Montebello, 27 Sept. 2006

by Steve Gottlieb

On Monday night, I met a couple of north bay folks at Lake Sonoma for a very pleasant evening of observing with my 18-inch Starmaster. Despite calling ahead to notify the rangers of my plans, the gate at Lone Rock was locked when I arrived at sunset, so we ended up using the Grey Pine Flat lot to observe. Overall, conditions were very good with a slight warm breeze and low humidity - so I observed all evening with just a short-sleeve shirt. Transparency was only fair, particularly low in the south and east, probably due to thin clouds, but was quite good at higher elevations, so I mostly hung around in the northern Milky Way and logged several interesting objects. Needless to say, I was a bit tired teaching the next morning at 7:30 on very little sleep!


Lynds Dark Nebula 810
19 45 24.1 +27 51 01
Size 18x9

18" (9/25/06): I found this dark nebula surprisingly prominent at 115x. It appeared as an irregular dark region, ~11'x8' (with extensions to 15'x10') embedded within a rich star field. This dark cloud is surrounded by a fairly bright Milky Way background that provides a good contrast. Two mag 9 stars are located on the west side (LDN 810 extends beyond these two bright stars). A chain of five mag 13-13.5 stars is superimposed near the center with a second fainter chain (more curving) that is close following the brighter chain.

Abell 64 = PGC 63630 = PK 44-9.1 = CGCG 397-005
19 45 34.8 +05 33 52
Size 40"x27"; PA = 69d

18" (9/25/06): this misclassified "Abell planetary" (notice the mismatched aliases - both galaxy and planetary) is actually a small galaxy situated in a rich star field (galactic latitude -9). At 220x it appeared very faint, fairly small, slightly elongated, ~35"x30". Not difficult once identified and could be held steadily, though appeared featureless. A small right triangle of stars consisting of two mag 10 and a mag 12 lies close SE (hypotenuse 3' length) and the galaxy is collinear with the shorter leg.

Sharpless 2-90 = LBN 144
19 49 12 +26 50.8
Size 8x3

18" (9/25/06): I was surprised to easily pick up this faint emission nebula unfiltered at 115x as I missed it on 7/20/98 from the Sierra Buttes with the 17.5". It appeared as a large, ~5'x4', diffuse oval glow in a very rich star field. A number of mag 12-14 stars are superimposed. There was no response, though, using an OIII or H-beta filter. The periphery is not well defined but the surface brightness was brighter than the surrounding Milky Way and the observation felt secure despite the lack of filter response. Located ~18' SW of mag 6.5 HD 187614.

IC 5070 = Pelican Nebula = LBN 350
20 50.8 +44 21
Size 80x70

18" (9/25/06): I hadn't visited the Pelican Nebula in quite awhile and had forgotten about this huge, interesting emission nebula. The view was fascinating at 113x with an OIII filter as this object overfilled the 44' field. I started exploring to the west of 4.8- magnitude 57 Cygni. Possibly the brightest section is on a line with this star and a mag 7.2 star further east and corresponds with the neck portion on the Pelican. This is where the ionization front is most evident on photographs. Th elongated "neck" of the Pelican also begins to the west of the bright star and streams off in a wide river of nebulosity towards the southeast and passing out of the field. A long darker lane apparently free of nebulosity isolates the "neck" from the main body of the Pelican. The irregular body spreads out to the south of the neck well beyond the southern edge of the eyepiece field and extends at least 65' from the neck terminating at the SE end with a roundish bright patch of nebulosity ~12' in diameter. The Pelican is located directly west of the North American Nebula and part of the same huge complex of nebulosity in this region.

IC 5068 = LBN 328
20 50 29 +42 30
Size 30

18" (9/25/06): IC 5068 is the second of three very large emission nebulae roughly one degrees south of the southern end of the Pelican Nebula. At 113x and an OIII filter, this object appears very large, diffuse, irregular glow, roughly 25'x20. It is noticeably brighter in a 12' circular region about 10' north of a mag 7.3 star (HD 198690) and a group of brighter stars that are near the southeast side of the nebula.

To the northwest of IC 5068 is an obvious second large patch of nebulosity, generally designated as IC 5068B. This piece is very large and elongated NW to SE, extending perhaps 40'x15'. It contains a bright circular 10' patch to the south of a mag 8 star (SAO 50061). A broad river of faint nebulosity streams away towards the northwest from this brighter region.

To the east of IC 5068 is the least conspicuous section of three very large patches of nebulosity, dubbed IC 5068C. At 113x and OIII filter, this detached piece extends 30'x15' (elongated E-W) and overall has a low surface brightness appearing as a hazy glow. A mag 6.7 star is at the south west end and a mag 7 star is at the eastern edge.

Observing Reports Observing Sites GSSP 2010, July 10 - 14
Frosty Acres Ranch
Adin, CA

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