (even though Christ was probably born in the spring and the wise
men numbered more than three and were not kings but astrologers), the King
clusters were discovered by Ivan King through the POSS. King 17 is located in
Auriga and was my first target. The orange-red variable TX Aurigae is just to
the south east of this faint and nondescript stellar grouping and helped me to
identify the cluster. (King 17 is not listed in the Uranometria 2000.0.) I used
magnifications of 118, 202, and 259x. While I was in the neighborhood I also
visited the open clusters Cz 20 (118 and 202x), NGC 1857 (202x), and NGC 1778
(202x). NGC 1778 is an attractive open cluster composed of over 20 tightly
grouped stars and lies about 2 degrees due south of King 17. King 14 is located
just to the north of kappa Cassiopeiae. It is an open cluster worth seeing.
Two other open clusters, NGC 146 and NGC 133, are in close proximity to King 14.
I viewed all three at 118x. My final DSO of the evening with the 17" was the
third of the Kings. Located to the northwest of beta Cassiopeiae in an area
rich in star clusters (page 35 of the Uranometria 2000.0) King 12 was the
prettiest of the Three Kings. (Both King 12 and King 14 are brighter, but more
sparse, than the typical King cluster.) King 12 is somewhat detached with a
slight central concentration. The possible open cluster H21 lies just to the
Optional related URLs: http://www.msd.org/obs.htm
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