I see ICs! (was Re: (IAAC) Obj: M42)
I loved your logs for M42, Sue! It's truly the sign of an expert observer, when
she can post logs of something we've ALL seen, and still manage to tantalize us
with intriguing new details in it. :)
By the way, amid the recent blizzard of discussion on various topics, one of
Sue's interesting early comments got lost... She pointed out that objects from
"obscure" catalogs actually fall into two distinct categories:
1) objects so faint they're a challenge even for experienced observers.
2) objects so bright or large, they were never cataloged by those doughty
telescopists of the past with their tiny fields of view. The only common
example of this is open clusters, some of which are so near to us that they
actually appear as wide, naked-eye "asterisms" in our sky. But there are also a
number of nebulae and even galaxies, which are so near and faint that they
escaped the "classic" pre-20th Century catalogs entirely...
Among the catalogs that frequently harbor objects from category (2) are those
by Melotte and Collinder, containing respectively the Hyades, and the cluster
comprising most of the stars of the Big Dipper.
Still, one thing which some may have missed (including me) is that even in that
bastion of Photographic Fainties, the Index Catalog (IC), there are naked-eye
objects! To illustrate this fact, interested readers will find several IAAC
observations of the "Charmer's Epaulette Cluster", a faint naked-eye fuzz patch
just above "Celbalrai" or beta Oph, the Eastern shoulder star of Ophiuchus.
This cluster also happens to have the surprising designation IC 4665 (not to
mention Mel 179 and Cr 349). Enjoy...