Friday, February 17, 2012

the Flame and Mars (Blue Mountains)

9:52 PM. While others started into a movie, I peaked outside. It was clear again. "I'm going out," I hollered. This time I fully opened the roof of the GBO. Then targeted the Horsehead. And then panned around again.

Found it. Again. The cometary globule object I found before. Strange nebulous small object. Rather bright. L-shaped.

Used the 27mm Panoptic again. The object was about 1.5 fields from Alntiak. More or less left-right from Alnitak, i.e. in-line with the belt stars.

Copied some details from TheSky6.

Equatorial (current): RA: 05h 39m 31.21s; Dec: -01°51'33.99"
Equatorial 2000: RA: 05h 38m 52.73s; Dec: -01°51'46.30"
Horizon: Azim: 214°31'22.07"; Alt: +37°57'03.68"
Air mass: 1.63

I went to the Flame nebula. I could see it! Wow. Dark lanes, like branches in a tree. The nebula was very faint. It was big! Filled the field.

Phil came out. He too had never seen it before.

We tried the 2" Lumicon O-III filter. I couldn't see anything... Phil said he could. We removed it. NGC 2024 was good in the 27mm. Very cool, in fact.

10:14. We viewed Messier 1, the Crab Nebula. Wow! M1. The best view ever, for me. With averted vision, you could see it was not smooth.

I spotted clouds moving in.

10:25. We took a look at Mars at 145x. Lora "I'm not an astronomer" Chow had come out. We gave her a peak. Faint fuzzies don't cut it.

Ice cap was visible.

So-so seeing.

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Another short viewing session. But pretty awesome. Relocating the mystery object, the globule was great. Actually detecting the Flame Nebula was fantastic. Seeing structure in M1... just, wow. And it was great to see the 4th planet, of course.

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Millie was upset that we had been observing. She had been waiting for me to call. Oops. I guess saying I was going up and then not returning for an hour was not a good enough sign. Sorry! Next time I'll shout it...

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