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Start of the observing season 2021: IC 443 and 444, NGC 2175, Sh2-261, M42, Sh2-275, IC 410, Sim 147

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#1 j.gardavsky

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:13 AM

Hello all friends of the binocular astronomy,

 

It’s been the 28th February night, the first time clear skies, no clouds, no snow, no haze, and no Sahara sands. A good reason to take the binoculars and to go out under the starry skies, at least for the time between the dusk and the rising Moon.

 

With the 15x85 BA8 binoculars, and with the OIII 10nm filters screwed into the eyepieces, I have chosen the Gemini as the first constellation. And Gemini has two amazing nebulae to offer for the patient observing eyes.

 

IC 444 (Sh2-249) is nebula, easily found between Mu Geminorum and the Cr 89 sparse open cluster. The nebula has been faint, and it took some time to separate one of its lobes. The structure of the nebula is to some extent due to the surrounding Lynds dark nebulae.

IC 443 (Sh2-248) Jellyfish Nebula, east off Eta Geminorum, is famous for its thin shock wave front. The binoculars have resolved just a faint oval glow, no other structures, but nevertheless, the view has been rewarding.

 

Then, I have moved from Gemini towards the northern Orion, to find the Monkey’s Head, one of my favorite binocular nebulae in this area of skies.
And the NGC 2175 (Sh2-252) Monkey Head Nebula has rewarded me with a bright oval glow.

 

Looking for a challenge, I have made my choice with the Lower’s Nebula.
Knowing the star hopping strategy, I have first located the small open cluster NGC 2169, and north off it, finally found the faint oval of the Lower’s Nebula (Sh2-261). Visually is the Lowers nebula faint, but once in the field of view, it can’t be overseen.

 

The Great Orion Nebula M42 is always the showpiece, and the narrow passband (10nm) OIII filters increase incredibly the contrast between the bright central Huygenian, and the outer wings, and that seen on the darkened background sky. It’s been spectacular, I can’t find any other better word.

 

Moving towards east into the constellation of Monoceros, the Rosette Nebula (Sh2-275) has made its appearance: A fairly bright glow surrounding the bright stars of the central cluster. There has been a hint of some structures, but difficult to keep with the handheld binoculars.

 

As Auriga has been high in the skies, I have pointed the binoculars towards the Tadpoles Nebula IC 410 (Sh2-236), easily found to the east of the Flying Minnow Mel 31. A nice bright glow has suppressed the NGC 1893 open cluster nearly into the invisibility.

The Flaming Star Nebula IC 405, on the other side of the Flying Minnow disappears through the OIII filter.

 

When already in Auriga and with the OIII filters mounted, the SNR Simeis 147 is the “must to see”.
The Sim 147 (Sh2-240) Spaghetti Nebula, crossing the Auriga – Taurus border, has revealed a comfortably bright, and nearly complete, thick ring. No spaghettis resolved, of course.

It is the second best SNR after the Veil in Cygnus, for the binoculars.

 

 

Place: Backyard in Erlanger Oberland
Observing conditions: Nominally NELM 4, The Great Orion Nebula and the Lambda Orionis Nebula with unaided eyes.

 

Thank you for reading,
JG

 

PS: Edit 15x85 binoculars, not the 25x85


Edited by j.gardavsky, 05 March 2021 - 04:15 AM.

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#2 Raul Leon

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 05:41 PM

Sounds like you had a great night, to bag Simeis 147 ,Lowers nebula and IC 443 on the same night is exceptional!!


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#3 PEterW

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 05:57 PM

A great read! Did you make any sketches as you went about hunting for faint stuff? Some great nebulae there... which regions of simeis 147 did you pick up. You should try for the Eridanus loop before it goes out of view!

Peter
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#4 j.gardavsky

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 04:12 AM

@ Raul

Thank you for the friendly comments, much appreciated!

I have seen the IC 443 and Sim 147 throughout the years before, and also through my 6" F/5 refractor. Herewith, I basically knew what to expect.

 

@ Peter

Thank you for your comments.

The Spaghetti Nebula has been comfortably bright, faint has been the segment towards NNW. I have spent more time with the Spaghetti Nebula in 2020, when hunting "All You Can See" in Auriga, and uncovering two forgotten Gaze Shajn nebulae. The third Gaze Shajn one is still waiting on me.

 

Unfortunately, I am not talented in sketching.

I eventually make a very simple sketch of the objects which have been seldom reported before, and then just for the documentation,

https://www.cloudyni...-documentation/

 

Clear skies,

JG


Edited by j.gardavsky, 05 March 2021 - 04:13 AM.

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#5 j.gardavsky

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 04:38 AM

@ Peter

Eridanus Loop

 

I have been tracing the arcs (loops) A, B, C of the Eridanus Superbubble on te 27th February 2019, through the 15x85 binoculars with the blue(RGB)CCD 400nm - 510nm passband filters.

The arcs, and their node, have been comfortably visible.

 

On the 1st March this year, I have extracted the MBM 18 condensation on the Arc A, and again through the 15x85 with the same filters.

 

Sometimes,

the blue(RGB)CCD filters are my preferable choice, as they pass the spectral emission lines (OIII, H-Beta), and the bluish Rayleigh scattering on the molecular clouds.

 

Clear skies,

JG


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#6 PEterW

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 07:44 AM

Your sketches are very useful to help others know where they might spot things, please do more as you cover wider areas of the Milky Way and nearby. Going beyond the “usual suspects”.

Peter
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#7 payner

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 12:06 PM

Yes, those are very good, descriptive sketches.

Randy


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#8 Pcbessa

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 06:58 PM

I also had a great night here, so far. I started at the Rosette (Orion was getting behind a house) and the nebula was brighter than average (it framed in a very pretty way with my 30mm) so I traced the nearby nebulosity until the Christmas tree cluster where I could also the faint surrounding nebulosity and a bright small ngc nebula which I forgot the name.

Then I saw also Ic444 as a quite faint patch (only part of it) and the faintish oval of the Jellyfish (with a brighter arc). I didn't remember it so "easy" so this shows it is a really dark sky.

I then saw a bright nebula and asked myself which one is this. It was the Monkey head of course.

I went for the Spaghetti nebula and bagged it for the first time. I saw just two faint parts (the brightest arc) and a nearby filament (which seemed actually days to detect because it was longer). I usually use the technique of moving eyepiece back and forth to detect faint nebulosity.

I then delighted in the bright star clusters, imagining how long was 1 light year inside the 200 stars of M37. And how it must compare to our local vicinity within 20 light years.

Nearby I saw a random cluster, k8, which at high power still revealed dozens of faint stars. I just imagined, how many stars are really out there!

From there I moved to the intergalactic cluster and nearby elongated ngc2424, a nice sight.

I wanted to go deeper into Lynx but got stuck in starhoping, so I moved into M51. Immediate spiral arms. The frost was biting my fingers and I came inside for a break. Through the window I started at Virgo and imagined that I am just looking away from our galaxy into the depths of the universe with many far away galaxies out there, in Bootes, Coma, Corona Borealis and Ursa Major.

Will go back outside now. I think I will just go for the easier stuff now.
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#9 PEterW

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 04:55 AM

Pcbessa, what scope/skies were you observing with?

Peter

#10 Pcbessa

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 05:54 AM

Hi Peter, I forgot to mention that. These were Bortle 3 skies and a 10" scope. The night was better than average.


After my break I went to see M51. I couldn't see the bridge was there but the spiral arms were evident. I failed to see the nearby galaxy ngc4278, in pics it looks to be tiny and faint. But to the south, these were bright (ngc5198, ngc5173 and less so ngc5169)

M101 was good. Three HII emission region were prominent, two to the west, one to the north. I didn't try looking for the others. This galaxy must be spectacular in larger apertures! I was curious when I saw in skysafari a grouping near Mizar, near the easier pair ngc5278 and ugc8671. Notoriously a challenge. I saw very faint something in the location of ic928 and ic932, a faint ic938, and a less faint Ic919.

Time now for a quick view of Markarian chain. Always a nice sight.

I finished the night with a challenge, at M87 at 300x and 450x. I went for a blind view; I didn't look at the jet orientation before my onservation.

I am not 100% sure if I saw the jet buy I think I did see it. For several times I could see what look like a second nucleous in one single constant direction. Later I confirmed this to be the jet location).

It didn't look like a jet at all. It is tiny but bright, so no a hard target but size and seeing seem to be every thing here. Rather I had the impression that the nucleous of m87 seemed like an elongated semi-resolved double or triple star, all aligned. it seemed to call for more power, but I didn't want to spoil the crispiness of my 450x view (8mm and a 3x Barlow). That seems to be the limit of my 10" so far.
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#11 Pcbessa

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 05:56 AM

Gardavsky, I don't mean to highjack your thread. I just posted my night as it was initially quite similar to yours! Your report is even more remarkable in the light that those nebula were seen with binoculars! Especially the spaghetti and lower nebula.

#12 j.gardavsky

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 06:11 AM

Hello Pcbessa,

 

don't worry, no problem, your input is very interesting,

and nice to see that we have been observing the same DSOs.

 

Regarding the Spaghetti Nebula, my impression is that the "hard core" Baader visual 10nm OIII filter is the best choice. I have seen it also with other filters, but not as good.

 

The Lower's Nebula, yes, a revisit has been due. I have seen it years ago through the 6" refractor.

 

Clear skies,

JG


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#13 Voyager 3

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 09:14 AM

Hello Pcbessa,

<...snip...>

What is the lower's nebula ? Never heard of it ! Or is it a typo of lover's nebula ? 

Super reports Pcbessa ! And an awfully interesting thread JG .


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#14 PEterW

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 12:37 PM

Lowers nebula, sharpless 261, bit further south of the jellyfish and monkey head. Near the baubles of Sharpless 254. Great reports, many overlooked objects.

Peter
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#15 uwe_glahn

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 05:18 PM

Hi Jiri,

 

I just came in from an observing trip with a 4" binocular and interestingly had a very similar observing list.

 

Great observing results. I can reproduce most of your reports (main shock front of IC 443 was resolvable, while IC 444 was invisible in all filters) but your description of Sh 2-240. Can you describe more detailed what ring do you mean and saw?

 

I personally torture myself over decades with this object and was finally successful, with 27-inch.

 

greetings, uwe


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#16 DeanD

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 07:13 PM

Thanks JG and others! You are inspiring me to get out a bit more in my backyard. Sadly most of the nebulae described are in the north for me, and above the glow of the city, but it is worth a try!

 

Of course the next week is forecast to be cloudy too...

 

All the best,

 

Dean


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#17 Sheol

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 07:22 PM

                        Another example of Binoculars being excellent tools for viewing large, faint nebulae. 

                        Thank you very much for this report, I really enjoyed it.

 

                              Clear Skies,

                                  Matt.


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#18 Pcbessa

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 03:18 AM

The spaghetti took me a while to see it. So it's a really hard object. Large and low surface brightness. I moved back and forward the field of view to ensure I was seeing it. The lower nebula is another difficult target to me.

Ic444 is also faint but not quite as much. Ic443 is also a faint target, but the brightest of all of these. All need very dark skies (better than Bortle 4 or 3)
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#19 j.gardavsky

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 04:42 AM

Hi Jiri,

 

I just came in from an observing trip with a 4" binocular and interestingly had a very similar observing list.

 

Great observing results. I can reproduce most of your reports (main shock front of IC 443 was resolvable, while IC 444 was invisible in all filters) but your description of Sh 2-240. Can you describe more detailed what ring do you mean and saw?

 

I personally torture myself over decades with this object and was finally successful, with 27-inch.

 

greetings, uwe

Hallo Uwe,

 

and thank you very much for your helpful comments.

 

The Spaghetti Nebula Sim 147 (Sh2-240) has shown a nearly complete thick ring, as in he STAR-Guide Atlas by Sándor Szabó, which is a good guide for the binocular observers,


Sim 147 and Gaze Shajn.jpg

 

The visual appearance has been a faint nearly uniform ring, fading a bit towards W-NW, but still comfortably visible beyond any doubt.

 

The nebula is best visible through the "often criticized" Baader OIII 10nm visual filter #2458435.

 

The observing notes on the page in the STAR-Guide atlas refer to the recovered historical Gaze-Shajn nebulae, I wanted to report during the Deep Sky Meeting, but this meeting has been locked down.

 

Clear skies,

Jiri


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#20 PEterW

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 05:15 AM

Interesting atlas, how does it compare to the interstellarum? For faint nebulae have you tried the Astrophotography Sky atlas by Bracken which the NV community like?
Interesting that you’re doing better than the large scope observers, https://astronomy-ma....Space/s147.htm must be the extra field of view and large exit pupil.
Nice annotations.... please post more.

Peter
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#21 j.gardavsky

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 06:17 AM

Interesting atlas, how does it compare to the interstellarum? For faint nebulae have you tried the Astrophotography Sky atlas by Bracken which the NV community like?
Interesting that you’re doing better than the large scope observers, https://astronomy-ma....Space/s147.htm must be the extra field of view and large exit pupil.
Nice annotations.... please post more.

Peter

Hello Peter,

 

in the field, I am using the both, the STAR-Guide (from Teleskop Service), and the IDSA.

 

The STAR-Guide is more oriented towards the users of the binoulars, and Dobs up to about 10". It shows some DSOs, variable stars, Carbons, and doubles, not covered by the IDSA. The form of the Sharpless nebulae is closer to what can be visually observed through the small apertures.

 

IDSA shows many more nebulae, and the new open clusters.

 

I don't have the Astrophotography star atlas.

 

The difference in my way might be the due to the oversized lens hoods on the binoculars and on the 6" F/5 achro, which protect the optics from the stray light. This increases the contrast of the views.

 

The other differentiator may be the filters off the beaten path, I am using as complementary to the nebular filters:

blue(RGB)CCD 400nm - 510nm interference filter,

blue Zeiss 390nm - 495nm interference filter from the microscope,

these both filters are for the mixed reflecting and emitting molecular clouds,

for the Rayleigh scattering/reflection nebulae, and for the IFN

 

The nebulae are "confirmed" with a rejection filter, like a long pass yellow, which does not pass the nebular emission lines.

And contrary, the cold molecular clouds, which are passed by the yellow filters, must become rejected by the blue filters.

 

The Alpha and Omega is the visual contrast, and the ways how to increase it,

JG
 


Edited by j.gardavsky, 07 March 2021 - 06:19 AM.


#22 j.gardavsky

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 12:34 PM

Hi Jiri,

 

I just came in from an observing trip with a 4" binocular and interestingly had a very similar observing list.

 

Great observing results. I can reproduce most of your reports (main shock front of IC 443 was resolvable, while IC 444 was invisible in all filters) but your description of Sh 2-240. Can you describe more detailed what ring do you mean and saw?

 

I personally torture myself over decades with this object and was finally successful, with 27-inch.

 

greetings, uwe

Hello Uwe,

 

it is a bad habit of mine to call the extended Sh2-249 as the small reflection nebula IC 444.

The IC 444 rhymes with the IC 443, somehow.

 

On the 7th March, I have revisited the Spaghetti Nebula with the H-Beta filters on the 15x85 binoculars. The view turned out to be much fainter than through the OIII filters, and it took 2 - 3 minutes of moving the binoculars around to find the bright arcs of the nebula.

 

On a positive side,

I have found the Gaze-Shajn 70 nebula, which seems to be a southern condensation in the Gaze-Shajn 75 faint band.

 

Clear skies,

JG

 

 



#23 uwe_glahn

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 02:22 PM

Hi Jiri,

 

I'm with you when it goes to Sh 2-249. But again, with my 4-inch widefield binocular I suspected something with Hß filter but had no successes or even a pop with [OIII] filter. But my imagination with Hß is very uncertain and could be a false observation as well.

 

The visual appearance has been a faint nearly uniform ring, fading a bit towards W-NW, but still comfortably visible beyond any doubt.

 

 

It's an incredible observation to see a ring, especially as the outer ring has nearly no [OIII] signal (see narrowband of Carver and/or Zoll).

I recommend the very good written article of Oliver Stein (only in German). The First thing to see is the inner region near HD 246646. It matches with my experience.


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#24 j.gardavsky

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 03:08 PM

Hello Uwe,

 

and thank you very much for the link to Oliver Stein's article! It is a perfect review.

 

The problem with the small apertures is, they don't allow to magnify enough to pull out the filaments simultaneously through the necessarily large exit pupils.

The fine details then merge in what I sometimes call the "soup".

 

This is nicely seen with the eastern Veil:

At the low magnifications through the 6" F/5, it is more or less just a bent band of light, increasing the magnifications the first structures emerge, and with even more magnification I can extract the Bat.

And then, the game is over.

 

Being aware of the large aperture advantage, I am no way going to compete with the big Dobs.

 

For myself, the 15x85 binoculars are for the "missions impossible",

and the only degree of freedom to optimize the view is to select different filters, and filters with different passbands to tune the contrast.

 

Clear skies,

Jiri



#25 paulsky

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Posted 19 March 2021 - 09:53 AM

JG, Your work is very, very interesting!!! 

Best, 

Paul, 


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