(IAAC) Obj: M78, Sh2-276b (Barnard's Loop) - Inst: 16x70 binoculars on tripod

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 9/10 Feb 1999  04:00 UT
Location of site: MIT Haystack Obs., Westford, MA, USA (Lat 43N, Elev 30m)
Site classification: Exurban
Sky darkness: 6.6 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 4 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 16x70 binoculars on tripod
Magnification: 16x
Filter(s): None.
Object(s): M78, Sh2-276b (Barnard's Loop)
Object category: Emission nebula.
Object class: R+E
Constellation: Ori
Object data: mag 8 10.49m*, FT  size 8x6, 600x30
Position: 0546.8+0003
Thanks to Steve Clougherty for the use of his fine binoculars as
we were setting up the ATMs of Boston's 17.5" Club scope tonight!
This fine transparent evening M78 was an obvious, irregular patch
of haze, quickly swept up just one field NE of zeta Ori (Alnitak).
The involved pair of stars just N of its center of figure were very
bright, but quite impossible to resolve. The nebulosity ended quite
suddenly along the NW edge, indicating the dark lane present there.
Interestingly, a haze was also duly noted both enveloping and N of
the mag 7 star SAO 113167, a degree NE of M78, but none was visible
either around its faint (mag 9) companion to the S, nor around the
other mag 7 star ESE of M78, SAO 132574. At the time I assumed this
was just one of several NGC nebulae in the area. And maybe it was a
deceptive dewspot on the binocular lens. But there is also the real
possibility that I actually spied a piece of Barnard's Loop here...
Thus even when "just sweeping", always take time to ID your field!
Object data thanks to dObjects: http://www.eaglequest.com/~bondono/dObjects
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