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

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#476 SeanStaresatStars

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 12:56 PM

Does it count as seeing for the first time if it's through a new scope?

 

upgraded from my 114eq to a 10" dob recently. First object I went for was M13 to test it out, and, WOW, the thrill of resolving individual  stars, seeing the tidal tails, all the detail was incredible, I spent probably an hour on it. I enjoyed finding globulars before, but now I really can't wait for the AL Observing Manual to show up. 


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#477 havasman

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 01:17 PM

Does it count as seeing for the first time if it's through a new scope?

Yes indeed! Those are going to be brand new observations with your new larger aperture, especially globular clusters.


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#478 theApex

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 01:36 PM

Does it count as seeing for the first time if it's through a new scope?


By all means! Please do!


Edit: Congratulations on your new scope!
I also acquired a 12" dob back in January and it still feels like a new toy, so TBH, your question even gives me some food for thought in regards to my reporting on objects now seen with the "Leviathan" but previously with the C8.

Edited by theApex, 09 July 2020 - 01:48 PM.


#479 MikeTahtib

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 02:40 PM

But one can hopefully see the Owl's face once they're in decent (i.e. approx. Bortle 4.5 or better and high in the sky), transparent skies at proper magnification (will vary on one's scope). This is an object that doesn't "give itself easily", patience and many sessions to be rewarded (similar with many things in life).

I have observed this a couple times; from what I remember,  I saw the face once, but it was subtle.  Last time, not much evidence of a face.  I remember someone (on this post I think) recommended trying very high magnification on Planetary Nebulas so I gave it a shot on this one, but it didn't work out well, just turned it into a much dimmer bigger featureless blob.  I'm thinking you're right about "proper magnification", not too much or not too little.  I'm thinking this might be very sensitive to finding the ideal magnification, where the owl face will pop out most.  Now I want to go try it again. 


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#480 theApex

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 06:31 AM

. I remember someone (on this post I think) recommended trying very high magnification on Planetary Nebulas so I gave it a shot on this one, but it didn't work out well, just turned it into a much dimmer bigger featureless blob. I'm thinking you're right about "proper magnification", not too much or not too little. I'm thinking this might be very sensitive to finding the ideal magnification, where the owl face will pop out most. Now I want to go try it again.

One thing that I've been trying to do more often for known elusive objects, in order to find a magnification "sweet spot", is to quicly go thru some specific astro books beforehand (the Deep Sky ones by O'meara, Clark's VADS's Optimum Magnification, etc.) and check out which magnification worked best for them for apertures similar to mine.

Edited by theApex, 10 July 2020 - 09:21 AM.

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#481 Eliserpens

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 06:40 AM

One thing that I've been trying to do more often for known elusive objects, in order to find a magnification "sweet spot", is to quicly go thru some specific astro books beforehand (the Deep Sky ones by O'meara, Clark's VADS's Optimum Magnification, etc.) and check out which magnification worked best for them for similar apertures to mine.

My problem is I only have two EPs and one Barlow so the choices are not many.  However, two more fine EPs are on order....



#482 bthrel

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 06:55 AM

Excerpt from my post in another subform, but appropriate to post here for the first time in this thread I think..

 

M27, I know everyone's probably seen it, bit it was first time for me... Since Vulpecula is blocked by tall trees (100ft + tall) till late, this was the first time I was out late enough for it to rise above them.  So I opened my atlas and saw M27, knowing I had never seen it before I figured lets check one more Messier off the list... Only took a minute to find it and when I did it literally jumped out of the eyepiece and took my breath away (I actually gasped) . My best views were at 100x of less, trying my 250x lens it starts to wash out pretty badly. I bet I spent 30 minuets or more observing M27, it was mesmerizing to say the least.

 

Edit; Oh and its a 5 for sure


Edited by bthrel, 10 July 2020 - 05:27 PM.

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#483 theApex

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 07:02 AM

My problem is I only have two EPs and one Barlow so the choices are not many. However, two more fine EPs are on order....

I find this passage* in Choosing and Using Astronomical Eyepieces by W. Paolini both inspiring and reassuring as to whether one's on the right track in setting up their EP collection:

* Which actually quotes CN's own EP and filter extraordinaire Don Pensack (Starman1):

https://books.google...pensack&f=false
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#484 Eliserpens

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:17 AM

I find this passage* in Choosing and Using Astronomical Eyepieces by W. Paolini both inspiring and reassuring as to whether one's on the right track in setting up their EP collection:

* Which actually quotes CN's own EP and filter extraordinaire Don Pensack (Starman1):

https://books.google...pensack&f=false

Don has been helping me wink.gif  ...

[I can't access that page - probably because I'm in canada]


Edited by Eliserpens, 10 July 2020 - 08:18 AM.


#485 bthrel

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:27 AM

+1 on Mr Don, set me straight on collimation. 



#486 theApex

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:54 AM

Don has been helping me wink.gif ...
[I can't access that page - probably because I'm in canada]

Oops! I forgot Google Books changes accessed pages via geolocation.

Believing Don still stands by it, basically, it's the 1x/2x/3x rule-of-thumb for the three best magnifications for optimal exit pupils, where x changes accordingto the aperture's range:

6-8" x=50
10" x=60
12.5" x=70*
18-22" x=80

* at least on the book, it's not clear where the 14-16"-range fits in, but one can round things up here, methinks

So, for my 12-inch scope, for example, x=70:
1x(70) = 70 x
2x(70) = 140 x
3x(70) = 210 x

Since my scope is an f/5 one, multiplying the aperture (in mm) by the focal ratio yields 1500mm of FL.

Dividing the scope's FL by the magnifications above will obviously give the recommended FLs for the EPs:

1500/70 = ~21
1500/140 = ~11
1500/21d0 = ~7

Which, rounded to commercial offers of EPs' popular FLs, will match first a 21 or 20mm EP for low power for my scope, 10mm for medium and 7mm for high power.

I hope this helps!

Sent from my Mi A1 using Tapatalk

Edited by theApex, 10 July 2020 - 08:57 AM.

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#487 theApex

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 09:17 AM

+1 on Mr Don, set me straight on collimation.

+1 for I don't know what else he doesn't generously help people with!

Sent from my Mi A1 using Tapatalk

#488 Eliserpens

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 09:22 AM

Thanks Nilson - that's in line with his recommendations, but I did not know the math behind it.

ee


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#489 rugby

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 10:07 AM

Eliserpens: what eyepieces did you order for that fine dob of yours?
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#490 Eliserpens

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 03:56 PM

The other night I was frustrated at not being able to see either galaxies or planetaries - the seeing was terrific but (the double double split very cleanly at a relatively low gain for example) the transparency was nowhere near as good as forecast.  I should have adapted quickly and moved to the other side of the house where I could have looked at the planets but instead I soldiered on.  Finally, I took a look at M4, in Scorpio (which I have seen before) and it was lovely with the clean stars glittering.  The new observation was, nowever, the nearby GC, NGC 6144.  Again, I could see individual stars - its not a very dense cluster - and thought nothing of it until later in that its a fairly faint object (9.6; SB 12.9 - Stellarium) and yet I could see a lot of detail.

 

Lesson learnt: adapt your viewing to the strengths of the conditions...


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#491 broj

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 05:26 PM

Took a gander at NGC 6572 for the first time last night.. The name “Emerald Nebula” is really fitting- it was a rich green even with direct vision. And that’s in an 8” dob under bortle 7. I would give it a 5 just for being so colorful.
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#492 Eliserpens

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 05:54 PM

Took a gander at NGC 6572 for the first time last night.. The name “Emerald Nebula” is really fitting- it was a rich green even with direct vision. And that’s in an 8” dob under bortle 7. I would give it a 5 just for being so colorful.

Just looked it up - amused to see it has an alternative name of 'Planet Krypton Nebula' :)   



#493 Eliserpens

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 08:03 AM

Last night the seeing was poor but the transparency was excellent  - and I had another shot at the Dumbell nebula.  I know the star field pretty well from all my failures - and pointed the scope as best I could with the finder.  As I had forgotten to change back from my 11mm (188x) to the low-power, my first view through the EP was this large pale double-blob that faded in all directions into the star field and lacked any defined edges.  At first I had no idea what it was - it was actually a little scary - and then I realized I was actually looking straight at my target.  As expected, it lacked the details see in photographs, but direct viewing had something quite different and equally special: a sense of foreboding, as if the planetary was sucking up the stars in its field and pulverizing them to a cloud of dust.

 

10 for the thrill (better than Hitchcock 'cause it is real) and definitely a 5 for the view.


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#494 theApex

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 07:54 AM

Tiny, but quite interesting planetary NGC 5307 in Centaurus.

As the previous night was a total write-off, with the sky plagued by clouds after nearly two hours of my being out observing, I ended up postponing looking for it, soon after observing globular cluster C84 (NGC 5286, previously observed in 2011 and 2019), as it is momentarily mentioned as being nearby by Stephen O'meara on his book entry for the aforementioned 84th object in the Caldwell catalog - a far more conspicuous DSO which, as a consensus, is mostly neglected because it's overlooked in favor of neighboring, gigantic, "the-mother-of-all-globulars" Omega Centauri! (just 5° NW)

So, last night I star-hopped towards the nebula for about 15 minutes and, after spotting it, I realized that higher magnification was in order, so star-like it appears at low magnification; so after zooming in on it still with my jack-of-all-trades Baader zoom EP up to the 8mm mark (click), I decided to use a 1.25" 9mm orthoscopic EP, coupled with my ageing (rotting, TBH) Lumicon OIII filter, and noticed that this particular accessory wasn't actually doing the rather elliptical star's hollow, gassy shell any favors.

What wasn't my surprise when, upon returning to the zoom EP (now with my 2" UHC filter in tow), I realized this filter was actually providing me with better results than with the ionized oxygen one! I guess that consarned (excuse me, Rod!) rot is definitely taking its toll on the now-vintage Lumicon.

Fast-forward a good 15 mins and I didn't succeed in accomplishing the mandatory central-star find, as not even immoral 428 times (I know!) of magnification on my 12"-dob, helped me spotting the 15.4-magnitude white dwarf!
Advance another measly minute, and some wicked clouds my way came, forcing me to call it a day.

Well, whenever our southerly "winter" gets this mild (nearly 70°F!), clouds are an unwelcome flipside to it - I'd much rather having the cold* along with the ad-hoc clear skies, thank you!

Rated 3/5.
NELM: 5.4

*Well, anything less than 50°F over here in Brazil, and we call it that!

Edited by theApex, 13 July 2020 - 08:13 AM.

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#495 Eliserpens

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 07:51 AM

With only 'good' seeing and transparency I spent the evening looking at star clusters, in the Ophiuchus/Aquila/Scutum area - which allowed me to star hop from (first time) target to target (ain't it great being a newbie!).  After the summer beehive IC4665 - impressive when you think of it as bees, as with its namesake in Cancer, has no hidden glories that I could find except for a possible double or two (2/5).  Next I looked for CR350, a small cluster.  Well, its so small you don't know when you are there (0/5)!  Next on to Tweedledum, NGC 6633 to the north - a delightful small, sort of linear cluster.  At high power you definitely got the sensation of flying low over a sea-side town, dark over the sea and studded by one light for each house at the shore.  Loved it 4/5 - but YMMV.  Close by is Graff's cluster, Cr386, to their north, the opposite extreme to CR350: a beautiful discrete mass of stars, lovely at low power (67X) and crazily so at high (188X). 

 

I then moved to the 'Wild Duck' open cluster, M11 in Scutum, and the star of the night ;) .  While it is an open cluster 6K ly from us, if you were unaware of the magnification you might swear that it was a GC (I've seen looser ones), the star field is so dense and compact and, unlike the beehives, while it is impressive at 67X, it only got better at higher magnification .  What a delight 5/5!  Certainly recommended if you have never been there. 

 

After that thrill I went further east to see if I could find a relatively obscure globular cluster, NGC 6712, 8.9 brightness and 22.5K ly distant from earth.  The star hopping worked well and this faint globular peeked out of the dark just to say hello, but nothing to write home about (2/5).

 

I finished off with a second look at the Ring Nebula - what an astonish object to come across after wandering through the stars.  Clearly, one of the gods is smoking something and puffed this ring across the heavens...


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#496 KidOrion

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 08:44 AM

While no-one's idea of a showpiece object, I was quite pleasantly surprised by Minkowski 4-9, in Serpens Cauda. Considerably larger and brighter than most non-NGC planetaries (and more so than a lot of NGCs), this planetary was visible in direct vision with no filter in a 20" f/5 Dob. It hinted at annularity but did not show a central star. With an O-III filter, it showed a brighter rim, irregularly bright in its circumference. I'll use my 12.5" f/5 on it at earliest opportunity; I expect it to be a decent target there as well. (SQM 21.58, S 6, T 7.)

 

Better than a 2, but probably not as exciting as a typical 3; I'm giving it a 3 anyway.


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#497 Eliserpens

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 09:00 AM

Interesting KidO, I'll have a go at it.  However, I'm relatively new at this - could you please explain the terms in your bracket: (SQM 21.58, S 6, T 7.)? Thanks.

ee



#498 KidOrion

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 05:03 PM

Interesting KidO, I'll have a go at it.  However, I'm relatively new at this - could you please explain the terms in your bracket: (SQM 21.58, S 6, T 7.)? Thanks.

ee

Elise-- these are ratings of sky conditions. SQM refers to "Sky Quality Meter," a device for measuring the darkness of the sky. The higher the number, the better; 21.58 is quite good but not spectacular.  There's a really good explanation of the SQM and its readings here: https://skyandtelesc...e-your-skyglow/

 

'S' is Seeing, the steadiness of the atmosphere. In good seeing, the stars twinkle very little, and clusters, planets, and double stars appear at their best. In poor seeing, stars and planets look like they're underwater. There are two main scales for measuring seeing: the Antoniadi scale (rating I-V, with I being the best and V being the worst) and the Pickering scale (ratings 1-10, with 10 being the best). I use the Pickering for no particular reason, and my numbers are averages over the night and over the sky (seeing is usually much worse near the horizon). Damian Peach has a fantastic page on the Pickering scale, complete with animations for each rating: http://www.damianpea...m/pickering.htm

 

'T' is Transparency, a measure of how clear and hazy-free the sky and air are. Poor transparency diminishes the view of extended objects like galaxies and nebulae, but stars and planets can look just fine. I use a 1-10 scale, 10 being best.

 

Seeing and transparency forecasts are included on the Clear Sky Chart, along with cloud cover. On my webpage, I always include them (and SQM reading) just as a frame of reference with each observing session I write up. With an obscure object like Mi 4-9, it's probably helpful to know the conditions under which the object was observed, so I added it on at the end of the post.


Edited by KidOrion, 20 July 2020 - 05:04 PM.

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#499 MikeTahtib

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 08:34 PM

Took a gander at NGC 6572 for the first time last night.. The name “Emerald Nebula” is really fitting- it was a rich green even with direct vision. And that’s in an 8” dob under bortle 7. I would give it a 5 just for being so colorful.

I made it to a dark (for me - Bortle 3/4) site this past weekend, and this sounded like a good object to find.  I think I was pointed in close to the right direction, using 133X, but I couldn't find it.  I only had .75*  (= 45') true field of view, and didn't want to go much lower while stumbling around to find it.  I had my Interstellarum atlas open, but the fields I was seeing in my finderscope only loosely matched the charts.  Does anybody have any tips for finding this one?  It sounds really cool, although I understand it's also really small.  Should I have been at higher magnification?



#500 Eliserpens

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 09:22 PM

Elise-- these are ratings of sky conditions. SQM refers to "Sky Quality Meter," a device for measuring the darkness of the sky. The higher the number, the better; 21.58 is quite good but not spectacular.  There's a really good explanation of the SQM and its readings here: https://skyandtelesc...e-your-skyglow/

 

'S' is Seeing, the steadiness of the atmosphere. In good seeing, the stars twinkle very little, and clusters, planets, and double stars appear at their best. In poor seeing, stars and planets look like they're underwater. There are two main scales for measuring seeing: the Antoniadi scale (rating I-V, with I being the best and V being the worst) and the Pickering scale (ratings 1-10, with 10 being the best). I use the Pickering for no particular reason, and my numbers are averages over the night and over the sky (seeing is usually much worse near the horizon). Damian Peach has a fantastic page on the Pickering scale, complete with animations for each rating: http://www.damianpea...m/pickering.htm

 

'T' is Transparency, a measure of how clear and hazy-free the sky and air are. Poor transparency diminishes the view of extended objects like galaxies and nebulae, but stars and planets can look just fine. I use a 1-10 scale, 10 being best.

 

Seeing and transparency forecasts are included on the Clear Sky Chart, along with cloud cover. On my webpage, I always include them (and SQM reading) just as a frame of reference with each observing session I write up. With an obscure object like Mi 4-9, it's probably helpful to know the conditions under which the object was observed, so I added it on at the end of the post.

Thanks - I could hazard a guess at the letters but mostly did not understand the scale.  I am using the local Clear Skies predictor and have found it pretty good, but certainly far from infallible (mostly high cloud that rolls in).  Indeed I should have the scope out tonight but decided that I had better see the comet while I still can (yay, its a comet :) ).  I have learned about seeing and transparency, the hard way.  Here it is pointless looking for faint objects if T is significant - in particular of course if the moon is anywhere about.  Thus, galaxy and faint nebulae are for the very special nights and use the rest for mostly clusters and splits.  OTOH I have been pleasantly surprised by planetaries that seem to quite often have relatively high surface brightnesses and will shine through the non-ideal transparency.  Henceforth, I will copy your routine of noting the sky conditions - as you say, it would really help if you need to find the object again in the future. 

 

ee




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