Friday, 23 March 2018

Summer's Blue PN: NGC3918

Southern summer has the Carina end of the 'Carina-Sagittarius' galaxy arm high overhead. Rich and dusty, it is packed with remarkable nebulae and star-fields. This 'gem' needs some magnification, but is I think the brightest and bluist of any PNe I've seen. No one else sees a central dimmer region! As summer advances we see more and more of this dense galactic arm until mid-winter,  when we gaze toward the MWG core.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

M42 in pencil

This Summer nebula brings to mind 1960's school days - and  first views with a friend's 4inch 'scope. I took a lot of photos. Yet this 2010 pencil sketch seems more natural - why? The bright stars have been tweaked with software to suggest their dazzling presence. Specs: 10in. F5. H-beta filter, at an urban site.

Planetary Neb in M46

Planetary nebulae are elusive targets - and can be more so if  sited amid bright stars. This one adorns star cluster M46 (NGC2438). Often a narrow-field e.p. helps reduce competing glare. This is a pencil sketch but the stars have been enhanced to show their true sparkle: its a beautiful cluster, but we see just a small part here. The nebula is a chance alignment and the 'central' star is unrelated to it.