Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Three Months Later: Winter Imaging

At the end of November I listed the targets that might get me to the goal of 100 ALBN images. These were mainly the brightest objects that remained on the list. Quite a few were during the winter months, and I despaired that a bad winter would prolong this project. In the winter of 2013-2014 I did no imaging at all. I really needed to get at least seven objects off the list or face another winter of ALBN imaging. So how did things turn out?

Here's the list I drew up, with newly acquired objects in bold green:

January: IC 2169, LBN 943, Sh 2-280, NGC 2296, IC 468, NGC 2359
November: IC 360, NGC 1555, NGC 1579
December: LBN 945, NGC 1931, Sh 2-264, NGC 1999, Sh 2-240, LBN 962, NGC 2149, NGC 2174, IC 2162

Sometimes all it takes is a good night once in a while. One night in January produced three objects (LBN 962, NGC 1999, Sh 2-240); a night in February gave Sh 2-264, and this week a couple of nights have given NGC 2359, IC 468, and IC 2162. Add one more object that was found on an existing image of the Rosette Nebula. That's eight winter objects. (Updated 3/14: IC 2169 makes it nine.)

There's something of a gap now between the fading objects in the winter Milky Way and those of the summer. If I can get a couple of clear nights between now and the first quarter moon I can probably pick up a few more before they're lost to the brightness of dusk.

Next time: Imaging a dwarf planet!

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