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John

Something old, something new......

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After the rotten weather of the past couple of months here, a cold but largely clear night had me wondering if I could remember how to use the scope and how to find anything to look at !

I put my 12" dobsonian out to cool early but with one thing and another I didn't get to actually observe anything until around 8:30 pm.

I was interrupted by clouds during the early parts of this session and seemed to be clouded out completely at one point but I kept the scope out and was rewarded eventually by a clear sky almost horizon to horizon for an hour or so.

I wandered around a bit, mostly aiming at constellations that were rising in the SE but occasionally going elsewhere.

Quite a few of these objects are old favourites but a managed to snag a few new ones as well.

Taurus

M45 - o/c “The Pleiades” . More than filled the FoV of the 21mm Ethos in the 12 dob. Dozens of white stars.  Slight traces of nebulosity around Merope with DGM NBP filter in place.

Orion

M42, M43, Trapezium stars A through F. Usual stuff and all lovely. The nebula "extended" very nicely when I used the NBP filter. The area adjacent to the Trapezium cluster very knotty.

There was just too much in the way of local lights, including from my own house, to make the Horsehead Nebula a possibility. I did have a peek at the area of sky where it lies with the H-Beta filter in but I couldn't even see the Flame Nebula on this occasion.

M78 - reflection nebula, mag 8.3. Not particularly spectacular, a sort of fan shape with 2 brightish stars within it.

NGC 2071 - reflection nebula in the same FoV as M78. Faint patch of light around mag 7.5 star. I've probably seen this little patch of nebulosity before but have not previously noted it or looked up what it was so I'll count it as a 1st.

NGC 2022 - planetary nebula, mag 12.4. Quite easy to find. Grape-like shape (ie: elongated). Dist = 8,200 LY’s. Really a rather pleasing planetary nebula considering it's magnitude - it seemed brighter to be honest. Definitely worth looking for and a 1st for me. DGM NBP filter enhanced it a little but I preferred the unfiltered view at 199x.

Monoceros

NGC 2244 - a compact and pretty open cluster surrounded by NGC 2237-8, the Rosette Nebula,  which filled most of the FoV of the 31mm Nagler.

I needed the DGM NBP filter to see the chunks of nebulosity around the cluster. I think the view of the Rosette

would have been better with my wide field refractor.

NGC 2264 - open cluster, the “Christmas Tree” cluster. Outline of the “tree” was  defined by stars. Cone Nebula lies at one end of this cluster but that was not seen on this occasion.

I should have looked at this cluster 2 weeks ago I guess, to make it more seasonal !

Canis Major

Sirius: split with the 6.7mm Meade UWA and 6mm Ethos eyepieces (237x and 265x). Not the steadiest view I’ve had but “the Pup” glimmered clearly for a few moments

now and then on the finges of the Sirius "glow". My first split of Sirus this season.

Cancer

M44 - open cluster, “The Beehive” cluster. Visible clearly to the naked eye tonight and the “swarm” of stars was

very nice with 10x50 binoculars. A "classic" object.

Gemini

NGC 2392 - planetary nebula, “The Eskimo Nebula” also known as the "Clown Face". Magnitude 9ish. Distance 2,900 LY’s approx. 9th mag central star easily visible @ 237x. DGM NBP filter enhanced the multi-layered look and the central star was still visible. One of the youngest planetary nebulae, estimated to be just 1500 years old. Did it look like an Eskimo or a Clown ? - not to me, although I was starting to feel like an Eskimo about now as it was a bit nippy !

Abell 21 / Sharpless 2-274 - planetary nebula,  “The Medusa Nebula”. This is a large and very faint surface brightness nebula. I could just detect traces of it’s curved shape at 76x with the Lumicon O-III filter. Pretty challenging object tonight and this was the 1st time I'd observed it.

Ursa Major

M97 - planetary nebula, “The Owl Nebula”. Nice clear disk with surface brightness variations with the Lumicon O-III filter at 76x . “eyes” not clearly defined as such though but there were hints of them. Easy one to finish the session !

Not too bad a "haul" for an unplanned session. I observe from a patio just a few feet from our dining room so it's easy to pop in for a warm brew but it's probably not optimal for faint DSO chasing. A bit of comfort now and then does help the session along though, I find :icon_biggrin:

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Wonderful John and a cracking variation of targets. A great feeling is had when one finally gets back to it....clear skies

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Cold & Clear. What a treat.

Nice writup. You were obviously enjoying yourself.

I had got the Medusa and Rosette down as being beyond normal sized scopes. Will add them to the list.

Paul

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Nice one John, glad you managed to get out there. Lovely descriptive report.

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Cold & Clear. What a treat.

Nice writup. You were obviously enjoying yourself.

I had got the Medusa and Rosette down as being beyond normal sized scopes. Will add them to the list.

Paul

The Medusa *is* a challenge however, the Rosette can be observed 'naked eye' through an UHC filter on a transparent night from very dark locations.

Nice to be out!!

Paul

Edited by clarkpm4242

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Nice report! I wasn't aware of the Medusa nebula. Something new to look up!

Piero

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Well John, I am with clouds which makes a change, so pleased you had a clear night. Great report as always from youreslf, I have always found M78 a bit of a let down even with the big scope, though it was not a great position for the target, it will get better.

I have too much snow for a scope at the moment, though the observatory may be clear for tonight, it's melting fast now but there is a lot to get rid of. Ventured out this morning with the Binos and fell on my bottom, didn't do any damage. Venus and Saturn were very close and Venus was twinkling rather fast which is strange and not something I have noticed before, also a lovely sliver of Moon before sunrise.

Alan

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Good read, great that you got to venture out, become re-accustomed with the scope and certainly make the most.

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Very nice report and a very good read. You certainly had a very productive session.

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John

Very nice report. The 7th/8th have proved pretty good viewing.

The 7th was one of the most troansparent nights I have had in a long time.

Last night was pretty good as well and i did quite a tour of the Messiers with my Son Josh.

He particularily liked M81/82.

Cheers

Ian

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Great report John and good to hear you still know your way around up there! I think we've all breathed a heavy sigh of relief with this cold front and the crisp, clear skies its brought. Though the seeing may be a little wobbly, the transparency has been great.

No shame operating close to the back door. This cold can be bitter!

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