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Astro Imp

How can I be sure I saw what i thought I saw.

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@Ben the Ignorantexcerpt from Burnham's Celestial Handbook is very interesting. I know that Gerry @jetstream has viewed the Merope Neb in Canada using his Skywatcher Heritage 130P. I tried using my Heritage but have failed to date.  My view of the Merope Neb has always been with my 12" Dob.

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23 minutes ago, Stu said:

I suspect related to good transparency as much as anything else perhaps John?

Sounds likely Stu. My skies vary a lot here from the practically opaque to the quite transparent. Sometimes over the course of just a few hours.

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16 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

@Ben the Ignorantexcerpt from Burnham's Celestial Handbook is very interesting. I know that Gerry @jetstream has viewed the Merope Neb in Canada using his Skywatcher Heritage 130P. I tried using my Heritage but have failed to date.  My view of the Merope Neb has always been with my 12" Dob.

Mark it doesn't surprise me that you see it in the 12" newt- I was observing the Pleiades last night with my 15" f4.8 and the view of the Merope was VG. Your 12" gives image scale to pull the Merope "fan" out- under very clear dark skies the extent of the nebulosity grows and this gives smaller scopes a very nice opportunity like the H130.

It is a myth that larger scopes don't work on the Merope, but if the TFOV is too narrow we might "look through it". Under dark transparent skies the H130 is superb on the Pleiades nebulosity complex with a 24 ES 68.

For reference my conditions last night was -32c, 21.4 mag skies with a fine high haze of suspended ice crystals. These conditions lowered my sky darkness but also provided "holes" of extremely good transparency.

Also of note the the Horse Head was visible with no filter in the 15"/ 30 ES 82, 20mm Lunt but disappeared in the 17 Nikon HW- too dark.

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22 hours ago, Astro Imp said:

I had a look at M45 and there was definitely haze around some of the stars.

Alan what eyepiece do you try for the Merope?

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1 hour ago, jetstream said:

Alan what eyepiece do you try for the Merope?

Hi Jerry,
I was primarily using an 18mm Celestron X-Cel LX. Not the best for this object but I wanted a bit of magnification to darken the background sky. As I wrote earlier in the post I'm now pretty sure what I actually saw was a symmetrical glow of stray light around some of the brighter members of the group..

 

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3 minutes ago, Astro Imp said:

Hi Jerry,
I was primarily using an 18mm Celestron X-Cel LX. Not the best for this object but I wanted a bit of magnification to darken the background sky. As I wrote earlier in the post I'm now pretty sure what I actually saw was a symmetrical glow of stray light around some of the brighter members of the group..

 

Hi Alan, I'm glad you are spending time on the Pleiades. I was curious about the eyepiece because they can make a difference, not so much the brand as any low scatter eyepiece works in the right mag zone. I view the Merope with the 10" f4.8 all the way down to a 12.5mm eyepiece but I generally prefer larger ones. You might want to try 25mm-35mm fl eyepieces- Plossls work well in my scopes as well as low scatter widefields. Scatter is a huge enemy of the Merope IMHO.

Eagerly waiting reports!

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Thanks Jerry,
I'll definitely be observing M45 again. Won't be tonight as 100% cloud at present. I'll bear in mind your comments on EP choices.
Will report back when I get a clear night.
Thanks for the interest.

 

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Out of interest, has anyone considered or attempted IC 349 Barnard's Merope Nebula, a small bright reflection knot, very much in the glare of Merope and resembling a small comet? A difficult observation, that will not only require dark transparent sky, but, as I understand, high / very high power, narrow field of view and some aperture. Gerry this might be something you are considering perhaps when you get your 24" dob in operation, although smaller more medium sized aperture as I understand is worth a go. More information if you search Sky and Telescope, The Merope Nebula and its well kept secret by Bob King.

Best outcomes I have had involved both my 8" and 14" dob at low power (21mm and 31mm), wide field, filter-less. On a good night the (faint reflection nebula, suspected super nova remnant) Merope nebula is particularly nicely profiled and expansive, the Pleiades bubble, nebulosity surrounding the cluster can be determined to. The two dark sky locations I visit, tend to be quite open to any breezes. I do sometimes wonder, but look forward to a visit in the next week-end or two.  Mel Bartels drawing Pleiades Bubble (observed with fast 6" reflector) is worth while looking up.

  

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Iain there is a good write up on IC 349 Barnard's Merope Nebula by Sue French in her book Deep-Sky Wonders. I decided to look up info on the Merope Nebula and this additional information came up. To be honest I was not aware of IC349 even though its shown on the map I posted earlier in this thread.

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23 minutes ago, scarp15 said:

the Pleiades bubble, nebulosity surrounding the cluster can be determined to

Congrats for this Iain!

I hope more members take the time to see this structure, it is very beautiful. So beautiful in fact that I havn't tried seriously for that small "knot" buried in the Merope . I have tried a couple of times but with no luck yet, the Zeiss zoom will be the ticket here I think but I can't keep my eyes off the Pleiades structure itself lol!

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10 hours ago, scarp15 said:

attempted IC 349 Barnard's Merope Nebula, a small bright reflection knot,

Another attempt and a fail! The sky was darker tonight 21.6, but the -35c brought the ice haze back as it cooled down from the high today of -24c so the trans went as evidenced by the softness of the MW structure. The Zeiss zoom/15" revealed the Merope nicely and some faint stars in the neb, but no knot. Mags up to 272x.

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