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EAA Monthly Observing Challenge - January 2023

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#1 bmcclana

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Posted 31 December 2022 - 10:20 PM

Welcome to 2023 EAA!

I’m not usually much for planning my observations…. I usually look at the monthly challenge list, check out any seasonal show piece targets, and then poke around in Sky Safari looking for anything interesting. 

Here Goes…..

 

I’m not particularly good at ranking easy-hard, so I just grouped things by my 3 favorite target types. Galaxies, Planetary Nebula, Bright (and Dark) nebula and then tacked on a couple bonus clusters and double star for fun (and to exercise our acquisition skills).

 

Target list For January 2023:

 

Galaxies: NGC 2273, 2273A and 2273B (Lynx), NGC 2340 (Lynx), NGC 1762 (Orion), NGC 1886 (Lepus), NGC 2403 (Camelopardalis), IC 342 (Camelopardalis)

 

Planetary Nebula: NGC 2392 Eskimo Nebula (Gemini), Abell 21 Medusa Nebula (Gemini), NGC 2371 (Gemini), IC 2149 (Auriga), ARO 220 (Orion), NGC 2022 (Orion), NGC 2346 (Monoceros)

 

Bright/Dark Nebula: Sharpless 2-261 Lower’s Nebula (Orion), IC 2177 Seagull Nebula (Monoceros), IC 2118 Witch’s Head Nebula (Eridanus), IC 2087+Dust (Taurus),

 

Bonus items: Globular cluster: Messier 79 (Lepus), Open Cluster: Messier 41 (Canis Major), Double Star: Castor (Gemini)

 

 

 

Galaxies:

 

NGC 2273, 2273A and 2273B (Lynx): Three interesting spirals relatively close together. If you have a moderately wide (>1.5 degrees) field, you can get all three at once, but also look like good candidates for teasing out some details.

 

NGC 2340 (Lynx): An elliptical galaxy, but with several smaller galaxies near by.  See how many you can find.

 

NGC 1762 (Orion): A target in Orion that is NOT a Nebula…..

 

NGC 1886 (Lepus): Makes a nice Pair with M79

 

NGC 2403 (Camelopardalis):  Bright interesting galaxy that should be a showpiece, but for some reason isn’t….

 

IC 342 (Camelopardalis): very nice face on Spiral, but very dim because of lots of intervening dust due to being close to the plane of the Milky way.

 

Planetary Nebula:

 

NGC 2392 Eskimo Nebula (Gemini): my 2nd favorite Planetary after M27

 

Abell 21 Medusa Nebula (Gemini): relatively large and faint for a planetary

 

NGC 2371 (Gemini): interesting double lobe appearance

 

IC 2149 (Auriga): Small, Almost Stellar

 

ARO 220 (Orion): just peeking out behind a bright star

 

NGC 2022 (Orion): it IS in Orion, and it IS a Nebula… but not the ones that usually get talked about

 

NGC 2346 (Monoceros): looks interesting, and the unicorn needed another target…..

 

Bright/Dark Nebula:

 

Sharpless 2-261 Lower’s Nebula (Orion): it IS a Nebula, and it IS in Orion, but this one is small and dim…. In addition to the main nebula, there are some pockets of H-alpha around some nearby stars.

 

IC 2177 Seagull Nebula (Monoceros): widefield nebula target, but it is pretty far south for me.  There are both emission and reflection components so both broadband and Narrow band can be interesting.

 

IC 2118 Witch’s Head Nebula (Eridanus): another widefield target, but very dim and a reflection.  I have tried this a couple times and struggled to do much more than detect it.

 

IC 2087+Dust (Taurus):  this one initially looked like an interesting small nebula, but my first widefield frame showed a very dark band across the whole middle…. The area is LOADED with dark dust.   The bright part can be a good narrow field target, but the dust really wants a wider view.

 

Bonus items
Globular cluster: Messier 79 (Lepus), way south in the trees for me, hope to see a nice pair with NGC 1886
Open Cluster: Messier 41 (Canis Major): big beautiful cluster, always a favorite of mine visually.  Lets see those star colors.
Double Star: Castor (Gemini): because…. When was the last time you stopped to look at the stars just for the stars…

 

I have some wide fields I took of these targets and some old images I will try to load in the next couple days.

 

Happy hunting and Happy New Year.

 

Bryan


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#2 bmcclana

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Posted 31 December 2022 - 10:25 PM

Here is the SkySafari Observing List

 

Attached File  CN Jan 2023 .skylist   4.88KB   100 downloads


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#3 bmcclana

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Posted 31 December 2022 - 10:38 PM

Here is NGC2392 the Eskimo Nebula from December 2021. 

 

The first is with a QHY183C camera, but I I'm not immediately finding which scope setup.  1:1 crop inset in the lower left.  The 2nd is using the Mars-C camera from April 2022.

 

NGC2392 64frames 256s resize
 
NGC2392 150frames 300s Crop

Edited by bmcclana, 31 December 2022 - 10:39 PM.

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#4 JTNX01DC

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Posted 31 December 2022 - 11:37 PM

Super useful! Thanks. Question: How do I get this into a sky safari observing list?


Edited by JTNX01DC, 31 December 2022 - 11:46 PM.


#5 bmcclana

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Posted 31 December 2022 - 11:49 PM

On my phone, I download it and as soon as I select to open the download it is imported into an observing list.

I think you can also import it through the livesky.com site if you setup an account, then it will sync to all your connected devices.

#6 alphatripleplus

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Posted 01 January 2023 - 07:54 AM

Nice selection, and thanks for providing the summary list of targets at the beginning of the topic. This is very helpful to anyone looking to quickly see what is included.


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#7 MartinMeredith

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Posted 01 January 2023 - 09:07 AM

Great selection, esp. the PNs -- some beauties included in that list. I've not seen ARO 220. Does it go by another name?


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#8 steveincolo

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Posted 01 January 2023 - 10:03 AM

Great selection, esp. the PNs -- some beauties included in that list. I've not seen ARO 220. Does it go by another name?

I believe it’s Abell 12 (as well as PK 198-06.1).


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#9 bmcclana

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Posted 01 January 2023 - 10:44 AM

Steve is correct, Abell 12.

I used SkySafari and it shows it as ARO 220 by default. 🤷🏻‍♂️
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#10 Tfer

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Posted 01 January 2023 - 01:04 PM

On my phone, I download it and as soon as I select to open the download it is imported into an observing list.

I think you can also import it through the livesky.com site if you setup an account, then it will sync to all your connected devices.

I just tried it. 

That was easier than it had a right to be.

 

I clicked “download” and then opened it from Files on my iPad. 
 

As soon as I opened it, SkySafari opened and the list was uploaded it’s now sitting underneath the Observing tab.



#11 Tfer

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Posted 02 January 2023 - 01:17 AM

Looking through sucker holes in the clouds. 
 

It took almost 20 minutes to grab 7 minutes of captures. 
 

294MC into C11, reduced to 0.7.

 

4”subs/Gain 300/7’ TI. Noise reduction and Unsharp mask applied via SharpCap.

 

Full image (cropped for field rotation) and cropped again for the Eskimo Nebula.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 767B4F7B-80AB-4633-BE27-1B6F9B0CEF78.jpeg
  • F4CFA248-4CBB-4074-B2CB-74CFEDBD9603.jpeg

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#12 bmcclana

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Posted 02 January 2023 - 11:51 PM

Reconfigured my setup to use the AT60 ED with 1.0x Flattener, filter wheel and Player One Saturn-C and FMA135 with the Mars-C.  

 

weather was spotty with lots of low clouds blowing through so i setup for some of the southern targets where i have more limited sky access, this was mostly a shakedown mission.

 

managed 3 of the objects with the AT60:

 

 

NGC 2022, 23 frames for 184s, NBZ filter.  just a small green dot slightly up and left of center

NGC 2022 NBZ 23fx 184s
 
 
ARO 220 (Abell 12) 38 frames 304s, NBZ filter.  small circle peeking out at 11 o'clock next to the bright star.
Abell 12 NBZ 38fx 304s
 
 
IC2177 Seagull Nebula, 19frames 304s, NBZ filter.  this one needs more time. but this shows the outlines of the nebula with several embedded clusters. 
Seagull NBZ 19fx 304s

 

 

My forecast is looking pretty bleak for the next week...hope to get more soon.


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#13 m2c4

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Posted 03 January 2023 - 02:57 PM

Welcome to 2023 EAA!

I’m not usually much for planning my observations…. I usually look at the monthly challenge list, check out any seasonal show piece targets, and then poke around in Sky Safari looking for anything interesting. 

Here Goes…..

 

I’m not particularly good at ranking easy-hard, so I just grouped things by my 3 favorite target types. Galaxies, Planetary Nebula, Bright (and Dark) nebula and then tacked on a couple bonus clusters and double star for fun (and to exercise our acquisition skills).

 

Target list For January 2023:

 

Galaxies: NGC 2273, 2273A and 2273B (Lynx), NGC 2340 (Lynx), NGC 1762 (Orion), NGC 1886 (Lepus), NGC 2403 (Camelopardalis), IC 342 (Camelopardalis)

 

Planetary Nebula: NGC 2392 Eskimo Nebula (Gemini), Abell 21 Medusa Nebula (Gemini), NGC 2371 (Gemini), IC 2149 (Auriga), ARO 220 (Orion), NGC 2202 (Orion), NGC 2346 (Monoceros)

 

Bright/Dark Nebula: Sharpless 2-261 Lower’s Nebula (Orion), IC 2177 Seagull Nebula (Monoceros), IC 2118 Witch’s Head Nebula (Eridanus), IC 2087+Dust (Taurus),

 

Bonus items: Globular cluster: Messier 79 (Lepus), Open Cluster: Messier 41 (Canis Major), Double Star: Castor (Gemini)

 

 

 

Galaxies:

 

NGC 2273, 2273A and 2273B (Lynx): Three interesting spirals relatively close together. If you have a moderately wide (>1.5 degrees) field, you can get all three at once, but also look like good candidates for teasing out some details.

 

NGC 2340 (Lynx): An elliptical galaxy, but with several smaller galaxies near by.  See how many you can find.

 

NGC 1762 (Orion): A target in Orion that is NOT a Nebula…..

 

NGC 1886 (Lepus): Makes a nice Pair with M79

 

NGC 2403 (Camelopardalis):  Bright interesting galaxy that should be a showpiece, but for some reason isn’t….

 

IC 342 (Camelopardalis): very nice face on Spiral, but very dim because of lots of intervening dust due to being close to the plane of the Milky way.

 

Planetary Nebula:

 

NGC 2392 Eskimo Nebula (Gemini): my 2nd favorite Planetary after M27

 

Abell 21 Medusa Nebula (Gemini): relatively large and faint for a planetary

 

NGC 2371 (Gemini): interesting double lobe appearance

 

IC 2149 (Auriga): Small, Almost Stellar

 

ARO 220 (Orion): just peeking out behind a bright star

 

NGC 2202 (Orion): it IS in Orion, and it IS a Nebula… but not the ones that usually get talked about

 

NGC 2346 (Monoceros): looks interesting, and the unicorn needed another target…..

 

Bright/Dark Nebula:

 

Sharpless 2-261 Lower’s Nebula (Orion): it IS a Nebula, and it IS in Orion, but this one is small and dim…. In addition to the main nebula, there are some pockets of H-alpha around some nearby stars.

 

IC 2177 Seagull Nebula (Monoceros): widefield nebula target, but it is pretty far south for me.  There are both emission and reflection components so both broadband and Narrow band can be interesting.

 

IC 2118 Witch’s Head Nebula (Eridanus): another widefield target, but very dim and a reflection.  I have tried this a couple times and struggled to do much more than detect it.

 

IC 2087+Dust (Taurus):  this one initially looked like an interesting small nebula, but my first widefield frame showed a very dark band across the whole middle…. The area is LOADED with dark dust.   The bright part can be a good narrow field target, but the dust really wants a wider view.

 

Bonus items
Globular cluster: Messier 79 (Lepus), way south in the trees for me, hope to see a nice pair with NGC 1886
Open Cluster: Messier 41 (Canis Major): big beautiful cluster, always a favorite of mine visually.  Lets see those star colors.
Double Star: Castor (Gemini): because…. When was the last time you stopped to look at the stars just for the stars…

 

I have some wide fields I took of these targets and some old images I will try to load in the next couple days.

 

Happy hunting and Happy New Year.

 

Bryan

Looks like a great list - thanks. Question on one of the PN in Orion - is that meant to be NGC 2022? I see NGC 2202 as an open cluster in Orion.



#14 bmcclana

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Posted 03 January 2023 - 03:07 PM

Looks like a great list - thanks. Question on one of the PN in Orion - is that meant to be NGC 2022? I see NGC 2202 as an open cluster in Orion.

yes, it should be 2022.  I guess I mistyped when I was writing the message. 

 

looks like it is to late for me to edit the original message. 



#15 alphatripleplus

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Posted 03 January 2023 - 04:25 PM

yes, it should be 2022.  I guess I mistyped when I was writing the message. 

 

looks like it is to late for me to edit the original message. 

Moderator Note:

 

I'll take care of the correction.


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#16 BrentKnight

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Posted 06 January 2023 - 01:37 AM

Yes...you can take pictures during the nearly full moon.  Is it worth it?  Of course - who knows when the next clear night will be...

 

IC2177 384 frames 5760s=96m (L eNhance)

Askar FMA180 @f/4.5 with my ASI533MC-Pro | 15s, 96m, G:350 | Darks, no flats, 0° | Optolong L-eNhance and saved as seen (slightly cropped) in SharpCap.

 

IC2177 (Seagull Nebula, Sh 2-296, Gum 2).  Will this one be less noisy after the moon goes down?  Reminds me of a completely garnet M42 (and much larger in the FOV).


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#17 MarMax

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Posted 07 January 2023 - 01:22 PM

Very nice near-full Moon effort Brent!

 

For Southern California it's been as rainy as I can remember in several years and we need the water so I'm not complaining. I've got my rigs all set for the January 2023 Challenge and just need some clear skies.

 

I put some time on the Seagull in December with the 294MM and before identifying the best calibration frame workflow. The post-processed image is fair-OK but the saved exactly as seen is quite bad. I'm still on the fence between the 294MM and 2600MC with the ACL200 for the Seagull, that is if I get a chance to image it.


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#18 BrentKnight

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Posted 07 January 2023 - 01:48 PM

Thanks Mike...

 

I went back through my observing notes and found that I actually spotted parts of this nebula with the 14" Dob.  In the January 2023 issue of S&T there is an interesting article about this one too.  I was a little confused at first as it was given with a size of 20' x 20' and it is much larger than that (it pretty much fills the field in my capture).  I've since figured out that this is for the brighter portion at the center (and identified as a reflection nebula) and usually designated vdB 93 (discovered by my good friend Isaac Roberts in 1898 and cataloged in the IC as 2177 by Dreyer).


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#19 bmcclana

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Posted 07 January 2023 - 01:54 PM

It has been all clouds haze and moon in the northeast too.

Monday and Thursday night looks like marginal possibilities, so there are glimmers of hope this week.
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#20 MarMax

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Posted 07 January 2023 - 02:01 PM

Thanks Mike...

 

I went back through my observing notes and found that I actually spotted parts of this nebula with the 14" Dob.  In the January 2023 issue of S&T there is an interesting article about this one too.  I was a little confused at first as it was given with a size of 20' x 20' and it is much larger than that (it pretty much fills the field in my capture).  I've since figured out that this is for the brighter portion at the center (and identified as a reflection nebula) and usually designated vdB 93 (discovered by my good friend Isaac Roberts in 1898 and cataloged in the IC as 2177 by Dreyer).

I'm using Stellarium Internet on the home PC and the Stellarium app on the Mini-PC and it shows IC 2177 as the Seagull Nebula. I just happened to use the ACL200 the first time observing and it was clear that the Seagull is much larger and IC 2177 is the head. When you look wide it's clearly a seagull, just as your image shows.

 

EDITED to say I especially like Sh 2-297, the bright wingtip.


Edited by MarMax, 07 January 2023 - 02:05 PM.

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#21 BrentKnight

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Posted 07 January 2023 - 02:23 PM

I'm using Stellarium Internet on the home PC and the Stellarium app on the Mini-PC and it shows IC 2177 as the Seagull Nebula. I just happened to use the ACL200 the first time observing and it was clear that the Seagull is much larger and IC 2177 is the head. When you look wide it's clearly a seagull, just as your image shows.

 

EDITED to say I especially like Sh 2-297, the bright wingtip.

When I did my initial plate solve on IC2177, I could see it was going to chop off a good part of the wings.  I had to use SharpCap's tool to recenter so that I could get most of it in the frame.



#22 SchoolMaster

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Posted 08 January 2023 - 10:26 AM

I went out with great intentions, but fog rose after about an hour, most of which was spent with 'dialing in'

 

Cerberus II

 

GEM28 with C8, 2 x 0.63 reducers for 0.39 total reduction, PlayerOne MarsM 290 mono camera, 808mm at 0.83"/px.  This is for detail.

 

Piggybacked AT70ED, 0.8 reducer, ZWO 294MM Pro at 0C, with SVBONY 2" 7nm Ha filter on front of reducer, 335mm at 1.43"/px.  Wide-field narrowband.

 

Chin mounted Askar FMA180, ZWO 294MC, with Astromania 2" UHC filter on front of OTA, 180mm at 5.26"/px.  Very wide-field color.

 

NGC2273 area.  FMA180, Gain 350, 10 x 30 secs.

 

Annotation (2 subs)

 

08JanNGC2273-9A4-G350z-2-30-DF-FUHC-anno.jpg

 

08JanNGC2273-9A4-G350z-10-30-DF-FUHC.jpg

 

A bit TOO wide field :)


Edited by SchoolMaster, 08 January 2023 - 10:27 AM.

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#23 BrentKnight

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Posted 08 January 2023 - 03:16 PM

A couple more full Moon captures (I'm glad I made the effort as it's raining today).  These were all captured with the Celestron C8 @ f/6.3 with the Starizona SCT corrector and a ZWO UV/IR cut filter.  I used the ASI294MM-Pro.

 

NGC2403 147 frames 4410s (UV IR) WithDisplayStretch
NGC2403
Exposure=30.000s, Integration=74.5m, Gain=350, Binning=1, Resolution=4144x2822, Temperature=-0.3 | Darks, Dark-Flats and Flats | SharpCap Pro 4 - Saved as seen
Pretty noisy as this one was taken just as the Moon was rising in the east.  I'd like to try again later this month.
 
M41 20 frames 600s (UV IR) WithDisplayStretch
M41
Exposure=30.000s, Integration=10m, Gain=350, Binning=1, Resolution=4144x2822, Temperature=0 | Darks, Dark-Flats and Flats | SharpCap Pro 4 - Saved as seen
 
M79 526 frames 2104s (UV IR) WithDisplayStretch
M79
Exposure=4.000s, Integration=35m, Gain=350, Binning=1, Resolution=4144x2822, Temperature=0 | Darks, Dark-Flats and Flats | SharpCap Pro 4 - Saved as seen (Zoomed for details)
 
Gem 68 frames 272s (UV IR) WithDisplayStretch
Alpha Gem
Exposure=4.000s, Integration=4.5m, Gain=200, Binning=1, Resolution=4144x2822, Temperature=0 | Darks, Dark-Flats and Flats | SharpCap Pro 4 - Saved as seen
This one probably would have been nicer in color, but it was a target of opportunity...
 
NGC2392 (Eskimo Nebula) 241 frames 964s (UV IR) Zoomed
NGC2392 (The Eskimo Nebula)

Exposure=4.000s, Integration=4.5m, Gain=250, Binning=1, Resolution=4144x2822, Temperature=0 | Darks, Dark-Flats and Flats | SharpCap Pro 4 - Saved as seen (Zoomed for details)

I'm happy with the details here w/o any filters.  It looks like my collimation and focus got soft though (I had to adjust about halfway through the session - I suppose colder temperatures outside were the culprit).

 

Since it was a Luna night, I didn't want to waste time on any more galaxies so I spent the rest of the evening on open clusters.  I got a total of about 30 targets in all last night (despite the bright Moon).


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#24 herseycart

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Posted 09 January 2023 - 12:25 PM

Saturday night the sky was clear, temps were chilly, and the Moon was full and bright.  I still gave it a go to try to observe a few from this month's challenge.

 

Scope: SVBONY SV503 102ED w/ 0.8 FR

Camera: ZWO ASI294MC Pro w/ UV/IR Cut Filter

Settings: 121 gain, 30 offset, bin 2x2

 

NGC 2273

Live Stack: 10 x 30 sec and 25 x 60 sec

NGC2273 Stack 35frames 1800s

I can just make out some faint something which is the outer arms.  The bright Moon was the enemy here. NGC 2273B is in the lower left of the FOV.

 

NGC 2403

Live Stack: 10 x 30 sec and 20 x 60 sec

NGC2403 Stack 30frames 1500s

Not too bad. Again, fighting the bright Moon, but some detail in the spiral arms.  I like this one.

 

Abell 21 - The Medusa Nebula

Live Stack: 10 x 30 sec and 10 x 60 sec

Abell21  Stack 20frames 900s

Hmmm... there is something there, plate solving says it should be there, cannot really resolve it as a nebula or a planetary. Looks more like a couple of faint galaxies. I think I am looking at the right thing.  I think this would be better suited in the 8" SCT so I will try to give it another try later in the month.  

 

Messier 41

Live Stack: 10 x 30 sec and 10 x 60 sec

M41 Stack 20frames 900s
Pretty open cluster of bright white, blue, and yellow stars.
 
Hope to try a few more (and probably retry a few of these) later in the month with out the help of full Moon.
 
Write up and more images from my EAA Session for 01/07/2023 here: http://www.suffolksk...-the-full-moon/
 
Great list of objects. Thanks!

Edited by herseycart, 09 January 2023 - 12:35 PM.

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#25 andrea_milanesi

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Posted 09 January 2023 - 01:38 PM

C5 reduced to f/7. Baader Moon and Skyglow filter. Uranus-C camera @ gain 400 1sec exposure for a total of 300sec

Attached Thumbnails

  • 05_Eskimo_Nebula_Stack_16bits_321frames_321s.JPG

Edited by andrea_milanesi, 09 January 2023 - 01:39 PM.

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