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Mike Harlow

My main areas of interest are:

Variable nebulae: Inspired by a talk given by Nick Hewitt many years ago I started imaging variable nebulae in April 2008 with a particular interest in Gyulbudaghian's nebula in Cepheus. Many of my images are on the Orwell astronomical society web site.

Objective prism spectroscopy: After borrowing and then purchasing an objective prism from the BAA instrument collection I am experimenting with spectroscopy. Nothing very scientific it's just fun to see what it is possible to see with a wedge of glass on the front of the telescope(!). Supernovae and eclipsing binary stars are my main targets of interest.

Telescope making: All my telescopes over the years have been home made. I did however ask Es Reid to figure my 12 inch F/3.8 mirror a few years back which now forms the heart of my main telescope. It's a bit better than my mirrors ever were!!!

Last Updated: 11th November 2019

Image above: Interference test of a Schmidt camera corrector plate

Local society membership: Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich)

2019 Oct 13

2019 Oct 7

12:13 UTC

A very transparent sky and dead calm on 2nd-3rd October was an excellent opportunity to catch up with monitoring Variable nebulae and related objects. Four objects were imaged as follows:

Gyulbudaghian's nebula in Cepheus is always top of my list for imaging each month. It is still faint and shows just a narrow bar of nebulosity.

Hind's variable nebula in Taurus (just north of the Hyades) is a bright knot of nebulosity very close to T Tauri. Both sit in a void in a much larger diffuse nebula.

FU Orionis sits in the dark nebula Barnard 35 at the top of Orion. Rising from mag 16 to mag 9 in 1937 over just 3 months it remains near mag 10 today. Some nebulosity is visible close to the star today which was invisible before the star brightened.

McNeil's nebula remains invisible in images of M78. Some image artefacts appear at the position of the nebula but I'm sure it isn't there!

2019 Aug 30

2019 Aug 14

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