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TOTM

The Official Sky-Watcher Target of the Month Challenge

Official Rules:

  1. Target is announced at the beginning of each month LIVE on the Sky-Watcher What's Up? Webcast, websitesocial media, and e-newsletter
  2. Imaging only - Must provide an image by the end of the month
  3. Email image and details to totm@skywatcherusa.com
  4. Must provide your name, equipment, image specifications, image file, FITS file, and mailing address
  5. Include your social media handles if you would like us to tag you in any future posts of your work
  6. US and Canada only (please include phone # for Canada addresses)
  7. All valid submissions will receive an official, embroidered, adhesive TOTM patch and a possible inclusion in Sky-Watcher's social media, E-newsletters, and web site
  8. Each new year will feature a new patch design and/or color scheme

 

Announcing the 2024 Official TOTM Imaging Contest 

  1. Normal monthly TOTM rules apply, US and Canada only
  2. Each month will feature a winner judged by the Sky-Watcher USA HQ team
  3. From that list of 12 winners our panel of judges will pick a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner
  4. Winners will be emailed their gift vouchers for purchase of Sky-Watcher products from our website
  5. Runners up out of the final pool of 12 will recieve a consolation prize TBD
  6. 1st place: $3000 
  7. 2nd place: $1000
  8. 3rd place: $500

Good Luck!

 

 

July 2024

Rho Ophiuchi, AKA IC 4603

Constellation: Ophiuchus
RA: 16h 28m 06s
Dec: –24° 32.5′
Distance: 460 light years
Apparent mag: 4.63
.

June 2024

NGC 4435-4438, AKA the Eyes Galaxies

 

Constellation: Virgo
RA: 12h 27m 45.6s
Dec: +13° 00' 31" 
Distance: 52 million ly
Apparent mag: +10
Absolute mag: 12
AKA: Arp 120

May 2024

Abell 35

 

Constellation: Hydra
Right ascension: 12h 53m 33s 
Declination: -22° 52′ 23″
Apparent magnitude: (V) 12-14
Apparent size (V): 12' x 12'

 

April 2024

The Solar Eclipse - Any Phase

 

Constellation: Pisces
UT Time 2024-04-08 18:17:19
Sun Altitude 70°
Sun RA 1h 11m 37.0s
Sun Decl 7° 35' 26.7"
Moon RA 1h 11m 36.9s
Moon Decl 7° 35' 26.7"

 

March 2024

Jones-Emberson 1

Constellation:Lynx
RA: 07h 57m 51.628
Dec: +53° 25′ 16.96
Apparent Magnitude: 14
Distance: 1600 light years

 

February 2024

Hechathorn-Fesen-Gull 1

Constellation: Cassiopeia
Right ascension: 03h03m31s.7
Declination: +64°55′22″
Distance: 1600 light-years
Apparent magnitude: ~15
Apparent dimensions: 14.5′ in diameter surrounding a 9′ diameter central region

January 2024

Sh2-308, The Dolphin Head Nebula

Right ascension 06h 54m 13s
Declination −23° 55′ 42″
Distance 4530 ly
Apparent magnitude (V) 7.0
Apparent dimensions (V) 35′×35′
Constellation Canis Major

 

December 2023

LBN 762: Drunken Dragon nebula

Constellation: Aries
RA: 03h 01m
Dec:  +17° 17′
Apparent Magnitude: LOL good luck!

 

November 2023

vdB 1 (LBN 578)

Constellation: Cassiopeia
RA: 0h 11m
Dec:  +57° 29′
Apparent Magnitude: Really faint?
Apparent size: 1.71 x 1.15 (deg)
Distance: 1600ly
AKA Magakian 3

 

October 2023

Mayall 2

Constellation: Andromeda
Object type: Extra-galactic globular cluster
RA: 00h 32m 46.51s
Dec: +39° 34′ 39.7″
Distance: 2.52 ± 0.14 Mly
Mag. +13.81
Angular size: 0.283 x 0.283 arcminutes

 

September 2023

LDN 1235 The Shark nebula

Image Credit: Kevin LeGore
Constellation: Cepheus
RA: 22h06m34s.77
Dec: +73°0851.5
Distance: 650 ly
Mag. n/a
Object Type: Dark/Reflection nebula

August 2023

Barnard 150

Image Credit: Kevin LeGore
Constellation: Cepheus
RA: 20h 50m 40s
Dec: 60° 18′ 00″
Distance: 1200 ly
Mag. n/a
Apparent Dimensions: 1°

AKA IC Seahorse Nebula

July 2023

The Blue Horsehead Nebula

Image Credit: NASA/Mario Cogo

Constellation: Scorpius
RA 16h 11m 58.6s
Dec −19° 27′ 17″


Distance 400 ly
Radius 40 ly


AKA IC 4592

June 2023

Abell 039

Image Credit: NASA APOD / George Jacoby (WIYN Obs.) et al., WIYN, AURA, NOAO, NSF

 

Constellation: Hercules
RA  16h 27m 33.737s
Dec  +27° 54′ 33.44″


Distance  3.3 kly 


Apparent magnitude  13.7, Central Star: 15.59
Apparent dims .155.1″ × 154.5″

 

May 2023

NGC 4762 - The Paper Kite Galaxy

Image by Kevin LeGore, Esprit 150

Constellation: Virgo
RA: 12h 52m 56.05s
Dec: +11° 13′ 51″

Distance: 58 Mly

Apparent magnitude (V) 11.12

 

April 2023

The Box Galaxy Cluster

Image: http://www.jwinman.com/starcharts/NGC%204169%20chart.htm
Constellation: Coma Berenices

    RA     12h 12m 18.7s
Dec    +29° 10' 46"
Distance: 200 mly
Apparent Magnitude: 12.2
Apparent diameter: 1.8' x 0.9'
AKA NGC 4169, Hickson 61

 

March 2023

Hubble's Variable Nebula

Image: The Hubble Space Telescope/NASA

Constellation: Monoceros

RA  6h 39m 10s
Dec  +8° 45′
Distance 2,500 ly
Apparent magnitude (V) 9.0
Apparent dimensions (V) 2′

 NGC 2261, Caldwell 46

 

February 2023

Abell 12

Image by Kevin LeGore
(Hidden) Planetary Nebula
Constellation: Orion
RA    06h 02m 21.4s
Dec  +09° 39′ 07″
Apparent Magnitude: 14
(Hint: Try an OIII or UHC filter)

January 2023

Arp 273 (The Rose)

Image by Kevin LeGore
Interacting Galaxies
Constellation: Andromeda
RA 02h 21m 28.703s
Dec  +39° 22′ 32.65″
Apparent Magnitude: 13.7
Apparent diameter: ~ 2.6 arcminutes


December 2022 TOTM

The Witch Head Nebula / IC 2118

Image by Richard Wright
Reflection nebula
Constellation: Eridanus / Orion
RA 05h 02m 00.00s
Dec −07° 54′ 00″
Apparent Magnitude: 13
Apparent diameter: 3 x 1 deg


November 2022 TOTM

Simeis 147 / Sharpless 240 / The Spaghetti Nebula (link)

Image by Richard Wright

Supernova remnant

Constellation: Auriga / Taurus

RA: 05h 39m 06s
Dec: +27° 59′ 55″ 

Apparent Magnitude: 6.5

Apparent diameter: ~ 3 degrees


October 2022 TOTM

IC 63 Ghost of Cassiopeia (link)

Image by Kevin LeGore
Emission/Reflection nebula
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Designations: IC 63, Ghost of Cassiopeia

RA: 005913s.2

Dec: +60° 55′ 48

 

 

September 2022 TOTM

Wings of the Dumbbell Nebula (wiki)

Image by Kevin LeGore

Emission / Planetary nebula

Constellation: Vulpecula
Designations: NGC 6853, M27, Diabolo nebula, Dumb-Bell nebula

RA: 19h 59m 36.340s
Dec: +22° 43′ 16.09″

Apparent magnitude: 7.4
Apparent dimensions: 8.0′ × 5.6′

NOTE: This month's target is specifically the outer wing structure of the nebula and will require an OIII filter.


August 2022 TOTM

The Soap Bubble Nebula (wiki)

Image 1 by Kevin LeGore. Image 2 by Kitt Peak

Emission nebula / Planetary nebula

Constellation: Cygnus
Designations: PN G75.5+1.7, PN Ju

RA: 20h 15m 22.2s
Dec: +38° 02′ 58″

260" in angular diameter