Observation notes from Chile.
March, 2005



Printed resources used (as referred to within notes):

 --Sky Atlas 2000 by Will Tirion. (1981 edition, not the latest one—though the page numbers are probably the same).

 --Uranometria Volume 2 by Tirion and others. This is the latest edition of the Southern Hemisphere Uranometria (2001).

 --Deep Space CCD Atlas: South by John Vickers and Alexander Wassilieff. 1994 edition.


All observations made with a 13” f/4.4 reflector. Primary eyepiece used: 8-24mm TeleVue zoom, which translates to 59x to176x and 39-18 seconds of arc true field of view. Other eyepieces/filters were used as noted.


This is by no means a comprehensive “best-of” list: This was my first time observing in the Southern hemisphere, and my observing bias always shows with the lists I compile: I favor galaxies and nebula (planetary and emission) over open clusters, and even globular clusters. I like to learn the constellations and asterisms, so that means I hop around a lot (observations are not recorded by increasing Right Ascension, in other words). My scope is not equipped with Goto or Digital Setting Circles. I like paper maps.


All deep space images from the Digital Sky Survey (DSS).


At Collowara Observatory (left to right):
Tom Palmer, Mark Wagner, myself, David Butler.



Vicuña site


The sites: Besides a little observing the first night with Mark’s 10” in our hotel’s courtyard (“suburban” light), we viewed from four different locations at or near -30 degrees latitude from the darkest sites any of us have ever witnessed. I think we observed for seven clear nights total; only a couple of nights did clouds or rain interfere. “Seeing” ranged from excellent to merely very good. First—and last—of all, naked-eye views of the southern skies are just incredible! Half the sky was unfamiliar to us (three old school observers w/Dobs--two ten-inchers, and my 13; one newbie with a goto five-incher), the other half of the sky was familiar, but "upsidedown”—in fact, some favorite ‘northern’ objects are better placed from this latitude: M42, M83, for example.

A summary of the sites follows:


 La Frontera site looking south.


ESO's La Silla airport site.


Collowara Observatory near Andocollo.



Showpiece objects:


--The Southern Milky Way.  If you think of our Northern Milky Way as running (roughly) from Cassiopeia to the galactic center in Saggittarius, the Southern Milky Way runs from Saggitarius through Scorpius, Ara, Triangulum Australe, Circinus, Centaurus, Crux, Musca, Carina, Vela, Pyxis, Puppis, Canis Major, Monoceros—the latter ones recognizable as members of our (northern) winter Milky Way—but better positioned, and viewed comfortably in summertime temps! The Southern Cross (Crux) is about the same place as our Cygnus, about at the half-way point from the center to the outer reaches. I never realized what the big deal was concerning the Southern Cross, before seeing it for myself, that is. A number of things: It's a smallish constellation, its pattern easily recognizable. The Coal Sack--a huge dark nebula almost devoid of stars sits right next to it, and is almost the same size as Crux. The longer axis of the "cross," times four, points to the South Celestial Pole (there is no equivalent of Polaris). Very near Crux are several bright knotty patches; these are the magnificent Eta Carina Nebula, and several star clusters including The Jewel Box. There is another asterism in the sky called "the false cross" a few constellations to the west, and indeed looks like Crux, only bigger and dimmer. Like Crux, it is a good jumping off point for star-hopping that part of the Milky Way.


--The Large and Small Magellenic Clouds are circumpolar, and hover near the southern outskirts of the central portion of the Southern Milky Way. The Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2070), an HII region like M42 is a naked eye patch in the LMC. It is magnificent in a telescope! Burnham writes that it is the largest HII region in the known Universe; that if it were as near as M42, it would take up 30 degrees of sky and casts shadows since it would be brighter than four Venuses! 47 Tucanae, a naked-eye globular (and this one is four times smaller than Omega Centauri, the grand-daddy of all globs), sits near the SMC.

--The Coal Sack--a dark nebula almost as big as The Southern Cross (Crux), right next to it and nearly in the middle of our Milky Way.

--Eta Carina--a diffuse nebula larger and more intricate than M42, but M42 holds its own (it may be upside down, but it is higher and more magnificent in the southern hemisphere).

--The Tarantula Nebula--a very intricate diffuse nebula with the "body/head" of the spider uncannily 3-dimensional and in-your-face! Spooky!

--The Jewel Box--the finest open cluster in the heavens. If you like M11, you'll love The Jewel Box.

--Omega Centauri--No other globular comes close!  Well, maybe:
--47 Tucanae--Not as large as the above, but morphologically more interesting; with its blazing center easily resolved at moderate magnification.

--Centaurus A--an extremely interesting galaxy--a giant eliptical, with a giant dust lane through its middle!

--M83--one of several fine barred spiral galaxies the southern skies have to offer. This one was bright and straight overhead around 3am. Truly 'photographic' looking.


Telescopic observations of these, and others follow:




NGC 4945 Cen. 13 05.4, -49 28 Gal SA: 21 UraSo: 184 VickersSo: 89

A very nice large(ish) elongated galaxy NE/SW. Very even glow. Tom had this on his list because a supernova was recorded here just a couple of weeks ago! We tracked the SN down: quite easy in both his 10” and my 13”; stellar point, maybe 13mag. 24mm zoom provided best view.


NGC 2442 Vol 07 36.4, -69 32 SBb Gal SA: 24 UranoSo: 214 VickersSo: 47

Excellent barred spiral! Large “S” shape clearly seen with direct vision! 11.2 mag.




NGC 5286 Cen  13 46.3, -51 22.4  Glob SA:21 UraSo:183 VickersSo: No

Mag11.5. Small, but semi-resolved globular. Next to 6mag star. 8mm zoom.


NGC 5139 Cen. “Omega Centauri” 13 26.8, -47 29 36.3 Glob SA:   UraSo:  VickersSo: 92  Mag: 3.7

At 3.7 mag, an easy naked eye object. Truly a glorious sight in a scope! Stars resolved to the center—an even, gradual concentration towards the center (unlike 47 Tucanae, see below). The ‘king’ of globs!


NGC 104 Tuc. (47 Tucanae) 00 24.1, -72 05 30.9 Glob SA: UraSo: VickersSo: 3 Mag: 4.0.

Another glorious, naked eye globular! Although about a quarter of the size of Omega Centauri (therefore comparable to M13), it is no less magnificent: The intense brightening of the central core adds to the dynamism and beauty of this glob. One tends to use higher power to resolve the center, which is easy—even at medium power. The ‘queen’ of globs!


NGC 4755 Cru “The Jewel Box” 12 53.6, -60 20 10 OC SA: UraSo:  VickersSo: 87 Mag: 4.2

The grand-daddy of all open clusters! There is seemingly a less distant, brighter star cluster super-imposed on this which makes a “V” pattern, but not so, according to Burnham—these are ‘just’ supergiants; part of the same cluster. Within this “V” there are also three multi-colored stars transverse to the main “V.” Truly beautiful!


60 arc minute square image from DSS


NGC 3372 Car “Eta Carina Nebula”; “Keyhole” 10 43.8, -59 52 EM SA:  UranSo: VickersSo: 72

(Almost) everyones fave! A vast emission nebula, impossible to get into the entire FOV. Responds well to Ultrablock filter as well as high power. Billowing three-dimensional clouds viewed doing both of the latter. Various well defined dark lanes within this nebula make it extremely fascinating. With M42, high in the northern sky at the same time, it was natural to compare eyepiece views. M42’s clouds were smaller, tighter and brighter, and therefore showed color—wisps of dull red and pale green. No color seen in Eta Carina Nebula; they were much more dispersed, but the patterns were intricate and well-defined—just not as bright as M42. The Trapezium, with six stars easily visible, is also an area of interest and beauty in M42 that Eta lacks. However: Eta Carinae is the boat that drives The Homunculus Nebula, the extremely energetic star that illuminates much of the Eta Carina Nebula. Unfortunately, this magnificent item was not on my list! I missed it! Here, however, is Steve Gottlieb’s notes using my scope a year earlier in Costa Rica:


13.1" (2/20/04 - Costa Rica): at 200x, the Homunculus Nebula was 
remarkable in excellent seeing on the last evening of observing.  Both 
Eta and the nebula were a uniquely vivid color - an amazing fluorescent 
orange-tangerine.  Extending to the SE of Eta is the brighter lobe, 
perhaps 6" in diameter with a sharp outline that was flattened along 
the southern edge in a mushroom shape.  There appeared to be a partial 
darker lane in the interior.  Extending to the NW was a smaller (4"-5") 
and much fainter lobe that faded with increased magnification.  A tiny 
spike of nebulosity jutted out along to the NE between the two lobes.  
This bi-polar reflection nebula resulted from the most recent outburst 
of supermassive Eta in 1841.  A couple of very close and faint 
companions lie just NE of Eta.
The lobes were also clearly visible in Gary Seronik's 8-inch travel 
dob, so a large aperture is certainly not necessary – just good seeing.



NGC 2070 Dor “The Tarantula Nebula”; “#30 Dorado” 05 38.6, -69 05 EM SA: 24 UranSo: 212, a24 VickersSo: 39 Mag: 8.2 Size: 40x25’

A wonderful, enticing nebula! Like M42 or Eta Carina, one never tires of looking at this over and over again! Responds well to Ultrablock and OIII filters--the “body” especially becomes more interwoven and three dimensional.




NGC 1371 For 03 35.0 -24 56 Gal SA:  UranoSo: VickerSo: 25 Mag 11.5

A rather bright, but non-descript oval galaxy.



From La Silla airport, where seeing was exquisite, we all feasted our eyes on ol’ Jove. . . Mark counted 20 cloud bands. The GRS seemed etched with eye-liner. There was a white oval trailing the GRS, about one-fourth its size.  All four Galilean moons were easily resolved as disks. Ganymede displayed a ruddy-red appearance. I have witnessed seeing this excellent maybe once before.


NGC 1385 For 03 37.5, -24 30 Gal SA: UranoSo: VickersSo: 25 Mag11.0

Looks similar to the non-descript 1371, though I was hoping to see some irregularity like the Vickers image shows.


NGC 1360=PK 220-53.1 For 03 33.3, -25.51 PN SA: UranoSo: VickersSo: 24

Nice, large, oval (390”) planetary with 11.4 mag central star. “Thumb-print-like” appearance. Responds well to Ultrablock, but not necessary to find.


NGC 1365 For 03 33.6, -36 08 SBb Gal SA: 18 UranoSo: 174 VickersSo: 24

Excellent barred spiral gal! Vickers a must here—to get orientation correct and tease detail out of with higher power. Both arms seen, but one was brighter. An averted vision delight!



Fornax Galaxy Cluster For 03 38, -35 30 Gal Clus SA: UranoSo:174 VickerSo: No

Sweep around 1365 and you’ll soon find clusters of much dimmer ellipticals in your view. Five was the most I counted in one three-quarter degree FOV. NGC 1399 was the brightest.


ESO 356-4 Fornax Dwarf  For 02 39.9, -34 32 Gal SA: 18 UranoSo: 175 VickerSo: 16

Had to use 32mm Plossl to sweep around here. Noticed a brightening as I swept by. Confirmed with other observers (Tom and David). Confirmed also with the observation of  NGC 1049 (a glob) on the northern (ill-defined) edge. Fornax 5 (another glob) also confirmed, but could not see any other similarly dim, small globs within this gal. I would like to try this one again when better placed in the sky.


NGC 1531-2 Eri 04 12.1, -32 52 Gal(s) SA:18 UranoSo: 174 VickerSo:30

Nice, bright (11.1 mag) three-quarter edge-on Sb gal (1532) with the much smaller 1531 at a right angle to it. 1531 was dim, but there.


NGC 1672 Dor 04 45.7, -59 15 SBb Gal SA: 24 UranoSo: 202 VickerSo: 34

Nice gal with a sprinkling of stars in the same FOV. Curiously off-balance in regards to the central, bright core. Vickers shows one “hooked” arm seen from (approx.) face-on.


NGC 2207, IC 2163 CMa 06 16.4, -21 22 Sc Gal SA:19 UranoSo:154 VickerSo: 42

Excellent interacting pair of gals: At first, looks like one gal with dark sideways swath through it—actually the dark swath is the dimmer of the interacting pair (IC 2163). Also looked at:

NGC 2196 and

NGC 2179--other gals in the hood (a FOV or two away): Pretty non-descript faint fuzzies.



Supernova 1987A Dor  05 35, -69 15 SN SA: 24 UranoSo: A25, A24, 212

On the outskirts of the Tarantula, and discovered  by a tech on a smoke break at Campanias Observatory (which we didn’t visit, but saw from the ESO at La Silla), I was hoping this was still visible. Uranometria has a nice finder chart (p.A25). I made sense of the asterisms, but saw nothing in the finder or main scope at that location. Even “blinked” with an Utrablock to no avail.


NGC 2217 CMa 06 21.7, -27 14 SBa Gal SA: 19 UranoSo: 154 VickersSo: 43

Takes a nice pic—apparently a face-on with small arms and distinct halo. Saw (almost) none of that in my 13-incher. Bright core gradually fading to the two stars in Vickers’ pic.; the halo, I presume—more dramatic in pic.


NGC 1316-1317 “Fornax A” For 03 22.7, -37 12 S(B)Op, S(B)a Gals SA: 18 UranoSo: 174-5 VickersSo: 22

Nice, bright ellipticals (mags 9.8 and 11.9). Featureless, of course.

NGC 1310 (Sb gal) also in the same FOV, but needed (at first) averted vision to see. Nice overall view of three gals.


NGC 1300 Eri 03 19.7, -19 25 SBb Gal SA: 11 UranoSo: 156-7 VickersSo: 22

11.1 mag barred spiral. Unfortunately, could not tease out any detail. My notes: bright, diffuse core seemingly a lil off-center. No bars or arms seen.

NGC 1297 in same field; non-descript oval gal.


NGC 1553, 1549 Dor 04 16.2, -55 47 SO, EO Gals SA: UranoSo: VickersSo: 31

A bright elliptical pair in the same FOV. Mags 10.5 and 10.9, respectfully.


NGC 1566 Dor 04 20, -54 56 S(b)b+ Gal SA: 24 UranoSo: 202 VickersSo: 31

Excellent face-on gal. Listed as barred spiral, but I don’t see evidence of this in the eyepiece or Vickers’ image. Two spiraling arms easily seen. In the same ‘hood as 1553 and 1549 above (NE one degree).


NGC 1536 Ret  04 11, -56 32 Gal SA: 24 UranoSo:202 VickersSo: No

Fairly bright face-on. Some patchiness and irregularity seen in surface brightness, but no arms, per se. Near 1553, 1549 (SW one degree).


NGC 1596;1602  Dor 04 27.6, -55 02  SA: 24 UranoSo: 202 VickerSo: 32

Nice pair of gals: One elongated (SB?) mag 11.9, one much dimmer (13.3), smaller elliptical.


NGC 2397 Vol 07 21.3, -69 00 Gal SA: UranoSo: VickersSo: 46

Vickers pic not too exciting, but this is a fairly bright (mag 12) SB gal.


NGC 2434 Vol 07 34.9, -69 17 EO Gal SA: 24 UranoSo: 214 VickersSo: 47

Same FOV as 2442; at one mag dimmer (12.3), still direct vision. Smaller, no detail (EO gal).


NGC 2467 Pup 07 52.6, -26 23 Em SA: 19 UranoSo: 153 VickersSo: 49

Excellent emission nebula in Puppis! Quite bright (7.1), big (8x7’), and detailed. Beautiful star cluster, too! (Somewhat detached) nebula trailing to the east.





NGC 2997 Ant 09 45.6, -31 11 Sc Gal SA: 20 UranoSo: 170 VickersSo: 62

Excellent face-on! Took a long time to star-hop to in the unfamiliar, star-poor region of Antlia, but well worth it! Showpiece multi-armed face-on, similar to M51 or M74 in the north. Zoomed in (24 to 8mm) and arms became much more apparent. Not exactly symmetrical, one arm a lil flattened. Vickers has an image of this one on the cover to his Southern atlas.



NGC 3109 Hya 10 03.1, -26 09 Ir Gal SA: 20 UranoSo: 151, 152  VickerSo: 66

Excellent, large irregular gal! Low surface brightness, but listed at 10.4! Star superimposed (?) on center, otherwise no central brightening. Similar, though smaller, to NGC 253.


NGC 3100; NGC 3095 Ant 10 00.1, -31 33 Gals SA: 20 UranoSo: 169, 170 VickersSo: 66

Nice pair of gals separated by about four of their widths. Look irregular—almost like emission nebula—but are classed S(B). Set in beautiful star field.


NGC 3115 Sex 10 05.2, -07 43 E6 Gal SA: 13 UranoSo: 133 VickersSo: 67

Very bright (10.1) lenticular gal! Not too often an elliptical will turn me on, but this one’s a gem!


NGC 3166, 3169, 3165 Sex 10 14.2, +3 28 SA: 13 UranoSo: 112, 113 VickersSo: 68

A trio of gals: One bright pair, separated by only a couple of their widths, and a faint, small one (3165) on the verge of my averted vision.


NGC 3269 Group (also: 3271, 3267, 3268) Ant 10 30, -35 13 Gals SA: 20 UranoSo: 169 VickersSo: 70

Excellent galaxy group! The four brightest range from mag 12.6 to 12.9 and are all in the same medium (24mm) field, PLUS at least four other much dimmer, smaller gals are in this field, too! Sweep around, and more gals (mostly dim ones) are easily picked up. Fun cluster!




NGC 3347, 3358, 3354 Ant 10 42.8, -36 22 SA: 20 UranoSo: 169 VickersSo: 72

Excellent trio of gals! Bright (12.5 and 12.8 for 3347, 3358) Middle fainter one (3354—mag 13.8) is much more dispersed—larger—than Vickers pic would suggest. No detail seen, except the usual elongations and ovals... Pic shows 3347 as gorgeous but small, barred spiral.


NGC 5189 Mus 13 33.5, -65 58 PN SA: 25 UranoSo: 208 VickerSo: No

Very nice irregular-looking planetary. Definitely not round, more rectangular-like, with "mottling." Mag 9.5, 2.3’ in size. Used 9 Nagler with OIII, really no improvement over zoom at 8mm and “blinking” w/filter.


NGC 2867 Car 9 21.5, -58 18.7 PN SA: 25 UranoSo: 199 VickersSo: No

Smallish planetary (24”)—really looks “planetary-like”; nice bluish color, too. Mag. 9.7


NGC  2899 Vel 9 27, -56 06.3 PN SA: 25 UranoSo: 199 VickerSo: No

Nice lil puff of a planetary. Ultrablock brings out some--a crisper western edge. 117”x75”. Mag. 12.2


NGC 3195 Cha 10 09.3, -80 51.5 PN SA: 25 UranoSo: 218 VickersSo: No

Smaller than 2899 (42”), and dimmer—though at (p) magnitudes, 2899 is listed as dimmer: 12.2 v.11.5.


NGC 3211 Car 10 17.8, -62 40.3 PN SA: 25 UranoSo:210 VickersSo: No

Small (16”) bright (10.7) planetary. Good with or without filter (Ultrablock).



Shapley 1 Nor 15 51.7, -51 31.3 PN SA: 25 UranoSo:196  VickersSo: 102

This one skunked me in Hawaii a few years back, and I had trouble finding it in Chile, too—but finally did! Could not make sense of the star fields, but did pick it up sweeping the field. Tough object (mag 13.6), barely seen at moderate power w/out Ultrablock. With filter and higher mag, becomes a circular, faint glow. Averted vision brings out annularity as well as central star, and—surprisingly—a couple of other stars (intermittently) within the ring! Very satisfying object.



NGC 3132 Vel 10 07, -40 26.1 “Eightburst Nebula”; “Southern Ring” PN SA: 20 UranoSo:169 VickersSo: No

Nice, annular planetary, with central star (mag 10) easily seen. The planetary itself is not near as bright as the northern “ring,” or as beautiful, IMO; but I can see the resemblance.


NGC 4945 Cen 13 05.4, -49 28 Gal SA: 21 UranoSo: 184 VickersSo: 89

Excellent, showpiece galaxy! Long, thick, fairly even illumination—some mottling, to keep your eye interested. Similar to 253 and NGC 3109 (see above for notes on latter). Mag 9.5. Size: 4.4x20’


NGC 2736 Vel 09 00.4, -45 54 SNR SA: 20 UranoSo: 186 VickersSo: 55

A supernova remnant. With OIII, just a wisp filling the eyepiece view (24mm zoom), but nothing more, really—no filamentary structure.


NGC 2613 Pyx 08 33.4, -22 58 Gal SA: 20 UranoSo: 153 VickersSo: 52

Nice, bright, three-quarter tilted gal, but badly positioned (low) in sky.



In and around the SMC:


  • 47 Tucanae, of course (see description above).


  • NGC 362 Tuc 01 03.2, -70 50.8 Glob SA 24 UranoSo: A26 VickersSo: 9

Quite nice glob about one-fourth the size (14’ v. 50’) of 47 Tucanae, but with the same morphology—an intense core! Mag 6.8 Size: 14’ Nice Glob—not to be overlooked!


  • NGC 346 Tuc 00 59.1, -72 11 OC/Nb SA: 24 UranoSo: A26 VickersSo: 8

Nice emission neb and star cluster just three-quarters of a degree SSW of 362 w/NGC 371, an OC, in same FOV.


  • NGC 406 Tuc 01 07.4, -69 52.7 Gal  SA: 24 UranoSo: A26 VickersSo: 9

Tough lil gal (13.1) a degree North of 362.


  • NGC’s 456, 460, 465 Tuc 01 15.7, -73 20.2 SA: 24 UranoSo: A26 VickersSo: 10

Very nice clumps of emission nebulae and small star clusters set within two parallel lines of stars.



Around the LMC and The Tarantula:


  • Lots of small (distant) open clusters w/ associated nebulae—quite overwhelming! (Could spend a lot of time here!) However: very fun—and economical—to just sweep around!


  • NGC 2029 Dor 05 35.5, -67 34  SA: 24 UranoSo: A25 VickersSo: No

Quite impressive emission nebula a degree and a quarter north of The Tarantula. Bisected by dark lane. Several other nebs in same field: NGC’s 2014, 2032, 2040, 2035.


  • NGC 2018 Men 05 31.2, -71 04 SA 24 UranoSo: A25 VickersSo: No

SSW of The Tarantula about a degree and a half. Impressive glow with at least two embedded stars.



NGC 3576 Car 11 12.2, -61 12 EM SA: 25 UranoSo: 198 VickersSo: No

Excellent emission nebula with several darklanes, detached pieces (with their own NGC #’s). Viewed in Mark’s 10” and my 13”—significantly more detailed in my 13. Did not respond well to Ultrablock.




NGC 3199. Car 10 16 37, -57 55 13 EM SA: 25 UranoSo: 199 VickersSo: No

Steve Gottlieb’s “Southern Crescent.” Very beautiful, “medium-sized” (11’x7’) nebula in the form of a crescent arc. Well defined western (outer) edge. Higher power reveals more structure/nebulosity/contrast. Visually, reminds a northerner of  NGC 6888, “The Crescent,” hence Steve’s nickname. Curiously, both 6888 and 3199 are illuminated by a Wolf-Rayet star, a rare sight through any telescope. Loke Tan (an imager that was visiting us visual astronomers at the time of our observation), thought this might be the “Gabriela Mistral Nebula.” Though close by, and similar in appearance, it is not. The aforementioned is NGC 3324 (see below).



NGC 3324 Car 10 37 19, -58 39 36 EM, OC SA: 25 UranoSo: 199 VickersSo: No

6.7 mag. A bright, detached  HII ‘knot’ near the NW outskirts of the Eta Carina nebula (just follow the largest dark lane to its widest portion, and you can’t miss it). Illuminated by an associated star cluster (CR 225), this nebula forms an arc quite a bit brighter and a little larger than the rather dim 3199 (both images from the DSS site, and both are 15 arc minutes square). This is the locally named Grabriela Mistral Nebula. In detailed photos, there is an absolutely uncanny resemblance to a famous profile photograph of the poet Gabriela Mistral, the 1945 recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature—the first South American to receive this accolade. She was native to this region of Chile, namely the town of Vicuna, just an hour away from where we were observing. See Daniel Verschatse’s image:






M83 Hya 13 37, -29 52 Gal SA: 21 UranoSo:167 VickersSo: 93

Hands down the best galaxy—and a barred spiral to boot—the southern skies have to offer—at this time of year. At zenith (3:30am local) one night, Mark and I feasted on this for quite a while… Truly photographic-looking! Bar and spirals clearly seen. And BRIGHT! Mag 7.6 Bright, smallish central core. Lots of dark space between arms—two most outward arms drift—and fade off—beautifully!


IC 2948 Cen 11 38 19, -63 18 00 EM SA: 25 UranoSo: 209 VickersSo: No

"Running Chicken Nebula." Excellent large emission nebula. Responds well to Ultrablock; dark lanes, various intensities of "fog." Sweeping around a must!



Gum 39 Cen 11 28 54, -62 36 00 EM SA: 25 UranoSo: 209 VickersSo: No

Nice circular even glow EM nebula. Fills about one-quarter of the FOV at low power. No defined edges or lanes seen.


NGC 3918 Cen 11 50 18, -57 10 58 PN SA: 25 UranoSo: 198 VickersSo: No

The "Blue Planetary." Indeed! Small (19"), bright (mag 8.4) and definitely blue. Stands out as bluish planetary even at low power.


Gum 12, Supernova Remnant, Vela  08 31, -44 00  SA: 20 UranoSo: 187 VickersSo: No

How this did not make any of my lists, I don’t know! “Found” it by seeing its unbelievable plot on Uranometria—it covers about 3x4 degrees! An easy star hop to several of its fields, Mark and I were on it in a flash. Responds well to OIII and the widest field eyepiece you have. Not nearly as bright or “filament-like” as The Veil, but just HUGE. One can easily follow threads for many minutes and still not wind up where you started! At one time I had two threads going across the whole FOV. This was the last telescopic object we looked at—a nice surprise to end with!