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center star in Ring Nebula

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#1 schang

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:06 PM

Just wonder how many of you saw it with a 10" Dob...

 

Last night I "think" I saw it with my 10" at 400X near zenith in the yellow zone before the moon rose.  The seeing and transparency were quite good, 4 out of 5.  I used to view it at 266X without even thinking that I could possibly see it, but last night I decided to give it a shot and barlowed to 400X.  The center region darkened somewhat than that at 266X, and not much going on there at first.  However, once in a long while there seemed to be a flickering of light appearing in the center of the ring momentarily.  This happened two or three times in the 10 minute span of observation.  I knew that most of us have not seen it, even with a 16" Dob or larger.  So here I am, asking if someone here has seen it with 10" scope. 



#2 David Knisely

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:49 PM

Just wonder how many of you saw it with a 10" Dob...

 

Last night I "think" I saw it with my 10" at 400X near zenith in the yellow zone before the moon rose.  The seeing and transparency were quite good, 4 out of 5.  I used to view it at 266X without even thinking that I could possibly see it, but last night I decided to give it a shot and barlowed to 400X.  The center region darkened somewhat than that at 266X, and not much going on there at first.  However, once in a long while there seemed to be a flickering of light appearing in the center of the ring momentarily.  This happened two or three times in the 10 minute span of observation.  I knew that most of us have not seen it, even with a 16" Dob or larger.  So here I am, asking if someone here has seen it with 10" scope. 

 

Yes, it can be seen in 10 inch and larger apertures.  The reason many people fail to see it is seeing fluctuations cause the tiny diffraction disk of the central star to be blurred, making it blend into the faint inner glow of nebulosity in the middle of the ring and effectively vanish.  Unless the seeing is rock-stable and you are using fairly high power, the central star in M57 just cannot be seen no matter how big the aperture is.  To see it, you have to watch the interior of the ring for a long time to catch those faint "flashes" when the seeing gets really good and the star becomes visible even for a brief moment.  Sometimes it just flashes on and off like some sadistic alien was sitting out there with a switch, while at other times, it is never visible for much of the night due to less than perfect seeing. The smallest scope I have seen it in was a  9.25 inch SCT at around 479x, so it can be done in a 10 inch given good seeing conditions and very high power.  Clear skies to you. 


Edited by David Knisely, 16 August 2014 - 12:24 AM.

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#3 jethro

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:54 PM

Boy, you gave me some homework.
Just when I thought I had saw the whole thing,
now you two guys are telling me there is more!
Thanks for the info.

#4 Mike B

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 02:23 PM

I recall an excellent discussion of M57's 'central-star' recently... check it out here!


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#5 schang

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 03:23 PM

Thanks, guys for the supporting confirmation.  Look like I did see it, not my own imagination :cool:



#6 kfiscus

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 03:49 PM

Congrats.  Knowing you've seen it makes it easier on later attempts.

 

Put it in your memory's To Do List on nights when the seeing is exceptionally steady (and the Ring is high up, of course).  It's such a quick find, location-wise, that when I note "57's central star visible" in my my observing log, I know the night was VERY good.



#7 youngamateur42

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:45 PM

It's not the easiest thing to see this central star, but once you've seen it once, I think your chances of seeing it again are much higher.  From the thread I started that Mike linked, the next night after turned out to be even mores steady, but even then, it wasn't very obvious.  



#8 lamplight

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:14 PM

No kidding I thought it'd be completely out of reach In a "small" scope. Congratulations ! And I can't wait to try , although I can so rarely use High mag here.. it might take a while. (Years) ;)

#9 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:00 PM

Holy Smokes! There is a central star in the Ring Nebula? Thanks for posting this as the ring is one of my favorite objects to observe. And due to its constant location near the zenith and out of the trees makes it accessible to me most of the year. I will push the magnification on the ring and see if I can squeak a glimmer of it. I love a challenge!



#10 David Knisely

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 12:27 AM

Here is a chart of the area around M57 with the photometric star magnitudes listed (they are plotted without the decimal point, so "157" is magnitude 15.7 for example).  The central star in M57 is about magnitude 15.2, so if you can't see any stars around the nebula of that magnitude, you won't be able to see the central star in the Ring:

Attached Files


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#11 jethro

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 02:03 AM

Anyone have any luck last night?
No dice for me. I could go as high as 238x before the view was degraded.

#12 cpper

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 04:13 AM

I wonder if the most experienced astronomer under the darkest skies could see it with a 8"-er   :question:



#13 Illinois

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 07:21 AM

I recall an excellent discussion of M57's 'central-star' recently... check it out here!

 

Yes, we discuss about it before. I still don't see central star in my 16 inch dobsonian! Will try again on very clear night in my backyard on high power. I live in yellow zone.



#14 Illinois

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 07:23 AM

I remember that article in Sky and Telescope magazine not long ago, but I cant remember which month so anyway one guy look at large telescope.....I think 70 inch and he can see 3 stars inside M57. Nice draw picture with details!


Edited by Illinois, 16 August 2014 - 07:24 AM.


#15 Illinois

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 07:27 AM

I wonder if the most experienced astronomer under the darkest skies could see it with a 8"-er   :question:

 

 

 about 15.2 mag star in 8 inch dobsonian ....not easy! :shrug:

 

8 inch F10 refractor..... maybe! I don't know!


Edited by Illinois, 16 August 2014 - 07:28 AM.


#16 MikeBOKC

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 12:45 PM

Yes there is a central star in all planetary nebulae for that is what they formed from.

 

I agree with the sadistic alien concept . . . it's like the little devil is cowering in some dense shrubbery saying "Have those pesky people on earth stopped looking yet so I can come out?"



#17 Feidb

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 04:49 PM

I've seen it once with my 16-inch f/6.4 and once with my commercial 16-inch f.4.5. Both in the 350+ magnification range. Each was on one of those special nights with cheap to modest eyepieces.



#18 schang

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 06:40 PM

The on-axis sharpness of most inexpensive eyepieces are quite suitable for the high mag viewing.  In this case, the edge performance of the eps is not critical at all, which was substantiated in your and my experiences...



#19 tim 57

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:47 PM

Just wonder how many of you saw it with a 10" Dob...

 

Last night I "think" I saw it with my 10" at 400X near zenith in the yellow zone before the moon rose.  The seeing and transparency were quite good, 4 out of 5.  I used to view it at 266X without even thinking that I could possibly see it, but last night I decided to give it a shot and barlowed to 400X.  The center region darkened somewhat than that at 266X, and not much going on there at first.  However, once in a long while there seemed to be a flickering of light appearing in the center of the ring momentarily.  This happened two or three times in the 10 minute span of observation.  I knew that most of us have not seen it, even with a 16" Dob or larger.  So here I am, asking if someone here has seen it with 10" scope. 

I saw it in 91' w an 8"



#20 schang

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:05 AM

Wow, that may be a record wrt scope size...



#21 BrettG

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:33 AM

I saw the Ring for the first time through my telescope the other night, I have seen it before, with a different scope, computer controlled, but this was the first time I had move there manually myself and gotten it.

 

I made an effort to see it at 139x and was not able to.  While it was much brighter with averted vision, and there was a definite "donut" shape to it, I saw no star.  Hopefully in the future?

 

I will say, even with the well plotted objects out there, there really is nothing better than finding it on your own!



#22 schang

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 10:14 AM

 

I made an effort to see it at 139x and was not able to.  While it was much brighter with averted vision, and there was a definite "donut" shape to it, I saw no star.  Hopefully in the future?

 

I will say, even with the well plotted objects out there, there really is nothing better than finding it on your own!

:waytogo:  :waytogo:  :waytogo:

 

Along the way, you will build a sky map in your head, and the next time around, it will be much quicker to find objects...



#23 The Planetman

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:59 AM

I caught the central star only once with a 10" f/6 Meade Research Grade on a driven equatorial mount back in 1998.  The mirrors had just been recoated.  It was also one of those very rare nights of super steady seeing and 57 was at the zenith. 
I've seen it several times with a 12.5", but like David stated, it's more off than on.   
If have seeing good enough to catch the central star, work your way over to the little galaxy IC 1296.  The image that David posted above will give you an idea of its proximity to M-57.  It's total magnitude is ~15.0.
You never know, but you might just catch a glimpse of the its core if nothing else.



#24 cpper

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 12:00 PM

 

I saw it in 91' w an 8"

 

 

132049696_amazoncom-challenge-accepted-r


Edited by cpper, 19 August 2014 - 12:01 PM.

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#25 woodscavenger

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 02:08 PM

Ok. back to the dark site with a challenge!!








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