(IAAC) Object: NGC 1514 - Instrument: 20" f/5 Dob reflector

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Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 16/17 Jan 1998  04:00 UT
Location of site: MIT Haystack Obs., Westford, MA, USA (Lat 43N, Elev 30m)
Site classification: Exurban
Sky darkness: 6.4 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 3 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 20" f/5 Dob reflector
Magnification: 70x, 115x, 210x, 360x.
Filter(s): None, UHC.
Object(s): NGC 1514
Category: Planetary nebula.
Object class: 3+2
Constellation: Tau
Object data: mag 10 9.40m*  size 120"x90"
Position: 040917.00+304633.3
Difficult find at first, as the best naked-eye finder stars for this object
(psi and 41 Tau) were often invisible in continually varying haze. Note on
some charts zeta and omicron Per appear to be good pointers, but this seems
deceptive. However, as the night progressed clearer skies appeared, and both
pointer stars and object were quickly found. NGC 1514 was a brightish haze,
readily seen surrounding a mag 9 central star without use of a filter. That
(true) central star lies in a N-S line of four mag 8+ stars, accented by a
double on the S end, and another unrelated mag 9 pair to the E. Immediately,
the haze gave an impression - especially to averted vision - of bipolarity.
(This was confirmed by fellow observers Steve Clougherty and Jim Suslowicz.)
Conditions were too poor this evening to give any of the fine structure this
object will show, even at high power, though there was a hint of mottling on
the edges of both "lobes" of the object, especially the fainter, smaller lobe
to the SE. The disk of this (proto?)planetary was considerably brighter when
blinked with a UHC filter. However, no significant additional detail could be
seen with the UHC; if this was thanks to bad transparency, physical properties
in the nebula, or just miserable seeing is not clear. At no time was the more
extended halo (outside of the 1.5' ring) visible tonight, by any means.
Object data provided by dObjects: http://www.eaglequest.com/~bondono/dObjects
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