|Frosty Leo: Reflection Nebula (Leo) RA: 09h 39.9m / DEC: +11° 58'.9|
Instrument: 18-inch Obsession
The Frosty Leo nebula (IRAS 09371+1212) came to the attention of the larger amateur astronomical community in the mid-1990's. A March 1996 thread in the sci.astro.amateur Internet newsgroup generated a flurry of interest in observing this small but high surface brightness nebula. This 11th magnitude reflection nebula is presented in the sketch at left. My drawing captures a 399X view in the 18-inch Obsession. The nebula resides just 52" south-southwest of a 12th magnitude GSC star. This roughly 12"x8" patch first appears featureless. But continued observation reveals some interesting details.
I've focused on just the nebula and nearby GSC star in the sketch at right. One of the first details to emerge was the subtle hint of an indentation along the northeast side of the Frosty Leo. While studying this feature, I was occassionally distracted by a stellar point along the south edge. This point of light was consistently visible in the same location with averted vision, so I added it to my drawing.
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Revised: November 7, 2005 [WDF]