Date: Monday 3rd December 2018. 1950-0100am.
Scope: 20” f3.6 Lukehurst Dob with Paracorr (fl = 2089mm & f4.1).
Night Vision: PVS-14 with Photonis 4g INTENS.
Eyepieces: Plossl 55mm (f2 x38).
Filters: Astronomik 6nm Ha CCD.
It was rainy on Sunday so I set about building a “target list” of the Sharpless objects that I have so far failed to observe either because they are not in Sky Safari or they were too faint to see.
I built-up a table of 25 targets and spent time marking stars in Sky Safari that almost matched the co-ordinates shown in the back of the Bracken Astrophotography Sky Atlas. I also tried to lookup photographs of “groups of Sharpless” objects on the internet so that I could try to take bearings from “known” Sharpless to point me to potential locations of the missing Sharpless!
After 4 hours my table of targets was ready…
Time to “boldy go where no-one has gone before”…
Monday 3rd December was forecast as potentially clear all night. So after eating my evening meal I set off down to the scope-shed with my night vision case.
I quickly setup the big dob and had the two-star align (of my Nexus) completed. Then headed for the first target on my list…
Sh2-164 – Found near star TYC 4021-1255-1. A small bright patch sitting next to a star.
Sh2-169 – Found near star SAO 020964. Very faint object, can be seen at the edge of the fov if you centre sh2-168. Stars make “3 corners of a square” inside the faint patch.
Sh2-176 – Found near star HD 2559. Very faint indeed. A bright cluster (M34/Xmas tree like) has nebulosity around it and a black area inside it too.
Sh2-177 – Found near star HD 2654. You see a large star cluster (that reminds me of “a Rocket on a stand”). The cluster has a lane of nebula running along the side of it.
Sh2-179 – Found as pneb BV 5-2. Tiny planetary neb bright enough to be easily seen.
Sh2-180 – Found near star TYC 4020-0924-1. Bright, decent sized cluster “crab,lobster” shaped with nebulosity surrounding and several black lanes within. The “crab” stars may be part of a larger “butterfly” shaped formation.
Sh2-181 – Found near star TYC 4024-0109-1. Small bright patch sitting above two bright stars. Averted reveals a rounded black shape curved nebula over the top.
Sh2-183 – Found near star TYC 4029-1063-1. Seems to be a long lane of nebulosity running up from near sh2-181.
Sh2-191 Found as galaxy Maffei1. Small patch on top of two stars.
Sh2-215 – Found at star HD 276169. Small faint patch sitting above a star.
Sh2-250 – Found near NGC 1633. Several stars sit in a clear black lane. Very faint nebula around the black lane!
Sh2-251 – Correctly marked in Sky Safari . Several spaced out bright stars up against a wall of nebula. Wall is thick and curves slightly at the lower end.
Sh2-253 Found near star TYC 1336-0819-1. Very faint patch seen in a “gap” found in a line of stars. There are 6 or 7 stars in a row, then the “gap”, then a final star.
Sh2-272 – Found at star GSC 0738-2191. This is a very tiny patch sitting just at the side of sh2-271. I missed it before (helps if you have seen an image beforehand!)
Thoughts of the observer.
I managed to find 14 of my 25 targets so I am very pleased with that.
I also uncovered an error in the Bracken Astrophotography Sky Atlas where the co-ordinates for sh2-213 are incorrect, (they are duplicates of sh2-212) that’s why I have not found it so far. I got some “new” co-ordinates off the internet this morning so I am ready to try again for this one!
My failures were sh2-172, sh2-195, sh2-213, sh2-266, sh2-270.
Around 1am the sky just filled up with water and the heaven’s disappeared, this stopped me in my tracks and left a few lower Orion targets not attempted.
It was a cold night (I was running eyepiece & secondary mirror heating all night) and the UTA of the scope was frozen in ice by the end of the session.
My Sharpless count now comes to 201 of 313 objects.
I have created a spreadsheet of the catalog and added all my location information. I am also adding a rating and GOTO references to each of the rows (which I am testing on the Borg107 as time allows). Let me know if you want a copy?
Edited by alanjgreen, 04 December 2018 - 04:47 PM.