Bright nebulae LBN 782 and vdB 27 in Taurus
November 2023 - Picture of the Month
I've discovered that this two degree patch of sky appears surprisingly empty space in Carte du Ciel. Even with 14th magnitude stars displayed there's a great deal of blank space between the plotted stars. However I can see a number of circles bearing vdB, LBN, HH and B designations which give a clue as to why this might be. I think that this image of the region tells the story much more clearly though.
As some might have guessed by now I'm a sucker for star formation, and regions that are suspiciously lacking stars are a good place to look as far as I'm concerned. This is the Taurus molecular cloud where there's plenty of raw star material around in those Barnard (B) dark clouds, and a couple of Herbig-Haro Objects (HH) to hint at what's going on, even if they're less spectacular than last month's.
The bright blue reflection nebula in the centre is the featured Lynds' Bright Nebula (LBN) 782, and it's illuminated by hot young stars that are presumably hidden from direct view by the dust of Barnard 7.
I'm a keen variable star observer, and there are a few Young Stellar Objects (YSOs) here that I've meant to add to my observing list. Prime amongst these is RY Tau, on the left, embedded in the reflection nebula van den Bergh (vdB) 27 which it illuminates. This T-Tauri star varies in brightness between 9 and 13 magnitude, is observable with a small telescope, and its period is short at 5.6 days.
All of which is to say that this is another chance for me to feature celestial dust and gas and, let's face it, imaging handles it far better than visual observing. Thomas Henne has created a two panel mosaic with 33 hours of exposure time in this image, and then there's the processing time at which I can't guess. So better, just look at has been revealed, but these views don't come easily.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.