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Strange names, nice observing targets


John
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Another clear dark night and another session with my 12 inch dobsonian.

Planetery nebulae - not a class of target that I've given special attention to up to now, apart from the brighter ones. These fascinating deep sky objects are starting to grow on me though. There are lots about, a wide variation of shapes and sizes and many of them can be picked up even when there is a little light pollution around. Some of them are rather small though so higher magnifications are often needed to show the true nature of these objects.

They do have some odd names attributed to them. Sometimes it's clear why, but other times they seem a little bizarre.

Tonights little clutch of planetaries were:

- NGC 6210, AKA "The Turtle" in Hercules.

- NGC 6543, AKA "The Cat's Eye" in Draco.

- NGC 6826, AKA "The Blinking Planetary" in Cygnus

- NGC 6884, not named and rather small at just 7.5 arc seconds in apparent diameter, in Cygnus

- NGC 7008, AKA "The Fetus" in Cygnus

- NGC 7027, AKA "The Pink Pillow" or "The Gummy Bear" in Cygnus

And lastly good old Messier 57, AKA "The Ring" in Lyra.

All of these were found without a filter. Some had their contrast enhanced with an O-III or UHC filter. A number of them showed their central star and the filters mostly made those invisible. I like seeing those stars though so, for me, I preferred the unfiltered views tonight.

All credit to Stellarium for highlighting these planetaries and also proving accurate when pinpointing their precise location with the scope.

The image below is of NGC 6210 by the Hubble Space Telescope. I think it might explain why it's been dubbed "The Turtle" :icon_biggrin:

APOD: October 28, 1998 - NGC 6210: The Turtle in Space Planetary Nebula

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by John
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  • John changed the title to Strange names, nice observing targets

Very nice list of targets. I have seen a few of those before and they are really nice. I bet your 12" is bringing more of the nebulosity out. Unfortunately, my skies have been rubbish the past few days with ☁️☁️☁️☁️.

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1 hour ago, Grant93 said:

Very interesting read, gives me a few more ideas on what to observe next. What bortle class are you in may I ask?

Grant

According to "Clear Outside" I'm in Bortle 5. To be honest it varies quite a bit here, depending on the direction you are looking in because of the "glows" of Bristol to the East and Newport / Cardiff to the North West.

 

 

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4 hours ago, John said:

According to "Clear Outside" I'm in Bortle 5. To be honest it varies quite a bit here, depending on the direction you are looking in because of the "glows" of Bristol to the East and Newport / Cardiff to the North West.

 

 

Haha I know the feeling, bortle 5 here also. Good on non football nights, not good on football nights, massive glows from the flood lights. Luckily the glow is also in the direction of the town, which is not a major park of the sky I often attempt to observe anyway.

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