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B144 is a large dark nebula embedded within the Cygnus Star Cloud. Resembling a fish on top of a platter, B144 is 6' x 3 degree and requires a wide field view. The lower part has the bright star Cygni 21 and the nebula is close to the X-ray source Cygnus X-1 a potential black hole. In a dark transparent sky it would make for a good binocular target perhaps best with 10x50 or rich field refractor. It is a target that I would like to clarify when with a bit of luck, next weekends new moon period provides an opportunity to venture out into the hills. The best I can muster with my current equipment will be a 4' or 4.2 degree field. The dense star clouds and its dark nebulae, as listed by EE Barnard, will make an impression on everyone seeking dark skies in the coming weeks.  

Here is a chart with the location of B144 complement of a Sky & Telescope article 'Shadow Play - Summer Time Dark Nebulae for Binoculars' by Bob King (picture one)

An image of B144 - thanks for this Neil - E E Barnard's Photographic atlas (picture two).

 

 

 

Dark-nebula-Cygnus-binoculars-S.jpg

b144.jpg

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Looks like a good widefield target, Iain. I can get up to 4.92 degrees TFOV so should have a good chance of seeing this under the right conditions. I was thinking, based on the top image, that this may be possible to see naked eye with sufficiently dark, transparent skies. I wonder if Gerry, @jetstream, as managed this?

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On great nights I see piles of sharp structure in the area, I'll have a good look to confirm B144 (or not). Dark nebs are a favorite of mine.

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Hi Iain,

I remember scanning this region with a friend and his 8 inch Dob about 15 years ago from Millshield, Derwent Res. We could make it out. I must try for it again with the refractor at low power. My 34mm eyepiece gives me about 29x and nearly a 2.5 deg field of view. 

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On 26/07/2019 at 10:29, scarp15 said:

Resembling a fish on top of a platter, B144 is 6' x 3 degree

Under good but not great skies last night I managed this with the MK1 eyeballs. I wasn't dark adapted totally and the MW showed nice structure- not near the level it can show here however. Its big and appeared about a thumb long and seemed to show in 2 directions. The MW split was obvious but I did have some extinction above the horizon a bit with stars in some directions.  I sat in an old broken wood lawn chair at the lakeshore, a favorite spot to use the eyes...

The real treat was the bright billowing clouds where M17 etc reside...

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Idly wandering through observing reports tonight and wishing it was clear when I came across this thread. I thought hang on- a few nights ago I was doing some wide field imaging whilst observing and caught this one 😁:

Cygnus Rift 190901.jpg

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Thanks for the continued responses, apologises I had a bit of catching up with some peoples comments on this thread. 

On 31/07/2019 at 22:29, Graham Darke said:

Hi Iain,

I remember scanning this region with a friend and his 8 inch Dob about 15 years ago from Millshield, Derwent Res. We could make it out. I must try for it again with the refractor at low power. My 34mm eyepiece gives me about 29x and nearly a 2.5 deg field of view. 

Hi Graham, I haven't been to Millshield for ages, expect that the SAS still meet there? That is interesting concerning the 8" dob observation. Scanning this region with my 16x70 binoculars from a hill top dark site two weeks ago, this dark nebula was quite distinct. With a 4.1 degree field, it required a bit of roaming to appreciate and comprehend the full profile. 

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