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Sh2-216 in an 8-inch

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#1 Nick Anderson

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:08 PM

Earlier this month (April 5) I tried an object I thought I had little chance in successfully observing in my 8-inch scope: Sh2-216 in Perseus. It is an extremely large planetary, and is considered one of the toughest objects on the Astronomical League's PN Program list.

I tried it from my 6.3-6.4 magnitude site in Giles County, VA. The skies were clear and transparency was favorable (8/10). Seeing was below-average (4/10) at the start, but later improved to a 7/10. An extreme surprise to me, while rocking the scope and testing filters, I actually detected a subtle background glow about 45 arcminutes away from its plotted center to the WSW. The glow was elongated (probably the planetary's edge) and stretched around 20 arcminutes (difficult to accurately estimate). Although it's hard to be 100% sure this was actually the planetary, it seems likely based on the subtle filter response I received. Although the view was best at 48x with the SkyGlow broadband filter, it even seemed to be visible unfiltered! It's nights like these that I wish I had an observing buddy to declare I'm not completely crazy. I really didn't think this would be a reasonable possibility! Perhaps a lower aperture scope helps because of the FOV? Has anyone else had a similar experience?

(First post to CN)

-Nick Anderson

#2 hbanich

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 12:53 AM

Hi Nick,

You're right, sometimes a wider field of view is exactly what it takes to see a faint extended object, so I'm sure you're no more crazy than anyone else hanging out here in CN.

#3 hbanich

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 12:54 AM

Oh, and welcome!

#4 IVM

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:03 AM

Welcome! I have not observed this one, but your description fits the brightest part of the nebula. If it is at all observable, then this is the part I would expect to be visible. Nice catch! Adequate framing does help detection and is in fact a major factor, I agree.

#5 nytecam

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:27 AM

Hi Nick - welcome to CN ;)

#6 reiner

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:36 PM

Hi Nick,

great target for your first post here!

In fact, this PN can become *more* difficult in larger scopes due to lack of field size. I find it difficult using my 22" Dob, but can clearly see it in my 80 mm finder with UHC filter.

#7 Nick Anderson

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:45 PM

Thanks all for the kind welcome!

Based on what's been said so far, it seems that I'm "no more crazy than anyone else hanging out here in CN". Given what I saw, I'm surprised there's not more information on this object around the web for smaller apertures.

-Nick Anderson

#8 City Kid

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:27 PM

I'm working on the A.L. Planetary Nebula list but I haven't tried this one yet. I'm happy to hear you were able to see it.

#9 Kraus

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:53 PM


Nick,

You're not comfortable being crazy by yourself? We look through tubes in the dark and say we see stuff.

Good catch by the way. When Perseus peaks in Fall, I'll get back to you on this one.

#10 IVM

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:58 PM

We look through tubes in the dark and say we see stuff.


:roflmao:






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