January 2020 Monthly Challenge

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bladekeeper
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January 2020 Monthly Challenge

#1

Post by bladekeeper »

JANUARY 2020 MONTHLY CHALLENGE!

Thank you once again for all the great suggestions that were put forward! Thanks to BABO for the kick in the pants to get this posted. :lol: See the topic here: https://www.theskysearchers.com/viewtop ... =84&t=5506

I threw all the suggested targets into a random drawing generator on the 'net and hit the go button and NGC 2359 (Thor's Helmet or the Duck Nebula) was the object that was spat back at me. :)

NGC 2359, Emission/Reflection Nebula in Canis Major, Magnitude +11.50

NGC 2359 can be a tough nut to crack visually. It's all about exit pupil with this target. Try to select an eyepiece that will get you around a 3.5mm to 4.5mm exit pupil. An OIII (if your aperture supports it) or a narrowband UHC filter will greatly assist with contrast. Look for the broad brighter patch. Easy to miss if you are not careful. Not too dissimilar to observing M33...

From my last observation of this object with a 12" dobsonian:

16. Thor’s Helmet, aka Duck Nebula - NGC 2359 - NEW - H2
(Bright Nebula in Canis Major)
Mag ??, size 10’ x 5’, SB ??
Observed: Jan 23, 2017, 21:21:50
Comment: Hopped my way over to the Big Dog and down to the location of this nebula. Found my field, and at 84×, nothing much to see, maybe a tease of brightening, but nothing definitive. Grabbing the UHC filter, I had a heck of a time getting it to thread onto the 18mm. Finally done, I re-inserted the eyepiece and put my eye to it. Oh my! There you are, my friend! Kind of hard to describe. I'm not really seeing a duck or a helmet, though I think it is upside down compared to most images. Kind of a bullet-shaped half circle? I believe I can pick up the "left-wing" of the helmet, only in my orientation it is on the right and pointing down. That's about all I’ve got.
Equipment: AD12, ES 82° 18mm, 2” UHC filter

NGC 2359 also makes for a wonderful imaging target. I've only tried it once about a year ago when I was first delving into deep-sky imaging. Hoping to try again this year with more experience under my belt.

So let's get out there and have some fun with this target, post back your visual observations or sketches and photos of NGC 2359!

Have fun and wishing you clear nights!

:Astronomer1: :observatory:
Bryan
Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; ES ED80 f/6; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Unitron Model 142 f/16; Meade NG60 f/10
Mounts: Celestron AVX; Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen Polaris
Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50, Apogee 20×100

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Re: January 2020 Monthly Challenge

#2

Post by Don Quixote »

Thank you Bryan.
Time to get out the Nutcracker. 😊
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bladekeeper
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Re: January 2020 Monthly Challenge

#3

Post by bladekeeper »

Don Quixote wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:39 pm
Thank you Bryan.
Time to get out the Nutcracker. 😊
That sounds ominous and funny at the same time. :lol:
Bryan
Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; ES ED80 f/6; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Unitron Model 142 f/16; Meade NG60 f/10
Mounts: Celestron AVX; Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen Polaris
Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50, Apogee 20×100

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kt4hx
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Re: January 2020 Monthly Challenge

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Post by kt4hx »

I have observed this one three times in recent years. The best view was at our dark site in the 12 inch the evening of 28 Feb 2016. Notes from that outing:

NGC 2359 (Canis Major, emission/reflection nebula, mag=unk, size=9.0’x6.0’, SBr=unk): From light polluted skies this beautiful bright nebula, which is a combination of both emission and reflection elements, can be elusive. Known alternately as Thor’s Helmet or the Duck, I found it quite bright at 84x without a filter. The emission area at the northern end was easily the brightest portion, with an infusion of embedded stars. The main body, though dimmer was still easily seen. The dimmer “winged” extensions were only subtle fleeting needles of diaphanous light. I did put in the Orion UltraBlock, but I still preferred the unfiltered view in this case with its more natural presence. It was even seen in the 8x50 finder as a faint round glow. Very nice and highly recommended.

Another observation from the same location occurred that same year on 10 October, my notes:

NGC 2359 (Canis Major, emission nebula,mag=unk, size=9.0’x6.0’, SBr=unk): The fog continued its onslaught and so I wanted to catch a glimpse of an old friend, Thor’s Helmet or Duck Nebula. This nice and bright nebula is fired by the mag 11.5 Wolf-Rayet star WR-7 (HIP 35378). It was readily apparent at 84x without the NPB, but when I inserted the filter it came to life. It presented a bright and large round patch of nebulosity. There was a slight hint of the feathery extensions, but given the deteriorating conditions, the overall view was not as sharp as it has been during other observations of this fine object.

My third observation came from a suburban location just south of the equator on 29 Jan 2019, using my 4.5" f/4.4 newt OTA. I was targeting the asterism Streicher 80 in Canis Major, but did a quick check for NGC 2359 nearby. Here are my notes:

I continued to the southeast for about 2° to pick up the distinctive “checkmark” of stars lying just west and south of the emission nebula NGC 2359, popularly known as Thor’s Helmet. Taking a brief respite to see if I could pick up this magnificent object in my brightened sky, I studied the field with magnifications up to 106x, and blinking in the NPB filter. I finally was able to pick up very subtle hints of the nebulosity, but it was difficult. Certainly nothing like at our dark site back home, where I can clearly see a tiny diffuse presence even in the 8x50 finder.
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
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"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
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prowler75
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Re: January 2020 Monthly Challenge

#5

Post by prowler75 »

Nice challenge for January, Bryan!
I'd love to give it a shot, but I am missing one key thing...clear sky! :lol:
We appear to be entering a very cloudy weather pattern over the next 10 days according to the extended forecast.
Craig
Telescopes: Zhumell Z12, Orion XT8, Explore Scientific FL-AR127/1200, Celestron Omni XLT AZ 102, Tasco 8v
Eyepieces: GSO 30mm, Explore Scientific 70° 25mm, 82° 18mm, 11mm, 8.8mm, 6.5mm. KK Orthos 12mm and 9mm
Binoculars: Oberwerk 15x70
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