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scarp15

Barnard's Loop Observers Analysis

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In recent posts, there are impressive accounts, such as Gavsters Night Vision assisted observations and accompanying phone pictures, profiling the large arc of this emission nebula in Orion.

For seeking a direct observation, Barnard's Loop is elusive to the visual observer, yet there are a few tricks and techniques as well as steadfast determination - a trait that all visual astronomers possess by necessity.

In the right circumstance, the brighter northern portion, drifting between reflection nebula M78 and towards open cluster NGC 2112 is detectable as a faint grey veil or haze, eliminating or reducing background stars. This is not an easy observation, a H-beta filter assists and there is much more that remains either invisible or at the very least at the very fresh-hold of formulating an observation with any conviction.

Or is there?

Read Mel Bartels Feb 2015 to Feb 2018 observational report spanning the Orion Eridanus Super Bubble, sh2-245, sh2 246 and the southern arc of Barnard's Loop, using a wide field, 6" F2.8 reflector. Here he was able to make a sequence of field sketches that were organised into a mosaic, which enhanced a capable observation. Observers skill, full dark adaptation and SQM 21.5 + skies equally enabled this possible.

My own plan this winter is to try and pursue more of Barnard's Loop from a dark location that will require wild camping, so I hope to gain at least SQM 21.5. Using my 85mm refractor, I will focus attention on the Southern Loop where lies the 'brightest' section between Rigel and Saiph. Of course transparency has to be very good and I have an open mind as to if anything will be discovered.

Who else is excited at the prospect of the challenge confronting Barnard's Loop and more so, what if anything do you hope to gain?  

NV users are welcome to contribute.

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I’d certainly like to spend some more time on Barnard’s Loop with my NV monoculars at my darkish sqm21.0 holiday home garden. It was truly spellbinding when I saw it there at the start of this month. While there i’d also like to go for the eridanus Loop but this might be too dim even for NV....

Im also aiming to show Barnard’s Loop at our club outings in Esher this winter. I can see the northern part from my 18-18.5 garden in South West London (although it’s relatively dim unlike the dark site views where the complete loop was bright).

The Angelfish nebula to the north of Orion is also nice in NV at 1x magnification.

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14 minutes ago, Joeistotalycool said:

I've only ever thought of the loop as a photographic object. I would love to see a sketch of what you can see!

Unfortunately I’m not good at sketching but my phone photos give a good impression of the view through the night vision monoculars. 

Here are two taken at the sqm 21 garden earlier this month..

 

837B3F40-BBB2-4D25-9FAE-A18378527B8F.jpeg

0FD07D60-6374-4F2B-994D-3D494FF44BCA.jpeg

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1 minute ago, GavStar said:

Unfortunately I’m not good at sketching but my phone photos give a good impression of the view through the night vision monoculars. 

Here are two taken at the sqm 21 garden earlier this month..

 

837B3F40-BBB2-4D25-9FAE-A18378527B8F.jpeg

0FD07D60-6374-4F2B-994D-3D494FF44BCA.jpeg

Whoa, That's insane! Im almost lost for words... 

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I'm certainly going to have a try at seeing the loop this winter. Our society observatory is probably a touch better than my back yard although I have managed to see the Horsehead with my 12" dob and an H-beta filter from home on very good nights.

I have access to an 18" newtonian at the observatory but I reckon, with the sheer size of the loop, a smaller scope with a really wide field and a friendly exit pupil would be a better bet.

Very impressive what the NV equipment can do even under LP skies. Hopefully the price will reduce in due course so that more people can have access to this facility where their skies are not too great for DSO's.

 

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That's a good challenge. I'll try it from the Brecon Beacons this winter with my 100mm refractor.

What do I hope to gain? To see the object (might be a bit difficult) and hopefully in the process become a better observer.

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Nice one Iain. Inspiring post. All the best for the hunt - looks a worthy ambition for the winter. Bet the wild camp would be awesome regardless of success on the Loop or not. Looking forwards to hearing how you get on.

The brighter part of the Loop is listed as a target in the Secret Deep. Hadn’t realised that Mel Bartel had traced it - will have to look that up.

I was thinking more of IC 434 and the HH this winter. Turning last year’s marginal sighting into a definite. Looks like the loop would be well worth a visit too. From GavStar’s images, it doesn’t look too much fainter in parts than IC 434 and maybe has the benefit of greater height and no dazzling star next to it. M43 looks dazzling!

Edit, meant to add for me the gain is knowing that I’ve seen something astonishing with my own eyes and learning about what it is I’m looking at. Contemplating what it is, rather than the visual spectacle which of course is often, well... subtle.

Edited by Size9Hex
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The brighter central blob of a eridanus loop is reachable, I think, blasted scope was running faster than normal but upside down and back to front, so may have been pointing at something else 😉

Mel Bartels has unique optics and good skies and he’s been eeking out invisible stuff for many years. I am sure someone here can have a crack at a few of his expanding catalogue of Integrated Flux Nebulae!  

Good luck with the loops!

PEter

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Good luck with the loop hunt....a very challenging target but fortunately wild camping is going to give you a great chance...clear skies.

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I once owned a TV Ranger- and from a darkish site between Macclesfield and Buxton. I saw the arc of Barnard's Loop through a 24mm Panoptic and borrowed Lumicon H-Beta filter.

I was astonished to see it. It appeared as a ghostly arc of grey light. My observing colleague Paul Clarke who was, at that time the Chairman of ADAS in Timperly was also very surprised.

Whilst using the filter. I also spied NGC 1499 California nebula. 

A rich field telescope 60mm to 90mm with an H-Beta should easily show the arc.

I am going to buy an Astronomik H-Beta filter and try again. This time using my William Optics 80mm Megrez ED, from Teggs Nose CP.

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Thanks for all the comments and that is highly reassuring concerning the surprise view one night with the TV- Ranger. Quite looking forward to gaining an opportunity to have a go. I know where precisely I will be heading, just need all the other factors to come into play.

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On 03/11/2018 at 07:53, PaulB said:

I once owned a TV Ranger- and from a darkish site between Macclesfield and Buxton. I saw the arc of Barnard's Loop through a 24mm Panoptic and borrowed Lumicon H-Beta filter.

I was astonished to see it. It appeared as a ghostly arc of grey light. My observing colleague Paul Clarke who was, at that time the Chairman of ADAS in Timperly was also very surprised.

Whilst using the filter. I also spied NGC 1499 California nebula. 

A rich field telescope 60mm to 90mm with an H-Beta should easily show the arc.

I am going to buy an Astronomik H-Beta filter and try again. This time using my William Optics 80mm Megrez ED, from Teggs Nose CP.

That's very interesting! I might try my TS 72mm, 24mm Pan and Lumicon Hb at some point. I guess you need excellent transparency to have a chance, plus dark skies of course. Perhaps one for Bignor next time we go.

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Quite understand concerning the California Nebula, having observed this with a TV-76, (former company) 2" Lumicon H-beta filter. Gaining excellent transparency is key, a challenge perhaps considering the recent Met Office analysis of UK weather forecasting for the past decade.

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7 minutes ago, scarp15 said:

Quite understand concerning the California Nebula, having observed this with a TV-76, (former company) 2" Lumicon H-beta filter. Gaining excellent transparency is key, a challenge perhaps considering the recent Met Office analysis of UK weather forecasting for the past decade.

With NV, the California is an easy target even in very LP skies. Whereas Barnard’s loop does require decently transparent skies to see with NV. NV definitely works better with some objects than others eg the Veil is one object that NV doesn’t work as well on compared to heart, North America. Horsehead....

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It is interesting that Barnard's Loop retains some elusive presence even with the employment of NV assisted astronomy. Friends who have a place on the approach to Kielder commented that Thursday night had been excellent, the sky full of stars. Certainly night time temperatures had dropped away for a couple of days and I imagined being where I wanted to be targeting Orion in the early hours. Now the temperature has climbed again and thin cloud is continually present.    

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On 03/11/2018 at 07:53, PaulB said:

I once owned a TV Ranger

Nice scope that Ranger!!  Was a good evening that  :)

Cheers Paul

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I was fortunate to be under a Bortle Class 1 sky last dark moon, in the UK!!!

At 58N, in Coigach north of Ullapool in the NW Highlands of Scotland.

In the evenings M33 was a direct vision naked-eye object, the zodical band and gegenschein were clearly visible.

An early morning call (because of a dog with bowel issues!) meant Orion was just past south and I had 5 hours worth of dark adaptation...

Barnard's Loop at 12 to 8 o'clock from M78 was an 'easy' object through 15 x 50 Canon IS binoculars.  The combination of wide FOV and sky quality.

The zodiacal band continued on through Gemini, Cancer and Leo soon to be met by the dawn Zodiacal light.

The sky quality is so good up there that you realise how 'bright' a truely dark sky is.  The winter Milky Way as bright as the summer, the summer Milky Way seeming to light up the ground.

Many other DSOs were enjoyed :)

Wishing I was still there.

Paul

Edited by clarkpm4242
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Sounds incredible Paul, very jealous!

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When I made the observations mentioned. I was in our part of the Peak District NP in an area called Willdboarclough.

The skies were dark, with very good transparency. It would be interesting to see whether the "Loop" could be seen visually?

HB filter-dark sky- Mk1 eyeball?

 

PaulC,

Interesting report. A true dark sky is something to behold.

Edited by PaulB
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On 30/10/2018 at 20:57, scarp15 said:

I will focus attention on the Southern Loop where lies the 'brightest' section between Rigel and Saiph

I was in the Elan Valley on Monday night.  Clear sky with a hint of Zodiacal band visible.  I had a good trawl of the Loop as Orion was highest in the south, about midnight.

TMB 92 f5.5 APO, Televue 31mm Nagler (FOV 4.8 degrees) and 2" H beta filter.

The brighest portion of the northern segment was visible without the filter.

Using M78 as the centre of the clock I could follow the loop from 1 thru 12 to 8 where it seemed to fizzle out in line with a projected line SE from the 3 belt stars.  Disappointed, I wandered further round only to pick up wavey somethings comprising parts of the southern element!  A nice surprise.

Excellent conditions and the perfect equipment combo  :)

The California Nebula was stunning!

Good luck.

Paul

Edited by clarkpm4242
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Greetings: I am new to the group and found your topic thread to be right up my ally.  I have written many articles in Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines on this topic.  I also have a new book published on Amazon and others entitled Bright and Dark Nebulae: An Observers Guide to Understanding the Clouds of the Milky Way Galaxy, CreateSpace 2017. The book is 633 pages and gives detailed discussions of over 1000 bright and dark nebulae as well as a complete listing of the major professional papers on the topic.  The main purpose of the work is to assist observers in realizing they can observe virtually all of these "difficult" objects with a variety of binoculars and telescopes as long as they do their observations from a dark site!  The key is a dark site because small telescopes help in seeing large faint objects and large telescopes are needed for the smaller and fainter Herbig-Haro objects!

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Welcome Nebulaeman....

I have the book "Bright and Dark Nebulae" (excellent book)....Covers all of the bright and dark nebula objects in detail that I'm interested in observing and then some with my humble dual 102mm Celestron f/6 binoscope....A very good read indeed!

Klitwo

Edited by Klitwo
added some more text.
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