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Mystery object

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#1 Trentend

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Posted 02 April 2021 - 04:17 AM

Beautiful clear, still, moonless night here in Edinburgh so decided to do some galaxy hunting for the first time with the OVNI-B, 18” F4 dob, 67/55 Televue combo and Astronomik 642 BP IR pass filter.

 

Suffice to say had a wonderful night out for 3 hours (longest viewing stint for me) seeing a number of objects for the first time and all from a heavily light polluted city centre back garden. Most notable were M82, M81 (stunning), the Leo triplet, Needle, Blackeye and Whirlpool galaxies to name but a few. We’re not talking Hubble quality views but sufficient to whet my appetite to find a dark sight and hopefully even brighter views after lockdown (not sure if I should also invest in a Baader 685 filter or will that be similar to the 642?).

 

Anyway, towards the end of the session I was randomly scanning the sky above the top of Orion. No idea where, but I stumbled across something that looked like a comet; a shuttlecock shaped faint fuzzy ball with a prominent fuzzy tail. Not very long, I’d say about 4 times the length of the width of the core if that makes sense.

 

Any idea what this may have been?

 

 



#2 bobhen

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Posted 02 April 2021 - 05:30 AM

Did it look like THIS.

 

If so, it is Hubble's Variable Nebula.

 

Bob


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#3 Joko

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 04:07 AM

Did it look like THIS.

 

If so, it is Hubble's Variable Nebula.

 

Bob

Hubble's Variable Nebula deserves mid to high magnification in prime or prime + barlow.

That's a beautiful NV target.



#4 Trentend

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 04:51 AM

That might be it as I’d just aligned the telescope to Betelgeuse which is in the vicinity. Must admit it didn’t look like a nebula and I didn’t have any filters in at the time but I’ll take a look next time.

 

Any thoughts on filters for brighter galaxy views or is getting out to a dark site the only real option?



#5 Dale Eason

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 10:31 PM

In my light pollution (Bortle 8 or so) I find the 685 works well on Galaxies.  However my 642 does not.   So for me unless I'm looking at emission nebulae I use the 685nm long pass filter. I have not been to a darker site with the 642 yet.  I use NV hand held and with my 10F3 dob.

 

Dale 



#6 Trentend

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 04:43 AM

Had another look last night and can confirm the mystery object was indeed Hubble’s variable nebula so no new comet discovery! I also had a go using the OVNI-B at prime in the 18” dob on some galaxies; larger scale but not as bright and ended up going back to afocal. A much more pleasing sight with the 55/67 combo and 642 filter.

 

Viewing galaxies from the back garden is new to me and yet another joy of NV (plus seems less affected by scintillation). I’ve ordered a 685 filter and look forward to more galaxy hunting. 

 

The lockdown dilemma remains what portable(ish) large aperture scope do I go to next for dark sky trips (need to see those spiral arms!). I’m discounting my dob as even disassembled the mirror box is too heavy for me plus there are a lot of parts so not particularly convenient. The choice is either a C11, which I know some other NVers have had success with, or perhaps an Orion Optics VX10 or 12. I would get an AZ100 mount and heavy duty tripod, figuring in total that’s a lot of weight but broken down very manageable and quicker to set up than my dob. Similar weight but the smaller footprint of the C11 appeals. Not sure which would give brighter views.



#7 alexvh

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 01:19 AM

I use a Sumerian optics alkaid 16”. In terms of portability, nothing beats it.


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