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Mike Harlow

My main areas of interest are:

Variable Nebulae: I started imaging variable nebulae in 2008 after hearing a talk by Nick Hewitt on the subject. Many of my images are on the Orwell Astronomical Society web site.

Spectroscopy: Experimenting with a 22cm diameter, 12 degree objective prism originally on loan, but then purchased from, the BAA instrument collection. I have also made a 26cm, 3 degree prism for fainter objects at lower dispersion.

Telescope making: Although now of “historical interest only” for many years I made all my own instruments including the optics. My main telescope for imaging, a 12inch F/3.6 astrograph, now has a mirror made by Es Reid which is a bit better than mine ever were!

Updated: 30th March 2020

Local society membership: Orwell Astronomical Society Ipswich

2020 Mar 15

2019 Oct 13

2019 Oct 7

12:13 UTC

A very transparent sky and dead calm on 2nd-3rd October was an excellent opportunity to catch up with monitoring Variable nebulae and related objects. Four objects were imaged as follows:

Gyulbudaghian's nebula in Cepheus is always top of my list for imaging each month. It is still faint and shows just a narrow bar of nebulosity.

Hind's variable nebula in Taurus (just north of the Hyades) is a bright knot of nebulosity very close to T Tauri. Both sit in a void in a much larger diffuse nebula.

FU Orionis sits in the dark nebula Barnard 35 at the top of Orion. Rising from mag 16 to mag 9 in 1937 over just 3 months it remains near mag 10 today. Some nebulosity is visible close to the star today which was invisible before the star brightened.

McNeil's nebula remains invisible in images of M78. Some image artefacts appear at the position of the nebula but I'm sure it isn't there!

2019 Aug 30

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