Saturday, March 4, 2017

doubles in gemini

This week had three clear nights with above average seeing, so I tried to take advantage of it.  I haven't had the chance to write up about it until now.  I used the 12.5-inch at 553x the whole time.  The first two nights I was without the equatorial platform since I had broken its power cord.  The scope is very shaky so that was an annoyance.  I concentrated on challenging doubles from the Carro Catalog since the seeing was so good.  I had nice airy disks the whole time, Pickering 8-9.

Tuesday night I wanted to view the moon and Venus, but they were blocked by our yew trees.  I was able to see them Wednesday night, when both were a similarly thin crescent.  I viewed the moon without filter, since it was not yet bright enough to require one.  The surface was very pocked with small craterlets darkened with shadow -- giving the strong impression of a dry, battle scarred landscape.  Thursday night I didn't have time to view the moon before it set.

The first double Tuesday night was Sirius B.  I was using Sirius to align my 80mm finder (which I'm using at home now to better see hop stars through the light pollution).  I thought to try for the Pup and sure enough it was there, at first a condensation following the bright mess of Sirius's diffraction, flashing to a point when seeing stilled.  I think it has been two years since I saw the Pup last, and I had the impression it had moved slightly from following Sirius a little to the ESE to pretty might directly east.  I was surprised at the nonchalance with which I was able to observe what had been such a challenging object previously.

I was not prepared Tuesday night to view anything other than what was plotted in CDSA:

STT 145: Widely separated, N-S, 8-9th magnitude stars, 1 delta magnitude.  [7.43/9.93, 1.5", 338°. Seems this was a miss].

STT 143: Orange A, very faint B, ~3", PA due east.  3rd to the north?  [Correct!  AB 6.2/10.1, 7.6", 103°; AC = FOX 147, 6.2/11.41, 47.3" 346°].

STF 924: Near equal brightness yellowish stars, 0.5 delta mag, wide separation ~8", PA to the SW.  [AB 6.31/6.88, 19.9", 211°.  BC is 13th mag and 48.7".  A has a spectroscopic companion.  My separation estimates are way off.]

STTA 77 = Nu Geminorum: Not obvious what might be the pair.  Several possibilities among four stars, all widely separated.  [Seven visible stars in the system, with more not seen -- all the way to an AS pair!]

SHJ 70: Very pretty orange A, with a brown B; PA to the south, 1.5 delta mag.  [AB 6.65/8.18, 24.8" 202°.  There are four more pairings to AF, all 12-13th magnitude & fairly wide separations, not seen].

Anonymous to the east of Mu Geminorum: Orange, but don't see anything closeby--nice airy disk, and some faint stars about, wide separations if paired.

HV55 / 12 Geminorum: Very wide separation, ~3 delta mag, fairly faint.  [7.01/10.75, 62.2", 59°]

B1008 = Propus (means "forefoot") = Eta Geminorum: So cool!  Bright orange star with B very close, ~1.5", just preceding, ~3 delta mag. B is in diffraction but is well separated & has its own airy disk, bluish white.   [3.52, 6.15, 1.6" 252°].

S533 = Mebsuta: Bright orange star, B is in the diffraction as a small sharp point seen intermittently in the south rim of A's diffraction.  Some other widely separated stars about.  [What I saw in the diffraction must have been an interior reflection, as the pair is 110", 3.14/9.64, PA 94°]

STT 155: Pretty orange star with 2x fainter B, also orange, due west, ~6".  [7.14/10.93, 15.1", 261°]

Anonymous above STT 160: White star with 3x fainter B, PA to south, wide separation 6-7"

STT 160: Orange-yellow star, nothing close.  Very faint wide star to NNE.  [Missed; 6.66/9.92, 1.3", 188°]

Wasat = Delta Geminorum: Pretty white-yellow and red-orange pair, PA to west, ~4".  [3.55/8.18, 5.7", 228° -- Stelle Doppie's "now" sep is at 0" -- but the orbital elements graph matches my observation...?]

Anonymous east of Wasat: Small, faint, tight white pair, ~2", 0.5 delta mag

STF 1083: White, equal brightness, PA to NE.  [7.32/8.13, 6.8" 46°]

Eskimo Nebula, NGC 2392: Bright central star; bright, thick inner ring surrounded by a diffuse and round outer halo with ragged edges. Nice to see even with the light pollution (SQML 18.6).

Sh 368: 4x system? Bright star in center of a triangle of other stars.  [It is a four star system indeed, but I might doubt I saw exactly the system -- some are 10th magnitude and my sketch is of brighter stars]

S 548: Orange with a 2x fainter white star, PA slightly SW.  [AC of the system seen, 6.98/8.89, 35", 277°.  AB is 12th mag and not seen]

STF 1108: Orange stars, 2 delta mag, PA to south, ~8" [6.62/8.21; 11.6", 179°]

NGC 2420: open cluster.  10 stars in smooshed Capricorn shape, with fine mists of stars behind.  Must be a pretty cluster in a dark sky.  Neighbor's porch light is on, spoiling the view.  

Wednesday I prepared AAVSO finder charts for some challenging doubles from the Carro Catalog and was able to spend the whole session chasing them down.  My equatorial platform was still without power, but I still had a fine session:

STF 942: Faint near equal brightness, well split, PA W-E.  [10.07/10.1, 3.4", 246°]

BU 571: not seen [AB 6.0/11.9, 2.9", 342°]

BU 1191: Not seen pair.  I see a glint to the NE but it's the wrong PA and it did not stay in view.  [6.7/11.5, 2.4", 313°].  

STF 982: Pretty yellow and orange, 2 delta mag, wide separation, PA to SW.  [I believe I saw the AB pair, 4.75/7.8, 7.3", 143°.  There are AC and AD pairs, the C being 11th mag and very wide, the D 15.5 mag and even wider...]

BU 100: !! Pretty orange and blue.  4 delta mag, PA to west.  Wide separation ~3"  B is just seen, a very fine point. [7.34/11.1, 3.2, 143°.  Burnham's discovery in 1873 was at 2.5" separation.  Last WDS observation in 1978 -- deserves one now]

STT 163: Not perfectly round AB; a faint bluish haze in the diffraction to the south.  Not a reliable observation.  [AB 7.18/8.18 0.2" 117°.  AB,C 6.41/12.0, 14.1" 166°].

STF 1107: Wide separation, 1 delta mag, PA to NW.  [AB 7.43/11.4, 14.9", 300°.  AC and AD components, 10.00 & 7.4, wider separations, not recorded.]

HO 342: ! Yellow-orange and blue stars, PA to the east, 1 delta mag, tight but well split ~1".  [7.99/8.71, 1.1", 87°]

WEI 14: A yellow-orange, blue B, 1 delta mag, PA to south.  Nice!  [7.77/8.91, 2.1", 160°].

A 2527: Not seen as a pair.  8.58/11.85, 2.2.  I seem to have a visibility limit of 10th magnitude for very close pairs -- due to light pollution?

STF 1068: Pumpkin orange pair, near equal magnitude, PA to north.  Well separated ~4".  Nice.  [AB 9.29/.8, 4", 349°]

STF 1116: Pretty tight white, near equal magnitude, 2-3", PA to east.  Nice pair.  [7.81/8.5, 1.8" 96°]

STF 981: Very close orange pair, equal magnitude.  Clean split, ~1".  Worth the hop from Tau Geminorum.  [8.72/8.97, 0.95", 292.3°]

STF 991: White and orange, 2 delta mag, ~5", PA to S. [3.47/7.95, 3.7", 164°.  Also AC and CD pairs, 10th & 11th, wide from the main pair].

STF 1014: !! Tough find, faint field.  Very faint near equal brightness pair, ~3", PS to the SW.  [9.91/9.93, 2", 219°]

STF 1070: Pretty close, 1.5", white, 1 delta mag, PA to NW.  [AB seen, 8.65/9.3, 1.8", 324°.  AC is 11th mag and 88", not seen]

BU 579: Too faint, too close, not seen.  [7.95/12.3, 1.1"]

A 674: B more a blue haze than a point off the yellow A.  I believe I have it, very close and faint.  PA to SE.  [8.21/9.77, 1.1", 125°]

AGC 2: No.  [7.76/9.73, 1"]

STF 1147: Very fine 2", equal magnitude blue - white pair, PA to south, ~2".  [9.66/9.68, 2.2", 174°].

Finally Thursday night's observing.  I had a late start, and transparency was a little off as a front was to come through the next day.  And my heart wasn't quite in it, and I was tired, so I observed for about an hour.  But, it was rewarding.  It was good to have the platform working for this session:

STF 1126: !! Wow, very close <1" hair-split, near equal brightness; almost overlapping disks.  [6.55/6.96, 0.8",  175°]

STT 182: Very close, ~1", near equal brightness white.  [7.82/7.93, 0.8", 11°]

Sh 87: Not seen, suspect very wide separation.  [Four stars visible, all of them >100" -- seems to be a chance alignment]

STF 1210: Pretty wide greenish yellow pair, wide separation, 2 delta mag.  [AB 7.25/9.45, 15.5", 113°.  AC is 13.5 mag and 68", not seen]

Anonymous east of STF 1182: Faint field, tough hop; must be a 4x multiple, wide separations

STF 1182: White and reddish, 1 delta mag, PA due east.  [7.48/8.76, 4.7", 74°]

Anonymous east of Epsilon CMi: Wide separation; could be any of a number of stars

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Weeks of rain and cloudy weather put the kibosh on serious observing time.  The only clear window this new moon was Thursday night, so I checked if any of the Dinosaur Point regulars would be able to go out.  Jamie and Peter answered the call.  It was a work night for me, so I would need to leave by 1am.  I was pretty frazzled by work so I brought Clara’s telescope in order to sit and lazily scan the sky.

I arrived at sunset.  Jamie and Peter were there setting up.  The sky was cloudy with some holes.  I chased some of those, mostly in Canis Major and Puppis.  But mostly we stood around, talked, and waited.  Finally by 9pm the sky was clear enough to get to it.

I shared a view of the California Nebula, which seemed dimmer than a couple months prior when I saw it from the same site.  Then the Orion Nebula, and the Flame.  I had no observing plan or target list.  I was able to find the Rosette Nebula, which was less nest-like than I remember.  M46 & M47 nearly fit the same FOV, along with another open cluster, NGC 2423.  I tried the Witch Head bud did not have a clear impression of it.  Jamie pointed me to NGCs 2324 & 2301, two small OCs in Monoceros.  Both were small faint sprays of just resolved starts.  More magnification would have pulled them farther apart to count, but the picturesque view of these knots in the Winter Milky Way stream was pleasing too.

It was fun to put the telescope at the horizon, and look at upside down oak trees silhouetted by a starry background.  I comet swept in the Puppis & Monoceros region, coming across many splashy large and small open clusters, and the crinkly forms of dark nebulae.  I sought out NGC 2467, thinking it was Thor’s Helmet (which it isn’t, that’s NGC 2359).  With UHC filter making it brighter, I saw a fairly large round cloud with more obround nebulosity to the north and east.  The popular name is Skull and Crossbones Nebula.  I also sought out M48, a large open cluster in Hydra, which I have only seen through my 50mm finderscope from my back yard.  Here it was very impressive, a mostly triangular shape of bright stars with a field of fainter stars mixed in; there is a distinctive arc of bright stars running through the middle, NE-SW.  I had never had such a nice view of it – this scope puts out nice bright images of large fields, and brings such objects to life better than binoculars.  M44, the Beehive Cluster, was visible by eye and was really “buzzing” with stars in the scope.

Later in the night, when Leo was higher, I viewed the triplet.  I then went up to Hickson 55 in the lion’s neck, and could see three of the four, quite small in my field.  I then swept to the south, and picking up galaxies along the way, until I came to the M105 area, and could see five galaxies scattered about.  I even tried Leo I, dwarf galaxy near Alpha Leonis, and do think I had a sighting of the small, amorphous glow – but without a proper finder can’t confirm it.  I went up to NGC 2903, small but bright and showing small scale detail.  I tried sweeping for comet 45P, which I knew was in that area but I had forgotten my finder.  I did not see it.  Peter found it later on in his 16-inch – and it was quite small, very faint diffuse and round; likely I would have missed it just sweeping with the 10-inch.

I actually sat in the observing chair and dozed off a little – it has been that tiring a time for me.  But I was back at it later.  Jamie and I tried to find the Coma Cluster – I wanted to see how many galaxies could fit in the field.  We both misjudged the chart scale and missed the hop star, until 10 minutes later I figured out the problem and then found it.  The galaxies were too small to really make an impression.

To end the night I had a look at Jupiter.  The moons were in a very odd configuration, all out of alignment.  Jupiter itself was a weird grey color, washed out, lacking the reds and orange colors I usually see from home.  I don’t know if it was the poor transparency or the low magnification – it was very strange.

Image result for messier 48

M105 area:
Image result for messier 105 wide

NGC 2467:
Image result for NGC 2467

Sunday, February 12, 2017


It's been a couple weeks since I've been able to get outside with a telescope.  A lot of rain, and being sick, and long hours at work.  Last night I set-up Clara's telescope (10-inch f3.8 Springsonian) since I wanted to use it very early this morning to try for fast-moving comet 45P/HMP.  I still feel unwell, so after setting up last night I looked at the Orion Nebula, the Pleiades, and some general scanning about.  I left the mount set-up and went to bed early.

The alarm woke me at 4:30am and I went outside.  It was cold, and the moon, only one day past full, shone brightly.  Transparency was poor; I saw a jet leaving a long silvery vapor trail behind it.  The moonlight was badly scattered.  I could barely make out Hercules, with which I orientated myself.  The comet should have traced a path from Beta Hercules to Corona Borealis during the night.  Unfortunately the finder I had did not have hourly demarcations, so I was unsure exactly where to aim.  I started in CrB where and then panned down to Beta Her.  I did this numerous times, sometimes thinking I saw a diffuse glow, but it seemed to disappear.  I tried 35x at first then increased to 50x to see if the improved contrast helped.  No luck.  I think the main problem was the moonlight but next time I will make sure to have a finderscope and a better finder chart.  The comet will still be visible after the moon has moved out of the way, so I will give it another try.

Monday, January 30, 2017


This last Saturday night I planned to go to Willow Springs with Steve but he needed to back out last minute.  I thought to go to Fremont Peak instead but then realized if I left early enough I could get to Pinnacles and its darker skies.  The GEOS Satellite showed a lot of water vapor pouring in from the north, so I figured getting as far south as I could was a good idea.

I arrived shortly before sunset and set up at the Chaparral Trailhead parking lot.  Lots of curious people wanting to ask about my scope as they came back from their hikes.  One couple was very enthusiastic and stayed until 8:00pm.  We looked at the Orion Nebula, which filled out in detail as it became darker; and M31.  I didn't mind the delay as there were still high clouds.  After this couple left there was still one car in the lot.  The owners, two couples, came down at around 8:30pm.  They had gotten lost in the High Peaks by mistaking a rock climber's trail for the main trail.  Seems they bushwhacked most of their way down.  "Didn't you hear us screaming for help?" one of them asked -- no I didn't.  It's very lucky they made it down.

Speaking of which, after they had left a chorus of coyotes started up.  They seemed to be among the High Peaks and were purposely echoing their calls off the rock cliffs.  First one group, then another, until the sky was loud with their calls.

Transparency was poor and dew formed quickly; the shroud was well-soaked.  Around 11pm I noticed it was crinkly -- it had frozen.  There were ice crystals growing on every exposed surface.  I had to scrape ice off the plexiglass window of my chart holder.  I myself was not cold, wearing a down jacket and snow boots.  It was 25°.  

I've started to hit my H2 and planetary nebula lists from when I left off last spring, when there was a string of poor weather.  I tried to make some progress on those.  But I have become so fond of freestyle observing -- picking a nice area of the sky and exploring what I can find in Interstellarum -- that I spent most of my time following these whims.  All at 205x in the 20-inch unless otherwise noted.

IC 423 / 424: Emission nebula in Orion, which are shaped by the shock front from the middle belt star Alnilam, about 1500 ly away. IC 423 was ill defined, roughly bag shaped glow, very faint and not distinct; seen best with averted vision.  Slightly brighter in the middle.  Has a very faint wishbone shape, being brighter along two sides.  IC 424 was smaller, a haze around a star, not defined.
Image result for IC 423

NGC 2549: Gx in Lynx: Bright, quasi-stellar nucleus, bright elongated core, halo elongated 4:1 N-S with long tapering tips.  Pretty bright, fairly small.  Near star 30 Lyncis, 48mly, SA0 edge on.

Image result for ngc 2549

MGC-10-12-103: Moderately large, faint and diffuse.  I see two other galaxies in the view, one edge on the other a faint small smudge.

NGC 2521: Gx in Lynx: I see three galaxies.  Brightest is NGC 2521, fairly bright, small, bright core, elongated 2:1 NE-SW.  The other two are UGC 2421 and MCG+10-12-070.  The UGC is small, pretty faint, brighter core with AV, elongated NW-SW 3:1.  The MCG is very faint, small, and round.  These three plus a star, Z Lyn, in the northern corner, form a nearly perfect square.
Image result for NGC 2521

NGC 2497: Gx in Lynx: Faint and pretty small, stellar nucleus, bright core, hazy halo elongated 3:2 NE-SW.
Image result for NGC 2497

NGC 2488: Gx in Lynx: Bright core, stellar nucleus, 3:1 edge on NW-SE; overall faint and small.  I see two other galaxies in the field, one to N and another to SW.  Both small round and very faint, though the one to the north (UGC 4164) has a stellar nucleus.  [The one to the SW is a close galaxy pair MCG+09-13-112 & -111, both of which are 17B and ~0.5" square, but perhaps became visible to me with their combined glow.]
Image result for NGC 2488

NGC 2469: Gx in Lynx.  Four galaxies in a string.  NGC 2469 is brightest and comparatively large (though itself small), elongated 3:2 nearly N-S.  The others -- NGC 2463, NGC 2462, & NGC 2458 --are small, faint and round.  Near a bright star which hinders the view somewhat.  The galaxies have a range of redshift from 0.01 to 0.047, so this is a chance alignment than a cluster If I had panned my scope a little beyond NGC 2469 I could have seen a fifth in this string, NGC 2472, an extremely faint and small item.
Image result for NGC 2469

NGC 2505: Gx in Lynx: Oval N-S, small, fairly faint.  Core brightens with AV.  Diffuse edges.  Near bright star to NE which hinders the view.
Image result for NGC 2505

JnEr1 / Jones Emberson 1 = PK 164 +31.1 the "Headphones Nebula: PN in Lynx: Extremely faint, fairly large, round to broken C shape.  Seen only when move scope and with OIII.  121x.
Image result for JnEr1

NGC 2474 / 2465: Double Gx in Lynx.  Looks like a double nucleus, very small and tightly separated in a small and very faint halo.  The halo is slightly more extensive to the south.
Image result for ngc 2474

NGC 2347 + IC 2179:  Nice.  Both galaxies near stars and look sort of like a double double but with galaxies as the B components.  NGC is a little brighter and larger, with a bright core enhanced with AV, 3-1 N-S.  The IC has a stellar nucleus and is small, round, fairly faint.
Image result for ngc 2347

NGC 2253: Gx in Cam: Stellar nucleus, fairly faint, moderately small; elongated 3:2 NW-SE.  Two brighter stars to the east form a triangle with it.
Image result for ngc 2253

Abell 16, PN in Cam: Very faint / diffuse, yet even surface brightness, as low as it is.  No central star.  Irregularly round, moderately large grey mist against the background.  Seen with OIII only.
Image result for abell 16

PnWe1: Purgathofer & Weinberger / 1980 discovery PN in Cam: Excessively faint, -- seen only as a gray scale change, a brighter dark than the dark sky.  UHC works, OIII too.  Irregularly round, very large, with mottling.  @ 87x.
Image result for PuWe1

SaSt 2-3 = PN G232.0+05.7 =MWC 574: Small, very faint, stellar, blinks with OIII. Next to another star, appears like a double star.

NGC 2517: Gx in Puppis: Bright core, stellar nucleus, small, 3:1 ENE-WSW with tapering tips.  Some mottling in the halo and core.  Very dense field; I'm sure this is highly obscured by the Milky Way.  Did not see nearby PGC.
Image result for NGC 2517

NGC 2525: Pretty large, diffuse, low surface brightness.  Irregularly oval shape with mottling; in a dense field of stars.  It is an SBc.
Image result for NGC 2525

MCG-2-22-3: Small, very faint, elongated 3:1 N-S with brighter core -- double nucleus, but this could be a foreground star.  Near the apex of a wishbone of stars pointed north.

IC 2375 / 77 / 79: Three galaxies piled up, in different orientations.  Seen direct vision, brightens with averted -- call them all fairly faint, all of them small.  IC 2375 was noticeably elongated 4:1 E-W. IC 2377, in the middle, was oval, NE-SW.  IC 2379 was also oval but pointed NW-SE, and had a brighter core.
Image result for ic 2375

NGC 2610: PN in Hydra: Round, crisp edges, even surface brightness, no central star.  Like a smoke bubble.  Very faint unfiltered; responds well to both OIII and UHC.  Dense field.  Faint star on NE rim.  Bright star to NE.
Image result for ngc 2610

MCG-2-22-25: Galaxy seen between two stars.  Very faint, swam into view.  Quasi-stellar nucleus, brighter core, elongated 3:1 WNW-ESE.  Small.  AV needed.

NGC 2781: Fairly large, pretty bright; bright elongated core, tapering halo, 3:1 W-E
Image result for ngc 2781

NGC 2855: Very bright nucleus of even concentration -- not stellar.  Bright round core, diffuse, slightly elongated NW-SE halo.
 Image result for ngc 2855

NGC 2881-1 / -2 = Arp 275: Pretty faint, fairly large, irregular tear-drop shape with a wing coming off it to the west -- a double system.  Mottled halo with several superimposed stars.  IC 2782 is to the south, fairly faint, small, with a stellar nucleus and a round diffuse halo.
Image result for ngc 2881

NGC 2889: Stellar nucleus with round diffuse halo, faint and small; it is a face on SB grand design spiral.  To NW is NGC 2884, 3:2 N-S, stellar nucleus and diffuse halo, pretty small and fairly faint; it is an Sa spiral but seen at an angle.
Image result for ngc 2889

MCG-2-25-6 = Arp 221: Two faint stellar nuclei with a lopsided, diffuse halo brighter to the east.  Faint -- can see with direct vision but averted brightens.  Used 333x to better resolve the second nucleus.  There is an extremely faint condensation on the west rim of the halo.  Arp classes this under "amorphous spiral arms."
Image result for arp 221

NGC 2993, 2992 = Arp 245: Two galaxies seem to have a connecting bridge.  NGC 2992 is small, elongated NNE-SSW and moderately bright, the brighter of the pair.  NGC 2993 is smaller and round [did not see the streamer whisking from it to the east.  Arp says of these: "Appearance of fission"].
Image result for arp 245

NGC 2986: Two glows, each with a stellar nucleus. The small (but relatively larger) and much brighter is NGC 2986, with a bright round core and faint halo.  The smaller [E566-004] to the west, faint, very small, elongated N-S.  Near a bright star.  Frost on my scope's shroud!
Image result for ngc 2986

NGC 2775, Gx in Cancer: Looks like a more distant version of M31; it is 62mly away.  Bright & large, it has a bright compact round nucleus with brighter elongated core and diffuse, slowly fading halo, 3:2 NW-SE.  I see subtle hints of spiral structure.  The galaxy sits above the bowl of a mini big dipper asterism.  It is a Sa spiral and forms a trio with two other galaxies: NGC 2773 to the NW and NGC 2777 to the NE.  NGC 2773 is a small, fairly faint rice grain of even brightness 3:1 orientated E-W on the edge of the FOV.  NGC 2777 is small, faint, and nearly round but with a small stellar nucleus.
Image result for ngc 2775

NGC 2936 & 2937 = Arp 142: Small, faint bean shaped glow with two brighter condensations; used 333x to clearly separate the two galaxies.  NGC 2936 is the northern component and is larger, with the brightest part near the NE edge and a faint smudge of a halo trailing to the SW, like a smeared fingerprint.  NGC 2937 is the second component and is small, faint, and round and is tucked underneath the other, like an eye under an eyebrow.
Image result for ngc 2936

NGC 2291 / 2294 / 2290 / 2288 / 2289: I was attracted to this group as it lies in region near the Gemini-Auriga boarder relatively devoid of DSOs.  Five galaxies in a wedge shape, all more or less the same faintness and smallness, differing in the brightness of the cores and diffuseness of their halos.  Four were in a nice little arc, starting with NGC 2991, small, faint and round.  Next, heading south, NGC 2289 was the brightest, with a round core and very faint halo E-W.  Very close to it was the very small and very faint round glow of NGC 2288.  Last in the string and bright was N2290, with a small brighter core and a very faint diffuse halo 3:1 NE-SW.  NGC 2294 was to the NE, very small and faint patch.  Interstellarum plots IC 2173 as a sixth galaxy in this area, which I could not find (other than suspecting a couple faint round things which were likely threshold magnitude stars).  I found later that NGC 2288 is the same as IC 2173
Image result for ngc 2288

Abell 31: PN Large, central star easy.  Shell is round, diffuse, subtle, soft, and slightly mottled, without defined edge.  OIII necessary to see it.  87x
Image result for abell 31

IC 523: Picked out with averted vision, then could hold with direct.  3:1 elongated, small, very faint, gradually brighter core; close to a bright star to the NW  A nice elusive glow, close to Abell 31.
Image result for ic 523 galaxy

NGC 2874 / 2782 = Arp 307: The western component, NGC 2872, has a small bright core, with a regular, if diffuse, halo, 3:1 NNW-SSE.  The eastern component, NGC 2874, is larger but fainter, with a stellar nucleus sitting lopsided to the north end of a clearly disrupted halo, which has a bright rim to the south and a very faint arc sprouting from the southern tip and headed toward NGC 2782.  I failed to notice three other NGCs in this field: NGC 2785 a small bright dot at the northern tip of NGC 2874's halo; NGC 2871 a similar point at the NW tip of NGC 2872's halo; and NGC 2873, a small and faint galaxy to the north of the main pair.
Image result for NGC 2874

NGC 2911: Fairly bright, even surface brightness cloud with a small bright core and quasi-stellar nucleus.  3:1 NW-SE.  Something strange about the halo, maybe some spiral or mottling, mirrored on each side of the halo along the major axis.
Image result for NGC 2911

NGC 2958: Plain enough, but a formless oval patch, faint and small, N-S.
Image result for NGC 2958

I tried for the planetary nebula "Frosty Leo," IRAS 09371+1212, but did not see it

NGC 3016 / 3024 / 3020: Nice! a trio.  Faint -- can see with direct vision, but averted adds to brightness.  NGC 3020 is to the north, has a bright elongated core and the largest halo of the three, diffuse and elongated 4:1 E-W.  NGC 3024 is to the east and is nearly an edge on, with a quasi-stellar nucleus.  NGC 3016 is to the far SW and is the smallest but with a sharply brighter core.  I did not see NGC 3019 which sits in the middle of the triangle.
Image result for ngc 3016

EGB6: PN.  87x. Very large, excessively faint & very tenuous arc pointes SW, seen with OIII only.

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UGC 4881 = Arp 55: At 333x, very small, very faint irregular glow, slightly elongated E-W, with a slight brightening in western edge of the glow.
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