To acknowledge this story, you accept to set your wayback apparatus to 2007. That year I abounding the Okie-Tex Brilliant Affair forth with Mark Deprest, Robert Wade, and Nathan Murphy. Okie-Tex is a absolutely arresting brilliant affair that boasts some of the darkest skies begin anywhere in the continental United States .
I won’t go into abundant detail on the ‘07 OTSP, but if you are analytical you can read about it here: http://www.umich.edu/~lowbrows/reflections/2007/dscobel.28.html
So on to the egg hunt. Nathan absitively one night that he’d accept a folio of the Pocket Sky Album and see what he could see on it. Now I couldn’t apprehend his mind, but I’m abiding that his anticipation action went article like this: “Let’s see, what’s up aerial appropriate now? Hmm, Cygnus is about anon overhead, but I accept the 10-inch Portaball, so there’s no such affair as Dobson’s Hole with that scope. Yeah, let’s try Cygnus.” So he opens the PSA to Cygnus, and continues. “Let’s see, here’s a nice attractive planetary, the ‘Egg Nebula’. Hmm, if it’s in the PSA, it charge be about easy, abnormally because I’m beneath the darkest skies in the country, and I accept a ten-inch scope. How hard can it be?” How adamantine can it be? Plenty adamantine as it angry out. Bisected an hour later, I’m abiding Nathan is cerebration thoughts that I cannot allotment here. Let’s aloof say that he was actual balked at not actuality able to acquisition article that “ought to be easy”. In agony he turns to the blow of us to admit our help. I attending at the folio in PSA. “Looks like it should be a nice little planetary” I anticipate to myself. “OK, how adamantine can it be?” I band up the Telrad, and look admitting my accurate old 13” Dob called Papa Smurf. Nothing. Pan about some. Nothing. Get out the oxygen-III clarify and blink it in and out. Still nothing. Pan about some, go aback to the starting point, blink the O-III in and out, pan some more, blink, pan, start over, etc., etc., etc. Still nothing. What the heck? OK, time to get out the big gun, Millennium Brilliant Atlas. Acquisition the chart, there it is, try again. Nothing. OK, go aback to Millennium Brilliant Atlas. There’s a little pentagon-shaped asterism, and the billow is on one of the bristles abandon of the pentagon. Acquisition the pentagon, acquisition the nebula. Aback to the ambit and pan about the aing brilliant acreage in Cygnus, which is already dense because the Milky Way runs appropriate through it, but is rendered even added so because of the acutely aphotic sky. “Dang, there are a lot of stars up there!” Afterwards a acceptable 20 minutes, I finally acquisition the little pentagon in a low-power, wide-field eyepiece. “The nebula should be appropriate there. Area is it?” Blink the O-III in and out. “STILL NOTHING! WHAT IS GOING ON?” Everything dims appropriately and there’s no assurance of a nebula. All I see is a close, dim, bifold star area the billow care to be. “OK, let’s zoom in.” At college deepening the ashamed egg assuredly reveals itself! The close, dim, bifold brilliant is actually belted in nebulosity. Finally, success, if you alarm award an article after an hour’s account of analytic “success”. Since that time we’ve unaffectionately referred to the Egg Billow as Nathan’s Nemesis and Murphy’s Bane, which are certainly added anecdotic names based on our experience. That abiding was one boxy little bugger! But we begin it.
At the 2007 OTSP, Nathan looks to be a little anxious afterwards angry with the Egg Nebula aftermost night. Guess who won.
Okay, aback to the present. We’re at CLEAR IV in Atlanta, MI, the weekend of May 18-19 of this year. During the additional night, Yasu suggests that we attending for the Egg Nebula. “NO WAY” Nathan and I acknowledgment about in unison. I’m not accomplishing that afresh — that was not fun. Again I alpha cerebration about it. I anticipate to myself “You know, I do accept a 16-inch scope now, the skies are absolutely dark, and I array of bethink how to acquisition it. Cygnus isn’t too aerial yet, so Dobson’s Hole shouldn’t be a problem. Acquisition that little pentagon and I acquisition the nebula. How adamantine can it be?” Yeah, how adamantine can it be? Plenty! Of course, I accept to dig out Millennium Brilliant Atlas, but I balloon that the ambiguous Egg does not acknowledge to O-III filters like accustomed planetaries do. Despite all that, afterwards “only” a bisected hour’s account of analytic this time, I acquisition it. “Hey Yasu, I begin it!” Someone replies “He went to bed”. “Great, all that assignment and he goes to bed and I can’t appearance it to him. I’ll accept to accept a chat or two with that guy in the morning” I complain to myself.
Despite Yasu not actuality accessible to see it, this adventure has a argent lining. I now know a cinch way to star-hop to it quickly, and I anticipate you can do it too. Even from beneath than absolute skies.
Start with the Pocket Sky Atlas, blueprint cardinal 62, or around any added brilliant atlas, or aloof Blueprint 1 apparent here. Put your Telrad amid on a band amid magnitude 3.7 Tau Cygni and consequence 2.5 Epsilon Cygni. Now acclimatize your ambit so that the Telrad’s bull’s-eye is aloof a atom arctic of the mean of the line. Now attending in the everyman ability eyepiece you have. A the centermost of the acreage you should be able to calmly acquisition the bifold brilliant Yale BSC 8051 (BSC = Ablaze Brilliant Catalog), whose apparatus are afar by about 1.2 arc-minutes and are of magnitudes 6.0 and 8.7. Blueprint 1 shows area to put the Telrad circle.
Chart 1. This blueprint shows area to abode the Telrad circle, amid Tau and Epsilon Cygni. Arctic is at the top and east is to the left. Blueprint was generated application Guide 8.0.
That bifold brilliant comprises the southernmost bend of a trapezoid of stars that is angled about NNE to SSW, about 9 arc account on the longest (SE) ancillary and six arc account on the beeline (NE and NW) sides. Going clockwise from the brighter double, the brilliant magnitudes are 8.7, 10.0, and 9.8. Blueprint 2 shows Yale BSC 8051 and the trapezoid a the basal of the chart.
Chart 2. This blueprint shows the area of the trapezoid arctic of YBSC 8051, and the pentagon to its north. The area of the Egg Billow is circled. Arctic is at the top and east is to the left. Blueprint was generated application Guide 8.0.
You should apprehension that the aboriginal brilliant clockwise (to the NNE) from the ablaze double is itself a bifold star, with apparatus afar by about 45 arc seconds. These two bifold stars point about anon to the nebula, a little added than bisected a amount to the NNE. But to be abiding that you accept the actual field, you accept to acquisition a pentagon of about 8th consequence stars, with a sixth 8th consequence brilliant in the middle. This pentagon is abundant beyond than the trapezoid, aing to a amount across, and is additionally apparent a the top of Chart 2.
Once you acquisition the pentagon, award the Egg is easy. It’s anchored forth the southern ancillary of the pentagon, afterpiece to the westernmost brilliant that defines that side. Once you see what appears to be a faint, close, bifold star, access the deepening to at atomic 200x. You should see that the two “stars” are belted in nebulosity, and that one of them is hardly brighter than the other. The angel beneath approximates the appearance of the billow in the eyepiece — but bethink that it is abundant brighter in the angel actuality than it will arise visually.
The Egg Nebula, PK80-6.1, is at center. Sloan Digital Sky Survey angel address the Space Telescope Science Institute.
There, you begin it! That wasn’t so hard, was it? Maybe I don’t appetite you to answer that. Afterwards all, I haven’t approved application this adjustment locally beneath our more light-polluted skies. But I intend to try aing time I’m out.
So what is the Egg Billow anyway? It’s apparent in both Pocket Sky Album and Millennium Brilliant Album as a all-embracing nebula, but why does it not acknowledge to an O-III filter? It is anticipation that the Egg is a proto-planetary nebula. In added words, a brilliant that is in the action of acceptable a all-embracing nebula, but not quite yet. The antecedent is that it is so aboriginal in the action of acceptable a all-embracing billow that its arenaceous ambiance is animated by reflected ablaze which is over-powering any ionized gas emission.
Here’s a table with some abstracts on the Egg Nebula. Some sources account it as magnitude 13.5, but from my observations and those of others I’m calling it approximately beheld consequence 11.5 or 12. That sounds aside but its apparent accuracy is absolutely aerial due to its actual baby angular size.
Galactic Billow designation
Coordinates (epoch 2000)
RA 21h 02m 19s Dec 36° 41m 38s
So, can you coursing bottomward the ambiguous Egg? Beneath aboriginal skies it should be arresting in a six-inch scope, but beneath the compromised skies of SE Michigan I’m academic you’ll charge at atomic an eight-inch if not larger. If you accept such a scope, again the aing time you’re out this summer try accomplishing an Egg coursing in Cygnus. I’d like to apperceive — what do you see?
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