LCAS Observer Challenge - October
Ron Stanley's photo of the Helix (above) reveals many details of the Helix, which can only be acquired by the collection of photons in a camera.
Featured Sep/Oct Object:
NGC7293 Giant Helix Nebula
The Giant Helix Nebula (NGC7293) in Aquarius is the closest known planetary nebula to the earth. But as observing challenges go, it's a tough one. Or is it??? The nebula appears very large (half of a full moon in apparent size), but its low surface brightness makes it a challenge, even with dark skies and 10" of aperture. Yet according to the Sky & Telescope article on "Hunting Down the Helix" by Sue French, it can be visible with binoculars! Why? Low power helps concentrate the nebula's light, and a wide FOV gives a lot of dark sky for contrast.
You can find the Sky & Telescope article on the web at the link below.Published in the October 2004 issue of the NightTimes