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mman22
journeyman


Reged: 01/05/13

Loc: Western Montana, USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: J. Barnes]
      #5681926 - 02/15/13 04:42 PM

Quote:

mman,
I now your pain, I'm up in Kalispell and the winter/spring cloud-fest can be unbearable. I'm able to see Saturn most mornings before the clouds roll in around 5am. That's the object that got me hooked. From there, the Ring Nebula and the Sombrero Galaxy got me searching for every DSO I could find.




J, everyone on here keeps telling me they envy my sky. I had a thought when out viewing last weekend at a nearby "dark" spot; bet they don't have to worry about something coming out of the dark and eating them when they view.

My post was meant for both the most impressive visually and the most impressive feat. I mean, seeing the actual disc of Ganymede or perhaps any glimpse of Vesta would be an impressive feat to me at least.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5681927 - 02/15/13 04:42 PM

Quote:

What is the most impressive object you have seen through your scope?




Impressive to me or to the average bystander?

The objects guaranteed never to fail at public star parties are the Moon and Saturn. Jupiter is right up there, too. All of these are visible in any decent scope.

For deep-sky objects it depends on sky brightness. The Pleiades and the Alpha Persei Group are impressive even in the brightest city skies, but they require pretty small scopes or binoculars. The Double Cluster is great in any instrument. Under dark skies, the Orion Nebula has all of those beat.

Like Glenn, my all-time favorite is the Milky Way. But that's best viewed naked-eye or with binocular; it's too big for a telescope.

Quote:

Also, what is the most difficult solar system body you have seen in physical form (the disc or outline)?




Not just a point of light, you mean? The smallest objects I've seen as disks are Jupiter's moons. They probably require a 6-inch scope and excellent seeing. The faintest objects I've seen as extended forms are various comets.


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mman22
journeyman


Reged: 01/05/13

Loc: Western Montana, USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5681974 - 02/15/13 05:03 PM

Tony, something that would be impressive to the average amateur astronomer. I have a feeling that 99% of us will probably never get to see some of the objects you have. Thinking of what Tony may have seen made me think of the Hubble. How many of you have seen it? I just imagine telling someone else who asks, what are you using your telescope to view? Answer, another telescope!

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Mark Costello
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/08/05

Loc: Matthews, NC, USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5681987 - 02/15/13 05:11 PM

Quote:

So I have been dealing with a week of mostly cloudy to overcast skies now (suppose to be clear tonight!), so I decided to live vicariously through all of you. What is the most impressive object you have seen through your scope? Also, what is the most difficult solar system body you have seen in physical form (the disc or outline)? To help my education in what telescopes do what, please include the equipment used. I am too new to have a good story yet, I haven't even gotten to look at Saturn as every time I have been up early enough cloud cover has foiled me (again this morning even)





The most impressive thing I've ever seen was actually a naked eye object. It was Comet Holmes when it got close around November, 2009, if I recall correctly. It was a visible pale blue ball in Perseus and it was not small. I had trouble framing it in a 4" achro I had at the time. It gave me the heebie-jeebies to think how big that thing was, just how large was it anyway? Looking up its position in space at the time and comparing how much of the field of view it spanned, I estimated around 1,500,000 miles.



Was I wrong?

Other impressive objects viewed in that 4" achro and now my 5"-er include

M42, wonderful at any power
The double cluster, great at low and medium (118X) power
M13, when it's high up on a nice night, I can see stars everywhere
M11, wonderful at medium and high powers


Best,


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5681997 - 02/15/13 05:17 PM

The clear night sky at 16,000 feet in the Kun Lun, Pamir, and Karakorm ranges of western China. It holds yor attention without searching for anything else. Eventually, you begin to look at the Milky Way...

Dark skies.

Jack


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5682002 - 02/15/13 05:20 PM

I'm a hardcore visual observer as well, always hunting for faint fuzzies and getting a thrill by detecting the slightest hints of detail. That being said, Saturn started it all for me. I was 8 years old using a 3" cardboard tube reflector. I still get that feeling, 36 years later, every time I look at Saturn.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5682075 - 02/15/13 05:59 PM

The most impressive DSO?

It has to be M42, the Great Nebula in Orion. It has so many aspects, the six plus stars in the trapezium, the textures in the nebulosity, the colors that can be seen when the skies are dark and clear. M42 is always interesting, it's a suitable object for large and small scopes, light polluted city backyards, pristine dark skies..

If the Milky Way qualifies as an object, if the entire night sky qualifies as an object, they are certainly most impressive.. Wandering around the summer Milky with a fast telescope and a widefield eyepiece, it's one of my favorite things to so. It really doesn't matter the size of the scope, the Milky way in an 80mm F/5 refractor + 31mm Nagler = 6.0 degrees with a 6.2mm exit pupil, big and bright... In a 16 inch operating at F/4.4 with that same eyepiece, it's a 7mm exit pupil with a 1.34 degree TFoV... so many things to see, rivers and clusters of nebulosity..

Most impressive Planet: (Besides the earth). Jupiter, again, Jupiter has so many dimensions, the play of the moons and the shadow transits, the multitude of ever changing surface details.

Most impressive binary star: Each and every binary star has it's own personality. The widely separated colorful Albireo, the beauty of Castor and Izar, the ever changing Porrima, the stunning triple Beta Mons.. there are binary stars that are just perfect for any particular scope..

But the double that I most remember is the most difficult double star I have ever separated, Zeta Bootes. At the time, SkyTools 3 reported it's separating as 0.49 arc-second, about 1/5 the separation of the popular double-double. In a 10 inch telescope, this essentially represents the limit, the Dawes Limit, of what is possible, the Airy disks of each star are overlapping and the thin line between the pairs represents a 5% drop in the illumination.

To make such a split requires seeing of better than 1/2 arc-second, a scope that has thoroughly cooled, rock solid stable, a stable mount and a half decent observer. It took 821x to get the clean view but I still remember the pair with the joined diffraction ring as they drifted across the field of view.

Jon


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Turf1
member


Reged: 12/02/12

Loc: SW Michigan USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5682113 - 02/15/13 06:29 PM

MY first telescope over 35 yrs ago was an 2. "something"refractor, I aimed it at something bright in the sky. It was Saturn. I could NOT believe what I was seeing.I am now 51 yrs old with an 11" Celestron Edge and STILL feel like the child I wasbecause of that experience.

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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5682130 - 02/15/13 06:40 PM

The moon; Neptune.

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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5682131 - 02/15/13 06:40 PM

Quote:

Tony, something that would be impressive to the average amateur astronomer. I have a feeling that 99% of us will probably never get to see some of the objects you have.




No doubt. However, the most spectacular objects are the ones that everyone sees, like the Pleiades.

Actually, the most spectacular things I've seen are all naked-eye and ephemeral: a great aurora, a total solar eclipse, a meteor storm. And a great sunset ... I don't see why that shouldn't qualify as an astronomical event.

Things that amaze me intellectually? Quasars multiple billion light-years distant. The Coma Galaxy Cluster -- not nearly as far, but viewable in considerable detail, and still incredibly far away. Near-Earth asteroids that move through the field of view as you watch.


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J. Barnes
super member


Reged: 04/11/09

Loc: Kalispell, Montana
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5682134 - 02/15/13 06:40 PM

mman,

I can't say I've done anything impressive. I was pretty excited to make out the smudges of M 51 in by binos the other morning. I think I impressed myself when I ran three push-to scopes at our club's star parties last summer. I'm holding out hope for the discovery of a SN or comet.

Edited by J. Barnes (02/15/13 06:46 PM)


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: J. Barnes]
      #5682212 - 02/15/13 07:31 PM

Hummmmm... We contine to ignore the southern sky. Although I've only seen it through 10x binoculars, the LMC would be up near the top of the list.

Dark skies.

Jack


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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5682276 - 02/15/13 08:20 PM

OK, I have reconsidered. By far the most impressive "thing" I have seen is a total solar eclipse and I have been fortunate enough to see 3 so far. Through a scope and naked eye. Close behind, though, was the Leonid meteor storm about 7 years ago.

Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon and other objects, including DSOs are wonderfull things but nothing beats a total solar eclipse.


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hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07

Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5690686 - 02/20/13 11:35 AM

For me, it's M-22 and Omega Centauri through telescopes, the latter of which is quite low in the southern sky from the latitude of Phoenix (and I have to be well away from the city lights), and the Pleiades through binoculars. Naked eye? Nothing beats seeing the summer Milky Way from desert skies on the route from Phoenix to L.A., well away from city lights.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5690722 - 02/20/13 11:57 AM

Actually, my most impressive views have been without a scope. That would be when I was spent a year at Thule, Greenland (think 500 miles NORTH of the Arctic Circle.). The constant dark and the dry, clear air (it was dry and clear because it was also 40 to 50 below Zero) made for some fantastic skies.....The constant daylight, well, that's a different story.....

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Gregen
super member


Reged: 11/25/12

Loc: CA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5690745 - 02/20/13 12:10 PM

For me it would have to be my first and only sight of a full lunar eclipse. After that it would have to be my first view of Saturn.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Gregen]
      #5690767 - 02/20/13 12:21 PM

I think EVERYONE remembers their first view of Saturn, mine was with a Tasco 60mm on an earthquake style mount. But, it's why I have returned to the hobby now that I'm retiring.

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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5690834 - 02/20/13 12:53 PM

My most impressive view through a scope was and still is M42. I guess you could say that I am addicted to that view. With binos it is the Pleiades. Both of which are visible naked eye under the right conditions.

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drbyyz
sage
**

Reged: 11/04/12

Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5690841 - 02/20/13 12:57 PM

Naked eye: Comet Hale Bopp back in '97
Binoculars: Just cruising the Milky Way
Scope: M33 from a dark sky spot...I could spend an hour with each of my eyepieces on this guy and still not be bored.


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5690872 - 02/20/13 01:14 PM

I'm holding out hope to see the Jupiter 2, with Will, John, Don, Judy, Penney, Dr. Smith, and of course, the robot.

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