Considering how large and
bright NGC 1360 is it should be much better known. Many long
time observers have come across this one and wondered why they
didn't know about it sooner. Walter Scott Houston wondered if
it wasn't overlooked because many U.S. observers consider Fornax to
be too far south. He notes that NGC 1360 is "... no
further south than the globular cluster M4 near Antares, which even
beginning observers quickly hunt down in the summertime sky."
I came across NGC 1360
when my friend Kemer suggested it. I'm really glad that he did
because it proved to be the highlight of the night. This
planetary is large with an unusually high surface brightness for
such an object. Based in its appearance, I felt that it should
be visible in scopes as small as 6 inches, or even smaller.
Indeed, other observers report seeing it in small refractors.
In my 18-inch f/4.5,
without a filter, it looked like a roundish glow surrounding an 11th
magnitude star. With the OIII in place it became much larger
and very strikingly oval. Some observers have noted a dark
lane using an OIII of UHC filter.
The field in a 6-inch at
50x. North is down and east is to the right.