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Andrew*

28th January Report

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Was a very nice clear night last night, and I decided to avoid the obvious targets and challenge myself a little.

I started off around 9pm with the supernova in Camelopardalis (thanks Doc!) that was spotted earlier this month. I didn't know about it until yesterday, but I just had to see it, having had good memories seeing SN2009dd at SGL4. This one was just as good! See my observation here.

The supernova took about an hour to find and observe all-in-all, but the next stop was M42... So much for non-obvious targets! I didn't dwell all that long despite the beauty of the nebula. E trapezium was very obvious in the 12", and F came and went.

Then I tried an object which I've heard can be done, but I couldn't truthfully say I saw it. The Flame Nebula. With my 40mm Aero and UHC filter, I put Alnitak out of the FOV, and I did suspect a hint of nebulosity. Worth another attempt at some point...

M78 is less of a challenge, but in the 12" I saw more shape to it - the edge is more defined to the north, and spreads out to the south. I made a rough sketch, which very closely matches this one by DarkerSky.

It was time for some more new objects. Hind's Crimson Star barely achieves 18° altitude here, and it's good to bag the low objects when you have the chance. What an intense colour this star has! Herschel's Garnet Star doesn't hold a candle to it! I felt it was a slightly orangey red.

I then sought out some nearby clusters I've previously only seen in binoculars - M46 and M47 in Puppis. Took a while to locate them, but once found they make a nice contrasting pair. M46 is rich, regular and with fairly faint members. Embedded near the edge, next to a medium-bright member is planetary nebula NGC2438. M47, by contrast, is slightly larger than M46, but sparse, irregular, and with very bright members. To the W of M47 I noticed a nice bright orange star HIP36773.

On the hunt for the previous numbers, I somehow went astray and found NGC2539, also in Puppis. It's much like M46 I would say, but composed of fainter stars, and rather large. There is a bright orange star near the edge of the cluster.

A new Messier for me came next - M48. Quite a curious one. A triagular outline of bright stars enclosed a sparse cluster, but with a string and knot of bright stars near the middle. One to cross off the list.

More challenging nebulae next - the Christmas Tree cluster and Cone nebula. Although the nebula evaded me, the Christmas Tree shape with a bright stump of 15 Mon was clear to see.

And finally for the night, the Rosette nebula. Consisting of a cluster of very bright stars, and a much larger nebula, this one wasn't obvious. Using a UHC filter, I felt there were hints of nebulosity going out from the cluster to about 3-4 times the diameter. I think it is quite enormous, so perhaps a smaller instrument would do better.

By now it was just approaching midnight and extremely cold. As I put away the black telescope, the frost reflected the light from my torch, and it looked just like the Skywatcher Black Diamond livery!

All in all, a most successful and enjoyable night, with several nice objects added to my repertoire.

Andrew

Edited by Andrew*

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That is one busy night congrat's Andrew

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Some great targets and a fantastic night. Just one thing the supernova is in Camelopardalis not Draco.

Must have a look at this Hinds Crimsom Star you talk about, it sounds amazing.

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Quite a night you had, Andrew! ;) Sure hope it clears up soon so i can check out the supernova... can't seem to get a break here lately.

Which scope were you using, and how was the transparency? On a pretty good night i can spot the Flame with the 22x100s.. faint, but definitely there. The Rosette is absolutely massive... 60' x 70'. We definitely need to back away from it to get the best view.

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Thanks for reading, folks! ;)

Some great targets and a fantastic night. Just one thing the supernova is in Camelopardalis not Draco.

Must have a look at this Hinds Crimsom Star you talk about, it sounds amazing.

Thanks Doc, Calsky said it was in Draco, but you're right - it is indeed Camelopardalis. Quite near the border.

Which scope were you using, and how was the transparency? On a pretty good night i can spot the Flame with the 22x100s.. faint, but definitely there.

Hi Carol, thanks! :p I think you do very well to get the flame with 4". I should have mentioned that I was using my 12" f/6 dobsonian. The night was about average for my site, with a limiting magnitude of around 5.1 to the S. I'll have to give it another shot.

The Rosette is absolutely massive... 60' x 70'. We definitely need to back away from it to get the best view.

Another one to try again. I was using a 40mm Aero for a 1.5° true field.

Cheers

Andrew

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Would it be possible for you to get a wider fov? When the nebula is covering only the innermost area of the fov, the surrounding darkness really makes it pop. With a nebula filter, a smaller aperture scope can give great results.

Here's a sketch i'd posted in a thread a while ago... notice the fov. Stronger magnification showed more stars, but low power made the nebula look the best.

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Unfortunately I can't get much wider than 1.5° with the 12". I can get up to 3° with the ED120, so I'll give that a go.

Amazing sketch. I remember when you first posted that one, and in fact I was thinking about it while trying to pick it up with the 12", cursing you and your skies and your magical photon-amplifying 80ST!! ;)

Andrew

Edited by Andrew*

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...cursing you and your skies and your magical photon-amplifying 80ST!! :D

Andrew

;) I've been cursing the sky lately too, Andrew... nothing but clouds. :p

Hope the ED120 works well for you... be sure to let us know. ;)

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Great report Andrew!

So many targets! Well done! ;)

Must catch up with you again next time i'm around :p

Michael

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great report Andrew! how dark are your skies?

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