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Favorite wide angle low power visual objects from 41* N?

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#1 jtsenghas

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:33 PM

So, what do you gaze upon when you go wide? Extended nebulae in Cygnus? Clusters of Galaxies in Virgo? What would you recommend to someone in my circumstances whose eyes have been recently opened to such wide fields of more than 1 1/2 degrees?

 

Perhaps I have to blame Dave Mitsky for tempting me over to the wide side. In 2015 I bought my first 82 degree eyepiece from him at Cherry Springs.  Since then I've acquired a few more including the biggest I'm likely to ever own, an ES 30 mm 82 degree just purchased used in the CN classifieds.

 

This behemoth should open up 1.75 degrees of sky at 47 power in my current dob when used with my Paracorr II, and 1.57 degrees of sky at 52 power in the next scope I'll build.  I'm well aware that these wide angle views require some peering around to see the whole field, but roughly 1 1/2 degrees of sky is a lot more real estate than I'm accustomed to looking at in a single view.

 

I'm curious as to what other mid-northern latitude observers find worth gazing upon the most when they put these 2 pound-plus pineapples into their dobs. I will have apertures of 10-12.5" and usually observe from "dark yellow to light green zones" as far as light pollution goes.  Two or three times a year at most I get to higher, drier, and darker zones, but most observing is done from the fairly overcast and moisture laden skies of northwest Ohio.

 

 

 



#2 junomike

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:51 PM

This time of year I go after open clusters

 

Double Cluster (NGC884/869)

Beehive (M44)

Melotte 111

And M31 (sinking fast)

 

Groups

Leo Triplet (M65, M66, NGC 3628)

M81/M82

 

Mike


Edited by junomike, 17 February 2017 - 12:54 PM.

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#3 MikeTahtib

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:53 PM

Double cluster in Perseus is fantastic.  Andromeda galaxy is a winner.  Veil nebula, try an OIII or UHC filter inlight polluted areas for this one.  It's not very bright even in dark skies, but I could see it last summer in my orange zone.  Pleiades, beehive cluster.  All of these are very wide, and even in my 2 degree field of view, are still a bit cramped.  M35 in Gemini would be very nice in your scope, and you might be able to make out the NGC cluster that is much dimmer and farther away adjacent to it.  Of course, the Orion nebula. 


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#4 Steve Cox

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:07 PM

In summer I could literally spend a month observing the clusters in the Cygnus starfield using only my low power widefield.  The Double Cluster is another excellent sight.  M45 must be seen through a scope in a 2deg field.  Andromeda in dark skies is wonderful, as is M33 on a transparent night.  And yes, the Virgo cluster is very fun to view in a widefield, along with the small groups of galaxies in Leo.  If you have sufficiently dark and transparent skies, along with a good UHC and OIII filters, checkout the Veil Nebula in Cygnus.  You might also want to try your hand at the California nebula in Perseus, along with the North American nebula in Cygnus, although the latter is definitely more of a challenge as it's size is closer to binocular size, but a good challenge finding the boundaries and put it all together in your mind.

 

And while you're at it in the northern skies, don't discount or forget the wonderful sights toward the south, such as the summer milky way through Sagittarius and both M6 and M7 in Scorpius.  And in addition to M42 which looks nice at low power, Orion has many beautiful bright starfields which are wonderful at low power.


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#5 Richard Whalen

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:50 PM

1. Double cluster

2. Double cluster

3. Double cluster


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#6 jtsenghas

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:59 PM

Wow! The double cluster is a popular one! I haven't looked at it yet at more than 0.8 degree true field. I'm sure it will be impressive at about twice that field.  Thanks, guys!



#7 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:19 PM

Just northwest of the Double Cluster lies Stock 2, the Muscleman Cluster.  Stock 2 spans about one degree and is a great target for large binoculars and rich-field telescopes.

 

http://www.ericteske...ock-2-open.html

 

Melotte 20 (the Alpha Persei Moving Cluster, the Alpha Persei Association, Collinder 39) extends for about three degrees but scanning through it should be fun.

 

http://www.lcas-astr...egory=observing

 

http://messier.seds....c/alphaper.html

 

There's also the large open cluster NGC 752 and the nearby Golf Putter asterism.

 

http://www.backyard-.../andromeda.html

 

http://messier.seds..../ngc/n0752.html

 

Dave Mitsky


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#8 havasman

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:40 PM

Trolling along the +60 degree line through Cassiopeia from the Camelopardalis border to the Cepheus border and picking out the little (and larger) open clusters can be a lot of fun. They're thick through there.

NGC752 in Andromeda.

M38/NGC1907. Wyatt showed me this one.

Picking galaxies out of the Big Dipper's bowl. There's effectively no end to them. I spent a long night's session on just this using Torres' C-level chart last year and didn't get more than 2/3 of the way across. I expect to start from the other corner and do it again soon. 

Following that parade of galaxies down through Leo and Virgo.

M101.

NGC6946/6939.

 

The deadly thing about a 1.5 degree FOV is that it'll make you crave a 3.5 degree FOV.    :mrevil:


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#9 jtsenghas

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 06:09 PM

Oooo! I'll be able to take in some asterisms in their entirety this year, too! The "coathanger" is about 1.5 degrees wide, for example.

Edited by jtsenghas, 17 February 2017 - 06:10 PM.

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#10 MikeTahtib

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:02 PM

At .8 degrees, the double cluster is just 2 single clusters!  And the person who said having 1.5 degrees will make you crave 3.5 degrees is absollutely right.  I've got 2 degrees and I'm thinking of a new mirror to get 2.3 - 2.7 degrees.



#11 jtsenghas

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:15 PM

At .8 degrees, the double cluster is just 2 single clusters!  And the person who said having 1.5 degrees will make you crave 3.5 degrees is absollutely right.  I've got 2 degrees and I'm thinking of a new mirror to get 2.3 - 2.7 degrees.

Yes,  I'm aware that at 0.8 degrees I could only see the two clusters individually. I've seen them decently in 25 x 100mm binos, but never with the resolution of a big scope all at once.

 

And if your mirror is short and fast enough, and with good coma correction and a super wide angle eyepiece, can you look over your shoulder and see objects behind you?  ;) 


Edited by jtsenghas, 17 February 2017 - 09:18 PM.

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#12 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:58 PM

To me a 2 degree FoV is still narrow. The bigger stuff of interest up there starts to be reasonably well encompassed when the FoV opens up to more like 4 degrees; larger in some instances. Numerous bright and dark nebulae (much more of the latter) exceed 1.5 degrees. When dim and/or of low contrast, an object is best detected when fully surrounded by sky so that edge detection can be most effective.

 

Case in point. A club member who owns a 4" apo exclaimed that my homemade 20.8X60 bino delivered better views of such objects as the North America and Pelican nebulae than could his scope, because the 4.7 degree TFoV nicely framed these sizeable nebulae. If I let him, he would forget his scope and monopolize my bino all night. ;)


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#13 jtsenghas

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:18 PM

To me a 2 degree FoV is still narrow. The bigger stuff of interest up there starts to be reasonably well encompassed when the FoV opens up to more like 4 degrees; larger in some instances......... If I let him, he would forget his scope and monopolize my bino all night. ;)

I agree with you there, Glenn, and if you look at my signature you will see my other current observing instrument is one that offers up 2.5 degree fields. 

 

I'm interested in what others find worth looking at when the light grasp and resolution of a reasonably sized dob is used with a 1.5-1.8 degree field though. Large clusters are a good example.  I'm aware that nebulae have the same surface brightness at the same exit pupils. I'm also aware that going to about 50 power and with at least 10 inches of aperture, different objects than typical bino targets may be personal favorites. I'm curious to hear about them, and appreciate the responses so far. 



#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:02 PM

To me a 2 degree FoV is still narrow. The bigger stuff of interest up there starts to be reasonably well encompassed when the FoV opens up to more like 4 degrees; larger in some instances. Numerous bright and dark nebulae (much more of the latter) exceed 1.5 degrees. When dim and/or of low contrast, an object is best detected when fully surrounded by sky so that edge detection can be most effective.

 

Case in point. A club member who owns a 4" apo exclaimed that my homemade 20.8X60 bino delivered better views of such objects as the North America and Pelican nebulae than could his scope, because the 4.7 degree TFoV nicely framed these sizeable nebulae. If I let him, he would forget his scope and monopolize my bino all night. ;)

I agree with Glenn.. 4 degrees is is nice..  Now there are 4 inch apos and then there are 4 inch apos that offer a wide field of view..  A 4 inch F/5.4 offers about 4.5 degrees with the 31mm Nagler, about 4.9 degrees with the 41mm Panoptic..  And beyond that, the 80mm F/6 offers a 5.5 degree TFoV, the 72mm F/6 offers a 6.0 degree TFoV..  If Glenn's friend had had a 4 inch f/5.4, I suspect he/she would have been plenty happy with the view..

 

I'm interested in what others find worth looking at when the light grasp and resolution of a reasonably sized dob is used with a 1.5-1.8 degree field though. Large clusters are a good example.  I'm aware that nebulae have the same surface brightness at the same exit pupils. I'm also aware that going to about 50 power and with at least 10 inches of aperture, different objects than typical bino targets may be personal favorites. I'm curious to hear about them, and appreciate the responses so far.

 

 

When it comes to wide field/richest field views, one has to think in a different paradigm, something Glenn has called, the Holistic View.. I think of it as a strategy rather than a list of objects to be observed.  

 

For example, my 12.5 inch F/4.06 with the Paracorr and the 31mm Nagler offers a 1.62 degree TFoV at about 48x with a 6.6mm exit pupil.  One of my favorite things to do is to start at M8-M20 and then in large, slow swaths, work my way through the nebulosity fields of the Milky Way until I am end up at M6-M7 region.  There's a number of objects of a variety of types but the textures, the rivers and valleys that flow through the nebulosity of the Milky Way are literally something else. 

 

Or start at M8/M20 and work the other up.. until I find myself at M-11 and beyond.  This time of year the choices are more limited but certainly the region around the Rosette (O-III filter) and the Cone Nebula/Hubble's Variable Nebula are interesting, scanning Orion for clusters and nebulosity, you never know what you might find.. The region known as the Heart and Soul nebulae is also of interest again with filters.

 

So, again.. it's a different way of viewing the sky, Glenn's Holistic view.. how it all fits together.. Just put the eyepiece in the scope and start looking..  

 

Oh, yeah, this time of year, in a 10 inch or 12.5 inch, the Virgo-Leo region is great for galaxies.. 

 

Jon


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#15 earlyriser

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:06 PM

This time of year I go after open clusters

 

Double Cluster (NGC884/869)

Beehive (M44)

Melotte 111

And M31 (sinking fast)

 

Groups

Leo Triplet (M65, M66, NGC 3628)

M81/M82

 

Mike

I second the Beehive. 



#16 kfiscus

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 01:38 AM

Some of these need filters. Witch Head (reflection neb, no filter), California Neb (H-beta), Rosette (O-III), Barnard's Loop (H-beta).

I just got back from an ultra-rare February stargazing session. It's usually cold and cloudy. Loved the rich star field containing M-47, M-46 with its neighbor planetary neb and a smaller, dimmer cluster that I have to ID.

Edited by kfiscus, 18 February 2017 - 01:42 AM.

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#17 earlyriser

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 05:47 AM

Some of these need filters. Witch Head (reflection neb, no filter), California Neb (H-beta), Rosette (O-III), Barnard's Loop (H-beta).

I just got back from an ultra-rare February stargazing session. It's usually cold and cloudy. Loved the rich star field containing M-47, M-46 with its neighbor planetary neb and a smaller, dimmer cluster that I have to ID.

Probably NGC 2423.

http://www.dreistein...id=41648&qh=M46

(zoom in to 5 degree view)


Edited by earlyriser, 18 February 2017 - 05:48 AM.


#18 earlyriser

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 05:57 AM

This is more of a binocular object since it spans over 4 degrees, but Cr256 (the Coma Berenices Cluster) is a nice open cluster.



#19 jtsenghas

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 09:36 AM

I'm enjoying the responses and appreciate Jon's comments about Glenn's holistic approach. That's how I have generally scanned the Milky Way with my big Binos.

 

As for filters, I received on my birthday a 2" DGM NPB filter and am anxious to put it through its paces on some of the nebulae mentioned so far. My only filter used so far is a Baader  UHC-S,  which I've found helps with nebulae and reducing light pollution, but is not really narrow band.  I learned last year that using it at wider exit pupils really helps, though. 

 

Any specific observing recommendations with those particular filters at an exit pupil of about 6 mm? Some day I'll add H-beta and O-III, but I've blown my budget for the year already...

 

This is a bit of a meandering thread, I admit.  More along the lines of "Show me how to use these new toys, please!".  Perhaps that should have been my thread title.  Do continue everyone, please! 



#20 KidOrion

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 12:45 PM

The Double Globular in Sagittarius.



#21 havasman

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 12:59 PM

 IMO, that's a big step up in filters you're really going to enjoy.   :waytogo:



#22 kfiscus

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 05:50 PM

The NPB will serve you well.

 

Here are some more objects (not necessarily all wide-field objects) that will make you LOVE the NPB:

Swan, Lagoon, Crescent, Dumbbell, Eagle.


Edited by kfiscus, 18 February 2017 - 05:58 PM.

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#23 jtsenghas

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 10:34 PM

I just got in from my first observing session with the ES 30mm 82 eyepiece.  The only problem I had was a slight tendency for my low profile focuser to slip under the weight of the Paracorr plus ES30 for my focuser angle.  I'll have to investigate tightening the friction on it. 

 

As for the eyepiece itself:  In a word, AWESOME! 

 

We have had unseasonably warm weather here in northwest Ohio, and the skies were clear and transparent this evening. I went to the county park our club is permitted to use and spent a couple of hours just with that eyepiece in the Paracorr with and without the NPB filter. I didn't even need my hat until after 9 pm.

 

I spent more than half my time in Orion, which was perfectly situated just west of south, viewing the Orion Nebula. It seemed the tendrils just kept growing! I honestly had never realized how much that object extends. 

 

I next took in the double cluster and it really impressed. The view was similar to that in my big binos, but with so many more stars. While I was viewing it I decided to look up some stats on it on my Sky Portal phone app and discovered this object had a Celestron audio clip. The discussion of it on that clip ended with a comment that our own sun would not be visible at such a distance on that arm of our Galaxy in even a 400 mm telescope! Mind boggling indeed to think that every one of those stars dwarfs our own. 

 

Finally I just swung through a few objects I know, inwardly kicking myself for having left the planisphere and star charts at home in my haste to get out there. 

 

It was one of those evenings that the sky was quite big and I was infinitesimally small! 


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#24 nerich

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 12:18 PM

Some wide-field favorites: 

Kemble's Cascade

The whole area around IC 1396: Trumpler 37, Struve 2816 and 2819, Mu Cephei (the Garnet Star), and the Elephant's Trunk, which I've never seen :( 

Messier 24 - seems obvious, but this is one that can challenge you in different ways. Trying to find the right balance between true field and exit pupil is difficult. There's so much rich graininess to miss out on if you don't get it right. I love framing the whole thing with low powers, but honestly my better observations have come with sacrificing the full angular diameter of the object and bumping up the power. But framing it is still cool!

Struve 2404 and NGC 6709 (Aquila)
 





 



#25 MikeTahtib

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 07:45 PM

Yes, I remember my first night with the ES 82 30.  Remarkable!  I was fortunate enough to be at a dark site star party.




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