(IAAC) Obj: NGC 3372, the Eta Carina Nebula - Inst: 10X50 binoculars, Pentax, no tripod
Observer: Steve Coe
Your skills: Advanced (many years)
Date/time of observation: 25 Feb 1998
Location of site: S.S. Dawn Princess (Lat +12, Elev 0)
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: 5/10 <1-10 Scale (10 best)>
Seeing: 4 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 10X50 binoculars, Pentax, no tripod
Object(s): NGC 3372, the Eta Carina Nebula
Category: Emission nebula
Data: mag 5 size 80'
Position: RA : DEC :
While sailing to a position to observe the total solar eclipse, I observed
several deep sky objects from the deck of the Dawn Princess. The seas were
calm, but the ship was travelling at about 20 knots (28 mph) to get to the
next port of Aruba, so I had to battle the wind. But, it was worth it!
Bracing my elbows on the rail of the ship helped and managed some good
Eta Carina is immediately obvious naked eye as an elongated bright spot
in the Southern Milky Way. In the 10X50s it is over one degree in size
with averted vision and is much brighter in the middle. There are
14 stars involved within the nebulosity. There is an obvious dark lane
that forms a "V" shaped through the nebula with the brightest nebulosity
and the star Eta Carina both to the the north side of this dark lane.
Averted vision makes the nebula grow significantly in size. The field of
view is stunning, a rich Milky Way field with this large, bright nebula
dead center is unique.
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