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About DeepSkyBagger

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    Star Forming

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    Visual Deep-Sky observer for over 40 years.
    Webb Deep-Sky Society member
    British Astronomical Association member
    Royal Astronomical Society fellow
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  1. I had a similar response to you when the LED streetlights were introduced here a few years ago. Since then, I have watched deep-sky objects slowly fade and disappear. From my skies being generally poor, they are now totally unusable. I can no longer observe the galaxies and so on that I want to. The sky, instead of being a muddy orange colour, is now bright white. The LED lights have totally ruined my already horrible skies. Sorry (really sorry) to be the bearer of bad news.
  2. If the aurora was visible from Coventry, then it would have been visible (conditions permitting) over the rest of the country north of Coventry. The question then has to be 'did anyone else see it?' If others were out at the same time and nobody else saw it, then it most likely wasn't an aurora, and you'll have to look elsewhere for an explanation.
  3. At that magnitude, it will be a nova, not a supernova, unless it's very heavily obscured. I know it's listed as a supernova, but I suspect that's a mistake.
  4. It's not a chickadee, that's a North American bird. It's a Great Tit. (Waiting for profanity filter to step in).
  5. NGC 2438 is a lovely planetary nebula, quite large and made all the better for its magnificent setting amongst the stars of M46 (of which it is not a member). I made an observation of it in 2013. Although the observing conditions were not particularly good, the OIII filter helped a lot, showing the darker centre of the object and some brightness differences around the ring. The central star is mag 17.5, so no hope of seeing that!
  6. An interesting list with some very fine objects on it. One more slight error jumped out at me. NGC 1514 isn't the Eskimo Nebula and it isn't in Gemini. It's in Taurus. EDIT: Just spotted another. The brightest star in NGC 457 is phi Cas (not phi UMa as suggested in your list). It isn't 200,000 times the size of the Sun - no stars are that big. The star is a multiple, two components of which are supergiants. The brightest component, A, has a *luminosity* of 170,000 solar, but its mass is just 6x solar, and its radius maybe 250 - 260x solar. Still a really good target list!
  7. Sounds like a good night. Might I be allowed to correct one thing? NGC 2438 is *not* the Calabash Nebula. The Calabash Nebula is 6.5' in PA 78 degrees (slightly north of east) from NGC 2438. The two objects (though both appear to be in M46) are not associated. The CN is the same distance as M46, but NGC 2438 is some way behind it. It is also much smaller and very much fainter than NGC 2438. The attached picture shows the planetary nebula in the top left and the CN in the bottom right.
  8. I have a SynScan mount, but it's a Dobsonian. My results are very variable. Sometimes (rarely) it's spot on. Others, degrees out. There's no way of predicting which way it will go on any night. I mostly search for faint DSOs, so this can be very frustrating. I use the GoTo, then I have to identify where I've actually ended up, then star hop to where I should be. There seem to be many little rules, or myths, about doing the alignment: 1) Start with the scope horizontal and pointing north (makes no difference) 2) Choose alignment stars that are wide apart but at about the same declination (makes no difference) 3) Centre the second alignment star using only right and up, not left and down. (This is something to do with backlash, so I always do this one). The results are so varied that I can't make any sense out of it at all, other than sometimes it's really good, and sometimes it's just rubbish. If it's rubbish, I'm trashed for the night. No amount of realigning or switching-off-and-on-again will fix it.
  9. Nick, Where do you get this name 'Bogardus' from? Only two stars in Auriga have 'official' IAU names, alpha (Capella) and beta (Menkalinan). SIMBAD lists an unofficial name for theta, but it's 'Mahasim' not 'Bogardus'. I don't use lesser-known star names, I think Bayer designations are less ambiguous. Patrick
  10. Nice observation of Cr 39, avtaram. For what it's worth, and for completeness' sake, here's my observation of NGC 1444. The faintest stars recorded are 14th magnitude.
  11. NGC 1444 is centred on the star HD23675, magnitude 6.8. You can certainly see this star through binoculars, but the stars of NGC 1444, which lie right behind this bright star, are around 13th magnitude. You'll need at least a 6" telescope and good skies to see it. I observed it about a fortnight ago with a 12" reflector and found it an uninspiring scatter of fairly faint stars. Here's a picture of NGC 1444 from the Palomar Sky Survey. As you can see, the bright star outshines the whole of the rest of the cluster. The image is about 10' across.
  12. I'm not sure what you mean by 'Perseus 'a''. 'Perseus A' is a galaxy, NGC 1275, a giant peculiar elliptical, magnitude 11.9. You wouldn't be able to see it through 10x50s. If you mean 'alpha Persei', the brightest star in Perseus (Mirphak), then yes, it is surrounded by a cluster of stars known as the 'Alpha Persei Cluster' and catalogued as Melotte 20 and Collinder 39. It has about 50 members and lies about 500 light years away.
  13. Best of luck with the weather. I really hope you get some clear skies. Forget aperture, darkness is king! Cheers!
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