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

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#426 SeanStaresatStars

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 02:21 PM

Just started viewing DSOs recently, and after a lot of unsuccessful nights I've finally started to have some luck. I have racked up my first 17 Messier objects. 

 

Last night the one I found most striking was M64, found it a relatively bright smudge compared to some of the others I've seen recently. With my small scope and bortle 6/7 skies I would give it a 3. 

 

The first real faint fuzzy I found, just the other night, was M53. Before that I'd only found two open clusters (M44 and M35). It will be awhile before I forget the moment of excitement when I saw that larger pool of light, bright center in a dimmer pool, and processed what I was looking at even without being able to resolve individual stars. It's been a sprint since. 


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#427 bjkaras

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 11:03 PM

My first ever DSO was M57, though my old 6” f8. The first timer that made the biggest impression on me was Stefan’s Quintet through my 10” f5, because I was surprised to be able to find them at all. There’ve been too many other amazing ones to be able to count! Other favorites for me are the Helix Nebula, M35 and NGC 7331, all for different reasons.



#428 Rajput

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 09:19 AM

10inch F4.7 Dobsonian. Bortle 6/7 skies.

 

Got a brand new filter - a Lumicon UHC - a couple of weeks back but did not get a chance to try it out for some time. Finally got clear skies and no moon yesterday morning. Was out from about 1am to 4am to take advantage of them.

 

Saw the Veil nebula for the first time. I have tried to look for this several times in the past with no luck. Was finally able to see both the Western and Eastern Veils(not sure if they count as one or two DSOs - looks like they have different NGC numbers). Used 66x with the UHC.

 

Western - targeted this first since I could see 52 Cyg. and this runs right through it.  Saw it right away. Faint but unmistakable. Shows as a wispy band tapering into a point in one direction and fading away in the opposite direction. Eastern - a tad more well defined. This was a long smoky band which did not fit fully in FOV but was able to follow the arc by panning the scope. 4/5 in terms of visual look. But extremely happy to finally see them. 

 

Also revisited a couple which I've seen before - both 66x with the UHC.
M17 (Swan) and M8 (Lagoon) - saw a lot more detail on both - especially M8 which stood out a lot more than before. Shows up as a bright patch of nebulosity with two fainter but distinct patches separated from main body. 5/5.
M17 shows the "Swan" shape distinctly with a VERY faint wispy nebulosity around it (5/5 as well)

 

... and saw M20 (Trifid Nebula) for the first time. Used 66x with the filter again. Fainter than M8 and M17 and shows as a wide amount of nebulosity around a star. I wanted to increase magnification but did not want to fumble around with the filter in the dark. 3/5 in terms of visual look.

 

... and of course, since I had a great session out, the forecast is for rain and clouds for the next 10 days ...


Edited by Rajput, 22 May 2020 - 09:20 AM.

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#429 Eliserpens

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 01:37 PM


... and of course, since I had a great session out, the forecast is for rain and clouds for the next 10 days .

That was definitely 11 days worth - seems to me you have nothing to gripe about!
 



#430 Rajput

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 02:30 PM

I have no right to complain, to be honest. I had something like 11 pretty good sessions in April. Had been expecting May to be a wash - happy to have been proved wrong!


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#431 Andrekp

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 10:47 AM

Omega Centari.  
 

from north of Fort Lauderdale.  Bortle 1274 skies.  Peeking between two palm trees.  I don’t really have a southern view, so I never even tried (for decades!).  Last night I figured, “why not?”  Found it easily just scanning with binoculars.  6” scope showed it as a grey patch with some resolution.  From a place so bright you could read a book.

 

i need to find a dark place and look again if it was that good from one of the worst places on the planet.


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#432 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 04:55 PM

Last night I was able see the Veil Nebula, - no filters, AT102ED w/Baader MKIV Zoom eyepiece, with new AT2" diagonal.  I have looked for this many times with various binoculars and my 3 scopes, but it eluded me. I had a list of about 35 targets in Cygnus area, and when I punched in NGC6992, - There it Was. I was Very Surprised! So, this is a 1st confirmed sighting of this for me. Rating ?? - I don't know, - 4/5 maybe. Had a good night, with dozens of successful targets. It didn't seem exceptionally dark, but Milky Way was pretty strong. M20 tho not overly bright, showed it's dark lobes, and many Globs were showing stars, - not just fuzzy blob. With my new Orion 26mm 2"Q70 eyepiece, I don't even need to use the finder anymore. I can eyeball close to 'Polaris' and align with that, and then swung over to 'Antares' and easy find there, for alignment star #2. This time I made sure to make final centering with "Up and Right" arrows, and my GoTo's were excellent all night. This is about as easy as I can do for real observing, more simple than setting up the C8, and the 4 incher gives some pretty nice views. For the easiest "Grab and Go", I still just use my 15x70 binoculars or my 80mm M/Birder scope on a camera tripod. They are all useful and fun. 


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#433 Love Cowboy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 06:34 PM

I've seen so many things for the first time this week, but I think my mention will be of the Boomerang Nebula in Centaurus. I think it was the first protoplanetary nebula I've observed, and on top of that, the fun challenge of observing such a southerly object was quite rewarding as well

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#434 Eliserpens

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 10:44 AM

As a newbie I get a lot of 'first time' opportunities!  A couple of nights ago I saw two classics: the sombrero galaxy in Virgo and the Great globular cluster in Hercules.  The former was barely a cigar-shaped smudge in my 190mm, but after a lot of looking I could see that it was asymmetrical, brighter on one side of the cigar than the other.  Since I identified which side (the upper in my view) before checking, I obviously was not imagining it.  Not much of a sight with the telescope and the conditions, 2/3.

 

I had the 11 mm EP and 2x Barlow in place when I pointed the scope to the GBC - so I got to see the cluster at 180x first - which meant it filled the view.  While it was not bright one could see some individual stars and my eyes/brain played with the view so that it seemed to pulse and flow.  I took out the barlow for a better background and wow, that thing really is on the spectacular scale.  Definitely a 5.

 

How many Messiers do you need to see before you are no longer a newbie?  :D


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#435 theApex

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 12:57 AM

How many Messiers do you need to see before you are no longer a newbie? :D

It depends: cheating (GOTO, Push to, setting circles...) or no cheating (star hopping)? Joking!

Edited by theApex, 29 May 2020 - 12:59 AM.

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#436 Eliserpens

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 05:02 AM

It depends: cheating (GOTO, Push to, setting circles...) or no cheating (star hopping)? Joking!

NO cheating!  My mount came with GOTO (NEQ6) but I have never used it and don't intend to.  Seems to completely negate the whole purpose of backyard astronomy.  I have to get there on my own - well, with a bit of help from maps and on-line planetariums that is.  The great thing about star hopping is that you learn that tiny bit of sky - hopefully one day it all starts to fit together.


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#437 Inkswitch

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 09:53 AM

How many Messiers do you need to see before you are no longer a newbie?  laugh.gif

I started observing 17 or 18 years ago and I have not yet seen all the Messiers.


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#438 Eliserpens

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 02:08 PM

I started observing 17 or 18 years ago and I have not yet seen all the Messiers.

... thus, not all of them.  Well, that's a start....



#439 theApex

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 03:55 PM

I started observing 17 or 18 years ago and I have not yet seen all the Messiers.

Started more or less for serious back in 1992 and haven't got to see all of them yet!

But then I'm in the Southern Hemisphere, so some of them are naturally out of bounds for my latitude.

And even during my 9-year tenure in the UK, save for the last couple of years, astronomy was reserved for very few occasions (such as observing Neptune and Jupiter through the 8-inch Cooke refractor at Marlborough College in England, back in 2009), so not many boxes ticked off in any catalog whatsoever.

Edited by theApex, 29 May 2020 - 03:56 PM.

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#440 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 07:24 PM

NO cheating!  My mount came with GOTO (NEQ6) but I have never used it and don't intend to.  Seems to completely negate the whole purpose of backyard astronomy.  I have to get there on my own - well, with a bit of help from maps and on-line planetariums that is.  The great thing about star hopping is that you learn that tiny bit of sky - hopefully one day it all starts to fit together.

One of the women in the bus barn where we all worked driving school buses in Flagstaff AZ., I noticed was stuck in the breakroom while everyone took off for lunch, and I asked her what was up, and she said her husband had lost the keys to his truck, so she loaned him her car, and she was stuck there till the end of the day when he would pick her up. She stayed there all week. At the end of the week she told me she had an  "extra" set of keys for his truck. I asked her why she just didn't give him those keys at the start, - and she told me she was "Teaching HIM a lesson". I agree with this "Hopefully one day it all starts to fit together". 



#441 havasman

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 10:53 PM

I started observing 17 or 18 years ago and I have not yet seen all the Messiers.

Less than half that long for me and I don't really know if I've seen 'em all or not. Apparently like you, that sort of record keeping's not part of my practice.



#442 Eliserpens

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 01:24 AM

One of the women in the bus barn where we all worked driving school buses in Flagstaff AZ., I noticed was stuck in the breakroom while everyone took off for lunch, and I asked her what was up, and she said her husband had lost the keys to his truck, so she loaned him her car, and she was stuck there till the end of the day when he would pick her up. She stayed there all week. At the end of the week she told me she had an  "extra" set of keys for his truck. I asked her why she just didn't give him those keys at the start, - and she told me she was "Teaching HIM a lesson". I agree with this "Hopefully one day it all starts to fit together". 

So you think I'm a fool?



#443 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 03:09 AM

So you think I'm a fool?

Not at all, - and I understand the "Star Hopper" preference, and the "Goto" preference, and firmly believe amateur astronomy should be enjoyed by everyone in whatever manner they find suits them. I did have a hard time figuring out how that Driver was teaching "Him" a lesson, when she was the only one inconvenienced in the whole thing. I never did figure out her reasoning. I meant no offence, just thought you might find her story amusing. Sorry.  Thomas M. 


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#444 Eliserpens

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 08:11 AM

Thanks for explaining - the story was cute, I just didn't want to be its subject.  I hope you get to know me better :)


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#445 theApex

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 10:14 AM

Okay... back to last premiered DSO, upon returning last week to Leo to check on supernova SN 2020hvf, it still was then, as previously said, a rather easy target, at about magnitude 13. But still no sight of the host galaxy NGC 3643 with my 12" dob under my Bortle 6-7 sky.

But then after letting my FOV drift too far while I checked it on Skydafari, I noticed a previously unseen smudge besides more conspicuous NGC 3640 (previously observed): NGC 3645 which, though not as bright as the former, still managed to get from me a respectable 2.5/5 for rating.

It goes to show that not having tracking can sometimes be a blessing in disguise!

Edited by theApex, 30 May 2020 - 10:17 AM.

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#446 jayrome

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 07:01 PM

NGC 3079 in Ursa Major. Magnitude 10.86.

My last observing night, a week and a bit ago, transparent sky, Bortle 2.

Fairly prominent edge-on galaxy. Couldn't make out a bright nucleus. Less dazzling than the Needle Galaxy(NGC 4565) or the Splinter Galaxy (NGC 5906).

The Phantom Frisbee Galaxy - 3.5/5


Edited by jayrome, 30 May 2020 - 07:06 PM.

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#447 Mr. E. Figure

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 12:23 AM

It was an absolutely beautiful night tonight, with an NELM probably just above five, and a little bit cooler than usual for this time of year, I would say low 80s or upper 70s. I went out around 9:45 and was back inside by about 11:15.

 

I had several objects I wanted to go after this evening, starting with M101 due to it being highest in the sky. Unfortunately I again ran into the issue of the scope hitting one of the legs of the tripod preventing me from getting it into (what I think is) the correct position.

 

I made several attempts at NGC 7023 (Iris Nebula), but after looking at Stellarium again I think I was actually trying to work off the head of Draco instead of Cepheus. Ironically I had wanted to make an attempt at NGC 6543 (Cat's Eye Nebula), which I did not attempt. It has also become apparent that for most of the NGC objects that are not in the Messier catalog, NightWatch is not going to be any help. I attempted to use charts on my phone, but after having been working from printed charts for a while the phone blowing out my dark adapted vision (even at the lowest brightness) simply is not worth the hassle.

 

I also made a brief attempt at IC 4592 (Blue Horsehead Nebula), but was not able to identify it either.

 

Once I settled on M57 I found it easily. Being able to identify Vega, I was able to clearly see Lyra. M57 is easily located almost on the line between Sulafat (Gamma Lyrae) and Sheliak (Beta Lyrae). M57 is reasonably bright, for a planetary nebula, with the ring structure easily discernable and nebulosity spreading inward and outward from the most discernable part of the ring. It took magnification reasonably well up to 250, which is as high as I can go at present. I was not able to see the central star (magnitude 14.8). I would rate M57 a 3 / 5.

 

I thought about attempting to find M27, but it would have been somewhat low on the horizon so I decided against it.

 

I did spend a little time looking at Albireo, which was kind of interesting. If focused precisely the color difference between the two stars is discernable, but not terribly obvious. However, if the stars are slightly de-focused, into discs or rings, then the color difference becomes very pronounced. Once I had positively identified Albireo, the rest of Cygnus (or at least the five main stars) was much easier to identify.

 

I also made an attempt at NGC 7000(North American Nebula) based on the chart in NightWatch, but despite spending a fair bit of time on it was not able to find it.

 

I ultimately decided to try to find M27, and after a couple attempts to get positioned based on Gamma Sagittae using the finder scope, I ultimately sighted the telescope across the top of the scope. After doing so, M27 was in the field of view at ~ 42x.

 

M27 was easily discernable in direct vision, and showed a little bit better than I would have expected. The "eaten apple" shape was discernable, particularly if I moved the object slightly outside of the FoV and then moved it back into the FoV quickly. It was irregular, but hard to say which parts of the object I was seeing (ie, just the core, or the fainter outer regions). I would give M27 a 2.5 / 5.

 

The Milky Way is becoming visible, particularly in the area betwen Ophiuchis and Sagittarius. It was quite pretty, and I spent a bit of time just looking at the sky and listening to the almost deafening symphony of summer insects. I had seen one shooting star already, and while I was looking at the Milky Way I saw another, quite bright, flaring for probably a full second or second and a half. By the time I decided to wrap up Scorpius' tail was fully visible and Jupiter was coming up above the horizon. If I did not have to go to work in the morning I suspect I would have been out there quite a bit longer.


Edited by Mr. E. Figure, 11 June 2020 - 12:30 AM.

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#448 chrysalis

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 04:05 AM

It was an absolutely beautiful night tonight, with an NELM probably just above five, and a little bit cooler than usual for this time of year, I would say low 80s or upper 70s. I went out around 9:45 and was back inside by about 11:15.

 

I had several objects I wanted to go after this evening, starting with M101 due to it being highest in the sky. Unfortunately I again ran into the issue of the scope hitting one of the legs of the tripod preventing me from getting it into (what I think is) the correct position.

 

I made several attempts at NGC 7023 (Iris Nebula), but after looking at Stellarium again I think I was actually trying to work off the head of Draco instead of Cepheus. Ironically I had wanted to make an attempt at NGC 6543 (Cat's Eye Nebula), which I did not attempt. It has also become apparent that for most of the NGC objects that are not in the Messier catalog, NightWatch is not going to be any help. I attempted to use charts on my phone, but after having been working from printed charts for a while the phone blowing out my dark adapted vision (even at the lowest brightness) simply is not worth the hassle.

 

I also made a brief attempt at IC 4592 (Blue Horsehead Nebula), but was not able to identify it either.

 

Once I settled on M57 I found it easily. Being able to identify Vega, I was able to clearly see Lyra. M57 is easily located almost on the line between Sulafat (Gamma Lyrae) and Sheliak (Beta Lyrae). M57 is reasonably bright, for a planetary nebula, with the ring structure easily discernable and nebulosity spreading inward and outward from the most discernable part of the ring. It took magnification reasonably well up to 250, which is as high as I can go at present. I was not able to see the central star (magnitude 14.8). I would rate M57 a 3 / 5.

 

I thought about attempting to find M27, but it would have been somewhat low on the horizon so I decided against it.

 

I did spend a little time looking at Albireo, which was kind of interesting. If focused precisely the color difference between the two stars is discernable, but not terribly obvious. However, if the stars are slightly de-focused, into discs or rings, then the color difference becomes very pronounced. Once I had positively identified Albireo, the rest of Cygnus (or at least the five main stars) was much easier to identify.

 

I also made an attempt at NGC 7000(North American Nebula) based on the chart in NightWatch, but despite spending a fair bit of time on it was not able to find it.

 

I ultimately decided to try to find M27, and after a couple attempts to get positioned based on Gamma Sagittae using the finder scope, I ultimately sighted the telescope across the top of the scope. After doing so, M27 was in the field of view at ~ 42x.

 

M27 was easily discernable in direct vision, and showed a little bit better than I would have expected. The "eaten apple" shape was discernable, particularly if I moved the object slightly outside of the FoV and then moved it back into the FoV quickly. It was irregular, but hard to say which parts of the object I was seeing (ie, just the core, or the fainter outer regions). I would give M27 a 2.5 / 5.

 

The Milky Way is becoming visible, particularly in the area betwen Ophiuchis and Sagittarius. It was quite pretty, and I spent a bit of time just looking at the sky and listening to the almost deafening symphony of summer insects. I had seen one shooting star already, and while I was looking at the Milky Way I saw another, quite bright, flaring for probably a full second or second and a half. By the time I decided to wrap up Scorpius' tail was fully visible and Jupiter was coming up above the horizon. If I did not have to go to work in the morning I suspect I would have been out there quite a bit longer.

Some of the objects you mention are good photographic targets but not good visual ones, almost definitely dooming you to failure on them.


Edited by chrysalis, 11 June 2020 - 04:06 AM.

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#449 Mr. E. Figure

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 04:27 PM

I setup a bit before 11:00 PM last night, and went out just after midnight. It was a beautiful night, with NELM probably a little above 5 (I need to identify some additional stars by which to judge this), and temperatures probably in the mid 70s to low 80s.

 

M8 was easily located. It was visible to the naked eye, and easily visible in the finder scope. The nebulosity around the bright stars in the middle was visible in the finder scope as well. It was obviously quite large, and the dark u-shaped band was visible at higher magnification. I actually spent most of the time looking at the area inside the "lagoon", but the outer areas of the nebula were very diffuse and irregular at higher magnification, though they seemed to show better at lower magnifications (10x in my binoculars and 8x in the finder). It might be interesting to look at this object between the 10x and 40x range, which happens to be something of a dead zone for me at present, as I lack eyepieces to that would give that range of magnification. I would give M8 a 3 / 5, but I might change that after looking at it at some different magnifications.

 

M16 was easily located due to the open cluster within it. In my 8" Newtonian it appeared as nebulosity around the stars, similar to M45 (the Pleiades) but much more pronounced. There was a dark area on one side, but I did not note the pointed formation that I would assume is the source of the nebula's name (Eagle Nebula). I would give the Eagle nebula a 2.5 / 5.

 

NightWatch lists M17 as the Swan Nebula, but messier-objects.com lists this as the Omega nebula. This one was much more pronounced, appearing as an elongated bright area with slightly more well defined edges. This Nebula was fairly easy to locate given how much it contrasts with the darker background. After looking at pictures it is apparent that I was looking at the bright central area of the nebula, but I did not see the nebulosity around the bright central area. I would actually list this as probably the best one for the night. I would give this a 3.5 / 5.

 

I had quite some difficulty locating M20, the Trifid Nebula. I found it early on, but then "lost it" when looking at other areas in the vicinity, and had difficulty re-locating it. The difficulty seemed to arise not from the object being particularly difficult to see, but from it's proximity to M8, the size of M8, and that there seem to be numerous small nebulous areas and star clusters in this region of the sky. In a sense it seemed easy to lose in the background at low magnification.

 

Once I re-located the object and spent some time with it I think it actually showed the most detail. The dark bands dividing the nebula were visible with averted vision, and sometimes with direct vision. I could see not only the three primary divisions, but the fourth division further to one side. The close pair of stars on one side were plainly visible and resolved quite nicely. This nebula also took magnification well, going up to 250x with the dark bands remaining visible. I am inclined to give this one a 3.5 / 5 owing to the visibility of detail.

 

I am noticing that reflection and emission nebula seem to be a bit harder to find than galaxies. This may be a matter of practice, as at this point I have more practice locating galaxies. There were numerous clusters in this area, and I did look at several of them though I did not make any attempt to determine which ones. Several of them are easily visible to the naked eye, and show well in binoculars (something that I have noticed with many clusters).

 

There also seem to be numerous small areas of nebulasity in this region. I saw several, particularly in the area around M8, but did not attempt to identify them.


Edited by Mr. E. Figure, 14 June 2020 - 04:36 PM.

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#450 Stardust Dave

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 10:52 AM

I'd been trying to bag IC 4617 for a couple years . Have not seen it in either my bigger scopes.

Have been familiar with the star field . Like to observe 6207 with each visit to M13. Not once any hint of IC 4617 at all.

 

Took another shot at it in 13" last night here from home.

Very steady seeing and most transparent night since I can remember.  Had increased to 250X looking right where it should be but then reduced to 125X , and it popped in and out of visibility .  The excellent image posted recently (this am?)of the trio of M13 6207 and IC 4617 helped confirm what I saw.  

 

SQM values about 21.58 , IC 4617 .  Object at zenith at time of observation.   


Edited by Stardust Dave, 18 June 2020 - 05:41 PM.

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