Tuesday, January 24, 2023

23 january 2023, 60mm

I finally had the opportunity to strap my "new old" Tasco 7TE-5 refractor to my 6-inch.  60mm with a 1000mm focal length, 1960s vintage.  After cleaning fungus off the objective and flocking, it gave some pretty sharp terrestrial views.  On the scope I only used very low power (just to align it with the 6-inch), but it was pretty sharp too.  There is some vignetting, probably from my flocking, which I will fix at some point.  It causes some balance problems on the mount, and I'm a little worried about it going out of alignment under the rain tarp, but these are all problems which can be resolved with time.

I made a few observations of Struve pairs.  Seeing was quite poor so I didn't stick with it for long.  It was also the first time using SkyTools with a new laptop, and I found some issues to fix too (screen brightness, screen settings, etc.).

STF 984 AB: 152; 200x: In poor seeing it apears mostly as an elongated smudge, hardening at the ends with seeing to a very close split.  WDS says not physical, and there is -74% parallax range overlap, it is not.
06h 56m 16.59s +32° 26' 41.4" P.A. 155.00 sep 3.3 mag 8.67,10.80 Sp G5

STF1054 AB: 152; 125x: 1 Dm, pretty wide, with a C pair in a similar PA a little further out.  WDS says parallax indicates physical, but the Gaia DR3 data shows -78% parallax range overlap, much too far to be binary.
07h 18m 05.48s +34° 57' 06.3" P.A. 292.00 sep 18.7 mag 8.16,9.96 Sp F2 dist. 139.08 pc (453.68 l.y.)

STF 983 AB: 152; 200x: B appears with averted vision only, 3 Dm, fairly wide.  It lies within a triangle of near equal magnitude stars.  WDS says it is not physical, and there is no parallax range overlap.
06h 56m 13.67s +34° 27' 32.7" P.A. 36.00 sep 10.7 mag 8.70,12.70 Sp B9

Sunday, January 22, 2023


After more than a month of rain, finally there was an open window to go out observing this new moon.  This Friday night was to be the clearest of several murky days, so I left in the early afternoon to beat traffic and headed to the Pinnacles.  When I arrived around 5pm, Pawan was nearly all set-up with his excellent 22-inch reflector.  I went for a walk to stretch my legs on the scenic overlook trail behind the visitor's station, and saw a deer and gazed at the yellow, orange, and dusky Pinnacles during the "golden hour."  It's my favorite thing about the park.  I noticed around a dozen condors circling the high peaks, all getting ready to settle down for the night.  Some of the High Peaks trails are closed due to nesting season.  Next time I will go and do a full hike up those trails.

There were around a dozen observers, too, who set up in the parking lot, some arriving after dark.  Some seemed to forget about the visitor center's motion detector lights, which flipped on several times (I set-up with my car as a light shield).  Generally, everyone was good about light control; the Astro photographer next to me even moved his scope when he noticed I was a visual observer, which was really nice.  But one guy slept in his car which was turned on all night long -- the engine noise was very annoying and made me feel I was at a truck stop.  It took away the silence.  

Pawan very kindly pulled up Mira at my request to let me hunt for JOY1.  I thought I noticed some little bump in the diffraction at the correct PA, but nothing I could claim.  Komal was there with his new refractor, and we looked at a couple double stars -- his scope gives about as perfect star images as I've ever seen, it's a really great scope.  Akarsh shared a view of Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF, which has a very bright fan-shaped dust trail sprouting from the bright coma.  I thought I saw the very thinnest ion tail, but it petered out very shortly after the dust tail.  

For my own observing I continued through the Sharpless catalog with the 4-/8-inch combo refractor and night vision.  The sky quality was not very good.  Seeing was poor early on, improving a little by 11pm.  SQML maxed out at 21.00 due to a blanket of upper-level water vapor.  It was cold too--less dew than I expected but there was frost on everything from about 12am on.  I was dressed warmly and didn't mind.  The observing was a little frustrating -- many objects next on the list were <3' and are really tough given the lack of image scale in my set-up.  And the larger objects were not very spectacular either.  I tried to mix in some showpiece objects, but the sky quality degraded the view, so it didn't help.  All with 67mm Plossl+, PVS-14; comments and images from Vogel's Sharpless Atlas.

Sh2-192/-193/-194: 02 47 13.3 +61 59 17: A trio of very small, very faint nebula, all <2' in diameter.  They were easy with the 4-inch and Ha since they are clustered together, so their combined glow helped make them more noticeable.  Best view with the 8-inch.  -194 is the largest and brightest, a fairly uniform round glow around a star.  -192 and -193 are smaller, fainter, and more oval shaped, also around stars.  Vogel: "Distance: 3200 pc, Sh 2-192, Sh 2-193 and Sh 2-194 are all near the W4 and W5 complexes." 

Sh2-196: 02 51 18.8 +62 13 53, 4': Very small, round, diffuse edges, with a slightly less bright central region, making it look like a puffy ring nebula.  8-inch Ha & dual band.  Sh2-192/-193/-194 trio on edge of field to the SW.  Vogel: "Distance: 3200 pc, This HII region lies between W4 and W5."

Sh2-195/-197: Maffei II.  I scanned around for this but did not find it.

Sh2-198: 02 50 01.0 +59 42 01, 9':  =Simeis 5.  Bright, small arc of nebula around a bright central star, with an extremely faint cloud of small nebula on the side of the star opposite from the arc.  This nebula lies on the southern periphery of the "Soul" nebula.  Vogel: "Distance: 2900 pc. This region is located towards the south of the W5 star formation area / radio source."

Sh2-200: 03 10 44.7 +62 48 55, 6' = PNe HDW2.  Difficult, extremely faint small ring nebula with a distinctive arc of 8 faint stars along its northern rim.  The nebula is thicker and extends to the north in a smudge.  8-inch only, dual band Ha+OIII.

Sh2-201: 03 03 10.3 +60 28 42, 5': Very weak small nebula around a bright star, a broken-up wedge shape with the northern end narrower than the southern.  Just off the "east coast" of the Soul Nebula.  

Sh2-202: A very large 2°x3° nebulous region in Camelopardalis, to the east of the Soul Nebula.  4-inch and Ha only, it was an extremely faint & heavily mottled contrast change from the rest of the sky, detected only by moving the telescope back and forth.  It is not included in Vogel's Atlas, but there are several good images online, such as this one from Dean Salman's Sharpless Catalog.

Sh2-203: 03 22 00.3 +54 52 40, 45': Extremely faint large cloud of nebula, very mottled and noticed as a weak contrast change when panning the scope, bordered to the east by a triangle of similar magnitude stars, 4-inch Ha.  Difficult.  

Sh2-204: 03 55 45.6 +57 25 45, 40': Long, faint, sharply bowed nebula, appears mottled like a breaking-up contrail, 8-inch Ha.  I did not detect the faint nebulosity within the arc, which shows up in this image.

Sh2-205: 03 56 07.7 +53 11 40, 120': Large, complex cloud, fairly faint, which fills the 4° field in the 4-inch.  -205 itself is an irregularly round cloud and the northern end, slightly brighter than the rest, and seemingly centered on a relatively bright star.  Vogel: "Distance: 900 pc.  The exciting star for this region is believed to be the O8 star HD 24451. Like Sh 2-202, this nebula lies at the edge of the Camelopardalis OB1 association."

Sh2-206: 04 03 13.1 +51 19 46, 50' = NGC1491.  Fairly large, around a bright star, with a very bright forked western rim slanting NE-SW, with layers of diffuse clouds rippling from it to the east and south from there.  4-inch Ha for perspective, 8-inch for detail.  Vogel: "Distance: 3700 pc, Size: 4.4 pc, NGC 1491 is an older, evolved HII region ionized by the O5 star BD +50 886."

Sh2-207 (04 20 04.0 +53 08 37, 4') A very weak, small round glow, diffuse, around a cluster of faint stars, seen with 4-inch Ha but better with 8-inch. Vogel: "Distance: 3400 pc, Size: 4.0 pc, despite its appearance, this is an HII region ionized by an O9.5 IV star and not a planetary nebula."  
Sh2-208 (04 19 45.5 +52 58 39 1'): extremely faint non-stellar roundness, seen with 8-inch Ha only.  Distance: 7600 pc, Size: 2.2 pc.  Contains the optical cluster Waterloo 1 and the infrared cluster [BDS2003] 64." 

Sh2-209: 04 11 03.0 +51 09 47, 14': Roughly round, small, very faint patchy glow, mingled with a small cluster of a dozen faint stars, noticed with 4-inch but better 8-inch, Ha+OIII.  Distance: 7816 pc, Size: 7.0 pc.

Sh2-210: 04 30 59.0 +52 33 10, 20': Seen with 4-inch, better 8-inch, diffuse round mottled cloud, with a brighter nub to the south around a cluster of faint stars, and a wind-blown mist of nebula fading from it to the north.  Distance: 2200 pc, Size: 12.8 pc.  

Sh2-211: 04 36 57.3 +50 56 22, 2': Very small but bright, brokenly round nebula around a close group of stars.  8-inch Ha.  Vogel: "Distance: 5154 pc, Size: 5.7 pc. Contains infrared cluster [BDS2003] 66 and may be embedded in the same CO cloud as Sh 2-212."

Sh2-212: 04 40 37.3 +50 22 52, 5': Appears as a small luminous, cloudy orb with slightly diffuse, mottled interior, brighter on the norther side, with a small tight cluster of faint stars in the middle.  Seen with 4-inch but better in 8-inch, Ha.  Vogel: "Distance: 6593 pc, Size: 18.2 pc. Contains the star cluster NGC 1624 and may be embedded in the same CO cloud as Sh 2-211."

Sh2-213: 04 20 42.9 +44 55 30, 1': Extremely faint, very small streak of nebulosity, appears as an elongated non-stellar glow, in a small tight open cluster (Berkely 11) of ~20 faint stars with 4 brighter.  8-inch Ha only, very difficult.  Vogel: "Distance: 5300 pc, Size: 1.5 pc. Sh 2-213 may be a very faint Stromgren sphere around a B4 class star in the cluster Berkeley 11. If so, it likely lies at a distance of 2100 parsecs."

Sh2-215: 04 17 32.8 +42 36 54 2': = Pa 167 planetary nebula. Very small extremely faint arc N-S and bending to the east, with a star in the northern tip.  This was quite difficult, 8-inch, Ha & dual band Ha+OIII, and a lot of patience only.  

Sh2-216: 04 44 56.9 +46 49 15, 80': = Simeis 288. Very large round glow, with a brighter northeastern rim, very faint mottled middle, and very subtle contrast changes to the western rim.  4-inch Ha.  The view this night was much duller than from a year ago, also from Pinnacles and with the same scope, but with a 0.5 better SQML reading.  Vogel: "Distance: 120 pc.  This is the closest known planetary nebula and one of the oldest."

Sh2-217: 04 58 47.1 +48 00 20, 9': Irregular round cloud, brighter in the mottled middle, with broken and diffuse edges.  Vogel: "Distance: 5200 pc, Size: 13.6 pc, Sh 2-217 contains 4100 solar masses of material."

Sh2-218: 05 41 16.4 +52 11 18, 70': Very weak feathered layers of cloud streaming W-E through some bright stars.  Large area >2°, best with the 4-inch, Ha.  No notes in Vogel but Galaxy Map says of it: "Very faint and diffuse nebula. Avedisova places Sh 2-218 in star formation region SFR 159.54+11.29 along with the dark nebula LDN 1460. BFS does not give a distance estimate for this object but in their notes describe it as a "bright dark cloud". The direction high above the galactic plane and the association with a dark nebula suggests a local dust cloud, but there are no significant references in the scientific literature to confirm this."

Sh2-219: 04 56 07.3 +47 23 43, 3': Small, fairly bright, round nebula with a spur to the west, a slightly offset over a bright star, with several fainter stars within the nebula.  The central area is mottled, and the cloud and soft edges.  4- and 8-inch, best in dual band Ha+OIII.  Distance: 4200 pc, Size: 3.7 pc.  

Sh2-221: 05 01 39.3 +46 20 56, 120': = SNR 160.4+02.8.  Need to hold bright Capella out of the field in order to see it.  Very large, excessively faint wispy nebula spread throughout the field, seen only as contrast change in the field and noticed by panning the telescope. 4-inch Ha+OIII only.  This is more difficult than Sh2-240 (Simeiz 147).  

Sh2-222: 04 30 09.2 +35 16 13, 6': = NGC1579. Wedge-shaped, chaotically mottled, with a bright core mixed with many stars, and diffuse edges with a faint tail trailing north.  4- & 8-inch, unfiltered and Ha & Ha+OIII showed different features.  Vogel: "Distance: 800 pc, Size: 1.4 pc, this dusty reflection nebula contains a cluster of about 5 bright B class stars and 35 other stars. The cluster is dominated by the massive young star LkHÄ® 101. 

Sh2-223: 05 17 11.1 +42 12 43, 70': = SNR 166.2+02.5.  Very faint large arc of feathered nebulosity, north to south with the bend pointed west, a little brighter and thicker on the northern end near some brighter stars.  4-inch Ha.  Distance: 8000 pc, Size: 162.9 pc

Sh2-224: 05 27 15.2 +42 58 16, 30' = SNR G166.1 +4.4.  Excessively faint curved cloud, with a relatively brighter, nearly bean shaped northeastern arc, and a thinner and even fainter parenthesis arc to the southwest.  4-inch Ha+OIII.  Did not see any feathering detail as shown in the POSS image.

Sh2-225: 05 27 00.3 +40 37 17, 10': Fairly small, very faint nebula to the east of a trapezium-like asterism, appears as a E-W wisp. 8-inch Ha only, did not see the fainter glow to the south as in the POSS image.  Distance: 3700 pc, Size: 10.8 pc.

Sh2-226: 05 11 06.6 +37 59 33, 3': Small fairly easily seen spike of nebula in a fairly rich field.  8-inch Ha.  Galaxy Map: "Little appears in the scientific literature about this nebula. It is more prominent at radio and infrared frequencies than hydrogen-alpha, suggesting that it is visually obscured. Avedisova places it in star formation region SFR 168.48-0.97 with two masers. It is near in the sky to the better studied Sh 2-228 and has a roughly similar distance estimate. Both nebulae appear to lie behind the Aur OB1 association in the outer galaxy."

Sh2-227: 05 19 52.8 +38 57 19, 20': Fairly large, diffuse cloud, almost a thick ring or doughnut with the center being less nebulous and with an offset relatively bright central star.  The northern portion is thicker with a prominent, if very small, streak in the northeast rim.  Obvious in the 4-inch and more detailed view with 8-inch, Ha.  Distance: 4300 pc, Size: 25.0 pc.  Galaxy Map: "Avedisova concludes that this little-studied nebula is ionized by the O9 V star LS V +38 12 [which is the exact center of the nebula and 1 magnitude fainter than the offset star I noticed]. It appears behind the western edge of the Aur OB1 association in the outer galaxy."

Sh2-228: 05 13 34.7 +37 27 12, 8': Fairly small but obvious irregularly round smudge of nebulosity, with a brighter central and many fainter ones (seen with the broadband filter) within the glow.  Vogel: "Distance: 7926 pc, Size: 9.2 pc, Sh 2-228 contains the massive infrared star cluster [IBP2002] CC01. (This is misidentified in SIMBAD as a possible globular cluster.) The 1800 solar mass cluster is 1 to 2 million years old, and the surrounding field stars about 5-6 million years old."

Sh2-229: 05 16 18.6 +34 27 48, 65':  Large, very bright central region chaotic with filaments of nebula, surrounded by a nest of wisps evaporating from it to the north, dissipating very slowly.  Best in the 4-inch Ha to take it all in, but also fun to see details with the 8-inch.  Vogel: "Distance: 510 pc, Size: 9.6 pc.  The Flaming Star nebula, IC 405, is excited by the runaway O9.5Ve star AE Aurigae, which is believed to have been knocked out of Orion's Trapezium cluster by an interstellar collision about 2.5 million years ago."

Sh2-230: 05 22 30.3 +34 07 55, 300': Huge comma shaped nebula, pretty bright, with N-S ripples through its many fine tendrils, very complex.  4-inch for perspective, 8-inch for details, Ha.  Vogel: Distance: 3200 pc, Size: 279.4 pc.  This enormous nebula appears to surround the Auriga OB2 association in the outer galaxy."

Overall, a very interesting part of the sky with nebula of different sizes and densities, which I spent quite a long time studying, 4-inch for perspective, 8-inch for detail, Ha & Ha+OIII. Vogel: "a giant molecular cloud containing Sh 2-231, Sh 2-232, Sh 2-233, and Sh 2-235 that is at a distance of about 1800 pc."  Galaxy Map: "Sh 2-231 to Sh 2-235 form a complex of HII regions located together in the Perseus arm in the outer galaxy. This complex may be associated with an old (330 thousand years) supernova remnant, FVW 172.8+1.5."
Sh2-231: 05 39 18.9 +35 55 30, 12': Compact but bright nebula around star, irregularly round.
Sh2-232: 05 42 26.4 +36 12 03, 40': Large, round, shot through with dark lanes, very diffuse with soft edges.
Sh2-233: 05 38 42.6 +35 47 35, 2': Fairly difficult, small, seen with 8-inch Ha only, very faint irregular mottled cloud.  It is not part of the bean shaped cloud to its west.
Sh2-235: 05 41 00.8 +35 51 15, 10': The brightest of the group, it is diffusely round with dark lanes in the western half, with two brighter stars in the south and northern rims.  

Sh2-234: 05 28 07.0 +34 26 06, 12': Fairly bright, large, with long arms extending from a chaotic bright central region, giving the impression of a spider (in fact it's nicknamed the Spider Nebula).  Vogel: "Distance: 2300 pc, Size: 8.0 pc. This is IC 417, sometimes called the Spider nebula. Sharpless 2-234 and 2-237 are together sometimes called the Spider and the Fly."

Sh2-301: 07 09 48.4 -18 28 43, 9': Fairly large, bright, the nebula is round and smooth rim on the east side, and more dispersed, diffuse, and nibbled by dark lanes on the west side.  Small faint stars clustered in the center.  Best 8-inch and dual band Ha+OIII.  Vogel: Distance: 5800 pc, Size: 15.2 pc, this HII region, also called Gum 5, may be associated with the GS234-02 star forming supershell." 

Monday, December 19, 2022

16 december 2022, binaries

Observed with the 20-inch in fairly good seeing. I logged around 17- objects, all from the known-binary list, but the laptop I use and which has the logs died, so I don't have many to report except for the short periods where I wrote the observations down in my notebook. The rest will have to wait for a new laptop to arrive and the software recovery.

HU 304
AB: 508; 850x: Suspected not single at lower powers, the equal white stars was a clean split at 850x on up through 1270x, with apodizing mask. I could not tell which star was brighter, but the position angle was following a NE-SW line. It gave me less trouble than I expexted since brighter pairs throw off a lot of diffraction. Pretty cool that this pair, discovered in 1901 at 0.3" and with a 54.7-year period, has made a little more than two complete revolutions to be resolved visually again.  WDS grade 2 orbit, no reason to doubt it, and anyway there's no Gaia parallax data available.
04h 23m 51.84s +09° 27' 39.5" P.A. 38.30 sep 0.31" mag 5.80,5.90 Sp A0V+A1V dist. 121.36 pc (395.88 l.y.)

BU1007 AB: 508; 1270x: Snowman, 1 Dm, very tough, broken up with diffraction, PA to the south.  Actual PA more WSW, and a WDS grade 2 orbit 111.02-year period.  No Gaia data for the secondary.  This will become undetectible until the late 2050s.  Burnham writes: "Discovered with the 12-inch on Mt. Hamilton in 1881.  It was single or too close for the 36-inch 1890-92.  The measures since then show but little change in the angle, but a while revolution may be covered by the observations.  The components are nearly equal, and therefore some of the measures may require a correction 180 degrees.  In my measure with the 40-inch in 1897 it was noted: 'The distance is less than 0.3"; the smaller star is p.'  In the first set of measures in 1881 with the 12-inch it was stated: 'The measured distances are decidely too large.'  The distance is probably always less than 0.25".  There is little double of its being a binary of short period."  
05h 41m 17.72s +16° 32' 03.1" P.A. 255.90 sep 0.124" mag 5.04,6.56 Sp B8V+B7V dist. 194.93 pc (635.86 l.y.)

STT 79 AB: 508; 570x: Very pretty light orange primary, grey-blue B, 1 Dm, nice close split, PA to north.  WDS grade 2 orbit, 89.7-year period, no Gaia data for the secondary.  This will widen slightly and be more firmly to the northeast by 2040.
04h 19m 54.78s +16° 31' 21.6" P.A. 15.80 sep 0.679" mag 7.26,8.62 Sp F9V dist. 46.53 pc (151.78 l.y.)

I made an attempt at A3010, and thought I had an elongation with north-south PA, but it is really to the east and I obviously did not have it. Discovered in 1901 at 0.1", it has an extrodinary fast 1.19-year period with a grade 3 orbit. The nice thing is this will be at apistron just next year, so I can certainly give it another go.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

23 november 2022 struves

Set up with the 20-inch but the seeing did not live up to expectations, likely because of all the ground cooling after a relatively warm day.  Masked down to 7-inches and covered some ground in and around Pisces.  Observed from 8-11pm, so a lot covered.

STF 24 AB: 178; 140x: White stars, well separated, 1 Dm.  WDS claims it is physical, and while there is only 752 AU weighted separation, 2.0+1.7 Msol, and the radial velocity delta 0.5 is less than the escape velocity 2.9, it may not be binary as the parallax ranges do not overlap, -22%.
00h 18m 30.59s +26° 08' 25.1" P.A. 247.00 sep 5.0 mag 7.79,8.44 Sp A2 dist. 154.8 pc (504.96 l.y.)

STF 17 AB: 178; 140x: Near equal wide pair.  WDS says it's physical, and while there is 18% parallax range overlap, it has a very wide 9,119 AU weighted separation, 2.8+1.8 Msol, and the radial velocity delta 2.6 is much more than the escape velocity 0.9, so it is not binary.
00h 16m 32.03s +29° 17' 36.6" P.A. 29.00 sep 26.7 mag 8.39,9.83 Sp K0

STF 73 AB: 178; 285x: Near equal, yellow-white A and blue-white B, well separated.  WDS grade 2 orbit, 167.5-year period, it is NNW now, and will reach due N by 2045.  No Gaia parallax data.  
00h 54m 58.02s +23° 37' 42.4" P.A. 335.60 sep 1.2 mag 6.12,6.54 Sp K1IV dist. 37.98 pc (123.89 l.y.)
STF 49 AB: 178; 145x: White A and 3 Dm yellow B, well separated.  WDS uncertain, but there is 62% overlap of the parallax ranges, only 228 AU weighted separation, 1.0+0.6 Msol, and the radial velocity delta 2.0 is less than the escape velocity 3.5, so it is very likely binary and needs an orbit.
00h 40m 47.49s -07° 13' 57.5" P.A. 320.00 sep 8.6 mag 7.12,9.98 Sp G1V dist. 26.5 pc (86.44 l.y.)

STF 35 AB: 178; 145x: Faint pair, nearly 1 Dm, fairly well separated.  WDS says not physical, but there is 9% parallax range overlap, only 862 AU weighted separation, 0.9+0.8 Msol, and the radial veloctiy delta 0.3 is less than the escape velocity 1.9, so it might be binary and needs another orbit try.
00h 31m 36.57s -02° 02' 21.2" P.A. 267.00 sep 8.8 mag 10.50,10.87 Sp K0

STF 14 AB: 178; 145x: Wide 2 Dm.  WDS says parallax indicates non-physical, but in fact there is 32% overlap of the parallax ranges, a pretty wide 4,138 AU weighted separation, 2.1+1.4 Msol, and the radial velocity delta 1.4 is a bit more than the escape velocity 1.2.  There is some possibility it is binary and needs to be checked.
00h 15m 48.93s -11° 59' 24.7" P.A. 237.00 sep 14.5 mag 8.90,10.85 Sp A0V dist. 1724.14 pc (5624.14 l.y.)

STF3065 AB: 178; 145x: Wide, 1 Dm, faint pair.  WDS says proper motion indicates physical, but there is no overlap of the parallax ranges, -35%, it is not binary.
00h 07m 59.24s -14° 13' 37.0" P.A. 290.00 sep 9.7 mag 9.58,9.64 Sp G0 dist. 108.7 pc (354.58 l.y.)

STF 5 AB: 178; 145x: Very pretty white A and well separated 3 Dm B.  WDS uncertain, but there is -18% overlap of the parallax ranges, is it not binary.
00h 10m 02.18s +11° 08' 44.9" P.A. 159.00 sep 7.6 mag 5.54,9.44 Sp B9Vn dist. 93.63 pc (305.42 l.y.)

STF 4 AB: 178; 145x: Near equal white stars, well separated.  WDS says proper motion indicates physical, and there is 70% parallax range overlap, 369 AU weighted separation, 1.0+1.0 Msol, and the radial velocity delta is 0, escape velocity 3.0, so it certainly is binary and needs an orbit.
00h 09m 51.65s +08° 27' 11.4" P.A. 276.00 sep 5.2 mag 9.51,9.60 Sp G6V+G7V dist. 76.28 pc (248.83 l.y.)

STF 8 AB: 178;145x: White A and 2 Dm B, well separated.  WDS uncertain, but there is -78% parallax range overlap, it is not binary.
00h 11m 35.21s -03° 04' 40.9" P.A. 291.00 sep 7.8 mag 7.84,9.26 Sp F8 dist. 129.2 pc (421.45 l.y.)

STF 15 AB: 178; 145x: White A and 3 Dm B, well split.  WDS uncertain, but there is 58% overlap of the parallax ranges, only 938 AU weighted separation, 2.5+1.4 Msol, and the radial velocity is equal to the escape velocity 2.7 -- it might be binary and needs an orbit.
00h 15m 51.62s -05° 36' 04.2" P.A. 199.00 sep 4.7 mag 7.71,9.83 Sp G5 dist. 213.68 pc (697.02 l.y.)

STF 23 AB: 178; 145x: White A and 2 Dm wide B.  WDS says not physical, and there is -97% overlap of the parallax ranges, it is not binary.
00h 17m 28.76s +00° 19' 15.5" P.A. 216.00 sep 10.5 mag 7.88,10.28 Sp F8 dist. 125.16 pc (408.27 l.y.)

STF 21 AB: 178; 145x: Faint pair, significant delta, easily separated.  Lies in an attractive triangle of brighter whte stars.  WDS says proper motion indicates physical, and there is 30% parallax range overlap, 1,344 AU weighted separation, 1.2+1.1 Msol, and the radial velocity delta 0.5 is less than the escape velocity 1.8, so it is likely binary and needs an orbit.
00h 17m 21.25s +02° 20' 50.6" P.A. 52.00 sep 7.7 mag 10.31,10.60 Sp G0

STF 25 AB: 178; 285x: Faint near equal stars, closely split.  Nice!  WDS uncertain, but there is -49% overlap of the parallax ranges, it is not binary.
00h 18m 42.80s +15° 59' 26.5" P.A. 196.00 sep 1.0 mag 9.31,9.55 Sp F5 dist. 167.5 pc (546.38 l.y.)

STF 46 AB: 178; 145x: Fine pair, light orange A and blue B, wide, 2 Dm.  WDS says physical, and there is 23% overlap of the parallax ranges, only 877 AU weighted separation, 3.4+1.5 Msol, so it is likely binary and needs an orbit.
00h 39m 55.57s +21° 26' 18.6" P.A. 195.00 sep 6.6 mag 5.56,8.49 Sp K0III+F3V dist. 127.06 pc (414.47 l.y.)

STF 37 AB: 178; 145x: Faint white stars, near equal, well split.  WDS says they're physical, but there is no overlap of the parallax ranges, -88%, they are not binary.
00h 32m 21.84s +15° 39' 17.3" P.A. 247.00 sep 6.9 mag 10.55,10.74 Sp K0

STF 51 AB: 178; 145x: Nice pair, light yellow A and light blue B, closely separated.  WDS uncertain, but there is 47% overlap of the parallax ranges, only 258 AU weighted separation, 1.2+0.9 Msol, and the radial velocity delta 1.3 is less than the escape velocity 3.8, it is very likely binary and needs an orbit.
00h 43m 33.15s +17° 21' 21.1" P.A. 125.00 sep 3.6 mag 8.33,10.40 Sp F8

STF 61 AB: 178; 145x: Brilliant white stars, near equal, easy separation.  WDS says it's physical, and there is 5% parallax range overlap, only 382 AU weighted separation, 2.2+2.2 Msol, but the radial velocity delta 5.7 exceeds the escape velocity 4.5, it is not binary.
00h 49m 52.88s +27° 42' 38.9" P.A. 115.00 sep 4.4 mag 6.33,6.34 Sp F5III dist. 88.57 pc (288.92 l.y.)

STF 77 AB: 178; 145x: Dual 10th magnitude stars, around 10" separation.  WDS says it's physical, and there is 5% parallax range overlap, 3077 AU weighted separation, 1.6+1.6 Msol, and the radial velocity delta 0.2 is less than the escape velocity 1.4, so it is likely binary and needs an orbit.
00h 58m 06.76s +26° 55' 22.2" P.A. 119.00 sep 10.4 mag 10.35,10.45 Sp G

STF 67 AB: 178; 200x: 1 Dm, very closely split.  WDS grade 4 orbital solution, 4100-year period.  In spite of the mere 232 AU weighted separation and 1.3+1.2 Msol, there is no overlap of the parallax ranges, -25%, it is not binary.
00h 52m 07.59s +10° 36' 03.7" P.A. 350.00 sep 2.3 mag 8.98,9.56 Sp F8 dist. 98.62 pc (321.7 l.y.)

STF 71 AB: 178; 145x: >1 Dm, very well split.  WDS says it's physical, but there's no overlap of the parallax ranges, -68%, it is not binary.
00h 53m 19.07s +05° 00' 18.4" P.A. 339.00 sep 8.9 mag 9.30,10.56 Sp F2 dist. 653.59 pc (2132.01 l.y.)

STF 74 AB: 178: 250x: Very close split, 1 Dm, with seeing.  WDS uncertain, but there is -93% parallax range overlap, it is not binary.
00h 54m 45.19s +09° 25' 43.6" P.A. 298.00 sep 3.1 mag 8.57,9.60 Sp F0 dist. 189.39 pc (617.79 l.y.)

STF 76 AB: 178; 200x: Difficult, very closely split B, 2 Dm, with averted vision only.  WDS uncertain, but there is -84% overlap of the parallax ranges, it is not binary.
00h 56m 35.89s +10° 40' 24.8" P.A. 199.00 sep 3.0 mag 9.10,11.80 Sp A2

STF 75 AB: 178; 145x: Faint pair, B seen with averted vision at first then direct, closely separated.  WDS says it is physical, and there is 8% overlap of the parallax ranges, 661 AU weighted separation, 1.2+0.9 Msol, and the radial velocity delta 1.3 is less than the escape velocity 2.4, so it is likely binary and needs an orbit.
00h 55m 07.79s +13° 32' 58.5" P.A. 273.00 sep 5.2 mag 9.60,11.27 Sp G5 dist. 101.73 pc (331.84 l.y.)

STF3063 AB: 178; 200x: Very faint pair, difficult, significant delta magnitude, with seeing only.  WDS grade 5 orbit 688-year period.  But, there is no overlap of the parallax ranges, -65%, it is not binary, in spite of the mere 71 AU weighted separation!
00h 07m 35.68s -04° 32' 51.1" P.A. 192.00 sep 1.0 mag 9.30,10.29 Sp G0

STF 202 AB: 178; 145x: = Alrisha.  Remarkable pair, white, huge delta magnitude, fairly easy, only 150 light years distant.  WDS grade 4 orbital solution, 1946-year period.  Unfortunately there is no Gaia parallax data. 
02h 02m 02.80s +02° 45' 49.4" P.A. 260.50 sep 1.9 mag 4.10,5.17 Sp A0p+A3m dist. 46.17 pc (150.61 l.y.)
STF 99 AB: 178; 145x: Bright yellow A, B is faint and fairly wide.  WDS uncertain, but there is 45% overlap of the parallax ranges, only 922 AU weighted separation, 3.9+1.1, so it is likely binary and needs an orbit.
01h 13m 44.94s +24° 35' 01.6" P.A. 227.00 sep 7.5 mag 4.65,9.11 Sp G8III dist. 136.8 pc (446.24 l.y.)

STF 87 AB: 178; 145x: White, 1 DM, wide.  WDS says proper motion indicates physical, but there is no overlap of the parallax ranges, -63%, they are not binary.
01h 05m 29.91s +15° 23' 24.2" P.A. 204.00 sep 6.0 mag 9.24,9.93 Sp K3.5V+K8V dist. 26.43 pc (86.21 l.y.)

STF 82 AB: 178; 200x: Fairly faint pair, 1 Dm, closely split.  WDS uncertain, but there is 5% overlap of the parallax ranges, 675 AU weighted separation, 2.5+2.0 Msol, so there is some possibility it is binary and needs an orbit.
01h 00m 41.73s +09° 29' 12.8" P.A. 304.00 sep 1.9 mag 8.78,9.71 Sp F0 dist. 202.84 pc (661.66 l.y.)

STF 78 AB: 178; 145x: Faint pair, near equal, white, well separated.  WDS says it's physical, and there's 15% overlap of the parallax ranges, 1,373 AU weighted separation, 1.6+1.5 Msol, and the radial velocity delta 0.3 is less than the escape velocity 2.0, so it is probably binary and needs an orbit.
00h 59m 05.48s +05° 22' 55.0" P.A. 245.00 sep 5.0 mag 10.25,10.47 Sp F8

STF 100 AB: 178; 145x: Bright pair, wide, A is light yellow, 1 Dm.  WDS says proper motion indicates physical, but there is just 1% overlap of the parallax ranges, 930 AU weighted separation, 1.9+1.5 Msol, so there is a small chance it is binary and needs a try at the orbit.
01h 13m 43.80s +07° 34' 31.8" P.A. 64.00 sep 23.1 mag 5.22,6.26 Sp A7IV+F7V dist. 53.3 pc (173.86 l.y.)

STF 119 AB: 178; 145x: Faint pair, wide, 1 Dm.  WDS says it's physical, and there is 37% overlap of the parallax ranges, 1,826 AU weighted separation, 1.1+0.8 Msol, and the radial veloctiy delta 1.0 is less than the escape velocity 1.4, so it is very likely binary and needs an orbit.
01h 24m 29.77s +05° 11' 39.7" P.A. 149.00 sep 13.7 mag 10.12,12.30 Sp G0

STF 122 AB: 178; 145x: Blue A and wide 3 Dm B.  WDS uncertain, but there is no overlap of the parallax ranges -24%, it is not binary. 
01h 26m 53.55s +03° 32' 08.3" P.A. 329.00 sep 5.7 mag 6.65,9.51 Sp B9V+A8V dist. 166.11 pc (541.85 l.y.)

STF 138 AB: 178; 145x: Very pretty light yellow stars, near equal, closely split.  WDS uncertain, but there is no overlap of the parallax ranges, -25%, it is not binary.
01h 36m 02.86s +07° 38' 42.9" P.A. 60.00 sep 1.7 mag 7.50,7.63 Sp F6V dist. 76.05 pc (248.08 l.y.)

STF 129 AB: 178; 145x: Faint 1 Dm, wide.  WDS says it's physical, and there is 29% overlap of the parallax ranges, 3,124 AU weighted separation, 2.0+1.8 Msol, and the radial velocity delta 0.5 is less than the escape velocity 1.5, so it is likely binary and needs an orbit.
01h 30m 16.52s +12° 38' 57.7" P.A. 282.00 sep 8.9 mag 9.71,10.25 Sp F0 dist. 1538.46 pc (5018.46 l.y.)

STF 132 AB: 178; 145x: Bright white star in the center of a pretty chevron asterism of faint near equal stars.  WDS says proper motion indicates not physical, and there is no overlap of the parallax ranges, -90%, it is not binary.
01h 32m 03.12s +16° 56' 50.0" P.A. 342.00 sep 63.8 mag 6.88,10.61 Sp K0III dist. 57.74 pc (188.35 l.y.)

STF 145 AB: 178; 145x: Bright white A and very faint, well separated B.  WDS uncertain, and there is no overlap of the parallax ranges, -43%, it is not binary.
01h 41m 18.30s +25° 44' 44.9" P.A. 31.00 sep 10.3 mag 6.25,10.90 Sp F6V dist. 54.95 pc (179.25 l.y.)

STF 155 AB: 178; 145: White, near equal, well split, at the tip of a backwqrds "C" asterism.  WDS says it's physical, and there is 81% overlap of the parallax ranges, only 353 AU weighted separation, 1.4+1.3 Msol, so it is likely binary and needs an orbit.
01h 44m 15.19s +09° 29' 02.7" P.A. 325.00 sep 4.9 mag 7.87,8.01 Sp F2 dist. 93.72 pc (305.71 l.y.)

Sunday, November 27, 2022

pinnacles thanksgiving night

It's been a poor season for observing, with hazy skies and bad seeing.  This new moon week had only one opening, Thanksgiving Day.  Usually I'd be home enjoying the holiday with family, but various scheduling conflicts meant we'd celebrate on Friday.  The GOES satellite still showed gauzy white upper-level water vapor, but with night vision I thought the trip would still be worth it.  I went to Pinnacles because it was slightly closer.  I arrived past dusk and set-up my 4-/8-inch combo refractor quickly, and ate dinner.  There was one family there trying out their telescope, but they left around 7:30pm.  Otherwise I had the place to myself.  It did not get very cold, and there was no dew.  Transparency was definitely off, my SQML did not get above 21.00.  Had the night been better the fainter nebula would have been brighter, and the more difficult less so, it was still a worthwhile night. 

I continued my journey through the Sharpless Catalog using the PVS-14, 67mm Plossl+, and various filters.  I tried out some different eyepiece combinations and found the 67mm is still ideal.  The 11mm Delite starved the PVS of light and the view too grainy, and spread the nebula out too thinly.  The 95mm gave a slightly brighter image but has a narrower field of view, and too much of its inner barrel can be seen.  The 40mm Plossl was ok, a little more image scale, but I could see more detail with the 67mm on the Horsehead than I could with the 40mm because the nebula was not too spread out.

I observed until 1:30 am and made more than 50 observations.

Sh2-93: 19 55 00.6, +27 12 48, 1': Very small, non-stellar haze, seen with the 8-inch unfiltered and only by confirming the star pattern in the field to the DSS image.  Vogel: "Ionised by the O9V star [F89b] S93 1 and appears to contain the infrared star cluster [BDS2003] 16."

Sh2-110:  21 20 48.5 +32 27 28, 50': Considerably faint region of mixed bright and dark nebula centered around two bright stars, generally humped shaped with a bright stream along the northern edge and another along the southern.  Reminicent to the Californa Nebula, but much smaller.  4-inch, good in Ha but surprisingly better with OIII.  Vogel: "This is in the same direction as the high latitude HI shell Hu 8, which consists of about 1300 solar masses of gas, is about 900 thousand years old and lies at a distance of between 350-440 pc."

Sh2-119: 21 18 25.0 +43 56 16, 160': Large oval-shaped, Rosette-like cloud appears to be centered on a bright star.  The complex nebula has many dark crenillations and combed streaks.  There is a large, thick, and bright curved stream to the east with a fainter parenthesis to the west.  Vogel: "Distance: 700 pc, Size: 32.6 pc, This nebula is near the North American nebula (Sh 2-117, NGC 7000) and appears to be ionised by the O 7.5 III runaway star 68 Cygni (HD 203064), which was likely blasted out of the Cepheus OB2 association about 5.2 million years ago."

Sh2-120: 21 03 46.6 +49 52 51, 1': Very difficult, marginal, slightly non-stellar small glow where the object should be on the DSS image, 8-inch unfiltered.  Not really sure I have it.  Vogel: "Distance: 6300 pc, Size: 1.8 pc"  Galaxy Map: "A radio map of Sh 2-120 shows a shell-like structure around a central source. Very little information is available in the literature apart from this map.  According to a 1978 study, Sh 2-120, Sh 2-121, Sh 2-127 and Sh 2-128 are all at about the same distance of 7500 parsecs and are 'probably distant HII regions associated with a spiral feature more distant than the Perseus arm'.  Sh 2-120 appears behind the much closer dark nebula LDN 988, which has been informally called the Pincushion cloud."

Sh2-121: 21 05 12.4 +49 38 59, 1': Difficult, 8-inch Ha only, appears as a "C", with three stars in the open part of the "C".  Overall a small, round, broken up glow.  According to Galaxy Map, "The HII region Sh 2-121 is surrounded by an expanding shell containing about 39 solar masses of gas.  The shell is at least 650 thousand year old and is likely driven by stellar winds from an O8.5 class star.  A 2003 paper reduces the distance to Sh 2-121 to 4500 ± 1000 parsecs, which could make it part of the Perseus arm."

Sh2-122: 23 08 46.7 +14 55 30, 40': Large, very faint, loose and mottled cloud with many broken streams flowing in a disorganized way toward the bright star Markab on the edge of the FOV.  4-inch and Ha.  Vogel: "Distance: 3300 pc. Sh 2-122 is likely a reflection nebula illuminated by an embedded but unseen star and associated with the molecular cloud MBM 55, at a distance of 150 pc."

Sh2-123: 21 42 22.5 +44 32 25, 13': Not small, faint octopus-like cloud, with a looping oval head pointed north and two "legs" uncurling from the brighter southern edge of the loop to the east and west. Vogel: "Distance: 3800 pc, Size:14.4 pc.  Sh 2-113, Sh 2-114, Sh 2-118 and Sh 2-123 appear to be the brightest parts of a large hydrogen-alpha ridge that runs below the Cygnus complex."  Galaxy Map: "Examining this region in hydrogen-alpha suggests that Sh 2-123 is joined to the equally mysterious Sh 2-113, Sh 2-114 and Sh 2-118 in a long ridge of nebulosity south and south-east of Sh 2-117, the North American nebula. Sh 2-114, Sh 2-118 and Sh 2-123 have distance estimates of about 4000 parsecs. If this ridge is also at 4000 parsecs, it must be enormous."

Sh2-124: 21 38 20.9 +50 21 05, 70':  Bright round center to a very large cloud, 2 wings of which spread NE & SW.  The bright center is broken in several pieces, most prominently by a seagull shaped dark nebula E-W, and other sections like cotton puffs.  8-inch for detail but best with 4-inch for perspective, Ha.  Vogel: "Although very little appears in the scientific literature on the mysterious HII region Sh 2-124, located some distance to the west of the Cep OB1 association, recent detailed hydrogen-alpha imaging done for the IPHAS project reveals the structure of this violin-shaped nebula in spectacular detail. Chini and Wink identify two uncatalogued ionising stars, with classes O7V and B2V, and give a distance estimate of 3600 parsecs. Crampton, Georgelin and Georgelin give a kinematic distance (based on gas velocity) of 4400 parsecs. Felli and Harten give a list of 5 ionising stars, including the O7.5 class LS III +50 28, and support the BFS distance estimate of 2600 parsecs"

Sh2-125: 21 53 32.7 +47 16 18, 9': The Cocoon Nebula.  With 4-inch Ha it appears as a uniform round haze with irregular edges.  With the 8-inch there are dark lanes nibblling into the bright nebula, stars scattered throughout, and large faint streaks of nebula framing it to the east.  The dual band Ha+OIII reveals even more nebula to the west.  Interestinly, the star field and dark nebula are less prominent with NV+642 longpass, it remember it looked better visually without NV in a 6-inch f/5 refractor with a 31mm Nagler.  APOD 2009 March 5: "...15 light-years wide, located some 4,000 light years away toward the northern constellation Cygnus. Like other star forming regions, it stands out in red, glowing, hydrogen gas excited by young, hot stars and blue, dust-reflected starlight at the edge of an otherwise invisible molecular cloud. In fact, the bright star near the center of this nebula is likely only a few hundred thousand years old, powering the nebular glow as it clears out a cavity in the molecular cloud's star forming dust and gas."

Sh2-126: 22 34 38 +40 40 00, 160': Very large river of faint nebulosity flowing out of the E & W edges of the field.  It appears as sheets and brighter and fainter nebula, almost combed.  The nebula proper is a bright wedge shape pointed south, with a long tail to the north then curving and diffusing to the east, all comingled with several bright stars.  4-inch and dual band.  Galaxy Map: "This relatively close HII region is also called the 10 Lacertae complex after its ionising star, the O9 V multiple star 10 Lacertae, which forms the core of the Lac OB1 association. The nebula also contains the young Orion type variable emission star LkHA 233."

Sh2-127: 21 28 41.0 +54 37 14, 2':  8-inch, Ha only.  Very small curved glow off the end of a lazy "L" shaped asterism, among two close stars.  Galaxy Map: "Radio analysis reveals that Sh 2-127 consists of two distinct components - a larger weaker and more diffuse source (WB89 85A) to the northeast, consistent with ionisation by an O7 class star, and a stronger but smaller source to the southwest (WB89 85B), consistent with ionisation by an O8.5 class star. (However, it is also possible that both components are ionised by a single star.) Both components are located near the northwestern edge of a molecular cloud and are embedded in the molecular gas.  According to a 1978 study, Sh 2-120, Sh 2-121, Sh 2-127 and Sh 2-128 are all at about the same distance of 7500 parsecs and are "probably distant HII regions associated with a spiral feature more distant than the Perseus arm"."

Sh2-136: = "Gespensternebel" = "Ghost Nebula".  21 16 29.5 +68 15 12, 5': 8-inch unfiltered.  Very small and very faint glow around a star (found by carefully studying the chart and finding the "L" shaped asterism), with long study I could detect extremely faint and small extensions to the east & west.   The DSS image is brigher and larger image scale than what I saw.  Vogel: "Distance: 450 pc, Size: 0.7 pc.  This is a Bok globule, not an HII region. Inside the glowing globule, CB 230, new stars are being born. Within the Lynds dark nebula LDN 1177."

Sh2-139: 22 34 59.4 +58 13 02, 10': Fairly large mottled cloud within a triangle of stars.  There's a brighter patch of nebula on the southern corner of the triangle.   Distance: 3300 pc, Size: 24.0 pc.

Sh2-161: 23 15 29.2 +61 51 43, 55': 4-inch Ha, very large glow with many stars intermingled, looks like a puffy cumulus cloud with a stream sprouting from it to the south which then curves east to the edge of the bright knot Sh2-158, which then combs back to the west, forming a very large, thick & diffuse ring.  Vogel: "Distance: 2800 pc, Size: 44.8 pc., Sh 2-161B is a large diffuse nebula surrounding the much smaller (and better studied) Sh 2-158, which is visible in the bottom right of this image."  

Sh2-162: = NGC7635, Bubble Nebula.  23 20 41.5 +61 11 52, 40': 4- & 8-inch Ha.  The complex nebular region is highlighted by a very bright & thin ring, brightest near a double star and thinnest over what appears to be a dark nebula.  There is a second, larger and fainter ring which has it's origin also near the double star but is about twice the diameter of the first and intersects two bright stars.  There are curtains of nebulosity draping to the south and the whole complex connects with other nebula in & beyond the field.  Vogel: "Distance: 3813 pc, Size: 5.8 pc.  This is the Bubble nebula, NGC 7635, a circular shell around the O6.5 IIIf star BD +60°2522."  APOD 2009 October 30: "Embedded in a complex of interstellar dust and gas and blown by the winds from a single, massive O-type star, the Bubble Nebula (aka NGC 7635) is a mere 10 light-years wide....distance estimates for the Bubble Nebula and associated cloud complex are around 11,000 light-years"

Sh2-163: 23 33 19.3 +60 47 09, 10': 8-inch and Ha, moderately large curving nebula, NE-SW, with a brightly defined NW edge and faint & diffuse nebula draped from it, broken up by dark nebula.  There is a large faint sheet of nebula drifting off to the NE out of the field.  Vogel: "Distance: 3839 pc, Size: 12.4 pc, Ionised by the O 9.5 V class star LSI +60 8 at 2800 parsecs and contains the infrared cluster [BDS2003] 45. A second distance estimate of 2500 parsecs."

Sh2-164: 23 38 25.3 +59 58 13, 3': 8-inch Ha, Very small comma shaped glow, faint, confirmed by identifying the star field in the DSS image.  Vogel: "Distance: 5000 pc, Size: 4.4 pc, Ionised by the B1 Ib supergiant LS I +59 10 with two distance estimates of 3500 +/- 1500 parsecs and 2820 parsecs." Galaxy Map: "Russeil combines Sh 2-163, Sh-164 and Sh 2-166 into a single star formation region."

Sh2-165: 23 39 48.1 +61 56 15, 10': Easily seen with 4-inch, much detail seen with 8-inch, Ha.  Fairly large, roundish mottled cloud with subtle variations in brightness, which resolves with very careful viewing to a very subtle, thin oval band running through the more diffuse nebula E-W.  Ring structure?  Diffuse edges, fades slowly, Sh2-166 on the edge of the FOV.  Vogel: "Distance: 1600 pc, Size: 4.7 pc, Excited by B0 V star BD 61 +2494, distance estimates of 2020 and 2400 parsecs. Contains the infrared cluster [BDS2003] 46"  

Sh2-166: 23 42 09.8 +60 58 17, 10': Easy with the 4-inch, viewed for detail with 8-inch, Ha.  Pretty bright round glow with soft edges, very subtly mottled within.  There is one brighter star offset to the north, making the nebula look like the coma of a comet.  More bulk to the nebula on the northern half.  Vogel: "Distance: 2400 pc, Size: 7.0 pc, This faint nebula forms part of the Cas Ob5 supershell."  Galaxy Map: "Avedisova places it in the star formation region SFR 114.63-0.79 along with a water maser, the radio source KR 82 and the young stellar object Mol 160....A recent Spitzer study concluded that Mol 160 is 3000 times more luminous than the sun, is accreting matter from a 220 solar mass dust cocoon and has not yet undergone hydrogen fusion."

Sh2-167: 23 35 21.8 +64 51 11, 2': 8-inch only, 642 longpass.  Very small, difficult, appears as a sunny-side-up egg, a star with a uniform round glow around it, soft edges.  Identified by following the star patterns in the DSS image.  Galaxy Map: "There is very little information in the scientific literature on this faint nebula.  Sh 2-167 was previously listed as a planetary nebula but is now believed to be an HII region. It appears in the direction of a large expanding shell around Cas OB5, but the available distance estimates suggest that it may lie much further away in the Outer/Norma arm."  

Sh2-168 & -169.  
-168: 23 53 03.5 +60 28 23 7' 
-169: 23 53 58.0 +60 22 23, 5':  4-inch & 8-inch, Ha & dual band.  
-168 is pretty bright round small, with a very bright central region and a bright round rim to the SE, and diffuse edges elsewhere.  Galaxy Map: "Avedisova concludes that the HII region Sh 2-168 is ionised by the O9 V star LS I +60 50. SIMBAD gives a slightly cooler B0 V spectral class. This is in the direction of an expanding shell surrounding Cas OB5.  Avedisova places Sh 2-168 in the star formation region SFR 115.80-1.60 along with the radio source KR 84. The nebula includes the loose infrared cluster [BDS2003] 47 and the Herbig-Haro object GM 2-44."  
-169 is slightly smaller but very much fainter, with very diffuse edges and a central star.  Galaxy Map: "A faint nebulosity near the direction of the much brighter Sh 2-168. Avedisova finds that it is ionised by the B0 III giant BD +59 2786."

Sh2-170: 00 01 42.0 +64 37 24, 20': 4- & 8-inch, Ha.  Very beautiful, large round glow, bright, mottled throughout with soft edges, with a central triple star.  Vogel: "Distance: 2300 pc, Size: 13.4 pc.  Sh 2-170 is in the vicinity of the Cassiopeia OB5 supershell. The sole exciting star of Sh 2-170 is DM+63 2093, an O8 V star of 31 solar masses."

Sh2-171: = NGC7822 + Ced214.  00 04 40.0 +67 09 24, 180': 4- & 8-inch Ha.  Incredible! Very dramatic riot of curved bright nebula with dark nebula chewing complex patterns and pillars into it, stars scattered throughout.  Impossible to describe.  An ominous smoke of layered nebula to the north stretches far beyond the FOV.  Vogel: "Distance: 840 pc, Size: 44.0 pc.  This expanding shell of gas and dust was created by the original star cluster at the heart of the Cep OB4 association, which has now dispersed. It is now lit and ionized by the young star cluster Berkeley 59, at its south end (Cederblad 214) and it is expanding into the dark nebula NGC 7822 at its north end. Berkeley 59 is surrounded by another dark region of disturbed gas and dust containing the radio source W1." 

Sh2-172: 00 15 32.2 +61 15 21, 1':  Pair of very small, very faint sunny-side up eggs, small, faint.  8-inch unfiltered, identified with aid of the DSS star field.  Galaxy Map: "Sh 2-172 contains the loose infrared cluster [BDS2003] 48.  Russeil combines Sh 2-172, Sh 2-173 and Sh 2-177 into one star formation region and comments that no stellar distance is known for Sh 2-172. All three nebulae lie in the direction of the expanding shell of gas and dust surrounding the Cas OB5 association."

Sh2-173: 00 21 51.8 +61 44 17, 30': 4- & 8-inch Ha.  Rather large, fairly bright nebula, brokenly round and seemingly centered on one of three similar magnitude stars.  It looks like an e-clip, with two dark pillars intruding into the nebula.  The brightest rim of the nebula runs through the northernmost star in the triangle, and looks like a bow shock.  Vogel: "Distance: 2700 pc, Size: 23.6 pc.  Sh 2-173 is part of the Cas OB5 super shell."

Sh2-174: 23 46 49.1 +80 56 20, 10': Extremely faint, moderately sized U-shaped glow, appears only as a contrast change.  Tough!  8-inch and Ha only.  Vogel: "The former central star of this old planetary nebula, the white dwarf GD 561 [the very faint star to the left of a brighter one, which I identify with blue hash marks in the below photo], has drifted to the outside of the nebula. Both are located about 300 pc away."

Sh2-175: 00 27 18.6 +64 42 13, 2': Identified only by referring to the DSS photo.  In the 8-inch with Ha, appears as a small non-stellar glow, larger than equivalent magnitude star bloating seen in the same field.  No detail seen.  Vogel: "Distance: 1700 pc, Size: 1.0 pc.  This is in Cas OB5.

Sh2-176: 00 31 38.3 +57 17 09, 10': Very faint wisps of curving nebulosity, many faint stars scattered within it--reminds me of a very small version of the Eastern Veil.  8-inch Ha.  I saw the southern half of the full ring, I did not see the northern and excessively faint ring.  Vogel: "This is a planetary nebula at a distance of about 140 pc. The central star is a blue subdwarf."

Sh2-177: 00 31 32.4 +62 28 09, 40': 4-inch and Ha.  Large, extremely faint stream of nebulosity, seen as a contrast change and moves with the scope.  It curves gently NE-SW, and has a fainter dorsal-like fin of nebulosity diffusing to the NW.  Vogel: "Distance: 2500 pc, Size: 1.5 pc.  This region of faint nebulosity may be part of the shell surrounding Cas OB5."

Sh2-179: = PNe BV 5-2. 00 40 24.6 +62 51 58, 1':  Very difficult at this image scale!  Very small non-stellar, extremely faint glow, with most of the glow on the north side of a star.  Identified only by comparing to the DSS image.  8-inch and Ha+OIII.  

Sh2-180: 00 48 46.3 +62 55 45, 15': Exceedingly faint, moderately sized, seen as a contrast change, vaguely a broken up oval, with one strip along the SE rim as the brightest part.  8-inch and Ha only.  Vogel: Distance: 6100 pc, Size: 26.6 pc.  Sh 2-180 is visible in the direction of the Perseus arm Cas OB7 association, but a distance estimate based on CO velocity places it much further away in the Outer arm. Avedisova also locates it at a large distance and concludes that it is ionised by the O7.5V star LS I +62 139 at a distance of 5150 +/- 1300 parsecs. The filaments visible in this image, more characteristic of a close supernova remnant than a distant HII region, suggests that this region may deserve deeper investigation." 

Sh2-181 / -183.  -181: 00 49 16.5 +65 12 44 15, 3'.  -183: 00 53 59.1 +65 42 35, 35'.  Sh2-181 is a pretty bright irregular arc of nebulosity orientated N-S, with a brighter & thicker base to the south.  In the same field to the NE is -183, with is large, faint, mostly round but mottled and broken up by dark lanes.  4- & 8-inch, Ha.
-181 Galaxy Map: "Radio observations and modelling suggest that Sh 2-181 is an HII region ionised by a B0 to B0.5 class star. A 1978 paper identifies the ionising star as the B1 V class LS I +64 47. The nebula is connected to the Cas OB7 association in the Perseus arm."  
-183 Galaxy Map: "This is an apparently large and distant HII region that is obscured by foreground dust. It consists of 44 thousand solar masses of ionised gas and is at least 3.9 million years old. The stars ionising the gas are unknown and are probably obscured by the foreground dust....If this object is really located at 7000 parsecs, then the size in the radio image suggests that it may be one of the largest star formation regions in the outer galaxy. Note, however, that streaming motions in the Perseus arm can result in exaggerated distance estimates if velocity data is used alone to determine an object's distance (and the current distance estimate is, indeed, based on gas velocity)."

Sh2-182: 00 50 16.4 +64 44 42, 2': Extremely difficult, marginal observation.  I identified the correct location using the DSS plate, and think I saw an excessively faint and small glow, but it could have been some bloating of the star image by the PVS-14 device.  8-inch unfiltered.

Sh2-184: = NGC 281, Pacman. 00 52 50.1 +56 36 37, 40': Showpiece.  Bright, wedge shaped, with loops and pillars of dark nebula intruding from the west, and a wind blown spray of neblulosity diffusing from the northern tip.  Many bright stars intermingled.  8-inch Ha.  Vogel: "this bright nebula located far below the galactic plane....IC 1590, the star cluster at the heart of the nebula, is about 3.5 million years old. The core of the star cluster IC 1590 is the O6 class trapezium system HD 5005, which ionises Sh 2-184."

Sh2-185: IC 59/63.  00 60 00.0 +60 59 23, 120': Seen easily with 4-inch, appear as seagull wings.  Connects to IC 59 with faint curtain of nebulosity.    

Sh2-186: 01 08 50.7 +63 08 02, 1'. Small and faint glow identified with the DSS plate, 8-inch unfiltered & Ha.

Sh2-187:  01 23 07.0 +61 51 24, 10': Difficult!  Faint nebulosity is mixed with dark nebula to make it nearly impossible to detect.  It appears as an extremely subtle contrast change with the sky.  Brightest parts are very small as compared to the 10' size.  8-inch and Ha only.  Vogel: "Distance: 1000 pc, Size: 2.9 pc.  This young (100-200 thousand years) star formation region is most likely ionised by a B0 star and is surrounded by a 4600 solar mass molecular cloud."

Sh2-188: = Simeis 22. 01 30 38.6 +58 22 01, 9': Easily seen with the 4-inch, used 8-inch for more detail, Ha+OIII.  Streaks of fairly bright nebula all layer to form the fairly bright curving body, with the brightest layer being the southeastern rim.  There are thin faint extensions coming from the western tip, and dense brush-like extensions from the northern tip, making it look like a shrimp.  In the DSS plate these extensions seem to join to form a complete ring but I did not see that.  Vogel: "This is planetary nebula Simeis 22 with a distance of 218 pc and an expansion age of 7500 years."

Sh2-189: = Abell 3, 02 12 07.6 +64 10 18, 2': With 8-inch unfiltered, I a very small, very faint non stellar round glow, difficult, identified by looking at the DSS plates.

Sh2-250: near NGC1633/1634 (galaxies) 04 40 10.8 +07 21 47, 10': There is a very faint sweep of nebula running parallel to two bright stars, N-S, brightest view with the 8-inch Ha.  In the 4-inch I see these sweeps extend further to the NE in much fainter wisps.  I did not notice the two NGC galaxies, which seemed stellar (at least I sketched them as stars in my notebook--they are the two close bright spots just to the north of center in the image, blue hash marks).

Sh2-251: 04 32 49.0 +05 51 46 35': Very weak wisps of cloud orientated N-S toward a triangle of bright stars, seen as a very faint contrast change which moves with the scope.  Galaxy Map: "Sh 2-250 and Sh 2-251 appear to be areas of nebulosity within the Orion-Eridanus superbubble, like Sh 2-245. The superbubble is ionised by ultraviolet radiation from the hot stars of the Ori OB1 association."

Sh2-252: = NGC2174/2175/IC 2159 "Monkey Head", 06 09 38.7 +20 30 01, 40': Very bright nebula, easy in the 4-inch Ha, best for detail in the 8-inch and Ha+OIII.  Many stars within the nebula, which sweeps in many combed layers from the westers wall (dark nebula cutoff) to the west then curves upward.  The interior is heavily mottled with dark and bright wisps.  The nebula evaporates from the northern end into thin streams half the length of the main nenula.  Vogel: "surrounds the NGC 2175 star cluster in the depths of the Gemini giant molecular clouds."

Sh2-253: 06 25 43.0 +20 01 41, 5' With 8-inch Ha, short, weak streak of nebulosity with ragged ends, intermingled with numerous stars.  Vogel: "Distance: 4400 pc, Size: 6.4 pc Sh 2-253 is probably ionised by stars in the Bochum 1 (C 0622+198, more or less centered in the image) star cluster, including the B 1.5 V class LS V +20 40."

Sh 2-254: 06 12 20.5 +18 02 37, 11'
Sh 2-255: 06 13 08.4 +17 58 31, 3'
Sh 2-256: 06 12 38.3 +17 56 35, 1'
Sh 2-257: IC 2162 06 12 50.4 +17 58 33, 3'
Sh 2-258: 06 13 32.3 +17 55 27, 1'
Really interesting!  First impression is of a snowman that's been toppled over.  Bright, nearly uniform round glows, each with a central star, in a row, with -254 the westernmost and largest, then -257 to the east with a slight gap, and -255 further east with a somewhat larger gap.  Each with soft edges.  -256 is a small but bright oval glow, and -258 is detatched from the group, a very small round glow around a faint star (which I would not have noticed if not for the label on the DSS plate).  8-inch Ha.  Vogel: "Distance: 2000 pc, A molecular cloud with 27 thousand solar masses surrounds the Sh 2-254 to Sh 2-258 HII and star formation region."

Sh2-259: 06 11 36.7 +17 26 44, 2': Unfiltered 8-inch, appears as a very small, fairly faint sunnyside-up egg, but with an incomplete circular glow around three stars.  Galaxy Map: "This HII region lies in the direction of the Gem OB1 molecular clouds but its distance seems to make it a background object in the outer Cygnus arm. It is centred around the B1 V star ALS 18669."

Sh2-260: 04 55 07.0 +05 39 43, 22' 4-inch Ha, Large, very vague and extremely faint, roughly triangular contrast change, but I can't detect any detail.  Vogel: "This red filamentary nebulosity is in the general direction of the Taurus dark cloud. It is most likely associated with the Lambda Orionis ring (Sh 2-264)."

Sh2-261: = Lower's Nebula, 06 08 56.6 +15 48 07, 45': 8-inch and Ha+OIII.  Large, bright, round, with a comma-shaped tail to the north.  Brighter section to the south.  Heavily mottled and broken-up nebula, with numerous stars inside.  Beautiful, a showpiece. Vogel: "appears to be ionised by the O7.5V runaway star HD 41997" -- so it may be a temporary illumination of this part of the sky.  Vogel indicates which parts of the nebula are seen best with visual filters, but I saw the whole thing together with PVS-14 and dual band Ha+OIII.

Sh2-262: 05 06 44.7 +06 10 04, 20' Seen with the 4-inch, brighter with the 8-inch Ha.  Fairly large nebula streams diagonally from a long "L" shaped asterism, very faint and scattered cloud.  Vogel: "Distance: 900 pc, Size: 5.2 pc, This nebula is most likely associated with the Lambda Orionis ring (Sh 2-264)."

Sh2-263: 05 21 44.4 +08 23 56, 22': Very soft round glow to the SW of a bright star, with a defined rounded edge / dark cut-off to the northwest and very faint extensions streaming south, with more extremely faint nebula in the general area around the star.  4- & 8-inch with Ha+OIII.  Galaxy Map: "This HII region and reflection nebula is ionised by the B0-B1 V star HD 34989. Avedisova places it in star formation region SFR 195.06-11.99 as part of the Lambda Orionis ring complex along with Sh 2-264, Sh 2-265 and the dark nebula LDN 1582 (Barnard 32)"