Tuesday, 7 May 2013

SPSP Challenge: IC2966 - can you see it?

Is IC2966 in fact Dunlop 266, 267?  He described two small hazy spots very near the Index Catalogue (IC) object. He was using a nine inch speculum - perhaps he did! IC2966 is one of the 'missing' Dunlop Objects that scholars do not credit to Dunlop. SPSP attendees might like to tackle the object with eight to ten inch telescopes. Report what you see to me (Harry) - I hope to be there. And the forecast is for clear-ish skies.

Where is IC2966? Its on the Musca/Centaurus border at 11h50m -64deg52min - overhead near the Southern Cross during the South Pacific Star Party. Good luck!
      Happy to report the two faint nebulae were fairly easy with the Mike Kerr 25" F5 telescope - pointed by Chris Ross. A 15m exposure by Joe Cauchi with his 16" reflector shows a pair of stars embedded in a blue reflection nebula - just as Dunlop described. How did he see it in a nine inch speculum: or was it then brighter?

Joe's great shot approximates the view in the 25". It seems the embedded stars are spectral type B or A as they excite no H-alpha emission - just a faint blue reflection nebula. Here's an idea: 180y ago the nebula was denser and scattered more light - but has now 'cleared' and little scattering occurs. Any thoughts?

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