Desperation had set in. A hint of a few hours on Tuesday was enough to brave the conditions. A first quarter moon delayed start until 23:00 and intermittent hill fog prompted two re-locations to more low lying sites.
First off was an attempt to view M74 between the clouds. Finding M77 put me off target by a mile. Moving up to M74 a small shift found half-a-dozen galaxies just off 1 Arietis.
A quick shift down the road and a wide-field cruise with the OIII filter found lots of nebulosity between Auriga and Taurus. The Flame Nebula, IC405, is very large and more suited to an even wider FOV. Scanning around found the edges and some prominent areas. Moving across a bright 6 star asterism found the Bright Nebula IC 410. This was impressive surrounding a nice cluster of stars at mag. 7.5. Moving towards M38 I found a smaller and fainter cluster with nearby nebulosity, IC 417 with Stock 8. M38 was excellent next to NGC 1907. A field further on found the 10’ nebula of SH2-235.
Imagine a supernova remnant twice the size of the Veil. Such is Sh2-240. A short hop off the top horn of Taurus may find this huge but, very faint object. I had shaded the brightest areas onto a SkyMap chart using information from the Internet. I thought I could see/imagine something however, the mist came in, nebulosity was everywhere.
Another relocation brought crystal stars, M35 quite visible against the Milky Way background. This time Simeis 147 (a.k.a. Sh2-240) became apparent as a broad, pale 1 degree plus long filament. Other knots of nebulosity could also be made out. Two knots of nebulosity, IC59 and IC63, can be found by the middle star of the Cassiopeia ‘W’. A high power and UHC filter are required, IC59 is more obvious. Keep the bright star out or it will flood the scene. Abell 2 is a large, faint planetary just off the bottom right star of the ‘W’.
Finally, IC10 is a large mag. 13.3 local group galaxy, also in Cassiopeia. Near to 2 stars it can be seen as a pale, diffuse oval glow.
by Paul Clark