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Return of an old winter friend

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#1 M11Mike

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 11:47 PM

I don't do much winter observing here in COLD rural upstate New York (cloudy 75% of the time / moon out 50% of the time / windy 25% of the time, etc.) but tonight it was crystal clear and as I was closing up the garage for the night --- there they were (in all their glory) - an old winter night-time friend - THE PLEIADES - THE 7 SISTERS.  Grabbed my Celestron 9x63 Ultimas and what a great sight.   They are so marvelous - I think almost best seen in large aperture binos.   

 

And just coming up (still in the trees) - my first winter night sky view of the GREAT HUNTER - ORION - with the magnificent M42.

 

For that - it's worth getting the scope out - even if it's 20 degrees (or less) !!!

 

Mike P (Ballston Lake, NY)

 

 


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#2 Chrysovellus

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 12:14 AM

Orion is incredible on a clear, dark night.  To me, the only asterism that competes is the Big Dipper ... especially when it begins its rise in the Northeast.  


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#3 MikeTahtib

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:51 AM

Orion is incredible on a clear, dark night.  To me, the only asterism that competes is the Big Dipper ... especially when it begins its rise in the Northeast.  

That's a tough road to head down.  I was thinking about this the other day - what are my favorite asterisms/constellations?  As I went through the ones I know, they almost all had some great association of when I first found them, or some thing about them that I like.  Certainly Orion has to rank near the top; Big dipper and Cassiopeia too, the two great signposts of the night sky in the northern latitudes.  I also have to throw Cygnus in there, for actually looking like what it is supposed to be, for it's large gracefulness, for its treasure trove of telescope stuff, for it's attendant flock of small constellations with their own spectacular objects.


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#4 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 03:21 AM

The two constellations that probably most closely resemble their namesakes are Scorpius and Triangulum. wink.gif

 

Dave Mitsky


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#5 MathiasV

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 02:28 PM

Indeed, this is a lovely part of the sky. Pleiades, Hyades, Orion. And I agree that the Pleiades look best through binos ! 



#6 REC

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 03:18 PM

Indeed, this is a lovely part of the sky. Pleiades, Hyades, Orion. And I agree that the Pleiades look best through binos ! 

Yeah, sure is a great part of the sky, along with Auriga. Orion comes up over the horizon with the 3 belt stars in a vertical position. Fun to watch it rise an rotate as it gets higher in the sky and then stand upright in the south.


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#7 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 03:39 PM

I too have been anxious for the winter constellations ... Certainly Orion ranks up at the top as does Cassiopeia

waytogo.gif Not as cold here in central Texas either grin.gif  and probably not as pretty as your area either! Have fun observing!


Edited by CelestronDaddy, 22 November 2017 - 03:39 PM.


#8 M11Mike

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 03:54 PM

MV - I see you chose the same scope as I --- 8SE. 

 

Hard to beat for the $$$.  Plenty of BOTH "light gathering" and "magnifying" power, compact and relatively light-weight (I transport mine all the time - "grab & go" to me),  good optics, "go-to" & tracking, all the compatible accessories one could imagine.

 

MP/BLNY         



#9 bakeman8

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:18 PM

I always hold the summer sky in high regard mainly because I feel I get so much less time to appreciate its beauty.  But your right when i see Orion "step" up and over the horizon it always makes me smile.  As far as asterisms I think the teapot is certainly top 3.



#10 MikeTahtib

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:30 PM

I've been to the RAC Summer Star Party a few tiems, late summer, and it is definitely a happy event to see Orion sliding up over the horizon just as dawn comes.



#11 Astroman007

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:43 PM

Orion is my favorite constellation, and the winter sky contains some of the very best and brightest objects to observe.

 

Martin.



#12 MikeTahtib

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 07:00 PM

Orion is my favorite constellation, and the winter sky contains some of the very best and brightest objects to observe.

 

Martin.

What are your favorites (of course, other than the Great Nebula)? 


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#13 Astroman007

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 09:50 PM

^^ Winter Milky Way (sparse, yet beautiful), Orion's Belt, NGC 1981 (just north of Great Nebula), Pleiades, Double Cluster, Christmas Tree Cluster, Hyades, Rosette Nebula and associated cluster NGC 2244, M50, NGC 2232, Beehive Cluster, M48, M41, M79, Alpha Persei Cluster, M36, M37, M38, M35, NGC 1627, NGC 1746, M47 and M46...those are just a few that quickly come to mind right now, and I am probably forgetting quite a few others. But as a dedicated binocular astronomer, these are the ones (besides the Great Nebula M42, as you requested) that are my very favorite winter objects that bring me hours of unspeakable joy and flood my memory with glorious views, through varying instruments, that I can never forget.

And how about you? What are your favorites?

 

Martin.


Edited by Astroman007, 25 November 2017 - 09:52 PM.

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#14 MikeTahtib

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 03:00 AM

A few of my favorites are some yu mentioned - the 3 Messier clusters in Auriga, M35 in Gemini.  The double cluster is one of my all-time favorites, due in part to the way I just tumbled across it at my first star party, and had never heard of it before.  I thought I could see some haziness and pointed my scope to it and was completely astonished , and thought wow, a double star cluster, I wonder what it's called.  I was fortunate that my scope was set up for a 2 degree TFOV.  As a telescope observer, the beehive and Pleiades have always been frustrating, as I can't get far enough away from them.  I have a new pair of 15x70s on the way, which I'm hoping will have a big enough field of view to show these well.

I've only been at this for 2 years, so am still learning my way around the sky.  I will have to check out some of your objects.  Have you really seen the Rosette nebula?  I've had my scope pointed right at it (the ladder-like cluster in the middle of it, at least), and seen nothing.  I think I might have seen it in a way, in that there were areas of black sky with no stars, and I wondered if that was how it ws to be identified, by the stars it blocks.  Again, I think even my lowest magnification is still too much to see this al in context.


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#15 Astroman007

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 04:21 AM

Yes, I saw the Rosette Nebula in binoculars, only once that I can remember right now. It appeared as a ghostly wreath of milky grayish haze (with just the slightest hint of red) around the central star cluster, but it was still a great memory which is why I included it here (averted vision helps a lot, too). The visible parts of the nebula don't block the stars, it's just how the distribution of stars in the sky varies. And I intend to look for it again this winter whenever conditions are ideal. Remember, I live under mag 6 to 6.5 skies, so that certainly helps. I am seriously considering 16x70s just now, but I won't say anything more about that until I actually get them...then I will announce it! Regardless, check out my list (both with your scope at low power and with your binoculars when they arrive) and enjoy! You won't regret trying for any of them, and I trust many will become new favorites for you. By the way, I've been at this for over eleven years (ever since I was seven), and believe me binocular astronomy is deeply satisfying and will show you many things you could never have dreamed you would see with such humble instruments.

I wish you success in your binocular (and scope) endeavors and many clear, dark, beautiful winter nights.

 

All the best,

 

Martin.


Edited by Astroman007, 26 November 2017 - 04:37 AM.

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