Most Impressive Object Seen?
Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:20 PM
Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:59 PM
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.
Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:29 PM
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.
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:
Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:31 PM
Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:20 PM
Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon and other objects, including DSOs are wonderfull things but nothing beats a total solar eclipse.
Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:35 AM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:57 AM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:10 PM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:21 PM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:53 PM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:57 PM
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.
Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:14 PM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:19 PM
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?
Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:41 PM
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.
Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:56 PM
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.
Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:16 PM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:45 PM
Comets Hyakutake('96) and Hale-Bopp ('97) were both spectacular.
Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:15 PM
And the moon.
Is this a trick question
Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:56 PM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:01 PM