Gemini brushes the Milky Way as it runs past Taurus to Auriga. Under dark skies you can make out the complete twins almost holding hands side by side. The comparative distances in light years above , show the asterism of the “Twins”.
The multiple Castor +1.9 (six ) rises first , a +3 companion orbiting at 470 years is an easy target. There is also a small eclipsing binary red dwarf to Castor . You’ll get the 4.2″ companion and a fainter star at 71″.
Pollux at is 4.5 degrees away in the sky ,a useful measure and has a close Jupiter sized planet. It’s a K class orange star.
Castor is 53 and Pollux is 36 lys away.
Wasat (δ) +3.5 ,has an orange dwarf companion +8.2 that can be spotted in the glare.At 5.8″ separation, I used x200 to get contrast here.
Alhena (γ) at 105 light years away is x160 brighter than the Sun. Providing a challenging wide pair of faint companions.
κ Geminorum ( Alkirbab, ” the vineyard husband”) has a delicate +8.2 companion at 7.2″ separation.i caught this at x150.
Propus (η) is one of the brightest cepheid variables in the sky , the system is surrounded by dust and debris. It’s a separation of 1.8″ to the +6.2 companion.
Propus is a pointer to the giant M35.You can spot the accompanying cluster NGC 2158 but this is 10,000 light years further out.
M35 presents some wonderful star chains at lower magnifications and is just about naked eye from dark sites. It’s about 100 million years old.
At the top of Gemini ,is the Bilobed planetary nebula NGC 2371-2 at. +11.2 it’s quite faint, but shows up from here.
Abel 21 ( the “Medusa nebula”) is another planetary nebula at a suggested +10.2 magnitude. It is however large and diffuse .It’s some half a degree nw of NGC 2385. An O111 filter is recommended to see the bright arc of this “half moon “, some parts may be possible without the filter though.
NGC 2392 ( “the Eskimo “or “Clown” nebula ) is a showpiece target. It’s bright (+8 )and quite non stellar next to a field star. At much higher magnifications , it’ll resolve into a hooded area with a +10 central star. To me it appears a blue green and is an easy target from the edge of town. Head out from Wasat to make a small ra triangle with Pollux.It’s a wonderful target from town, rewarding up to x200.
NGC 2158 ( only one here in the Astronomical League list), one billion years old. Fov with M35 ( above).
IC 2157 (+8.4)
NGC 2129 ,70 stars here,faint. Try higher magnification.
NGC 2266 packed centre.
NGC 2355 , one billion years old.
NGC 2395 (+8)
NGC 2304 (+10)
NGC 2420, a smudge.(+8.3).
IC 443 “Jellyfish” nebula, a supernova remnant.
IC 444. +10.
NGC 2339 (+11.6)
NGC 2418 ( +13)
NGC 2274 (+13)
NGC 2365 (+14)
NGC 2478 (+14)
Tu (SAO 78066).
Some fine sights.
63 Geminorum +10.9 companion to +5.3. A delicate sight at 43″ separation.
There are lots of doubles in a wide field here.
Σ1108 gives yellow and blue.
π Gem. For a delicate triple, even in a 90mm achro.
Some fine targets here, enjoy,
Clear skies !