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Drawing by Rich Jakiel
CCD Image from Steve Mandel's Galaxy Images

Simeis 147 Observed

by Rich Jakiel

Chart of Bright Regions
Enhanced DSS Images of Bright Regions

After two months of nasty weather, flu, and moon-lit skies I finally got a chance to do some first class observing. Perhaps the most remarkable observation (the last of the night), was touring the vast SNR complex known as Simeis 147. Truthfully, I was expecting to see only a few hints of nebulousity and perhaps a wisp or two. What I did observe was quite extraordinary!

Conditions and instrument used:
Lm (visual) ~ 6.5 near S147; telescopic >17.5
20-inch f/3.9, well baffled and with 1/40 wave optics
40mm eyepiece + O III filter

The first area observed was around star SAO 77322, where a large, well-defined streak extended 15' to the east. Other knots and streaks were observed near and south of SAO 77350.

A broad, very diffuse band of nebulousity could be traced from the first star eastward to a most amazing and intricate region of the entire SNR. Located in region B of Jim Shields' finder chart, it is an interwoven tapestry of filaments and nebulous arcs against a beautiful starry background. In one sector, several filaments were visible criss-crossing each other at nearly right angles!

Moving northward, faint nebulous arcs and patches were visible in regions 'D' and 'C'. Around C, some secondary details were visible - though not nearly as richly complex as in region 'B'. Other wispy patches were observed surrounding some of the bright stars to the NW of region 'A' (see drawing).

In summary, a very stunning object provided that the skies are sharp and contrasty and you are using an instrument of similar caliber.

P.S. - the drawing was produced by sketching/noting details on a Guide 6.0 isophoto map of the region.

I'll concur with Rich's post here. The several wisps had a "curdled" appearance as much of the nebulosity away from the brighter filaments was on the edge of visibility. The two arcs, one at SAO 77322, the other about 15' south were easily visible. Much like the Veil, the arcs could be followed for approximately two degrees around the periphery of the object. It's tough to get an observation like this right at the beginning of the year. I'll be comparing my later observations with it all year long! - Gil Shillcutt