(IAAC) Obj: M 45, NGC 1432, NGC 1435, Ced 19 - Inst: 6" f/4 Newt

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate
Date and UT of Observation: 1997-11-29/30, 05:00 UT
Location: Miles Standish State Forest, MA, USA (41N, elev 30m)
Site classification: rural
Limiting magnitude: 6.6 (zenith)
Seeing: 9 of 10 - excellent
Moon up: no
Instrument: 6" f/4 equatorial Newtonian
Magnification: 38x (binoviewer)
Filters used: None
Object: M45 (Pleiades), NGC1432, NGC1435, Ced19
Category: Open Cluster, Reflection Nebulosity complex
Constellation: Tau
Data: mag 1.2, 3.2(*), 4.2(*), 5(*)
      size 110', 30'x30', 30'x30', irreg
RA/DE: 03h47m  +24o07m
Dan Smoody took advantage of a moment of crystal clarity over Taurus
tonight, to make a daring attempt to catch the diaphanous nebulosity
that suffuses M45. Together, we used averted vision, the edge of the
field as an "occulting bar", and comparison with nearby bright stars
(to eliminate any possibility of mistaking internal reflection or sky
glow for the nebulae). We were able to confirm gauzy halos around no
less than 4 stars, with (as expected) the strongest showing from that
easy haze around Merope. With averted vision, less distinct but very
definite, smallish, irregular "glows" were also seen surrounding her
sister "bowl" stars Maia, Electra, and Alcyone, with Alcyone's appar-
ently most "concentrated" (smallest yet brightest). It seemed a good
confirmation of tonight's observation that the extent of haze around
each star varied independently of the star's brightness, and that no
nebulae were noted near either Atlas or Taygeta. This is the least
aperture reflector (5" f/5 being the smallest refractor) with which
I've so far managed to see any of this nebulosity, and I loved how
much of it WAS seen! For comparison's sake, observing with my 8" SCT
(f/10) that night, I only managed to glimpse Merope's nebulosity.