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Abell 7, M42, Abell 21 (Sh2-274) Medusa Nebula, M101 galaxy, on 24th February 2017

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by , 02-25-2017 at 11:54 AM (563 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by j.gardavsky View Post
Hello all,

this is a short report on a short observing session with my 6" F/5 achromatic refractor.

Abell 7 planetary nebula in Lepus
The Abell 7 touches a triangulum of 8mag – 9mag stars about 2° west off Mu Leporis, so its position is easy to find.
With its large extent of 871“ x 670“, and low surface brightness, it has been for a long time on my to-do list.
Close to 20:00, the Zeiss (magnification 58.6x) eyepiece with the UHC filter has revealed an extended fuzzy glow with averted vision, and a ‚flash‘ with direct vision. The form has been oval.
This Abell planetary has been pretty tough, o.k. done.
The Abell 7 is after the Spirograph nebula, the second planetary nabula in Lepus within the reach of the small to medium sized telescopes.

„The Southern Molecular Cloud in M42“
I have once again returned to the Great Orion Nebula, to continue the observations already posted in Horse Head Nebula through the 6" refractor on 02-14-2017
This time I have concentrated on the southern extent of the nebular glow, and was able to trace the both wings through the UHC filter down to the open cluster NGC 1980 in the south. The darkening between the both wings towards south has been also well visible.
The view with the Zeiss (magnification 58.6x) eyepiece has been confirmed with the BCO ortho (magnification 75x).
I do not have many observations of this southern part of M42, nicknamed as „The Southern Molecular Cloud in M42“, and this has been one of the best, for sure. This makes me to wish start sketching.

Medusa Nebula Abell 21 in Gemini
I have already 3 entries on the Medusa in my observing logbook, 2 through the 6“ refractor with the OIII filter, and 1 through the 15x85 binoculars with the UHC filters.
In spite of it, my feeling was, I must see it again, it is the Medusa, you know, and it has been close to its culmination.
The star hopping is straight towards north on the line Beta Canis Minoris across 6 Canis Minoris, and then about 1°20‘ up, where 3 wide spaced stars frame the expected position of the Medusa.
The best view has offered the Plössl (magnification 23.4x) through the UHC filter, revealing the arc form of the Medusa. The Zeiss (magnification 58.6x) has revealed more extent of the nebula, but the arc has been not as good visible.

As I have been through with these 3 DSOs at 21:30, I have decided to take one easy galaxy pick.

M101 galaxy in Ursa Maior
Well this galaxy is a binocular object, but I was curious to see it again, and in spite of having seen it one hundred eleven times before.
You know that feeling, you must see a galaxy, even if she has not been high enough in the skies to allow for a reasonably good view, but you must see it.
The star hopping is easy towards my „Little Cepheus“ asterism.

The galaxy has revealed similar views through the Zeiss (magnification 58.6x) eyepiece, and through the BCO ortho (magnification 75x):
Faint but a visibly structured glow with a well defined center region, and 2 fairly good visible spiral arms towards the wide pair of foreground stars.
The other spiral arms have been uncertain, let‘s see the next time in spring.

At 22:00 it has been high time to close the observing session due to the freezing temperatures.

Date and time: 24th February, 2017, 19:00 – 22:00
Place: Backyard
Observing conditions: Fairly clear suburban-to-country skies, The Pleiades and The Double Cluster seen with unaided eyes
Telescope: Sky Watcher (Synta) 6“ F/5 refractor
Eyepieces: Zeiss D 30x/40x B WW Diascope eyepiece f=12.8mm, 68° AFOV
BCO f=10mm, 50° AFOV orthoscopic eyepiece
Meade Super Plössl (Japan) f=32mm, 50° AFOV
Filters: UHC Astronomik

Thanks for reading, and clear skies,

JG
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