SKY OBJECT OF THE MONTH – SEPTEMBER, 2018

Tags

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

LVAS OBSERVER’S CHALLENGE* – SEPTEMBER, 2018 By Glenn Chaple for the LVAS
NGC 6818 (“Little Gem Nebula”) – Planetary Nebula in Sagittarius MAGNITUDE: 9.3 SIZE: 15” X 22”
Tucked away in the northeast corner of Sagittarius is the relatively little-known planetary nebula NGC 6818, aka the “Little Gem Nebula.” Its anonymity is understandable when you consider that it competes with the treasure trove of deep-sky wonders that dot the western half of the constellation. Its relatively remote location doesn’t help, either. Your best bet is to star-hop from rho1 Sagittarii, which is shown on both finder charts below.
Although NGC 6818 is within reach of a common 60mm refractor, you’ll want to save it for a dark moonless night. Work with a magnifying power of 100X or more. Can you detect its bluish color with a small-aperture scope? What detail do you see with a large-aperture instrument?
At a distance of approximately 6000 light years, NGC 6818 is about one-half light year in diameter. It was discovered by William Herschel on August 8, 1787.
(Extra challenge) About a half degree south-southeast of NGC 6818 is the notoriously difficult Barnard’s Galaxy (NGC 6822). This dwarf galaxy was the August, 2014, LVAS Observer’s Challenge. A 9th magnitude galaxy whose light is spread over an area half the size of a full moon, it will require an evening of exceptional darkness. Barnard’s Galaxy is actually better seen with a large binocular or rich-field telescope than with a large aperture scope.

astronomy.com

www.astrosurf.com

Comments are closed.

Copyright © 2018 North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club.
A non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.