Finally got some observing time in last night, and on my target list, along with the usuals, was M38, the open cluster in Auriga, and M1, the Crab Nebula in Taurus. I also tried Mars, but the seeing was too bad to make out any real detail.
First stop, M38. This open cluster is a fairly rich cluster, at approximately 200 million years old. It is about 25 light years wide, and roughly 4,200 light years distant. It was discovered before 1654 by Giovanni Batista Hodierna. It has an apparent magnitude of 7.4.
Image Courtesy of Ole Nielsen.
Next was M1, the Crab Nebula. The Crab Nebula is an emission nebula, left over from a supernova recorded in 1054 AD. It was discovered in 1731 by John Bevis. The Crab Nebula is about 11 light years across and about 6,300 light years distant. The outer reaches of the emission nebula are rushing away from the central star at about 1,500 kilometers per second!
Image Courtesy of NASA/ESA.
I should be getting some more clear skies tonight, so look for a possible report on the Quadrantid meteor shower!