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Nyctimene

Orion's collarbone

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Was out this morning for half an hour under sub-average 5.0 mag skies, that gradually fogged up. The 5.1" Heritage with the 26 mmf 62° showed M 42 with less extended "wings"; so I went over to the reflection nebula M 78 and glimpsed it's two embedded "headlight" stars. A search for the Flame nebula didn't show a trace of it. I steered northward and enjoyed the look at Cr 69, the loose star group around Meissa. In the same field of view, I could make out the two 7.5/8.0 stars, that point to the planetary NGC 2022, the Collarbone nebula. Switching to the Seben zoom/Baader 2.25x combo, but without the UHC (somewhere squirreled away atm), I was astonished, that this 11.7 mag object, despite the worsening transparency, revealed itself as a slightly oblong, otherwise featureless disc, sometimes with direct vision, almost steadily to hold with AV, at mags of 130-150x. The rather high surface brightness of 9.2 mag was helpful, as were the foregoing observations with larger scopes; so I finished at 03.10 MEZ, pleased having spotted it with just the incredibly capable 5.1" Heritage. Well worth a try; and rather easy to find (1/3 the way from Meissa to Beteigeuze).

Thanks for reading

Stephan

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