Planetary Nebula IC 418 in Lepus:

Planetary Nebula IC 418, Lepus, magnitudes; nebula 9.3; central star 10.3

IC 418, also known as Spirograph Nebula.  The name derives from the intricate pattern of the nebula, which resembles a pattern which can be created using the Spirograph, a toy that produces geometric patterns (specifically, hypotrochoids and epitrochoids) on paper.  Source “wikipedia”

The following image:  Hubble Space Telescope

Spirograph_Nebula_-_Hubble_1999

I had a telephone conversation (February 14th 2018) with Glenn Chaple.  Glenn mentioned PN IC 418 as an excellent object for a future Observer’s Challenge report.

This planetary had been also suggested by Joseph Rothchild at a recent meeting of the (ATMoB) Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston.  Richard Nugent sent me an email, saying he had recently observed this very interesting planetary, and was fabulous using a 20-inch reflector.  

It was only after checking my notes “this morning” (February 14th 2018) did I realize I had also observed this planetary…..25 years ago on (February 14th 1993) which is very coincidental.  Interesting in-so, that it was on the same day as when I first observed this planetary, 25 years earlier.  Roger 

My notes (verbatim) from February 14th 1993:  

10-inch reflector: ” Looks like a blurred star. I would focus on stars outside the telescope field and then sweep back. The nebula was very apparent and obvious when using this method. The nebula is fairly bright, mostly round and featureless.  Bluish in color and very small.  No nebula filter was used.”    Roger Ivester

Skiff & Luginbuhl:  “This planetary is clearly visible in a 6 cm, appearing as an undistinguished mag. 9 star.  In 15 cm the central star becomes visible, while 25 cm shows it clearly at 200 x.  The surrounding nebula has a high surface brightness, making a poor contrast for the central star.”
 

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