The Bad News!… Hubble’s variable nebula isn’t kicking off at the moment! The AMAZINGLY Good News is that what BAT members managed to catch from October 10th to November 27th 2021 is stunning. The light ripples in the BAT’s animation are clearer than I managed with a 50cm remote scope from Chile (you can see my result here). It means that the BAT is in prime position to catch this nebula in action when she really does kick off. If it does I believe our results will be unparalleled. This GIF was made using a 5 day averaging of the submitted stacks with contributions by @HatMandew @TheCyberBrick @SpaceKadet @SPACEVISION @hnau @poptart @AstroBob @relogge @T3kko @[SF.FS]elSchabei @malden and @MrCrazyPhysicist all from The Big Amateur Telescope on the astrobiscuit discord server! The animation was then expertly processed by @MrCrazyPhysicist.
Over a hundred Years ago a young Edwin Hubble showed the world that NGC2261(soon to become Hubble’s variable Nebula) was pulsating. Amazing but something even more amazing (the discovery of other galaxies!) shoved these amazing objects out of the limelight and into a forgotten branch of astronomy that few have considered again until now…
Myself, Dr Emma Chapman and a growing number of amateurs think that capturing these deep space variable nebula is important and if the professional astronomers can’t then it up to us amateurs to pick up the slack. So I am inviting anyone who is interested in shooting variable nebula to join The Big Amateur Telescope. We have a channel dedicated to variable nebula imagers. We are hoping that with all our members combined we will be able to catch Hubble’s Variable Nebula at least twice a week through Autumn, Winter and early Spring and make an even longer and hopefully even more exciting time-lapse animation showing the activity of this violent and unpredictable baby star at the centre of this truly incredible deep space object. With winter coming I think its critical we find some more help as I expect there will be times when all our half dozen or so members will be clouded out (or off doing other stuff!).
Five years ago Tom Polaksis bagged a dark shadow passing across the Hubble Variable Nebula from Pheonix Arizona! We are hoping for a display like this very soon!
So WELL DONE to the guys and girls on the BAT who are able to shoot it at a better resolution than most ground based scopes! Be warned Hubble’s Variable nebula if you do kick off we will catch you like you’ve never been caught before.
To find out more about Hubble’s Variable Nebula visit my website!