TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

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TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#1

Post by kt4hx »


Happy New Year everyone, and I hope you made it through 2023 relatively unscathed! Whenever I hear someone mention a constellation that they are anxious to see rise above the horizon every year. Or the one that they will get up in the pre-dawn hours sometimes for the pleasure of catching that first view every year. It is almost always Orion that they mention! It indeed seems to be one of the most loved of the 88 recognized constellations. This large and showy constellation was listed among the original 48 written about by the 2nd century astronomer, Ptolmey. Its stellar figure represents a great hunter from Greek mythology that Zeus (or Artemis) honored with placement amongst the stars.

Ioannis_Bayeri_Rhainani_Vranometria_1661_(84129163).jpg
(Orion as illustrated by Johann Bayer in Uranometria in 1603)


For us, it is one of the most beloved constellations in the stellar heavens. And rightly so, as it is home to some amazing deep sky objects (DSOs), from the in-your-face obvious to dim and challenging, and everything in between. It is well known for its DSO diversity, containing nebulae of the emission, reflection, dark and planetary varieties. There are beaucoup open clusters and myriad galaxies though the brightest of this category are in the 12th magnitude range. Unfortunately there are no known globular clusters in Orion. Nonetheless, there are ample observing opportunities within the “great hunter” to keep one busy for quite some time. If one also tosses double stars into the mix, then observing in Orion can almost turn into a full time career! (smiley)

I am posting this particular edition for two months because Orion will be front and center during both January and February, and also giving you all some time to work on the numerous objects that I will share with you for your pursuit. Whether you are purely a visual observer, a sketching enthusiast and/or an imaging aficionado, there should be plenty of interest for you here.

While everyone pursues the Messier objects within Orion (M42/43 and M78) regularly, to truly appreciate this large constellation (26th in terms of area) one should pursue at least some of the other stuff that it has to offer. That is exactly why I am omitting those regular showpieces from this edition about Orion. I am 100% sure you will make time to go after the Messier objects there, so I wanted to draw your attention to hopefully some objects that you may not have considered. My object selection for Orion runs the gamut from bright and easy to some dimmer challenges for you. To challenge ourselves as observers and imagers is always a good thing. It is through those personal challenges that we grow and develop our skills. And honestly, while the Messier objects are what Orion is predominantly known for, there is simply so much more there to feast your eyes upon.

For some if not many, I am sure that you have pursued some of the below objects previously. But hopefully I will provide at least a few new ones to add to your observing/imaging plans for a good number of you. I of course have not listed an exhaustive number of DSOs, but I hope that I have given you a very good sampling of what to expect within the great hunter’s stomping grounds! So with that, I will leave these in your capable hands. Enjoy the constellation of Orion for all of its brightness and beauty; its depth and variety; and its richness and rewards. It is indeed sitting up there just waiting for you to turn your eyes its way.


NGC 1977 (diffuse nebula, mag=7.0, size=20.0’x10.0’):
NGC 1973 (diffuse nebula, size=5.0’x5.0’):
NGC 1975 (diffuse nebula, size=10.0’x5.0’):

Just north of the Orion Nebula is this three piece nebula structure, collectively known as the “Running Man.” Personally I think it takes a bit more imagination than I have to see that figure in it. However, it does have a curious appearance, particularly from darker locations. There are a few brighter stars embedded in this complex, particularly 42 Orionis (mag 4.6) and 45 Orionis (mag 5.2). Take a look at this interesting nebula structure and see if you can pick up hints of someone running through your field of view!

NGC 2024 (diffuse nebula, mag=10.0, size=30.0’x30.0’):
Just northeast of the eastern most star in Orion’s belt, mag 1.8 Zeta Orionis (Alnitak), look for this elusive object, famously known as the Flame Nebula. Visually this is a challenging object for those under light polluted skies. While it is not so difficult from darker locations, its diaphanous structure will not knock you over as does M42/43. Use of a narrowband nebula filter will definitely boost contrast of this object, as will an O-III filter, though a little less so. A key detail to look for is a dark lane separating two main portions of the nebula’s glow.

IC 434 + Barnard 33 (diffuse nebula + dark nebula, mag=7.3, size=60.0’x10.0’):
Located just south of Alnitak and the Flame Nebula is the famous dark nebula, the Horsehead Nebula. The object IC 434 is a bright north-south nebula complex extending down from Alnitak. This nebula is what actually allows the Horsehead or Barnard 33, to be visible. It provides that illuminated backdrop for the dark nebula to become apparent. However, these can be very challenging objects for many, particularly those dealing with significant sky glow. In this case darker skies are your friend; as can having an H-Beta filter in your kit. In fact this type of filter is often called a Horsehead filter. If you enjoy true challenges, this may just be the one for you! One thing to remember as well is that when people do finally see the HH, they are surprised that it is larger than they were expecting!

NGC 2175 (diffuse nebula, mag=6.8, size=40.0’x30.0’):
NGC 2174 (knot within nebula, mag=unk, size=3.5’x2.0’):

The so-called Monkey Head Nebula is a nebula plus open cluster (Collinder 84). NGC 2174 is a brighter knot within the larger nebula. Often one will find NGC 2174 listed as the nebula and NGC 2175 as the cluster. However, that is incorrect. NGC 2174 is in the northwestern quadrant of the nebula complex. Another open cluster, Pismis 27, sometimes referred to as NGC 2175S, is found at the eastern edge of the nebula. Have a look and see what you can see.

NGC-2175_annotated.jpg
(Image Credit: Don Goldman, Ph.D. [Astrodon])


NGC 1788 (reflection nebula, mag=9.0, size=8.0’x5.0’):
You can seek this nice object about 7° southwest of brilliant Mintaka, the westernmost star in Orion’s belt, near the border with Eridanus not quite 2° north of mag 2.8 Beta Eridani (Cursa). This reflection nebula is moderately bright, and as is typical of this type of nebula presents a soft and delicate glow. The two main stars involved are one of 10th magnitude in its central area and one of 9th magnitude at its northern edge. It has a bit of a ghostly, otherworldly appearance and in my book is a true visual treat off the beaten path.

NGC 2022 (planetary nebula, mag=11.6, size=18.0’x18.0’, SBr=10.4):
While there are numerous planetary nebulae within Orion, this object is the brightest of the lot and easiest to pin down. This small round disk typically appears whitish to the eye and lies about 2° southeast of the open cluster Collinder 69 (see below) which marks the head of Orion. For the most part the object appears as a smooth disk. With much larger apertures one may begin to pick up some hints of internal structure and maybe, just maybe, illusive hints of its dim mag 14.9 central star.

NGC 1980 (open cluster + diffuse nebula, mag=2.5, size=14.0’x14.0’):
This dual object is also known as Collinder 72 (cluster) and LBN 977 (nebula), and has been called the “Lost Jewel of Orion.” Immediately below Messier 42, this bright grouping is an interesting object in the eyepiece. The bright star Iota Orionis (mag 2.8) dominates the view of this field, with other stars of 4th to 8th and dimmer magnitudes scattered loosely around the area. The weak nebula associated with Iota can be quite difficult to differentiate from the bright glare of the primary star.

NGC 1981 (open cluster, mag=4.2, size=28.0’)
Immediately north of the “Running Man” nebula complex, one can find this cluster. It is dominated by nine stars of 6th to 8th magnitude scattered around its large field with many of dimmer magnitudes filling in between. It may be visible with the naked eye as a small hazy patch, depending on your sky quality, and definitely improves as aperture increases.

NGC 2169 (open cluster, mag=5.9, size=5.0’x5.0’):
Over 7° NNE of brilliant Betelgeuse, the famous “37” cluster forms a triangle with mag 4.5 Xi Orionis and mag 4.2 Nu Orionis. This most curious object truly does look like its nickname, both visually and in images. Two clumps of stars dominate this cluster’s field, one to the southeast and one to the northwest, with a nearly starless void between. This highlights the respective subgroups that indeed vaguely look like a 3 and a 7. Give it a look; do you see what I see?

NGC 2169_Rick J.jpg
(Image Credit: Rick Johnson)


Collinder 70 (open cluster, mag=0.6, size~3.0°):
This object is the epitome of a binocular object. The Orion belt star cluster is huge as it encompasses the three belt stars with myriad around them. It is bright and scattered, just perfect for binoculars or low power wide filed telescopes. While its enormity can be appreciated with the naked eye, it truly is best enjoyed with some level of optical enhancement.

Collinder 69 (open cluster, mag=2.8, size=70.0’):
We now move to the head of our great hunter. This cluster is also known as the Lambda Orionis Cluster, It contains a wide scatter of about 15 stars in the range of 4th to 9th magnitude predominantly in a south to north line starting at Lambda and trickling north, and scattered to the eastern half of the cluster’s field. As aperture and magnification are increased, more and more dimmer stars come into view. While not a particularly showing cluster, it nonetheless is still another facet of the beauty of Orion.

NGC 1924 (barred spiral galaxy, mag=12.5, size=1.6’x1.2’, SBr=12.9):
We now turn our collective focus to the subject of galaxies. While Orion is rarely considered a fertile galaxy hunting ground, it is not devoid of these distant star islands either. The distinctive thing about this particular galaxy is that it is located not quite 2° due west of the great Orion Nebula complex. Of course, being so close to such a stalwart of the night sky and not particularly bright goes a long way toward ensuring the object’s relative anonymity.


NGC 1684 (elliptical galaxy, mag=12.0, size=2.2’x1.7’, SBr=13.5):
This elliptical galaxy is located in the far southwestern corner of Orion near the border with Eridanus, about 1.75° east of mag 4.0 Mu Eridani. It contains a small bright core that may appear stellar. Be sure to look out for dimmer NGC 1682 less than 3’ to its west.

NGC 1691 barred lenticular galaxy, mag=12.0, size=1.7’x1.5’, SBr=12.9):
Located in the lower part of Orion’s shield, this lenticular is found about 50’ north of mag 3.7 Pi 5 Orionis. A bit of a thick oval in appearance, its core can appear a little brighter than the surround halo of its galactic disk. One may even glimpse an intermittent stellar core buried within.

NGC 1819 barred lenticular galaxy, mag=12.4, size=1.7’x1.2’, SBr=13.0):
Located about 3.5° WSW of brilliant mag 1.6 Gamma Orionis (Bellatrix), this lenticular lay about 44’ due west of the mag 5.4 star HD 34043. While overall a little dim, this galaxy does display some brightness within its small core, typical of this type of galaxy. With enough aperture and magnification one may discern a fleeting stellar core.


So there you have it my friends. A small sampling of the various treats awaiting you in the amazing constellation Orion. It sports objects for all aperture and experience levels, from easy to challenging; from bright and showy to dim and underwhelming visually. It has something for everyone, so spend some time in the great hunter’s stomping grounds and reward yourself with some of his visual treats! Good luck and I encourage all to post your personal experiences with Orion so that we may all enjoy and learn from your personal experiences in one of the most sought after parts of the sky.
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#2

Post by Mike Q »


Orion is definitely on the hit list. Now if i can just get a clear night
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#3

Post by Gordon »


Thanks Alan!

I may see how many I can get with the SeeStar!
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Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 200 Quattro Imaging Newt, SeeStar S50 for EAA.
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#4

Post by Lady Fraktor »


A very good list for the new year, thank you Alan :)
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#5

Post by kt4hx »


Mike Q wrote: Sun Dec 31, 2023 5:11 pm Orion is definitely on the hit list. Now if i can just get a clear night

Good luck with your clear skies Mike, and look forward to your reporting.

Gordon wrote: Sun Dec 31, 2023 5:16 pm Thanks Alan!

I may see how many I can get with the SeeStar!

Thank you Gordon. I am anxious to see what you think of the SeeStar. I've hear mixed reviews of it, but I realize sometimes that can be a mix of equipment issues and user issues.

Lady Fraktor wrote: Sun Dec 31, 2023 5:26 pm A very good list for the new year, thank you Alan :)

Thank you Gabrielle. I hope you get a chance to turn your refractors on some of its beauties.
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
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"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"No good deed goes unpunished." (various)
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?” (Scarecrow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#6

Post by Bigzmey »


Great list with nice variety of targets Alan! We just need some clear skies. :) Happy New Year!
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102ED; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD, 8" SCT, 150ST, Onyx 80ED; iOptron: Hankmeister 6" Mak; SW: 7" Mak; Meade: 80ST.
Mounts: SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; iOptron: AZMP; ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: APM: 100-90 APO; Canon: IS 15x50; Orion: Binoviewer, LG II 15x70, WV 10x50, Nikon: AE 16x50, 10x50, 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68, 62; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV.
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Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S, 6-color set; Astronomik: UHC.

Observing: DSOs: 3106 (Completed: Messier, Herschel 1, 2, 3. In progress: H2,500: 2180, S110: 77). Doubles: 2382, Comets: 34, Asteroids: 255
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#7

Post by Graeme1858 »


Alan, you have done yourself proud with this bimonthly compilation of celestial objects in Orion! A fine collection of familiar and not so familiar targets.

As it goes my next astroimaging target was going to be NGC2174. I've got the 6.3 FR back in and the guiding re-calibrated ready to go, just waiting for a clear night. As for the other objects on your list, I've imaged the flame nebula and found it every bit as diaphanous as you describe. And I've done the horse head but didn't capture any flat frames so the dust bunnies are prominent. If the opportunity arises I would like another go at this one now that I'm running on LRGB but West is my least unobstructed aspect so I'm going to need the weather to improve quite quickly!

Two months would be too hopeful to capture all your Jan/Feb targets so I might have a go at the open clusters with my binoculars.

Excellent list! Thanks

Graeme
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#8

Post by kt4hx »


Bigzmey wrote: Sun Dec 31, 2023 7:45 pm Great list with nice variety of targets Alan! We just need some clear skies. :) Happy New Year!

Thank you Andrey. Yes, the common issue of clear skies for all! :icon-smile:

Graeme1858 wrote: Sun Dec 31, 2023 7:54 pm Alan, you have done yourself proud with this bimonthly compilation of celestial objects in Orion! A fine collection of familiar and not so familiar targets.

As it goes my next astroimaging target was going to be NGC2174. I've got the 6.3 FR back in and the guiding re-calibrated ready to go, just waiting for a clear night. As for the other objects on your list, I've imaged the flame nebula and found it every bit as diaphanous as you describe. And I've done the horse head but didn't capture any flat frames so the dust bunnies are prominent. If the opportunity arises I would like another go at this one now that I'm running on LRGB but West is my least unobstructed aspect so I'm going to need the weather to improve quite quickly!

Two months would be too hopeful to capture all your Jan/Feb targets so I might have a go at the open clusters with my binoculars.

Excellent list! Thanks

Graeme

Thank you Graeme. I know for imagers, working on all these objects might be a bit challenging in the two month period, but for visual observers it might be easier. Of course those dealing with heavy LP, some of the objects will be truly challenging. But there are some bright and easy ones there, sort of something for every condition and instrument. Good luck as you work your way through as many as possible.
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
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"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"No good deed goes unpunished." (various)
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?” (Scarecrow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#9

Post by Jnicholes »


Pardon my ignorance, but I assume that you find the objects in this list, and you post pictures here? Is that part of the challenge?

If it is, challenge accepted. I have a clear sky today, potentially clear tonight. Might as well use my new telescope in this challenge. I’ll see how many I can get.

Then, again, I may not go out tonight. It depends on how I feel. I came down with strep throat. Just got the diagnosis today.
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

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Post by kt4hx »


Jnicholes wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2024 7:26 pm Pardon my ignorance, but I assume that you find the objects in this list, and you post pictures here? Is that part of the challenge?

If it is, challenge accepted. I have a clear sky today, potentially clear tonight. Might as well use my new telescope in this challenge. I’ll see how many I can get.

Then, again, I may not go out tonight. It depends on how I feel. I came down with strep throat. Just got the diagnosis today.

Absolutely correct! You can post your experience with the objects for Jan/Feb in this thread. We encourage and enjoy seeing how one another are doing with these objects, whether you are a visual observer or sketcher, or you do imaging. Everyone's efforts are appreciated, as that is part of sharing the beauty and wonder of the night skies. We share and we learn. Good luck and look forward to your contributions whenever the sky is cooperative for you and you have the time.
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"No good deed goes unpunished." (various)
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?” (Scarecrow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#11

Post by John Baars »


After weeks on end rain and clouds, even months...there was a clear, freezing evening. As far as I could see almost all amateurs in the Lowlands went outside! The Pleiades is one of the objects of the month over here, so my first target was the Seven Sisters. A beautiful sight! With the four incher and a blue Baader CCD B filter I even could make out some of the nebulosity that surround certain stars. No scattered light from the bright stars that is. A little trick I learned from J. Gardavski.

As always, the Seven Sisters were wonderful again! As were other winter kings and queens. That was a treat!
Attached is a map of Atlas, Pleione and Alcyone cobbled together in Paint. Strictly speaking, Atlas and Pleione are the daddy and mommy of the Pleiades and therefore do not actually belong to the Seven Sisters. But you would miss them if they suddenly dropped out.... :)

I always use that area in winter to determine the limiting magnitude of a 4 inch refractor. That way the transparency can be assessed a bit. The little star of magnitude 13.2 that can only be seen in excellent transparency ( and often seeing) with averted vision, was not seen by me in the 10 cm refractor last night. Seeing was good. Transparency just down a notch.

Alcyone 2.jpg

Alcyone 3.jpg


By the way, it does not take that much nebulosity to make the stars of 11.5 and fainter disappear like snow in the sun.


And of course one of the objects of the month by the Skysearchers had to be visited. I chose for NGC1980, with her bright Iota Orionis, a triple star. Nair al Saif : "Tip of the Sword". A very nice surprise. The moderate 4 incher showed it without delay. There was some nebulosity visible but that could have been scattered light as well. I have made a sketch of it.

NGC 1980 final.jpg
Refractors in frequency of use : *SW Evostar 120ED F/7.5 (all round ), * Vixen 102ED F/9 (vintage), both on Vixen GPDX.
GrabnGo on Alt/AZ : *SW Startravel 102 F/5 refractor( widefield, Sun, push-to), *OMC140 Maksutov F/14.3 ( planets).
Most used Eyepieces: *Panoptic 24, *Morpheus 14, *Leica ASPH zoom, *Zeiss barlow, *Pentax XO5.
Commonly used bino's : *Jena 10X50 , * Canon 10X30 IS, *Swarovski Habicht 7X42, * Celestron 15X70, *Kasai 2.3X40
Rijswijk Public Observatory: * Astro-Physics Starfire 130 f/8, * 6 inch Newton, * C9.25, * Meade 14 inch LX600 ACF, *Lunt.
Amateur astronomer since 1970.
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helicon United States of America
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#12

Post by helicon »


Thanks for the list Alan. I am hoping to get a break in the mostly wet, snowy, sleety weather. Orion is tops on my agenda. A bit low toward the horizon so it doesn't clear the trees for the most part but I will head down to the marina to take it in. Hopefully I will be able to see Lepus, the bunny that the dog is chasing as well.
-Michael
Refractors: ES AR152 f/6.5 Achromat on Twilight II, Celestron 102mm XLT f/9.8 on Celestron Heavy Duty Alt Az mount, KOWA 90mm spotting scope
Binoculars: Celestron SkyMaster 15x70, Bushnell 10x50
Eyepieces: Various, GSO Superview, 9mm Plossl, Celestron 25mm Plossl
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#13

Post by kt4hx »


John Baars wrote: Mon Jan 08, 2024 1:02 pm After weeks on end rain and clouds, even months...there was a clear, freezing evening. As far as I could see almost all amateurs in the Lowlands went outside! The Pleiades is one of the objects of the month over here, so my first target was the Seven Sisters. A beautiful sight! With the four incher and a blue Baader CCD B filter I even could make out some of the nebulosity that surround certain stars. No scattered light from the bright stars that is. A little trick I learned from J. Gardavski.

As always, the Seven Sisters were wonderful again! As were other winter kings and queens. That was a treat!
Attached is a map of Atlas, Pleione and Alcyone cobbled together in Paint. Strictly speaking, Atlas and Pleione are the daddy and mommy of the Pleiades and therefore do not actually belong to the Seven Sisters. But you would miss them if they suddenly dropped out.... :)

I always use that area in winter to determine the limiting magnitude of a 4 inch refractor. That way the transparency can be assessed a bit. The little star of magnitude 13.2 that can only be seen in excellent transparency ( and often seeing) with averted vision, was not seen by me in the 10 cm refractor last night. Seeing was good. Transparency just down a notch.


Alcyone 2.jpg



Alcyone 3.jpg



By the way, it does not take that much nebulosity to make the stars of 11.5 and fainter disappear like snow in the sun.


And of course one of the objects of the month by the Skysearchers had to be visited. I chose for NGC1980, with her bright Iota Orionis, a triple star. Nair al Saif : "Tip of the Sword". A very nice surprise. The moderate 4 incher showed it without delay. There was some nebulosity visible but that could have been scattered light as well. I have made a sketch of it.


NGC 1980 final.jpg

Thank you John. Your rendition of M45 in Paint is very nice and clearly exhibits the brighter members of this cluster. The sketch of NGC 1980 is excellent. Agree totally that discerning whether or not the glow seen around Sigma is truly nebulous or light scatter can be a bit tricky.
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
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"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#14

Post by kt4hx »


helicon wrote: Tue Jan 09, 2024 11:58 am Thanks for the list Alan. I am hoping to get a break in the mostly wet, snowy, sleety weather. Orion is tops on my agenda. A bit low toward the horizon so it doesn't clear the trees for the most part but I will head down to the marina to take it in. Hopefully I will be able to see Lepus, the bunny that the dog is chasing as well.

Good luck Michael. I know about weather of late. I hope you are able to catch some of the treasures of Orion, plus catch a glimpse of the elusive rabbit!
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"No good deed goes unpunished." (various)
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?” (Scarecrow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#15

Post by Graeme1858 »


NGC 2174, The Monkey Head nebula. North is down. My first LRGB image of 2024. Captured over 4 nights, the first 3 sessions ended prematurely due to -3°C temperatures causing equipment disconnections. Managed a four hour session on the 19th but after blinking out the guiding lost star dodgy frames I stacked 30 x L, 24 x R, 6 x G, 8 x B all at 3 minutes exposure. 3 hours 24 minutes integration. I'm pleased to have caught the nebulosity around NGC2174 and Pismis 27.


NGC2174.jpg

Hi Res Version


Sorry to report Alan it was too cold for binocular views of the clusters! I'll try that when it warms up a bit!

Good challenge.

Graeme
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for January/February 2024 – Orion, the other stuff

#16

Post by kt4hx »


Outstanding image Graeme! I really like the detail and color. You brought out the additional features I labeled in the image I attached in the article. I understand about the cold. We went through a bit of a chill here as well, but now we have been above normal temps, which I will not complain about. However, the moon has been a deterrent to my doing any observing just yet. But I hope to get back out there soon, clouds permitting of course. Well done my friend and thank you for the contribution!
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"No good deed goes unpunished." (various)
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?” (Scarecrow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
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