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What DSO did you just observe for the first time? Rate it 1 to 5.

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#226 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:15 PM

Hi Dave,

I went to that apod picture and was blown away.  Do you have observing notes on this that you would be willing to share?  I have observed a handful of UGC galaxies and 12591's interesting story certainly puts it on the list.

 

I was in your neighborhood, relatively speaking, two weeks ago.  Ironically my first trip to Cherry Springs state park was at full moon.  I was meeting family in Potter county for a guys weekend.  We played golf, they didn't consider the moon cycle when they invited me to dark skies.  The mountain golf courses were almost adequate compensation.

It was quite late by then and my memory regarding things is a bit lacking, plus it was a rather precarious perch on the ladder so I didn't spend too much time up there.  I believe a 10mm Ethos (292x?) may have been in the focuser at the time.  I was able to see the galaxy immediately as a faint streak without resorting to extremes.  I was also able to perceive a stellar core.

The owner of the 25" had a galaxy that was over a billion light years distant in his telescope a bit later but I was unable to see that one.  At one point during the session, I had one of my best-ever views of M76 through his scope.
 

Another CAS member was looking at globular clusters in M31 with his 22" f/4.2 UC Obsession Dob.  I hadn't seen G1 (Mayall II) in quite some time so that was another noteworthy view.

https://deepsky.astr...g1/index.en.php

My favorite view of the night was of NGC 6992/6995 through another member's 22" f/3.6 SDM Dob, a 30mm Leitz Planokular eyepiece, and one of the new Tele Vue Bandmate filters.

I had planned on going to Cherry Springs yesterday but I had to change my plans. 


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#227 CrazyPanda

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:24 PM

I also viewed a planetary nebula in Cygnus that I hadn't see before through a 20" f/3 Dob belonging to another CAS member.  NGC 7048 was rather faint and circular in appearance.  I'll also give it a 1.5 visual rating.
 
http://www.kopernik....chive/n7048.htm

That's about what I rated it. From my observing log in my 15":
 
 

Small, very faint. No color. No central star. Looks like mini lagoon nebula at 137x (like a fat banana).  Slightly more rounded shape at 137x with OIII and averted vision. Round shape still visible at 214x. Very very subtle mottling texture at 274x. Higher magnification isn't useful.
 
2/5


Edited by CrazyPanda, 30 August 2019 - 02:40 PM.


#228 CrazyPanda

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:30 PM

Saw a number of first time objects last night. Many globs, new carbon stars, even randomly discovered a nice carbon star that wasn't in the carbon star list I have from Sky Safari Pro. (The star is RS Cyg if anyone is curious. Quite deep orange-red. Similar to S Cep).
 
The one that stood out the most from last night's session for me was the Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888).
 
I've typically avoided nebulae like these as I just assume they are too faint to see from my location most of the time, but it was quite obvious at 90x with a scrappy 25 year-old Meade O-III. Very distinctive shape that was brighter on one end than the other. Averted vision showed some texture and tendrils in the brighter part of the arc.
 
I'd rate it 4/5 - there's definitely some interesting stuff going on in there that begs for more observing time and a better filter. My secondary was even fogging up at the time of the observation, so I need to revisit this with a fresh session.

Edited by CrazyPanda, 30 August 2019 - 03:56 PM.

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#229 MikeTahtib

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 07:44 PM

Saw a number of first time objects last night. Many globs, new carbon stars, even randomly discovered a nice carbon star that wasn't in the carbon star list I have from Sky Safari Pro. (The star is RS Cyg if anyone is curious. Quite deep orange-red. Similar to S Cep).
 
The one that stood out the most from last night's session for me was the Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888).
 
I've typically avoided nebulae like these as I just assume they are too faint to see from my location most of the time, but it was quite obvious at 90x with a scrappy 25 year-old Meade O-III. Very distinctive shape that was brighter on one end than the other. Averted vision showed some texture and tendrils in the brighter part of the arc.
 
I'd rate it 4/5 - there's definitely some interesting stuff going on in there that begs for more observing time and a better filter. My secondary was even fogging up at the time of the observation, so I need to revisit this with a fresh session.

The Crescent Nebula is a good one from a dark site.  I had a good view of it last year at Acadia.  I'm hoping for good weather again this year (next new moon).  I didn't see any of the tendrils; I'll take a closer look this time.



#230 Asbytec

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 04:28 AM

I just popped in to mention NGC 1073, a very difficult observation. Ironically I ran into the unread posts about the ratings controversy thinking about this object, among others, and the rating system. I enjoyed it so much I'd rate it a 5. Not so much on the detail visible, but that anything was visible. It took some effort and was very rewarding. Anyway, it's not a showcase 5, but it's a nice object for probably mid apertures and larger. 

 

Rating is brightness 1/5, detail 2/5, overall 5/5. lol.gif

 

https://www.cloudyni...1073/?p=9064482


Edited by Asbytec, 31 August 2019 - 04:34 AM.

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#231 CrazyPanda

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:53 AM

The Crescent Nebula is a good one from a dark site.  I had a good view of it last year at Acadia.  I'm hoping for good weather again this year (next new moon).  I didn't see any of the tendrils; I'll take a closer look this time.


Had a great view of it again last night. Much better transparency than the night before and no foggy secondary.

The whole crescent shape and "filler" in the middle of the arc was visible with O-III. Bright southern side was visible without O-III, with maybe a hint of the northern side.

A chain of bright stars were visible just inside the bright upper southern rim, with faint knotty-like structure above those

Could just make out the brighter patch of light leaving from the top center of the nebula towards the brighter star in the center.

Fainter hints of fingers protruding inwards from the southern most edge of the arc.

Definitely a cool object. Looking forward to getting more observing experience with it.
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#232 tchandler

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:07 AM

From a deep dark sky site last night there were three new (to me) DSOs to add to the list, all planetaries.

Observed with Teeter STS11 at 150X and/or 240X. Using sky safari and tried and true star hopping technology.

 

IC 3568 - The Lemon Slice Nebula in Camelopardalus 

Eluded me on several previous attempts, almost a white whale of a sort. I think I was using too low a magnification. It’s small and rather faint but clearly non stellar at 150X. Not as good a view at 240X; kind of washed out. I’d rate it a 3 because I’m a real sucker for planetary nebulae. No central star visible. Shape somewhat oval. It’s located close to the pole and a lovely double HR 4893 Cam as a little bonus? and which contributes to the score. 

 

NGC 40 - Bow tie Nebula in Cepheus

A splendid little star puff. Almost double the size of IC 3568 and with a pronounced central star visible directly and at all times. It seemed to me to be a ghost of the Cat’s Eye Nebula in Draco. This little guy had also eluded me for a long while so it was a real treat to finally track it down. This is a 4 for its decent size (about 30-40”) and for a splendid central star. 

 

NGC 6905 - The Blue Flash Nebula in Delphinus

Delphinus is home to two small globulars that are within reach of small telescopes: NGC 6934, which was partially resolved and the fainter NGC 7006. I usually have some trouble finding both, but not last night. This encouraged me to go after NGC 6905, off the starless wilds of the northwest corner of this little constellation. Finding it was greatly helped by the two fifth magnitude stars 29 Vul and Rho Aql being visible naked eye. I saw no colouration in the nebula, as suggested by its evocative name but it was fairly bright. No central star so perhaps a 3.5. 


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#233 vdog

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 11:11 AM

Had a great view of it again last night. Much better transparency than the night before and no foggy secondary.

The whole crescent shape and "filler" in the middle of the arc was visible with O-III. Bright southern side was visible without O-III, with maybe a hint of the northern side.

A chain of bright stars were visible just inside the bright upper southern rim, with faint knotty-like structure above those

Could just make out the brighter patch of light leaving from the top center of the nebula towards the brighter star in the center.

Fainter hints of fingers protruding inwards from the southern most edge of the arc.

Definitely a cool object. Looking forward to getting more observing experience with it.

Ahh, the Crescent Nebula. So far, this is among the targets I've "seen" rather than seen, meaning it's one of those where I have only seen enough to know something is there rather than really knowing what it looks like.  I'll actually be able to put in some observing time tonight, so I'll give this another look.  Reports like this fuel my optimism, which does pay off sometimes.



#234 Inkswitch

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 02:10 PM

Last night.  All observations with 300mm reflector.

 

NGC 6738 OC Aquila, easily found at 45X, moderately detached, middle ground between sparse and rich, using 88X I stopped counting at 25 stars.  There are many, many dim stars.  Researching today I find that Mr. Herschel "rick rolled" me again.  According to wikipedia and Mr. Gottlieb's NGC notes, this is likely not a cluster at all.  I must say that it would have fooled me.  3/5.

 

NGC 6709 OC Aquila, I didn't change from 88X when I hopped from 6738 to 6709.  6709 is very well detached and rich, looks like 100-ish stars visible, gives a 3d effect with at least four distinct brightness levels of stars, like the bright ones are close and the dim ones are far.  This is the finest open cluster I have seen to date that was not called double cluster or was not part of the M catalog.  4/5.

 

NGC 6724 OC Aquila, wasn't seen at 45X, found at 88X, once found it is reasonably detached as a dim glow, had to use averted at 188X in order to count 10 stars, the diffuse glow is still in evidence, suggesting more.  Mr. Gottlieb's notes point to research that suggest this is not a cluster.  Frankly I am surprised that this one made the list as I never would have spotted it, even with a careful low power examination of the field, if the atlas hadn't prompted me to keep looking.  3/5, not super tough but a snipe hunt for sure.


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#235 IMB

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 01:00 PM

Last night observed 6 new objects with my 120 mm refractor. I rank the observation site as Bortle 5 - the Milky Way was visible, but it wasn't very prominent or detailed. Initially, no clouds. Transparency was below average for the site. I won't rank my observations. I intend to reobserve these objects under better conditions.

 

- NGC 7662 (Blue Snowball): small and very bright, immediately apparent under low power

 

- M76: small, quite faint, a DGM NPB filter didn't do much to enhance its appearance, best viewed under medium power

 

- NGC 7293 (Helix Nebula): very large and dim, first noticed with averted vision, responded well to a DGM NPB filter

 

- NGC 6934 (GC in Del): small, but easy to spot under low power

 

- NGC 7006 (GC in Del): smaller and dimmer than NGC 6934

 

- NGC 6826 (GC in Her): quite comparable in appearance to NGC 6934 - small, but easy to spot


Edited by IMB, 05 September 2019 - 01:26 PM.

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#236 CrazyPanda

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 03:27 PM

Had an incredible night last night that just kept getting better, but the two new standouts for me were the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) and The Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253)

 

Helix Nebula was just 25 degrees above the horizon for me. It was immediately obvious as a large fuzzy patch in my 60mm finder at just 10x magnification. Looking through the 15" at 137x showed basically just a larger fuzzy patch with no definition. I could tell that 137x was a bit much for this object and its brightness, so I dropped it down to 90x and put an OIII on it, and wow. Obvious elongated ring shape with hints of rough edges. No hint of a central star, but I didn't have very long to observe it before it ducked behind a tree. Was surprised at how clear it was despite the light pollution it sits in. OIII filters are like magic. Would rate it 4/5.

 

Sculptor Galaxy was just 21 degrees above the horizon, and required me to reposition my scope to find a slot between the trees to see it. I knew it was a large edge-on galaxy, but wasn't expecting it to to be that large. I started off at 100x and was surprised to see it extend about a half degree across the eyepiece, which was about half the field of view. The very edges were extremely faint and hard to see without averted vision, but a large chunk of the core (maybe about 1/4 degree) was well defined. Using 214x showed some texture and mottling. There aren't many objects that make me go "I really need to get out to a dark sky", but this was one. This would have been incredible from a truly dark location. 4/5 as well.

 

Also, because transparency was some of the best I've seen from my location last night, I decided to revisit some old favorites and spend more time observing them.

The first was M33. Last night was so good I finally could see this naked eye in averted vision. It was exceptionally faint, but I was able to aim my Rigel at the fuzzy patch that I saw and sure enough it was dead center in the finder. So I don't know if it was the transparency last night or my new 15", but this thing was absolutely littered with star forming regions. I've known about NGC 604 for quite some time, which has always been an easy target, but every IC nebula part of M33 listed in Sky Safari Pro was easily visible, and then some. Wonderful spiral structure visible. I also decided to hit NGC 604 with high magnification for the first time, and it has some obvious texture to it at 571x. Would make an interesting big scope target from a dark sky. I think M51 is still my favorite galaxy, but I gained a whole new appreciation for M33 last night. 5/5

 

The next was M76 - the Little Dumbbell nebula. Again, this is an object I've seen many times, but tonight was the first time in the 15". Prior observations showed the obvious dumbbell shape that gave it is name, but tonight I saw something new: the faint bubbles protruding off the broad sides of the nebula. I didn't know those were even there, and at first I thought there was something wrong my vision, but sure enough, they were were there. I couldn't see a definitive shape to them, just a glow extending out from each broad side of the main dumbbell core. The northern most one was the brightest and had a kind of bright streak in it. The southern one was a dim uniform patch. These were visible without an OIII at 100x and 3.78mm exit pupil, and at 137x and 2.78mm exit pupil. Throwing an OIII filter on at 137x helped a tiny bit, but not as much as say, the Helix Nebula. I wonder if a good narrowband filter or perhaps an H-Beta filter might work better for this nebula (or perhaps just a better quality OIII). 4/5

 

Overall a great night.


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#237 Redbetter

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 05:17 PM

A couple on PN's to rate:

  • MWP1 - visually somewhere between 1 and 2/5...maybe 1.5 because some of its shape and structure is seen and the central star can be identified.  3 or even 4/5 for its unusual character as an ancient planetary.
  • NGC 7048 - 3/5 since it is round and of relatively even brightness with only slight annular nature.  Relatively bright, not hard to see, call it an "average" planetary.  Has two very faint stars on the NE and NW edge (one within the nebula) that made it appear to have some extension at lower power, but the true nature was apparent at higher power. 
  • NGC 7027 - 3/5 or maybe even 4/5 visually if the seeing had been better.  Very small, exceedingly high surface brightness, with some odd/interesting structure.  This is a very young PN, roughly 600 years.
  • IC 5117 - 1/5 visually.  Extremely small, stellar even at high power, takes more mag and better seeing to somewhat resolve it.  OIII filter helps mainly in making it appear brighter relative to nearby star, confirming its nature.  A lot of work since it took me three tries and somewhat steadier skies to confirm it, but at ~1.5" effective size it is the smallest PN I have successfully observed.

Edited by Redbetter, 05 September 2019 - 11:17 PM.

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#238 Inkswitch

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 01:44 PM

Last night.  300mm reflector.

 

NGC 6950 OC Delphinus.  I am not even sure I observed this object.  At the location there are 20-25 stars that appear approx the same magnitude and exhibit the same blue-white color.  This group looks like a very loose cluster, the atlas (Interstellarum) has the cluster size marked as much smaller than this group.  Double checking in Uranometria today, I see this atlas shows the same size.  Within this loose group, there is a misty patch that I could not resolve into stars.  This patch is much smaller than the size shown in the atlas.  This one is a puzzle.  You may be able to get some wows at outreach with this one though.  You probably won't be lying if you say cluster, those blue stars have to be related, they looks like clones of each other.  3/5

 

NGC 6905 PN Delphinus.  Wasn't sure I had it at 47X, nothing else in the field looked like a PN but there was a group of stars surrounding the nebulosity.  94X cleared the matter up.  The nebula is attended by four stars, 2 are nearly equal RA to the nebula and boarder it to the N and S, 2 stars trail the nebula.  Also viewed at 188X and 250X with and without filter.  UHC improved but not as much as OIII.  The central star was not in evidence.  At 188X, averted, there appears to be a dimness, almost a hole in the middle.  It is round-ish, a little squared off, wouldn't call it oval.  Generally brighter on east side with a small knot that is the very brightest part almost due east.  This one will draw some wow's.  4/5

 

NGC 6956 GX Delphinus.  This one was dim but I easily picked it up once I knew exactly where to look.  I checked the field, and didn't see it.  I went back to the atlas and found it was in the center of a triangle asterism that just fit in my field at 47X.  Once I had the field aligned it was easy to pick out.  I couldn't squeeze much out of this one.  Dim, oval, elongated slightly E/W, very brilliant core.  3/5

 

NGC 7006 GC Delphinus.  Easy to pick up at 47X.  Compact and faint.  I could occasionally pick up a halo star or three at 94X.  At 188X and 250X I was able to get 10-12 halo stars popping in and out.  I may have resolved one or two in the main body, very briefly.  3/5


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#239 Inkswitch

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 06:25 PM

NGC 6956 GX Delphinus.  This one was dim but I easily picked it up once I knew exactly where to look.  I checked the field, and didn't see it.  I went back to the atlas and found it was in the center of a triangle asterism that just fit in my field at 47X.  Once I had the field aligned it was easy to pick out.  I couldn't squeeze much out of this one.  Dim, oval, elongated slightly E/W, very brilliant core.  3/5

 

Ugh.  Further research (Mr. Gottlieb's NGC notes) suggests my "brilliant core" was actually a foreground star.



#240 CrazyPanda

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 10:56 PM

Ugh.  Further research (Mr. Gottlieb's NGC notes) suggests my "brilliant core" was actually a foreground star.

Heh. I've mistaken foreground stars for extragalactic supernovae before. I mostly rely on Sky Safari Pro to verify what I'm seeing when I'm observing, but its star catalog is woefully incomplete for larger apertures. It refuses to show me stars fainter than 15th Mag despite having no limits on stars it can show me. I might have to pony up the extra $5 for the expanded star catalog.


Edited by CrazyPanda, 07 September 2019 - 12:06 AM.

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#241 Maxtrixbass

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 12:48 PM

A few nights ago before the moon took over..

 

M33. First time I've actually seen detail beyond "is something actually there??" . My bortle 4 skies were pretty good that night and, probably most of all, it was the first time going for it with my 12" dob.

 

Considering I have tried to see this for years walking away not certain I had and considering this time it clearly filled the entire eyepiece, I'd give it a 5/5. Rather thrilling actually.


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#242 vdog

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:55 AM

M33. First time I've actually seen detail beyond "is something actually there??" . My bortle 4 skies were pretty good that night and, probably most of all, it was the first time going for it with my 12" dob.

I had the same experience a few weeks ago during an a.m. session.  What an amazing target when you can actually see something besides an AV "glow."

 

Seems like forever since I was able to get out to look for new targets, but I had a nice window before moonrise last night:

 

NGC 637 -- What a cool little cluster.  Kind of looks like a scorpion.   5/5

NGC 559 -- Tiny, dense cluster.  Lots like these among the Herschel 400. 4/5

 

Lately, I've been plucking all the lower-hanging fruit from the Herschel 400 (mostly OCs), but they have been very enjoyable.


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