CAS Observers' Challenge
"The CAS Celestial Scavenger, Planetary Prospector and Lunatics Challenge"
A user-friendly observing schedule with mainly binocular deep sky objects, the visible planets and some of the more prominent features of the Moon. A tripod for your binoculars will greatly improve your Lunar observing.

The challenge is to find the deep sky objects using binoculars or a telescope, only May and September a scope is needed, (just use mine at an observing session if you don’t have one) and describe them and log the date. Find the visible planets and draw them including visible surface features and moons, Venus while showing none of its surface has interesting phases fun to notice. Mars is too far to show much. Jupiter has bands and zones and the Great Red Spot along with four bright moons all in dynamic motion easily noticed in just an hour of observing. Saturn with its system of rings and moons and shadow of the rings on the surface are always a beautiful sight but you need a scope to see it. Finally find and draw a bakers dozen of the most prominent features of our Moon.The drawings need only outline the feature, nothing elaborate and there you have it. Old timers get to help the novice observers and we’ll all learn to be better observers by the lunar drawings.

A convenient Observer's Log form is provided by the Astronomical League. Click Here to download a copy.

January
M-36, open cluster, mag.6, Auriga
M-37, open cluster, mag.5.6 Auriga
M-38, open cluster, mag.6.4 Auriga NGC 1907 seen in same field with scope
Theophilus and Cyrillus


February
M-42, nebula , mag.4 Orion
M-41, open cluster mag.4.5 C.Mag.
M-50, open cluster mag.5.9 Mon.
Aristotoles and Eudoxus


March
M-46 open cluster mag.6.1 Pup. Has planetary visible with scope
M-47 open cluster mag.4.4 Pup.
M-93 open cluster mag.6 Pup
Mare Tranquillitatis and Serenitatis


April
M-48, open cluster mag.5.8 Hydra
M-44 open cluster mag. 3.1 Cancer Beehive
M-81 and 82 spiral and irregular galaxy mag. 6.8 , 8.4 need scope
Plato


May
M-3 globular mag.6.4 Can.Vn.
M-59,60 spiral galaxy mag. 9.8, 8.8 Virgo need scope
M65, 66 elliptical galaxy mag. 9.3 , 9.0 Leo need scope
Copernicus


June
M-13 globular mag. 5.9 Hercules
M-5 globular mag. 5.8 Serpens Caput
M 92 globular mag. 6.5 Hercules
Tycho


July
M-4 open cluster mag. 5.9 Scorpius
M-8 nebula mag. 6 Sgr. Lagoon Nebula
M-24 star cloud mag. 4 Sgr.
Eratosthenes


August
M-11 open cluster mag. 5.8 Scutum Wild Duck Cluster
M-16 open cluster mag. 6 Serpens Cauda Eagle Nebula
M-17 nebula mag. 7 Sgr. Swan Nebula
Apennine Mountains


September
M-27 planetary mag. 8 Vul. Dumbbell Neb.
M-57 planetary mag. 9 Lyra Ring Neb.
M-39 open mag. 4.6 Cyg. Seen by Aristotle
Kepler


October
M-15 globular mag .6.4 Pegasus
M-31 spiral galaxy mag. 3.4 Andromeda Andromeda Galaxy
M-33 spiral galaxy mag. 5.7 Triangulum Pinwheel Galaxy
Clavius


November
M-34 open cluster mag. 5.2 Perseus
M-103 open cluster mag. 7 Cas.
NGC-663 open cluster mag. Cas. Very close to M-103
Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel


December
M-45 open cluster mag. 1.2 Taurus The Pleades
M-52 open cluster mag. 6.9 Cas.
NGC 869 and 884 mag. 5 Persius The Double Cluster
Maginus