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Old 17-08-2020, 06:07 AM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Tropo-Bob is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Cairns
Posts: 1,004
Well, I have accomplished something that I really never thought I would. I found the Horsehead Nebula with my 140mm Vixen, without the aid of a filter. However, I did place a towel over my head to keep out stray light.

I was setting the scope up at 4.20am, before Moonrise. The next part of the plan to use my Panoptic Eps fell apart because the belt star Zeta was in the field of view. I made good progress with a 18mm Radian, before changing to a 15mm Delite (53x). I had thought this would be too high a magnification and too low a size for the exit pupil (2.6mm), but it was the most useful EP.

Other things were also different than I imagined. I had heard the nebula described as a bar with a notch in it. For me, the illuminated background nebula was triangular in shape and varied in luminosity to an extent that it made finding the silhouette difficult. I felt it was like trying to find something that was camouflaged. My first reaction on finding it, was that the head was upside down. I have read that is a common reaction so I felt this verified my sighting. I tried to see which way the ‘head’ was facing. Ha, that was an impossible task.

The brighter, background nebula was an interesting object in itself. After describing it as a triangle, I found traces of it much further away from the Horsehead than I anticipated. However, the thing that was really strange was that I saw it as very light-pink in colour. This does not make sense, as I could barely see it, so how I see it well enough to see its colour? Its large size perhaps, or some stray light from sodium street lights, or was it just the very beginnings of dawn?

I would like to try seeing it again with the appropriate filter, but it is somewhat expensive and I do not need it to view anything else. If someone has one and is kind enough to temporarily loan it to me, please send me a PM.
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