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A new eagle and some sights around the old eagle


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A beautiful evening with deep blue autumnal skies led to met getting the dob out, planning a casual tour of Sagitta but ending up spending most time further south in Aquila.  Whilst I got dark adapted I enjoyed M13, M27 and M71 - amazing how M71 looks rather unimpressive immediately after its brighter Herulean brother!  The sky was nicely transparent, seeing was reasonable and the earlier stiff breeze had calmed down.  Interstellarum was my guide again; just picking off some of the targets denoted as being suitable for 12" telescopes and smaller.

But it started with disappointment.  An intriguingly named planetary called the Necklace Nebula, which has a catalogue number from IPHASX that looks more like a bar code than a catchy name.  Interstellarum suggests this should be visible in 8"-12" scopes, but I drew a complete blank.  A small gathering of 3 bright stars seemed to have a nebulous background, but this dropped away on magnification so wasn't real.  Later I saw that this nebula, which has been imaged beautifully buy Hubble, was only discovered in 2005 using an H-alpha detector on the Isaac Newton telescope.  Not quite sure what Messrs Stoyan and Schurig were thinking with this one!  Has anyone come across it? 

Roslund 3 - the Snail Cluster (asterism / cluster in Sagitta).  Forms a triangle north of Eta and Gamma Sge.  A medium loose cluster of 25-30 stars.  At low power, a coil moves from a compact centre in an arc to the south and then back round to the west ending in a tail leading north.  It does indeed look like a coiled shell!  At higher power, the coil becomes too dispersed to discern but the central concentration resolves itself into a small triangle surrounding another star, rather like the Steering Wheel asterism of Aquarius.

NGC 6828 - open cluster in Aquila.  Fairly small, with 15-20 resolvable stars in no distinct pattern gathered in 2 loose groups to the north and east of a brighter field star, which is shown as overlaying the cluster on Interstallarum.

NGC 6804 - planetary nebula in Aquila.  A smudge that is less bright in the outer 20% of its perimeter and isn't quite round.  It's set between two brighter field stars to the NW and SE.  A brighter star overlays the nebula and is offset to the east and every so often another, dimmer star can be discerned barely to its west and nearer the centre of the nebula; a later examination of images confirms this. 

NGC 6781 - the Snowglobe Nebula - planetary nebula in Aquila.  A faint puff that's almost round and has generally even surface brightness except for a slightly brighter southern side.   Higher power didn't give any more away and there was no sign of a central star.

NGC 6751 - the Glowing Eye - planetary nebula in Aquila.  Forms a nice equilateral triangle to the south of Lambda and 12 Aquilae, making it quite easy to find.  Very compact and appeared ring-shaped with no central star.  The annulus wasn't as defined as M57 and the whole structure appeared much smaller.  A small gathering of stars sits in the same field to the south.  This is where I could really  do with higher magnification than my 7mm Nagler will manage; my cheap Revelation Barlow just isn't up to the task.

M11 - the Wild Duck Cluster - open cluster in Scutum.  Whilst down in this part of the sky it would have been silly not to have had a look!  At x214 in the 7mm Nagler more than 60% of the field was filled with myriad blue-white stars, criss-crossed with dark lanes with a prominent, bright star embedded to the east of the centre.  A slender arm emerges from the east before turning south and then bending abruptly to the south west at an elbow.  At low power the bright star shines beautifully from a bed of fine mist that quickly resolves into individual stars.  The slender arm appears to surround a dark notch and is enclosed to the south west by a lovely double oriented roughly north-south.  I can't really see the flock of wild ducks in this cluster, but instead I can see a mighty eagle with wings poised for flight, rather like those golden eagle lecterns you see in church buildings; the slender arm forms the right wing.

NGC 6712 - the Weird Globular - globular cluster in Scutum. Unsurprisingly, the name of this intrigued me.  It was quite faint, round and unresolved although some (presumably) foreground stars popped into view occasionally.  It didn't look particularly "weird" to me, and I was unable to detect the planetary IC1295 which lies nearby.

NGC 6778 - planetary nebula in Aquila.  Easy to locate, less than 1 degree to the SW of 27 Aquila and just to the west of a brightish orange field star.  Small, and appears as an out-of-focus star in the 7mm Nagler.  No details visible.

NGC6775 - open cluster in Aquila.  A misty patch at low power in the 32mm Plossl.  Some stars begin to be resolved in the 20mm and in the 7mm around a dozen to fifteen stars appear with a misty underlay.  No particular pattern to this one.

NGC 6760 - globular cluster in Aquila.  At low power I could see a faint spherical smudge that was brighter towards the centre, sitting on top of a cup formed by an arc of stars to the south; the globular appeared as a cherry on top of a cupcake (usually an unwelcome and unnecessary addition to a cake, in my opinion!).  It was unresolved at low power and remained so at higher powers.

As I looked up from NGC6760, a lovely fast orange meteor shot through western Aquila towards Scutum, heralding the gathering cloud to the south west,  So I decided to call it a night.  But what a lovely, unexpected night it had been.

Thanks for reading.

Paul

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Nice report. Hmm, interstallarum does show some things that there are very few reports of being seen:.. but they based it on the records from a large number of keen amateurs in Germany, so I don't doubt it might be possible.

 

cheers

 

peter

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what a great tour! :thumbsup: I found your descriptions for the planetary nebulae very intriguing! :) 

Regarding the Necklace Nebula (PN G054.2-03.4), some colleagues on CN spotted it with their telescope: 

http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/297066-the-necklace-nebula/ 

From their reports, it seems that it requires large aperture (invisible with 11", doable with +20" yet not easy), OIII filter, dark skies, and high magnifications (>225x). 

In one post there is also a link to the original article. 

Thanks for sharing your report, Paul!  :) 

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4 hours ago, Piero said:

what a great tour! :thumbsup: I found your descriptions for the planetary nebulae very intriguing! :) 

Regarding the Necklace Nebula (PN G054.2-03.4), some colleagues on CN spotted it with their telescope: 

http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/297066-the-necklace-nebula/ 

From their reports, it seems that it requires large aperture (invisible with 11", doable with +20" yet not easy), OIII filter, dark skies, and high magnifications (>225x). 

In one post there is also a link to the original article. 

Thanks for sharing your report, Paul!  :) 

Hi Piero - thanks for the link. Very interesting, and even more so that it was on the POSS plates but wasn't "discovered" until a few years ago.  As a lot of those folk seemed to struggle in scopes much bigger than mine, I guess it's no surprise I couldn't seen it from my garden!

Paul

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A really great night you had there and a superb report. Interesting thing I always find about M71 is that it is not very globular to my eyes, I always feel it looks more like a normal cluster. A bit late in the year now as it is getting low, but you must try M22, a fine globular and probably my favourite though the fainter M107 with the 4 star cross is very nice too.

Great early morning read, thanks for posting.

Alan

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