(IAAC) OBJ: NGC 1501 (a ring planetary) INST: 16" newt f/4.59

Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate 
Date and UT of observation: 11/5/97 0800 GMT
Location & latitude: 22 miles west of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 5.2 (estimated) 5.2 (est) in vicinity of object
Seeing (1 to 10 - worst-best):  8 
Moon up (phase?): No
Weather: Clear
Instrument: 16" Newtonian-dob w. 96/99% coatings f/4.59
Magnifications: 124x, 236x
Filters used: UHC at times
Object: NGC 1501
Object data:  Open Cluster
Personal "rating" (at this aperture):  B+

This is a marvelous planetary at this aperture, in fact, it looks
even more enjoyable than M57 through about 5" aperture. 
This nebula seems a bit larger than M57, the "ring" nebula,
and unlike M57, NGC1501 is perfectly circular, not oval in shape. It is 
also a thicker "smoke ring", with it's walls extending closer to the center,
but like M57 has some nebulosity in the central region, which becomes
more apparent with a UHC filter. In fact, in retrospect, I'd say to 
better view this as a "ring" one might want to view it w/o the nebula 
filter first.

Without even trying..while darting around at 236x (without a filter), the
star popped right into view. I'd say the central star was around 14.5
I could almost hold it without averted vision... so I played "blinking"
star by moving my eye back and forth from the center to the edge of the
and back again several times......kind of like the "blinking planetary"
but in reverse!

The ring is in a more empty star field, at least at high power, than
M57...but it is an interesting object just the same, and perfectly suited
for this
aperture, and binoviewer use. I doubt the ringlike structure would show up
in apertures under 12".


- Todd
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