Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Newbie Question: Viewing list suggestion for my new 12" Dob

  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 smiller

smiller

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 59
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2018

Posted 25 June 2019 - 12:48 AM

Hi,

 

I'm looking for your suggestions for a viewing list for my new 12" Orion XT12G Dob.  Although I'm  just learning to use in my light polluted suburban skies, next week, I'll be spending 5 days in very dark skies at my brother house in  the North central Washington Cascades... very very dark,  fairly high and very dry.

 

So I want to wow them with a bit of a tour of a few the favorites available this time of year at 48deg North.  I expect most viewing will be the first two hours just after it gets dark enough, so say 10:30 PM to ~12:30 AM.  If there is something that shouldn't be missed later, I'm game.

 

One factor  is that we are all newer observers so objects I can likely locate (I have the Goto system but just learning it and so far, I'm not 100% getting items into view without some searching) and objects that newbies can appreciate (high color contrast binaries, globulars, galaxies, nebula, and of course Jupiter and Saturn).

 

I was able to find the ring nebula, Andromeda, and I think the Whirlpool galaxy from my light polluted skies so expect to cover those and of course Jupiter and Saturn are obvious and easy targets.   I would like an example of the best of globulars, nebula, and binary pairs.

 

Cheers,

 

Steven

 

 



#2 kfiscus

kfiscus

    Baltic Birch Dob Bases

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 6637
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA

Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:56 AM

The later you can stay up, the more GREAT targets will be visible in the southern Milky Way.  Must see objects down there are glob M-22, the Lagoon Neb, Swan Neb, Trifid Neb.

 

Much higher up, the Wild Duck Cluster, the Dumbbell, Veil, the Coathanger with NGC 6802 next to it.


  • REC and pgs/sdg like this

#3 sg6

sg6

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6119
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Norfolk, UK.

Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:17 AM

Contrast binaries: Albireo and Almaak, for fun Mizar/Alcor, Double-Double in Lyra.

Globulars M13 in Hercules.

Open Clusters: Double Cluster in Perseus.

Planets as you say Saturn and Jupiter.

 

Main thing is get the goto and tracking operating, especially the tracking. You cannot stand a person in front of a dobsonian for the first time and expect them to get anything in view. So you need the tracking.

 

You locate object, it tracks, they look.

 

Slightly surprised that Andromeda is high enough to be seen, well seen easily. It is stll low at this time and for all you need down at 20x even with a widish eyepiece. If you see just the core then take binoculars along. Believe me they will appreciate the use of them on M31. Also means if Andromeda is too low so is Almaak.

 

Easy option is load up Stellarium, change time, see what assorted symbols appear and scribble them down. Well scribble down the good looking ones.


  • REC likes this

#4 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 12951
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 25 June 2019 - 05:40 AM

I have always used the Astronomical League's Observing Club lists,

there are many to choose from.

 

edj


  • ShaulaB likes this

#5 stoest

stoest

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 294
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2016

Posted 25 June 2019 - 07:53 AM

For me in a big scope the Veil may be the most interesting object out there.  An Oiii filter is a big help for that. I agree with the other objects mentioned with M51 and the Wild Duck being personal favorites.



#6 REC

REC

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11498
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2010
  • Loc: NC

Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:36 AM

The later you can stay up, the more GREAT targets will be visible in the southern Milky Way.  Must see objects down there are glob M-22, the Lagoon Neb, Swan Neb, Trifid Neb.

 

Much higher up, the Wild Duck Cluster, the Dumbbell, Veil, the Coathanger with NGC 6802 next to it.

You cant beat these items along with the Ring nebula in Lyra. And as long as you are there, the double double start and Jupiter and Saturn.

 

PS, these nebula's really pop with a UHC type of nebula filter!

 

Have a great trip and let us know how it went.



#7 brentknight

brentknight

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1018
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Foley, Alabama

Posted 25 June 2019 - 06:30 PM

If you have some filters, the nebulae in Sagittarius and Cygnus would be great. Globular clusters  are usually showstoppers too. M22, M13, etc...  Maybe see if you can ferret out the Coma/Virgo galaxies before they get too low - nothing beats 3 or 4 galaxies all in the same field. 


Edited by brentknight, 25 June 2019 - 06:31 PM.


#8 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12776
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:05 PM

Create a list of targets sorted by constellation using Tonight's Sky -
http://www.cloudynig...ights-sky-free/

 

Using an angle gauge to help find targets
https://www.cloudyni...y/#entry8120838

 

Globular clusters are spectacular in a 12" and especially at a darker site.   I would focus on these.

 

Jupiter and Saturn are always crowd pleasers.

 

What do you have in eyepieces so you can present a good image of each target.   You don't have a signature so I don't know what eyepieces you have.  You will want a range of magnifications so you can get the right one for each target.

 

My Baader Hyperion zoom is my most used eyepiece in my 12" Dob.   But there are many targets that look great at low power and others where you will want to be over 200X.



#9 dgordontx

dgordontx

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 165
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2018
  • Loc: Central, TX

Posted 26 June 2019 - 10:10 AM

With last night being my second good night with my 12" dob here's a list of what I could see really good:

 

NGC 188, M3, M4, M107, M12, M10, Cr 350, NGC 6633, IC 4756, NGC 6709, M23, NGC 6618, Omega Nebula, Eagle Nebula, and M11. I used SkySafari to plan my night.


  • REC likes this

#10 REC

REC

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11498
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2010
  • Loc: NC

Posted 26 June 2019 - 11:13 AM

With last night being my second good night with my 12" dob here's a list of what I could see really good:

 

NGC 188, M3, M4, M107, M12, M10, Cr 350, NGC 6633, IC 4756, NGC 6709, M23, NGC 6618, Omega Nebula, Eagle Nebula, and M11. I used SkySafari to plan my night.

I have not used Sky Safari that much to plan with. Are you referring to their "Tonights Best" feature?



#11 dgordontx

dgordontx

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 165
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2018
  • Loc: Central, TX

Posted 26 June 2019 - 11:17 AM

I have not used Sky Safari that much to plan with. Are you referring to their "Tonights Best" feature?

No, the planner feature. You can search by type of object, magnitude, size, altitude, time frame, etc. Then turn those into an observing list and plot them on the sky. In the observing list, I personally select to only show unobserved items so that the ones I do observe (by creating a new observation) do not show in the sky anymore.



#12 smiller

smiller

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 59
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2018

Posted 27 June 2019 - 12:45 PM

Great suggestions and pointers to resources.  I had my initial list, but I'm improving it now based on your suggestions.

 

Cheers,

 

Steven



#13 REC

REC

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11498
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2010
  • Loc: NC

Posted 27 June 2019 - 02:28 PM

I don't see the "planner feature"? I find that this program is not too intuitive, at least for me. I wish the maker for this product had some good insturction videos on SS and take you step by step on the most important features.



#14 Ihtegla Sar

Ihtegla Sar

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 298
  • Joined: 02 Apr 2019
  • Loc: Pacific Northwest

Posted 27 June 2019 - 02:52 PM

You have some great suggestions in this thread.  I had my 12 inch dob out last month in the foot hills of the Cascades of Washington state and got great views of several globular clusters, galaxies, planetary nebula and emission nebula.  These really pop in a 12 inch scope under dark skies compared to my 8 inch.

 

In addition to what has already been listed in this thread, I would add the Owl Nebula (M 97), which is a great target in a 12 inch scope and if you have a wide field eyepiece, you can see spiral galaxy M108 in the same field of view, then increase magnification to see the eyes in the Owl.  I could see them pretty easily with averted vision.

 

I also like the Pinwheel Galaxy (M 101), which is similar to the main galaxy in the Whirlpool.  That was the first galaxy that I could make out the spiral structure visually, using my 12 inch dob and an 18mm ES 82 degree eyepiece.

 

Enjoy your trip to the dark skies!


  • REC likes this

#15 Araguaia

Araguaia

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1551
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2018
  • Loc: deepest, darkest Brazil

Posted 27 June 2019 - 03:23 PM

12" dob, dark skies... you need some galaxies!

 

The Leo Triplet of galaxies - if you can get all three in the field it is a multiple "wow".

 

Markarian's Chain - a bit dimmer, but so many fuzzies in the view...

 

The Needle galaxy in Coma - best bright edge-on available right now, unless M104 is not too low at your location.



#16 BrettG

BrettG

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 174
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 28 June 2019 - 07:33 AM

I don't see the "planner feature"? I find that this program is not too intuitive, at least for me. I wish the maker for this product had some good insturction videos on SS and take you step by step on the most important features.

Do you have version 6 Plus or Pro?  It is only in those versions.



#17 REC

REC

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11498
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2010
  • Loc: NC

Posted 28 June 2019 - 10:53 AM

Do you have version 6 Plus or Pro?  It is only in those versions.

Oh, that's why!!! No, 5+



#18 Keith Rivich

Keith Rivich

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1748
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2011
  • Loc: Cypress, Tx

Posted 28 June 2019 - 10:59 AM

While I highly encourage researching DSO's to observe there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

 

Pensack's 500 best list will keep you busy for years to come...

 

https://www.cloudyni...-best-dso-list/

 

Also, 

Consider getting the Stellarium Atlas...it is optimized for a 12" scope and clearly denotes which DSO's are in easy range of the 12" under good skies.


  • dgordontx likes this

#19 Ihtegla Sar

Ihtegla Sar

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 298
  • Joined: 02 Apr 2019
  • Loc: Pacific Northwest

Posted 02 July 2019 - 01:40 PM

That Don Pensack list is good but a bit overwhelming.  The list in this thread is shorter and easier to thumb through to find some good objects for a newby or in my case coming back to astronomy after a few decades  of hiatus, and I observed quite a few from this thread in my 12" dob last weekend, including M8, M13, M17, M20, M27, M57, M31, M32, M110 and double stars Albiero and Eplison Lyrae.  M31, 32 and 110 were all three visible in in the field at once using my low power 82 degree 30mm ES eyepiece and dust lanes in M31 were easily visible.  

 

I also observed two others that are pretty easy to find with a manual dob and often overlooked, but I thought they were well worth observing.  The first is M56, which is a small globular cluster in Lyra that is easy to find as it is located along an imaginary line between Albiero and M57 (ring Nebula) at the bottom end of Lyra.  M56 was fully resolved in the 12 inch and made a nice little glob to look at.  Not as big and bright as M13 but still well worth finding and often overlooked.

 

The second is M29, which is a pretty little open cluster that I think looks like a horse. It is easy to find because it is so close to the central star in Cygnus where the two lines of the northern cross intersect.


  • brentknight likes this

#20 smiller

smiller

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 59
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2018

Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:42 AM

Well I made my list had a couple of two hour sessions with my new scope.  The first night it took me about 45 minutes to learn to use the features and align the scope properly for the GoTo function.  Initially, it was a bit of a comedy of errors that I’m sure you would chuckle at:  Finderscope a bit loose after transporting, power cable kicked loose while walking around the scope, etc.

 

But after a proper two star alignment, the XT12G GoTo located objects in my 18mm 82 degree eyepiece about 2/3rds the time and the other times it was just outside the field of view.  I was pleased with that.

 

I managed to locate M3, M4, M5, M57 (ring nebula), Epsilon Lyrae, M13, M51, Andomeda, M20 (trifid nebula), wild duck cluster, and of course Jupiter, Saturn, and a few other objects randomly panning.  Oh and we managed to follow a satellite with the hand controller.

 

The biggest “wow” objects besides the planets (which were unfortunately only OK in my opinion due to being so low at 48 degrees latitude) were the globular clusters.  They were awesome as no one, including myself, ever saw them as an actual  massive collection of stars.  The 12” clearly shows them.  The ring nebula was cool and The whirlpool and Andromeda were up there but although we could make out some structure in M51, I would say I couldnt really see a spiral, more like a ring around the core with sone undefined structure to my untrained eye.  The companion galaxies were very cool though.

 

I wasn’t successful in finding the Leo triplet nor the coma/Virgo but it wasn’t dark until 11:30 that far north.

 

What I loved about my equipment:

 

1) Scope optics seemed spectacular to me.  Tack sharp and high contrast.

2) Easy to set up and I’d just eave it set up and dolly it out on a small plywood ramp each evening.  It literally took only 1 minute to move it out and another 2 minutes load up the eyepieces in the rack and plug in.  Entering time and alighning was probably 3-4 minutes after some practice.

3) my ES 82 degree eyepieces (8.8, 11, 18mm).  So comfortable to use!  No one had difficulties just walking up and seeing.  I want a 30mm and perhaps a 6-7mm range eyepiece or barlow.

 

what wasn’t so good:

 

1) Red dot finder took some getting used to.  I actually like it now as I can see the whole sky while locating

2) Altough the GoTo was pretty accurate, it still wasn’t great at tracking.  Every 60 seconds I would still need to adjust with the hand controller.  How can it find so well but not track better than that is confusing.

3). Weight and size are a bit of a challenge transporting in my Highlander, but zero issues once setup.  It’s a bit of a two person scope to load in the car.

4) manual pointing the scope by pushing the tube is ok, but could be much smoother as you tend to have to push past the object so it can rebound about an eyepiece view width when you let go.

 

Thank you for all the help,

 

Steven


Edited by smiller, 06 July 2019 - 08:47 AM.

  • brentknight likes this

#21 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 84310
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 07 July 2019 - 12:15 PM

Here are a few DSOs that haven't been specifically mentioned that you may want to attempt at some point: the open clusters M34, M39, NGC 457, NGC 752, and NGC 7789; the globular clusters M2, M15, M56, M71, and M92; the planetary nebulae NGC 6210, NGC 6543, NGC 6572, NGC 6826, and NGC 7009; and the galaxies M33, M106, NGC 5907, NGC 6946, and NGC 7331. 

 

NGC 6888 is an interesting emission nebula but will require a narrowband or OIII filter.  Struve 2470/2474 is Lyra's other and more attractive Double Double.  Well, almost, as it's not a gravitationally bound four-star system.

 

Dave Mitsky




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics