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NGC 7027 - Gummy Bear Planetary Nebula

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Very impressed to see this stunning target last night in a brief gap in the weather. NGC 7027 is a young (600 years), compact and extremely bright planetary nebula. I've not seen any detailed reports on this one, although it seems well studied in scientific circles. Plenty of interesting details up for grabs visually though and having seen it I'm surprised it doesn't get more mentions. It really is worth a look and it would be interesting to hear what other people make of it.

At moderate to high mag in the 10" it was a very bright elongated patch teasing some detail, but it really came to life at a crazy high mags. At 500x it still remained bright in direct vision, although averted vision brought out more detail. No filter used. NELM 5 and a bit.

Overall impression was the shape of a gummy bear (!) in profile drifting backwards (and slightly head-first) through space, with the left side of its body facing us. A straight well defined spine, a particularly bright spot for the head (with pointy ear), and a less straight and less well defined edge where the tummy would be, but complete with bright spots for front and rear paws!

The bright spots did jump around a lot though. The head was most obvious, appearing often and consistently enough to be well placed and definite. The other spots less so, but still a fair amount of confidence that something was there.

I normally find the DSS images useful in supporting visual observations like these, but in this case the image scale is far too small (bright "star" at centre) although it does show how very bright this one is..

ngc2027_dss.png

I tried a comparison against a couple of Hubble images, which usually show something recognisable (but a thousand times more awesome) to help make sense of the view at the eyepiece, but in this case I really thought I was looking at a completely different object. Trying to make sense of this, I've read that the Hubble image is a visual/infrared composite with the orange dusty regions carving it into distinct regions for the visual observer. Here's the image with a the visual gummy bear drawn on to indicate what can be seen in a 10". Anything in a hard outline was fairly obvious. Dotted outline less so. Facial expression, hmmmm, may have imagined that one...

ngc2027_hubble.png

 

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I looked at this one last year in my 100ED frac but haven't looked this year yet. Notes from last year:

'I might call it the little bug. Very bright, quite small, about the same size as the blinking PN, that is to say it's still small at 180x. With and without UHC filter it's bright, the brightest object for miles around, and has a fat little rectangle shape NW-SE. With the filter off the NW end appears slightly brighter, and the NE edge appears somewhat fuzzier and dimmer, especially towards the back.'

I'll be very interested to see if I can make out some more detail in the C9.25 I've acquired since then. Thanks!

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Thanks Neural, interesting to read. That sounds like a superb effort with a 4" scope. Let me know whether you spot the gummy bear in the C9.25 or whether I'm just going mad!

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Great description, Paul.  I don't believe I've ever seen it so will hunt it down; I've been very interested in PNs since hearing Owen Brazell talk on them in Northampton a few months ago.  An OIII filter is on the list for next year, but it sounds as though one might not be needed to enjoy some of the detail on this.  

As a father of young boys though, mention of "gummy bear" brings to mind one of the most irritating songs ever written and its madness-inducing tune will now be in my head all day.  

Paul

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A very nice report to read this time in the morning, don't have a lot of time to read all reports at the moment as I am trying to get jobs done before the weather sort of stops me, we have already gone from 34 degrees last week to 17 yesterday and mornings are down to mid-single figures. I saw this one a few years back with the 12 inch but I can't say a gummybear came to mind, nice one though.

May well have another look tonight as it looks as if it will clear.

Alan

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This is an image I captured during an EAA session last year - excuse the quality but it's a screen shot from ipad. This was a series of short 15 second exposures at a FL of 1350mm and because the object was so bright I had to make a number of adjustments to finally reveal any detail on the monitor. Interesting shape, and again, not much like the the Hubble image! Thought it may be of interest as a comparison. 

image.png  .

 

 

 

 

Edited by RobertI
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Nice one Paul:thumbsup:

I saw it some years ago, used UHC to blink it, stella size in 130x, but filter enhanced the relative brightness to other stars. 500x seems to be the rihgt mag considering its small size, should be fun to try it with my 8" too:smiley:

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12 hours ago, FenlandPaul said:

Great description, Paul.  I don't believe I've ever seen it so will hunt it down; I've been very interested in PNs since hearing Owen Brazell talk on them in Northampton a few months ago.  An OIII filter is on the list for next year, but it sounds as though one might not be needed to enjoy some of the detail on this.  

As a father of young boys though, mention of "gummy bear" brings to mind one of the most irritating songs ever written and its madness-inducing tune will now be in my head all day.  

Paul

Ha ha sorry. We have a songs about pirates going round and round most days in our household!

Oiii's are useful little bits of kit. That said, I was enjoying a UHC on the Ring and Dumbell recently which brought out brighter detail in some of the faint areas than the Oiii. The two complement each other nicely and although the conventional wisdom seems to be Oiii for planetaries, I've found a UHC very useful (if you already one?).

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11 hours ago, RobertI said:

This is an image I captured during an EAA session last year - excuse the quality but it's a screen shot from ipad. This was a series of short 15 second exposures at a FL of 1350mm and because the object was so bright I had to make a number of adjustments to finally reveal any detail on the monitor. Interesting shape, and again, not much like the the Hubble image! Thought it may be of interest as a comparison. 

Thanks Rob that's really interesting. A lot closer to how it looks visually than the Hubble image! Those intersecting dark lanes didn't come across to me, but at 500x I wonder if it would need better seeing to place them (if it's even possible at all). It's interesting to see how the regions in your image might have jumped around through the seeing to come together into an impression.

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7 hours ago, YKSE said:

Nice one Paul:thumbsup:

I saw it some years ago, used UHC to blink it, stella size in 130x, but filter enhanced the relative brightness to other stars. 500x seems to be the rihgt mag considering its small size, should be fun to try it with my 8" too:smiley:

Hit it with the most aggressive kit you have! :icon_biggrin:

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