Barnard 133 in Aquila

posted: 3095 days ago, on Thursday, 2009 Jul 30 at 08:09
tags: astronomy, astrophotography, deep sky, Anthony Ayiomamitis.

The Dark Comet, Barnard 133, in Aquila.
Original image:

Contributor: Anthony Ayiomamitis

E. E. Barnard (Astrophysical Journal, January 1919) writes that the "dark object begins very close west of the mag 9.2 star BD -74852, which looks like a negative of a comet with a curved tail, more or less fan-shaped, was examined with the 40-inch telescope July 14, 1917. It was clearly evident that there is a faint hazy object at this place. It is dull and feebly luminous compared with the adjacent sky. It is very dark at its south end and curves northward for nearly 10'. The northern part, which is more diffused, is broken by a few faint stars. Obscuring matter of some kind certainly exists at this point. Furthermore, it is not black except by contrast. In this respect, it very much resembles the dark object [Barnard 92]."
Barnard includes a photograph of the object in his article, and the caption reads: "The ... object resembles a dark comet with a small definite head and curved fan-shaped tail. The main body seems to be a sharply defined, black, lozenge-shaped object which forms the head and part of the body, from which a diffused extension runs north, forming the tail of the 'comet'."
In his 'Notes on the Catalogue' he writes: "From its beginning close west of BD -74852 (mag 9.2) it gradually widens and curves north like a plume, with the convex side west, to a distance of about 18' The south end is intensely black. The northern part is dark with 4 or 5 considerable (small) stars in it."
Burnham calls it a "starless dark spot 10' x 5' in its densest part, not a single star can be detected on a photographic plate made with the 100-inch Mt Wilson telescope after a four-hour exposure!"

nothing more to see. please move along.