The Deep-Sky Observer: Issue 192

Deep-Sky Observer - DSO 192

The Deep-Sky Observer 192 Cover

In this issue

Back to observing Two 24” Dobsonian telescopes and two friends, one splendid night" by Davide Pistritto

Book Review: The Sky at Night by Tim B Hunter reviewed by Jonathan Gale

Seeking the (very) elusive by Keith Venables FRAS

The Fireworks Galaxy and its Amazing Super Star Cluster by Scott N Harrington

Object of the Season: Edge-on galaxy NGC 4565 in Coma Berenices by Wolfgang Steinicke


Welcome to DSO 192. The society has had a good year in membership terms and perhaps the best AGM lineup we have ever had, and I must thank the speakers for this. We are currently working on the speaker program for 2024 and the date is currently set for June 15th at the IOA.

Steve Rayner has done a fine job as sales officer but is looking to step down from this role so if any members would like to take over from him and would like to know what it entails please contact him at

The number of shows we go to may be decreasing as there was no IAS in 2023 and it is not clear that there will be one in 2024 which leaves us really with just the PAS show in March 2024. It is too expensive for us to attend the European AstroFest in London and we will not have a stand at the March Kelling star party as the feeling is the numbers will be down. As always we will evaluate shows as they come up to see what may give us value.

There is still some interest in getting more WB books but the AAS still seems to be a shambles to deal with and the books we are interested in seem to be out of print.

We are, as always, short of material for DSO 193 so if those winter nights seem poor for observing then write up what you have done for DSO. I know most people now only write for blogs and forums on the internet but this is still a semi-permanent way to have your observations put out, although of course you do get instant feedback.

The society published Magda Stretcher's book on asterism’s this year and although most of them are for lower latitudes it is still a nicely produced booklet and worth having in your collection. We are always looking for new ideas for publications so if you have any ideas in the drawer then please let us know.

The deep sky book scene still seems to be limited, although Oculum are putting out more books in German there appears to be not much coming in the English language, although The Barnard book did come out from Springer. There is also a self-published book on double stars by Ian Coster. This is a listing of 2000 double stars by constellation. I can only find one distribution point for it currently at First Light Optics. It is very much like the older Sissy Hass book.

Wolfgang has also translated Gunther Buchmann’s classic Herschel biography from German into English. This is published by Books on Demand and only the Kindle edition seems to be on Amazon UK.

The train of new books on any aspects of astronomy seems to have slowed and as expected much of the new stuff is devoted to imaging.

A new galaxy atlas has been released which covers 400,000 galaxies over half the sky. I must admit however to finding it difficult to use.

The software scene also appears very quiet. The imaging version of SkyTools 4.1I will have been released by the time this DSO comes out. It is not a free upgrade and will cost $49.99. This suggests that the Visual version (which unfortunately will mostly concentrate on EAA observing) probably won’t be out until later in the first half of 2024. There is some hope that AstroPlanner 2.4 may be due out by the end of the year, although I get the feeling that much of it is also focusing on EAA observers. I am not sure what the future is holding for Deep-Sky Planner.

It seems that almost all new software developments are for imagers, which probably reflects the direction of the hobby. I note there is an increasing trend, perhaps started by the Celestron StarSense device, for e-finders to come out and these seem to be replacing the classic finders on Dobsonians and their hookup with DTC’s such as the Nexus DSC and DSC Pro should make locating objects easier. These appear to be connectable to both driven and undriven systems. Your editor hopes to get one of these fitted and will have to learn a new DTC to use them 😊

Owen Brazell - Editor of The Deep-Sky Observer