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Highlands Astronomical Society

Observing Report - Public Session 19/01/2018

Added on 19 January 2018

Time: 20:00-22:15

Location: JSL Observatory 57.48 N, -4.09 W

Conditions: Seeing: 3/5. Transparency: 1-2/5. Lots of cloud but clear to the South, if hazy. Breezy, -1°C.

Instruments: Meade LX200R 14" (TMB 40mm, 89×), 10×42 binoculars


  • M1T  (SnR, Tau)
  • M42B,T  (EN+RN, Ori)
  • M43T  (EN, Ori)
  • M44B  (OC,Cnc)
  • M50T  (OC, Mon)
  • M78T  (RN, Ori)
  • M82T  (IG, UMa)
  • NGC1977T  (HII+RN, Ori)
  • NGC2158T  (OC, Gem)
  • NGC2237T  (HII, Mon)
  • NGC2244T  (OC, Mon)
  • Cr70B  (OC, Ori)
  • 34 OriT  (DS, Ori)
  • 39 OriT  (DS, Ori)
  • 119 TauT  (CS, Tau)

B : observed with binoculars, T : observed with telescope


  • M1T (SnR, Crab Nebula): brief look to check alignment. Some mottling/structure with averted vision.

  • M42T (EN+RN, Orion Nebula): observed with a 2" Baader UHC filter fitted to the TMB 40mm. Filter made an amazing difference; ‘wings’ extended around to almost form a complete loop, and had obvious structure (‘serrations’). Region of nebula below Trapezium showed very detailed and delicate ‘wisps’, with curving shapes and mottling. Incredible view!

  • M42B (EN+RN, Orion Nebula): observed with a 2" Baader UHC filter held in front of the right objective. Much darker sky background and reduced haze. ‘Wings’ of nebula extended much further than without the filter, and region below Trapezium became much more prominent. An interesting experiment.

  • M43T (EN, de Mairian’s Nebula): the UHC filter helped to make a clear distinction between M42 and M43, which showed an obvious ‘enlarged comma’ shape.

  • M50T (OC, Heart-shaped Cluster): a surprisingly good cluster for the relatively high magnification/narrow TFOV of the SCT. Full resolution, and enough ‘breathing space’ around the cluster to retain some context.

  • M82T (IG, Cigar Galaxy): very brief look to check alignment; no detail noted, although area was hazy at the time.

  • NGC1977T (HII+RN, Running Man Nebula): easily found by manually slewing up from M42/43 with the UHC filter fitted. Most prominent were the darker regions around/within the nebula, but the nebulosity did become apparent after a short while and showed some shape and vague structure.

  • NGC2237/2244T (HII/OC, Rosette Nebula/Satellite Cluster): core of cluster well defined, but with the narrow TFOV at 89×, the full extent of the nebula was out of view. However, a dark ‘hole’ through the middle of the rosette was seen, with obvious nebulosity surrounding it and extending beyond the FOV using the UHC filter.

  • 34 OrionisT (DS, Mintaka): wide double at 89×. Secondary much fainter, but still appeared bright with 14" aperture.

  • 39 OrionisT (DS, Meissa): very tight double (4.5"), both white stars but the secondary fainter. Just about a clean split (i.e. dark space) at 89×.

  • 119 TauT (CS, The Ruby Star): easily found with the naked eye to the lower right of Tianguan and slewed to manually. Nice to see in a large scope, with vivid red colour against a sparse, dark background.




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