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About to make an assault on the Horsehead

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#101 Carol L

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:23 PM

And bigger than I expected.


That's what I thought, too - widefield images make it look like a tiny little notch. Glad you finally bagged it! :)

#102 Sarkikos

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:24 PM

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.


Let's see, now I wonder what could be the reason? :thinking: I'll just say that I began leaving my Brandons home whenever I went to the dark site. ;)

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.


Congratulations! I've been observing for over 40 years and I never saw the Horsehead until last Winter. To get a good idea of the scale of the Horsehead, I like to switch over to the Burning Bush Nebula se of Alnitak (Zeta Orionis). The central dark area is about the size of the Horsehead ... but a lot easier to see.

Mike

#103 Rick Woods

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 04:26 AM

Let's see, now I wonder what could be the reason? :thinking: I'll just say that I began leaving my Brandons home whenever I went to the dark site. ;)


Mike, I know you're baiting me for some reason, but I really don't understand what you mean. What are you saying? Or implying? If you don't plan on planetary viewing, you probably won't miss the Brandons.
But, the 31 Nagler didn't show the Horsehead, either. Maybe you'd want to leave that one home, too?

#104 Sarkikos

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:15 AM

Rick,

No, I didn't intend to bait ... maybe tease a little. ;)

IME, the Brandons do not have the best light transmission. Your observation about the 48mm seems to confirm that. A black background is not necessarily an indication of high light transmission. Often it shows just the opposite. I've seen that the XW's, Delos, Sterling Plossls have higher light transmission than the Brandons. This shouldn't be surprising given the Brandon's simpler coatings.

Brandons for planet, lunar and double stars? Yes! For deep deep sky? No.

But at this point I've sold all my Brandons. I have other eyepieces for planet/lunar. I had too many eyepieces. I had to reduce the troops. Now I'm down to a small elite force of only 40 eyepieces.

Mike

#105 Rick Woods

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:55 PM

The thing is, when I've compared before, the 48mm B showed fainter stars and better contrast than the 40mm WF. Plus, we had an h-Beta filter on, which sort of renders any light-transmission comparisons irrelevant. So I can't explain it, except to say that the 40mm is the one for the Horsehead.

#106 Sarkikos

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 07:16 AM

I don't think the h-Beta would make light-transmission comparisons irrelevant. Those eyepieces with better light transmission should still show objects brighter. If anything, the filter will make transmission differences more obvious. That was the effect I noticed. I think that was also what you experienced.

Mike

#107 Sarkikos

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 08:02 AM

The thing is, when I've compared before, the 48mm B showed fainter stars and better contrast than the 40mm WF.


The WF's go back to 1982. I'm not sure if they have superior light transmission, either. Do they have that "coffee" tone?

Mike

#108 Rick Woods

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 07:17 PM

Not that I've ever noticed.

#109 Stargazer3236

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 01:02 PM

I observed IC434/B33 back in 1987 with a Coulter I 13" Telescope, a 9mm Nagler and an H-beta filter. I could just detect the nebulous curtain being bisected by the dark nebula.

I observed it again last weekend in my C11, with an 8.8mm ep and an H-beta filter. Could just barely see the curtain and used averted vision to just barely detect B33.

#110 jrbarnett

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:39 PM

I'll be giving it a whirl from the Sonoran desert at the end of March in a C9.25. You've encouraged me greatly.

- Jim

#111 Sarkikos

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:49 PM

The end of March will be a little late in the season for Horsehead hunting.

Mike

#112 jrbarnett

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 09:38 PM

We'll see.

It's on my supplemental MM menu. I'll hunt for it during the M42, M42, M78 and M79 part of the Marathon search sequence.

I'll be below 34N.

- Jim

#113 Sarkikos

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 01:20 PM

I made my first attempt at the Messier Marathon last year here at 39N. It was easy sneezy with Sky Safari Pro on my Android tablet, using the program as an on-the-fly star hopping guide and memory jogger (no fancy electronics connection to a mount). IIRC, I completed about 88 with no gaps before I called it a night due to cold and fatigue. I'm certain I would have bagged them all if I'd stayed at the dark site all night.

Mike

#114 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 02:06 AM

I just caught first sight with real recognition of it earlier tonight and a prominent flame nebula in my 6" mak with .5x reducer and IIE with 7nm H-Alpha.

Able to just fit flame and HH in same view. Backyard in LP

Worked better to see the detail by sort of rocking view slowly a little side to side like bagging galaxies, then once found the notch, could just make out head curve with nose, but still kind of hard to get any real detail. That region has a nice misty neb though and flame was easy to make out lighter bands separated by dark streaks.

Probably darker skies than backyard or faster focal ratio or bigger scope could have got some further detail.

Was pretty awesome to see it finally. First time solid view though and it was great. On the other hand, moving the scope down a bit to take in M42 was photograph like details. Crazy.

Astronomy rocks!

#115 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 11:09 AM

I had an excellent view of B33 through an H-beta filtered 22" f/3.6 SDM Dob from atop Spruce Knob in West Virginia on the morning of September 27th.  The famous horsehead shape was unmistakable and was even visible without filtration.

 

Dave Mitsky



#116 Love Cowboy

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 12:55 PM

Finally saw it for the first time last night with a buddy's 18" Obsession UC and my 14mm Delos and H-beta filter from our club's dark site.  Much larger than my expectations.  Stared right at it for a good long time not noticing anything before I realized the big inky black spot right in the center of the field surrounded by not-quite-as-inky-blackness was it. 



#117 mashirts

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 04:45 PM

Any refractor views?  Maybe improved contrast and dark sky would win over aperture...



#118 David Knisely

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 08:48 PM

Any refractor views?  Maybe improved contrast and dark sky would win over aperture...

 

Nope, aperture (and filtering) is still primarily the deciding about the visibility of the Horsehead.  While I have seen it in a 100mm f/6 refractor using the H-Beta filter, it was quite marginal in that aperture, and was a lot easier in my 8 inch f/7 Newtonian (although it still was pretty faint).  Clear skies to you. 



#119 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 10:30 PM

Stared right at it for a good long time not noticing anything before I realized the big inky black spot right in the center of the field surrounded by not-quite-as-inky-blackness was it.

 

That's an excellent way of describing how B33 usually appears.  I've often described it as seeing black on black.

 

Dave Mitsky



#120 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 05:38 AM

The HH is a great indicator for subtle differences in aperture transmission. My previous post seeing it with my IIE in the 6" mak with focal reducer (effective aperture closer to 145mm) compared to a recently acquired Astro Telescopes 152mm F/5.9 showed exactly the extra oomph needed to see the glow around the head from the background brightness.

 

Differences in aperture obvious with IIE.

 

AT72ED requires averted vision to make out dark shadow and rocking the scope back and forth helps with averted vision recognition

SW 120ST can see dark notch but no detail. No averted vision

Mak 150 can see notch and with some movement and averted vision can see curves of HH nose

AT 152 refractor can see direct notch with full shape of head including lighter misty "hair" on the top of the HH. Well backlit silhouette.

 

The entire region of gas behind the HH is rather spectacular in its misty quality.

 

These views might change soon as some newer white phosphor IIE's are coming next month. I'm hoping for nose recognition in AT72ED from the backyard. Ha content abundant on whole region of IC434. Spectacular visual nebula in image intensifier with narrowband Ha. 



#121 David Knisely

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 01:59 AM

I had one of the more spectacular views Horsehead one night last year in my 14 inch Newtonian using the Lumicon H-Beta filter.  At 52x with the 36mm Hyperion Aspheric (80.3 arc minute true field of view), I was startled to see both the Horsehead and the Flame nebulae at the same time in the same field of view.  However, for the Horsehead itself, I liked using a tad more power to keep the glare of Zeta Orionis out of the field and boost the scale to make the full horsehead shape easier to see.  For the Flame, I like narrow-band filters a little better than the H-Beta, but with the narrow-bands, I tend to lose a lot of the contrast of the faint IC 434 nebulosity which was better shown with the H-Beta.  Clear skies to you.   



#122 EricR

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 09:30 AM

Not sure if this adds much to the conversation but was comparing the Horsehead in a 22" and a 17.5" (truss Dobs) this last Saturday (1/17/2015) at pretty dark site (Anza-Borrego desert in Southern California) with good transparency. Tried a bunch of different eyepieces and using an Orion H-Beta filter (cause that's the only H-Beta we had).

 

We settled on most pleasing views being in 21 Ethos or 26 Nagler (always with H-Beta filter) producing magnification ranges of 81x-106x.

Notch out of the background nebulosity (in both scopes) was very obvious. (For rough perspective, I'll call it fingernail size in that magnification range).

Averted vision needed to bring out the snout. (Snout came out better and felt more real in the 22" than the 17.5" but, other than that, not night-and-day difference).

 

*I recall first trying to find the Horsehead maybe like 20 years ago in a 10" LX200 SCT at a reasonably dark site with NO FILTER. Couldn't see it at all. Kept moving around and kept finding the Flame instead but no Horsehead.


Edited by EricR, 22 January 2015 - 10:14 AM.

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