Image of the day

Captured by
Richard Strouse

2024 Indianapolis Total Solar Eclipse

My Account

New to Astromart?

Register an account...

Need Help?

Cool object: IC2149 and two enigmatic clusters

Started by Inge_S, 09/16/2002 09:30AM
Posted 09/16/2002 09:30AM Opening Post
Saturday night I observed for a couple of hours from a dark site. (No ambient light, no moon, no auroras). As always, I observed a mix of objects, doubles, clusters and nebulae.

It was dark enough to view both NGC185 and NGC147 with ease with the 8-inch Newtonian. However, I did not manage to spot IC342. Possibly this was because I did not know its position exactly, possibly because it is at the very limit of what can be viewed with 8-inches of aperture.

I observed two very interesting, but perhaps not very well known open clusters this evening. Not far from Polaris is NGC188. For astrophysicists this is a famous cluster, being almost as old as a typical globular. Visually it is not exactly easy. It is large and contains only very faint stars. By scrutinising the field, I could see a swarm of 13 - 14 mag. stars superimposed on a background glow. I also observed a cluster in Lyra, NGC6791, which resembles the Cepheus cluster. The Lyra cluster, however, is smaller in extent, and the number of stars visible is smaller. But the background glow indicates that this is an extremely rich open cluster. Both NGC188 and NGC6791 must be magnificient objects in larger scopes.

Near Pi Aurigae (just north of Beta Aurigae - Menkalinan) is a small planetary nebula, IC2149. Its extent is so small that it easily is taken to be a 10'th magnitude star. I had to use the blinking technique with my O-III filter to identify it, but as soon as I found it I realised that it was definitely fuzzy in appearance. Using a power of 240x I had the impression of viewing a miniature version of NGC7662. This nebula is bright enough to be seen in very small scopes, and it is a recommended target for people wanting to see something new.
Posted 09/16/2002 02:55PM #1
Ah, Inge, back from the extended Pisces fishing trip. I'm so glad as now I can continue to read your reports! An a very nice first report for the season it is.

Indeed, you're absolutely right; IC 2149 is a great target for a small scope! In fact, the mag 11.3 central star is within reach of a good 4" refractor. BTW, the PN can be seen without filter as well, just need to pump the magnification ;-).

Ron B[ee]