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,
PS: Edit 15x85 binoculars, not the 25x85
Edited by j.gardavsky, 05 March 2021 - 04:15 AM.