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About nebulaeman

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    Professional Solar System Research and Deep Sly Observing - particularly Bright and Dark Nebulae
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  1. NGC 1931 is a beautiful object that I mention several times in my new book, Bright and Dark Nebulae that you can find on Amazon. I discuss it along with NGC 7129 as objects that take a wide range of magnification without lose of the faint nebula. I first observed it visually in a Tasco 2" f/8 in the 1960s and have observed it with scopes up to 100" like many of the other over 1000 objects discussed in my new book. The secret to observing many of the supposedly "difficult" nebulae is to do so simply in a dark sky. Naked eye, small scopes, big scopes and any number of filters are less significant than that of a very dark sky. Of course, an attitude of not quitting at a first failure is also helpful! nebulaeman
  2. Beautiful view of a number of bright nebulae in Auriga. However, I would also be interested in your imaging of the fainter Sh2-224 some 7 degrees north and Simeis 147 some 5 degrees south since they would show nicely in such a field of view. nebulaeman
  3. DARK SKIES ARE KING!!!!! What ever instrument you use including just your Naked Eyes show AMAZING VIEWS in a DARK SKY!!! Then the trick is knowing what instrument will best show the many objects you may want to see. There is no instrument that will show them all best! Naked Eyes show some while small scopes with wide angled eyepieces show others and large scopes will also show some as well, but you need to know which ones handle each objects best - DARK SKIES are needed to begin with if it is Deep Sky Objects you are discussing! At least this is one of the main points in my new book - Bright and Dark Nebulae!!!! Note the difference in Dr. Gaposchkin's drawing of the Milky Way (center drawn at the Dark Sky of Mt. Stromlo Observatory and the rest from Boston - Hardly a dark sky). I am certain you will want the dark sky once you have tasted it!
  4. David: The term I have always seen is "disconnected sunlit peaks!" However, this has typically been in my Grazing Occultation work where we have a disconnected sunlit peak along the Lunar Limb in our graze area that can effect the visibility of stellar events as we observe. nebulaeman
  5. BinocularSky: Good example of a Dark Nebula that helps with large binoculars. However, if you only have Naked Eyes or Wide Field Binoculars then you can use the same observational technique in observing the Cepheus Star Cloud! The west and north side are defined by Lynds DN ID#300 and Lynds DN ID#399, while the east side of the Cepheus Star Cloud is defined by Lynds DN ID#352. Of course the base of the Cepheus Star Cloud has IC1396 and Herschel's Garnet Star. The Star Cloud is so much more noticeable due to it being surrounded by these huge Dark Nebulae which are, of course, a significant part of the matter that makes up our Milky Way. Check out the picture drawn by Dr Gaposchkin in 1959 which I annotated with identification labels and uploaded into the Observing Deep Sky. As I note in that discussion there are many large Dark Nebulae left out of the image for Northern Hemisphere observers due to Dr. Gaposchkin having worked on the better part of the image at the dark site of Mt. Stromlo Observatory and only finishing the northern portion of the drawing when he had returned to Boston - hardly a dark site.
  6. Several Years ago I wrote an article in Astronomy magazine about Dr. Sergei Gaposchkin 1959-60 article in Vistas in Astronomy where he discussed his 5 feet Pin and Indian Ink drawing of the Milky Way from Mt Stromlo Observatory since he could see the entire central Milky Way go straight over head (I have included a copy altered from the original with some of my identification markings and Astronomy magazine used a pat of this in my article). If you can obtain the drawing, then I think you will agree that his inclusion of multiple large Dark Nebulae as easily visible is quite fascinating. However, as good as it is, I have written of my having issues with the details he left out of the northern Milky Way of the various Dark Nebulae from Cygnus, Cepheus to Polaris and down into Cassiopeia and Camelopardalis. In all fairness to Dr. Gaposchkin he did not see these faint extensions due to that part of his drawing being completed from Boston - hardly a prized dark site compared to Mt. Stromlo. However, properly prepared northern observers from carefully chosen dark sites should be able to observe these giant defining objects of dark. Coming out of Cygnus and into Cepheus is Lynds DN ID#339 which runs north into Lynds DN ID#300 which includes such objects as NGC7023 and extends almost to Polaris before it turns south into Lynds DN ID#399 (south of which, on the east side of Cepheus and forming this Star Clouds eastern border is Lynds DN ID#352). Then Lynds DN ID#399 connects in Cassiopeia with Lynds DN ID#283. Then they do continue into the complicated region of Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Perseus an Taurus Regions where large scale Dark Nebulae are not strangers to any observers of the Night Sky. I hope others have enjoyed tracking these delicate dark monoliths down in a properly dark sky!
  7. Klitwo: Any target is worth trying. One of the topics in my book is that back in the 1960s it seemed nothing was possible unless you spent more money on a bigger telescope! One of the messages in my book is to try any telescope with many eyepieces and filters on any target and see what YOU can see (in a dark sky). In video remember that it is easy to collect a number of frames in good seeing and stack them to enhance the view like I did with NGC7293 in just 0.15 seconds stacking five 0.03 second frames and then making a negative to enhance the low surface brightness object which ends up be easy in any telescope that can provide the appropriate field of view. nebulaeman
  8. Gerry: It is wonderful to hear your joy in your astro-adventures. My new book covers over 1000 bright and dark nebulae over the entire sky. I have had the same adventures of realizing that Dark Nebulae help define the various Star Clouds. It is not just the M24 Star Cloud or the Scutum Star Cloud including M11. The key is being aware of more than just the Barnard objects. You need the listings for Lynds, Sandqvist, Sandqvist and Lindroos, Bernes and others in terms of Dark Nebulae. There are also many listings for some quite wonderful Bright Nebulae such as Lynds, Sharpless, van den Bergh, van den Bergh and Herbst, Cederblad, Dorschner and Gurtler, Parsamian and Petrosian, Minkowski. Magakian, Neckel and Vehrenberg, Rogers Campbell and Whiteoak as well as the Herbig-Haro list to name only some. Just to begin with you need to gather the information that is already out there to help. You are also on the right track that in general scope size is secondary to the eyepieces that will provide the needed field of view needed to identify objects both large and small. Remember that you will never see elephants with a microscope!
  9. If I remember correctly it was back in the late 1980s, but I led a team of two sets of astronomers using 13" f/5 Dobs to observe the passage of something like a 35% Waning Moon through M35. This was before Hipparcos/Tycho and the current Gaia Missions and so we were looking to precisely time the reappearances of about 100 cluster members each for future measurements of Milky Way gravitational effects. Each station required a team of two - one to observe and time the events and one to monitor the predictions and warn the observer as to where on the Moon's limb to expect the next event. This was needed as each event tended to happen within seconds of an earlier event and the observer has to move along the Moon's limb fairly quickly to insure not missing the next event. We timed stars down to 13th magnitude, but all this has been replaced by the Gaia Mission results. However, the TEAM effort was still quite enjoyable and others might remember that the Moon occults many star clusters in the Zodiacal region fairly regularly. If I were to do it today it would be done with a large telescope armed with a low light CCD or CMOS video camera and a GPS Time Inserter to record all events to within 0.03 seconds. You might note my image at the upper left is a 0.5 degree video with five stacked 0.03 second frames for a total of 0.15 seconds of NGC 7293. I made a negative of the image so as to help bring out the nebulosity. nebulaeman
  10. scarp15: I have observed NGC 7129 first in a 50mm f/8 Tasco Refractor and many larger telescopes up through several observatory instruments to 250cm and the object takes magnification well unlike many diffused nebulae. I mention in my book that a similar object is NGC 1931 in Auriga. Of course, there are many NGCs that can be observed easily such as NGCs 1579 in Perseus, 1788 Orion, 2149, 2170, 2182, 2185 and even NGC 2261 Hubble's Variable Nebula in Monoceros as well as many other objects in catalogs such as Dorschner Gurtler, van den Bergh, Sharpless and Parsamian Petrosian. nebulaeman
  11. Yes Klitwo: Barnard 37 is in a wonderful region full of multiple Bright and Dark Nebulae! It has the classic NGCs and ICs, but also both Lynds Bright and Dark Nebulae as well as objects from Dorschner Gurtler and Van den Bergh objects as well. Of course, all of the catalogs after Barnard mentioned above were based off of the POSS. However, of interest is the Dorschner Gurtler was out of East Germany, which those older among us would remember that this was in a much less friendly time (science can accomplish good work even in difficult times)!
  12. Thanks scarp 15: Yes, this has been a topic few have tried to dig deep. However, in a dark sky the rewards are quite high! I not only cover the well known Barnard material (which is a small part of the story), but I also try to help observers in seeing many other objects from Lynds, Sandqvist and Bernes to name only a few. Many of these objects that are less known are actually easier than many of the Dark Nebulae objects most have heard of. Barnard 33 is one of the most famous Dark Nebula, but is also one of the most difficult and I think this has led to the misunderstanding that Dark Nebulae are "difficult." I introduce the reader to many Dark Nebulae such as Lynds Dark Nebulae ID#141 (a second internal list within the Lynds Catalog that is where Dr. Lynds connected multiple entries from her catalog into groups she felt were gravitationally connected) and due to their size they are easily visible to the Naked Eye in a dark sky. The standard listing of Lynds DN 141 is found in Ophiuchus, but the Lynds DN ID#141 is found in southern Hercules and it is amazing that Barnard missed this clearly Naked Eye object. In my book I discuss many of these little known Dark Nebulae that are visible to the Naked Eye if you have a dark sky.
  13. Thanks Kitwo: 102mm f/6 binoscope with some wide field eyepieces should make short work of Barnard's Loop! Also, your f/6 should be able to handle enough high powered eyepieces to show most of the range of bright and dark nebulae in the region. The Herbig-Haro might take some larger optics, but the beauty of a dark sky is that it will allow observation of just about everything. Keep on looking in the dark! Thank You! nebulaeman
  14. Greetings: I am new to the group and found your topic thread to be right up my ally. I have written many articles in Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines on this topic. I also have a new book published on Amazon and others entitled Bright and Dark Nebulae: An Observers Guide to Understanding the Clouds of the Milky Way Galaxy, CreateSpace 2017. The book is 633 pages and gives detailed discussions of over 1000 bright and dark nebulae as well as a complete listing of the major professional papers on the topic. The main purpose of the work is to assist observers in realizing they can observe virtually all of these "difficult" objects with a variety of binoculars and telescopes as long as they do their observations from a dark site! The key is a dark site because small telescopes help in seeing large faint objects and large telescopes are needed for the smaller and fainter Herbig-Haro objects!
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