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Bound and determined : Horsehead thru a ten..BUT..

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#1 tcmzodiac

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:29 PM

If I succeed many wont believe me. But Sue French has seen it thru a 10" and if she can do it, I can do it!
Right?

#2 Michael Rapp

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:35 PM

Someday I too will see it!

I just happened to be reading this from Barbara Wilson a few days ago and your post reminded me of it.

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

#3 tcmzodiac

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:50 PM

Thanks Michael, a good read! I took my new build...the 10"...out for first light recently. It was a decent night, sky-wise. NGC 2024 easy with no filter...and Orion was low in the East. If I could have stayed out until it was at the meridian I would have tried for the HH.

#4 Astrojensen

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

The Horsehead has been seen through a (H-Beta filtered) 60mm, so I'll believe you, when you bag it with the 10"...

There's even a credible observation of it in H-Beta filtered 8x42 binoculars (LOTS of attention to details in preparation for the observation and the description of it, that's why I believe it).


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#5 tcmzodiac

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

Thanks for the faith, Thomas. I know it wont be easy, and therin lies the fun...even if I fail.
I know that an H-Beta filter is routinely used for this object...but I do not own one and dont plan on that purchase anytime soon. I wonder if my UHC would be of any help?

#6 JasonBurry

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

I've been trying to bag it with my 8", with no real success so far. The Flame nebula nearby is relatively easy, but I'm still straining to see the head.

J

#7 EJN

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:29 PM

I saw the horsehead in an 8" scope 20 years ago, in Colorado, in the mountains at
an altitude of 8000 feet, broadband filter.

OTOH - last winter, at a location 50 miles from Chicago, where the milky way is
clearly visible, using a friends 20" scope, no filter, saw *nothing.*

#8 Sasa

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

Terry, good luck with your quest. I was so far half-successful. I saw not even the IC434 nebula from my backyard in 10" Newton. But one night, I traveled a little bit away from my home to darker skies and I took 100mm ED refractor with me. In the beginning, I glimpsed at 36x with UHC filter a brighter rim of IC434 running just north of Horsehead nebula (B33) to Alnitak. After a while and small break, I was able to trace the brighter rim of IC434 also south of B33. In the place of B33, the rim was truncated and I saw a darker spot in that place. But it was very difficult and I could not determine the dark spot shape. Then I tried to looked at IC434 without UHC filter. To my surprise, I was still able to trace the rim at 33x.

#9 David Knisely

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:04 PM

The Horsehead has been seen through a (H-Beta filtered) 60mm, so I'll believe you, when you bag it with the 10"...

There's even a credible observation of it in H-Beta filtered 8x42 binoculars (LOTS of attention to details in preparation for the observation and the description of it, that's why I believe it).


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Small aperture reports aside, there needs to be a healthy dose of reality here. To have much of a chance of seeing it (at least for the first time), a somewhat larger aperture is often required. While I have detected the faint band of IC 434 in a filtered 80mm f/5 refractor (H-Beta filter) at 13x, the notch of Barnard 33 itself was not visible with much certainty. At that power, the thing just wasn't quite big enough to overcome the low resolution of averted vision. Once I got the image scale up to where it might have been visible, the magnification diluted the nebula to the point where it was too faint to see much of anything other than maybe a hint of a glow. One night, a friend of mine did manage to detect the "notch" with my filtered 80mm scope when he was using it, but I never got over to him to see it for myself. Things were a little better in my 100mm f/6 refractor, as at 25x, under great conditions with the H-Beta filter, I could just barely detect the notch (Barnard 33) in that incredibly faint glow, but mainly because I knew exactly where it was to begin with. Had I not know the area very well, I might not have even detected the faint glow of IC 434 in the first place. This does not mean that one can't see the Horsehead in a smaller scope, but it does show that it is a rather difficult task which not all may be able to complete. The Horsehead is somewhat easier in my 9.25 inch SCT (again filtered) and starts to show the "snout" on a good night, but I still consider it to be a bit of a challenge to see in that scope. Even in my 14 inch f/4.6 Newtonian using the H-Beta filter, while it is considerably more obvious in form, the Horsehead still takes a really good night to bring it out well, as much of its detail requires study using averted vision and clear dark skies. Still, I have just barely seen the Horsehead without a filter on an exceptional night, so it is at least possible. Also, if you don't have an H-Beta filter, a narrow-band nebula filter like the Lumicon UHC or Orion Ultrablock can help you as well. Beginners (and even some who have been in the hobby for a while) who try for the Horsehead with four to six inch apertures will frequently fail initially, and that is a testament to just how faint this object is. Clear skies to you.

#10 IVM

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

If I succeed many wont believe me. But Sue French has seen it thru a 10" and if she can do it, I can do it!
Right?


Right. 12 show the well-known silhouette, including the snout (although its underside with this aperture is soft) and the flattening of the top. I haven't tried with 10 but considering that 10 give the same surface brightness at 5/6 the magnification, there should be little difference. (Less than the difference between 16 and 12, which is noticeable by the disappearance of a few nice details in the outline and in the background nebula.) Besides, it is customary to say you saw the Horsehead when you only saw a shapeless notch in the bright nebula behind. For that task, 10 inches should be a safe bet. Just take them to dark enough skies.

EDIT: I meant with an h-beta filter of course. But if my recollection is correct, with no filter the notch is large and plain in 12", although it is soft and shapeless and not much of the nebula around it is seen. All assumes a nice enough dark site, in my case 21.6-21.8 mag/sq arcsec.

#11 Astrojensen

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

there needs to be a healthy dose of reality here.


Absolutely. I forgot to mention the observer (whose name escape me at the moment, so can't search for his website) is a very experienced observer, who has indeed seen the HH countless times, in scopes large and small. A beginner won't stand a chance...

I've never seen the HH, BTW, or even just a trace of IC 434. It's too far down in the mud from here at 55°N.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#12 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:13 PM

The first time I ever sought out the HH was with a 4.7" refractor and UHC filter, from my backyard in a small town. It was a tough catch, appearing as only a formless notch in IC 434.

#13 JayinUT

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:31 PM

Interesting articles by Stephen Waldee on the Horsehead Nebula found at his site located at this link. I believe it is Jay Reynolds Freeman that Thomas is mentioning though I am assuming and assumptions, like meat cooked by a 18 year old can be dangerous.

This link leads you to Stephen Waldee's and others research on the Horsehead if you really want to read and learn about it.

Enjoy! It's a fantastic object that is fun to go after over the next several months.

#14 Astrojensen

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:35 PM

Interesting articles by Stephen Waldee on the Horsehead Nebula found at his site located at this link. I believe it is Jay Reynolds Freeman that Thomas is mentioning though I am assuming and assumptions, like meat cooked by a 18 year old can be dangerous.


I was actually thinking about Stephen Waldee! Thanks for the link!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#15 David Knisely

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:58 PM

The first time I ever sought out the HH was with a 4.7" refractor and UHC filter, from my backyard in a small town. It was a tough catch, appearing as only a formless notch in IC 434.


Indeed, the very first time I ever got to see the Horsehead in any telescope was in a friend's 10 inch f/5 Newtonian using the (at the time, early 1982) brand new Lumicon UHC filter. Once I understood what I needed to look for, I borrowed his filter and took it over to my 8 inch f/7. Sure enough, in that scope with the UHC, the Horsehead was also seen, although not as well as in my friend's 10 inch. Indeed, there are some nights where it looks dark and yet the Horsehead is notably more difficult to detect than on some other nights, so conditions definitely do matter. This means that if you don't see it one night, be sure and try it again at some other time. Someone in our club in the late 1960's or early 1970's saw the Horsehead in an six inch f/4.5 RFT (this was before nebula filters came on the market), so I won't dismiss claims of non-filtered sightings in such an aperture. However, narrow-band and H-Beta line filters do make seeing the Horsehead a lot more possible. Clear skies to you.

#16 Carol L

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:57 AM

Go for it, Terry! :grin: I detected it with an 8"SCT and H-Beta filter - surprisingly, a UHC filter also did well. It was a night of above average transparency, too - that's a key element in seeing this nebula.

Here's a sketch done with my 16" Dob - notice how big the nebula is in the 52' fov. We're used to seeing the Horsehead as a tiny little notch in widefield images, but it's not small at all in the eyepiece. Look for a dark 'thumbprint' at the SE tip of a triangle formed with two stars: the left star in my sketch is is magnitude 7.5 SAO 132451 (aka HD 37805, HIP 26756) and the right one is magnitude 7.6 SAO 132438 (aka HD 37699, HIP 26694).

Good luck!! ;)

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#17 RolandosCY

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:38 AM

My friend, just as practically everybody said, the HH is visible in 10". I have seen it many times eith a 10", a 12", and my 18". The main factor in really seeing it is atmospheric conditions. It is a very low contrast object barely detectable UNLESS the atmosphere is very clear. The H-Beta filter works wonders on it, and the UHC filter also helps. My own first confirmed sighting was with a 10" and a UHC filter on a very good night. Then, we managed it again in a 10" without a UHC in a less dark site but on a night with incredible transparency.

Since then sighting of the HH became routine with both my old 12" and my present 18", though the amount of detail seen depends on the atmospheric conditions.

For those who attempt it for the first time, the trick is to keep Zeta Orionis out of the field, and to try to detect the faint band of IC434. The brightness of IC434 is similar to that of the Veil. Detecting the nebulosity of NGC 2023 (appearing as a hazy star) will definitely help pinpointing the field. By studying the star patterns in relationship to NGC 2023 will help you detect IC434 even without a filter. I have detected IC434 without a filter using my 4" refractor (but not HH!). A filter certainly helps and is highly recommended.

Once you detect the linear glow of IC434 it will only be a matter of time before the HH is detected. If you are using an H-Beta flter keep in mind that it will take a few minutes before IC 434 first and HH second materializes in front of your eyes...

#18 RolandosCY

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:42 AM

Here is a Megastar map of the area. You will be better off if you use an eyepiece giving you a field of view approximately similar to the one shown on the chart. This field will enable you to keep out both Zeta and Sigma Orionis but allow NGC2023 to be visible. You can then use the two pairs of stars (one pair next to the "snout" and a brighter one to the west) to help you pinpoint the HH position...

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#19 Astrojensen

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:53 AM

The brightness of IC434 is similar to that of the Veil.


I beg to differ. It must be considerably fainter. The Veil (eastern half) is easy as pie in any of my telescopes, even unfiltered, but I've never seen a hint of IC 434, despite looking for it on some very good nights in the past.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#20 RolandosCY

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:40 AM

The brightness of IC434 is similar to that of the Veil.


I beg to differ. It must be considerably fainter. The Veil (eastern half) is easy as pie in any of my telescopes, even unfiltered, but I've never seen a hint of IC 434, despite looking for it on some very good nights in the past.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Hmmm. I meant the unfiltered view. Then again, I don't usually check both on the same night. One thing that I have noticed is that IC434 needs some seconds to materialize, but once it appears it does seem similar. One possibility is that the usual practice is to locate first Zeta Orionis which appears VERY BRIGHT, possibly ruining some dark adaptation, and then IC434. Hence the "delay effect" in detecting IC434. The area has many stars much brighter than those around the Veil. Also, the fact that I usually see IC 434 about 20 degrees higher in the sky than you may also play a role.

IC434 (and the HH) are quite a strange case. Walter Scott Huston mentions that IC434 is visible in 60mm refractors. I once (only once!) spotted it (without a filter) with an 80mm refractor. Yet usually it is tough in a 10" reflector. Then, once spotted, makes you wonder why you couldn't notice it in the first place.

I have to admit that the HorseHead is one of my favorite (if not THE favorite) targets, and this is the reason I have analyzed its visibility (or lack thereof!) so much!

#21 blb

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:14 AM

The brightness of IC434 is similar to that of the Veil.


I beg to differ. It must be considerably fainter. The Veil (eastern half) is easy as pie in any of my telescopes, even unfiltered, but I've never seen a hint of IC 434, despite looking for it on some very good nights in the past.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Hmmm. I meant the unfiltered view. Then again, I don't usually check both on the same night. One thing that I have noticed is that IC434 needs some seconds to materialize, but once it appears it does seem similar. One possibility is that the usual practice is to locate first Zeta Orionis which appears VERY BRIGHT, possibly ruining some dark adaptation, and then IC434. Hence the "delay effect" in detecting IC434. The area has many stars much brighter than those around the Veil. Also, the fact that I usually see IC 434 about 20 degrees higher in the sky than you may also play a role.

IC434 (and the HH) are quite a strange case. Walter Scott Huston mentions that IC434 is visible in 60mm refractors. I once (only once!) spotted it (without a filter) with an 80mm refractor. Yet usually it is tough in a 10" reflector. Then, once spotted, makes you wonder why you couldn't notice it in the first place.

I have to admit that the HorseHead is one of my favorite (if not THE favorite) targets, and this is the reason I have analyzed its visibility (or lack thereof!) so much!


I have never seen IC434 as bright as the Veil Nebula. I have seen the Veil with my 10x50 binoculars from a dark sky site but I have never even seen the Flame Nebula, NGC 2024, which is much brighter than IC434, with binoculars. From a dark site in the mountains of western NC I have seen the Horse Head, B33, with my unfiltered 4-inch TV102 refractor. IC434 was very dim but visible and the HH was only seen with averted vision but it was plainly there to be seen in the 4-inch refractor.

Thomas, Phil Harrington last year here on CN's gave an account of having seen the HH with filtered binoculars at the Winter Star Party in FL. Check out last years Binocular Universe article on Orion. He has also shared that story in one of his new books, the Cosmic Challenge.

#22 BillFerris

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:28 PM

The brightness of IC434 is similar to that of the Veil.


I beg to differ. It must be considerably fainter. The Veil (eastern half) is easy as pie in any of my telescopes, even unfiltered, but I've never seen a hint of IC 434, despite looking for it on some very good nights in the past.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Setting aside specific surface brightness data, my experience is that the Veil Nebula us much easier to detect than IC 434. The eastern portion of the Veil (NGC 6992) appears as an obvious misty patch through unfiltered 10x50 binoculars. I've never made an unfiltered binocular detection of IC 434. It appeared very subtle in my old 10 inch Newtonian and is consistently visible in my 18 inch Obsession. On one very good night, I did observe IC 434 and the Horsehead (B33) in a friend's unfiltered 6 inch Newtonian. The experience suggested B33 would have been discernible in an unfiltered 4 inch refractor.

A 10 inch aperture is definitely up to the task of revealing the IC 434, B33 complex. The keys are sky darkness and transparency. The nearby Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) should appear obvious and bright. If NGC 2023, the island of nebulosity surrounding 7.8 magnitude HD 37903 is a fairly easy detection, conditions should be right for a view of the Horesehead.

Bill in Flag

#23 IVM

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:54 PM

I'd say IC 434 with h-beta in brightness is like Pickering's Wisp (part of the Veil broadly defined) unfiltered. Both show a little of their marvelous internal structure with 16".

#24 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:39 PM

I've seen B33 once through my H-beta filtered 8" f/6 Starsplitter Tube Dob equipped with a Zambuto mirror. It was a very difficult observation. The Horsehead Nebula has been a bit easier target through my filtered 10" f/4.7 Sky-Watcher Collapsible Dob.

I haven't been successful in detecting B33 with my 101mm f/5.4 Tele Vue refractor.

Conditions certainly play a crucial role in a successful sighting. On several occasions, when the transparency and seeing were excellent, I've been able to view the Horsehead without using a filter through 14.5" and larger premium Dobs from very dark sites.

B33 was fairly easy to detect through filtered 17.5 and 22" Dobs from a magnitude 6.3 dark site last Friday.

Dave Mitsky

#25 tcmzodiac

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:45 PM

Thanks everyone and...Happy Thanksgiving!
It certainly is good to read these reports. Good to know that my UHC may be of help.Again, thanks for the encouragement.The second DSO that my scope ever put up was the Veil. Id love for the HH to be early in the list too! :)






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