After the Scouts went to bed

by Jamie Dillon

Last Saturday night was all kinds of fun, worlds colliding, with Scouts and TACos getting on very nicely. After the Scouts had all trundled off to their tents, I actually got some interesting new stuff into the focuser as well.

This was all with Felix, a Celestron 11" f/4.5 Dobs with optics made by Discovery Telescopes. Was using a 22 Pan, 16mm UO Koenig, 10mm and 6mm Radians. Conditions were nice, with the smoke from Ord having dropped out or headed westbound. Limiting magnitude stayed around 6.0, seeing was good, 4/5, with some excellent moments.

Started with a big, pretty, easy OC in Cygnus I'd somehow missed. 6811, filling the field of the 22, over a degree wide. Lots of smaller stars in around the brighter sparks. Then onto Pegasus to catch the last of a long project of finding all the galaxies there in SkyAtlas. NGC 14 had eluded me once before, just over 2 years before from the same spot. With a surface brightness of 13.9, it still took some looking, irregular, pretty big, a fuzzy patch just at the limit of averted vision at 210x. NGC 57 is in the same neighborhood, near Algenib, bright core and oval shape, interestingly 240 mly away, per SkyAtlas Companion.

Finding 7280, off west of Markab, I made sure I sketched the field, because an adjacent star wouldn't come to focus, a few arcminutes away, and sure enough it's MCG + 3-57-6, my first clearly confirmed MCG, also at 210x. On beyond zebra. Cool.

Later, after staring at Saturn and M42 for long whiles, decided to go get one more new object, 1491 in Perseus, another bright, interesting emission nebula. 281 in Cassiopeia is the EN I'd first seen from Coe the weekend before. This is getting to be fun. 1491 showed to be some 15' in diameter, bright and pretty unfiltered, with dark veins running E-W. Veins were good in16mm at 79x. In 22 again, at 57x with an OIII, the bright core jumped out around a star in the center. Also arms to W with dark veins were clear in the OIII. Interesting object.

Hope all the lunatics at Montebello and the Peak have fun tonight howling, growing extra body hair. DDK