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11/19/2011

Some Harder Late Fall/Winter Objects to Hunt Down, Some just for fun

Now, back to my usual format. I am going to post here about some of the harder or less known late fall or winter objects that are up in the sky to view. There are several, I am going to post images and sketches from the net with the links so their owners have credit, so here we go.

1. We'll start in the constellation of Sculptor, a constellation that for us at 41 degrees north is about at the limit of how low I will go for an object. The object is NGC 55 as seen in this image by Joe Cauchi's photo album at this link:



















In terms of sketches there were several that I liked and will post links to them here. Faith, over at FJ Astronomy, a site I follow has a wonderful sketch located on her website here. From the Deep Sky Observer's Online Database is this sketch found here. It looks to be from a 1885 sketch from Melbourne. Steve Gottlieb has this to say on viewing NGC 55 in a 13 inch scope from the NGC/IC Database here: "Fairly bright. A very faint eastern portion is possibly detached from the bright WNW section." Finally there is a sketch and observation on Astronomy Sketch of the Day by the late Scott Mellish found here. A worthy candidate to go after right now!


2. Simeis 147 or Sharpless 2-240 is a supernova remnant located in the constellations of Auriga and Taurus (image from Astronomy Picture of the Day at this link):




















This object can be extremely challenging. I have tried for it twice, and want to say I saw a brightening but could not confirm it. Thus for me, it stays unobserved and an object I am going after this winter. I have found the following links the most helpful in preparing to observe this object. The first is Bright Regions in Simeis 147 located here. The second is linked to the first and is a sketch and observation by Rich Jakiel found here. I love both his sketch interimposed on an image so you can see what he saw in relation to the actual. My focus will be to find the field of the region identified as B and then work from there since the region B area seems to be the easiest to see and gets one in the mindset of this faint winter object which is very large. My 14 should show it locally and it is on the list for the 20" also. Here is an article on S-147 that discusses its point of origin, possibly Messier 36 and the pulsar that is the remnant of the exploding star.

3. IC 443 a Supernova Remnant in the constellation of Gemini (image from this site).



















This supernova remnant from a supernova explosion that is estimated to have occurred around 3000-30000 years ago. Deep in the nebulosity is a neutron star that is emitting x-rays, all that is left from the exploding star of 1.4 to 3 solar masses. Sites like this one contain both observations and a digital sketch and discusses that with a OIII or UHC filter even a 8 inch can spots parts of this. I'm anxious to give this one a go and to compare the views of the 14 inch vs the 20 inch and this object will take up one whole post on the blog as I want to including my finder charts, my observations and any sketch that I can do. I'm excited about this one.


4. Observing Galaxies in Messier 44.



















In the image above from E. Riveria at this link, you can see some of the fainter galaxies that are observable from within the Beehive Cluster. Jay McNeil at this link discusses observing and imaging these galaxies. I'll need to do some more research on this and then edit the post here.

Also, Messier 44 has about 12 white dwarfs in it, but I am unable to located any information on them or if any are observable (some I would assume are) so I have another quest.

I'm late getting to an ATM session so I am going to stop here for now and will add the remaining objects later today.

5. The next object isn't that hard, but it is a fun planetary nebula. NGC 1514 is a PN in the constellation of Taurus and is known as the Crystal Ball Nebula. Here is a finder chart image with Perseus above and Messier 45 to the right.















Here is a link to the NGC/IC database entry on this object. Here is an image of the PN by Don Goldman from his site located here.


















Here is a link to the APOD image. Here is a 2010 article from Bad Astronomy that shows WISE data that reveals rings around the PN. This is a rather bright object with a nice 9.5 magnitude central star and responds well to the OIII or to the UHC. I will try the OIII on this one. Here is a sketch by Jeremy Perez to take a look at.

6. IC 2149 Planetary Nebula in Auriga.





















In Tom Trusock's Small Wonders Auriga this object is found at the very bottom. Here is a sketch by Jeff Young at CloudyNights.

7. NGC 1532, Edge on Spiral Galaxy in Eridanus






















If you image, there is quite a bit of structure here in evident. Here is a link to a sketch of the item. Look for the companion NGC 1531, a dwarf galaxy that is interacting with this wonderful object. Here is a link to the NGC/IC database on this object.

8. NGC 1399 in Fornax, an elliptical galaxy. I'm including this very southern galaxy because it was here the Chandra X Ray and the Magellan Telescope in Chile found evidence for a star being consumed by an intermediate size black hole as found in this quick video put out by ChandraHarvard. From Chandra Harvard comes this wonderful image. Note the smaller interacting galaxies around NGC 1399.




















8. Here is another galaxy, NGC 1398 in Fornax and visible in the winter though low in the southern sky. Here is an image:














This spiral galaxy has a transversal central bar with a bright central core. The galaxy has distinct arms and then outside of them, some more fainter arms. Wonderful object though low in the sky from 41 degrees north. I could not find a sketch of this object.

I have more objects to add and will do so over the next several days as the schedule allows.

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