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NGC 7635 - The "Bubble" Nebula

Image
About this observation
Observer
Simon Edwins
Time of observation
27/10/2017 - 23:00
Object
NGC 7635
Observing location
Bedfordshire, UK
Equipment
Atik 460EX at prime focus
8” F4.5 Orion Optics CT8
Exposure
12x240s luminance binned 1x1 merged with 9x240s red binned 1x1, 11x180s red binned 2x2, 10x180s green binned 2x2 and 8x180s blue binned 2x2
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Copyright of all images and other observations submitted to the BAA remains with the owner of the work. Reproduction of the work by third-parties is expressly forbidden without the consent of the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the webmaster.

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Comet 24P/Schaumasse with Galaxies

Image
About this observation
Observer
Damian Peach
Time of observation
26/10/2017 - 11:00
Object
Comet 24P/Schaumasse
Observing location
Siding Spring, Australia
Equipment
20" CDK with FLI CCD
Exposure
LRGB of 20/2/2/2/ minutes
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Here, 11th magnitude comet 24P/Schaumasse has been captured against the background of several galaxies in Leo (NGC 3377 is the one closest to the comet.)
 
The comet reaches perihelion on 2017 Nov 16 and appears distinctly green in colour, despite being rather faint
Copyright of all images and other observations submitted to the BAA remains with the owner of the work. Reproduction of the work by third-parties is expressly forbidden without the consent of the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the webmaster.
BAA Articles

M76 - The Dumbbell Nebula’s Neglected Little Brother

While Messier 27, the Dumbbell Nebula, is probably one of the most favourite Messier objects to observe and image, it’s little brother M76 - the Little Dumbbell - seems to be rather over looked.

Certainly it is not as spectacular as M27 - but is definitely a challenge, being probably the faintest object in the Messier catalogue. M27 is of course somewhat larger (on the sky) - about 8 arc-minutes long, whereas M76 is about 3 arc-minutes. But M27 is closer to us. Distances to planetary nebulae are not particularly accurate - but estimates put M76 about three times as far away from us as M27, at around 3,500 light years - so probably the two objects are really about the same size. There are two distinct lobes, and for many years was thought to be two nebulae. William Herschel observed it so, and hence there are two NGC numbers for the two lobes - 650 and 651.

Although located in Perseus, I find star hopping to it easier by starting in Andromeda. I usually start at 51 And, which is located at the end of the northern part of the “V” of stars originating at Alpheratz, though if you find locating 51 And tricky, you can start at Almaak (Gamma And) and head north-west to find 51 And. From 51 And it is a short jump north east to 4th magnitude star Phi And. Track north nearly a degree to a distinct yellow 6th magnitude star, then M76 is a short 11 arc-minutes westwards.

Observing M76 will be difficult with a small scope - probably at least 150mm aperture will be needed though it is a lot easier with a telescope with 200mm aperture, or more. Use higher magnification of 100x to 200x once you have found it. And it would be interesting to note the effect of filters on this object. OIII should give a better view, but a UHC may disappoint.

For imagers the challenge is the smallness of the nebula - requiring longer focal length to give more image scale. And of course longer focal lengths mean longer exposure duration and greater vulnerability to guiding and periodic errors.

The central star is a faint magnitude 16.6 hot blue star, will be beyond most visual observers, but should be not a big problem for imagers.

Other ‘dumbbell-esque’ planetary nebulae worth hunting down in the coming months include NGC 40 in Cepheus and NGC 2346 in Monoceros. Perhaps you have your own favourites - please let me know and send in your observations.

M76 by David Davies

M76 Map

M76 by Bob Winter

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BAA Gallery Aurora
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Caithness Astronomy Group meets "Steve"

Image
About this observation
Observer
Gordon Mackie
Time of observation
13/10/2017 - 19:26
Object
Aurora - images of less common aurora related form ("Steve")
Observing location
Caithness, Scotland
Equipment
Canon 760D DSLR
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Attached are images captured from an aurora display observed by Caithness Astronomy Group members on 13th October from Caithness in northern Scotland. Hope you'll find them of interest.

The triptych of images show an aurora related phenomenon nicknamed "Steve" that has been studied quite a lot recently*. This is the second time I have positively seen it, and as it happened during an impromptu Caithness Astronomy Group observing session, quite a few members were treated to this somewhat unusual sight. The fine detail within this arc of light, that at one point stretched overhead form eastern to western horizon, is not really visible from the images as it was changing quite quickly. The movement was mesmerising to watch - a really unforgettable view.

Gordon Mackie

Thurso, Caithness

Image capture and editing details.......
  • All images were taken with a tripod mounted Canon 760D DSLR and 10-20 mm Sigma lens set at 10mm focal length and f3.5 aperture. Adobe Lightroom v6 was used for the image editing.
  • The triptych shows 3 separate views of "Steve" during a 10 minute period. Exposure settings were (left to right) 15, 20 & 25 seconds at ISO 6400. The left image show the view towards the western horizon, the right image is the view to the east, and the middle image shows overhead.
Copyright of all images and other observations submitted to the BAA remains with the owner of the work. Reproduction of the work by third-parties is expressly forbidden without the consent of the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the webmaster.
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Two Comets in Messier 45

Image
About this observation
Observer
Damian Peach
Time of observation
19/09/2017 - 11:27
Object
comets C/2017 O1 and C/2017 ER61
Equipment
Celestron C14
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Damian imaged comets C/2017 O1 and C/2017 ER61 as they passed visually close to the Pleiades cluster on 2017-09-19.  This is a three pane mosaic.

Copyright of all images and other observations submitted to the BAA remains with the owner of the work. Reproduction of the work by third-parties is expressly forbidden without the consent of the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the webmaster.

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