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Most over-rated DSO?

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#1 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:58 PM

Another thread here deals with under-rated DSOs, which are nice or interesting objects not deemed to receive attention or press commensurate with their 'niceness.'

What about the other end of the spectrum? There are objects which by themselves are nothing to write home about. But due to proximity to some other well known and oft observed object, receive attention out of all proportion to their 'puniness.'

I'll toss in two; the galaxies close to M57 and M13, they being IC 1295 and NGC 6207, respectively.

#2 kfiscus

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:53 PM

Cluster NGC 6802 at the right tip of the Coat Hanger (if viewed with hanger 'correct side up'). The pair provides a neat depth-of-field.

#3 Nick Anderson

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 08:40 PM

M40, enough said there.

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#4 David Knisely

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:03 PM

Cluster NGC 6802 at the right tip of the Coat Hanger (if viewed with hanger 'correct side up'). The pair provides a neat depth-of-field.


How in the world can this one be over-rated? It is a nice cluster for moderate to large telescopes, especially at higher powers. If anything, it is underrated, as it has around 50 stars and shows two or three sub-clusters within its borders. It should be better-known, given that it sits at the edge of one of the best known asterisms in the northern sky. Clear skies to you.

#5 Nick Anderson

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:46 PM

After re-reading his post, I think it was meant for the "under-rated" forum. I agree here: in my opinion NGC 6802 was one of the best open clusters of the Herschel 400 list!

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#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:50 PM

In some sense, all DSOs are underrated since only a very small portion of the world's population ever gets a chance to enjoy them.

But in terms of the general public, I have to think the Crab Nebula is one of the best known but underwhelming at the eyepiece in comparison to other well know DSOs like Andromeda, the Pleiades, the Great Nebula in Orion, the Hercules Cluster... First timers and non observers find these can be quite awesome in most any scope.. The Crab Nebula generally is more of a "that's it?"

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#7 ggalilei

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:15 PM

True, M1 is generally underwhelming, but isn't it the easiest visible SNR? (and it has a pulsar at its center!) With that kind of brain vision, it becomes "overwhelming."

#8 russell23

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:33 PM

I think these questions are tough because it depends upon the aperture of the scope. Still for me the overrated object is M11 no matter the aperture. I might be the only person ever to think that but it is my feelings about that cluster. I check it once each summer just to confirm that I still won't be spending time on it. Last time I mentioned this people wanted to understand why. I can't explain why I just don't enjoy looking at M-11. Sorry!

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#9 kfiscus

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:34 PM

I nominated it by following Drew's (OP) intro examples of objects overshadowed by famous neighbors. I really like 6802. It's more like overLOOKED than overrated.

#10 kfiscus

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:36 PM

+1. I've seen "M-40" used as a verb somewhere in a CN forum to describe the act of a close double fooling the eye into seeing things that aren't really there.

#11 David Knisely

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:17 AM

In some sense, all DSOs are underrated since only a very small portion of the world's population ever gets a chance to enjoy them.

But in terms of the general public, I have to think the Crab Nebula is one of the best known but underwhelming at the eyepiece in comparison to other well know DSOs like Andromeda, the Pleiades, the Great Nebula in Orion, the Hercules Cluster... First timers and non observers find these can be quite awesome in most any scope.. The Crab Nebula generally is more of a "that's it?"

Jon


Well, the Crab is certainly better than the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). All that is usually seen is a small faint oval glow around a star, with only the closest parts of the arcs of the "bubble" barely hinted at in moderate to large apertures (even when using a nebula filter). At a real dark sky site with a narrow-band filter, in a 10 inch, there can be a little more fainter nebulosity that is seen, but not a lot. I can at least see the Crab in a 60mm refractor from my 5th magnitude back yard (and it is notably larger than the brightest visual portion of NGC 7635) but the "Bubble"?? Nope. I consider the Bubble to be over-rated. Clear skies to you.

#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 05:38 AM

M40, enough said there.


Yeah, M40 might just be the champ when you take the ratio of its fame to its inherent virtues. It's a perfect OK wide, easy, moderately faint double star, but there are probably at least a thousand equally attractive wide, easy, moderately faint doubles. Of them, M40 is by far the best known.

I'm glad that the Messier list includes M40 -- it gives it more variety. But it's sheer chance, and a very small one, that this particular wide double happened to be noticed by Messier.

#13 azure1961p

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 06:53 AM

The *Blinking Planetary* in Cygnus since 1. It does no such thing, 2. Any number of averted vision sensitive deepsky objects will appear to vanish and reappear given proper or improper attention.
Its just a nice fairly bright planetary with an easy central star. That's all.

Pete

#14 Gil V

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 09:31 AM

Agreement on the non-blinking planetary. I wasn't sure I had it because no blinking. Maybe in a smaller scope?

#15 EJN

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:41 AM

The *Blinking Planetary* in Cygnus since 1. It does no such thing, 2. Any number of averted vision sensitive deepsky objects will appear to vanish and reappear given proper or improper attention.
Its just a nice fairly bright planetary with an easy central star. That's all.


I will strongly disagree with this statement. While other planetary nebula
show the "blinking" effect in my 8" scope, it is far more pronounced
and obvious with NGC 6826 than any other I have seen.

As for over-rated DSOs,

1) M40
2) M73
3) M29

#16 Tom Polakis

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:38 AM

The one that comes instantly to my mind is the Horsehead Nebula. So much effort is expended seeing it, and the view is bland even with a large telescope and a Hydrogen-Beta filter at a dark site.

My two criteria for what makes an object worthwhile to spend time on are either aesthetic beauty or astrophysical interest. Many of our favorite objects like M51 and M42 have both going for them. I can't get enough of the Veil Nebula, which is exceedingly beautiful, but of little astrophysical interest. The Crab Nebula currently has been written about in 4328 papers, so it's a worthy target despite it's faintness. Then there's the Horsehead Nebula, whose fascination is apparently that it looks cool in images.

Tom

#17 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:45 PM

Tom,
I'm with you! The verbiage pounded out here about the Horsehead year after year (even to the point of having a post about the thing stickied), goes almost beyond the pale. There are innumerable dark nebulae vastly easier to see. But I suppose it's really the challenge it poses; to see it might be perceived as graduating to the upper echelon of visual observers. Not that there aren't numerous tougher objects out there to earn bragging rights on. :grin:

#18 Nick Anderson

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 02:15 PM

The *Blinking Planetary* in Cygnus since 1. It does no such thing, 2. Any number of averted vision sensitive deepsky objects will appear to vanish and reappear given proper or improper attention.
Its just a nice fairly bright planetary with an easy central star. That's all.


I will strongly disagree with this statement. While other planetary nebula
show show the "blinking" effect in my 8" scope, it is far more pronounced
and obvious with NGC 6826 than any other I have seen.


As a fellow 8-inch telescope owner, I agree: the blinking effect is very obvious. But add a lot of aperture, then it's doubtful the nebulosity will "blink" anymore.

-Nick Anderson

#19 acochran

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:32 PM

I find M 31 to be disappointing. Looked at it through a 24" Dob two weekends ago, looked the same as with my 16" Dob, just bigger.
Andy

#20 kfiscus

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 04:06 PM

This type of comment will likely get you and me both kicked off CN- but I agree. I get a bigger kick out of 32 & 110.

#21 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 04:54 PM

Then look at M31 with a big bino or RFT.

As an aside, M31 could serve as an excellent example of how utterly atrocious the eye's resolving power is at low light levels. A prime focus image taken with an 80mm f/6 will show more detail than can be seen visually with a 24". (And no, it's not due to some magical property of the CCD. To see this, take an image of Jupiter with that little scope at prime focus; it'll show a tiny ball with practically no detail to speak of.)

This is why even a monster galaxy such as M31 can be such a disappointment. If only we could crank up the scene brightness (even preserving the same contrast); it wouldn't be such a let-down then.

#22 RAKing

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 05:33 PM

I won't say M40 is over-rated, but maybe it's one of the most underwhelming DSOs I have seen. Unfortunately, I also have to add many of the galaxies in the Coma B./Virgo cluster to that list, too.

Maybe if I had a monster Dob I could see more detail in these, but for everything I have owned and used these faint fuzzies really do just look like faint fuzzies -- and you have to be very careful with a few of them to remind yourself which one you are looking at.

Cheers,

Ron

#23 ggalilei

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 05:42 PM

And yet with perseverance, somehow the eye learns to see more. I was looking at M31 just last night with a Z10 and saw the first dust lane and first spiral arm (towards M110) clearer than I had ever seen it in the 18" reflector. I even noticed a nearby bright/dark area combination (confirmed from a photo later) that I had never detected before. But I agree that it is frustrating how painful it is to extract visual information from our nearest gigantic galaxy.

#24 Usquebae

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 07:27 PM

:shocked: Oh, the outrage!

No sky for you! Come back one year! :banned:

If you heathens only knew what the citizens of Andromeda are saying about our Milky Way... :ohgeeze:

#25 azure1961p

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 07:34 PM

Welll the Horsehead has mystique. I've seen it thru SN 18" with an Hbeta and Zi have to confess I loved it. Like many deepsky objects its images precede it but Im very very taken with the ominous intrusion silhouette. I don't even dream of it with my 8" and local sky's and no Hbeta to boot, but its ever out there for me.

M31 looking ho-hum in a big reflector is testament to the fact that great aperture shines brightest when the details or objects are the dimmest - or just dimmer perhaps. A blazing M31 core in SN 18" was rather a let down. But start seeking out its globular clusters and open clusters and resolve the extended nature of these things and now that 18" is turbo charged. If its already a bright object thru a medium aperture scope even more aperture is just well brighter. In the shadows tho the details begin to bristle.

Pete






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