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Amazing Planetary Nebulae observing book !

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#26 cliff mygatt

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 09:57 AM

I am working the Astronomical League Planetary Nebula program and am about wrapped up.  I have some tough ones to observe and looking forward to having this reference in the field.  Ordered mine today and thanks for the head's up.



#27 cliff mygatt

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 09:59 AM

My copy arrived yesterday, it was larger than I thought and full of great information.  Looking forward to using in the field.



#28 Astrojensen

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 03:59 PM

I just received my copy today. 

 

First impressions: It's going to be a super useful resource for making observing lists and crossreferencing, when trying to find another alias of a certain planetary nebula. 

 

But I am very disappointed by the level of the observations in the list. The author never uses magnifications above 254x (and that is on a 20" dob, on his C8 he never goes above 200x) and many bright planetaries that show lots of details at high magnifications are described as completely featureless. This includes NGC 2392, NGC 7662, NGC 6543, IC 2149, etc., etc. As such, you can't use the described level of visible details in the descriptions as inspiration for future observations, because in most all cases, there aren't any, and not because the objects themselves are featureless. 

 

Perhaps my expectations were too high. I really did expect more from an author and supposedly skilled observer that so obviously know a lot about planetary nebulae.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Edited by Astrojensen, 06 December 2018 - 04:02 PM.

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#29 The Ardent

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 05:30 PM

Im interested in the challenge of :

1. finding these by star hopping
2. Detecting them in various apertures
3. Improving my skills at identifying the stellar ones in crowded field.

Details are nice when present. Once I know where it is , then details come from repeat observations. Initial observations are more the star field than the PN. YMMV

The cataloging info is useful. The actual observations are just that: someone else's observations. Unfortunately his 8" scope in the dry Califonia of 20 years ago LP is probably superior to my 18" in 90% humidity, hazy, yellow-zone east coast.

#30 Astrojensen

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 06:33 AM

The cataloging info is useful. The actual observations are just that: someone else's observations. Unfortunately his 8" scope in the dry Califonia of 20 years ago LP is probably superior to my 18" in 90% humidity, hazy, yellow-zone east coast.

Not necessarily. That depends entirely on the nebula and how you use that scope. For very large, faint nebulae, and mere detection, it's probably true, but for observing details in the bright ones, seeing and aperture, combined with very high magnification, is overwhelmingly more important than dark skies. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark



#31 turtle86

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 12:45 PM

Not necessarily. That depends entirely on the nebula and how you use that scope. For very large, faint nebulae, and mere detection, it's probably true, but for observing details in the bright ones, seeing and aperture, combined with very high magnification, is overwhelmingly more important than dark skies. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

 

I agree. Dark, transparent skies definitely help with large, faint nebulas such as the California and Horsehead Nebulas.  But for me, observing planetary nebulas is a little more like observing planets--teasing out details requires good seeing at higher mag.  I've actually had the best luck seeing the central star in M57 on muggy summer nights when the air is calm and I could crank up the mag.



#32 starquake

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 03:54 AM

Thanks for this thread, I've just ordered my copy. It's a shame, that the work of a lifetime costs $30, and shipping costs $30.45 plus (possibly) customs. Something is just not right with how we value things in this world.

 

@Astrojensen: Thanks for your comment on the quality of observations. I normally don't trust descriptions, because they are so often misleading. There are too many variables in the equation: aperture, conditions, filters used, fatigue, pupil size, eyepiece coatings, magnification, experience, etc. For me it's enough to know that an object can be detected by an 8" scope in excellent conditions, so I also have good chances with a 12" in very good conditions. You are very true with magnification. with planetary nebulae I normally go far beyond reasonable levels, when you don't care about the sharp star images or fainter surface brightness anymore.

 

But what I constantly need is motivation, hopefully this book will provide that for years, as I really do love observing very faint objects at the edge of visibility.


Edited by starquake, 11 December 2018 - 03:58 AM.


#33 turtle86

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 12:53 PM

I just received my copy today. 

 

First impressions: It's going to be a super useful resource for making observing lists and crossreferencing, when trying to find another alias of a certain planetary nebula. 

 

But I am very disappointed by the level of the observations in the list. The author never uses magnifications above 254x (and that is on a 20" dob, on his C8 he never goes above 200x) and many bright planetaries that show lots of details at high magnifications are described as completely featureless. This includes NGC 2392, NGC 7662, NGC 6543, IC 2149, etc., etc. As such, you can't use the described level of visible details in the descriptions as inspiration for future observations, because in most all cases, there aren't any, and not because the objects themselves are featureless. 

 

Perhaps my expectations were too high. I really did expect more from an author and supposedly skilled observer that so obviously know a lot about planetary nebulae.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

 

Very good point.  On good nights the Eskimo shows considerable detail in my 18" using a 4.7mm Ethos (and over 520x mag).



#34 S_Jensen

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 05:05 AM

With regards to recent remarks on the lack of high-magnification observations in Visual Observations of Planetary Nebulae (VOPN) one should take into consideration what VOPN is and what it was never intended to be. One aim of this work  was to publish the authors decades-long survey to explore which (how many) planetary nebulae could be seen, initially with an 8 inch instrument and later also with one of 20 inch. The aim was never to present the ultimate level of detail: for this there exists no end of other sources. It may also be noted that observations were made without motordriven tracking.

 

In the case of the 8 inch instrument magnifications of  62.5x, 100x and 200x were used for all the observations. As such it forms a highly uniform source of information and really is a remarkable achievement.  As I myself use an 8 inch untracked instrument under skies that in any case rarely meaningfully allow the use of magnifications higher than 200x I find it to be a truly wonderful inspiration for planning observations.

 

A couple of  days ago Kent Wallace informed me that only a few copies of VOPN remained and that there will be no additional printing.

 

Sören Jensen
Badajoz, Spain


Edited by S_Jensen, 22 December 2018 - 08:38 PM.

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#35 Kyphoron

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 12:05 PM

I got my copy two days ago and thumbed through it quickly. It really seems like a great book for the money. I cant wait to dive into it after the holidays and make more additional comments on the book. Looks like a great read.


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#36 Traveler

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 11:54 PM

A great free source for planetary nebula is this one: link

 

"Planetary Nebulae and Supernovae Remnants- Planetary nebulae, supernovae remnants and protoplanetaries that are observable above about -50° declination.   About 350+ objects are included.  Many stellar planetaries are left out.  (322 pages)" by Alan H. Huey - faintfuzzies.com.



#37 starquake

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 05:11 AM

Just received my copy (and cannot see the listing anymore on eBay, so probably all the copies sold out by now). It's a magnificent resource. The amount of information suits my personal taste as I prefer to see the objects myself first visually without looking at photographs or detailed descriptions first. Although I know that most nebulae reveal details at high magnification levels, I don't mind the author sticking to fairly low powers as those are always accessible with my seeing conditions while I can only go above 400x on a couple of nights per year.

 

And knowing that I own a copy of only 100 copies makes the book even more valuable. I think this book was a bargain for the $60 I paid for it (incl. postage).

 

I feel inspired now. laugh.gif


Edited by starquake, 28 December 2018 - 05:12 AM.


#38 desertstars

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 11:22 PM

 

...and cannot see the listing anymore on eBay, so probably all the copies sold out by now...

I was late checking this out, and went to eBay to find that only a single copy was left.

 

It appeared in my post office box today.   



#39 starquake

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 02:37 PM

Meanwhile, I've found more examples that in fact the book lists nebulae that can be seen by a certain instrument but fails to catch details because of the low magnification used. pp.387 lists Frosty Leo as stellar with the author's 8", slightly non-stellar at 200x. Non-stellar with his 20" at 254x. Now, I was able to capture both lobes and the dust lane in the middle with my 12" with 21+ mpsas and 5/10 seeing. The trick is that I used 469x power normally unusable with such bad seeing. This is a fairly bright PN with its 10.5m. I still find it great that the author was consistent with the magnification used throughout the book, just another example, that with PN's you must push the limits of your telescopes to the extremes. I really like that the response to various filters (including polarizer!) is also stated, although perhaps at higher mag a filter may still add some detail.

The more I browse through the book, the more I like it.

Edited by starquake, 29 December 2018 - 02:39 PM.

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#40 desertstars

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 10:51 PM

The more I browse through the book, the more I like it.

It's certainly an impressive tome. I have very few references on my shelf that are quite as information-dense. 



#41 The Ardent

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 03:48 PM

I’m looking at Uranometria (2nd ed) chart 18 :

P111.2+7.0 and P112.5+3.7 are not covered in Kent’s book. (Maybe I’m blind and didn’t see them)

He communicated to me that he does not own or use the Uranometria Field Guide that lists info for every object plotted in the atlas. Unfortunately this guide doesn’t provide visual magnitudes for many of the non-NGC PN’s.

I find this a little puzzling as he recommends Uranometria as a field atlas. And he covers lists of PNE’s. To me , the U2K field guide seems like a pretty complete list and an important one that cannot be ignored. He may have his reasons.

I’m also a little stumped since I purchased his book to get an idea of what PN’s are visible in my 18”.

Most of my large aperture (18” ) deep sky observing is based on Uranometria as a key. It’s not perfect, but I’m very happy with it.

I think the Alvin Huey guide is my next stop.

#42 obrazell

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 05:09 AM

The Alvin Huey book contains about 350 objects so way less than the number in Kent's book. Have you checked under the name K 3-88 for P112.5+3.7 and KjPN6 for P111.2+7.0? Interestingly I did not see either of these plotted on chart 18 on U2000 V2. They are both effectively stellar anyway.

 

Owen



#43 The Ardent

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 11:47 AM

Owen
What size scope and magnification did you use on these?

#44 obrazell

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 04:09 AM

I have not tried to find them. The magnitide I see for K 3-88 is 18.5 and the other is not much different. I don't have the DSFG for the v2 set as I found that for the V1 set not to be much use.

 

Owen




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