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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

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GlennLeDrew
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Most over-rated DSO?
      #5974812 - 07/16/13 06:58 PM

Another thread here deals with under-rated DSOs, which are nice or interesting objects not deemed to receive attention or press commensurate with their 'niceness.'

What about the other end of the spectrum? There are objects which by themselves are nothing to write home about. But due to proximity to some other well known and oft observed object, receive attention out of all proportion to their 'puniness.'

I'll toss in two; the galaxies close to M57 and M13, they being IC 1295 and NGC 6207, respectively.


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kfiscus
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5974900 - 07/16/13 07:53 PM

Cluster NGC 6802 at the right tip of the Coat Hanger (if viewed with hanger 'correct side up'). The pair provides a neat depth-of-field.

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Nick Anderson
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5975066 - 07/16/13 09:40 PM

M40, enough said there.

-Nick Anderson


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David Knisely
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5975105 - 07/16/13 10:03 PM

Quote:

Cluster NGC 6802 at the right tip of the Coat Hanger (if viewed with hanger 'correct side up'). The pair provides a neat depth-of-field.




How in the world can this one be over-rated? It is a nice cluster for moderate to large telescopes, especially at higher powers. If anything, it is underrated, as it has around 50 stars and shows two or three sub-clusters within its borders. It should be better-known, given that it sits at the edge of one of the best known asterisms in the northern sky. Clear skies to you.


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Nick Anderson
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5975175 - 07/16/13 10:46 PM

After re-reading his post, I think it was meant for the "under-rated" forum. I agree here: in my opinion NGC 6802 was one of the best open clusters of the Herschel 400 list!

-Nick Anderson


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5975184 - 07/16/13 10:50 PM

In some sense, all DSOs are underrated since only a very small portion of the world's population ever gets a chance to enjoy them.

But in terms of the general public, I have to think the Crab Nebula is one of the best known but underwhelming at the eyepiece in comparison to other well know DSOs like Andromeda, the Pleiades, the Great Nebula in Orion, the Hercules Cluster... First timers and non observers find these can be quite awesome in most any scope.. The Crab Nebula generally is more of a "that's it?"

Jon


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ggalilei
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5975221 - 07/16/13 11:15 PM

True, M1 is generally underwhelming, but isn't it the easiest visible SNR? (and it has a pulsar at its center!) With that kind of brain vision, it becomes "overwhelming."

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russell23
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: ggalilei]
      #5975247 - 07/16/13 11:33 PM

I think these questions are tough because it depends upon the aperture of the scope. Still for me the overrated object is M11 no matter the aperture. I might be the only person ever to think that but it is my feelings about that cluster. I check it once each summer just to confirm that I still won't be spending time on it. Last time I mentioned this people wanted to understand why. I can't explain why I just don't enjoy looking at M-11. Sorry!

Dave


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kfiscus
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5975323 - 07/17/13 12:34 AM

I nominated it by following Drew's (OP) intro examples of objects overshadowed by famous neighbors. I really like 6802. It's more like overLOOKED than overrated.

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kfiscus
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Nick Anderson]
      #5975327 - 07/17/13 12:36 AM

+1. I've seen "M-40" used as a verb somewhere in a CN forum to describe the act of a close double fooling the eye into seeing things that aren't really there.

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David Knisely
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5975398 - 07/17/13 02:17 AM

Quote:

In some sense, all DSOs are underrated since only a very small portion of the world's population ever gets a chance to enjoy them.

But in terms of the general public, I have to think the Crab Nebula is one of the best known but underwhelming at the eyepiece in comparison to other well know DSOs like Andromeda, the Pleiades, the Great Nebula in Orion, the Hercules Cluster... First timers and non observers find these can be quite awesome in most any scope.. The Crab Nebula generally is more of a "that's it?"

Jon




Well, the Crab is certainly better than the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). All that is usually seen is a small faint oval glow around a star, with only the closest parts of the arcs of the "bubble" barely hinted at in moderate to large apertures (even when using a nebula filter). At a real dark sky site with a narrow-band filter, in a 10 inch, there can be a little more fainter nebulosity that is seen, but not a lot. I can at least see the Crab in a 60mm refractor from my 5th magnitude back yard (and it is notably larger than the brightest visual portion of NGC 7635) but the "Bubble"?? Nope. I consider the Bubble to be over-rated. Clear skies to you.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Nick Anderson]
      #5975497 - 07/17/13 06:38 AM

Quote:

M40, enough said there.




Yeah, M40 might just be the champ when you take the ratio of its fame to its inherent virtues. It's a perfect OK wide, easy, moderately faint double star, but there are probably at least a thousand equally attractive wide, easy, moderately faint doubles. Of them, M40 is by far the best known.

I'm glad that the Messier list includes M40 -- it gives it more variety. But it's sheer chance, and a very small one, that this particular wide double happened to be noticed by Messier.


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azure1961p
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5975527 - 07/17/13 07:53 AM

The *Blinking Planetary* in Cygnus since 1. It does no such thing, 2. Any number of averted vision sensitive deepsky objects will appear to vanish and reappear given proper or improper attention.
Its just a nice fairly bright planetary with an easy central star. That's all.

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (07/17/13 07:54 AM)


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Gil V
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5975720 - 07/17/13 10:31 AM

Agreement on the non-blinking planetary. I wasn't sure I had it because no blinking. Maybe in a smaller scope?

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EJN
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5975827 - 07/17/13 11:41 AM

Quote:

The *Blinking Planetary* in Cygnus since 1. It does no such thing, 2. Any number of averted vision sensitive deepsky objects will appear to vanish and reappear given proper or improper attention.
Its just a nice fairly bright planetary with an easy central star. That's all.




I will strongly disagree with this statement. While other planetary nebula
show the "blinking" effect in my 8" scope, it is far more pronounced
and obvious with NGC 6826 than any other I have seen.

As for over-rated DSOs,

1) M40
2) M73
3) M29


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Tom Polakis
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5975916 - 07/17/13 12:38 PM

The one that comes instantly to my mind is the Horsehead Nebula. So much effort is expended seeing it, and the view is bland even with a large telescope and a Hydrogen-Beta filter at a dark site.

My two criteria for what makes an object worthwhile to spend time on are either aesthetic beauty or astrophysical interest. Many of our favorite objects like M51 and M42 have both going for them. I can't get enough of the Veil Nebula, which is exceedingly beautiful, but of little astrophysical interest. The Crab Nebula currently has been written about in 4328 papers, so it's a worthy target despite it's faintness. Then there's the Horsehead Nebula, whose fascination is apparently that it looks cool in images.

Tom


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5976033 - 07/17/13 01:45 PM

Tom,
I'm with you! The verbiage pounded out here about the Horsehead year after year (even to the point of having a post about the thing stickied), goes almost beyond the pale. There are innumerable dark nebulae vastly easier to see. But I suppose it's really the challenge it poses; to see it might be perceived as graduating to the upper echelon of visual observers. Not that there aren't numerous tougher objects out there to earn bragging rights on.


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Nick Anderson
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: EJN]
      #5976187 - 07/17/13 03:15 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The *Blinking Planetary* in Cygnus since 1. It does no such thing, 2. Any number of averted vision sensitive deepsky objects will appear to vanish and reappear given proper or improper attention.
Its just a nice fairly bright planetary with an easy central star. That's all.




I will strongly disagree with this statement. While other planetary nebula
show show the "blinking" effect in my 8" scope, it is far more pronounced
and obvious with NGC 6826 than any other I have seen.




As a fellow 8-inch telescope owner, I agree: the blinking effect is very obvious. But add a lot of aperture, then it's doubtful the nebulosity will "blink" anymore.

-Nick Anderson


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acochran
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Nick Anderson]
      #5976326 - 07/17/13 04:32 PM

I find M 31 to be disappointing. Looked at it through a 24" Dob two weekends ago, looked the same as with my 16" Dob, just bigger.
Andy


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kfiscus
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: acochran]
      #5976397 - 07/17/13 05:06 PM

This type of comment will likely get you and me both kicked off CN- but I agree. I get a bigger kick out of 32 & 110.

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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5976487 - 07/17/13 05:54 PM

Then look at M31 with a big bino or RFT.

As an aside, M31 could serve as an excellent example of how utterly atrocious the eye's resolving power is at low light levels. A prime focus image taken with an 80mm f/6 will show more detail than can be seen visually with a 24". (And no, it's not due to some magical property of the CCD. To see this, take an image of Jupiter with that little scope at prime focus; it'll show a tiny ball with practically no detail to speak of.)

This is why even a monster galaxy such as M31 can be such a disappointment. If only we could crank up the scene brightness (even preserving the same contrast); it wouldn't be such a let-down then.


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RAKing
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5976590 - 07/17/13 06:33 PM

I won't say M40 is over-rated, but maybe it's one of the most underwhelming DSOs I have seen. Unfortunately, I also have to add many of the galaxies in the Coma B./Virgo cluster to that list, too.

Maybe if I had a monster Dob I could see more detail in these, but for everything I have owned and used these faint fuzzies really do just look like faint fuzzies -- and you have to be very careful with a few of them to remind yourself which one you are looking at.

Cheers,

Ron


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ggalilei
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5976606 - 07/17/13 06:42 PM

And yet with perseverance, somehow the eye learns to see more. I was looking at M31 just last night with a Z10 and saw the first dust lane and first spiral arm (towards M110) clearer than I had ever seen it in the 18" reflector. I even noticed a nearby bright/dark area combination (confirmed from a photo later) that I had never detected before. But I agree that it is frustrating how painful it is to extract visual information from our nearest gigantic galaxy.

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Usquebae
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: ggalilei]
      #5976776 - 07/17/13 08:27 PM

Oh, the outrage!

No sky for you! Come back one year!

If you heathens only knew what the citizens of Andromeda are saying about our Milky Way...


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azure1961p
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Usquebae]
      #5976785 - 07/17/13 08:34 PM

Welll the Horsehead has mystique. I've seen it thru SN 18" with an Hbeta and Zi have to confess I loved it. Like many deepsky objects its images precede it but Im very very taken with the ominous intrusion silhouette. I don't even dream of it with my 8" and local sky's and no Hbeta to boot, but its ever out there for me.

M31 looking ho-hum in a big reflector is testament to the fact that great aperture shines brightest when the details or objects are the dimmest - or just dimmer perhaps. A blazing M31 core in SN 18" was rather a let down. But start seeking out its globular clusters and open clusters and resolve the extended nature of these things and now that 18" is turbo charged. If its already a bright object thru a medium aperture scope even more aperture is just well brighter. In the shadows tho the details begin to bristle.

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (07/17/13 08:40 PM)


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: acochran]
      #5977282 - 07/18/13 05:35 AM

Quote:

I find M 31 to be disappointing.




M31 is a tough galaxy to observe. It's intriguing that something so big and bright shows so much less detail than much smaller and fainter M33.


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ggalilei
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5977441 - 07/18/13 08:44 AM

Is that because M33 is face-on? Or probably because its core is not as bright.

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LivingNDixie
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: ggalilei]
      #5977575 - 07/18/13 10:06 AM

I like the suggestions of M40 and the Horsehead.

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ThreeD
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5977657 - 07/18/13 10:48 AM

People chase the Horsehead because it is perceived as serious challenge object and not because it is touted as being a thing of beauty. Viewing The Horsehead is a matter of being able to check off a box that most visual observers will never be able to check. (I'm speaking as one who hopes to check it off this upcoming viewing season.)

The Messier catalog on the other hand generally contains what I would describe as eye candy. Sure, not all of it is sweet but it is a collection of generally pretty easy to see relatively cool things. And then there is M40. If one is expecting at least some level of eye candy then M40 wins the belly flop contest hands down. There is no beauty in M40 beyond what is achieved by looking at any random star and as a double it is also a belly flop. There are no redeeming qualities other than you need to see it to complete the Messier catalog.

Yes, The Horsehead may not look like much when observed visually but at least one needs some skill, the right equipment, and the right conditions. M40? Bleh.


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David Knisely
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: acochran]
      #5977997 - 07/18/13 02:02 PM

I don't find M31 all that disappointing. The main problem with it is that it is so big and that to see all of its detail requires a lot of study at a sort of "magic power" that you have to find yourself. For so many years, I never saw the dust lanes in M31 until I increased the power by accident one time. Then, the first lane became rather obvious, even in my 9.25 inch SCT. My magic power for that scope was with my 14mm Ultrawide eyepiece (168x), although the dust lanes also showed up well at only 98x. Indeed, my 14 inch shows dark knots in the edges of the large arm that passes below the core region at around 134x, so the galaxy is hardly devoid of detail. It just takes a little study, that's all. Clear skies to you.

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blb
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5978091 - 07/18/13 03:01 PM

Quote:

I find M 31 to be disappointing. Looked at it through a 24" Dob two weekends ago, looked the same as with my 16" Dob, just bigger.



Yes it always looked the same to me in every scope I looked at it with, a very large oval blur that is brighter in the center, untill I looked at it from a really dark site with my AT66 semi-APO refractor. I then could see two dust lanes across the galaxy and the galaxy was larger (longer) than my 4 degree field-of-view. For some things bigger is not always better.

Quote:

I will strongly disagree with this statement. While other planetary nebula show the "blinking" effect in my 8" scope, it is far more pronounced and obvious with NGC 6826 than any other I have seen.



The nebula does not blink. This blinking illusion is dependent on your ability to switch back an forth between direct and averted vision and it has been said, many planetery nebula appear to blink and they do if you can switch between direct and averted vision easily.


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ensign
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: blb]
      #5978276 - 07/18/13 04:37 PM

Heresy! No DSO is over-rated!

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RAKing
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5978369 - 07/18/13 05:21 PM

Quote:

I don't find M31 all that disappointing. The main problem with it is that it is so big and that to see all of its detail requires a lot of study at a sort of "magic power" that you have to find yourself. For so many years, I never saw the dust lanes in M31 until I increased the power by accident one time. Then, the became rather obvious, even in my 9.25 inch SCT. My magic power for that scope was with my 14mm Ultrawide eyepiece (168x), although the dust lanes also showed up well at only 98x. Indeed, my 14 inch shows dark knots in the edges of the large arm that passes below the core region at around 134x, so the galaxy is hardly devoid of detail. It just takes a little study, that's all. Clear skies to you.




Thanks! M31 was the first DSO my Dad ever showed to me and over the past 58 years, it has remained my all-time favorite. There have been a few wonderous nights where the dust lanes and detail were incredible and M31 looked almost like a photograph. My favorite nights are when I can frame all three (M31, 32, and 110) in the same FOV, then I zoom into each and study it in detail.

These are certainly not over-rated in my book; they are overwhelming!

Cheers,

Ron


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: ensign]
      #5978646 - 07/18/13 08:39 PM

Quote:

Heresy! No DSO is over-rated!




When all is said and done, I agree. I love them all.


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mountain monk
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5978930 - 07/18/13 11:19 PM

M31 overrated? Good grief!!!

Dark skies.

Jack


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turtle86
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5978987 - 07/19/13 12:06 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I find M 31 to be disappointing.




M31 is a tough galaxy to observe. It's intriguing that something so big and bright shows so much less detail than much smaller and fainter M33.




I'm guessing that the orientation of M31 has a lot to do with that. I suspect that if it were face on like M33 it would be quite a sight to behold.


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turtle86
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5979002 - 07/19/13 12:19 AM

Quote:

The one that comes instantly to my mind is the Horsehead Nebula. So much effort is expended seeing it, and the view is bland even with a large telescope and a Hydrogen-Beta filter at a dark site.

My two criteria for what makes an object worthwhile to spend time on are either aesthetic beauty or astrophysical interest. Many of our favorite objects like M51 and M42 have both going for them. I can't get enough of the Veil Nebula, which is exceedingly beautiful, but of little astrophysical interest. The Crab Nebula currently has been written about in 4328 papers, so it's a worthy target despite it's faintness. Then there's the Horsehead Nebula, whose fascination is apparently that it looks cool in images.

Tom




I think that the Horsehead Nebula gets much of its intrigue from being a somewhat unusual combination of both a well-known (and beautiful) photographic object and a well-known challenge object at the same time.


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Astrodj
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5979010 - 07/19/13 12:24 AM

Quote:

Then look at M31 with a big bino or RFT.




+1

Or even a not so big bino. Years ago under a near perfect New Mexico sky I saw M31 with my 10x50's and was blown away. The 3D-like appearance was staggering.


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mountain monk
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Astrodj]
      #5979907 - 07/19/13 02:16 PM

If you be a doubting Thomas, then come on out and look at M31 from a black/gray zone sky at 6800 feet with a NP-101 and a 17mm Ethos. I doubt you will be bored.

Dark skies.

Jack


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JasonBurry
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5979935 - 07/19/13 02:35 PM

Never been bored by M31 myself.... One of my favourite targets for my 8" dob....

I've spent hours tracing the gentle curves of its dark lanes, hunting down G1, the bright star forming region that makes a right triangle with M32/M110, observing its nucleus at high power (It ain't as simple as at first glance, there is detail there!)...

There IS alot of detail to be seen, but it takes patience and averted vision and what I think of as "integration time"...

There is no better galaxy, imho, to start someone out on galaxy observing with. At first glance a plain oval smudge, maybe 2 degrees long, but with careful and repeated study, much, much larger than that, far from plain and wonderfully varied.

J


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: JasonBurry]
      #5980107 - 07/19/13 04:23 PM

Quote:

Never been bored by M31 myself....




Agreed. Frustrated sometimes, but never bored.

As it happens, I am right now editing an article on observing M31. My only problem is how to cram all the information into three pages, because there's so much to see.

Tony Flanders
Associate Editor, Sky & Telescope


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ThreeD
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5980787 - 07/20/13 01:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Never been bored by M31 myself....




Agreed. Frustrated sometimes, but never bored.

As it happens, I am right now editing an article on observing M31. My only problem is how to cram all the information into three pages, because there's so much to see.

Tony Flanders
Associate Editor, Sky & Telescope


2 part article?

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azure1961p
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: ThreeD]
      #5980863 - 07/20/13 03:33 AM

+1

This is a little universe all in itself without peer really. I'd think a two parter would be a great idea - and nice marketing . Any observer new or advanced who reads part one HAS to read the following issue.


Pete

Edited by azure1961p (07/20/13 03:35 AM)


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City Kid
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5981106 - 07/20/13 09:53 AM

Quote:

If you be a doubting Thomas, then come on out and look at M31 from a black/gray zone sky at 6800 feet with a NP-101 and a 17mm Ethos. I doubt you will be bored.




+1 !! I always thought M31 was a "nice" galaxy but nothing special about it other than I could see it from my light polluted backyard. THEN I observed it through my NP101 at the Nebraska Star Party (black zone) with my 13mm Ethos and I couldn't stop looking at it! It was like a picture only much better.


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City Kid
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5981141 - 07/20/13 10:12 AM

Quote:

The *Blinking Planetary* in Cygnus since 1. It does no such thing, 2. Any number of averted vision sensitive deepsky objects will appear to vanish and reappear given proper or improper attention.
Its just a nice fairly bright planetary with an easy central star. That's all.




I think this one, like most, depends on the skies and the telescope being used. I just recently observed this one with my 12.5" under moderately dark skies and I was totally blown away. I was so impressed I posted in the Deep Sky Observing forum about it, thinking it was the first time I had ever observed it. Then I went through my notes and realized I had seen it before but with my 8" in my backyard. It just didn't make an impression on me with an 8" in light polluted skies like it did with a 12.5" under dark skies. Sure lots of objects are visible with averted vision and disappear with direct vision. What sets the Blinking Planetary apart is how incredibly bright it is with averted vision yet invisible with direct vision.


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ADW
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5991687 - 07/26/13 05:23 PM

Most over-hyped is the Jewel Box Cluster, NGC 4755 in Crux. It is just okay in a 14.5-inch Dob. Those who take something like a 4-inch refractor for their first observing run in the southern hemisphere are very disappointed -- the cluster with the great name is sparse in small apertures.

All of these far-southern (south of dec -40)open clusters are superior to the Jewel Box:
NGC 3532, the Football Cluster in Carina, gets my vote as the finest open cluster in the sky.
NGC 2516 in Carina
NGC 2547, the Heart Cluster, in Vela
IC 2391, the Omicron Velorum Cluster
NGC 3293, the Gem Cluster in Carina
IC 2602, the Theta Carinae Cluster
NGC 3766 in Centaurus
NGC 6025 in Triangulum Australe
NGC 6231 in Scorpius (forms the coma of the unaided-eye False Comet)
IC 4651 in Ara

But ask any northern hemisphere amateur who hasn't yet observed the far southern sky what open cluster they most want to see and they will probably name the Jewel Box which offers no more than say M36, the least of the three Messiers in Auriga.

Alan Whitman


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: ADW]
      #5992479 - 07/27/13 05:59 AM

Alan,
After four trips to Oz, I have to say you're right about so many of your listed clusters being rather more impressive than the Jewel Box. The first time I saw the latter, it was a bit of a let-down, and only reinforced by the numerous but less trumpeted clusters splattering that deep southern milky way.


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WadeVC
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: ensign]
      #6072640 - 09/10/13 05:58 AM

Quote:

Heresy! No DSO is over-rated!



I'll go along with that.

I used to take part in questions like this, but look at some of the replies to others' responses...I get so tired of someone saying what THEY think is over/under rated, and *BOOM*, there always has to be a few that "challenge" or "Disagrees" with what someone else chose as their answer.

If someone thinks, for example, that M20 is over-rated, how can (or why would) anyone try and question what one likes or dislikes, or try to "correct" them on their choice?

But I'll bite. My choice would be M49


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MarcF650R
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: JasonBurry]
      #6072769 - 09/10/13 08:32 AM

M31 in our TV 76 or Pronto could rank as an underrated experience...especially in a star-studded dark sky...

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aa6ww
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6078176 - 09/13/13 02:56 AM

I love the blinking planetary. In my C14, I kept going back to it again and again during one weekend of viewing. Every time I found it, I would look at it, then look away and was just tickled at how it literally would blink at you. I always thought it was the blind spot right in the center of your eye which caused it to blink. Regardless, one can't really have a discussion about this object without actually looking at it. That's whats fun about the Blinking Planetary. People that do lots of talking out here, and don't really observe, cant really comment on this object. How funny is that. It definitely makes this object as one of the very few objects people really don't talk about in depth, cuz you cant see it blink unless you've actually seen it.

.... Ralph in Sacramento.

Quote:

The *Blinking Planetary* in Cygnus since 1. It does no such thing, 2. Any number of averted vision sensitive deepsky objects will appear to vanish and reappear given proper or improper attention.
Its just a nice fairly bright planetary with an easy central star. That's all.

Pete




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Philler
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6112094 - 10/01/13 10:14 PM

Well, sling mud if you want. But the most overrated,(I got sick of hearing about), DSO is the "Coat Hanger" Cr 399.
In the '90s in my club we used to have this kind of control freak guy who would be at member star parties who would go around a talk to people who were using their scopes and offer his sometimes unrequested expertise. It seemed like his info on where a DSO was located was always "it's north, or south, or NW, or NE of the "Coat Hanger." But I never recall him at his own 8" or 10" Meade SCT. IMO, he wasn't helpful, just annoying.
Another thing I find annoying at star parties is when someone hollers out something like, "Hey everyone, there's this grazes going on, or you gotta see this or that!" Like we are all supposed to drop what we are doing. I like others learned to just ignore this and just continue doing what I'm doing. I might take exception with a good fireball or if we get the Aurora Borealis (uncommon at 38 deg. N.)
The Trapezium is also overrated.

Edited by Philler (10/02/13 12:49 AM)


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wavecloud
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Philler]
      #6112164 - 10/01/13 10:45 PM

M44. It's a nice binocular cluster but pales in comoarison to most other bino or small scope clusters.
Barnard's Loop is also overrated, a severe challenge but not even a pretty one.
M34 is a loveley cluster but is no better than less famous clusters like M50.
But what's so bad about the Bubble? Or M49? Or M11? I can never get enough of M11!


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mwedel
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: wavecloud]
      #6142155 - 10/17/13 12:56 AM

I had never seen the dust lanes in M31 until a couple of years ago. I was out at Afton Canyon in the Mojave Desert with the XT10 and a 5" f/5 reflector. Two dust lanes were visible in both scopes at low mag. In fact, I had people coming by who had never looked through a telescope in their lives, and they sat down at the XT10 and saw two dust lanes immediately.

So, that kinda ruined me on M31, because it has never looked that good since.

Most overrated? How about M57. Every time I check in on it, it's still just a donut. Sometimes a big bright donut with some filling, but a donut nonetheless. In contrast to M27, which goes through this nice bow tie/apple core/football transition as aperture or sky darkness or dark adaption (or all of the above) improve.

I now expect to be overthrown...by the fellowship of the Ring.


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azure1961p
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: mwedel]
      #6143941 - 10/17/13 11:05 PM

Ok here's another one and it bores me to even here its name - The Hyades. Big, spread out - yawn. The Pleiades by contrast is riveting.
Always - I mean going back decades - never found M44 anything remarkable but its so very popular to everyone else. Its like a jumbo Dolidze.

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (10/17/13 11:09 PM)


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6144283 - 10/18/13 05:52 AM

Quote:

Ok here's another one and it bores me to even here its name - The Hyades.




Well, just goes to show. The two objects last listed in this thread happen to be two of my absolute favorites: the Ring and the Hyades.

I think it has a lot to do with what instruments you use, and also how attentive. To some extent, when you find a DSO boring, that indicates that you need to work harder to find out why it's interesting.

The Hyades are a poor target for conventional telesscopes, but they're superb through binoculars, and they're one of the top naked-eye targets in the whole sky. Pay close attention to the doubles and to the colors of the stars.

The Ring, by contrast, is best through big telescopes. It is overwhelmingly big, bright, and beautiful through my 12.5-inch Dob. It displays a wealth of detail in the structure of the ring itself, which varies greatly in brightness and thickness. Also along the inner edge. But above all, in the subtle, intricate structure visible outside the main ring under dark skies.

The wisest thing said in this thread is that there are no bad DSOs.


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RussL
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #6144588 - 10/18/13 10:33 AM

I think that to the general public most anything that requires averted vision is a let down.

"Ya mean I con only see something if I don't really look at it?" LOL.


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acochran
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: RussL]
      #6146010 - 10/19/13 02:36 AM

Quote:

I think that to the general public most anything that requires averted vision is a let down.

"Ya mean I con only see something if I don't really look at it?" LOL.



I remember showing the Lagoon Nebula to someone from the general public. To me it's darned near the prettiest thing in the summer sky, but this person wasn't impressed. I was disheartened. Maybe they didn't know what it was and I should have explained it better, or maybe they had nothing to compare it with? So many objects in the sky are faint fuzzies, this object fills my eyepiece and is bright!
Andy


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Philler
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: acochran]
      #6147831 - 10/20/13 03:44 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I think that to the general public most anything that requires averted vision is a let down.

"Ya mean I con only see something if I don't really look at it?" LOL.



I remember showing the Lagoon Nebula to someone from the general public. To me it's darned near the prettiest thing in the summer sky, but this person wasn't impressed. I was disheartened. Maybe they didn't know what it was and I should have explained it better, or maybe they had nothing to compare it with? So many objects in the sky are faint fuzzies, this object fills my eyepiece and is bright!
Andy




I love those faint fuzzy smudges as well as those that resolve better. It's all part of the fun of exploring the night sky.


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Scanning4Comets
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: JasonBurry]
      #6149189 - 10/21/13 01:09 AM

Quote:

I don't find M31 all that disappointing. The main problem with it is that it is so big and that to see all of its detail requires a lot of study at a sort of "magic power" that you have to find yourself. For so many years, I never saw the dust lanes in M31 until I increased the power by accident one time. Then, the first lane became rather obvious, even in my 9.25 inch SCT. My magic power for that scope was with my 14mm Ultrawide eyepiece (168x), although the dust lanes also showed up well at only 98x. Indeed, my 14 inch shows dark knots in the edges of the large arm that passes below the core region at around 134x, so the galaxy is hardly devoid of detail. It just takes a little study, that's all. Clear skies to you.

--------------------
David W. Knisely . . . . . . "If you aren't having fun in this hobby, you aren't doing it right."




That's quite an interesting factoid David !!! Thanks for sharing! I am always looking at M-31 because I really like to look at it try to see more each time. Your post is inspiring to try out!

I'm going to try to see those 2 dust lanes and mess with different powers to check them out.

Thanks,


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omahaastro
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #6150920 - 10/22/13 12:22 AM

I wonder how many folks who are bored with M-31, are overlooking it's many HII regions and globulars.

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omahaastro
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: omahaastro]
      #6150936 - 10/22/13 12:35 AM

As for over rated... I was never overly impressed with M-97. There are so many more interesting planetaries out there, if one can get beyond the Messier... example: NGC 246 .. one of my favorites... or even little NGC 2438 in M-46... what a beautiful pairing!


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Kevdog
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6156132 - 10/24/13 06:48 PM

Quote:


Well, just goes to show. The two objects last listed in this thread happen to be two of my absolute favorites: the Ring and the Hyades.

I think it has a lot to do with what instruments you use, and also how attentive. To some extent, when you find a DSO boring, that indicates that you need to work harder to find out why it's interesting.





And it also just goes to show that people are different. My wife and son like the planets best, then some of the brighter nebula and last galaxies and comets. I like faint fuzzies more than they both do.... and am still exploring them all with increasing aperture.

But for all 3 of us, very few of the open clusters do much of anything. For me even M45 is just a shrug. LT8, C11, OB18 and 15x70 binoculars all for M45 and I've never been impressed.

But I got a real kick out of searching for the comets, even though they aren't bright yet and were barely discernible from the background stars. I also love looking at carbon stars and need to hunt more down!

Guess that's why we have so many scope choices and so many different observing lists.


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kt4hx
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Kevdog]
      #6160137 - 10/27/13 02:27 AM

Quote:

Quote:


Well, just goes to show. The two objects last listed in this thread happen to be two of my absolute favorites: the Ring and the Hyades.

I think it has a lot to do with what instruments you use, and also how attentive. To some extent, when you find a DSO boring, that indicates that you need to work harder to find out why it's interesting.





And it also just goes to show that people are different. My wife and son like the planets best, then some of the brighter nebula and last galaxies and comets. I like faint fuzzies more than they both do.... and am still exploring them all with increasing aperture.

But for all 3 of us, very few of the open clusters do much of anything. For me even M45 is just a shrug. LT8, C11, OB18 and 15x70 binoculars all for M45 and I've never been impressed.

But I got a real kick out of searching for the comets, even though they aren't bright yet and were barely discernible from the background stars. I also love looking at carbon stars and need to hunt more down!

Guess that's why we have so many scope choices and so many different observing lists.




Well said. While there is some agreement on this subject, there is a lot of disagreement because we all like or dislike different things. As has been said, what you like or don't like can be a factor of your scope and your observing conditions. I can't say one specific DSO is the most overrated for me. But I would say that sparse open clusters tend to be underwhelming and disappointing to me. I am not a fan of M44, the Hyades, the Pleiades (except when the nebulosity is visible), etc. I do like the challenge of DSOs that hide try to hide in the glare of nearby stars, such as NGC 404, NGC 6441, M109, NGC 6144, NGC 5286; or combos, like M46 & NGC 2438, M7 & NGC 6453. Mostly, I like any galaxies I can find, despite the frustration factor at times.


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City Kid
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #6160519 - 10/27/13 10:56 AM

Well at the risk of having everyone come after me with pitchforks and torches I gotta say that I find the Double Cluster to be a bit over-rated. Each of those clusters on it's own I find boring. The only real appeal I find in them is the fact that the two are so close together. Don't get me wrong, I think the Double Cluster is a fine object to observe and I look at it regularly. It's just that I wouldn't personally rank it as one of the great open clusters in the sky like a lot of people would.

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kt4hx
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: City Kid]
      #6160560 - 10/27/13 11:16 AM

Phil, you better head for the windmill! Actually, it is a nice view, but its not something that I look at often, nor spend a lot of time on when I happen to stop by. I'm not much an open cluster observer anyway, as my main interests are galaxies, but I do appreciate an attractive cluster when I see one. Some may not care for it, but actually the Tau Canis Majoris cluster is about my favorite. Kinda hard to explain, but just something about it I enjoy.

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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: City Kid]
      #6161902 - 10/28/13 06:01 AM

Quote:

Don't get me wrong, I think the Double Cluster is a fine object to observe and I look at it regularly. It's just that I wouldn't personally rank it as one of the great open clusters in the sky like a lot of people would.




OK, I'll bite. So if the Double Cluster (or even either one of its components) isn't among the great open clusters, then what is?

On purely objective grounds, the Double Cluster seems to have every conceivable desirable characteristic:

extremely bright
extremely rich
compact and well defined
colorful stars
wide range of star brightness

The only conceivable downside I can see is that it's on an ultrarich Milky Way background, so it doesn't stand out as well as it might in a poorer star field. But that's also true of every other genuinely rich open cluster I can think of.


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starquake
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6161958 - 10/28/13 07:44 AM

M102



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City Kid
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6164967 - 10/29/13 05:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Don't get me wrong, I think the Double Cluster is a fine object to observe and I look at it regularly. It's just that I wouldn't personally rank it as one of the great open clusters in the sky like a lot of people would.




OK, I'll bite. So if the Double Cluster (or even either one of its components) isn't among the great open clusters, then what is?

On purely objective grounds, the Double Cluster seems to have every conceivable desirable characteristic:

extremely bright
extremely rich
compact and well defined
colorful stars
wide range of star brightness

The only conceivable downside I can see is that it's on an ultrarich Milky Way background, so it doesn't stand out as well as it might in a poorer star field. But that's also true of every other genuinely rich open cluster I can think of.




Obviously personal taste comes into play here but I'll name the open clusters that I can think of off the top of my head that I would rank above the Double Cluster. M6, M8 (the cluster associated with it), M35 (with NGC 2158), M37, M46, NGC 457, NGC 2244, NGC 2264, and NGC 2477. I'm sure I could come up with a few more with some thought. Of course if this along with a few more are all I can come with with then that still leaves the Double Cluster ranked up there pretty high. I guess my thoughts of the Double Cluster stem from the fact that it's one of the few showpiece open clusters that I was disappointed with. Yes Tony, you are right. The Double Cluster has everything going for it that one could want in an open cluster. But for whatever reason, even though it's an object that should make me go wow, it doesn't.

Phil


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most over-rated DSO? new [Re: City Kid]
      #6165776 - 10/30/13 06:37 AM

Quote:

Off the top of my head that I would rank above the Double Cluster. M6, M8 (the cluster associated with it), M35 (with NGC 2158), M37, M46, NGC 457, NGC 2244, NGC 2264, and NGC 2477.




Those area all great clusters, no doubt about it. And pretty varied, too.


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