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mman22
journeyman


Reged: 01/05/13

Loc: Western Montana, USA
Most Impressive Object Seen?
      #5680987 - 02/15/13 09:36 AM

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)

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Feidb
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5681013 - 02/15/13 09:48 AM

I've logged over 1600 objects so far and they are all impressive to me, from the brightest "tourist objects" we show at outreach events like the Orion Nebula to the faint fuzzy smudges I can barely detect by nudging the scope and noticing something is slightly different against the black (or usually gray) background. It's a highly subjective thing.

I've been using 16-inch scopes for 20+ years now. First was one I made, a 16-inch f/6.4, but since 2008 or so, a 16-inch f/4.5. Before that, I used an 8-inch f/9.44 which I also made. Eyepieces have ranged from a .965-inch Kellner to the 82 degree 102mm wide field eyepiece I'm using now as my starter eyepiece (before I go to other magnifications). My mounts have been Dobsonian for decades, undriven, manual clock drive (in other words, I nudge it), no electronics whatsoever except a green laser pointer.

I'm sure you'll get all kinds of responses of what everyone thinks is most impressive. From a hard-core visual observer, they all are to me.


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Jeff2011
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 01/01/13

Loc: Sugar Land, TX
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5681032 - 02/15/13 09:57 AM

I would have to say M42 and M31 at a dark site are the most impressive that I have been able see through my 8" scope. I also saw comet C/2012 K5 LINEAR in December and that was impressive for my first comet. I have seen all of the planets (not Pluto which got demoted to a dwarf). Neptune being the furthest away is the smallest. Except for the pretty blue color, it looks pretty much like a star. Uranus is a little bigger and has a nice blue/green color to it. Good luck with your skies. This winter has been a real drag. It just cleared up a bit for me after several horrible weeks.

My eyepieces are:
25 MM Plossl that came with the scope
9 mm Orion Expanse
13 mm Baader Hyperion
38 mm Orion Q70 2"
Orion Shorty 2x barlow (Japanese made)

I just recently bought a Baader coma corrector (MPCC) which really helps the Q70. For deep space object viewing and general viewing the wide angle eyepiece is the way to go.

Edited by Jeff2011 (02/15/13 10:09 AM)


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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5681035 - 02/15/13 09:58 AM

For me Saturn started it all. It almost looks unreal. Jupiter is very nice too. The orion nebula is very beautiful.

The ring nebula is one of my favorites because it was one of the first objects I memorized the location to.

In December at our dark site I discovered ngc 2683 which is the UFO galaxy. I haven't got to see it since but it was one of the more impressive objects I've seen.

Also the Transit of Venus was pretty amazing to me, but you won't get to see that again until 2117.

Our own sun is also pretty awesome. If you ever get a chance to look through an HA scope do it (but be warned it could cause your bank account to shrink). The solar flares and prominences and sunspots are always changing. Pretty amazing to see a prominence that is a few times the diameter of the earth.

Good luck and clear skies. Enjoy that darkness in Montana.

Jim


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bouffetout
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/21/12

Loc: Canada
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: jerwin]
      #5681050 - 02/15/13 10:08 AM

To me it's always been M13 ... First time I saw it ,it was in a 10" homemade newtonnian that a friend of mine build from scratch...I was very amazed ,and everytime I see it ,I have the same feeling !

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J. Barnes
super member


Reged: 04/11/09

Loc: Kalispell, Montana
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5681074 - 02/15/13 10:20 AM

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.


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: J. Barnes]
      #5681205 - 02/15/13 11:21 AM

For me Jupiter got me hooked. Have only had one fuzzy view of Saturn. M31 is nice but I'd say the Ring nebulae was the most impressive for me. This mainly because I didn't plan on seeing this and there it was.
hm, maybe it's clusters that amaze me most. Well basically every thing I have viewed so far I guess. I'm too new at this and the list of viewed objects is small.


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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5681258 - 02/15/13 11:49 AM

If you mean imopressive visually, there are a lot of favorites, some already cited here. But some objects are impressive because of what you know about them. For me, I can stare at M87 for a good while knowing its properties as a massive elliptical galaxy with a relativistic jet emerging from the supermassive black hole at its center, and even though I cannot "see" those features with my eyes, it is impressive at a deep cosmological level to know they exist.

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drober23
journeyman


Reged: 02/01/13

Loc: Carleton, MI
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5681268 - 02/15/13 11:53 AM

Oooh! My son is all about black holes. Gotta get M87 on my list soon!

Thanks


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5681281 - 02/15/13 11:59 AM

Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, any Comet in that order. Seeing Pluto was the hi-lite of the Summer. Very faint and I could only see it 2 out of about 15 tries even knowing exactly where it was.

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Dennis_S253
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: West Central Florida
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: drober23]
      #5681340 - 02/15/13 12:26 PM

Wow, what a question. Saturn is always nice to see. M81-82 grabs my attention also. M42 is always nice. The Pleiades is my favorite open cluster. Faint fuzzy's are good. Heck there are just to many to mention.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Dennis_S253]
      #5681470 - 02/15/13 01:16 PM

One time, I did see a break in the grey atmosphere overhead......actually saw a bit of bluish tint to it.

Edited by csrlice12 (02/15/13 01:17 PM)


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RobertED
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Reged: 07/11/03

Loc: Smithfield, RI
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5681483 - 02/15/13 01:22 PM

Saturn...saw it through a Sears 2.4" refractor. I was 14 yrs old. I jumped 2 ft into the air when I found it!! I quickly called Mom and Dad over to see what I 'found'!!! I felt sooooo smart!!!
Do you know?....I found M-42 and for many weeks, had NO clue what it was. I kept calling it "this cool group of stars in a gas-cloud!!" This too was with my "new" Sears refractor! It never gets dull!!!!!


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wirenut
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/21/06

Loc: m'dale Pa
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5681505 - 02/15/13 01:29 PM

the darkest sky I've seen is most impressive object,why? It made everything look better.

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kansas skies
sage


Reged: 12/02/12

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: wirenut]
      #5681529 - 02/15/13 01:38 PM

I would agree that Saturn never fails to impress. I don't know why, but when I first saw Saturn through a telescope, my reaction was to immediately move my head away from the eyepiece and look up at the sky. Somehow, I felt like owner of the telescope was playing a joke. It seemed so unreal. Now, thirty-some odd years later, I still get the same feeling when Saturn again becomes present in the morning sky. I don't know how many times since my first encounter that I've shown Saturn to new and unsuspecting people, but almost always, their reaction is the same.

Bill


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: wirenut]
      #5681543 - 02/15/13 01:44 PM

I've read and seen a lot about M87s black hole in the last months.. Can't e member if I saw it.. To answer your question mman, I haven't seen a lot yet only one planet, Jupiter.. But nonetheless my answers "so far" are:

Some mixture of M31 , M42 and Jupiter. Almost all most likely first seen through my 8" SCT .. Like said before part of it is knowing what they are.. otoh M42/M43 was the first .. "holy nebulae batman!" visually. When I very first started (all this only last fall) I had the goto show me the blue snowball nebula (NGC 7662) hich I detected as definitely blue.. That was pretty cool Tough I don't think I'd even learned what a planetary nebula was at the time ..


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GlennLeDrew
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: lamplight]
      #5681692 - 02/15/13 02:43 PM

No optics required!

For me, the most impressive 'object' is our own Milky Way Galaxy. From Australia, when Sagittarius is passing through the zenith, I lay back and just stared into the 180 degree 'eyepiece' view of an edge-on galaxy filling the field of view, exhibiting intricate detail in the dust lane, numerous star clouds, star-forming regions, stellar associations and clusters.

All with the unaided eye.


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rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mman22]
      #5681760 - 02/15/13 03:16 PM

Quote:

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




Are we limited to nighttime objects? Because I'd have to say that after more than 50 years in this hobby, I am most impressed with the Sun. Even with my minimalist Lunt 35, it's fascinating and changes day to day--even hour to hour. I wish I had bought a solar scope years ago.


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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5681845 - 02/15/13 03:57 PM

Ditto to rdandrea and Glenn!

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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5681920 - 02/15/13 04:39 PM

Like many others, Saturn is hard to beat. Never get tired of seeing it.

Now, how about something from up there that came down here? I visited a few years ago, it's mighty impressive. Oh yeah, someone pass the vodka, please.

http://www.thelivingmoon.com/43ancients/02files/Earth_Images_02.html


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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Reged: 04/01/07

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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csrlice12
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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Haas]
      #5690880 - 02/20/13 01:19 PM

Is IDAK still following them? If so, hopefully they won't find there way home......

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Haas
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Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5690897 - 02/20/13 01:26 PM

Quote:

Is IDAK still following them? If so, hopefully they won't find there way home......




Ha ha, I don't remember who or what IDAK was?


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csrlice12
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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Haas]
      #5690935 - 02/20/13 01:41 PM

IDAK--Instant Destroyer and Killer. Silver dude in a silver outfit with a cape.....they had a lot of cool "aliens" on LIS.

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Haas
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Reged: 11/22/12

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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5691082 - 02/20/13 02:54 PM

Quote:

IDAK--Instant Destroyer and Killer. Silver dude in a silver outfit with a cape.....they had a lot of cool "aliens" on LIS.




Aah, yes, now I remember. I remember him, but not that name. Lost in Space fascinated me as a kid.


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mfromb
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Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Boston, MA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5691085 - 02/20/13 02:56 PM

I'm a total newb still, and expect to be remain so for quite some time.

Based on my current, limited experience, I would put my top 3, to date, in this order (note: I doubt #1 will be easily supplanted):

1. My daughters eyes when our new (barely used) XT8i was unveiled Christmas morning, and her face as it lit up with excitement and a spotaneous 'Wow!' during our first viewing of Jupiter. Priceless.

2. Our Moon, at 109x and nearly filling the eyepiece, with incredible clarity and detail the first time we used the ES82 11mm as a replacement for the stock 10mm plossl. That was (and is) a great sight to behold.

3. M42 for the first time, even though it was seen in fairly light-polluted skies, the fact that we manually stumbled on it, not knowing what it was at first, and then realizing it has always been sitting "right there!", as a relative smudge to the naked eye. Who knew?!? We've taken at least a couple of looks every night out since, regardless of what else we're looking at, or for. :-)

Can't wait for the weather to continue improving and we start taking trips to dark(er) skies. In the meantime, we're enjoying what we can, when we can.

I've been holding off on Saturn until we get a morning of decent seeing and a time that myself and a couple of our daughters can all handle without impacting work and school. 'Soon' can't come quickly enough. We will have to head out of our neighborhood to get a good vantage point. Plenty of unobstructed ocean front public property nearby. I think we'll need that low horizon in order to see it.


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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5691126 - 02/20/13 03:16 PM

I don't have one single impressive object but I can think of single, most impressive in several categories. The most impressive nebula I have seen is Eta Carina, neck and neck with Orion. The most impressive open cluster has to be NGC 3532, the Wishing Well Cluster. Omega Centauri is my favorite globular. I started to list a few stars but the list grew long. All of these objects I enjoy observing from the tip of the Florida peninsula, which gives me a great view of the southern skies. From home I love to observe the planets, mainly Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Oh, and let's not forget the moon.

Ed D


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kfiscus
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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Ed D]
      #5691610 - 02/20/13 07:45 PM

StarStuff1 got it right. Total solar eclipses, naked-eye and scope (1991 and 1998).

Comets Hyakutake('96) and Hale-Bopp ('97) were both spectacular.


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northernontario
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Reged: 07/01/09

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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5691676 - 02/20/13 08:15 PM

The one's I see for the first time.

And the moon.


It's beautiful.

Is this a trick question

jake


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shawnhar
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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: northernontario]
      #5691749 - 02/20/13 08:56 PM

I had seen Saturn many times through my own 10" scope, but the time I climbed an 8 foot ladder at a star party to look at it through the eyepiece of a 20" Dob.....duuuuuude.

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Noisykids
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Reged: 06/01/11

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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5691929 - 02/20/13 11:01 PM

my biggest thrill so far was seeing the spots shoemaker-levy made when it jupiter with a mirror i ground and polished and a dob i constructed.

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GOLGO13
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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5691998 - 02/20/13 11:37 PM

Quote:

I had seen Saturn many times through my own 10" scope, but the time I climbed an 8 foot ladder at a star party to look at it through the eyepiece of a 20" Dob.....duuuuuude.




Yeah...I had a similar experience with a 30 inch dob on Saturn. So many moons visible that night.

I really liked the Veil Nebula in my friend's 16 dob in a dark sky with an oxygen III filter. Just a weave strands throughout the eyepiece.

I still find the moon to be just magical. My little 80mm apo does a great job on it.


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OneGear
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Reged: 12/30/11

Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5692054 - 02/21/13 12:31 AM

Venus transiting the Sun. The far end of a parking lot projected with my binoculars against a piece of paper I held up. A truck driver walking from his truck (parked even farther from the door than me) walked by, watched for a few minutes, then said he watched it once using a friend's welding mask many, many years ago. I felt a little more human.

Truly cool being able to demonstrate to myself that there are planets that revolve around the Sun inside our own orbit.

That and seeing Uranus one very cold winter night. My beer kept freezing, the eyepieces of my binoculars kept frosting over from the water vapor given off by my eyes, but I saw that smoky, soft orb for myself. So not a star.

Edited by WaterMaster (02/21/13 02:19 PM)


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Maverick199
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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Haas]
      #5692060 - 02/21/13 12:38 AM

The most impressive are the views which are available in all their splendour and that would be Saturn, Moon, Jupiter, Double cluster, M 42, Omega Centauri, Butterfly cluster etc., These objects can never be overlooked and I bet whenever these objects are available, everytime we take our scopes out, we invariably catch a glimpse if not more.

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Astrodj
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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5692134 - 02/21/13 02:32 AM

Quote:

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




Wow! I can't even imagine. Reminds me of some of the ancient Chinese poetry translations in Burnham's concerning the Great River.



Most Impressive Object Seen?

Naked eye for me as well. In my case it was seeing Barnard's Loop (the brighter part) from New Mexico at 7200'. It was so amazing because at the time I didn't know that was possible, yet there it was!

Second best for me was the first time I saw the winter Milky Way (northern hemisphere) from horizon to horizon, as bright as I had ever seen the summer Milky Way previously. That was also nearly unbelievable to behold. That event took place in extreme southeastern Oklahoma.


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Gert K A
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Reged: 07/16/12

Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Astrodj]
      #5692165 - 02/21/13 03:32 AM

One summer night in the desert of Jordan
the sky appeared so densely populated that it was hard to make heads or tail of it.

It was absolutely breathtaking.


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REC
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Loc: NC
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5692400 - 02/21/13 09:31 AM

Same exact items. Solar eclipse just takes your breath away. Also in most cases you are with other fellow astronomers, hobby and the emotions run the full gammit.

Really looking forward to this years Super Comet and hope it performs like they are predicting.

2017 for the next total eclipse here in the US:)


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hbanich
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Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: REC]
      #5693061 - 02/21/13 04:25 PM

A total solar eclipse. In a class by itself and I think is impressive to nearly everyone who see one. The first and so far only total solar eclipse Iíve seen was in in 1979 with my now former spouse. Iíd shown her the Moon, Saturn, M42, all the most wonderful things in the sky through my scope and she was as thoroughly unimpressed as anyone Iíve seen. The eclipse knocked her socks off though Ė stunned her to silence while I couldnít stop talking!

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Dave Chapman
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Reged: 01/27/07

Loc: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Haas]
      #5693209 - 02/21/13 05:41 PM

Hands down, Comet Hyakutake on the night of its closest approach March 24/25 1997, seen from a dark location in rural Nova Scotia. Beautiful cyanogen-green coma, and a looong tail stretching across the sky so far you had to turn your head to take it all in. An amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. No telescopes involved!

Dave


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geekgroupie
sage


Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: Puebo, CO
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5693540 - 02/21/13 08:55 PM

Saturn is always the show stopper, IMO.. especially when seen through someone's HUGE dob at a star party... I could see the shadows of the rings. On my own scope I luv to view Jupiters moons and I like to see Pleiades... amazing, there are so, so many stars.

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MawkHawk
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: Dave Chapman]
      #5694295 - 02/22/13 09:41 AM

Quote:

Hands down, Comet Hyakutake on the night of its closest approach March 24/25 1997, seen from a dark location in rural Nova Scotia. Beautiful cyanogen-green coma, and a looong tail stretching across the sky so far you had to turn your head to take it all in. An amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. No telescopes involved!

Dave




Yep. I agree 100%. Hale-Bopp was amazing as well. I'd say that my top 3 sights ever were Hyakutake, Hale-Bopp, and Shoemaker-Levy crashing in Jupiter. (All in the 90's...weird...)

Oh, and scopes used were my trusty RV-6 and my homemade 10" dob.


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REC
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5694758 - 02/22/13 01:37 PM

Yeah, in a short span of a few years...that was pretty exciting times back then.:)

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acochran
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/19/08

Loc: So. CA
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: REC]
      #5694794 - 02/22/13 01:54 PM

Last Jan with my 16" Lightbridge I saw several pairs of objects in one FOV for the first time. So that was pretty exciting. Cluster M35 and the cluster right next to it. M81-82, and a pair of Galaxies in Leo, M96-97 I think. M42 tops all though.

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tezster
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/14/09

Loc: Missisauga, Canada
Re: Most Impressive Object Seen? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5694820 - 02/22/13 02:08 PM

Quote:

No optics required!

For me, the most impressive 'object' is our own Milky Way Galaxy. From Australia, when Sagittarius is passing through the zenith, I lay back and just stared into the 180 degree 'eyepiece' view of an edge-on galaxy filling the field of view, exhibiting intricate detail in the dust lane, numerous star clouds, star-forming regions, stellar associations and clusters.

All with the unaided eye.




I echo this sentiment! My most memorable view of the night sky remains the Milky Way during a camping trip to Mt. Kaputar while visiting Australia.

Edited by tezster (02/22/13 02:09 PM)


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