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No joy at seeing Cat's Eye Nebula with the 10" dob

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#1 CN_102NE

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 07:12 PM

Tried to see the Cat's eye nebula for about 4 nights this week with my 10" Dob.

 

And one of those nights I was at our star-gazing site belonging to the local club.

But no joy.

 

Its magnitude is 8.3 with a surface brightness of 5.5

I know I'm looking in the right place because I've almost got the surrounding star patterns memorized.

 

The highest mag I tried was 80x and I'm not sure with that it would even be visible.

I'm guessing the skies here are just not dark enough.

 

 



#2 Luca Brasi

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 07:31 PM

Tough target! Very, very small, like Uranus small. It will look like a star at 80x, push your scope to 200x to find it. I bet you've seen it already but couldn't tell the difference...

It's easier to find with a UHC/NPB filter. With a filter, it will appear like a little blue potato. On a good night with my 8" you can even make out its progenitor!
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#3 CN_102NE

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 08:16 PM

Tough target! Very, very small, like Uranus small. It will look like a star at 80x, push your scope to 200x to find it. I bet you've seen it already but couldn't tell the difference...

It's easier to find with a UHC/NPB filter. With a filter, it will appear like a little blue potato. On a good night with my 8" you can even make out its progenitor!

Thank you!

I'll give that a try!  :-]



#4 Don H

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 08:19 PM

It is surprising how some planetaries can be so elusive. This one is worth the effort to locate and you will be happy upon tracking it down. Once you do get it, if you have a finder scope, examine the star field there. I usually position a line of 3 equally spaced stars in my finder and it will be in the low power eyepiece of my 10", which is only 67x. It shows up as a little blue green ball, and holds up nicely with higher mags, revealing the central star and some structure. The only issue is, there seem to be a lot of rows of 3 equally spaced stars in the vicinity. Happy hunting...



#5 M11Mike

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 10:10 PM

CN --- I was viewing it night before last with my Celestron  8SE.  With the "go-to" it's a snap finding things....you just have to know WHAT TO LOOK FOR / WHAT TO EXPECT.    

 

The "Cat's Eye" thru my scope at first looks like a out of focus star with a "blueish" tint - that's the dead give-a-way --- "out of focus BLUEISH star".

 

It's very small like the guys here note (quite a bit smaller than M57 for example).

 

And you CAN get it easy with 80X.

 

I first spotted it with my GSO 42mm WF (around 48X). 

 

Then I pumped up the power with my Pan 27 (around 75X) and to 112X (Delite 18.2) and then it "starts" to get bigger - kinda like Uranus as another CN's observer noted.  Finally I went to 185X (Delite 11) --- even here at almost 200X - was still "small".

 

Looked at it recently through a C14 at 300X --- then it really "pops". 

 

"Cat's Eye" likes aperture and lots of magnification.  

 

M11Mike (Ballston Lake, NY) 



#6 IMB

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 11:54 PM

Last Saturday I got a chance to observe NGC 6543 with Rob Teeter's 20" dob. The central star was clearly visible.


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#7 Roragi

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 02:58 AM

You might not be in the right zone, sometimes it happens. It is practically detectable at low power and a large field of vision. The color and thickness you will know is not a star. This planetarium needs an excellent seeing to be able to squeeze the maximum its details. You can also increase everything that the sky allows you that night.

 

Roberto.



#8 Nebula27

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 03:10 AM

You should be able to detect it quite easily at 80x even with a lot of light pollution. I live in bortle 7 skies and I could clearly see it as a small blue blob at 30x with my 6". Like others said an uhc or o-III filter would make it easier to see.

#9 Tony Flanders

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 05:28 AM

Last Saturday I got a chance to observe NGC 6543 with Rob Teeter's 20" dob. The central star was clearly visible.

The central star is readily visible through my 12.5-inch Dob at 227X.

 

As for finding it, once you're used to the appearance of small, highly concentrated planetary nebulae, this one is quite easy to locate even at low power without a filter. As others have said, it looks like a bluish star that won't quite come to focus.

 

However, also like many other of its ilk, NGC 6543 is trivial to find by "blinking" with a nebula filter. You view the field through a low-power eyepiece with long eye relief, and move the filter between the eyepiece and your eye while staring at the field. All but one of the stars will get a lot dimmer, but one "star" will seem to get suddenly much brighter. That's your target.


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#10 Astrojedi

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 09:47 AM

It is a really bright nebula which takes magnification really well. As others mentioned the trick is to distinguish it from the stars in the field.

 

Here is a sketch I made with my C9.25 @ 671x from my red zone backyard

 

https://liveastronom...es/Cats Eye.jpg


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#11 aa6ww

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 02:46 PM

The Cats Eye is clearly visible in my Back yard in Sacramento City without any problems at 90x using my C11 and 31 Nagler.
Its also easily found with my C6 Sct, also in my back yard.
As others have said, it should look like a puffy star, larger then anything else in the field of view you would have.
Just pan around very slowly in the area you are looking for and it should be visible with no problem. It takes magnification well but I'd not increase the magnification too much till you recognize it.
Use the other stars from Draco to get your bearings but with a 10" dob, you wont have any problem seeing it because you have plenty of aperture. Even with the moon in the sky, it should be visible.

You don't need a filter to see it, not with 10" of aperture. Just pan the skies very very slowly and notice what comes into your field of view.


...Ralph


Tried to see the Cat's eye nebula for about 4 nights this week with my 10" Dob.
 
And one of those nights I was at our star-gazing site belonging to the local club.
But no joy.
 
Its magnitude is 8.3 with a surface brightness of 5.5
I know I'm looking in the right place because I've almost got the surrounding star patterns memorized.
 
The highest mag I tried was 80x and I'm not sure with that it would even be visible.
I'm guessing the skies here are just not dark enough.


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#12 Chesterguy1

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 12:00 PM

Like others I have seen it unfiltered rather easily with my 15" from a Bortle 5 sky. I can't remember off-hand whether I've seen it with my 8", I guess I should try. Have not seen it with my 90mm. I know that because it was the first PN I tried to find, and I tried repeatedly, which was very frustrating. I'd be curious from the other posters on this topic what was the smallest aperture where you could find it? I was out with my 120mm the other night and I fund the Little gem, Saturn and Blue Snowball quite easily with it so perhaps it's possible with 120mm, maybe less?

 

Chesterguy



#13 IMB

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 12:53 PM

Observed NGC 6543 yesterday with my 120 mm ED doublet. Please see my post here.



#14 Nebula27

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 05:44 PM

I saw it using a 50mm finder. I almost couldn't see any difference between the nebula and the stars, but I knew where it was so I found it. I wasn't able to see the star next to it though.
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#15 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 06:16 PM

I observed 6543 late last evening with a 6" apo at 173x.  At that magnification, it's unmistakable as a planetary nebula, and looks bluish to me.



#16 vdog

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Posted 01 September 2019 - 12:28 PM

It's worth finding, so keep at it.  And it will take just about as much magnification as your equipment is capable of. 


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#17 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 01 September 2019 - 04:40 PM

If you have a normal 8x50 finder, or similar, put Omega and 27 Draconis just outside the field of view on one side of the field, and 42 and 36 Draconis just outside on the other, and NGC 6543 should be in the field of a medium power eyepiece.


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#18 azure1961p

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 05:54 PM

With a ten inch you can easily throw 500x at it but just scan slower with about 75x.  You'll see the weird fuzzy star.

 

Pete


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#19 David Knisely

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 12:50 AM

I usually use an "X" of stars in Draco made up of the stars 42, 36, 28, and 27 Draconis and put my Telrad smack-dab in the middle of the "X".  NGC 6543 is usually in the field when I do that (or at least in the field of my 8x50 finderscope, as it is easily visible in that).  It does take really high power well, although at a dark site and with a nebula filter, scopes in the 14 to 16 inch range may show the faint tattered outer shell of the nebula.  The brightest portion of that outer shell is IC 4677, and I have seen that part in my 10 inch when using a good narrow-band nebula filter or the OIII line filter.  The main bright section of the Cat's Eye does take high power well (as long as the seeing supports it).  Here is what I saw in my 14 inch one superb night at the Nebraska Star Party:

Attached Thumbnails

  • NGC6543UltraHighPowerDrawing2.jpg

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#20 Sarkikos

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 09:23 AM

I've seen the Cat's Eye in 10x42 binoculars at my bright red zone light-polluted home.  You just need to know where to look and what to look for.  

 

Download SkySafari Pro on a smartphone or tablet.  That should help you find the Cat's Eye.  Now look for a fuzzy star.  It may look greenish or bluish.  It looks bright green to me in my 10" Dob.  To see more detail, try at least 200x.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 19 September 2019 - 09:27 AM.


#21 clintmk89

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:00 AM

Love the info in this thread as I’ve tried myself to find this object without luck. Hearing someone can find it with binos gives me hope I just gotta keep trying...if the weather would clear in East Texas (and the mosquitos would move on).
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#22 Starman1

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 09:54 AM

With an 8" SCT, 1994:

bright,oval,bluish,ctr darker than edge,evidence of reddish outer ring,interesting hints of internal shape,large for planetary,ctr.star seen.  Best at 231x.

The 12.5" shows the internal details and I regularly use 300-500x.




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