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About to make an assault on the Horsehead

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#76 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 02:55 PM

Herr Ham,

For both of us the Middle-Georgia weather is a pain. It changes faster than the weather in England. I'm in Warner Robins.

About three weeks ago, I think I saw the Horse Head. I didn't see it direct but with averted vision and an OIII filter. Or I was seeing thins. I slew 30 minutes south of Alnitak. I can easily see NGC-2023 nebulosity. Tomorrow evening, March 3rd is supposed to be clear. I shall make my assault on the Horse Head and use my Brand New 7mm Type 6 Nagler. Did you hear Bob Barker in there?


It is highly doubtful that you saw it with an OIII filter. The background nebula that the Horsehead is in (IC 434) has almost zero OIII emission (H-alpha and H-Beta only), so a true OIII filter will basically kill the nebula. Try either a good narrow-band nebula filter like the Lumicon UHC or DGM NPB, or an H-Beta filter like the Lumicon H-Beta. That may give you a fighting chance of seeing the Horsehead. Clear skies to you.


One exception is the old Meade "OIII" filter belonging to a friend. On a night that we could detect the Horsehead without a filter through his 20" Starmaster, we were also able to see it using his Meade filter. An H-beta filter provided the best view, of course. I found out later that the Meade filter allowed H-beta transmission, which made it more a narrowband filter than an OIII filter.

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#77 Kraus

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:00 PM


Dave,

I learned not to 'force' a filter. Best method, try a filter, see what you see.

I think in early December at two a.m. when the air is settled as settled as it will be, I'll make another 'assault' on the horse head.

But Spring is near. Many objects require my attention. How about you?

#78 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:35 AM

Were you replying to me or David Knisely?

I certainly agree with David that a true OIII line filter is counterproductive when it comes to observing B33. A narrowband filter will enhance IC 434 somewhat making B33 easier to detect but an H-beta filter really makes a difference.

If you plan on observing B33 with a 14" Meade SCT (judging from your signature line), a 7mm Nagler is definitely not the eyepiece to use. An eyepiece producing a 4 or 5mm exit pupil often produces the best results.

http://home.ix.netco...b/MEyepiece.htm

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#79 N. Ham

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:03 AM

Kraus,

The horsehead was easy last night with the H-beta filter. Definitely a must in our skies to see it in scopes the size of ours. Seems like they are always on back order this time of year. Get you one this summer and you will be set. There are a few other nebulae that prefer this wavelength filter as well, over the O III I have a list somewhere around here.

#80 Kraus

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:00 PM


Ham,

I love my fourteen incher. I would love though to have a one-million incher, but portability might be a problem. (LOL, laughing on line)

I'm finished with the horse head for the season. I plan to view it in late November or early December when its high in the sky at four a.m. I think at four a.m. the sky is as settled as it's going to be.

#81 Kraus

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

Herr Mitsky,

My apologies. I was responding to you. You quoted Mr. Knisely. I got confused. He said he doubted I saw the horse head through an OIII. And then you Dave, said of the old Meade OIII did let in those horsehead lines. I assumed it was Mr. Knisely admitting I might have seen it through the OIII.

Anyways Dave and Dave,

The evening I did see something through the h-Beta was not visible through an OIII. So Dave one was right in his doubt. And I think Dave two likes chocolate and peanut butter. But I'd like both Daves as friends.

#82 Galicapernistein

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:56 PM

I finally found the Horsehead Friday night, thanks to the excellent information in these posts. It wasn't easy though. Using my 12" Lightbridge, 24mm Panoptic and Orion H-beta filter, I was about ready to give up at first until I noticed that half of the field was brighter than the other. The brighter half was where the "bright" nebula should be, but the sharp eastern border of the bright nebula was not visible - just a gradual fade from dark to not so dark. Then I noticed a splotch of brightness just to the west of the star that lies northwest of the Horsehead, and it definitely had a defined eastern edge. So I mentally traced that line down to the "double star" that points at the Horsehead. Sure enough, there was a dark area right where the HH should be. At one point I got a fairly sharp outline of the HH using averted vision, even though the brighter background nebula was at the limit of vision. I was expecting the well defined border of the bright nebula to be much more obvious than it actually is. Like others have said, if I hadn't known exactly where to look, I wouldn't have seen it. I tried improving the view with my 13mm Nagler, but the field was just too dark. The 5mm exit pupil rule definitely applies to the HH.

PS - The HH is not tiny, as some have reported. It actually takes a large bite out of the visible part of the very faint "bright" nebula. Look at a good atlas to get an idea of its size. If you are looking for a tiny notch in the nebula (like I was doing before reading these posts) you will not see the subtle but fairly large imprint of the HH.

#83 Stargazer3236

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:54 AM

I observed B33 and IC 434 back in 1988 with a 13.1" Coulter Dob. I had a Lumicon H-beta Filter. I never actually saw the Horsehead itself, but I detected the nebulosity, IC 434 and the dark gap, B33. This was during an extremely cold night at my clubs clubhouse. There was a biting wind, so I set up next to MIT's Laboratory at Haystack in Westford, MA.

The temp outside was 10° with a wind chill of -10°, We were bundled up and I was the first to o9bserve it visually in my club.

#84 Sarkikos

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:19 AM

For my 10" f/4.8 Dob at a yellow zone site, I found a Sterling Plossl 25mm the best eyepiece for the Horsehead. The filter was a Lumicon H-Beta.

Finally Lassoed the Horsehead!

#85 Kraus

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:42 AM

Finally Lassoed the Horsehead!


That makes you 'Cowboy of the Year'

I saw Orion rising this morning during coffee. I hear the Horse Head neighing. 'Settle down, settle down. In a few weeks boy.' neigh-h-h!

#86 Sarkikos

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:46 PM

A little early for the rodeo.

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#87 Kraus

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:19 PM

My plan I decided last Winter was to spy the head in early October, 3:00a.m.-ish. Well, here it is October and ready to go.

I shall rise in the wee a.m. hours and take a gander. I figured by then, the air is as settled as it will get considering my humid conditions.

I'll let you know.

#88 TechPan6415

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 10:39 PM

Got it at about 4AM this morning, I only have O-III and DGM NPB filters so I used the latter on my 25mm 100 degree using my 16" 4.5. Barely detected his snout, not sure what other objects I would use an H-Beta on, I should look into it more I guess...I'll consult Mr. Knisely's awesome charts... :jump:

#89 Kraus

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 05:55 AM


Herr Tech,

An H-beta is recommended on the California nebula as well as the Horse Head. That's about it. Not sure if I want to put out two hundred bucks for a filter for two objects. I must move to your Aspen skies. Black are they?

Alrighty. It's 6:40a.m., October 3rd.

I got up at 2:30a.m., looked outside, clear sky, made coffee and got dressed. Woo-woo!!!

Found Alnitak then moved thirty arc seconds south. Got the star pattern in view, inserted the 16mm, the UHC, OIII and H-beta...nothing.

Orion was maybe forty five degrees above the horizon.

Wait, wait, wait.

At about 5:30a.m. Orion's near his highest.

Looked, looked, looked and I think I finally saw the black blob. I even think the nose blinked at me and that was with the 31mm and a UHC. I could discern a dark dot right where the horse head should be. Perhaps I should get a 2" H-beta for the 31mm.

I try again the first week of November as dew was quite prevalent this morning. Moisture sure can ruin things.

#90 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 08:38 AM

For my 10" f/4.8 Dob at a yellow zone site, I found a Sterling Plossl 25mm the best eyepiece for the Horsehead. The filter was a Lumicon H-Beta.

Finally Lassoed the Horsehead!


Mike, I have used the 25mm Sterling and filters on the Helix....there really is something awesome going on with the 25mm Sterling Plossl! We get the BEST views of The Helix with it and a Lumicon O-III !!!

You really are onto something bro! :waytogo:

#91 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 11:28 AM

An H-beta is recommended on the California nebula as well as the Horse Head. That's about it. Not sure if I want to put out two hundred bucks for a filter for two objects.


David Knisely has found that an H-beta filter is useful on 21 objects.

http://jaysastronomy...elys-useful-...

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#92 David Knisely

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 11:56 AM

Kraus posted:

An H-beta is recommended on the California nebula as well as the Horse Head. That's about it. Not sure if I want to put out two hundred bucks for a filter for two objects. I must move to your Aspen skies. Black are they?



Ah no, it's more than two objects....

. . . . . USEFUL TARGETS FOR THE H-BETA FILTER . . . . .

While the H-Beta is probably one of the less-used nebula filters, the commonly expressed idea that it works only on a handful of objects is not necessarily true. Here is a list of some of the more prominent objects that the H-Beta may be at least somewhat useful on. Some may require larger apertures, but a few have been seen from a dark sky site by just holding the filter up to the unaided eye and looking at the sky. Some of these will also be helped by a narrow-band filter like the Lumicon UHC.

1. IC 434 (HORSEHEAD NEBULA)
2. NGC 1499 (CALIFORNIA NEBULA, naked eye and RFT)
3. M43 (part of the Great Orion Nebula)
4. IC 5146 (COCOON NEBULA in Cygnus)
5. M20 (TRIFID NEBULA, main section)
6. NGC 2327 (diffuse nebula in Monoceros)
7. IC 405 (the FLAMING STAR NEBULA in Auriga)
8. IC 417 (diffuse Nebula in Auriga)
9. IC 1283 (diffuse Nebula in Sagittarius)
10. IC 1318 GAMMA CYGNI NEBULA (diffuse nebula in Cygnus)
11. IC 2177: (Diffuse Nebula, Monoceros)
12. IC 5076 (diffuse nebula, Cygnus)
13. PK64+5.1 "CAMPBELL'S HYDROGEN STAR" Cygnus (PNG 64.7+5.0)
14. Sh2-157a (small round nebula inside larger Sh2-157, Cassiopeia)
15. Sh2-235 (diffuse nebula in Auriga).
16. Sh2-276 "BARNARD'S LOOP" (diffuse nebula in Orion, naked eye)
17. IC 2162 (diffuse nebula in northern Orion)
18 Sh2-254 (diffuse nebula in northern Orion near IC 2162)
19. Sh2-256-7 (diffuse nebula in northern Orion near IC 2162)
20. vdB93 (Gum-1) (diffuse nebula in Monoceros near IC 2177)
21. Lambda Orionis nebular complex (very large, naked-eye)
22. The "Cone" Nebula (portion of Sh2-273 south of cluster NGC 2264)

In addition, a number of the brighter nebulae like NGC 7000 or M42 will respond to H-Beta use for revealing certain specific detail, although other filters may provide a somewhat better view overall.

Clear skies to you.

#93 Sarkikos

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 01:15 PM

I think that would be a good idea for a new object list in my SkySafari Pro on Android tablet: USEFUL TARGETS FOR THE H-BETA FILTER! I'll start with these 22 objects suggested by David.

:grin:
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#94 Sarkikos

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 01:18 PM

Mike, I have used the 25mm Sterling and filters on the Helix....there really is something awesome going on with the 25mm Sterling Plossl! We get the BEST views of The Helix with it and a Lumicon O-III !!!


I haven't tried the 25 Sterling yet on the Helix. I'll have to remember that for my next dark site trip.

I always take the Sterling Plossls 25, 20, 17 and 12.5 to dark sites.

Mike

#95 Carol L

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 07:59 PM

Looking at Carol's sketch, that was pretty hat I saw, though she may have been exaggerating the amount of contrast between the bright and dark clouds.


When drawing extremely faint nebulosities under my extremely dim red light, I need to use enough graphite to see what I'm sketching. Problem is, sketches that look just fine at the eyepiece can look too bright online. It doesn't bother me, though - my sketches are observations, not works of art. As long as they help others find and identify their targets, I'm a happy camper. :grin:

(Sorry for the delay in replying to this Feb 27 post... I haven't read the thread for a while.)

#96 TimothyP

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:45 AM

I saw the Horsehead for the first time through a friend's 16" this past weekend. We were at a nearby dark site in a technically green zone but we were right next to the Chesapeake Bay so the direction Orion was in looked over the Bay into at least 10 miles of darkness. With an H-beta filter it was plain as day. IC 434 jumps out at you and the Horsehead is a black area beautifully contrasted against the bright IC 434. You really have to move Alnitak (the bright star) out of the FOV to really see it well.

I then got ambitious and tried to observe it in my 10" scope. The Flame Nebula was easy enough to spot next to Alnitak but IC 434 not so much. Without the H-beta filter I think I saw a trace of nebulosity but definitely no Horesehead. When I popped the H-beta in there...holy wow! There it was! It wasn't all that bright but I could definitely see the black shape of the Horsehead. I will definitely be purchasing an H-beta filter soon to observe the Horesehead on my own.

#97 N. Ham

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:29 PM

Well this may be akin to coming out of the closet, but I have recently gone over to the Dark Side to try my hand at imaging. Not going to get rid of my reflector. Just figured this would be something I could do for a long time when I can no longer pursue my other interests and figured I would take a little plunge. I have been at it about 10 days and have overcome a few hurdles, which mainly were due to my lack of diligence when reading instructions with an auto guider and solving the hieroglyphics of image processing.
It seems the night is a lot clearer than predicted so, I took about 90 minutes of images of the Andromeda galaxy. When my series of photos of Stephen's Quintet is finished, I am going to pull an all nighter with one of my hight time mistresses and make a photographic assault on the Horsehead. Will give a report of casualties in a day or so.

#98 N. Ham

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 02:45 PM

Well, the clouds heard me coming to the corral and quickly gathered lest I get some photons onto a CCD chip. Well maybe, next time. This stuff is labor intensive. Won't be giving up the Obsession for sure.

#99 Kim Jenner

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 08:23 PM

finely saw the Horsehead.But I cheated: I used a H-a filter
and a Collins I3(25mm)Very stable skies in late September.Well defined.Was using my 14 lx200.A real thrill

22 newt,2 14"LX200's(yes-two)Hyperstar

#100 Rick Woods

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:45 PM

I and my observing buddy Dinsdale finally saw it unambiguously (albeit barely) last night. 14" LX200, Lumicon H-beta (2"), and Televue 40mm Wide Field.
Our plan was to use the 48mm Brandon, but the background sky was so black (a popular feature of Brandons) that we couldn't make it out. Pop in the 40mm, with its lighter background sky, and for some reason that made the difference.
We compared the view to the U2000 chart, made sketches of what we saw, and they matched. So we're calling it a success.
But boy, is it faint! And bigger than I expected.






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