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500 Best DSO list

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#51 faackanders2

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 08:51 PM

Thank you Don!


Edited by faackanders2, 20 February 2017 - 08:51 PM.


#52 cbecke

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 07:38 AM

I'm trying to figure out the best way to add a search feature to the spreadsheet that would display "What's at least 30 degrees above the horizon on this date and time". Is there an easy way to convert a date/time and location to the zenith R.A. and DEC. and then calculate a 60 degree radius sphere in order to select from the 500 the appropriate targets?

 

The SkyPortal app that I use has a "tonight's best" feature, but often the objects are below the trees for me.

 

If anybody is familiar enough with the celestial sphere to provide some guidance, I'd be much appreciative!

 

- Chris (newbie)


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#53 cbecke

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 09:33 AM

I'm trying to figure out the best way to add a search feature to the spreadsheet that would display "What's at least 30 degrees above the horizon on this date and time". Is there an easy way to convert a date/time and location to the zenith R.A. and DEC. and then calculate a 60 degree radius sphere in order to select from the 500 the appropriate targets?

 

The SkyPortal app that I use has a "tonight's best" feature, but often the objects are below the trees for me.

 

If anybody is familiar enough with the celestial sphere to provide some guidance, I'd be much appreciative!

 

- Chris (newbie)

Well, that didn't take too long to figure out.

 

I added a sheet to this wonderful spreadsheet where you enter the time you'll be observing in UTC and your observing location Lat/Lon.

 

There is now a filter and sort applied. I filtered on Altitude greater than 30 degrees and sorted by descending magnitude so that I can target the high, bright objects to view. I can't guarantee the accuracy of my calculations, but they seem to be pretty accurate when compared to the SkyPortal app.

 

- Chris

 

Attached File  Best 500 Deep Sky Objects.xlsx   295.53KB   266 downloads


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#54 Starman1

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 11:33 AM

I just look up to see what constellations are up there.

And, if doing it in advance, I use a simple planisphere.

But it's cool to see other people put their own spins on it.


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#55 BillP

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 07:30 PM

... I've viewed this entire list with my 4" refractor in moderate LP (green zone),so not totally impossible.

 

Nice list.  I love your comment above.  Realize that for many of us, maybe most of us, a green zone is a DARK site! 

 

roflmao.gif Green is moderately LProflmao.gif



#56 Starman1

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 07:57 PM

Is that light green or dark green?lol.gif

You're right.  Most observers are not in easy reach of blue zones, let alone dark blue, light gray, dark gray, or black.

But the truth is, a light green zone is moderately light polluted.  Clouds appear white in the sky and no light is ever needed to see what you drop on the ground.

I go to a 3-night star party every year at just such a place, and you can do some good observing there.

It's a lot nicer than the white zone where I live.bawling.gif


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#57 BGazing

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:13 AM

light green would be around 21mpss?


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#58 Starman1

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:21 AM

Yeah, somewhere around the 20.9-21.1 mpsas area.



#59 mikona

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 02:17 AM

Hello Don,

 

Very kind of you to put this list together.   As the owner of a new 4 inch refractor, this is a great list for me to start.  Again, I appreciate your assistance. 

 

All the best to you

 

Mike



#60 Bongo3611

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:39 AM

The coordinates of where I'll be going is 35.1552° N, 115.4483° W it's in the mojave nation preserve. I will be useing an 8 in dobsonion. And possibly an 8 in. Celestron evolution. I jave a range of eyepieces
meade 4000 6.4mm 50°
10mm
12.4mm
9.7mm
15mm
15mm super wide view 68°
20mm explorer scientific 68°
26mm 2" 70°
Barlows x2 and x2.5
32mm
40mm
Filters:
Celestron uhc/lot
Zhumell 0-III
Several planetary color
That's what I will be bringing. To this area. I will be up most of the night is say 8 hours past sunset. Thanks for all the advice. Jay

#61 Starman1

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:40 AM

The coordinates of where I'll be going is 35.1552° N, 115.4483° W it's in the mojave nation preserve. I will be useing an 8 in dobsonion. And possibly an 8 in. Celestron evolution. I jave a range of eyepieces
meade 4000 6.4mm 50°
10mm
12.4mm
9.7mm
15mm
15mm super wide view 68°
20mm explorer scientific 68°
26mm 2" 70°
Barlows x2 and x2.5
32mm
40mm
Filters:
Celestron uhc/lot
Zhumell 0-III
Several planetary color
That's what I will be bringing. To this area. I will be up most of the night is say 8 hours past sunset. Thanks for all the advice. Jay

That's pretty close to Las Vegas, so your northern sky will be fairly washed out, but you'll have a great southern half of the sky.

And you'll have a lot of fun.  I hope you get a windless night.



#62 leewardesigns

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 08:21 PM

​Thank you for the great post!



#63 dgordontx

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 03:06 PM

As a lover of lists and spreadsheets, I was going to start doing the same thing today. I am greatly appreciative of the effort put into this and hours of time you have saved me. I am about to go through and start documenting the dates that I'll be able to see them at 10pm Central time. Can you please explain the column headers? I understand A-G, but not those beyond it.



#64 Starman1

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 03:47 PM

H=surface brightness per square arc minute.  coupled with total magnitude, you can get an idea of visibility.

A 1'x1' object should have an identical total magnitude and surface brightness.

A larger object will have a lower surface brightness.

What's missing is "brightness gradient", i.e. how bright is the center point, and how fast does the brightness decrease from there.

I=maximum size in arc-minutes

J=minimum size in arc-minutes

K=the number of stars in the cluster

L=the magnitude of the brightest star or stars in the cluster

M=the professional astronomer's classification for the object

N=distance to the object.

 

As for visibility, you can sort the spreadsheet by RA, and simply figure out the sidereal time to know what hour angle will be on the zenith.

At that point, the spreadsheet would be approximately sorted by visibility time.

I just look to see what constellation is on the meridian and look for that constellation on the sheet.


Edited by Starman1, 23 February 2018 - 03:48 PM.

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#65 Dougeo

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 10:48 PM

Thanks Don for the great list and all the time you spent putting it together, simply awesome!

Best regards

Doug

#66 AndrewM1

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 09:49 PM

I have struggled to come up with some sort of expression of gratitude which has not been previously written in comparable form, but have been unable to do so.  Suffice to say, your comprehensive list has been the centerpiece from which I have worked after completing Messier's list, and I cannot thank you enough.  

 

Andrew



#67 Mr. Mike

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:36 PM

I have struggled to come up with some sort of expression of gratitude which has not been previously written in comparable form, but have been unable to do so.  Suffice to say, your comprehensive list has been the centerpiece from which I have worked after completing Messier's list, and I cannot thank you enough.  

 

Andrew

Mega dittos.  This is an awesome list and being a new owner a 4" APO I am all over this list of objects!  I have a dark sky site thats pretty close to my house but I can probably get some of these from my patio too.  

 

Don - Thanks a million for this epic spreadsheet. :D



#68 Starman1

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 09:16 PM

Y'all make me feel good that you find the list useful.
I would point out that this was condensed from a list of favorites that was over 2000 objects, so don't be afraid to look for objects not on the list. There are at least 500 star clusters alone that are worth looking at in a small scope.

Of course, those of you in the southern hemisphere should look up my friend John Bambury's list called the "Bambury 600".
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#69 Pawan

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 06:43 PM

Thanks for a great list. Here is the SkySafari version for people who may want to use this list using other tools.

 

 

Attached Files



#70 AKHalea

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 04:27 PM

frown.gif Y'all make me feel good that you find the list useful.
I would point out that this was condensed from a list of favorites that was over 2000 objects, so don't be afraid to look for objects not on the list. There are at least 500 star clusters alone that are worth looking at in a small scope.

Of course, those of you in the southern hemisphere should look up my friend John Bambury's list called the "Bambury 600".

I stumbled upon this wonderful list by chance. Even though this has been a sticky for a while, I am an imager and post mostly on B&II forum, so coming to the Observing forum was very rare for me. Thanks so much for putting this together. You also linked us to 600 DSOs in Southern skies (Bambury's list) which is also a great resource. Thanks for that link too. In that list, Bambury also includes "best month to view" as a column, so that automatically allows me to whittle down the list to a more manageable number by month. Is something like that possible to be added to your list (I am a relative newbie frown.gif) ....

 

Also, if you have the original list of those 2000 objects, I would be very grateful if you post it also. I do my imaging with a 4" refractor and imaging picks up a lot fainter objects, so having all 2000 will also be of tremendous help to me, Again, I am grateful to you for this fabulous 500 list ..... Anil


Edited by AKHalea, 02 June 2019 - 04:31 PM.


#71 Starman1

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 10:06 AM

I don't view the sky as seasonal. If you observe all night, only about 3 hours of right ascension are blocked to observing out of 24 on any clear night.
I don't like observing guides broken into months or seasons because they presume one only observes for an hour or two after it gets dark.
Should you want the list broken down into months instead of constellations, sort the spreadsheet by RA and look at which hour(s) of RA are appropriate for the evening hours on the date you observe.

Remember that this time of year at 40 Degrees north, it isn't dark for 100 minutes after sunset. Unless it's the moon or planets, be sure to wait until then to start observing. So you can be dark-adapted, sit out with the scope for at least a half hour away from lights. Never start observing DSOs unless you've been away from lights for at least that long and preferably 45 minutes.

My longer list is too large to post on CN and I have not listed common names or distances on that list.

#72 AKHalea

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 10:14 PM

Don : Thanks for your reply and suggestions. You are absolutely right about how late it gets dark here, even though I am at 30 degrees north (Houston, Tx).

 

Typically my observing takes place while my imaging is humming along on another scope. I typically start imaging after astronomical dusk - these days 9.30 or 9.40 pm. So my observing starts ~10 pm in summer and can go on till ~1 AM after which time I am too tired to do much serious observing. Nevertheless, I will follow your suggestion about sorting the 500 list by RA to see what will pop up for each of the sessions (while imaging is happening on the other scope). Thanks again ..... Anil    



#73 tjz

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 02:18 PM

Thanks for a great list. Here is the SkySafari version for people who may want to use this list using other tools.

Yes, Don thanks for the great list! And thanks Pawan for converting to skylist format. Very useful!



#74 Anduin

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 02:52 PM

I am looking for the southern objects list, Bambury 600 if i am not mistaken, in SkySafari format. Can someone provide it ? Thanks very much for all who collaborated to this wonderful initiative.

Edited by Anduin, 04 June 2019 - 02:53 PM.


#75 jtsenghas

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 05:17 PM

.... If I am using a goto mount, is it necessary to use a guidescope for visual observation?..... 

It would probably be more successful for you for getting good information, and more courteous to Don, if you took such questions to one of the observing forums, including the Beginner's Forum. 

 

I will offer a preliminary answer, though. Even at relatively high magnifications, visual observing can be done with manual tracking, let alone goto mounts. With an equatorial mount only one axis needs to be rotated, which makes tracking easier. Guide scopes in astrophotography help to compensate for small errors in speed or direction of mounts. With close alignments and good mount speeds, however, image stacking software also can compensate enough for image drift to make guide scopes unnecessary for a lot of AP too. 


Edited by jtsenghas, 05 June 2019 - 05:18 PM.



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