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A Cool NV Nebula Discovery!

Celestron catadioptric EAA eyepieces observing report NV
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#1 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 02:37 PM

A few weeks ago I stumbled on to a distressed Celestron Comet Catcher, which I have detailed over on the ATM forum. Long story short, I decided to attempt to rehabilitate the distressed girl and give her another shot at the stars.

 

What was really cool was a discovery I made on the first night out. I thought I would repeat the observation here for the benefit of the EAA crowd that does not visit ATM forum. I was using my L3 WP tube with the Comet Catcher, 12nm and 7nm H-alpha filters:

 

Nebula in Cygnus were easy pickings. North America, Pelican, the wreath below the NA/Pelican complex, Gamma Cygni, The Cocoon, the Crescent, the Veil (east, west, center). All seen with direct vision from my light polluted suburban location. Fun, but nothing new here, right?

 

I was using the scope Astroscan style, just cradling it in my arms on a zero-gravity chair. So, just kind of sweeping around without much means of aim, other than known landmarks. I move east of the North American and I see this huge patch of nebulosity stretching roughly north-south. Fairly obvious too. It was nearly as big as the California Nebula and I was not familiar with anything in that area.

I thought perhaps it was merely unresolved stars (Milky Way background) but after looking at it, I was certain it was nebula. It responded better to a tighter bandpass H-Alpha filter. I made note of the orientation of the brighter stars around the area. In particular, there was a broken line of three that made a right angle with a line of two bright stars. Where the two lines intersected was the nebula location.

The next day I get out Uranometria 2000. Ironically, NV has brought my old paper atlas out of retirement as it can actually be better than SkySafari in terms of plotting large structures visible with night vision. I was able to find the star pattern, one of the bright stars was 68 Cygni. But no nebula or star cloud was plotted.

So, I fire up SkySafari and center on 68 Cygni. No nebula. Curiouser and curiouser. I had an evil thought that perhaps it was that film on the primary mirror - I was just about to give up. Then I got the idea to change the Milky Way settings in SkySafari from “Realistic Image” to “Hydrogen Alpha”. Bingo! Nebula there, the brightest section with correct size and orientation!

Is this new, or just new to me? I have never heard a visual observer mention this one before. Perhaps Walter Scott Houston wrote of it? I wonder if this nebula is even known to imagers?

 

SkySafari H-alpha overlay may contain a wealth of "new" nebula for the NV observer.

 

NV does change everything.

 

One other cool observation - Eddgie claims to be able to see the HorseHead nebula in his Comet Catcher from light polluted city conditions. The feat is confirmed, and perhaps one better: The HorseHead (B33), the Flame Nebula (M78) and 1.7 magnitude Alnitak all in the same field - direct vision.


Edited by nicknacknock, 17 June 2020 - 06:05 AM.


#2 DSObserver2000

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 03:22 PM

That object appears to be Sharpless 2-119. Great catch! :)


Edited by DSObserver2000, 23 November 2016 - 03:23 PM.


#3 The Ardent

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 03:30 PM

There are lots of Sharpless not plotted in the Atlases. Simply out of visual detection range or interest.
I have two versions of Sky Safari, didn't know it had an h-alpha overlay. Thanks for the tip!

#4 Eddgie

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 03:56 PM

Thanks for sharing and you are not alone.  I am able to see nebula that I can't find on my charts, though like Ray, I want to thank you for pointing out the H-a Overlay in Sky Safari!!!!  

Sky Safari actually dose a great job for me most of the time, but I too see nebula that it does not show.

 

Comet Catcher is a blast to use, Yes?

 

I keep wanting a binocular for my Mod 3 tubes, but when I really ponder it, I am hard pressed to believe that two 80mm refractors working at f/6 with two image intensifiers is going to beat the Comet Catcher with the PVS-7.   I have seen more bucket list items with the CC and PVS-7 than with all my other scopes and eyepieces owned for the previews 40 years put together. 

 

Great report and happy to hear that you got the CC working well for you.



#5 PEterW

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 04:05 PM

Yep, welcome to sh119, a new friend! I thought you might have caught lbn289 or sh126 which are marked in Interstallarum and should be within our grasp if the visual people have spotted them. Really need to get on try to make a hydrogen nebulae guide.

Cheers

Peter

#6 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 11:20 PM

Thanks for the ID guys. Yep, that is the one!

 

Doing a search for Sharpless 2-119 shows a lot of images, so the imagers do know it well. Here is an image on CN by NV Guru jdbastro:

 

http://www.cloudynig...a-30sec-100iso/

 

Seems like everyone knew about this except me  :bigblush:

 

Coming from a conventional eyepiece background, this was previously invisible to me. Amazing how big and bright it is in NV.

 

The "discovery" was still pretty exciting though. Hope to get back there next week before Cygnus gets too low. 


Edited by Jeff Morgan, 23 November 2016 - 11:23 PM.


#7 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 02:17 AM

I've just barely glimpsed the brightest section of Sh2-119 with 22X100 binos using UHC filters. It's virtually certainly of lower surface brightness than IC434 (agsinst which the Horsehead is silhouetted.)

 

68 Cyg, a runaway star escaped from either the Cep OB1 or OB2 association, is the illumination source. The stellar winds from this O-type star are probably responsible for the shell structure, whereby a low-density bubble is surrounded by a shell of emission. The asymmetry is likely a result of differing gas density in the environment, which imposes a varying deceleration rate on the winds.

 

Note that this nebula *is not* related to 68 Cyg; the star is merely lighting up ambient gas through which it is traveling. Think of the situation as rather like a road works truck roof light moving through fog.

 

The same is occurring for another well known runaway star; AE Aur is lighting up its environs, creating IC 405, the Flaming Star nebula. AE Aur once belonged to either the Trapezium cluster (in M42) or the Ori OB1d association within which M42 resides.

 

And yet another! Zeta Oph escaped Sco OB2 (the very and claws of the scorpion), and is now lighting up the huge Sh2-27. This one is even more like the truck light moving through fog, given the dark dustiness of the Ser-Aql Rift of molecular gas through which zeta Oph is plunging.

 

I find the phenomenon of otherwise unrelated stars that light up the gas strata they are flying through to be fascinating.



#8 PEterW

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 03:32 PM

Sh27..... ooohhhh now here is one with very few images or sightings... put it on your must find list!

 

Peter



#9 pwang99

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 08:40 PM

 

Then I got the idea to change the Milky Way settings in SkySafari from “Realistic Image” to “Hydrogen Alpha”.

 

Dude.  You have just changed my life.

 

Last night at 3x with a 10nm Ha filter... I was able to nebula-hop all over the place using Sky Safari, and I could actually identify what I was looking at!


Edited by pwang99, 25 November 2016 - 08:40 PM.


#10 Rickster

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 09:33 AM

Thanks for the tip on Sky Safari h-Alpha.  Now it is worth it to upgrade to SS-5.  SS-4 doesn't have the h-Alpha option.



#11 pwang99

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 10:42 AM

It does! I have SS4 and am using the H-alpha Milky Way view.

#12 PEterW

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 10:53 AM

How do you this on????? I've been through all the menu options

Peter

#13 The Ardent

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 02:04 PM

I'm doing this from a phone so apologies if it doesn't display properly.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1681.PNG
  • IMG_1682.PNG


#14 Eddgie

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 08:18 PM

I am using it in a tablet and I did not see this option.



#15 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 09:02 PM

It definitely is there in iOS and OSX versions. Android I don't know.

 

Looks exactly like Ray's post.

 

When you go the Settings->Milky Way menu, at the top there is a "Show Milky Way" toggle switch. Make sure it is on. Then go down the list. Hydrogen Alpha occurs immediately below Realistic Image.


Edited by Jeff Morgan, 26 November 2016 - 09:03 PM.


#16 Pcbessa

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 04:00 PM

Whilst faint, I saw this nebula easily with my 10" Dob with a 25mm Plossl, under a Bortle 4 sky. But the night was very dark and Cygnus was at the zenith. The nebula was seen as wide, surrounding 68 Cyg especially east, and almost as bright as the Pelican.



#17 Lukes1040

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 05:06 PM

Wow, I had no idea about that feature. I had been getting irritated with SkySafari that it wasn’t showing some of the nebulosity I was seeing. Thanks!

#18 Pcbessa

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 12:33 AM

Sky Safari Plus does not show the sharpless nebulas I want to see. And for some IC wide nebula, the contours are not very accurate. I enjoy studying a photo of each nebula, before observing it through the scope!

There are several less known nebulas in Cygnus, which I just spotted with my 10". I started a thread on that a few days ago here.

 

EDIT: I actually have SS Plus, not the Pro. So I corrected my sentence for this.


Edited by Pcbessa, 31 August 2019 - 02:19 PM.


#19 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 10:57 AM

Sky Safari Pro does not show the sharpless nebulas I want to see. And for some IC wide nebula, the contours are not very accurate. I enjoy studying a photo of each nebula, before observing it through the scope!

There are several less known nebulas in Cygnus, which I just spotted with my 10". I started a thread on that a few days ago here.

 

Yes, SS does have some limits. And positional errors. Because of this, I brought Uranometria back out of retirement. And even then additional sleuthing is required.

 

Another great atlas (and inexpensive too) is Charles Bracken "The Astrophotography Sky Atlas". Granted most of those items will be beyond standard eyepieces, but you seem to be up to pushing the limits. And the positional accuracy is excellent. 

 

Here are a few links that may also be helpful:

 

http://galaxymap.org...st/sharpless/71

http://www.sharpless...om/default.aspx

http://www.astromast...Sharpless_r.pdf

https://www.mdwskysurvey.org

http://www.sky-map.org

https://exhibit-arch...ch.edu/barnard/



#20 The Ardent

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 03:25 PM

I found the Aladin Lite website very helpful. https://aladin.u-str....fr/AladinLite/

 

The default DSS2 image is a reliable indicator of NV observability. Most of the time. 




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