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  • Additional Winter Targets for 2023/2024

    Reggie Jones

    In addition to the winter targets I suggested in an earlier post, here are 3 more to consider.  Planetary nebulas are always tough targets and these 3 will keep you busy.

    The first target is NGC 1514, the Crystal Ball Nebula in Taurus.  This is a very dim planetary nebula with a 9th magnitude central star that is clearly visible was discovered by William Herschel in the late 18th century.  It contains a smooth outer shell with a brighter inner shell with bright clumps of material.  This object is about 2,400 light years from us.  There is a 1-Click Observation of this that was recently completed.  Grab your set of data here:  https://app.telescope.live/click-grab/all?target=ngc 1514


    Next up is NGC 2261, known as Hubble’s Variable Nebula in Monoceros.  Again, it was discovered by William Herschel and it was originally mistaken as a comet since this reflection nebula has an odd fan shape to it.  The nebula itself contains a variability to it that was discovered by Edwin Hubble and was the first object photographed by the Mt Palomar Observatory using the 200 inch Hale Telescope there.  This object lies just beyond the Cone Nebula.  There is currently not a 1-Click Observation data set available for this target; probably should make a suggestion for it.



    The last target is NGC 2392 known as either the Eskimo Nebula or the Clown Face Nebula.  Yet another William Herschel discovery, this is a magnitude 9 planetary nebula with a 10th magnitude central star.  This object has an interesting double shell and with some folks, resembles a person’s head surrounded by a parka hood and hence the name.  I’m not sure why the Clown Face Nebula name was associated with it.  There is an older 1-Click Observation dataset of this target and in my opinion, it's due for a refresh.  You can grab the old dataset here: https://app.telescope.live/click-grab/all?target=ngc 2392


    For those who take up the challenge to observe or image these targets, good hunting…



    Image Credits


    NGC 1514; Goran Nilsson and The Liverpool Telescope

    NGC 2261; Hubble Space Telescope

    NGC 2392; Wikipedia

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