Observing podcast: Open cluster NGC 7209, the Cocoon Nebula, and the Spare Tire Nebula
September 16-23, 2010: Open cluster NGC 7209 makes a nice target for beginning observers, while the Cocoon Nebula and the Spare Tire Nebula provide nice targets for telescope owners.
September 16, 2010
Each week, Astronomy magazine Senior Editor Michael Bakich, a master at explaining how to observe, posts a podcast about three objects or events you can see in the sky.
IC 5146 is both a blue reflection nebula and a red emission nebula. Hydrogen gas envelops an open star cluster containing several 12th-magnitude stars. The Cocoon, which lies about 4,000 light-years distant, has an apparent magnitude of 7.2 and spans 12'. Find the Cocoon Nebula about 2° below and to the right of magnitude 4.5 star 81 Pi2 [p2] Cygni.
Photo by Ted Wolfe
In each episode, Michael highlights:
- One object you can see without any optical aid
- One object you can see with a small (4-inch) telescope
- One object you can see with at least an 8-inch telescope
Targets for September 16-23, 2010
Naked eye: Open cluster NGC 7209
Small telescope: Cocoon Nebula
8-inch or larger telescope: Spare Tire Nebula
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