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Leo I Visually Observeable?!?!

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#1 jgibson1@emich

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

So, this past saturday I was observing south of the Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern, AZ. The site is pristine and offers some remarkable views. B33 is easily visible in in 12" f/5 dob with my 17mm Nagler. I had set out to image Leo I (dwarf Irregular galaxy) within ~15' of Regulus. I was under the impression that this was not a target that coul dbe seen visually. However for the heck of it I swung the dob over to Regulus.

Witht he 17mm Nagler I panned around to find the stars pointing to Leo I. I was sure but I swear I saw a faint patch with Regulus jus out of the FOV. I swapped EP to a 9mm Nagler and BAAAMMMMM!!!! I could not believe it... Leo I was actually visible. Barely but it was indeed there. I did a very rough sketch to compare to the images I was taking and the location fits with the stars in the photographs.

I was sooo excited to observe this tough target and one that I was under the impression couldn't be seen. I did a quick search on the CN forums and I do not see anyone reporting on this target.

Has anyone else observed this target? Where did you do this? What scope & EP combo did you use? Thoughts?

Clear Skies,
Jason

#2 JakeSaloranta

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:26 AM

It most certainly can be seen. Here:

http://www.cloudynig...4479012/page...

And there are even 4 different sketches of it in the Archive (http://www.deepsky-archive.com/)!

I've seen it - marginally - with my 80mm refractor as well as 4.1 inch newton and 4.7 inch refractor. I think in all cases I used medium magnification with Regulus outside the field of view and NELM ~7.0 skies or better.

/Jake

#3 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:43 PM

I've observed Leo I a number of times through various telescopes. I've also seen the far more difficult Leo II on a couple of occasions.

http://observing.sky...r/UGC_5470.html

Dave Mitsky

#4 hbanich

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:19 PM

Me too, but a very transparent and fairly dark sky is needed.

#5 Sasa

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

I found Leo relatively easy to observe. I could glimpse it last year in 100mm refractor for the first time:

Posted Image

Was not easy but it was there at magnification of 72x.

Then, just 4 days later on, we were testing my friend's TS150/900 achromat. It was much better defined and relatively easy to see almost on the first sight. Even non-astro folks could pick it up in the eyepiece quite quickly.

#6 jgibson1@emich

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:15 PM

Wow! This is all great information guys. Thanks for the replies. I found that with the 9mm Nagler (169x @ 30' TFOV) I had the best view with decent contrast despite Regulus. I would go as far to say that Leo I was obvious once I saw it. I tried a 2x powermate with the 9mm and it was too much. I backed it down to the 17mm Nagler and the contrast was not too great and was barely visible. This was with my 12" f/5 dob.

Again, this was a definate highlight of my observing in Arizona. This and B33 are two targets that I have always wanted to see visually but back in my home state of Michigan I never was able to glimpse either. Even in a 25" dob I was not able to see B33!!

I think I have heard of Leo II but I do not know anything about it. I shall research this "challenging" target. I like challenges! ;)

Any suggestions for observing Leo II? Minimum aperature? Recommended magnification?

Clear Skies,
Jason

#7 JakeSaloranta

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:35 AM

Any suggestions for observing Leo II? Minimum aperture? Recommended magnification?


Being fainter (11.9 (v) mag) and larger (~10.1' x 9.0') than Leo I, I'd still go with medium to low magnification (<100x) on this one. It does of course depend on the weather, observer and aperture of the telescope. The galaxy, Leo II, is visible at least with 8 and 10 inch telescopes, probably even smaller if you're using a photograph of it in the field and know where to look / have seen it before.

For a better challenge, go after Leo III and/or Leo IV :)

/Jake

#8 Starman1

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

I first saw Leo I at low power in a 6" f/5 with Regulus outside the FOV.
I also saw NGC6822, The California Nebula, The North America Nebula and a lot of other large and faint things with that scope.
Some of those are harder with larger scopes with narrower fields.

B33, I think, is normally a 10" + object. I've seen it in 6" binoculars, though. What the bottom limit is, I don't know.

I've also seen The Veil (with O-III filter) and Barnard's Loop (with H-Beta filter) with the naked eye, and those were much more of a challenge than Leo I with a 12". Put the filter on an extension tube and hold the tube to you eye to block all peripheral light. You might be surprised what you can see.

One thing to remember--the more you push yourself to see objects that are really faint, the better you will see them. You can train your eye to see the really faint stuff. So don't only view the brighter things--push the limits. The standard comment people make on seeing the Messier galaxies for the first time is, "THAT little faint thing?". Two years later, they go back to those same Messier galaxies and say, "Wow! Look at how bright and detailed that object is!" The difference? A couple years experience at looking at faint objects.

#9 LivingNDixie

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

Agree with everything Don wrote.

#10 jgibson1@emich

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:33 AM

Killer! I am excited to give Leo II a try the next time I head out the dark sky site. Thanks for all the input guys.

Leo III and/or Leo IV



Jake, I will research these other "Leo" galaxies and report back later.

Put the filter on an extension tube and hold the tube to you eye to block all peripheral light.



Don, That is a briliant idea! I have tried holding the OIII filter to my eye but the reflection killed the view. I had not thought about utilizing an extention tub in the past. I WILL try this the next time I am out.

One thing to remember--the more you push yourself to see objects that are really faint, the better you will see them.



I can say from experience that this statement is 100% true!



On a related topic.... I thought I would share my image from that night of observing. I posted it in the DSLR forum but I am not sure if many of y'all get over there much. In any case here are a few links to various crops of Leo I as imaged near the Chiricahua National Monument....

Leo I - Full Frame

Leo I - Tight Crop

Leo I - Wicked Tight Crop!

Image Details-
Modded 350D @ ISO1600 w/MPCC
50 x 4mins (3.33 hrs)
8" f/4.9 Newt
Atlas EQ-G
Guided 80ED + Orion Deep Sky Imager v1.0 + pHD
Stacked DSS, PP in CS3


Clear Skies,
Jason

#11 JakeSaloranta

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:48 AM

I've also seen The Veil (with O-III filter) and Barnard's Loop (with H-Beta filter) with the naked eye, and those were much more of a challenge than Leo I with a 12". Put the filter on an extension tube and hold the tube to you eye to block all peripheral light. You might be surprised what you can see.


This is something I've always been curious about. I put my UHC/H-Beta/OIII filter in front of my eye and can honestly say I can see nothing from the night sky :grin: Must be the 2" version or something...

/Jake

#12 Starman1

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:18 PM

Jake,
Unless you shield your eye from any/all extraneous peripheral light, the reflection from the filter will dominate what you see.
Yes, I used 2" filters, and I got the idea of using a short extension tube so I could hold one end of the tube against my face to block all peripheral light.
I typically observe at a high-altitude mountain site, and 20-30 Messier objects are easy naked-eye targets.

You could use a 1.25" filter, but you'd need a very short tube to get it close enough to the eye.

People reported seeing NGC7000 (North America Nebula) with the naked eye, so I and a couple other people tried for some large objects we'd read might be visible with the naked eye and a filter.

I was really surprised Barnard's Loop in Orion was visible with the H-Beta filter (several of us saw it), and NGC7000 was not much of a challenge with a UHC filter. To see the Veil, I sat in my car with the sunroof wide open, looking up at the zenith through the roof opening, and holding the O-III filter to my eye. It helped that I knew exactly where it was, and I did not see it as a circular glow, but as an incomplete circle a couple degrees across.

I haven't looked for the California Nebula this way. I haven't heard or read of anyone seeing it with a filtered naked eye.

#13 JakeSaloranta

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:37 PM

Don,

Thanks for the tip! I'll give it a go when I get under dark skies.

Regarding NGC 7000... I suspect many people who claim to see it are actually logging the "Deneb star cloud" next to NGC 7000. The star cloud (which is even similar to the shape of NGC 7000) is quite easily seen even from less than good conditions. When using a filter - UHC in my case - the star cloud gets a lot dimmer but a new nebula emerges next to it - this being the true NGC 7000. Without a filter, I've never been able to convince myself of seeing the nebula but just the bright star cloud. But that's just my 2 cents.

/Jake

#14 deepskydarrell

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:12 PM

Short extension tube with filter -- an excellent idea.

Perhaps the Helix might show up with such a system. I'll give it a try in the fall when I'm down past your way and the south horizon is 16 degrees higher.

DSD.

#15 Astrojensen

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

I haven't looked for the California Nebula this way. I haven't heard or read of anyone seeing it with a filtered naked eye.


I think I recall Scotty Houston reporting seeing it with the naked eye, using a H-Beta filter. It is in one of his last articles in S&T, the last ten or so.


Clear skies!
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#16 Astrodj

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:51 PM

David Knisely posted having "barely" seen the nebula with only an H-beta filter and eye in this archived thread.

http://www.cloudynig...1105463/page...

#17 kaj_mustikkamaki

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:10 AM

I haven't looked for the California Nebula this way. I haven't heard or read of anyone seeing it with a filtered naked eye.


I think I recall Scotty Houston reporting seeing it with the naked eye, using a H-Beta filter. It is in one of his last articles in S&T, the last ten or so.


Thomas, you are right. I found the following on Jan-1993 Deep Sky Wonders: "...I would see the [California] nebula with my naked eye through an oxygen-III filter."

- Kaj -

#18 Sarkikos

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:53 PM

Don,

I've also seen The Veil (with O-III filter) and Barnard's Loop (with H-Beta filter) with the naked eye, and those were much more of a challenge than Leo I with a 12". Put the filter on an extension tube and hold the tube to you eye to block all peripheral light. You might be surprised what you can see.


Good idea. I might have to modify it somewhat so I could keep my eyeglasses on. With my eyeglasses off, I guarantee I won't be able to see the Veil, the Loop or much of anything else.

:grin:
Mike

#19 Starman1

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

Don,

I've also seen The Veil (with O-III filter) and Barnard's Loop (with H-Beta filter) with the naked eye, and those were much more of a challenge than Leo I with a 12". Put the filter on an extension tube and hold the tube to you eye to block all peripheral light. You might be surprised what you can see.


Good idea. I might have to modify it somewhat so I could keep my eyeglasses on. With my eyeglasses off, I guarantee I won't be able to see the Veil, the Loop or much of anything else.

:grin:
Mike

Before my wife had LASIK surgery on her eyes, she'd take her glasses off and say, "Which one of the large blobs is the Moon?" :lol:

#20 David Knisely

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:32 PM

I haven't looked for the California Nebula this way. I haven't heard or read of anyone seeing it with a filtered naked eye.


I think I recall Scotty Houston reporting seeing it with the naked eye, using a H-Beta filter. It is in one of his last articles in S&T, the last ten or so.


Thomas, you are right. I found the following on Jan-1993 Deep Sky Wonders: "...I would see the [California] nebula with my naked eye through an oxygen-III filter."

- Kaj -


Nope, that may have been one of the editorial mistakes in his columns and his book (Deep-Sky Wonders, by Walter Scott Houston), as the California nebula does not have a lot of bright Oxygen III emission. I think Scotty may have been using an H-beta but for some reason wrote about it being an OIII instead. I have found NGC 1499 difficult in my 100mm f/6 refractor using the Lumicon OIII filter, and dim but not terribly difficult in the Lumicon H-Beta filter as long as the skies are nice and dark (I have also seen it with just the H-Beta filter held up to my eye). Clear skies to you.

#21 Sarkikos

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:48 PM

Before my wife had LASIK surgery on her eyes, she'd take her glasses off and say, "Which one of the large blobs is the Moon?" :lol:


I don't think I'll ever do LASIK. If there's a mistake when they make my glasses, I do have the option to remove them.

:grin:
Mike

#22 ensign

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 04:39 PM

Before my wife had LASIK surgery on her eyes, she'd take her glasses off and say, "Which one of the large blobs is the Moon?" :lol:


I don't think I'll ever do LASIK. If there's a mistake when they make my glasses, I do have the option to remove them.

:grin:
Mike


+1

#23 Starman1

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

You might reply differently if you were essentially blind without your glasses. She was afraid that she would lose or step on her glasses during an earthquake and be incapable of functioning. The maximum distance from her nose that was in focus was 2". Now, she uses reading glasses but watches TV without glasses or contacts.
That's a significant improvement in her life.
But, for myopes who aren't more than 8 diopters off 20/20, I agree LASIK makes less sense.

#24 Sarkikos

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:18 PM

I'm glad your wife was helped by LASIK surgery.

Yes, if my eyes had been like that, I would have opted for LASIK, also. But as my eyes are now, at about 20/200+ myopia (I have no idea what that is in diopters), one eye weaker than the other and also presbyopia so I cannot focus closer than about 18" - my blended trifocal progressives are essential to my daytime life as well as for relatively hassle-free astronomy. About the only things I can do without glasses is sleep, eat, maybe go for a walk ... you get the idea.

But given all those problems, I still have no problem using short focal length eyepieces. :grin:

Mike






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