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Cat's eye nebula...for imagers only?


WayBig
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After a failed attempt on Monday (failed because my scope was unbalanced and I didn't have a spanner to hand....fine if I want to look at zenith, but no good for anything else!) I think I got the cat's eye last night in my startravel 120.

It took the best part of an hour to track it down, but I think I got it in the end because star hopping from a 2 different angles got the same result.

I think the reason that I found it difficult is that it's so darn small, and looks just like a star at low and medium mag. It was only when I popped in the nebula filter, which took some of the fainter stars out of view and therefore made me more confident from the pattern of the remaining stars that I was in the right area, that I could tell that it had a disc, but it was still tiny tiny tiny.

This is going on my seen, but very underwhelming, list :). It's probably one for imagers only.

Has anyone else been able to pick out the eye shape, visually? I was at a pretty dark site, I could see quite a lot of the milky way.

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Hi Chris. I had a stunning view of the Cat's eye when I found it in my 12" scope at the beginning of last month. It really stood out well at low magnfication with a central brightening and appeared an aquamarine colour. Really beautiful.

At high power it revealed a hook of material off to the SW of the eye, and a slight extension to the NE too.

Got a B&W sketch of it - but havn't scanned it yet.

Aperture definitely helps :)

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It is really tiny as you say and only really pops out as not being a star when you start using the higher powers to view. I have had some quite good views at up to 200x in my 8" dob combined with a SW UHC filter, a nice clearly defined disk with hints of structure visible around the edge.

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Perhaps i'll have another go with the 10 inch dob, as the post below was based on using the startravel 120. I'd like to see some of the structure in it as it does look amazing in some of the pics.

Edited by WayBig
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  • 4 weeks later...

I found it for the first time on Saturday with my 8" SCT. It really can take some magnification. I found it partly by looking to and fro - the nebula seems to vanish when you look straight at it. Its blue was quite strong - much more colour than M27 or M57.

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