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Thread: Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini

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    Default Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini



    Hello all,

    the constellation of Gemini offers four amazing planetary nebulae, all of them within the reach of small scopes.
    The most popular, the Eskimo Face NGC 2392, can be easily fixed through the small binoculars, when you know where to look at. The large Medusa Nebula Abell 21, close to the border with Canis Minor, can be seen through the big binoculars and through the richest field telescopes with the OIII filter. The Jonkheere J900, at the border with Orion, is another jewel for the small scopes, see also Abell 21, UGC 3691, NGC 2339, Sh2-261, J900, NGC 1788, SN2014J

    Now, the NGC 2371 reveals on the astrophotos a large disc structured in the peanut form, and surrounded with two faint lobes on the opposite sides. Thanks to its peanut structure visible through the larger apertures, this nebula enjoys also the catalogue number NGC 2371-2. See also NGC 2371-2 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The star hopping strategy is documented in the attached chart. The Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 is located in the Castor-Pollux-Iota 'corner' of the Gemini constellation. I mount the UWAN f=16mm (82°) eyepiece, start locating the 64-65-Iota flat triangle, and move about 1° NEE to find an asterism of the 7mag stars. From here, I follow a path along the wide pairs (or triples) of stars to the NWW, and finally at a 2° distance, the point of destination is reached. The 6" refractor with my favourite star hopping UWAN eyepiece reveals a faint (11.3mag) disc. Even if not very bright, the nebula is comfortably visible both with and without an OIII filter to the dark adapted eye.

    Last time observed: March 18th, 2015
    Equipment: 6" F/5 achromatic refractor, UWAN 82° eyepiece f=16mm (magnification 47x)
    10.5x70 binoculars to check the star hopping strategy
    Observing conditions: M45 faint with unaided eyes

    Enjoy the Peanut, and clear skies to you,

    JG
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Binoculars: Leica Ultravid 7x42, 8x42HD; Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision; Nikon 10x70 Astroluxe; Docter Nobilem 7x50 Porro; Jenoptem 7x50W, 10x50W; BA8: 10.5x70, 15x85; 25x100FB, AsahiPentax 8x40, Refractors: Sky-Watcher 150mm/750mm; Leica APO Televid 82mm (25x-50x WW ASPH); EPs:Baader Classic Orthos; Fujiyama ortho, Leica B WW, ultrawide zoom ASPH, Periplan GF, HC Plan S, L; DOCTER UWA; Wild UW mil; Tele Vue Delos, Nagler Zoom, Plössls; Swarovski SW; Pentax XW; ZEISS diascope B WW T*, Carl Zeiss E-Pl; Hensoldt mil; Filters: Astrodon, Astronomik, Baader (CCD), TS; Astrophotography: AstroTrac; Leica R7: Leica 2/50, 2/90mm, 2.8/180mm lenses
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    Default Re: Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini

    Thanks for the Peanut JG! I'm adding this one to my list.
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    Bryan
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    Default Re: Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini

    Thanks for the report JG!

    Sadly at mag 11.3 a object like this will not show through my LP.

    Cheers
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    Default Re: Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini

    Quote Originally Posted by kingclinton View Post
    Thanks for the report JG!

    Sadly at mag 11.3 a object like this will not show through my LP.

    Cheers
    Hello KingClinton,

    mount your Zhumi OIII, take more magnification, and throw a black towel over your head.
    The Penaut is a peanut, the last time, I have seen it in spite of some upper atmospheric haze.

    Happy hunting,

    JG
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    Default Re: Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini

    Thank you for yet another great thread on the planetary nebulas!

    I have tried (and failed on) the Medusa and J900 nebulas before but now I'm inspired to try again on the next moonless night.
    And I'll not have two but three new nebula's to hunt down
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    Default Re: Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini

    Thanks for sharing, JG! I will have to track down the Peanut next time I get the chance.
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    Default Re: Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini

    Hello Skyscanner,

    the Medusa Nebula is really tough, and I have spent repeated observing sessions with my 15x85 binoculars over several years to be sure I have fixed it, and even then, it has been just a faint ghosty glow. The view through the 6" was better.
    The J900 can be magnified ad ultimum, and blinked with the OIII filter. The J900 is also not easy, but knowing its exact location in the star field helps.

    Now, the Gemini is high in the skies, give it a try.
    Clear skies,

    JG
    Binoculars: Leica Ultravid 7x42, 8x42HD; Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision; Nikon 10x70 Astroluxe; Docter Nobilem 7x50 Porro; Jenoptem 7x50W, 10x50W; BA8: 10.5x70, 15x85; 25x100FB, AsahiPentax 8x40, Refractors: Sky-Watcher 150mm/750mm; Leica APO Televid 82mm (25x-50x WW ASPH); EPs:Baader Classic Orthos; Fujiyama ortho, Leica B WW, ultrawide zoom ASPH, Periplan GF, HC Plan S, L; DOCTER UWA; Wild UW mil; Tele Vue Delos, Nagler Zoom, Plössls; Swarovski SW; Pentax XW; ZEISS diascope B WW T*, Carl Zeiss E-Pl; Hensoldt mil; Filters: Astrodon, Astronomik, Baader (CCD), TS; Astrophotography: AstroTrac; Leica R7: Leica 2/50, 2/90mm, 2.8/180mm lenses
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    Default Re: Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini

    To add to JG's fine commentary, NGC 2371-2 is also known as the double-bubble nebula. It is a dual-lobed planetary, and in my Z10 from our backyard I found it quite an interesting view. I likened it to a pair of eyes looking back at me through a small patch of fog. Very interesting.

    Double Bubble Nebula - DeepSkyPedia :: Astronomy
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    Default Re: Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini

    Thanks Alan!

    My poor list grows faster than I can check things off of it.

    And the thunderstorms are rolling in, so no opportunities this evening.
    Bryan
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    Default Re: Star hopping to the planetary Peanut Nebula NGC 2371 in Gemini

    I've seen the eskimo but not the others. Thanks JG for pointing out some options for us when gemini is still well-positioned for viewing. Looking forward to the peanut!
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