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jetstream

Merope nebula

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Sometimes having to go grab an armful of wood just before bed pays off...on the way out I saw the bright outline of Orion and Gemini shining bright with loads of stars about, not bad for having zero adaptation. Forget the wood, grab the scope!

Once set up I did the usual bouncing around the sky visiting the favorites, Gemini, Orion and Auriga are all favorite viewing locations and the nebulae were very sharp tonight. Distracted by my recent Sirius "B" infatuation, many minutes were spent trying eyepieces out, it was ortho night tonight and the18mm BCO did a fine job on the pup as did a few others.

Back in Orion I noticed a lane or split in the comma, M43, interesting sight-I must investigate more.

The prize tonight however was up in the Pleiades, a much observed area and a goto on my list, always trying to observe the elusive Merope nebula... and tonight it decided to give up a fine view :icon_biggrin: a large patch of offset cloud reaching outside of the cluster, huge tonight and rolling the eye around the patch gave hints of a few fine strands.

When trying to view this object, "glow" around the clusters stars can be deceiving but when a large offset patch of nebulosity is seen by Merope...right on the money. This object is always worth a try and you never know when its going to show itself. Now I'm off to try to see Catalina before the dob gets put to bed...

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I find the informal name 'Thumbprint Nebula' helps to describe what you can see.  The faint edge of a print fading away to the side.

Good catch!

Paul

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Very interesting report Gerry, but getting some wood is also important! :)

The times (I believe at least) I saw a soft patch of nebulosity was by moving the star outside the eyepiece fov. Very nice! 

I guess this should be much easier with an orthoscopic ep. :)

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Nice report Gerry :icon_biggrin:

I think I've detected that patch of nebulosity occasionally. It's pretty transient though so the sky needs to be very transparent. It's a reflection nebula as I recall so does not really benefit from UHC or O-III filters ?

You do have to be critical of what you are observing with this sort of thing as the bright stars can create their own "haze" through the optics. I seem to remember the Merope Nebula as having a faint curved form which becomes a little more apparent with averted vision although Merope itself also tries to interfere with that !

I managed to see Comet Catalina myself last night - hope you were successful as well :icon_biggrin:

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Sometimes having to go grab an armful of wood just before bed pays off...on the way out I saw the bright outline of Orion and Gemini shining bright with loads of stars about, not bad for having zero adaptation. Forget the wood, grab the scope!

Once set up I did the usual bouncing around the sky visiting the favorites, Gemini, Orion and Auriga are all favorite viewing locations and the nebulae were very sharp tonight. Distracted by my recent Sirius "B" infatuation, many minutes were spent trying eyepieces out, it was ortho night tonight and the18mm BCO did a fine job on the pup as did a few others.

Back in Orion I noticed a lane or split in the comma, M43, interesting sight-I must investigate more.

The prize tonight however was up in the Pleiades, a much observed area and a goto on my list, always trying to observe the elusive Merope nebula... and tonight it decided to give up a fine view :icon_biggrin: a large patch of offset cloud reaching outside of the cluster, huge tonight and rolling the eye around the patch gave hints of a few fine strands.

When trying to view this object, "glow" around the clusters stars can be deceiving but when a large offset patch of nebulosity is seen by Merope...right on the money. This object is always worth a try and you never know when its going to show itself. Now I'm off to try to see Catalina before the dob gets put to bed...

hi gerry great report, seen the nebula last friday on the plaidies awsome awsome sight, steve seen it through my little scope as well. it was realy obvious, even looked at some similar mag stars incase it was light scatter or dew and it wasnt. deffo neb on all the main stars

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Nice report Gerry :icon_biggrin:

I think I've detected that patch of nebulosity occasionally. It's pretty transient though so the sky needs to be very transparent. It's a reflection nebula as I recall so does not really benefit from UHC or O-III filters ?

You do have to be critical of what you are observing with this sort of thing as the bright stars can create their own "haze" through the optics. I seem to remember the Merope Nebula as having a faint curved form which becomes a little more apparent with averted vision although Merope itself also tries to interfere with that !

I managed to see Comet Catalina myself last night - hope you were successful as well :icon_biggrin:

Thanks John, the cold snap is paying off- snowing at 6pm, crystal clear at 10pm. Before I packed up I saw Catalina! :hello2: Had to move the scope around to position a view through the trees and finally saw it. I had a bit of a wow moment as I stumbled upon M51 above the tree tops, first time in the 15"...but this is another story for another time :icon_biggrin:

I used no filter for the nebula in the Pleiades- this one doesn't benefit from them IME, and the Merope neb showed the biggest I've seen it, which is quite a few times and it still seems an elusive target, not sure why. I have seen it smaller with more defined edges in the fracs but last night the neb was huge. The confusing thing is that some of the other stars will glow with nebulosity in VG conditions, so I personally check in different areas- the thing is the sweeping Merope itself is the telltale indicator I find.

A great night with lots seen- my 18mmBCO made me a proud owner again and the 21E is,well, the 21E!

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This is something I have seen a good few times from here as M45 is almost overhead at some points in time. When the Moon is not around I like to use this to naked eye to judge how good conditions are. They tend to range from seeing about 11-12 stars to what is that fuzzy patch.

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