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Most under-rated DSO?

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#1 kfiscus

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 11:46 PM

I'd like to nominate the Crescent Nebula with filters. It is just so cool! It goes from a total yawner unfiltered to a uniquely shaped and textured elliptical jewel in the O-III and NPB filters. You owe it to yourself to find it in Cygnus soon. I guarantee you'll visit it regularly.

#2 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 11:54 PM

In my experience, the most underrated DSO, as a class, is the dark nebula. The overarching tendency to see the deep sky as sources of light *emitters* has largely relegated dark clouds to the status of the poor relation.

Choosing any *single* underrated DSO will generate just about as many unique responses as respondents.

#3 *skyguy*

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 06:54 AM

Some objects can be "under-rated" when they are situated too close to a really spectacular object that simply overwhelms them!

My favorite example is the relatively unknown open star cluster "Stock 2" which located only 2 degrees from the very famous "Double Cluster" (NGC884 & NGC869) in Perseus. It can be seen in the same FOV with the "Double Cluster" using 10x50 binoculars, yet goes unnoticed by many observers. Even more remarkable, it can be found by following a string of 7th. magnitude stars trailing away from the "Double Cluster" ... and, I can see a stick figure of a man formed from the brighter stars inside this cluster! Unfortunately, "Stock 2" isn't listed or displayed in many of the major planetarium programs ... it should be!

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#4 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:04 AM

As far as I understand, Stock 2 comprises the 'upper body' of the Muscleman, not so much the 'legs'.

#5 Ben Therrell

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:13 AM

Stock 2 has always been a favorite of mine as well. In 10x50's it looks like a the Chinese calligraph for "Heaven". :)

#6 kfiscus

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:20 AM

Thank you for mentioning this object. I'll check it out soon. This is one reason I love CN.

#7 kfiscus

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:23 AM

Are you sure it translates "heaven"? Your post reminded me of a funny scene from Big Bang Theory in which Penny has a tattoo on her lower back that she thinks translates to "peace" or something. Sheldon has to inform her that it means "soup".

#8 Ben Therrell

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:44 AM

Ken,
It has several translations, the best, heaven etc...

#9 Astrodj

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 10:55 PM

I am also a fan of Stock 2. I learned of it from Sue French's excellent Deep Sky Wonders which BTW is a treasure trove of under-rated DSO's.

Trumpler 1, not far from M103 in Cassiopeia gets my vote for being the "most" under-rated and often overlooked DSO. Very cool visually in a 10" at moderate powers. :grin:

#10 kfiscus

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 12:19 AM

I've made note of it to find. Thank you for your nomination.

#11 IVM

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 06:45 PM

Nice objects. I agree about dark nebulae. Beyond that, I guess, to be underrated it has to be rated somehow, i.e. fairly well known but customarily disregarded as an observing target. With these criteria my submission might be IC 1613. A nearby barred Magellanic-type galaxy with a star cloud marking an "arm", looking through mere 12" very much like the LMC does to the naked eye. Popularized in the Caldwell list, it seemingly failed to achieve fame. I have a crude sketch of it here:
http://ivm-deep-sky....-caldwells.html

#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:22 AM

Nice objects. I agree about dark nebulae. Beyond that, I guess, to be underrated it has to be rated somehow, i.e. fairly well known but customarily disregarded as an observing target. With these criteria my submission might be IC 1613.


IC 1613 is the single object that has given me the most grief over the years. This is one seriously low surface brightness galaxy -- don't even think about it unless your skies are seriously dark and transparent. But it's very important because it's a member of the Local Group.

#13 IVM

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 09:43 AM

Tony, I was now flipping through the van den Bergh book and I may be mistaken but it seems that the surface brightness of IC 1613 is within normal bounds for its class. This would fit with my impression that it is like the visible Milky Way and the LMC, i.e. galaxies that don't exhibit much concentration - either because of actual structure, or because of inclination or absorption in our line of sight. So yes, if the sky is good enough to see the "bar" and star cloud with the Tarantula Nebula with the naked eye, or good detail in the Milky Way, then the bar and the star cloud in IC 1613 will stand out too - at a carefully chosen magnification. The trouble is that at no magnification is its overall outline visible in my experience. I can either see the star cloud or the thin bar or a little bit of both, but never the overall halo in which they are embedded. But this is true for the LMC too - at least to my unaided eye. I do not want to mistake the blur due to low resolution at this low brightness for actually seeing the halo. Sorry it's long-winded - I can gush about this object forever ;)

#14 ensign

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:10 PM

An observing buddy named Stock 2 the Yellow Submarine Cluster. I readily see the yellow sub in this cluster - with fireworks coming out of the conning tower. :grin:

#15 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 04:01 PM

In my experience, the most underrated DSO, as a class, is the dark nebula. The overarching tendency to see the deep sky as sources of light *emitters* has largely relegated dark clouds to the status of the poor relation.

Choosing any *single* underrated DSO will generate just about as many unique responses as respondents.


Agree. But among that group there is one great example for the Bright DSO folks - B86. Incredible field with open cluster NGC 6520, the bright orange field star, and Milky Way back drop.

#16 John_G

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:43 PM

Kemble 1 with binoculars.

#17 David Knisely

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:28 PM

Nice objects. I agree about dark nebulae. Beyond that, I guess, to be underrated it has to be rated somehow, i.e. fairly well known but customarily disregarded as an observing target. With these criteria my submission might be IC 1613. A nearby barred Magellanic-type galaxy with a star cloud marking an "arm", looking through mere 12" very much like the LMC does to the naked eye. Popularized in the Caldwell list, it seemingly failed to achieve fame. I have a crude sketch of it here:
http://ivm-deep-sky....-caldwells.html


IC 1613 is more over-rated than underrated (it is more difficult than Barnard's Galaxy for example). It has a seriously-low surface brightness (15.9 mag./sqarcmin) that can make it difficult to impossible for many amateurs to even detect with apertures under 12 inches, although on one exceptional night, I did just barely detect it in my 100mm f/6 refractor (and mainly because I knew it was there). I have seen it in a 10 inch, but it takes a good night and a *lot* of study to make it out as anything other than the faintest diffuse brightening of the sky background. With some work rocking the scope and pushing the eyes to their very limits, a little of the shape of the main section and the glow of the patch off its northeastern side may become visible, but detail here is quite difficult. Indeed, the magnitude 10.6 and 10.9 stars that sit in and near the main section almost drown-out the galaxy. This object might be a fair target for larger apertures, but it has absolutely no business being in an observing list like the Caldwell list. Clear skies to you.

#18 John_G

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:26 AM

IC 1613 looks like a challenging target for the fall. SkyTool's says it's visible with 15x70s under magnitude 7.0 skies. I'll need to try with my 200mm closer to home.

#19 IVM

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:24 AM

Excellent observations, David.

John, at low magnifications such as with the 15x binos, beware of those stars that David mentioned. The glow from them can be mistaken for the galaxy. Even with higher magnifications and larger apertures there is a "danger" presented by a fainter double within that group of stars, which may go all M40 on you ;) In fact, O'Meara (whose observing I admire) observing with a 4" for his Caldwell book clearly mistook this unresolved star pair for the bright patch within the galaxy, as his sketch shows.

#20 azure1961p

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:46 AM

NGC7027 is a beacon of a planetary that almost never gets mention due to its modest though easy size. And it has shape and some detail. Literally shines with an OIII. At 70x with my 8" its weird even.

Pete

#21 JasonBurry

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 12:11 PM

One of my favourites has long been the Little Gem PN, near Barnards' galaxy. Tiny and intensely blue-green, with a brighter perimeter and somewhat darker centre. Always low in the sky from my 45N site, it teases with barely discernable detail, hints of uneven brightness in the "ring". NGC6818

J

#22 Tony Flanders

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 12:53 PM

IC 1613 is more over-rated than underrated.


I don't entirely agree with that; an object's worthiness doesn't necessarily depend on whether it's easy or hard to see and/or observe. IC 1613 is a very important galaxy, and well worth observing. Just don't have any delusions that it's going to be easy.

#23 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:57 PM

M55 is a rather impressive globular cluster, especially when viewed from southern latitudes, and the spiral galaxy M99 is quite nice when seen through large apertures.

Dave Mitsky

#24 ggalilei

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:55 PM

I had noticed "Stock 2" several times by accident while observing around the double cluster; I enjoyed the view but didn't know it had a name; thanks for pointing it out (although I think it deserves a prettier name)!
My outside vote goes to Markarian 421, just a dot of light, but easy to find and see, and you're collecting photons from 450 million LY away. It's also fun to see how it varies in brightness every few months between 12.3 and 13.1 or so.

#25 uniondrone

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 04:58 PM

I have always thought that NGC 7008, also known as the Fetus Nebula, is quite underrated.

Also, I really like NGC 7510, which is a surprisingly attractive little open cluster in Cepheus, and I think it deserves more attention.






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