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Cosmic Challenge: Great Dark Horse Nebula

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#1 PhilH


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Posted 01 August 2022 - 05:48 AM

Last month's challenge, to visually spot Abell Galaxy Cluster 2065, could have been subtitled "Go Big or Go Home." That challenge was tough in even that largest amateur telescopes. The good news is that this month's challenge turns the tables. All you need are your eyes. And decent skies.

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#2 NinePlanets


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Posted 02 August 2022 - 07:37 AM

As my summer observing is largely done from a remote, dark site at 10,000 feet altitude, I can attest to the beauty of this dark region. (Dark nebula have long been a favorite.)


I will warn that it is tenuous to the non-dark-adapted. I will also note that a couple of years ago, when Jupiter was near the region, his mighty light was enough to kill the Dark Horse.


You must kill your cell phone or laptop, or you won't have a chance.


Sag Sco gray brighter ANNOT 1024
With Permission:
The Horse and Pipe
Between the billowed star clouds

Of the Teapot and the fire

Which burns the heart of Scorpius,

It may be your desire

To watch the Dark Horse prance

Against the gloried Milky Way;

But it must be a clear night

And you must be far away 

From every light or fire

That is set by hand of man,

Late in spring or summer nights.

Tell me if you can!

(Perhaps you only see his blackened leg

Some call the Pipe?

Then you will need a darker place

Late on a summer night.)


- James T. Sapp


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#3 John O'Hara

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 10:01 AM

I've enjoyed the Dark Horse many times from the dark skies of Cherry Springs State Park, PA.  This is one of those objects where a dark sky makes all the difference.  I'd be interested in hearing reports from folks who have really low power binos such as the Vixen Constellation 2.1x42 binos. while under a dark sky.

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#4 Crusty99


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Posted 05 August 2022 - 01:51 AM

Phil, I am sad to say that I have never seen the Dark Horse Nebula (Barnard 259) with my naked eyes. Maybe I do not have enough imagination, or I have too many cloudy nights. Lots of rain here in Kentucky. 


But I will keep looking.


Anyway, I enjoyed your graphics and the poetry from James T. Sapp.




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#5 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 06 August 2022 - 11:47 AM

I did a lot of binocular observing on the night of July 29th from Cherry Springs State Park.  I didn't happen to look for it naked-eye but after observing the Pipe Nebula with my Canon IS 15x50 binocular I panned along the entire expanse of the Dark or Prancing Horse nebula.

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#6 Knasal



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Posted 06 August 2022 - 10:10 PM

I’ve seen it from the dark skies of the Nebraska Star Party. Not a whole lot of imagination was needed under the dark skies of that event - thanks Phil, it’s one of my favorite objects!



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