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scarp15

The Flame Nebula, Eyepiece and Magnification

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scarp15    2,088

NGC 2024, sometimes also referred to as the Tank Track Nebula, is a part reflection, part emission nebula, located close by Alnitak in Orion.  It is often considered to be a test piece observation to determine if transparency conditions are suitable enough for an attempt on IC434 and B33. This fairly large nebula consists of a central dark passage from which radiate branches forming a sequence of lobes. It is a challenging object to observe, not least due to the proximity of Alnitak, it also requires a different approach to that for attempting an observation of  IC434. Along with all difficult deep sky subjects, time and patience, dark sky, dark adaption and very good transparency conditions are required as will be waiting until Orion is close to its meridian. A filter might assist a little, such as Lumicon Deep Sky type or a UHC, keeping Alnitak out of the field of view is necessary and increasing the magnification to gain in contrast.

Past encounters have provided varied observational outcomes (having not first looked through former notes, my memory is a bit sketchy). I do recall that I have used 21mm, 13mm, 10mm ultra wide / wide field eyepieces on this subject, x76, x123, x160, I have also scrutinised this area with 20mm and 25mm Plossls and observations have been made with and without a filter. What are your thoughts, descriptive observational outcomes in pursuing this subject and at what magnification and eyepiece seemed to provide optimum performance? 

 

Edited by scarp15
Aditional
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mapstar    5,578

I pick this up quite regularly without a filter and was a surprise when I first did.

Normal eyepiece in the scope is a 13mm Ethos giving me 170x mag.

Keeping Alnitak out the field of view is key to seeing the extent. I find it much easier to pick out than IC434 and is quite bright when the conditions are right. 

I have tried lower powers as in the 21mm giving 105x and depending on location can be just as good. It is still quite subtle compared to a lot of other nebulae.

I prefer the unfiltered view but each to their own.

 

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estwing    4,493

yes seen this a few times and i was using the 21E..but i was using the UHC filter...pretty neat view!

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John    17,555

I have seen the Flame a few times with my 12" dob and without a filter seems to work best for me too.

What has not happened though, is that those sightings have led to IC433 being clearly seen with B33 showing against it. So only half the story, so far, from me :rolleyes2:

Personally I'm beginning to think that the so called "Horsehead Nebula" does not really exist but is a story concocted by the developers of the Hydrogen Beta filter to line their pockets. Ruthless individuals and I wish I'd thought of it first !!! :evil4:

Edited by John
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jetstream    4,076

I always view this object unfiltered and use the 17E and Docter 12.5mm UWA as my mainstays giving 107x and 146x in the 15" dob. If using the Flame neb as a reference point for sky darkness and transparency it should be noted that it must show very well- segmented, with 2 tracks and a bridge partially across the one end of it. The Flame nebula will show lots of this type of detail.

If this detail cannot be seen then the HH will be next  to impossible. Just being able to see the Flame is not good enough IMHO. The good news is that under the conditions where the Flame shows as described then IC434 will be "fairly bright".

For all the fractor people- the Flame shows great in the SW120ED.

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clarkpm4242    310
On 11/7/2017 at 00:25, mapstar said:

Keeping Alnitak out the field of view is key to seeing the extent

As above.  I class this as an easy object on a transparent night.  Regularly observed it with an OMC140 (unfiltered).  Often by creeping back towards the bright star after using it to locate position then move out of the FOV.  Cheers Paul

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Stu    14,821
30 minutes ago, clarkpm4242 said:

As above.  I class this as an easy object on a transparent night.  Regularly observed it with an OMC140 (unfiltered).  Often by creeping back towards the bright star after using it to locate position then move out of the FOV.  Cheers Paul

You are a lucky man with your skies Paul! For other members, can you give an idea of SQM or NELM that you have on a good night? Thanks!

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clarkpm4242    310
7 minutes ago, Stu said:

can you give an idea of SQM or NELM that you have on a good night?

Here, 21.4.  Although my Flame observations refer to other locations.  As is so often said 'location, location, location...'  It is so difficult to keep at DSO observing if you are awash with LP.  No wonder so many go the astrophotography route.

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Stu    14,821
33 minutes ago, clarkpm4242 said:

Here, 21.4.  Although my Flame observations refer to other locations.  As is so often said 'location, location, location...'  It is so difficult to keep at DSO observing if you are awash with LP.  No wonder so many go the astrophotography route.

Thanks Paul.

Must have a crack at the Flame this winter from the dark site we found which measured at 21.3.

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Moonshane    9,980

I have been using magnification too low by the sounds of it. Normally I try first at 50x and then give up!

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