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Observation by Paul Leyland: Deep sky objects in Lyra

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Paul Leyland


Paul Leyland


2019 Aug 29 - 01:00


2019 Aug 29 - 12:06


The Ring Nebula (M57)

  • 0.4m Dilworth-Relay
  • SX Trius Pro 814
  • No filter

1080s (36x30s, stacked average)


Tacande Observatory, MPC J22

Target name

IC 1296, 2MASX J18530959+3305385 and the outer shell of M57


Deep sky objects in Lyra

About this image

This shows a portion of the first moderately successful image taken with the new camera, which is still in the commissioning phase.  In particular, the autoguider doesn't (yet) but the mount seems to give adequately round stars on a 30-second exposure.

The scope was centred on IC 1296, a 15th-magnitude barred spiral galaxy.  Its nucleus is a little over-exposed so as to bring out the details in the spiral arms, including a few H-II regions and a star-forming region.

At top-right is a nearly edge-on spiral galaxy of about 16-17th magnitude.  Its nucleus shows up nicely but the stellar-looking object towards the edge of the disk is indeed a  foreground star.

At bottom left is a view of the Ring Nebula which one doesn't often see.  The ring is invisible as it is very over-exposed because of its extreme brightness.  What is visible is the much fainter outer shell of fluorescing gas.

Limiting stellar magnitude is around Gaia-g 20.5

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Paul Leyland
Paul Leyland, 2019 Aug 29 - 17:07 UTC

After I'd posted the image, SWMBO noticed a star which is on the full frame but not, as far as we can tell, on the DSS2 counterpart.  It's beyond the top-right of the image above.

The suspect is located at 18:53:03, +33:07:25 and is about mag 17.9 in Gaia-g (a close match to the spectral response of the unfiltered CCD).  No known minor planet is anywhere near.

All being well I'll take some more images tonight and see whether it is still there.  If not, it may be a flare from a red dwarf.  If it is, it may be some sort of CV.

Paul Leyland
Paul Leyland, 2019 Sep 02 - 09:57 UTC

The suspected transient is no more, it has ceased to be.

I thank all those who responded to the TA E-circular E3445 with images showing nothing at the reported position.  My images from last night and two nights previously still show it but I'm now convinced that it is some kind of imaging artifact, though its cause is puzzling.  The best I can come up with is that it's a ghost from some distant bright star, perhaps beta or gamma Lyrae.

Oh well, at least I didn't announce the re-discovery of Mars.

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