A Pearl Within It’s Shells

NGC 1514

Planetary Nebula NGC 1514 in Taurus
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

Planetary Nebula NGC 1514

The last time I examined this planetary on a not so transparent night with my 10″ scope and using an ultrablock filter, I was disappointed with the view. Last night that all changed. Between nightfall and 3 am local time the seeing and transparency was about as good as it gets in these parts. I used my largest scope to take advantage of the good seeing and rare transparency. NGC 1514 is a double shelled planetary nebula in the constellation of Taurus. The outer faint shell was not at all visible at the eyepiece. The brighter irregularly illuminated inner shell which is about 1.9′ across was easy and much enhanced by the filter and averted vision. The bright central star was clearly blue and is classified as a late O-type star. This star is believed to be a close, short period binary with an A-III type companion. The apparent magnitude of the central star is 9.5. This planetary was discovered by William Herschel 218 years ago this month.

Location: R.A. 4 hrs 9 min. 17 sec.
Dec. + 30° 46′ 33″


Date and Time: 11-29-2008, 4:15-5:20 UT
Scope: 18” f/5 Dobsonian. 21 mm Hyperion eyepiece 109x, ultrablock filter,
8”x11” off-white recycled sketching paper, 2H, 2B, 6B graphite pencils, yellow crayola sketching pencils, blending stump, eraser shield, scanned and inverted, some star magnitude adjustments and background made after scanning using Microsoft Paint.
Temperature: -3°C (26°F), calm
Seeing: Pickering 8/10
Transparency: Above Average 4.5/5
nelm: 4.8

4 thoughts on “A Pearl Within It’s Shells”

  1. Great work Frank, good to see you got the big gun out for this one.
    I don’t think that I have observed this planetary myself, quite why must simply be down to oversight! As I write it looks like it maybe clear in the SE UK tonight so it appears that I have a date ;o)

    Thanks for the intro Frank I will post my results on this site asap.

    Clear Skies, Dale

  2. Ooops — you’ll need to manually remove the trailing period from the URL I posted in my previous comment.

    (Is there any way to edit my comment? I can’t seem to find it….)

    — Jeff.

  3. Dale and Jeff,

    Thank you for the compliments on my sketch.

    Dale, I hope you get a chance to see and post this PN.

    Jeff, I was able to get to your site just fine. Your sketch of NGC 1514 shows stars near the planetary I could not see. You are seeing this object bigger and brighter than I did. Beautiful sketch.

    Frank 🙂

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