NGC 1435 [credit: WIYN/T.A.Rector – University of Alaska Anchorage/R.Cool – University of Arizona]
Faint Nebulae at Midnight.
Telescope: Takahashi FCT-76
Location: Cedar Park, Texas, USA
Time: 12 am – 1 am
Sky Transparency: 7
Limiting Magnitude: ~ 4.5
Lunar Phase: Waning Crescent
While I was doing my observing notes for 01/19/2001, I decided to take stock of several nebulae during the late hours because of the night’s incredible sky conditions.
- NGC 1435 – The Merope Nebula. Tonight was the first night from suburbia that the Pleiades’ stars shown with a hazy glow around the brightest members. The UHC filter actually subtracted the nebulae and made everything harder to see!
- NGC 2237/2244 – The Rosette Nebula. Barely – I mean barely could I see a glow around the cluster NGC 2237. My UHC was of little help again so I continued to observe without it. Time for a light bucket.
- M 42 – The Orion Nebula is always a saving grace for small scope owners like myself, and tonight was no exception. On the best nights, M 42 shines with a white glow in the shape of a flower with dark interior dust lanes directly visible. At low power [~ 30x], the nebula rapped around the trapezium stars and almost looped a complete circle. Averted vision brought out the flower-like appearance so vividly that strands of gas were weaving outward with the dust lanes popping in and out of view, and sometimes a greenish hue was noted towards the center of the nebula.