Unobserved and rarely seen wide angle nebulae next to well-known objects

Mel Bartels

Serendipitously, the first object I observed with my new widest angle 6 inch [15cm] f2.8 Richest Field Telescope was the Pleiades. Because of the 4+ degree field, for the first time I could see that the Pleiades were sitting in a blackened hole surrounded by a ring of faint nebulosity. Surprised, I spent time locating a long exposure digital image on the internet that showed the faint dust bands embedding the cluster. Later, at the 2014 Oregon Star Party, I was able to show the Pleiades Bubble to a number of amateurs that visited my observing site. All were able to see it, so I don’t judge it a particularly difficult object. I was also able to show the Bubble in my 10.5 inch [27cm] f2.7 with 2.5 degree field. Though we couldn’t see the entire bubble, we could see half of it at the time, enough to make sense of it.

Curious, I wondered what other unobserved large scale objects might be lurking near popular objects, unseen because people haven’t had the telescope to fit that much aperture into such a wide angle view.

I'm creating a catalog of visual IFN that includes sketches and descriptions - everything you need to see the IFN for yourself except dark skies!

The 'Ring' of Betelgeuse is broken into clumpy dark nebulae with B36 the dominant feature on the western side as a long diagonal streak. There are offshoots to the northwest, one leading to B35. The arced bell to the north of Betelgeuse is clumpy and splotchy. The long curved section to the south of Betelgeuse is beautiful - subtle, mottled, striated.


The Blue horsehead nebula, IC4592 and IC 4601.

With my 10.5 inch [27cm] f2.7 Richest Field Telescope, placing the Lagoon Nebula, M8 and the Trifid Nebula, M20, in the same 2.5 degree field of view reveals a curved bridge between the two.

Because the field of view is spread over 100 degrees of apparent angle, detail is enhanced. Albireo is especially pretty with pinpoint star images from center to edge. A swoosh of nebulosity lies at the bottom of the field of view.


The Perseus Double Cluster has a wall of nebulosity to one side with a patch of nebulosity to the west side.


There’s a dust belt to the west side of M42, the Orion Nebula with Barnard’s Loop curving to the east and below.


Though well known, it’s rare to see this much detail in the Veil Nebula in a single field of view.

And the California Nebula is framed nicely in the 4+ degree field of view.


The 'Dark River' leading pouring from the North American Nebula


North of Albireo is the supernova remnant G65.3 5.7


Very faint nebulae in Orion's Belt


SH2-264 (Lambda Orionis)


SH2-245, the Fish Hook


The Witchhead nebula with my 6 inch F2.8


The Seagull Nebula


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