[AAVSO-DIS] T Tauri (Hind's) Nebula Brightening

Keith Geary keithg1 at eircom.net
Mon Dec 13 14:43:37 EST 2004

All, I've had a report of a brightening of Hinds Nebula NGC1555 associated with T Tauri, Please read the passage below....
Wonder whats causing it if confirmed?, A new star/possible variable?? buried from within, or a shockwave from T Tauri itself?
T Tauri has shown no recent activity has it?

Regards, Keith..

Reports from the USA (Tom Polakis and S. Kent Blackwell) say that Hind's 
variable nebula (NGC1555) has brightened considerably and is currently 
visible in a 10-inch telescope. Although it has always been possible to 
image this nebula in a reasonable sized instrument, it has for many years 
been an extremely difficult visual target requiring telescopes in the 20 to 
30-inch range along very good skies. 

NGC1555 is located in Taurus at RA 4h 21.8m, Dec +19d 32m (2000.0). Because 
it has two bright components with a darker neck in between, it was 
originally thought to be two objects and given two NGC numbers NGC1555 and 
1554. It was discovered by John Russell Hind in 1852, using a 7-inch 
refractor from London. He also discovered the variable star, T Tauri 
associated with the nebula, although variations in this star's brightness do 
not seem to directly correlate with variations in the nebula's brightness. 

Hind's variable nebula is a small 30 arcsec comet shaped area of faint 
nebulosity lying just to the west of T Tauri. It is predominately a 
reflection nebula and therefore nebula filters will be of little use. 
Variations in brightness are usually associated with subtle changes in shape 
or size of the nebula, or in the brightness distribution over the nebula. 
If the US reports are correct, this is an ideal opportunity to observe a 
normally difficult and greatly under observed object. Please send all 
observations to the Director, along with full details of instrumentation and 
observing conditions. Regular observations over the next few months, to 
closely monitor any changes, would be particularly useful. 

Stewart Moore, Director Deep Sky Section 

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