Variable Nebula: Astronomy’s Lost Targets

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 shoved these amazing objects out of the limelight and into a forgotten branch of astronomy that few have considered again until now. . .

(oh and the even more amazing thing was the discovery of galaxies)

This video show how the biscuit man with a large dose of help from Dr Emma Chapman, amateur John Lightfoot and Tom Polkis rediscovered these truly remarkable deep space objects.
Here is the animation of Hubble’s Variable Nebula that I managed to produce with the help of Telescope Live’s telescope in Chile. This result is bitter sweet for me because although we caught light ripples (similar to what the Hubble space telescope caught when shooting RS Puppis) we didn’t see a shadow until right at the very end of the run. That shadow was about to spread itself across light years of nebula, a fantastic display that no human will ever witness.

Hubble’s Variable Nebula – Big Amateur Telescope

Although Hubble’s variable nebula isn’t kicking off the way we would hope, we can still see the changes in the ripples of light in this animation which is the BAT’s most recent attempt.

But what we really want to see are the dark shadows passing over the nebula, and when it does, our team at the Big Amateur Telescope will be ready!

This recent 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.

Hubble Space telescope caught similar ripples coming from a much older Cepheid Variable Star called RS Puppis

Tom Polakis’s bagged a dark shadow passing across Hubble’s variable nebula 5 years ago from Pheonix Arizona.

The Plan: lets club together and keep an eye on this violent and unpredictable baby star

Me and 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 a timelapse animation showing the activity of the violent and unpredictable baby star at the center of this truly incredible deep space object.
Please join The BAT and say hello to the group in the channel called #the hubbles varivbale nebula meeting room. FYI Our Hubble’s Variable Nebula mod is @Staulkor(alex) and I’m @astrobiscuit

What is The BAT, find out here: