We organised about one month ago a nice starparty on a location about 40 minutes driving east of Brussels. The skies cleared up (not common this time of the year …) and we enjoyed the splendid autumn sky under quite dark conditions.
My observation list included a mixture of IC, NGC and Hickson objects, with The Pacman Nebula (NGC 281) in Cassiopeia as main objective of the night. Hereby the results of more that one hour of observation and searching subtle details with averted vision in this beautiful object.
* Object Name : Pacman Nebula (NGC 281)
* Location : Meldert – Belgium
* Date : 18 October 2014 – 22h55 UT
* Optics: SCT C11 (279mm f/10) on CGEM mount – ES82 34mm (82x – FOV 50 arcm) – Astronomik UHC filter
* Sky conditions: NELM 5.9 – SQM 20.32 – Seeing 2/5 – Transp. 2/5 (Antoniadi)
* Media : Media: graphite pencil on white paper, scanned and inverted (GIMP2)
Beautiful emission nebula complex, subtle but surprisingly easy visible. A bright oval patchy area is visible in the central area, just east of a smal rich star cluster. Averted vision brings a clear bright extension towards the west with a large subtle patchy glow in the northern area. At the southwestern side the nebula is less bright, with a faint glow extending towards the south. A dark lane can be detected using averted vision, resembling a “byte” in the central area and extending towards the west.