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How many objects/hour do you observe?

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#51 Cajundaddy

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 11:26 AM

It varies.  smile.gif

 

A typical night for me is 3-4 hours and 8-10 objects, so 2-3 per hour.  I used to be in much more of a hurry to bag new discoveries, but after running through a couple of catalogs, I prefer to hang out longer at each object and explore it's finer details. 

 

There is no right answer and it is all personal preference.  What are your observing goals?  Do that.



#52 Hesiod

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 12:51 PM

I am a very "slow observer", at 1-3 per hour, even if , often, end my session by quickly gazing a bunch of objects I like above the others.

I have found that, to really see, my eyes need at least 15' of prolonged observation unless am very familiar with the specific object (the doubt that, more than seeing, am remembering, is still unresolved).

Especially the colors or to say it better, the tones, of star clusters become obvious after a prolonged observation: at a glance are basically all the same, with very few exceptions.



#53 vdog

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 02:44 PM

When seeking new targets, I'm averaging about 30 minutes per target.  This includes seeking time (some if which gets lost because I never find something on my list and have to move on), and time spent enjoying and trying different magnifications on targets that I do find. 

 

When I'm looking at old favorites, I go much faster.



#54 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 01:03 AM

High if my observing list is entirely new objects, perhaps 20 to 60 per session. They have 1 or 2 minutes each to impress me, with the special ones "bookmarked" for a lengthier return visits.

 

OTOH, if my list consists of previously seen (bookmarked) objects the count will be low since they are the stand-out objects and I am spending lots of time on each. Could be 1 to perhaps 8 objects per session on a night like that.

 

I'm more concerned about efficiency than raw count, because the real limit on my observing is available time. For example, a 4 hour time slot (start-to-finish) available. Whether it is New objects or Old, I want the most efficiency. 

 

Faced with those limits, I look at things that shift the balance from busy-work and distractions to eye-at-eyepiece time. The object count falls where it will.


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#55 Keith Rivich

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 12:05 PM

Having a big scope skews the results a bit.

 

Like Havasman mentioned (I think) I usually only plan for a handful of objects per night. However, while at the target DSO I may look at a dozen or so objects around it. During galaxy season I may look at a couple hundred of these "vicinity" objects on a given night. As Tony mentioned earlier most don't show much, if any, detail so I kind of just slide right past them. I don't even log them. "Small, round and stands out well with averted vision" covers the bulk of them. smile.gif  Some, though, will surprise me...on the chart its symbol looks like any other galaxy but in the eyepiece WOW!. That's why I look at as many as I can, you never know. And that's why I like using the Interstellarium Atlas...brighter interesting galaxies are marked differently. 



#56 Starman1

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 12:57 PM

Having a big scope skews the results a bit.

 

Like Havasman mentioned (I think) I usually only plan for a handful of objects per night. However, while at the target DSO I may look at a dozen or so objects around it. During galaxy season I may look at a couple hundred of these "vicinity" objects on a given night. As Tony mentioned earlier most don't show much, if any, detail so I kind of just slide right past them. I don't even log them. "Small, round and stands out well with averted vision" covers the bulk of them. smile.gif  Some, though, will surprise me...on the chart its symbol looks like any other galaxy but in the eyepiece WOW!. That's why I look at as many as I can, you never know. And that's why I like using the Interstellarium Atlas...brighter interesting galaxies are marked differently. 

That sort of describes how my "favorites" list crept past a couple thousand objects many years ago.

[Favorites are objects that you want to go back to visit every time you can because they are so interesting.]


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#57 dscarpa

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 09:52 AM

 All my mounts are find it yourself , my scopes have red dot and optical finders.  I observe from my darkish back yard facing south, sadly neighbors trees cramp my view in that direction. In the fall and winter when there're  bright stars to site the red dot finder  off I do pretty good. About 6 a hour but could find more if I wanted. In spring and summer I struggle . Other than M31 and M32 the way I observe galaxies is to look at pictures people here have taken of them. Thanks by the way!  M13? Unless it's your lucky night forget about it! I have at times observed no objects an hour. I've got a bad right eye which doesn't help when trying to pick out constellations. David


Edited by dscarpa, 30 June 2019 - 09:55 PM.

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#58 bbqediguana

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 05:58 PM

I realize the answer to this question is probably: "it varies"

If you were to say on a typical night, how many objects/hour are you observing? Does it depend on an evening's observing program?

I average 2 or 3 an hour. I don't have GOTO, but I used to and I found it caused me to be an astro-tourist - flitting from one object to the next. So I intentionally got rid of it and went back to my printed star chart ways - at first it was a bit difficult to "force" myself to stay on one object for 15 or 20 minutes, but I soon found that it and it made me a much, MUCH better observer. Now I really enjoy taking my time and investigating each object.

 

I often to figure out a list of objects that I'd like to visit on a given night - it's usually pretty short... 8-10 objects.

 

Cheers!

Rick in Canada (eh!)


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#59 Corcaroli78

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 07:12 AM

Hi All!

 

Under right conditions (no wind, no mosquitoes and no cold weather), I observe between 2 to max 10 objects per hour including finding them manually. Observing is not a race for me and I like to combine binoculars and telescope (a 4") to evaluate how the objects looks under different magnification and eyepieces (or binoculars). 

 

Sometimes I just observe 1-2 objects in one hour, so I can really study structure and star patterns around it. I want to start sketching and recording them in a log, so i assume it will slow my pace but I am satisfied with that. 

 

Carlos


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#60 Corcaroli78

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 07:35 AM

I average 2 or 3 an hour. I don't have GOTO, but I used to and I found it caused me to be an astro-tourist - flitting from one object to the next. So I intentionally got rid of it and went back to my printed star chart ways - at first it was a bit difficult to "force" myself to stay on one object for 15 or 20 minutes, but I soon found that it and it made me a much, MUCH better observer. Now I really enjoy taking my time and investigating each object.

 

I often to figure out a list of objects that I'd like to visit on a given night - it's usually pretty short... 8-10 objects.

 

Cheers!

Rick in Canada (eh!)

Hi Rick,

 

I agree with you. I am not using Goto anymore. never worked for me and i can see that i improve my skills, but at the cost to observe less (max 10 objects in a 2 hrs session).  And for people in northern latitudes with almost same constellation all the year, we do not want to watch all the objects of the season in only one night!! 

 

Carlos


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#61 Starman1

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 09:48 AM

Hi Rick,

 

I agree with you. I am not using Goto anymore. never worked for me and i can see that i improve my skills, but at the cost to observe less (max 10 objects in a 2 hrs session).  And for people in northern latitudes with almost same constellation all the year, we do not want to watch all the objects of the season in only one night!! 

 

Carlos

LOL.

 

My planning log showed I had >2000 objects to view in Virgo alone that were within reach of the 12.5" that I haven't already observed, and my log shows hundreds in Virgo already..

At 100 objects per night, and only, on average, one clear night all-nighter per month to view, and maybe Virgo in 4 of them, that is 5 years on just Virgo alone, IF I observed Virgo from horizon to horizon each time, which I don't of course.

And 2000 is the low estimate of objects in Virgo I haven't already seen.

 

With maybe 31-35000 objects visible to a 12.5" (and it may be more), at 100 objects per clear night, that's 26 years of observing.

Lower it to 50 objects per night, and that's 52 years.

Lower it to 25 objects per night and it's 104 years.

 

I could observe more than 1 night a month, of course.  But, given I have to travel 100 miles to see a dark sky, once a month is fine.

 

This is only a fun way to say don't worry about running out of objects to view.  You simply won't live long enough.

I gave up a few years ago on the idea of seeing all there was to see.


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#62 Corcaroli78

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 10:43 AM

LOL.

 

My planning log showed I had >2000 objects to view in Virgo alone that were within reach of the 12.5" that I haven't already observed, and my log shows hundreds in Virgo already..

At 100 objects per night, and only, on average, one clear night all-nighter per month to view, and maybe Virgo in 4 of them, that is 5 years on just Virgo alone, IF I observed Virgo from horizon to horizon each time, which I don't of course.

And 2000 is the low estimate of objects in Virgo I haven't already seen.

 

With maybe 31-35000 objects visible to a 12.5" (and it may be more), at 100 objects per clear night, that's 26 years of observing.

Lower it to 50 objects per night, and that's 52 years.

Lower it to 25 objects per night and it's 104 years.

 

I could observe more than 1 night a month, of course.  But, given I have to travel 100 miles to see a dark sky, once a month is fine.

 

This is only a fun way to say don't worry about running out of objects to view.  You simply won't live long enough.

I gave up a few years ago on the idea of seeing all there was to see.

Hi Don,

 

When I had a bigger aperture scope (8") in a more convenient latitude  (20' N) i was observing many more objects than today at 55* N and with a 4". I can only imagine how it could be to have a 12,5" ! pointing to any galaxy cluster or the Milky way would be a fest! bigshock.gif .... But that is not my situation now.

 

I do my best to manually find each object, try different magnifications and learn where is located. I am aware i will not see even a small part of the objects, but I will see what i can! 

 

Clear skies waytogo.gif !

 

Carlos 



#63 Starman1

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 01:11 PM

Carlos,

 

There are several thousand star clusters alone that are visible in a 4" scope (I own a 4" refractor also), plus hundreds of carbon stars, thousands of double stars,

the Moon, the planets, the sun, hundreds of planetary nebulae+galaxies+nebulae+comets++++.

If, for some reason, I confined myself to my 4", I still wouldn't live long enough.

I haven't finished the Lunar 100 yet.

Cassiopeia alone would take months, and that would be without revisiting the favorites.

Observing the sky is something that takes many lifetimes, I think.

 

A couple books you might enjoy:

"Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes" by the Rev.James.T.W. Webb, volumes 1 and 2 ©1859  Dover Books.  Lots of this stuff is visible in 2" (!).

"Star Clusters" by Brent A. Archinal and Steven J. Hynes ©2003  Willmann-Bell publisher.  How about thousands of objects not in the Messier or NGC lists--a lot of them great in 4"?

Look at the Sky & Telescope site for Colorful Double Stars and More Colorful Double Stars.  Some real beauties there.

 

But I hear what you say.  Do you know the small triangle at the foot of Cepheus (δ Cephei, the variable is one of them)?  There is a nice little star cluster, NGC7261, right in the middle of it

that I've seen with my 4".

here is a nice image: https://www.google.c...8H3-yIjy779o-M:

here is a map: https://in-the-sky.o...3333&limitmag=2

More info: http://images.mantra... 01.0/index.htm

It's easy to find and easy to see.  It's big (maybe 15' long) and bright.

and it's better in a 4" than my 12.5".

And that is only one of hundreds.  

 

You won't see thousands of faint galaxies.  But I bet you'll see more star clusters, and better, than those with larger scopes.


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#64 Araguaia

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 02:45 PM

...and that would be without revisiting the favorites.

 

 

 

... and how can one not revisit favorites?  They are favorites precisely because they show so much detail.  Every year I seem to see new features in M101, M83, the great HII regions, the little NGC globs... and every year when they reappear I seem to get a better grasp of their overall structure.  I would say 80% of my observing is revisiting the favorites, and the more the list grows, the worse it gets.

 

And then there is the time devoted to aimless sweeping.  Last night I spent about a half hour in the Milky Way west of Sagittarius at low power, finding all sorts of intricate dark nebulas, strings of open clusters, occasional globular clusters, patches of bright nebulosity... I have no idea what their catalog numbers are, nor can I be bothered to find out - stopping to ID an object I run into would take away from the magic...


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#65 Starman1

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 03:06 PM

You could do what my wife does--she sweeps the Milky Way, finds something interesting, then calls me over and asks, "What's that?"

lol.gif

It's like "How do you outrun a bear?  You run with somebody a bit slower than you are."

Just observe with a buddy who's seen it all a thousand times.

My wife says it's easier than using a star atlas, even though the scope has digital setting circles set on RA/DEC and she has a star atlas handy.


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#66 Araguaia

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 06:17 AM

You could do what my wife does--she sweeps the Milky Way, finds something interesting, then calls me over and asks, "What's that?"

lol.gif

It's like "How do you outrun a bear?  You run with somebody a bit slower than you are."

Just observe with a buddy who's seen it all a thousand times.

My wife says it's easier than using a star atlas, even though the scope has digital setting circles set on RA/DEC and she has a star atlas handy.

 

You'll have to come visit for that to work.  I believe I am the most experienced observer - heck, probably the only observer - within a 1000 km radius.

 

But really, there are so many DSOs... even if someone told me I was looking at NGC wxyz, unless it was a remarkable object, I would be most unlikely to remember its "name" the next night, or to remember what it looks like if someone mentioned it by name.



#67 Miranda2525

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 01:23 PM

I don't observe by the hour, I observe to look at something. Might be 15 min on one thing, might be 5 minutes, it might be 30 min. Lol.


Edited by Miranda2525, 04 July 2019 - 01:25 PM.

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#68 bbqediguana

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 01:36 PM

I don't observe by the hour, I observe to look at something. Might be 15 min on one thing, might be 5 minutes, it might be 30 min. Lol.

What? I don't know about you, but I'm sponsored by TASCO - I get paid 1 eyepiece barrel per hour for observing. lol.gif


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#69 Miranda2525

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 04:55 PM

What? I don't know about you, but I'm sponsored by TASCO - I get paid 1 eyepiece barrel per hour for observing. lol.gif

That would be a perfect job !!! :lol:  



#70 lsfinn

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 01:00 PM

One of the joys of regularly observing with others is seeing how different people approach observing. I especially enjoy observing observers at star parties (when I’m taking a break from my own observing). 

 

Top-line answer to the question: anywhere between ~1/hr and 5-6/hr. How that time breaks down has to do with how I observe, which - if anyone is interested - I descibe below. 

 

I would say that I observe “deliberately.”

 

I usually start each night with a long list, roughly organized by RA and constellation. The list is much longer than I can possibly get through in a night and includes objects that are on my never-have-observed, need-to-re-observe, and want-to-re-observe lists, all appropriately highlighted so that I can tell them apart under lighting that keeps me dark adapted. As I observe, I move from low to high RA, skipping objects on the list so that I’m staying in the “comfort spot” for observing with my scope (e.g., I avoid the zenith when working with my ‘frac and dob, and generally try to keep the eyepiece at a height that doesn’t have me trying to climb a ladder to get to my chair, or set the chair seat too close to the ground). As I observe I also note what that night’s sky can stand in terms of magnification and magnitude. This also affects what I skip from my list. 

 

Having decided on the next object I’m going to try to observe I head to it. Sometimes I Go-To, sometimes I Star-Hop. (I’ve never Pushed-To.) If I’m hopping, then its so my notes and finder charts (prepared beforehand) to review the hop. When hopping the hop can take quite a bit of time, depending on its complexity and what I spy along the way. If I see something interesting then I’ll pause, go back to my detailed charts to id the object, and then make appropriate notes. (I use a voice recorder for notes, which I make at the eyepiece. These notes always include object id, type, and details relevant to type (e.g., shape, size, brightness and brightness profile, position angle, separation, cluster class, etc.)

 

When I locate the object - or not - I study and enjoy it, vary magnifications and perhaps use different filters to bring out (or try to bring out) details, and make any additional notes. When I’ve had my fill of the object, it’s back to my list to determine - based on time, sky, and whim - what’s next. 

 

Thus, I may take as little as five minutes between observations (i.e., ~12/hr) or as much as an hour between observations. The fraction of time spent actually observing an object may be as great as 80-90%, or as little as 10%. Rarely do I spend less than 3-4 minutes enjoying the object and making voice notes. 


Edited by lsfinn, 21 July 2019 - 09:22 PM.


#71 aeromarmot

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:26 PM

2 to 6 per hour.  Sometimes I will stare at a DSO for a very long time, trying to see all the details and enjoy the view.  If viewing is good, and I find a real gem like the double cluster, Lagoon Nebula, or a beautiful globular I could easily spend 1/2 an hour with it!


Edited by aeromarmot, 07 August 2019 - 09:26 PM.


#72 aatt

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:33 PM

I really can’t say. I am a bit rusty these days. I got off 17 objects the other night. I would say that a year ago I was doing around mid thirties. So that would mean 5 to 10 per hour.that being said nThe phantom streak nebula drove me crazy the other night. I just could not find the thing. The blinking planetary also gave me pause, but I did get it. It used to be something I could dial in from memory.I am slipping a bit.

#73 CrazyPanda

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 09:01 PM

I realize the answer to this question is probably: "it varies"

If you were to say on a typical night, how many objects/hour are you observing? Does it depend on an evening's observing program?

It definitely depends, but generally my observing process is this:

 

1. I start with a list of 30 or so objects that I think are within reach of my scope and light pollution levels (this is planned out ahead of time)

2. I'll then observe each at several different magnifications looking for whatever characteristics I can see (color, shape, central stars, texture, structure etc). This typically means spending anywhere from 30 seconds to 15 minutes per magnification level.

3. Then I'll spend about 5 minutes writing up my observations for that object. So maybe around 20-30 minutes total per object at the most, sometimes just a couple of minutes.

 

Other nights I don't have an observing plan and just meander through known objects, or peruse Sky Safari looking for new ones.

 

Still other nights I look for challenging or obscure objects, and usually fail to see them or see any detail in them, so I move on rather quickly.


Edited by CrazyPanda, 08 August 2019 - 09:02 PM.


#74 nimitz69

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:05 PM

Given the number of available nights to observe due to weather I like to view as many objects as I can during a session. Like a couple have said, once its obvious that there is no more detail to be seen its on to the next object, that could be 10 seconds or 10 minutes. I let the object dictate how long I look at it and then its on to the next ... GOTO is your friend ....

#75 Jeff Young

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 07:35 AM

I use GOTO from home at 54ºN.

I research between 6 and 8 objects for an average 1-1/2 hour session.

I usually sketch 2 and view another 1 or 2 (so that's about 2/hour).

 

We take summer vacations at 33ºN.

I've less aperture there, but darker skies, so it about evens out.  GOTO mount.

Research will again be 6 to 8 objects; sessions average a bit longer at 2 hours.

I usually sketch 2 and view another 2 or 3, so roughly the same rate.

 

Cheers,

Jeff.




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