Bright nebulae from Coe after sacrifices

by Jamie Dillon

That really is the one observers' superstition I believe in. The one about new gear bringing bad weather I think is hogwash, just actually a good excuse for bragging. Besides, some of best skies around here come up right after Christmas.

But Saturday night again demonstrated the utility of brave sacrifice. Joe Bob, Rashad, Rob Hawley, some new guys and I had the Coe lot to ourselves around midnight. The BP, the Beastmaster and several others of the Quality has already shagged it. I was sitting yakking with Jardine, looking at the sky, said, "Whoa, I better get busy." Felix had had plenty of time to cool, but I hadn't mounted the finders yet.

For those of you who read TAC, it was me who was showing Rob Hawley ngc 281. I'd seen this bright emission nebula from Palomar the one night Liam and I were there with LeFevre, Shah and some of their TAC-South buddies. That was in Bob Nanz' 8" Diccovery. Made a note to go back there. It's got all kinds of structure and features, which esp jump out in the OIII. Saw an especially bright gout of nebula to SE, dark lanes thru center running N-S, a big dark clump along S end, and an extended bright arm to SW. Nice.

1931 is a reflection-emission nebula right by M36 in Auriga. Had never seen it before. Every reference I have gives the diameter of the nebula at a maximum of 3'. Along with the obvious bright nebula around it's central star, with the OIII I saw nebulosity extended around that central patch in loose clumps, over ca 20' diameter. Have no idea if it's background mottling or related to 1931 itself.

Sat and played with the reflection nebulae just north of M42 and M43. On the short way to that bright tall W of an open cluster, 1981, there's an obvious cluster, 1977, with surrounding nebulosity. Right north of 1977 is an extended patch of more nebula, which I'd never looked at carefully, all the dozens of times I've scanned over that marvelous part of sky. 1973 and 1975 are the two related patches of reflection nebula that show up there as soon as a person looks systematically.

Jardine showed off Pallas, another thrill, my 3rd asteroid with Ceres and Vesta.

Really was a lovely night in all, warm, manageable wind in short doses, great company. Studying ngc 281 was memorable. Y'all have fun with New Moon coming up.