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Return of the cool "Blue Snowball" !


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You'll be familiar with most of these bright targets, a fullish moon neede the contrast of a 4" frac to get results. Pegasus and Andromeda climbed in the north east, with Cassiopeia getting higher in the north. The end of Cygnus dragged Cepheus up the pole, quite faint, the main stars and the garnet star visible by eye. 
It was a joy to get " The Blue Snowball" , NGC 7662 back. It appears blue at x40 and x100 really pushes it into the wow field. A supremely spectacular planetary nebula. 

M31 was not far behind. Almach is quoted as an orange and green binary, I made it yellow - blue. Also Alpheratz is lovely and delicate . Even a sight of that old familiar NGC 7331.

Mu Cephei, the " Garnet " star didn't disappoint , a glaring gem in the field.
Earlier I caught a fair Saturn with Cassini , such a thrilling sight to get the Moon, Saturn above Antares and the bright Mars floating south. M5 in Serpens followed M13. Don't forget Groombridge 34 here, the closet binary to us.
Some summer favourites, M27 appeared bright and fluffy with a UHC filter, before turning to M11, again bleached out.

Gem of the night was Graff's in Serpens ( IC 4756), just a speckling of star across the field, spectacular. Top of the list !

I had plenty to see in Cygnus, including 61 Cygni ,"Piazzi's" flying double, just so bright and delightful. As were U Cygni, a blood red pulsating red variable,the doubles of 16 and 30/31. 30 Cygni ( Omicron 1),gives orange and an obvious turquoise. 31 Cygni (Omicron 2 ) gives a +3.8/+4.8 with a +7 companion to the brighter star.
Up to the clusters of Cygnus, so many here, ending in the "blinking planetary" , NGC 6826 and the bright NGC 7027.

I tried for the lovely targets in Aquila, saving these for a darker sky,

Glob. Cluster.   NGC 6760

Planetaries,    NGC 6741 ("Phantom Streak"), NGC 6751, NGC 6781 ("Ghost of the Moon")NGC 6804, NGC 6803,and NGC 6790. 

There's even a galaxy here, NGC 6814 (+12.2).

Open clusters,
NGC 6709, NGC 6738, NGC 6755 and NGC 6756.   

Just scanning around to finish, the "double cluster " and "Bode's" ,102 mm achro and a 24 mm Panoptic, just the kit for a warm, still and gorgeous night . Ignore the Moon, look the other way and near the zenith,
Clear skies,

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Great report as always Nick. I checked out the blinking planetary a couple of weeks ago - I hadn't realised before that you can actually see the central star in this one - blew me away!

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Great report!  Nice selection of objects and glad you indeed persisted and went for other objects rather than the Moon (nothing against the Moon I just find it very difficult to observe at this phase and not that interesting...)

I observed the Snowball last year with my 8" SCT but must give it a go again with my 5" refractor so thanks for the reminder of this objects as it's a good one!   The refractor gives much better contrast and colour definition imho.  While I could see the blue colour of it a low magnification with the SCT it was not very distinct so looking forward to see how this looks with the refractor.

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58 minutes ago, rockystar said:

I thought there were no green stars?

Lovely report though, as ever - so much more for me to see...

I've seen a double with a secondary which looked green. I never got to the bottom of it, no one seemed to have an answer.

Great report Nick as always, hoping to get out tonight perhaps, skies looking nice at the moment.

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Great report again Nick and a pleasure to read.

I will have to try my best to pluck up some enthusiasm and get out at this time of year. Think you have wet the appetite for some pn hunting 

Cheers for the effort as I know the reports take some writing. Much appreciated. 

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Always a pleasure to read your reports, a busy night. I have always seen the Blue Snowball as blue but on Wiki it states you need a large telescope to see the colour which is not correct as I see it. I have only ever looked at it with the 190mm and the 12 inch SC, looks blue with them.

M11 is always a pleasure to view, it is amazing with the big scope.


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1 minute ago, cotterless45 said:

I think colours respond better with smaller aperture. A 4" frac is ideal at picking up colour and is a proper scope !


Better put your tin hat on Nick, 'Incoming!' :) 




btw, I agree ;) 

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