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Odd question: What astrophotography targets would you reserve solely for very dark unpolluted skies?

astrophotography dslr imaging reflector refractor
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#1 impresently

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 03:51 PM

I'm heading to SW New Mexico this weekend for a little over a week. I have the enviable conundrum of deciding what kind of targets to shoot in a finite amount of time in a very dry Bortle 1.5, while reserving other targets for when I return to Bortle 4.5.

 

I'm hauling my 8" RC and Atlas mount for deep sky, 2 DSLRs, a mini-tracker, and an array of lenses to shoot wider field. My highest priority is to do a Milky Way mosaic, which will take at least two of the nights. I have such a long list of other targets (galaxies, nebulae, clusters) that I'm having a hard time prioritizing.

 

So my question is what DSO's and wide field targets would you reserve for pristine Bortle 1.5 skies with limited time, and what kind of targets might be nearly as good (if any) under a Bortle 4.5.

 

Thanks!


Edited by impresently, 22 May 2019 - 04:04 PM.

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#2 Dynan

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 04:29 PM

How about trying two of my 'Wish List' targets:

 

A mosaic of the Blue Horsehead Nebula (IC 4592) if you've got the time

 

or

 

'Pillars of Creation' (as best as possible) in M16.

 

Both are visible and nice and high in the sky this time of year. Best of Luck no matter what you point at! waytogo.gif


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#3 petert913

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:03 PM

Veil Nebula


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#4 2ghouls

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 06:10 PM

Reflection nebula like the Blue Horsehead mentioned above really benefit from dark skies. From really dark skies you can actually capture that brown to blue or brown to yellow transition as the dust gets closer to the bright star reflecting on it. Van den Bergh is a good catalog of reflection nebulae.

Another thing to try under really dark skies is IFN: interstellar flux nebula. There is a lot of it in the big and small dipper. Look up Angel nebula for an example.

And yes the Milky Way or anything wide field like that will really benefit from the darkness.

Clear skies!!
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#5 schmeah

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 06:58 PM

Do not waste your time with narrowband targets, ie: emission nebulae, which can be captured in any skies, or bright targets. I agree that reflection nebulae and dark dusty nebulae would benefit greatest from dark skies.

 

Derek


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#6 17.5Dob

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:47 PM

Reflection nebula and dust.

The Blue- Horsehead is actually "pretty" bright, not Pleiades bright, but is an easy target from good dark skies. The whole Rho area is a great target with it's huge nebula mix .

The Iris should be in range early in the morning and needs good dark skies to get all of the surrounding dust.


Edited by 17.5Dob, 22 May 2019 - 08:48 PM.


#7 ImNewHere

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:49 PM

I would do reflection nebulae and dark dust if I had limited time at a dark sky site.



#8 impresently

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:32 PM

Hey thanks everyone! CN is such a great resource for this sort of thing.

 

Blue Horsehead and other reflection nebula seems to be the consensus, so that will be one of my higher priorities. I've never paid any attention to this Blue Horsehead, but it is quite beautiful now that it has been mentioned. Excited to make an attempt at it.

 

Thanks again everyone.


Edited by impresently, 22 May 2019 - 10:36 PM.

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#9 impresently

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:35 PM

Reflection nebula like the Blue Horsehead mentioned above really benefit from dark skies. From really dark skies you can actually capture that brown to blue or brown to yellow transition as the dust gets closer to the bright star reflecting on it. Van den Bergh is a good catalog of reflection nebulae.

Another thing to try under really dark skies is IFN: interstellar flux nebula. There is a lot of it in the big and small dipper. Look up Angel nebula for an example.

And yes the Milky Way or anything wide field like that will really benefit from the darkness.

Clear skies!!

Having a hard time finding a designation for Angel Nebula in Sky Safari, and I've done some searching online. Do you have any designation I could plug in to Sky Safari. I'd like to figure out if I can capture it and if I can compose it well with the optics I will have.



#10 2ghouls

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:54 PM

Having a hard time finding a designation for Angel Nebula in Sky Safari, and I've done some searching online. Do you have any designation I could plug in to Sky Safari. I'd like to figure out if I can capture it and if I can compose it well with the optics I will have.

MW2 (http://www.skymonste...nCatalogue.html), but I doubt it's in Sky Safari so plug in NGC3252, which is a tiny background galaxy right by it. Here's a widefield view (135mm fl) of it: https://www.astrobin.com/252587/0/


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#11 impresently

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:02 PM

MW2 (http://www.skymonste...nCatalogue.html), but I doubt it's in Sky Safari so plug in NGC3252, which is a tiny background galaxy right by it. Here's a widefield view (135mm fl) of it: https://www.astrobin.com/252587/0/

Lovely. Got it. Thanks so much.

 

Edit:

Whoa... 57 5-minute exposures.


Edited by impresently, 22 May 2019 - 11:05 PM.


#12 2ghouls

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:11 PM



Whoa... 57 5-minute exposures.

Yeah, IFN objects are a real challenge! They require dark skies, long integration and careful processing. 

 

Like 17.5Dob said, Blue Horsehead is relatively easy by comparison. I achieved this with just two hour integration and stock DSLR (SQM: 20.5):

 

get.jpg?insecure


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#13 PhotonHunter1

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:40 AM

Basically any LRGB objects especially LDN, vdB, and reflection nebula. 


Edited by mike8888, 23 May 2019 - 10:44 AM.


#14 Stargazer3236

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 08:38 PM

Rho Ophiuchi including the Blue Horsehead, Veil Nebula Complex, Elephant Trunk nebula (IC 1396), Sadr nebula in Cygnus, North American nebula, Lagoon, and Trifid (same field of view), Eagle and Swan nebula (same field of view), M24 (center of the galaxy).


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