Observing Log 27/1/2019 @ 21:30-22:30 Lichfield Andrew Thornett

Observing Log 27/1/2019 @ 21:30-22:30


Andrew Thornett



Orion 10 Dobsonian, 9mm and 14mm and 20mm Explore Scientific Eyepieces, 6mm Ethos eyepiece, tonight I had also searched for and found my 2 UHC filter to see if this helped with nebulosity.

Telrad finder.

Lichfield, current Location 52º 41′ N 001º 49′ W

No moon during observing period. Intermittent cloud banks meant rushing to find objects between cloud.


Orion Nebula, M42, NGC 1976, LBN 974 – the UHC makes it look very bright and glow with an almost supernatural type appearance. Lots of detail in arms with and without filter tonight – more so than on Friday night as sky clarity far better than it was then (in gaps between clouds). Filter makes the nebula very bright.,


NGC 1982. Not easy to see tonight which surprised me given brightness of M42.


Owl Nebula, M97, NGC 3587, ARO 25, PK 148+57.1, PN G148.4+57.0, VV 59. On Friday night after RAG I observed M108, but cloud came in and prevented me from searching for the Owl Nebula. I did have one brief opportunity to scan the area and did not see it during that scan.

Tonight, I used the UHC filter with 20mm ES and immediately dropped on to it without any difficulty. The filter made it stand out as bright glowing patch.,


Double Cluster, h Persei, NGC 869, C 14 & Chi Persei,NGC 884,C 14. Beautiful without filter and glowing with filter – VERY impressive sight!


St 2. I mention in passing as can’t miss it as search for Double Cluster.,


Pacman Nebula, NGC 281, LBN 616. Really interesting observation. This object was definitely not visible without UHC filter. With the UHC filter on 20mm ES, once I star-hopped to this object and clearly identified it from the distinctive pattern of stars within it that are replicated quite exactly in Sky Safari, I could then map out the extent of the nebulosity. However, I am also confident that I could not have found this nebula tonight even with the UHC filter without first star-hopping, because it is so faint and (more importantly) looks very much like one of the adjacent star clouds. I have experienced this before with observations of faint nebulosity – definite observations seen but only able to obtain them after I carefully star-hopped to the object first – in particular I have had the same experience observing the North American Nebula in the past.


M108, NGC 3556, UGC 6225, PGC 34030, MCG 9-18-98, CGCG 267-48, CGCG 268-1, IRAS 11085+5556. Another definite observation after star hopping this time WITHOUT UHC filter. Adding the filter meant the galaxy was no longer visible. I carefully confirmed this ensuring that I star-hopped to the correct location for the galaxy both with and without filter on the eyepiece.


Caroline’s Rose, NGC 7789. Finding sky objects is a bit like catching fish. Even if you do not know what to expect, once you find it/the fish bites then you immediately know you have got it. It has been a long time since I last observed this object and I had forgotten what it looked like but once I saw it in the eyepiece, I just knew what it was. Lots of pale dots of stars close together like a school of children amongst the more widely dispersed adult population!


Bode’s Nebulae, M 81, NGC 3031, UGC 5318, PGC 28630, MCG 12-10-10, CGCG 333-7, IRAS 09514+6918,2MASS 09553318+6903549. After clearly not being able to observe M108 with the UHC filter, I wondered what its effect on M81/82 would be? These two objects can be frustrating, sometimes easy to find other times elusive. It took me several goes to find them tonight. When I eventually did, they were bright without filter, glowing and with bright cores with filter but less detail in the peripheral regions with the filter I think…, but I can’t be 100% sure and would value anyone else’s experiences – please let me know what you think.,


I closed up shop at 22:30 – work tomorrow – shame!



1 Response

  1. Nice report Andy.

    I often have the same issue with M81/82- sometimes so easy, other times really hard. I think sometimes it’s because they’re close to the zenith (or at least I blame that!).
    None of my filters (o3, UHC, neodymium) seem to really help with them at all- mainly they seem to dim the view. I have much better luck with nebulas when I’m using filters.

    I’m still hopeful of seeing the spiral arms on m81 through my dob. I’ve tried several times at home and I can see something, but just not quite defined enough to tick the box…

    It’s still pretty cool seeing all those billions of stars in one field of view!

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