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Stephan's Quintet - what aperture needed?

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#1 nytecam

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 09:24 AM

the title says it - presumably the 'Little Andromeda' galaxy NGC 7331 to the north is easier but again what aperture needed visually :question:

#2 tatarjj

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 09:54 AM

Well, I do remember seeing Stephan's Quintet about 10 years ago in my 8" dob from my ZLM ~5.7 backyard. If I remember correctly, I could make out 3 galaxies. I used an image in Astronomy Magazine as a finder chart and starhopped from NGC 7331 to the galaxy group. That said, I was a beginner then, and operating my scope from a moderately light polluted site. I'm betting if I made another go at Stephan's Quintet in a small scope -my 4" refractor from a dark site- I could probably make out at least SOMETHING at the Quintet's position. They look pretty bright through the 18". Hopefully someone else here who has observed this group with a small telescope more recently than 10 years ago can give more exact advice :)

#3 FirstSight

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 11:53 AM

7331 is indeed fairly easily doable in my 12" dob, even in moderately light-polluted skies, but alas I have yet to successfully track down Stephan's Quintet, despite having DSCs. Then again, I didn't have my 12" yet last fall when it was prime positioned in dry clear fall weather at a more reasonable time of night, and have only tried to find it so far under summer conditions.

I'd be interested too in starhopping directions to it from NGC 7331, just for the satisfaction of learning how to find it manually.

#4 RRaubach

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:06 PM

I checked my observing logs on n7331. I was able to see the elliptical shape easily, on a *less-than-perfect* night in my old TMB 175. It was faint in a Panoptic 35, and better in a TMB 25 Aspheric-Ortho at 56x.

I haven't tried for Stephan's Quintet as yet.

#5 Mr. Bill

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:23 PM

Saw a sixth member, I believe 7331c, in a 40 inch many years ago. That was one impressive view!

:o

#6 David Knisely

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 01:37 PM

the title says it - presumably the 'Little Andromeda' galaxy NGC 7331 to the north is easier but again what aperture needed visually :question:


I have seen Stephan's Quintet (barely) in an 8 inch f/7, but it wasn't much to look at. In my 10 inch f/5.6, I can see four of the five galaxies in the group with certainty and hints of the 5th, but again, they aren't much to look at. As for NGC 7331, that one is just visible under dark skies in a good 2.4 inch refractor, but it takes somewhat more aperture to get much detail out of it. Clear skies to you.

#7 tatarjj

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 02:12 PM

If it ever becomes clear enough to observe again, I'll check out Stephan's Quintet with my 4" refractor if I remember to do it. Should be an interesting experiment!

#8 Phillip Creed

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 03:13 PM

I've detected the collective glow of all 5 galaxies (not including NGC 7331) in decently dark skies ("green" or better on the CSC light pollution map) with a set of 25x100s. Under similar skies, I need my 12.5" Dobsonian to fully identify and separate all members, though I'm pretty sure something in between would have done the trick.

Clear Skies,
Phil

#9 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 03:30 PM

Hi Nytecam,

I know that members of Stephan's Quintet can be detected with a 6" telescope from a very dark and transparent site (a site rated at mag. 7.5 naked eye limiting magnitude by keen visual observers, e.g. Brian Skiff). An observation report and sketch I made for some of the galaxies in this group with a 6" f/8 Newtonian can be found here. A sketch made by Eric Graff with his 6" f/6 Newtonian can be found here.

A dark, transparent site was the key for those small aperture observations. I don't know how much you may struggle with transparency at the sites you use, so that minimum aperture could be much larger.

#10 Illinois

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 03:54 PM

Stephan's Quintet is much smaller than I expect! I search search search to find Stephan's Quintet from NGC 7331! You might able to find it as 3 or maybe 4 little fuzzy blobs and its not that far from NGC 7331!
I saw M13 and NGC 6207 in one view from my 16" at 107 power (17mm eyepiece). I measured it in the SKY & TELESCOPE SKY ATLAS that I should able to spot NGC 7331 and Stephan's Quintet in one view at 70 to 107 power! Darker sky would be much better!

#11 Carol L

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 07:38 PM

In my 8" SCT, I saw NGC 7320 and a combination glow from NGC 7318a and NGC 7318b. The telescopic stellar limit was mag 13.6 and the transparency was better than average.

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#12 Achernar

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 09:05 PM

At the Okie-Tex starparty, Stephan's Quintet and NGC-7331 were magnificent through my 10-inch Dob. I was able to distinguish three members of Stephan's Quintet, and I spotted three companions of NGC-7331. I didn't see the other two galaxies in Stephan's Quintet, either they were too dim or more likely I didn't use enough magnification that night. The seeing was in general awful while I was there at anything above about 150X, but the skies were extremely dark. They looked like this through my telescope.

Taras

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#13 Starman1

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 12:35 AM

Saw a sixth member, I believe 7331c, in a 40 inch many years ago. That was one impressive view!

:o

I see 6 in my 12.5", too. It's definitely close enough visually, yet the 6th one isn't a member.
I see 5 in 8"
And I see 4 in 6" (2 of them appear as one).
Smallest instrument?
To see all of them as separates? Maybe 8-10"
To see all of them as one glow? 50mm Binos?
Bill, you ever look for them in your binos?

#14 sgottlieb

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 01:14 AM

I see 6 in my 12.5", too. It's definitely close enough visually, yet the 6th one isn't a member.



NGC 7320C is quite a catch in a 12.5-inch! :bow:

As far as members, though, NGC 7320 is a foreground galaxy at a much closer distance based on redshift and other evidence – so technicaly it's not a group member either.

I generally see 3 (or 2 if you count the merged image of NGC 7818A/B as a single object) using a 6-inch off-axis mask on my 18-inch and occasionally a 4th member. Clearly, a much smaller aperture can see a single confused glow though too low of a magnification would pose a problem.

Besides that nearby 6th galaxy, there are a couple of additional challenge galaxies nearby –

One is 2MASX J22363213+3347456, a little stinker 12' SE of Stephan's Quintet and 1.8' SW of a 10th magnitude star that makes detection even harder. Some sources refer to this galaxy as NGC 7320A, although I doubt its related to Stephan's Quintet either.

#15 nytecam

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 02:14 AM

Thanks Steve and all contributors :bow: The DSO exercise is largely academic from my London suburbs but I'm pleased to have just recorded them with my 70mm f/5 ETX-70 goto under ZLM 3 as posted here :rainbow:

#16 Dain

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 08:00 AM

I've definitely caught this team in an 8" f/6 in some good skies. Wonder if you can bag 'em in a 6"?....hmm...


regards,

Dain

#17 nytecam

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 04:10 AM

I tried for NGC7331 last night with my 70mm ETX-70 but no luck so won't be trying Stephan's Quintet :bawling: but very content with the images through same scope on these targets :grin: BTW - saw a meteor streak through NGC 7331 field but it wasn't Perseid :rainbow:

#18 Achernar

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 08:56 AM

At a dark site, NGC-7331 should show up in your scope because it's at about 9th magnitude and fairly small. Trouble is the haze and light pollution that exists in your area would make seeing NGC-7331 and a host of other fairly bright galaxies in Pegasus impossible to see even in a 10-inch. If there's a way for you to go somewhere where you could at least get out of the worst of the light pollution, you should be able to at least glimpse NGC-7331.

Taras

#19 boatstar

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 03:51 PM

Boy, some of you have some mighty fine eyeballs. Or at least much younger than my tired old set. 7331 showed structure to me under green skies and a 12.5", but I needed a 16" under those same skies to spot the Quints.

#20 Starman1

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 11:51 PM

Boy, some of you have some mighty fine eyeballs. Or at least much younger than my tired old set. 7331 showed structure to me under green skies and a 12.5", but I needed a 16" under those same skies to spot the Quints.

Or just darker skies.

#21 Bill Weir

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 12:34 AM

This thread has got me thinking to give the Quintet a try with my ED 80. Last year it was a relatively easy snag (although nothing to write home about) with my f/8 6" dob. Just four nights ago while on a road trip to my inlaws, I managed 7331 at the zenith with my ED 80. It didn't occur to me to try for the Quints. Then again I was distracted by my half naked father-inlaw, who wandered out onto the back porch to get some relief from the heat. He started talking away to himself in Italian as all that he could see was my little red flash light glowing at the bottom of the steps.

Next week the Mt Kobau star party at a little over 6000 ft will more than likely fit the bill for this experiment.

Bill

#22 Alvin Huey

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 07:31 PM

I looked at it with my 6" refractor at Lassen (NELM = 7.5-7.6). Saw five members, well NGC 7318A/B was viewed as a single elongated glow, so I saw 4 separate glows. Did not see 7320C though.

#23 Josh U

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 08:42 PM

I managed to snag 'em with a 10" zhumell dob from the Almost Heaven Star Party last night.
They were really darn cool, just for the "neat" factor of actually seeing 'em. I wonder if I could see them in a less pristine setting than the mountains of West Virginia...?

#24 Richards Beggins

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 04:38 AM

Hi,

yesterday night I could see 3/4 components with my 10" Orion, 250x. Only three,93x. Under a dark sky.

#25 tjswood

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 07:46 PM

I think Astronomy Magazine, 2006 Collector's Edition, entitled "Explore the Universe" summed it up quite nicely:

Simply seeing Stephan's Quintet (NGC 7317, NGC 7318A, NGC 7318B, NGC 7319, and NGC 7320) is not a challenge. You can glimpse the brightest, NGC 7320 in an 8-inch telescope. Differentiating the galazies' sizes, shapes (3 are spirals, 2 are ellipticals), and brightness, however, requires at least a 16 inch telescope.



Just another reason to get that 20" Obsession I have been obsessing over for the last year or two... :help:

Tim


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