Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_globular_clusters_winners.thumb.jpg.13b743f39f721323cb5d76f07724c489.jpg

Recommended Posts

First clear night for a loooooong time last night, so a quick session under suburban skies. Those constellations sure move quickly. I’m not finished with Winter or even Autumn yet, but Leo is already poking its head up early in the evening!

One highlight to share was the heart of M42 around the trapezium. To state the obvious, it’s really bright. Pile on the magnification while the detail gets better and better. At 500x and a tiny exit pupil it was still bright in direct vision - it just doesn’t dim out!

For filters, the UHC gives a great view, especially for low power at a dark site where the wings curl back full circle. But for the heart at extremely high power, the Oiii won the day, bringing it to life. Stream, filaments, lumps, bubbles and knots. Almost photographic. A stunning sight. Give it a go if you haven’t already!

A new H-beta filter revealed the California nebula for the first time from home - only ever seen from a dark site in the UHC previously. I looked optimistically for IC 434 but no joy. The H-beta made some faint ‘dark site only’ features in the extended outer envelope of M42 more obvious too.

Failed for probably the 100th time to see anything at all around the Flaming Star nebula. Tips and advice welcome. It is my nemesis...

Anyway a nice night. Good to be back out. Hope everyone else got a good look too.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice report! I have only seen IC 434 with my C8 from a dark site up in the Austrian Alps, where it is higher up. Even then it was difficult with H-beta filter and 4.2mm or 3.1mm exit pupil. The Flaming Star is easier in a real wide-field instrument, and I have spotted it with my 80mm F/6 at 15.5x magnification with the 31T5 Nagler and UHC or H-beta filters. It is very diffuse indeed and shows up as a faint glare around stars which doesn't appear around brighter stars. I only ever spotted it when it was near zenith.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent report Paul, and really encouraging to see someone experiment with high powers.

IC434 needs real dark adaption, but even from the suburbs it can be detected in my 100mm refractor, so it's not a lost cause. I used a 20mm & 10mm XW's while keeping Alnitak out of the field for most of the observation. The brightest region of IC434 is some way from Alnitak and appears as a shard of nebulosity eminating from a neighbouring field star in the direction of Alnitak. What soon became evident to me was the blackness of the dark nebula, which creates a razor sharp edge to the bright nebulosity. It may be an idea to try looking for the dark nebula, which is blacker than space, then you might see the first glimpses of the bright nebula. With prolonged observation IC434 becomes much more obvious, but it took me about an hour observing the region while under a blackout blanket, before I felt I'd seen all my little scope could reveal. I did see what I thought to be the horse head, but it was small and looked like a small black notch in the brighter nebula. I've attached my sketch for your amusement. I couldnt say i saw anything that looked like a horse's head, just an averted vision dark notch!

Viewing this sketch with averted vision gives a fairly realistic eyepiece representation with good dark adaption.

2100607606_2019-01-1014_19_23.thumb.jpg.0c6e171876ca8474929bf36757c548e5.jpg

 

Edited by mikeDnight
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Size9Hex said:

under suburban skies

Hi Paul, great report. ^^ this is a big issue regarding the Flaming Star, it needs nicely dark transparent skies IMHO. It is also sensitive to eyepieces in our scopes. ie the H130/24ES68/NPB showed a much smaller but more contrasted Flaming Star the other night in contrast to last night with the VX10. The 10" showed it fainter with the 30 ES 82/ UHC- my 20mm Lunt was in the house...  just try all you have to see what works.

What scope and eyepieces were you using?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great report. After almost exactly a month of solid cloud, my only stargazing pleasure is to read about what other people get up to. This has rekindled my desire to get out there again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tips and encouragement everyone. 🙂 👍

I’m keen to try the new H-beta at a dark site from which I think I’ve previously (and just barely) seen IC434 using a UHC. I figured it was worth a punt from home. If you don’t look you’ll never know!

@mikeDnight that’s a stunning observation and sketch (as always)!

@jetstream , @michael.h.f.wilkinson Thanks for the tips on the Flaming Star. Really appreciated. As well as the suburban skies, part of the problem is really basic - even at a dark site I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be looking for the very large extended emission nebula (sounds like this might be the case from your wide field recommendation Michael, so I’ll give it a go in the 72mm frac) or a few tiny wisps of reflection nebula around the brightest star - which seems to line up with the sketch in the O’Meara Caldwell guidebook. I think I even read a old post saying ‘look for a banana’...! I was using the 10" dob last night, ES82 24mm. Silly question maybe, but what’s the NPB you refer to?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, domstar said:

Great report. After almost exactly a month of solid cloud, my only stargazing pleasure is to read about what other people get up to. This has rekindled my desire to get out there again.

Sorry to hear it. Hope it clears up for you and the new year is still young. Has been super cloudy here too - hard to stay inspired sometimes without some decent daylight or starlight!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Size9Hex said:

I was using the 10" dob last night, ES82 24mm

This is perfect Paul.

Under suburban skies the Hb might give you a bit of nebulosity- try the OIII as well. Under VG skies a faint nebulosity can be seen with no filter. In a scope the Flaming Star will look like a thick boomerang as viewed from the side- don't look for a wisp like object, it appears as more of a "patch" in the shape described. Try for the edge of it first in your 10" dob.Last night I got the whole thing in the FOV with a 43mm FS eyepiece in the 10".

The NPB is a UHC type filter by DGM, we use it in the H130 and is VG, but if you have a quality (tight) UHC you don't need one.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good that you were able to get out to observe M42 and attempt for other more subtle nebulae objects. Congratulations also for your first observation for the California. This is a good target to visually absorb, before attempting yet subtler regions such as IC 434 and perhaps B33. For this a dark, transparent sky, your H-beta filter and a suitable exit pupil as mentioned by Michael are key to any success. You will accomplish observing IC 405 the Flaming Star Paul, nearby is IC 410, The Tadpole nebula, easier and more compact when observed with an OIII filter. Again a dark site, good transparency, for which it to will make for a good observation before mitigating to the harder IC 434, enabling your eye to become not just fully dark adapted but completely sensitized to subtleties and dim contrasts. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice report Paul, good to read you had some clear sky. We have a cloudcover  over almost a month now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.