McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori bright again: 31 Oct. 2013

The McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori on 10 Nov. 2013

The McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori on 10 Nov. 2013

Some of you might remember a great news, dating back to Feb. 2004: the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (IAUC 8284) announced that Jay McNeil reported the discovery of a new nebular feature close to M78 (Ori), a well-know reflecting nebula discovered by Mechain in 1780. The author recognized the new object while processing his own CCD images, later compared with other pictures of the area: it appeared like  a small fuzzy object few arcminutes SW of M78.

Soon after that report, I and a few collaborators investigated on the nature of that nebula, with some important findings. In particular, I discovered that the object had another outburst in 1966, as shown in an image by Evered Kreimer on 22 Oct. 1966, taken using a 12.5-inch Newtonian and a Tri-X film from Arizona: so, it was a recurrent object, likely a EX-Lup-type or FU-Ori-type variable eruption. An account of my findings was published by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams on IAUC 8290.

M78 and the McNeil Nebula by E. Kreimer, 22 Oct. 1966

M78 and the McNeil Nebula by E. Kreimer, 22 Oct. 1966

The following years, I understood I had a special feeling with this intriguing object. From time to time, I observed it again and I have found it in outburst again several times.

Early on Nov. 2008, the source was bright again, as visible below:

The McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori on 9 Nov. 2008

The McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori on 9 Nov. 2008

On 4 Feb. 2010, during an online, live event hosted at Virtual Telescope, I found the source still bright:

The McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori on 4 Feb. 2010

The McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori on 4 Feb. 2010

 

Again, after two more years, the McNeil Nebula&Co. showed again to my scopes on 17 Mar. 2012:

The McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori on 17 Mar. 2012

The McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori on 17 Mar. 2012

 

Last time I decided to look there was late on 31 Oct. 2013. I knocked on the Orion’s doors McNeil Nebula and the involved V1647 Ori star let me step in; th eimage below is from 10 Nov. 2013:

The McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori on 10 Nov. 2013

The McNeil Nebula and V1647 Ori on 10 Nov. 2013

At this point, we MUST follow this source for the rest of the season!

 

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