Monday, February 1, 2016

monoceros carbons

Had a short but nice session out back with the 8-inch.  Seeing and transparency were both average, and at 10:30pm I lost the sky to some high clouds.  There's another storm moving in for the next couple of days.  But this weekend is predicted to clear; fingers crossed for a nice night Saturday, just in time for the new moon.

I chased down some carbon stars in Monoceros, and a couple other interesting sights along the way; all 184x:

FU Monocerotis: Strikingly orange-red.  Small, dim, about 9th magnitude--as faint as two stars preceding it. 

IC 448: a star about 7th magnitude with a small smudge of nebulosity around it.  At first appears as mist on the eyepiece but follows the sky.  Seems elongated N-S; brighter rim to the NE.  Best view without filter; did not respond to OIII.  I don't find much online about this one. 

RV Monocerotis: Deep orange, about 7th magnitude [AAVSO pegs it at 8th].   Ragged string of stars to south.  Visible in finder but no color. 

V614 Monocerotis: Pretty orange in a dense field.  Took a while for the color to show.  A winking star is to the NE just preceding a double, at the edge of visibility.  I wonder if it's a planetary nebula? [None listed in Uranometria...] 

NGC 2311 Open Cluster.  It must really look like something in a dark sky with more aperture.  A dozen 7th-8th magnitude stars in loose concentration with a greyish mottling of faint stars trying to make it to my eye.  This is a William Herschel find.

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