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After such a long wait.... two nights in a row. This time I had just over an hour and a half.

I started my evening in Monoceros by locating NGC 2264, the Christmas Tree cluster. I was unable to see any hint of nebulosity but the cluster is attractive none the less. The sky looked reasonably transparent so I turned slightly to the South to look at the Rosette cluster NGC 2244. Out came the 8mm eyepiece with the UHC-s filter in hope to see a little more but to start with I could only see the stars of the cluster. After a minute or so, I started to sweep across the whole area and began to notice that the centre was darker than its surrounding. The milky radiance of NGC 2237 (Caldwell 49, the Rosette Nebula) was most noticable beyond the stars HD46106 and HD46149 (to the North...ish) but could be detected all around the cluster and the darker centre. The outer edge of the nebula's halo was impossible to discern however, due to its more gradual dimming. I was stunned that I managed to pick anything up at all.

My next target was the second brightest planetary nebula in Gemini, (NGC 2371 and NGC 2372). The area was reasonably easy to find but the nebula did not come through until I had the filtered 8mm eyepiece trained on it. Initially I could just detect a condensed fuzz but as I stared at it, I seemed to detect a figure of eight shape to it with averted vision.

I then turned my attention to Leo. A pair of galaxies equidistant between Zeta and Gamma Leonis with an asterism as a clear marker. They looked quite similar to eachother in the same 8mm eyepiece field of view and were moderately difficult to see. NGC 3190 was slightly easier to view than NGC 3193, as the latter was very close to a ninth magnitude star which added a minor distraction to its observation.

My final target was NGC 4214 in Canes Venatici. This was very tough, despite its recorded magnitude of just 9.8. Beyond 6 Canes Venaticorum lies the diffuse ellipse of NGC 4244 and beyond that with ever fewer and feinter marker stars was a quite large circular ghostly glow of the target galaxy.

By this time the cold had set in and so I called it a night. Very happy with my new finds, both tonight and yesterday.


Observing Session: Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 20:50 hrs to 22:25 hrs BST

VLM at Zenith: 5.2

New - Revisited - Failed

Edited by Double Kick Drum
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Well done on the Rosette nebula DKD, I need to get me a UHC and have a look for it - if I can get organised before it disappears...

A good set of other finds too - thanks :)

It's feeling a bit like christmas the last coupe of days isn't it :D

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Great report. The Rosette really benefits from a dark site, I find. Very hazy. The dust lanes within it can be the most prominent feature in my SCT (which is really too narrow-field for the Rosette).

Yes, my scope is a comparatively wide-field piece of kit but it took the 8mm eyepiece to get enough contrast to see it. Odd, given the size of the Rosette, you'd have thought a larger eyepiece would do the trick.

It would be lovely to see it in truly inky black skies to see a little structure.

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