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EAA Monthly Observing Challenge - December 2022

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#1 BrentKnight

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Posted 29 November 2022 - 11:57 PM

I worked fairly hard (it was fun though) to try and find objects for this months challenge that weren't in any other December challenge.  Surprisingly, I think there were a few interesting ones not picked already...  Other than that, there is no rhyme or reason to my list.  I looked in various books that I have and went through my EAA history and found quite a few objects that I either enjoyed observing myself or ones that I would like to observe.  I whittled that list down to the 14 objects here - sorted by best viewing time for my location. 

 

My hope is that you find them interesting as targets for capture and as objects deserving of further study - should you chose to brave the elements this month and take my challenge.

 

 

M15: For those with Sue French's Deep-Sky Wonders book, this one appears on p. 265 in the article The Winged Horse.  Webb writes in Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes "With 9-in spec [Buffham] finds a dark patch near the middle with 2 faint dark 'lanes'...like those in M13".  O'Meara writes in his The Messier Objects that he was not able to see this, but my capture from last December shows all kinds of star chains and dark spots - it's hard to tell which one Buffham meant...

 

 

GN 21.10.5

Sh 2-129/OU4: I have no idea how this one will show up.  It is listed in the Atlas of Galactic Nebulae (AGN) as GN 21.10.5, and the atlas provides a POSS R image that shows the H-alpha bits, but OU4 (an OIII nebula) is invisible (it was discovered in 2011).  Some information can be found here: AstroWorldCreations: Sh2-129 - Flying Bat and Squid Nebula.  Definitely the challenge object for the month.

 
 

NGC7640: In Deep-Sky Wonders, this object appears on p. 270 in the article Frederick's Glory.  There also is a sketch in interstellarum Deep-Sky Guide (iDSG) for chart 6 of the iDSA.

 

 

Aveni Hunter, VdB 158

LBN534/vdB158/Aveni-Hunter: In Deep-Sky Wonders, these objects appear on p. 268 in the same article on Frederick's Glory.  The AGN lists the reflection part (vdB158) as GN 23.35.4.

 

 

NGC7793: In Deep-Sky Wonders, this object appears on p. 277 in the article Sculpting at the South Galactic Pole.  It's also in O'Meara's Hidden Treasures and Southern Gems.  I've never seen this one.

 

 

Open Cluster Alley

NGC7790/NGC7788: These are the two brightest members of Open Cluster Alley.  They should all fit within a single FOV, or they can be seen individually.  I've written about them a couple times here on CN and Sue wrote about them on p. 281 of Deep-Sky Wonders in an article called Unsung Star Clusters.  O'Meara writes about a couple of these clusters in his The Secret Deep (object 109).  While looking for info on the nearby SNR Abell 85, I found this article by S&T's Bob King: Cassiopeia Cornucopia — Pretty Little Clusters all in a Row.

 

 

M31 G1, M31 G2

G1 (Mayall II)/G2 (Mayall III): I have no idea how these will work as EAA targets.  I'm hoping they will show up as more than just a faint star shape, but even so - these are part of the M31 system!  I've found G1 visually with my 14" Dob, but was unaware that G2 was also nearby.  There are a couple faint galaxies in the neighborhood as well.

 

 

Isaac Roberts M74

M74: Deep-Sky Wonders p. 292 and iDSG chart 51.  Isaac Roberts captured this galaxy on December 9th, 1893 shown here from his book Photographs of Stars, Star Clusters, and Nebulae, Volume II.  The state of our knowledge of the spiral nebula was at the very beginning of understanding.  It's interesting to read Roberts thoughts on the imbedded stars in the nebula (there was no hint that these were foreground stars).

 

 

NGC678 And Friends

NGC680/NGC678/IC167: These were in the Astronomical League's 2 in the View project, and that's where I first learned of them.  They were also Galaxy of the Month in the Webb Societies Deep-Sky Observer for December.

 

 

NGC935/IC1801 (Arp 276): Alvin Huey's Observing the Arp Peculiar Galaxies p. 163 and The Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies by Kanipe and Webb has them on p. 162.

 

 

NGC1499 (The California Nebula): For larger fields or for details in smaller fields.  I don't believe I've seen The California Nebula in any EAA challenges.

 

 

NGC1491

NGC1491: I found this one mentioned in Steve Coe's Nebulae and How to Observe Them p. 54.  I've never seen it, but it just looks interesting.

 

 

NGC2497 And Friends

NGC2487: Another Webb Society Galaxy of the Month for December.

 

 

Jones 1 (Jn 1)

Jones 1 (Jn 1): I found this one mentioned in Martin Griffiths Planetary Nebulae and How to Observe Them.  Kent Wallace has a couple observations in his Visual Observations of Planetary Nebulae and an observation (for 16"/18" scopes) and photo are in the NSOG volume 1.

 

 

EDIT: Tfer made an excellent suggestion to officially add the Occultation of Mars by the Moon on December 7th.  Let's see what our unprocessed EAA powers can show us for this event.  A good article on this is in the December issue of Sky & Telescope.

 

 
 
All Objects Overhead On 2022 12 15
All Sky for December 15th
 
 
My EAA Challenge For December 2022
Data for all objects in the Challenge
 

 

All charts and data were generated from SkyTools 4 Visual Pro


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#2 Tfer

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Posted 30 November 2022 - 12:27 AM

If I may, on the evening of December 7th the moon occults Mars. 
 

I’d love to see the views of our EAA members.  No processing. Just a single frame as Mars slides behind the moon. 


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#3 BrentKnight

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Posted 30 November 2022 - 12:31 AM

We don't get the occultation here in December, but it will be in January.


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#4 Tfer

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Posted 30 November 2022 - 12:38 AM

You’re correct.  In Alabama, Mars slides JUST underneath the Moon.

 

Everywhere north of the mid-West however, it’s a full occultation. 


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#5 alphatripleplus

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Posted 30 November 2022 - 07:11 PM

Definitely an eclectic collection, Brent. Should be fun to try these!


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#6 Cey42

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Posted 01 December 2022 - 07:11 PM

Very interesting and different list. Lots of objects I have not heard of. I hope I get a clear night this month.

 

SkySafari observing list.

Attached File  CN Dec22.skylist   3.77KB   33 downloads


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#7 jkmonroe

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 12:54 AM

FIRST!  

 

NGC1499 on my first night out with my new AM5, ASI533MM, 7nm HA filter, and my first time with guiding.  Good stuff!

 

5 frames, 300 seconds.  ZS73 w/ .8x and the above gear.

 

NGC1499

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#8 BrentKnight

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 02:55 AM

FIRST!  

 

NGC1499 on my first night out with my new AM5, ASI533MM, 7nm HA filter, and my first time with guiding.  Good stuff!

 

5 frames, 300 seconds.  ZS73 w/ .8x and the above gear.

 

Pretty amazing what you can get with the moon out when you have an H-alpha in your kit.  Great capture!


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#9 BrentKnight

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 03:07 AM

If you can find it, Open Cluster Alley is in the picture...

 

NGC7790 72 frames 4320s (72m) (H alpha)
 
Open Cluster Alley and Surroundings
Askar FMA180 @ f/4.5 + ASI294MM-Pro | 60", 72', Gain: 350 | Flats/Dark Flats, Darks | Optolong 7nm H-alpha | Saved as seen in SharpCap
In addition to my primary targets, I found a number of interesting HII regions scattered around.  The brightest in this capture is LBN 115.71-01.61 to the right of NGC7790.
 
Astrometry (Success)

 

Astrometry.net Success

I should have done the annotate in SharpCap before I let the stack run as I could not get it to solve because of the number of stars in the field.

 

Astrometry (Zoom)

 

Astrometry.net Zoom

What is that arc?  Appears to be an SN remnant?  Aladin was unable to identify it.


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#10 jkmonroe

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 11:40 AM

I must have grabbed NGC7788 and NGC7790 while I was out last night, too.

 

ZS73 w .8x, 533MM, UV/IR.  2 frames, 120 seconds.

 

NCG7788:7790

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#11 steveincolo

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 12:18 PM

 

If you can find it, Open Cluster Alley is in the picture...

 

 
 
Open Cluster Alley and Surroundings
Askar FMA180 @ f/4.5 + ASI294MM-Pro | 60", 72', Gain: 350 | Flats/Dark Flats, Darks | Optolong 7nm H-alpha | Saved as seen in SharpCap
In addition to my primary targets, I found a number of interesting HII regions scattered around.  The brightest in this capture is LBN 115.71-01.61 to the right of NGC7790.
 
 

 

Astrometry.net Success

I should have done the annotate in SharpCap before I let the stack run as I could not get it to solve because of the number of stars in the field.

 

 

 

Astrometry.net Zoom

What is that arc?  Appears to be an SN remnant?  Aladin was unable to identify it.

 

I think it could be supernova remnant G116.9+0.2.  See page 56, the RA and Dec look about right.  Edit: Also listed as Abell 85 and CTB 1.


Edited by steveincolo, 02 December 2022 - 12:21 PM.

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#12 BrentKnight

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 01:51 PM

I think it could be supernova remnant G116.9+0.2.  See page 56, the RA and Dec look about right.  Edit: Also listed as Abell 85 and CTB 1.

I think your absolutely right, Steve.  I found this on Astrobin: The Medulla Nebula (Abell 85).  Definitely an AP topic, but it sounds like the only way to get this one to appear is to clean up and reduce the number of stars in the field.


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#13 steveincolo

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 03:42 PM

I think your absolutely right, Steve.  I found this on Astrobin: The Medulla Nebula (Abell 85).  Definitely an AP topic, but it sounds like the only way to get this one to appear is to clean up and reduce the number of stars in the field.

I think your capture counts, for EAA purposes, as getting it to appear!  It better for some of your tougher December challenge objects. lol.gif



#14 BrentKnight

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 05:18 PM

I think your capture counts, for EAA purposes, as getting it to appear!  It better for some of your tougher December challenge objects. 

Yeah...technically - but it's still pretty well hidden.

 

I'm counting on your magic touch with Jocular to bring something out on Sh 2-129/OU4.


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#15 MarMax

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 07:38 PM

 

If you can find it, Open Cluster Alley is in the picture...

 

 
 
Open Cluster Alley and Surroundings
Askar FMA180 @ f/4.5 + ASI294MM-Pro | 60", 72', Gain: 350 | Flats/Dark Flats, Darks | Optolong 7nm H-alpha | Saved as seen in SharpCap
In addition to my primary targets, I found a number of interesting HII regions scattered around.  The brightest in this capture is LBN 115.71-01.61 to the right of NGC7790.
 
 

 

Astrometry.net Success

I should have done the annotate in SharpCap before I let the stack run as I could not get it to solve because of the number of stars in the field.

 

 

 

Astrometry.net Zoom

What is that arc?  Appears to be an SN remnant?  Aladin was unable to identify it.

 

Very nice Brent!

 

Glad to see a full throttle start to this months Challenge smile.gif

 

G116.9+0.2 is super interesting and a great find as well. I'll be following your lead with the CMA200 as soon as we get a break in the clouds.


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#16 BrentKnight

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 09:32 PM

I did about 10 minutes processing in GIMP to reduce the star sizes and to adjust the luminance levels a little to bring out the SNR in my Open Cluster Alley picture.  Definitely not EAA anymore, but it's here if you care to take a look...


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#17 m2c4

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Posted 03 December 2022 - 11:41 AM

Some really fascinating (and obscure) targets in this month’s challenge. Love the idea of capturing Andromeda’s globular clusters – similar to the October challenge re details in the Andromeda star cloud. Had a clear night at the start of the month and went for the easy ones in Pisces and Aries despite the half moon being fairly close by. I’ll definitely come back to these later in the month when the moon is not such an issue. All taken using Lodestar Pro Mono, Starblast 114mm Autotracker, and Starlight Live.

 

M74; 28x3.50 secs; cropped

 

M74_CN.jpg

 

NGC 935/IC 1801; 55x3.50 secs; cropped

 

NGC.935_CN.jpg

 

NGC 680/NGC 678; 19x3.50 secs; can barely make out the edge-on spiral arms on NGC 678 in the bottom right center, with NGC 680 above it; the face-on spiral NGC 691 is near the top center and the smudges of IC 167 and IC 1730 are to the right of NGC 691 and NGC 680 respectively.

 

NGC.680_CN.jpg


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#18 steveincolo

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Posted 03 December 2022 - 12:41 PM

Some really fascinating (and obscure) targets in this month’s challenge. Love the idea of capturing Andromeda’s globular clusters – similar to the October challenge re details in the Andromeda star cloud. Had a clear night at the start of the month and went for the easy ones in Pisces and Aries despite the half moon being fairly close by. I’ll definitely come back to these later in the month when the moon is not such an issue. All taken using Lodestar Pro Mono, Starblast 114mm Autotracker, and Starlight Live.

 

M74; 28x3.50 secs; cropped

 

attachicon.gifM74_CN.jpg

 

NGC 935/IC 1801; 55x3.50 secs; cropped

 

attachicon.gifNGC.935_CN.jpg

 

NGC 680/NGC 678; 19x3.50 secs; can barely make out the edge-on spiral arms on NGC 678 in the bottom right center, with NGC 680 above it; the face-on spiral NGC 691 is near the top center and the smudges of IC 167 and IC 1730 are to the right of NGC 691 and NGC 680 respectively.

 

attachicon.gifNGC.680_CN.jpg

Nice!  Have you tested whether you can do longer subs (10-20 seconds) with your mount?


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#19 m2c4

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Posted 03 December 2022 - 02:05 PM

I'm pretty sure I can if I get good polar alignment unless the target is close to the horizon or zenith.

Nice!  Have you tested whether you can do longer subs (10-20 seconds) with your mount?


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#20 steveincolo

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Posted 03 December 2022 - 02:06 PM

I think your absolutely right, Steve.  I found this on Astrobin: The Medulla Nebula (Abell 85).  Definitely an AP topic, but it sounds like the only way to get this one to appear is to clean up and reduce the number of stars in the field.

The only atlas I've found this in so far is Martin Meredith's Pretty Deep Maps.  This 9 GB set of PDFs shows all the Lynd Bright Nebulas.  Abell 85/CTB 1 is shown as LBN 576.  


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#21 BrentKnight

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Posted 03 December 2022 - 03:25 PM

The only atlas I've found this in so far is Martin Meredith's Pretty Deep Maps.  This 9 GB set of PDFs shows all the Lynd Bright Nebulas.  Abell 85/CTB 1 is shown as LBN 576.  

I didn't check when I posted the challenge, but it is plotted on iDSA as CTB1 and it recommends OIII.

 

CTB 1 (SNR Near Open Cluster Alley).jpg


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#22 mklosterman1

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Posted 03 December 2022 - 08:09 PM

I didn't check when I posted the challenge, but it is plotted on iDSA as CTB1 and it recommends OIII.

 

attachicon.gifCTB 1 (SNR Near Open Cluster Alley).jpg

never-mind, I figured it out- Interstellarum! I have that awesome atlas. Its on chart 15


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#23 bmcclana

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Posted 03 December 2022 - 09:49 PM

I got the California nebula on Nov 28th when i had the FMA135 setup with the 533 camera for a nice 4.7 degree field. 

 

captured with the NBZ filter, 60s exposures at 400 gain. 

 

NGC1499 NBZ 14fx 60s 400g 840s

 


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#24 steveincolo

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Posted 03 December 2022 - 10:01 PM

I got the California nebula on Nov 28th when i had the FMA135 setup with the 533 camera for a nice 4.7 degree field. 

 

captured with the NBZ filter, 60s exposures at 400 gain. 

 

Nice work with the FMA135, I need to give mine more EAA time!


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#25 PeterAB

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Posted 03 December 2022 - 11:41 PM

I just came in from observing.    Seeing continues to be mediocre.   Transparency was not great mostly do to the moon, but, also high haze.   Naked eye limiting magnitude around m3.5.   Cool at -7C.

 

I used my wide field setup.    Skywatcher 72ED,  0.8 reducer, asi294mc.   Sharpcap live stacked.

 

All views North up, east up.    3.2x2.2 degrees.

 

First I looked at m15.    I have viewed m15 many times.   This is my first EAA view.    Not the ideal setup for a globular cluster observing.   But,  it is what I needed for my primary observations of the night and it worked okay.   Seeing was poor enough that I don't think more focal length and better pixel scale would have done much for the view tonight.

 

M15.   315 seconds (21x15s).   IR-UV cut filter.  Gain 130.

1-M15_Stack_21frames_315s-001.jpg

 

NGC1499 (The California Nebula).  1200 seconds (40x30s)  L-Extreme filter.  Gain 380.

1-ngc1499_Stack_40frames_1200s.jpg

 

NGC1491 with Open cluster NGC1528 and SH2-209 east.  1260 Seconds (42x30s).  L-Extreme filter.  Gain 380.   There is way more glowing ionized hydrogen in this section of sky than I was expecting.   

 1-ngc1491_Stack_42frames_1260s.jpg

 

Peter


Edited by PeterAB, 03 December 2022 - 11:48 PM.

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