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Most Impressive Object Seen?

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#26 WaterMaster


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:20 PM

I'm a hardcore visual observer as well, always hunting for faint fuzzies and getting a thrill by detecting the slightest hints of detail. That being said, Saturn started it all for me. I was 8 years old using a 3" cardboard tube reflector. I still get that feeling, 36 years later, every time I look at Saturn. :ubetcha:

#27 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:59 PM

The most impressive DSO?

It has to be M42, the Great Nebula in Orion. It has so many aspects, the six plus stars in the trapezium, the textures in the nebulosity, the colors that can be seen when the skies are dark and clear. M42 is always interesting, it's a suitable object for large and small scopes, light polluted city backyards, pristine dark skies..

If the Milky Way qualifies as an object, if the entire night sky qualifies as an object, they are certainly most impressive.. Wandering around the summer Milky with a fast telescope and a widefield eyepiece, it's one of my favorite things to so. It really doesn't matter the size of the scope, the Milky way in an 80mm F/5 refractor + 31mm Nagler = 6.0 degrees with a 6.2mm exit pupil, big and bright... In a 16 inch operating at F/4.4 with that same eyepiece, it's a 7mm exit pupil with a 1.34 degree TFoV... so many things to see, rivers and clusters of nebulosity..

Most impressive Planet: (Besides the earth). Jupiter, again, Jupiter has so many dimensions, the play of the moons and the shadow transits, the multitude of ever changing surface details.

Most impressive binary star: Each and every binary star has it's own personality. The widely separated colorful Albireo, the beauty of Castor and Izar, the ever changing Porrima, the stunning triple Beta Mons.. there are binary stars that are just perfect for any particular scope..

But the double that I most remember is the most difficult double star I have ever separated, Zeta Bootes. At the time, SkyTools 3 reported it's separating as 0.49 arc-second, about 1/5 the separation of the popular double-double. In a 10 inch telescope, this essentially represents the limit, the Dawes Limit, of what is possible, the Airy disks of each star are overlapping and the thin line between the pairs represents a 5% drop in the illumination.

To make such a split requires seeing of better than 1/2 arc-second, a scope that has thoroughly cooled, rock solid stable, a stable mount and a half decent observer. It took 821x to get the clean view but I still remember the pair with the joined diffraction ring as they drifted across the field of view.


#28 Turf1


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:29 PM

MY first telescope over 35 yrs ago was an 2. "something"refractor, I aimed it at something bright in the sky. It was Saturn. I could NOT believe what I was seeing.I am now 51 yrs old with an 11" Celestron Edge and STILL feel like the child I wasbecause of that experience.

#29 GeneT


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:40 PM

The moon; Neptune.

#30 Tony Flanders

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:40 PM

Tony, something that would be impressive to the average amateur astronomer. I have a feeling that 99% of us will probably never get to see some of the objects you have.

No doubt. However, the most spectacular objects are the ones that everyone sees, like the Pleiades.

Actually, the most spectacular things I've seen are all naked-eye and ephemeral: a great aurora, a total solar eclipse, a meteor storm. And a great sunset ... I don't see why that shouldn't qualify as an astronomical event.

Things that amaze me intellectually? Quasars multiple billion light-years distant. The Coma Galaxy Cluster -- not nearly as far, but viewable in considerable detail, and still incredibly far away. Near-Earth asteroids that move through the field of view as you watch.

#31 J. Barnes

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:40 PM


I can't say I've done anything impressive. I was pretty excited to make out the smudges of M 51 in by binos the other morning. I think I impressed myself when I ran three push-to scopes at our club's star parties last summer. I'm holding out hope for the discovery of a SN or comet. :rolling:

#32 mountain monk

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:31 PM

Hummmmm... We contine to ignore the southern sky. Although I've only seen it through 10x binoculars, the LMC would be up near the top of the list.

Dark skies.


#33 StarStuff1



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Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:20 PM

OK, I have reconsidered. By far the most impressive "thing" I have seen is a total solar eclipse and I have been fortunate enough to see 3 so far. Through a scope and naked eye. Close behind, though, was the Leonid meteor storm about 7 years ago.

Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon and other objects, including DSOs are wonderfull things but nothing beats a total solar eclipse. :foreheadslap:

#34 hm insulators

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

For me, it's M-22 and Omega Centauri through telescopes, the latter of which is quite low in the southern sky from the latitude of Phoenix (and I have to be well away from the city lights), and the Pleiades through binoculars. Naked eye? Nothing beats seeing the summer Milky Way from desert skies on the route from Phoenix to L.A., well away from city lights.

#35 csrlice12


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:57 AM

Actually, my most impressive views have been without a scope. That would be when I was spent a year at Thule, Greenland (think 500 miles NORTH of the Arctic Circle.). The constant dark and the dry, clear air (it was dry and clear because it was also 40 to 50 below Zero) made for some fantastic skies.....The constant daylight, well, that's a different story.....

#36 Gregen


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:10 PM

For me it would have to be my first and only sight of a full lunar eclipse. After that it would have to be my first view of Saturn.

#37 csrlice12


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:21 PM

I think EVERYONE remembers their first view of Saturn, mine was with a Tasco 60mm on an earthquake style mount. But, it's why I have returned to the hobby now that I'm retiring.

#38 panhard


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:53 PM

My most impressive view through a scope was and still is M42. I guess you could say that I am addicted to that view. With binos it is the Pleiades. Both of which are visible naked eye under the right conditions.

#39 drbyyz


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:57 PM

Naked eye: Comet Hale Bopp back in '97
Binoculars: Just cruising the Milky Way
Scope: M33 from a dark sky spot...I could spend an hour with each of my eyepieces on this guy and still not be bored.

#40 Haas


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:14 PM

I'm holding out hope to see the Jupiter 2, with Will, John, Don, Judy, Penney, Dr. Smith, and of course, the robot.

#41 csrlice12


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:19 PM

Is IDAK still following them? If so, hopefully they won't find there way home......

#42 Haas


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

Is IDAK still following them? If so, hopefully they won't find there way home......

Ha ha, I don't remember who or what IDAK was?

#43 csrlice12


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:41 PM

IDAK--Instant Destroyer and Killer. Silver dude in a silver outfit with a cape.....they had a lot of cool "aliens" on LIS.

#44 Haas


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:54 PM

IDAK--Instant Destroyer and Killer. Silver dude in a silver outfit with a cape.....they had a lot of cool "aliens" on LIS.

Aah, yes, now I remember. I remember him, but not that name. Lost in Space fascinated me as a kid.

#45 mfromb


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:56 PM

I'm a total newb still, and expect to be remain so for quite some time.

Based on my current, limited experience, I would put my top 3, to date, in this order (note: I doubt #1 will be easily supplanted):

1. My daughters eyes when our new (barely used) XT8i was unveiled Christmas morning, and her face as it lit up with excitement and a spotaneous 'Wow!' during our first viewing of Jupiter. Priceless.

2. Our Moon, at 109x and nearly filling the eyepiece, with incredible clarity and detail the first time we used the ES82 11mm as a replacement for the stock 10mm plossl. That was (and is) a great sight to behold.

3. M42 for the first time, even though it was seen in fairly light-polluted skies, the fact that we manually stumbled on it, not knowing what it was at first, and then realizing it has always been sitting "right there!", as a relative smudge to the naked eye. Who knew?!? We've taken at least a couple of looks every night out since, regardless of what else we're looking at, or for. :-)

Can't wait for the weather to continue improving and we start taking trips to dark(er) skies. In the meantime, we're enjoying what we can, when we can.

I've been holding off on Saturn until we get a morning of decent seeing and a time that myself and a couple of our daughters can all handle without impacting work and school. 'Soon' can't come quickly enough. We will have to head out of our neighborhood to get a good vantage point. Plenty of unobstructed ocean front public property nearby. I think we'll need that low horizon in order to see it.

#46 Ed D

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:16 PM

I don't have one single impressive object but I can think of single, most impressive in several categories. The most impressive nebula I have seen is Eta Carina, neck and neck with Orion. The most impressive open cluster has to be NGC 3532, the Wishing Well Cluster. Omega Centauri is my favorite globular. I started to list a few stars but the list grew long. All of these objects I enjoy observing from the tip of the Florida peninsula, which gives me a great view of the southern skies. From home I love to observe the planets, mainly Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Oh, and let's not forget the moon.

Ed D

#47 kfiscus



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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:45 PM

StarStuff1 got it right. Total solar eclipses, naked-eye and scope (1991 and 1998).

Comets Hyakutake('96) and Hale-Bopp ('97) were both spectacular.

#48 northernontario



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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:15 PM

The one's I see for the first time. :shocked:

And the moon.

It's beautiful. :bow:

Is this a trick question :question:


#49 shawnhar


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:56 PM

I had seen Saturn many times through my own 10" scope, but the time I climbed an 8 foot ladder at a star party to look at it through the eyepiece of a 20" Dob.....duuuuuude.

#50 Noisykids


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:01 PM

my biggest thrill so far was seeing the spots shoemaker-levy made when it jupiter with a mirror i ground and polished and a dob i constructed.

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