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Thread: Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017

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    Default Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017



    Hello all,

    the purpose of the trip has been winter skiing during the daytime, and hunting the nebulae at night. So, one small travel case has been reserved for the grab-and-go astro equipment.

    Thanks to the frozen Lej da Silvaplauna, and even more thanks to the wind falling from the Piz Julier mountain (3380 m), the haze over the holiday resort has been blown away, offering clear views towards Orion, Lepus, Puppis, Canis Maior, Monoceros, western Hydra, and southern Gemini.

    The best skies have been on the 15th March, and I have decided to set up the 82mm (25x – 50x) spotting scope to work on the Sharpless nebulae on my todo list for the winter/spring season.

    The expected position of the Sh2-280 has been easily found 2°30‘ south off the Rosette Nebula in Monoceros. It didn't take much time to see its diffuse faint glow in the field of the 7mag and fainter stars, see also Sh 2-280

    The Sh2-282 has revealed a well detached glow about 1° SE off the Sh2-280, see Sh 2-282

    A really tough object has been the Sh2-284, making an end in a sort of cascade starting with the Rosette Nebula, and followed by the Sh2-280 and Sh2-282.
    To find its location, I have aimed the spotting scope on the NGC 2301 open cluster, moved towards the SO 157 binary and a surrounding group of stars. The expected location of the Sh2-284 has been finally found to the west. No problem, so far.
    Now it has been to wait patiently with the observing eye at the zoom ocular, to hop with the averted vision, and to zoom in and out.
    Finally, the averted vision has revealed a very faint glow due to the unresolved Do25 and due to the nebular glow of the Sh2-284.
    Not easy, but checked out.

    These three Sharpless nebulae belong to the Rosette Molecular Cloud, as discussed in https://www.astronomie.de/neuigkeite...rosettennebel/ ,
    and see for the details SH2-284
    Due to the 'elephant trunk structure' inside, the Sh2-284 nebula is sometimes regarded as a fainter and smaller counterpart of the Sh2-131 Elephant Trunk Nebula in Cepheus.

    The last object on the list has been the Sh2-311 (NGC 2467), a fairly bright small and well detached nebular glow, aligned with M93 – Ksi Puppis.

    Finally, on the 16th March, I have enjoyed the extended glow of the Lambda Orionis Nebula Sh2-264, the Barnard's Loop Sh2-276, and the Witch Head Nebula IC 2118. Even if I have seen the Witch Head Nebula quite a few times through the low magnification binoculars, this time the spotting scope has revealed its irregular form – the face of the Witch Head.
    A nice bonus has been also the Lynd's dark nebula LDN1596 NW off the X-Mas Tree cluster and the surrounding nebular field (Sh2-273).

    Besides the todo list, there has been enough time to revisit and to enjoy about 2 dozens of the „old friends DSOs“ in this area of skies, on the 15th and 16th March.

    Date and time: 15th and 16th March, 2017, 20:00 – 21:30 local time
    Place: closed backyard in the holidays resort in Silvaplana, well protected from the street lights, elevation 1800 m, Swiss Alps
    Equipment: Swarovski Swarovision EL 8.5x42 binoculars, and Leica APO Televid (25x – 50x) ultrawide (up to 82° AFOV) spotting scope
    Observing conditions: M42 as a small fuzzy with unaided eyes in averted vision, temperature several degrees below zero

    Thanks for reading, and clear skies,

    JG
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    Default Re: Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017

    Very nicely done, JG! Tough but excellent targets.

    I swear, my friend, you could pull more out of the sky with a magnifying glass than I can with a 12" dobsonian.

    Awesome report!
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    Default Re: Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017

    Great job JG! I wish I could see some of those nebulae from home but I know that it will require dark skies.
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    Default Re: Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017

    Fantastic observations JG and from a beautiful location also.
    I hope you enjoyed the skiing and observing to the fullest!
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    Default Re: Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017

    Thanks Gabby!

    The winter skiing down the Corvatch glacier (3.303 m) has been absolutely great, allowing for a high speed before the glacier narrows its width between the rocks.

    This time, the night skies have been also very clear, and the high altitude makes more difference for the astronomy than one would expect.
    I am really happy to have nailed down those Sharpless nebulae in the Rosette Molecular Cloud, as there are not many visual reports on the Sharpless objects not included in the NGC/IC catalogs.

    Best,

    JG
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    Default Re: Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017

    Wow JG, outstanding observations!
    You have my respect.... daredevil on the slopes by day, master of the sky at night.

    Enjoy the trip and thanks for taking us along.

    SKE
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    Moving on.......

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    Default Re: Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017

    Sounds like you had a great time. I like using spotting scopes for astronomy but feel they are underappreciated by community as a garb-and-go setup.
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    Default Re: Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017

    It sounds like a perfect trip, JG! Congratulations on bagging those challenging targets, and for letting us experience it vicariously!
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    Default Re: Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017

    Well done JG. You put your spotter to very good use in pursuit of nebulae. Sounds like you had an all-around excellent holiday.
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    Default Re: Sh2-280, Sh2-282, Sh2-284, and Sh2-311 nebulae in March 2017

    JG, I'll have to set aside some time to seek out these Sh-2 nebulae the next time I go out of town - usually it's just galaxies and the tougher OCs that I target when I'm observing from darker skies. Nice report!
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