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NGC 7048
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Poster: cildarith (see all of this user's photos)
Description: Object Name: NGC 7048
Object Type: Planetary Nebula
Constellation: Cygnus
Right Ascension (2000.0): 21h 14m 15.3s
Declination (2000.0): +46° 17’ 15”
Magnitude: 12.1n/19.1s
Diameter: 61”
V-V Type: 3b
Distance: 3,900 light years
Discovery: Jean Marie Édouard Stephan, October 19, 1878
NGC Description: pF, pL, dif, iR, vlbM

Date/Time: 28 September 2008 • 03:30-04:00 UT
Location: Oakzanita Springs, San Diego Co., California, USA
Telescope: Parks Astrolight EQ6 • 6” f/6 Newtonian Reflector
Eyepiece: Parks 7.5mm Gold Series Plössl + 2x Barlow
Magnification: 240x
Field of View: 13’
Filter: Lumicon OIII
Conditions: Clear, calm, 62°F
Seeing: Pickering 6
Transparency: NELM 6.4, TLM 14.3

Buried in the rich star-fields east of Deneb and the North America Nebula are numerous faint deep-sky objects of various sorts. I took a quick look at open clusters IC 1369, NGC 7044, NGC 7062 and NGC 7082; dark nebula Barnard 361, and planetary NGC 7048 (the only one of these I took the time to sketch). Locating this sly little planetary can be a challenge without a good chart showing stars to at least magnitude 9 (and an even deeper chart will make the task easier still).

I was unable to convince myself of the nebula’s visibility at 30x magnification. At 60x, however, its small pale disk could just be spotted, lurking behind a 10th magnitude field star (TYC 3589-4652-1) at the base of a “Y” shaped asterism of 10th-13th magnitude stars.

At high magnification (120x and 240x), the disk becomes more sharply defined, with a darker center and brighter rim fading away at the northern edge, kind of like a ghostly horseshoe. The most notable field star in the high power field of view is 8th magnitude BD+45 3458 a red-orange ember 3.4’ to the southwest.

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