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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

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mrfritz44
sage


Reged: 11/11/09

Loc: Eastern Pennsylvania, USA
Stephan's Quintet
      #4974631 - 12/19/11 05:38 PM

I think I saw Stephan's Quintet last night, but I figure I'd double check with others experiences. In an XT10 from an orange zone it looked like a typical faint NGC galaxy slightly edge on. To the upper left and right - remember it's a reflector - of the fuzzy was a sharper, star-like point of light a bit fuzzier than a typical star. No hints of the other three galaxies could be seen.

Anyone else see the same thing? I actually expected more.

Fred


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MikeRatcliff
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/12/04

Loc: Redlands, CA
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: mrfritz44]
      #4974783 - 12/19/11 06:56 PM

Hmmm, maybe sounds like you found the larger, brighter NGC 7331 instead. It is a slightly edge-on galaxy with 2 or 3 faint small galaxies nearby. Which is still a nice observation for the orange zone.

I typically find 7331 first and then move over to the Stephan's Quintet area, which isn't far away.

Finding Stephan's Quintet in the orange zone with a 10 inch sounds like a tough assignment. Not to say it's impossible.

Mike


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mrfritz44
sage


Reged: 11/11/09

Loc: Eastern Pennsylvania, USA
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: MikeRatcliff]
      #4974870 - 12/19/11 07:46 PM

You are probably right......back to the drawing board.

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Feidb
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: mrfritz44]
      #4975040 - 12/19/11 09:51 PM

NGC-7331 is what you probably saw as it's mag. 9.4. The brightest galaxy next to it is NGC-7335 which is mag. 14.4 and I seriously doubt if you saw it with a 10" from an orange zone. It lies next to the middle of 7331 and just to the side of the core. Stephan's quintet is off to the side a good ways. In an 82 degree field eyepiece at 102X, it would be in the same field near the edge. The brightest galaxies in the group are NGC-7319 at mag. 13.1 and NGC-7320 at mag. 13.2. From your description, it's hard to tell what you were describing. In an orange zone with a 10", seeing anything even at mag. 13 or fainter is challenging unless the surface brightness is concentrated and those galaxies, though small, I don't think are all that concentrated. I'd try again and just center NGC-7331 and use it as a starting point and swing around it until you find a fuzzy blotch. That will be the quintet. However, from your location, I doubt if you'll see much if even that.

Good luck and let us know what you find.


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blb
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: Feidb]
      #4975116 - 12/19/11 10:40 PM

I can't really tell what you were looking at from your description. Tell us how you located Stephan's Quintet or star hoped to it. Did you see NGC 7331 for instance, it is located about 30 arc minutes north north east of the Quintet. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the companion galaxies of NGC 7331 it is a good night to see the Quintet. If you can't see those you will never see the Quintet. You can just see a couple of the galaxies with a 6" scope from a good dark sky site, so your 10" is more than capable of showing you the Quintet from a dark sky site. I really don't think it will be visible from an orange zone though. But you never know till you try so keep trying. I have only seen the Quintet from yellow and green zone skies on real good nights with my 10" dob so keep trying even if you have to travel to darker skies.

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TenthEnemy
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/21/08

Loc: Maryland
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: blb]
      #4975757 - 12/20/11 10:43 AM Attachment (67 downloads)

I've observed Stephan's Quintet with my 10" from both the green zone and the red zone. Here is a sketch I made from the green zone. It looks similar from the red zone, but fainter and with only three galaxies.

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blb
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: TenthEnemy]
      #4975908 - 12/20/11 12:12 PM

So you see it can be seen. You just have to look in the right spot with enough magnification to see these galaxies. Magnification is your friend with light pollution. What magnification were you using when you tryed to find the Quintet? This sketch looks very similar to my views from the green zone site that I frequent. He was using 180x magnification. Use a low power eyepiece to find the correct field-of-view and then up the magnification to view these galaxies. Good job TenthEnemy!

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nytecam
Postmaster


Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: mrfritz44]
      #4975924 - 12/20/11 12:25 PM

My 7331 grp and Stephan's Quintet pics may help locate this faint objects

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blb
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: nytecam]
      #4976064 - 12/20/11 01:56 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

And here is a little finder chart of NGC 7331 and Stephan's Quintet that shows the relationship of the two.

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lunar
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/03/10

Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: blb]
      #4976164 - 12/20/11 03:05 PM

I've had similiar experiences with this group of galaxies. You can see my sketch at this link: http://brandon-doyle.weebly.com/stephans-quintet.html

It's a pretty dim galaxy group, somewhat difficult to see all five members, let alone a sixth nearby galaxy that's not apart of the group. I've never seen this sixth one. However, I have seen galaxies out to magnitudes of 14.0 clearly, such as the one next to NGC 6543. The faintest one to date was nothing more than a slight brightening in the field at magnitude 14.3, IC 1296, next to M57. All of this was indeed done with about the same telescope you used, the XT10i Intelliscope.

Clear skies,
Brandon Doyle


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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound
*****

Reged: 04/23/03

Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: Feidb]
      #4976221 - 12/20/11 03:32 PM

Quote:

NGC-7331 is what you probably saw as it's mag. 9.4. The brightest galaxy next to it is NGC-7335 which is mag. 14.4 and I seriously doubt if you saw it with a 10" from an orange zone. It lies next to the middle of 7331 and just to the side of the core. Stephan's quintet is off to the side a good ways. In an 82 degree field eyepiece at 102X, it would be in the same field near the edge. The brightest galaxies in the group are NGC-7319 at mag. 13.1 and NGC-7320 at mag. 13.2. From your description, it's hard to tell what you were describing. In an orange zone with a 10", seeing anything even at mag. 13 or fainter is challenging unless the surface brightness is concentrated and those galaxies, though small, I don't think are all that concentrated. I'd try again and just center NGC-7331 and use it as a starting point and swing around it until you find a fuzzy blotch. That will be the quintet. However, from your location, I doubt if you'll see much if even that.

Good luck and let us know what you find.




I have seen Stephans one time with a 14in scope (a C14), it was from a state park in rural Nevada. The Las Vegas Astronomical Society used to do a yearly star party there. Some of the darkest skies I have seen... comparable to the Texas Star Party.


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stevecoe
"Astronomical Tourist"
*****

Reged: 04/24/04

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #4976555 - 12/20/11 06:43 PM Attachment (53 downloads)

Howdy;

Here is a sketch with a 13" f/5.6 Newtonian at 220X. North is up, east to the left. This was under Arizona skies on a night I rated 7 out of 10 for seeing and 8 out of 10 for transparency.

Clear skies;
Steve Coe

Edited by stevecoe (12/20/11 06:47 PM)


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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: stevecoe]
      #4976810 - 12/20/11 09:11 PM

Steve,

Nice sketch. Mustve been stunning.

Pete


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Feidb
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #4976988 - 12/20/11 11:21 PM

LivingNDixie

That was probably Cathedral Gorge. We still go there twice a year. A great site.


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Feidb
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: stevecoe]
      #4976992 - 12/20/11 11:23 PM

Steve,

Nice drawing!


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John K
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Vernon BC Canada
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: Feidb]
      #4976998 - 12/20/11 11:31 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

This is my sketch of NGC 7331 and area. Maybe this is what you saw.

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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound
*****

Reged: 04/23/03

Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: Feidb]
      #4978107 - 12/21/11 04:19 PM

Quote:

LivingNDixie

That was probably Cathedral Gorge. We still go there twice a year. A great site.




Yep that is it, beautiful site. Very dark too, can be a bit cold though.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: mrfritz44]
      #4983318 - 12/24/11 04:14 PM

While Orange Zone observing with a 10" isn't horrible, I'd agree with the other respondent that, most likely, you spied NGC 7331 and its brightest nearby companion, NGC 7335. 7335 has an apparent visual magnitude of 13.4, and might be *just* nonstellar and a bit fuzzy in your scope under your skies. If so, that's a VERY respectable observation.

I've observed Stephan's Quintet from an Orange Zone, and it was just visible (recognizable as a tight grouping of galaxies) for a 20-incher. I haven't tried it with less aperture from that site, but I'm moving next month to slightly better skies (a whole mile away) and will give it a shot in a 16-incher (my largest scope currently).

Regards,

Jim


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stratocaster
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/11

Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #4988741 - 12/28/11 04:31 PM

I recently got back into the hobby myself after a long hiatus. Went to Cathedral Gorge with LVAS this past September, if I recall. Set up right next to Feidb. Yes, a great site. Can't wait to go there again. The next LVAS deep sky observations were in Death Valley at Furnace Creek. One of the members of the LVAS has a 24" Obsession. I happened to go take a peek while he was looking at Stephan's. It looked very close to the pictures in his atlas. Great view. Next opportunity I want to see what I can get out of my 10" dob, if anything.

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northernontario
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: stratocaster]
      #4988773 - 12/28/11 04:49 PM

I am having a very hard time with this one. I can find NGC7331 no problem, but that quintet eludes me.

I need to hit it before 21:00, then it becomes awash in the sky glow from Timmins, and gets too low on the horizon. Soon it will be a goner for me.

I am thinking I need a very transparent night. I am trying with a 16 inch f4.5 Dob from just on the fringe of a yellow to green zone.

jake


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wfj
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/10/08

Loc: California, Santa Cruz County
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: northernontario]
      #4988851 - 12/28/11 05:30 PM

My experience is like TenthEnemey's - all I can add, is that I only reliably found it when it was effectively overhead. This with 10,12.5, and 14.5" scopes 10 miles outside of a metro light dome.

If it helps, when I first spotted it, it reminded me of a lumpy group of PN's, and once I knew where it was, I maxed out each scope on magnification to darken, all near 1mm E.P. Would make out 3-4 members but not the fully set from a "red" / "orange" LP zone.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: stratocaster]
      #4988872 - 12/28/11 05:37 PM

Quote:

I recently got back into the hobby myself after a long hiatus. Went to Cathedral Gorge with LVAS this past September, if I recall. Set up right next to Feidb. Yes, a great site. Can't wait to go there again. The next LVAS deep sky observations were in Death Valley at Furnace Creek. One of the members of the LVAS has a 24" Obsession. I happened to go take a peek while he was looking at Stephan's. It looked very close to the pictures in his atlas. Great view. Next opportunity I want to see what I can get out of my 10" dob, if anything.




Off topic , sorry , but is this Cathedral Gorge the spot in Zion National Park ?


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stratocaster
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/11

Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: starrancher]
      #4988901 - 12/28/11 05:58 PM

This would be Cathedral Gorge State Park near Panaca, Nevada. See http://parks.nv.gov/cg.htm

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Bill Barlow
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/03/07

Loc: Overland Park KS
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: northernontario]
      #4989103 - 12/28/11 08:35 PM

Jake..

You should easily see the quintet using a 16" scope in your skies. I have seen it with my Meade 12" SCT from a yellow-green zone. It is a very small/compact group of galaxies given it is some 300 mly from earth. Good luck..

Bill

Bill


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John K
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Vernon BC Canada
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: Bill Barlow]
      #4989127 - 12/28/11 08:53 PM

With in the orientation of my sketch you would go down and to the left about two fields of view.

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Bill Weir
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/01/04

Loc: Metchosin (Victoria), Canada
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: northernontario]
      #4989356 - 12/29/11 12:28 AM

Quote:

I am trying with a 16 inch f4.5 Dob from just on the fringe of a yellow to green zone.

jake




Then it should be easy if you are in the correct spot. I'm guessing you aren't quite looking in the proper spot or with too low magnification.

I'm guessing my back yard has similar conditions to where you describe and I can detect a distortion to the spot with my 6" and it's a piece of cake with my 12.5". Once from 6000' at the Mt Kobau Star Party I could just detect the clump with my ED 80. It's about knowing the field or having a good chart.


Bill


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Mike Harvey
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/01/04

Loc: Orlando, FL.
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: Bill Weir]
      #4989548 - 12/29/11 05:31 AM

While I can SEE Stephan's Quintet most any clear night at Chiefland Astronomy Village...bringing out any DETAIL still requires excellent transparency - even with a 28" scope...and CAV is in a dark blue region.

Once in a while we get a really special night and I was lucky enough to be looking at the Quintet there 3 years ago when we had just that -
a truly dark sky with absolutely perfect transparency!
I also found that the electronic gods had smiled upon my endeavor and the big scope was tracking solidly so I put my Mallincam in the focuser and the resulting image is here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mallincam/photos/album/2118985599/pic/1782973081/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&count=20&dir=asc

This is a single frame. Actually a hand-held digital camera snapshot of my 9" monitor screen. The iteration time is 56".

I've never been able to duplicate this. It goes to show what others have said. Seeing conditions are everything. I've even experienced nights when the Horsehead is totally invisible even with a 28" scope and Hb filter!
If the sky background is brighter that the object you're looking for, you won't see it with ANY sized telescope.

On the other hand - the BEST "eyepiece view" I've ever had of the HH was with a 10" Teleport! It was PERFECT....for about 10 minutes!
15 minutes later it was totally invisible, although the sky didn't LOOK any less-transparent.
As with the detail in Stephans' Quintet...I have never again seen the HH that beautifully, even with 4X the aperture!

Mike Harvey

Edited by Mike Harvey (12/29/11 05:33 AM)


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blb
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: Mike Harvey]
      #4989865 - 12/29/11 10:49 AM

Sorry, I am not a member so I could not see the photo.

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Jeff Young
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/04/05

Loc: Ireland
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: blb]
      #4991623 - 12/30/11 08:53 AM

What an image, Mike! Is that a single 56-second exposure, or a stack?

Jeff.


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Mike Harvey
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/01/04

Loc: Orlando, FL.
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: Jeff Young]
      #4992430 - 12/30/11 04:08 PM

Single 56". And that's just a hand-held snapshot of the monitor screen! The real-time on-screen image was better!
Mike



Mike


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Jeff Young
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/04/05

Loc: Ireland
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: Mike Harvey]
      #4994246 - 12/31/11 02:32 PM

Quote:

... The real-time on-screen image was better! ....




Sweet! What a night that must have been.

Chers,
Jeff.


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John_G
sage


Reged: 01/18/10

Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: Jeff Young]
      #5973116 - 07/15/13 09:05 PM

I had some excellent conditions last night from Bortle 3 locale. At around 1:30 I took a look and found NGC 7320 with my 200mm and ES 6.7mm/149x. Wearing my observing vest and tracking along for several minutes, eventually I could see it. Elongated and broad.

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stevecoe
"Astronomical Tourist"
*****

Reged: 04/24/04

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Stephan's Quintet new [Re: John_G]
      #5973295 - 07/15/13 11:05 PM

John, et al;

NGC 7320 is the galaxy in the group that we call "Big Mushy" it appears as the largest galaxy in Stephan's Quintet and has a mediocre surface brightness. All the other galaxies need 150X and up to make them stand out well.

Clear skies to us all;
Steve Coe


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