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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

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Astrojensen
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: nytecam]
      #5461621 - 10/09/12 05:51 AM

NGC 891 is not what I would consider a very faint galaxy, but it does have low surface brightness, similar, actually, to that of M33. Dark skies are most important, much more so than aperture. In the past, I used it as something of a test object for the observing conditions. If it wasn't reasonably well visible (albeit dim) in my 63mm Zeiss, the night was not so good. If it was bigger and more prominent than usual, the night was uncommonly good and suitable for observing faint objects.

When observing threshold objects, it's very important to locate their exact position without a shred of doubt. The only way this seems to be possible is by starhopping. You may locate the area with a GOTO mount, but you need to verify the position of the object with an accurate map or, better yet, a deep photograph. If the stars match, you've found the correct location, even if the object may not be immediately apparent. When the location is known, you can use your most sensitive part of your averted vision to observe it and try picking it out of the background. Keeping the averted vision steady and not letting your gaze wander around the field can be quite difficult, but it can be learned and mastered. Use a magnification that frames the object well and at the same time darken the sky background enough that your dark adaption can get better than at low power or with the naked eye.



The picture is based on observations with my 6" achromat w/binoviewer and magnifications between 48x and 120x under a mag 6.5 sky. Stars are shown to about mag 14 or so. In this scope, at 48x, it is a beautiful little spindle of light, floating behind the stars.

BTW, you can use the Milky Way to judge your local conditions for observing galaxies. If the Milky Way is washed out, so will galaxies be, for the most part. Especially edge-ons (like the MW!) and spirals. Their cores can often penetrate light pollution, but their disks often blend into the background.

Galaxies are like delicate butterflies. They can best be observed far from civilization and pollution, in pristine conditions.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Matt2003
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Reged: 04/22/10

Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5462772 - 10/09/12 07:54 PM


Got out last night, but never got more than a nice view of the White Rose cluster & a couple other OCs. Long before I had the needed dark adaptation for galaxy viewing, lots of cirrus clouds moved in, from the north. Which was the area of sky I had intended to view
So oother than that & a final farewell to M.22, last night was another bust. No NGC 891. My sky did not look very dark either, to begin with.

Clear skies,
Matt


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Scanning4Comets
Markus
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Reged: 12/26/04

Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Matt2003]
      #5463310 - 10/10/12 04:48 AM

Ive seen 891 from mag 5.0 skies.....but sometimes looking at the EXACT spot does not help if the skies are not transparent enough. NGC-891 is very faint and difficult to see, but it can be done.

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Matt2003
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Reged: 04/22/10

Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #5464344 - 10/10/12 07:50 PM


Again, I can ALMOST call it, but not beyond ALL doubt.. And mag 5 skies were about what I had last night before more high clouds started moving in after 10 PM local time. Several nice DSOs & a lot of (faint) detail seen in M.31 but NOt NGC 891.
This thing is becoming my White Whale! Not sure LOL is apt, either.

Clear Skies,
Matt


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Dave MitskyModerator
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Reged: 04/08/02

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Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5464595 - 10/10/12 10:59 PM

Quote:

NGC 891 can be a tough object to view, but under a dark sky, I have glimpsed it in only an 80mm f/5 refractor.




I've also logged NGC 891 with an 80mm f/5 refractor but only from one of the darkest spots readily available to me, Cherry Springs State Park.

Dave Mitsky


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Photoner
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/06/06

Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5465090 - 10/11/12 10:12 AM

I "think" I saw this galaxy in my 12.5" the other night from a fairly LP backyard.

Study the star patterns in the photo and the flipped sketch above to learn the deep neighborhood of this tricky object.

Try various levels of squinting at the photo above to drop out some of the detail as it might appear visually though your scope with variable seeing & transparency conditions night to night.


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whirlpoolm51
professor emeritus
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Reged: 01/05/12

Loc: pittsburgh,pa
Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Photoner]
      #5465621 - 10/11/12 04:19 PM

You could be staring right at this galaxy and you wouldnt see it!!! hahahaha i have seen it numerous times from my backyard with a 12"" and my 16" and the first time i tried looking for it i couldnt find it , only to realize the next day that i was in the correct field and staring right at it!!!

LOW SURFACE BRIGHTNESS MEANS MORE THAN MAGNITUDE in light polluted skies hahaha

So when looking for this little buggger , pan slowly and first make sure you are in the correct field and then use alot of AV haha


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Matt2003
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Reged: 04/22/10

Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: whirlpoolm51]
      #5465928 - 10/11/12 08:08 PM


Averted imagination needed? My first sighting probably was. I know this thing is located at the bottom of that little parallelogram just east & south of Almach.
ALMOST.. Almost..
I had better luck ( though not the views of last October!) with Gamma Cygni & the nebulae around it. Of course, I only tried a broadband filter & my OIII (which showed notthing) there.
One night, 891. One night, you will be MINE!

Clear Skies,
Matt


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Achernar
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Matt2003]
      #5466174 - 10/11/12 11:47 PM Attachment (52 downloads)

Here is a drawing I made of NGC-891 with a 10-inch, under the murky skies of the Gulf Coast.The dark lane is more apparent through my 15-inch than the 10-inch, but it's still definite in the smaller telescope.

Taras


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Scanning4Comets
Markus
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Reged: 12/26/04

Re: Help Finding NGC891 [Re: Achernar]
      #5466368 - 10/12/12 05:45 AM Attachment (39 downloads)

Yep. It sure is a faint one indeed! This observation was with a 12.5" Orion DSE in 1997.

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Bill Barlow
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/03/07

Loc: Overland Park KS
Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #5467390 - 10/12/12 08:53 PM

I found this galaxy with my C14 while star hopping from M34. At our club's yellow site, it was faint with a noticeably brighter core region. It was also fairly large in the C14..overall a nice object to view.

Bill


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Matt2003
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Reged: 04/22/10

Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Bill Barlow]
      #5472204 - 10/15/12 07:59 PM


I still wonder why Astronomy Magazine picked this one as one of the 100 Best DSOs, its surface brightness makes it much too tough to be an easy object to view.
I wonder how many times I am going to look right at this thing & not even see it. I must simply get to a decent dark site.

Clear Skies,
Matt


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starrancher
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Matt2003]
      #5472217 - 10/15/12 08:07 PM

Quote:


I still wonder why Astronomy Magazine picked this one as one of the 100 Best DSOs, its surface brightness makes it much too tough to be an easy object to view.
I wonder how many times I am going to look right at this thing & not even see it. I must simply get to a decent dark site.

Clear Skies,
Matt




Yeah , no kidding .


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Matt Lindsey
sage
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Reged: 06/06/08

Loc: Baltimore, MD, U.S.A.
Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Matt2003]
      #5473024 - 10/16/12 10:31 AM

Quote:


I still wonder why Astronomy Magazine picked this one as one of the 100 Best DSOs, its surface brightness makes it much too tough to be an easy object to view.
I wonder how many times I am going to look right at this thing & not even see it. I must simply get to a decent dark site.




Well, that's 100 best, not 100 brightest. IMO it's easily in the 100 best DSO's. I never pass a chance to view it in the Fall. The dust lane really starts to pop at 150X in my 12" scope. Once you find it, it becomes pretty easy to locate after that. Get to at least a yellow zone (SQM 21.0) to see it well.


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blb
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Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Matt Lindsey]
      #5473037 - 10/16/12 10:38 AM

Quote:

Well, that's 100 best, not 100 brightest.




How true! Many of the best objects to view are not the brightest objects in the sky and so it is with NGC 891.


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Matt2003
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Reged: 04/22/10

Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: blb]
      #5473913 - 10/16/12 07:45 PM


Yes, I know they did not mean brightest, as they had a few very challenging things on that list. However, I am mystified by their statements about it being one of the "best galaxies" for a 10 inch scope. REALLY? Hmm, not much more power than my 8 inch..
And they neglected to mention anything about the very challenging low surface brightness here, though they did with several other objects. Which has been the cause of my frustration over the last three years.

Clear Skies,
Matt


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Astrojensen
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Matt2003]
      #5474483 - 10/17/12 04:27 AM

Quote:

However, I am mystified by their statements about it being one of the "best galaxies" for a 10 inch scope.




I'd say the statement is probably true under dark skies. Under light polluted ones? Not so much.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Matt2003
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Reged: 04/22/10

Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5475785 - 10/17/12 08:04 PM


Which, again, is not mentioned. No "You will need to get to a blue-Black Zone to adequately see this object".
I feel slightly miffed. But not enough NOT to try again tonight, after the cold front has moved through! LOL

Clear Skies,
Matt


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Matt2003]
      #5475948 - 10/17/12 09:52 PM

Even in a blue zone it was barely detectable in my 5 inch .
Haven't tried it yet in the gray to black zone .


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cpr1
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Reged: 03/24/12

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Help Finding NGC891 new [Re: Matt2003]
      #5475952 - 10/17/12 09:54 PM

I feel your pain Matt. It took me going to a yellow/green zone before I could make it out. It is large as far as edge on galaxies go and one side always seems brighter than the other. Almost like seeing only half the galaxy sometimes. This is in a 10 inch scope.

It is faint, so if the background is grayish and not black then that won't help. I think all of those top 100's are based on excellent skies.

In my 12 from home I can't see ngc 891, m33, m74, or m97. That's in a red zone or maybe worse.


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