IYA Live Telescope Today: NGC 247, the Burbidge Galaxy Chain and the Running Man Nebula

Did you get a chance to watch the IYA “Live” Telescope today? We were on! And now we’ve got some exciting news for you… You can watch via your iPhone on TVU! That’s right… We’re now broadcasting on Channel 79924 as Northern and Southern Galactic TV. You can watch Galactic TV via your iPhone by installing TVUPlayer from the App Store! Now… Are you ready for today’s video? Then hang on tight as we take you a walk to NGC 247, the Burbidge Galaxy Chain and the Running Man Nebula! It’s time to rock….

Skies were clear and dark in Central Victoria and it was time to fire up the IYA Live Telescope and get the party started. We’re testing out a new system that will allow more viewers an opportunity to see through the virtual eyepiece and we’re ready to get the scope set on a something really far out. Our first object? NGC 247 and the Burbidge Galaxy Chain in the constellation of Cetus…

This interesting chain of four MCG galaxies lies only 18 arc minutes NNE of NGC 247, a giant member of the nearby Sculptor Group. (NGC 247 itself is 9th-magnitude but of very low surface brightness, which can make it tough to spot in a smaller scope.) In itself, NGC 247 is an Intermediate spiral galaxy located over 12 million light years away. Talk about a long distance phone call!

The northernmost and southernmost members of the chain are relatively easy to pick up in a 17.5″ scope. That’s aperture – not tube length! Bwahahahahaaaaa….

Last object for the night? Lace up your Nikes, cuz’ we’re heading for NGC 1977, the “Running Man Nebula” in Orion…

NGC 1973/5/7 is a reflection nebula 1/2 degree northeast of the Orion Nebula. The three NGC objects are divided by darker regions.

It was discovered on January 18, 1784 by Sir William Herschel, seasoned sky veterans know this area by its nickname ‘‘the Running Man’’. Consisting of three separate areas of emission and reflection nebulae that seem to be visually connected, 1,500-light-year-distant NGC 1977/1975/1973 complex would be spectacular on its own if weren’t so close to M42! The conjoining nebula is whispery soft, its dark lanes created by interstellar dust and fine needle-like shards of carbon. Illuminating the gases is its fueling source, the multiple star 42 Orionis—a prized double on many lists. Through a telescope, this lovely triangle of bright nebulae and its several enshrouded stars make a wonderful region for exploration. Can you see the Running Man within?

As of the time of this posting, the scope was still up and running… along with the nebula! We’re making every effort when the sky is clear to keep the view coming at you, dear reader. So keep checking back often and enjoy the new iPhone application! If things keep working the way they should, you should be able to enjoy a video loop of many of our best objects at all times… We hope!

Fingers crossed…