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Clear moonless skies and a few DSOs


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After nearly 5 weeks of not having a proper observing, I managed 4hrs last night. I used my 8" Dob with mostly the ES 24mm 68degree EP. Where necessary I tried my OIII and Hb filters.

I started the night with the clusters in Auriga: M36/M38 and nearby NGC1907/NGC1893. M38 displayed a nice orange central star and it was nice to see the NGC1907 in the same FOV. I then moved to NGC1893. A nice small cluster but I was after the nebula IC410. Without any filter I could hardly make it but with the OIII the nebula popped nicely, covering the stars of the cluster. With the filter still on I tried the other part of the IC410 nebula near AE Aurigae but I could not see much (maybe a hint of nebulosity). Moving on further South, I had a nice look at NGC1857 and NGC1778. In this constellation I failed to see the NGC 1931 nebula #1 failure of the night.

I was after NGC 1788 since I failed to observe it due to clouds before. The stars looked nice and with the OIII the nebulosity popped around the stars but not completely covering them, more discontinuous.

I then moved to Orion. M42 looked great without any filters and colour was popping again for both the trapezium (teal green) and pinkish red for the nebula around it and reddish for the wings. M43 was showing some weak colour as well. A lot of nebulosity and details; I tried both filters and the OIII revealed more nebulosity. Overall I prefer the unfiltered views. The colours seemed to be going on/off as transparency was changing. I then had a look at NGC1999 (one of your targets that I stole Joe @Epick Crom). I could not detect much structure to it but it looked like a diffuse star. I tried to up the magnification but it did not bring more details. Further up M78 was displaying nice nebulosity. Since M42 was looking so good, I then went to Alnitak . I popped in my Hb filter. The Flame nebula was easily seen with darker lanes. Following the discussion on the HH I moved the star out of my FOV. I think I spent nearly 1 hr trying to hunt it. I could not detect the NGC 2023 nebula. I think transparency was coming and going since I was every so often popping back to the Flame and it was there and not. So I do not think I spotted it - #2 failure of the night. Further up the NGC 2169 cluster looked nice.

Moving to Gemini, M35 and the companion NGC2158 clusters looked great. I liked how the M35 appeared as two squares with a central star in each. The NGC2158 was not very well resolved and it appeared as a smudge in the same FOV. IC444 was #3 failure. Not a hint of nebulosity with or without filters. The IC443 displayed some nice nebulosity with the OIII filter but it is just huge and hard to really make any structure to it.

Rosette Nebula looked nice with the OIII and could see the darker core standing relative to the surrounding. Further up I tried NGC 2264. The cluster looked nice but I could not detect much nebulosity with the filter, #4 failure . I think eyes were getting tired, I was freezing and called the night. 

It was an amazing feeling to be out in the dark skies and look through the telescope again. It was supposed to be clear tonight again but it is looking cloudy at the moment.



Edited by Kon
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You must have some really nice dark sky to see such good colour and with M43 as well!  I've noticed it a couple of times in M42 and 8" scope I had before.  I can normally get some colour with the 12" though.   Really good report and a good read!

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