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SimonfromSussex

A monkey, a horse and an award

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I started Sunday nights observing with a new target for me, the monkey head nebula (NGC 2174).

I don't think I've ever seen a picture of this or observed it before through any telescope so I was unsure what I would find but it was quite stunning!

There was no real hint of nebula in my 80mm finder but the star cluster (that lies within it) did stand out and made it quite simple to find.

Then to the eyepiece, I used my 21 ethos and lumicon oiii which in my 22" gives x90 mag and a 1.12deg tfov. Conditions were pretty good but I have seen them better.

Just wow! This is one nebula that really fits it's name. It's like a side on brain (monkey head doh!) but the dark lines that intersect it really stand out and enhance the contrast of what you are looking at.

The indent at the front was obvious too. The lighter nebula patches in between these dark separating lines appeared to ripple (something that the veils does a bit to my eyes as well).

The 1.12deg tfvo fitted it nicely and gave some good dark sky around it for contrast. I let my eye relax and take it in and the more I looked the clearer it became. I find this with quite a lot of targets, it's like you are tuning your eye to the right frequency of the target.  

I'd say it's easier to see structure in this than the crescent nebula and I'm sure smaller aperture would show some good detail. 

The next day I looked up a ccd photo of it and aside from no color what I saw compared exactly. Having never seen the thing before it was reassuring that I wasn't using averted imagination on this target, it really was that good!!!

Sticking with the animal theme I then skipped down to the horsehead (Barnard 33).

I've seen this quite a few times now and it really is a target that is better some nights than others.

Some nights it's impossible, some nights it stands out like a beacon and you think how is this not easy to see every night!

I've tried several times with my new 22" scope but whilst I've picked it out, it has yet never been as good as one night with my old meade 16"

18mm 82deg explore scientific with a lumicon h-beta for this, which gives x105 mag and 0.78deg tfov, this is small enough to remove Alnitak from the fov but big enough to show the nebula.   

Also it gives a 5.29 exit pupil in my scope which is ideal for the h-beta filter - apparently????

If you center on Alnitak and then push your scope down there is a band of three stars running at 90deg from Alnitak, the horsehead is above these.

Tonight was the best I've seen it in my new scope but still not as good as my best night with the target.

Averted vision really helps with this target, don't look at it, look above it and pop, there it is. A big black indent on a light grey ribbon of nebula.

Final highlight for me on Sunday was the Rosette nebula (ngc2244).

This was the brightest of all three of these targets but it's big, really big.

I had a quick look at this using my wide field refractor to start with (please don't disown me dob mob) using the 21 ethos and lumicon oiii.

This really showed the true size of the nebula and allowed me to view it in it's entirety, it was a lovely glow in the small 120mm scope and was clear to see. There was a slight hint of the structure of the nebula too. Subtle lines between the clouds were just possible and the central star cluster looked amazing.

Same eyepiece in the big scope then and boom! It's just there, no averted vision, no teasing your eye. I'm not exaggerating when I say this target is just like a black and white picture. 

The billowing grey clouds around the deep dark pool in the center with the twinkling stars in the middle looking like reflections off water. 

The cloud structure really caught me too. The bottom half looked very similar to normal daytime clouds in the sky. That change in depth and thickness. 

I wish I could have the 120mm field of view with the light gathering of the 22" because then this target would be perfect but, even though I had to scan around the nebula to take it all in with the larger scope it was still amazing. I tried the 31mm nagler to increase the fov but whilst this is fine on brighter things, it diminished the view somewhat on this particular target, I think the exit pupil is just too large on my F3.4 scope.

Just three highlights for me of a great night under the stars! 

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Lovely report, you're certainly shaking the fence for those perching and considering more aperture !

Nick.

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Great report Simon :smiley:

I revert to my 4" F/6.5 refractor for really large objects as well so no need to feel disloyal to your dob - pick the tool that will do the job best !

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Great write up Simon, thanks for sharing. Not got the rosette yet in my 20" , you've just whetted my apettite :) I'm still wondering if it's doable with the naked eye + O-III filter?

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Lovely report, you're certainly shaking the fence for those perching and considering more aperture !

Nick.

Sorry Nick, aperture isn't everything but it does help!

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Great report Simon :smiley:

I revert to my 4" F/6.5 refractor for really large objects as well so no need to feel disloyal to your dob - pick the tool that will do the job best !

Cheers John, I'm quite surprised at how good the little 120mm is! Cost me about £100 just after Xmas and its lovely on the wider sky.

Took in the whole of kembles cascade with it on Sunday too which is impossible in the bigger scopes and a real treat.

Looking forward to the bigger summer nebulas with it too! 

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Great write up Simon, thanks for sharing. Not got the rosette yet in my 20" , you've just whetted my apettite :) I'm still wondering if it's doable with the naked eye + O-III filter?

Thanks Steve, the rosette is a real treat! 

I'd suck my teeth and shake my head on naked eye + oiii I think, maybe in Wales!!!!!?

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Great report Simon really enjoyed reading your description of the observed objects. The 22" sounds a fantastic piece of kit.

Many thanks Mark, I'm really starting to get to grips with it now, very happy!!!

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Great write up Simon, thanks for sharing. Not got the rosette yet in my 20" , you've just whetted my apettite :) I'm still wondering if it's doable with the naked eye + O-III filter?

Yes, naked eye, OIII or UHC...

...from the Elan Valley, obviously :)

Also, from 2000+metres up in the Canaries (cheating, I know).

Good luck

Paul

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Yes, naked eye, OIII or UHC... ...from the Elan Valley, obviously :)  Also, from 2000+metres up in the Canaries (cheating, I know). Good luckPaul

Nice one Paul.

I figured it just must be. :)

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Yes, naked eye, OIII or UHC...

...from the Elan Valley, obviously :)

Also, from 2000+metres up in the Canaries (cheating, I know).

Good luck

Paul

I gotta try this Paul/Steve! Challenge accepted! 

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