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scarp15

Horse Head Nebula - Seeing the 'Snout'

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scarp15    2,088

For some deep sky observers who actively pursue Barnard 33 each season, applying the optimum circumstances for successfully observing this dark nebula, can achieve relative, consistent and accomplished observations. Mentally comprehending the fairly large scale of the dark notch embedded within 1C434 is sometimes seen as the key to becoming visually aware at responding to this object. It would be interesting to learn if any other feature could be gleaned within an observation such as the 'snout' or head like profile and if so what will this take. At the very least I would expect pristine sky conditions and to employ averted vision perhaps, I have read accounts of this being possible, has anyone attempted or gained a little extra from this visually elusive object?      

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John    17,555

I'll be interested in responses to this. I've yet to see this target at all, let alone it's snout !

 

 

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pjsmith_6198    55

Here is an old thread on finding the Horsehead Nebula from Cloudy Nights.  https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/351084-about-to-make-an-assault-on-the-horsehead/  It's pretty long but lots of good information and some excellent sketches on what you can expect to see.    Visually, the HH is seen as looking like a thumb print.  The snout must be easier in AP.    

I haven't seen the Horsehead yet, but it is one of my goals.   I will a much better site (plus excellent conditions) than what I observe in .

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scarp15    2,088

For something that is almost nothing, visually, it is a hot topic that is much talked about, I shall have a read through that thread. Becoming accustomed to observing the thumb print image is a feature that is possible to comprehend in the right circumstances and I would expect that most observers would settle for this. Gaining more in a visual sense, probably requires yet more scrutiny and terrific eye-sight.  

2 hours ago, John said:

I'll be interested in responses to this. I've yet to see this target at all, let alone it's snout !

 

 

Yes I think you indicated that you came close to 'seeing' something last season John, some more attempts may confirm what all the fuss is about. I have seen the notch several times even with, for brief moments direct vision, the snout I think is possible if transparency is very good and fleetingly with direct vision. Becoming that dedicated to committing the time required is another consideration as if transparency is that good, you probably would want to be observing else where making the most.  

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Mark at Beaufort    2,531

Last weekend I bought a 25mm Fujiyama Ortho at IAS to have a go at the HH with my 12" Dob. I hope to visit a very dark site in the Brecon Beacons over the next few months to view it again. I have a colleague, also with a 12" Dob, so we can visit this remote site together and compare notes. I am hoping that the Fujiyama with its limited FOV might be a 'magic bullet'.

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scarp15    2,088

Good luck with that Mark, I expect that there will be a lot of Horse Head discussion in the coming weeks and months, that is if the weather ever improves. Yes the magic bullet / eyepiece is much debated. For myself it has become my 20mm TV plossl used with my 14" F4.6 dob, I get 4.34mm exit pupil and X80, 1.02 degree field (no paracorr).

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estwing    4,493

TBH it's not all that fantastic to observe.Yes seeing the notch gives a great sense of achievement after many attempts but once seen,for me the target passes by now...it's still the cone that's killing me!!!

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PeterW    414

Clear view of the flame and ic434 at my annual dark sky trip recently... only got  short amount of good Skies... rather too much looming murk and dew. Didn’t have a scope with enough focal length to go horsey hunting, but barnards loop was faintly visible. Good luck, there are plenty other nebulae to go looking for....

PeterW

PS I managed to nail Sh126, but the murk prevented an assault on the cone.... one on my list too.

Edited by PeterW
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scarp15    2,088
20 hours ago, estwing said:

TBH it's not all that fantastic to observe.Yes seeing the notch gives a great sense of achievement after many attempts but once seen,for me the target passes by now...it's still the cone that's killing me!!!

Oh yes quite, an object to attempt to resolve in terms of what could be resolvable, as one aspect within a much wider agenda definitely and only if conditions are up to it. Good luck this time with the Cone, not sure I have read a genuine account for anyone grasping this on here so far.

20 hours ago, PeterW said:

Clear view of the flame and ic434 at my annual dark sky trip recently... only got  short amount of good Skies... rather too much looming murk and dew. Didn’t have a scope with enough focal length to go horsey hunting, but barnards loop was faintly visible. Good luck, there are plenty other nebulae to go looking for....

PeterW

PS I managed to nail Sh126, but the murk prevented an assault on the cone.... one on my list too.

Great that you got something of Sh2 126, looking at Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas, that does appear highly challenging, though advantageously well elevated currently up in Lacerta. Sh2 261 Lowers Nebula up in Orion, a target I tried for last year which I will attempt again. 

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jetstream    4,076

Nothing more than the thumbprint for me, but I must say that IC434 can give a nice, brightish presentation of itself. The extent of this nebula can easily be overlooked in our ever present infatuation with the HH.

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PeterW    414

Saw lowers too and ic443 further above it. Skies didnt allow much later viewing, was sort of stuck with Cygnus. My home brew laser finder worked well till I broke one of the power wires...

 

PeterW

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clarkpm4242    310

I was very lucky to cadge a few hours observing through a 24" dobsonian at the Parador up on Mt Tiede, Tenerife (thank you Owen).

The HH looked like a chess piece..!  A view never repeated.

Paul

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John    17,555
On 17/10/2017 at 20:08, Mark at Beaufort said:

Last weekend I bought a 25mm Fujiyama Ortho at IAS to have a go at the HH with my 12" Dob. I hope to visit a very dark site in the Brecon Beacons over the next few months to view it again. I have a colleague, also with a 12" Dob, so we can visit this remote site together and compare notes. I am hoping that the Fujiyama with its limited FOV might be a 'magic bullet'.

I might join you Mark - with my 12" dob, Astronomik HB filter and my eyepieces for the task would be the 24mm Panoptic and the 18mm Baader Classic Ortho :smiley:

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chiltonstar    1,437
6 hours ago, John said:

I might join you Mark - with my 12" dob, Astronomik HB filter and my eyepieces for the task would be the 24mm Panoptic and the 18mm Baader Classic Ortho :smiley:

It will be interesting to see how you get on John - I have yet to get a convincing view of the HH (a "hint" only several times).

Chris

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scarp15    2,088

That is a good point, in Gerry's post, to perhaps highlight focusing a bit more exploratory attention on IC 434 and not just considering this area as being a mere backdrop feature to tease out B33. 

Paul's post clearly outlines what is required to create any chance towards glimpsing this as resembling a chess piece. 

 

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jetstream    4,076
14 hours ago, John said:

I might join you Mark - with my 12" dob, Astronomik HB filter and my eyepieces for the task would be the 24mm Panoptic and the 18mm Baader Classic Ortho :smiley:

Maybe someone in your observing crew has a 26mm-28mm ES or Nagler to try? A 32mm TV plossl as well? The brighter we can get IC434 the better. Another choice while unbelievable is the simple 25mm "Super Plossl".

Ian likes a bit more mag than myself... having a wide range of eyepieces (18mm-32mm) is a very good thing to have for the HH, as is a narrowish FOV.

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scarp15    2,088

I know, I have some regret for letting go of the TV 25mm as it was quite purposeful. The 25mm had provided my first confirmed observation of IC434 / B33 , alternating with a 20mm, I gained a little more contrast with the notch. A 24mm Panoptic would be interesting to use on this region. 

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Mark at Beaufort    2,531
16 hours ago, John said:

I might join you Mark - with my 12" dob, Astronomik HB filter and my eyepieces for the task would be the 24mm Panoptic and the 18mm Baader Classic Ortho :smiley:

That would be very nice John. I remember fondly the observing night we had together at a SGL star party. I think we need to choose a date around a new Moon when Orion is a bit higher so does not make the timing too late. I have decided on a venue which is an official dark site and has a reasonable place to park and set up some scopes. We must keep in touch.

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scarp15    2,088

A trip into the Brecon Beacons would I expect be an ideal, very dark environment for this observation Mark. Would be interesting to learn how your new 25mm eyepiece performs. I might consider another 25mm plossl, which I will combine using with a paracorr. 

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astronymonkey    534

Ive attempted the horsehead for quite a few yeaws but even from kielder and galloway its evaded me due to the sky conditions just not being 100% .... i find even the slightest amount of moisture in the air just steals the contrast on this object. 

Theres often talk of an optimum exit pupil size for this object to get the right contrast ..... is it about 4mm .... i cant remember.

I suppose a mix of aperture, dark skies, suitable exit pupil and a h-beta filter might put the snout in range.... it will be interesting to see if anyone has managed and what their setup was.

Cheers

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scarp15    2,088
14 hours ago, astronymonkey said:

Ive attempted the horsehead for quite a few yeaws but even from kielder and galloway its evaded me due to the sky conditions just not being 100% .... i find even the slightest amount of moisture in the air just steals the contrast on this object. 

Theres often talk of an optimum exit pupil size for this object to get the right contrast ..... is it about 4mm .... i cant remember.

I suppose a mix of aperture, dark skies, suitable exit pupil and a h-beta filter might put the snout in range.... it will be interesting to see if anyone has managed and what their setup was.

Cheers

My own observations have taken place at a location to the East of Kielder and on higher more open ground, which helps to mitigate any mists that tend to build up in the valley. Not quite as dark as Kielder (around SQM-L 21.3 -21.4) but probably less moisture to contend with - how was it by the way? Also from later in the year than the October star-camp and when Orion is reaching its meridian. 4mm - 5mm is considered optimum for exit pupil, also worth while trying different focal length eyepieces that incrementally are not too far apart, I was using a 20mm and 25mm TV plossl. 

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astronymonkey    534

With kielder being so high i decided not to make the journey given the winds and towing a caravan and then setting up a large dob to act as a sail might have been tempting fate. I emailed lynn on friday morning asking her to reallocate my hard standingmornin so i hope someone managed to make use of it. At least my kit is all sorted so it will be a good excuse to get out in the garden tonight if it clears.

 

As for the horsehead there is a sickle shape of stars that seem to tightly frame the shape of the head and i use these as a guide to where to look. This helps give some indication of the size of what you are looking for especially when switching eyepieces to alter the exit pupil but changing the mmgnification at the same time. For me a 4mm to 5mm exit pupil would be with an 18mm to 22.5mm eyepiece so should work with the 17 and 22mm naglers i use.

 

Cheers

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scarp15    2,088

Weather conditions have been challenging, hopefully the Spring star-camp will be more favourable, I may look into attending the weekend for this event. Good luck in pursuit of this, the horse head 'popped' when I employed averted vision, fleetingly and intermittently, I was able to see the dark notch with direct vision.

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Stu    14,821

My best bet would be with my C9.25 reduced to f5.9. With a 25mm Ortho that gives a 4.2mm exit pupil and a 0.9 degree fov, ideal to keep Alnitak out of the field. Somewhere I have a Lumicon h beta filter.

Clearly the challenge is a dark and transparent enough sky. Perhaps down at Bignor this autumn. Clearly even glimpsing the notch would be amazing, the snout seems unlikely!

IMG_4372.PNG

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