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Stephan's Quintet

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#1 mrfritz44

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:38 PM

I think I saw Stephan's Quintet last night, but I figure I'd double check with others experiences. In an XT10 from an orange zone it looked like a typical faint NGC galaxy slightly edge on. To the upper left and right - remember it's a reflector - of the fuzzy was a sharper, star-like point of light a bit fuzzier than a typical star. No hints of the other three galaxies could be seen.

Anyone else see the same thing? I actually expected more.

Fred

#2 MikeRatcliff

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:56 PM

Hmmm, maybe sounds like you found the larger, brighter NGC 7331 instead. It is a slightly edge-on galaxy with 2 or 3 faint small galaxies nearby. Which is still a nice observation for the orange zone.

I typically find 7331 first and then move over to the Stephan's Quintet area, which isn't far away.

Finding Stephan's Quintet in the orange zone with a 10 inch sounds like a tough assignment. Not to say it's impossible.

Mike

#3 mrfritz44

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:46 PM

You are probably right......back to the drawing board.

#4 Feidb

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:51 PM

NGC-7331 is what you probably saw as it's mag. 9.4. The brightest galaxy next to it is NGC-7335 which is mag. 14.4 and I seriously doubt if you saw it with a 10" from an orange zone. It lies next to the middle of 7331 and just to the side of the core. Stephan's quintet is off to the side a good ways. In an 82 degree field eyepiece at 102X, it would be in the same field near the edge. The brightest galaxies in the group are NGC-7319 at mag. 13.1 and NGC-7320 at mag. 13.2. From your description, it's hard to tell what you were describing. In an orange zone with a 10", seeing anything even at mag. 13 or fainter is challenging unless the surface brightness is concentrated and those galaxies, though small, I don't think are all that concentrated. I'd try again and just center NGC-7331 and use it as a starting point and swing around it until you find a fuzzy blotch. That will be the quintet. However, from your location, I doubt if you'll see much if even that.

Good luck and let us know what you find.

#5 blb

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 10:40 PM

I can't really tell what you were looking at from your description. Tell us how you located Stephan's Quintet or star hoped to it. Did you see NGC 7331 for instance, it is located about 30 arc minutes north north east of the Quintet. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the companion galaxies of NGC 7331 it is a good night to see the Quintet. If you can't see those you will never see the Quintet. You can just see a couple of the galaxies with a 6" scope from a good dark sky site, so your 10" is more than capable of showing you the Quintet from a dark sky site. I really don't think it will be visible from an orange zone though. But you never know till you try so keep trying. I have only seen the Quintet from yellow and green zone skies on real good nights with my 10" dob so keep trying even if you have to travel to darker skies.

#6 TenthEnemy

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:43 AM

I've observed Stephan's Quintet with my 10" from both the green zone and the red zone. Here is a sketch I made from the green zone. It looks similar from the red zone, but fainter and with only three galaxies.

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#7 blb

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:12 PM

So you see it can be seen. You just have to look in the right spot with enough magnification to see these galaxies. Magnification is your friend with light pollution. What magnification were you using when you tryed to find the Quintet? This sketch looks very similar to my views from the green zone site that I frequent. He was using 180x magnification. Use a low power eyepiece to find the correct field-of-view and then up the magnification to view these galaxies. Good job TenthEnemy!

#8 nytecam

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:25 PM

My 7331 grp and Stephan's Quintet pics may help locate this faint objects ;)

#9 blb

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 01:56 PM

And here is a little finder chart of NGC 7331 and Stephan's Quintet that shows the relationship of the two.

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#10 lunar

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 03:05 PM

I've had similiar experiences with this group of galaxies. You can see my sketch at this link: http://brandon-doyle...ns-quintet.html

It's a pretty dim galaxy group, somewhat difficult to see all five members, let alone a sixth nearby galaxy that's not apart of the group. I've never seen this sixth one. However, I have seen galaxies out to magnitudes of 14.0 clearly, such as the one next to NGC 6543. The faintest one to date was nothing more than a slight brightening in the field at magnitude 14.3, IC 1296, next to M57. All of this was indeed done with about the same telescope you used, the XT10i Intelliscope.

Clear skies,
Brandon Doyle

#11 LivingNDixie

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 03:32 PM

NGC-7331 is what you probably saw as it's mag. 9.4. The brightest galaxy next to it is NGC-7335 which is mag. 14.4 and I seriously doubt if you saw it with a 10" from an orange zone. It lies next to the middle of 7331 and just to the side of the core. Stephan's quintet is off to the side a good ways. In an 82 degree field eyepiece at 102X, it would be in the same field near the edge. The brightest galaxies in the group are NGC-7319 at mag. 13.1 and NGC-7320 at mag. 13.2. From your description, it's hard to tell what you were describing. In an orange zone with a 10", seeing anything even at mag. 13 or fainter is challenging unless the surface brightness is concentrated and those galaxies, though small, I don't think are all that concentrated. I'd try again and just center NGC-7331 and use it as a starting point and swing around it until you find a fuzzy blotch. That will be the quintet. However, from your location, I doubt if you'll see much if even that.

Good luck and let us know what you find.


I have seen Stephans one time with a 14in scope (a C14), it was from a state park in rural Nevada. The Las Vegas Astronomical Society used to do a yearly star party there. Some of the darkest skies I have seen... comparable to the Texas Star Party.

#12 stevecoe

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 06:43 PM

Howdy;

Here is a sketch with a 13" f/5.6 Newtonian at 220X. North is up, east to the left. This was under Arizona skies on a night I rated 7 out of 10 for seeing and 8 out of 10 for transparency.

Clear skies;
Steve Coe

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#13 azure1961p

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:11 PM

Steve,

Nice sketch. Mustve been stunning.

Pete

#14 Feidb

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 11:21 PM

LivingNDixie

That was probably Cathedral Gorge. We still go there twice a year. A great site.

#15 Feidb

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 11:23 PM

Steve,

Nice drawing!

#16 John K

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 11:31 PM

This is my sketch of NGC 7331 and area. Maybe this is what you saw.

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#17 LivingNDixie

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 04:19 PM

LivingNDixie

That was probably Cathedral Gorge. We still go there twice a year. A great site.


Yep that is it, beautiful site. Very dark too, can be a bit cold though.

#18 jrbarnett

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 04:14 PM

While Orange Zone observing with a 10" isn't horrible, I'd agree with the other respondent that, most likely, you spied NGC 7331 and its brightest nearby companion, NGC 7335. 7335 has an apparent visual magnitude of 13.4, and might be *just* nonstellar and a bit fuzzy in your scope under your skies. If so, that's a VERY respectable observation.

I've observed Stephan's Quintet from an Orange Zone, and it was just visible (recognizable as a tight grouping of galaxies) for a 20-incher. I haven't tried it with less aperture from that site, but I'm moving next month to slightly better skies (a whole mile away) and will give it a shot in a 16-incher (my largest scope currently).

Regards,

Jim

#19 stratocaster

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:31 PM

I recently got back into the hobby myself after a long hiatus. Went to Cathedral Gorge with LVAS this past September, if I recall. Set up right next to Feidb. Yes, a great site. Can't wait to go there again. The next LVAS deep sky observations were in Death Valley at Furnace Creek. One of the members of the LVAS has a 24" Obsession. I happened to go take a peek while he was looking at Stephan's. It looked very close to the pictures in his atlas. Great view. Next opportunity I want to see what I can get out of my 10" dob, if anything.

#20 northernontario

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:49 PM

I am having a very hard time with this one. I can find NGC7331 no problem, but that quintet eludes me.

I need to hit it before 21:00, then it becomes awash in the sky glow from Timmins, and gets too low on the horizon. Soon it will be a goner for me.

I am thinking I need a very transparent night. I am trying with a 16 inch f4.5 Dob from just on the fringe of a yellow to green zone.

jake

#21 wfj

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 05:30 PM

My experience is like TenthEnemey's - all I can add, is that I only reliably found it when it was effectively overhead. This with 10,12.5, and 14.5" scopes 10 miles outside of a metro light dome.

If it helps, when I first spotted it, it reminded me of a lumpy group of PN's, and once I knew where it was, I maxed out each scope on magnification to darken, all near 1mm E.P. Would make out 3-4 members but not the fully set from a "red" / "orange" LP zone.

#22 starrancher

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 05:37 PM

I recently got back into the hobby myself after a long hiatus. Went to Cathedral Gorge with LVAS this past September, if I recall. Set up right next to Feidb. Yes, a great site. Can't wait to go there again. The next LVAS deep sky observations were in Death Valley at Furnace Creek. One of the members of the LVAS has a 24" Obsession. I happened to go take a peek while he was looking at Stephan's. It looked very close to the pictures in his atlas. Great view. Next opportunity I want to see what I can get out of my 10" dob, if anything.


Off topic , sorry , but is this Cathedral Gorge the spot in Zion National Park ? :question:

#23 stratocaster

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 05:58 PM

This would be Cathedral Gorge State Park near Panaca, Nevada. See http://parks.nv.gov/cg.htm

#24 Bill Barlow

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 08:35 PM

Jake..

You should easily see the quintet using a 16" scope in your skies. I have seen it with my Meade 12" SCT from a yellow-green zone. It is a very small/compact group of galaxies given it is some 300 mly from earth. Good luck..

Bill

Bill

#25 John K

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 08:53 PM

With in the orientation of my sketch you would go down and to the left about two fields of view.






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