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Sept 21 - Big Dob begins creation of a new catalog of Night Vision nebula targets

NV observing report
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#1 alanjgreen

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 07:19 AM

Dates x3: 19th Sept 2200-0000, 20th Sept 2100-2330 & 21st Sept 2100-2300.
Scope: 20” f3.6 Lukehurst Dob with Paracorr (fl = 2089mm & f4.1).
Night Vision: PVS-14 with Photonis 4g INTENS.
Eyepieces: Plossl 55mm (f2 x38).
Filters: Chroma 5nm Ha filter.
Moon: Waxing & some minor impacts.

 

 

Sharpless object search - state of play.

 

Over the last 16 months I have been seeking out the 313 Sharpless (sh2-) objects and have posted several reports (on Cloudynights) of my progress along the way…

I have now observed 302 of these 313 objects.

  • I should have the possibility to add sh2-172 during the next couple of months but the remaining outstanding targets will not be around again until May 2020 (and may be too low for me to get as I did try for them in 2019 but I have to hope that I get a run of clear skies on the right nights and I may bag some more, you never know?).

It seems that I have to decide how I want to spend my clear nights time over the next few months, I could:

  1. Revisit old favourites (I have a list of 115 favourite Sharpless objects that I plan to publish when we have a run of bad weather and I have some time) or
  2. Seek out new uncatalogued nebula that are not in the Sharpless catalog but are visible from my location with my equipment (and are at least comparable visually to the Sharpless objects that I have observed).

 

Creating a new observing catalog of nebula with no current designation.

I have decided to start a new catalog (as there are so many nebula within reach of our scopes when coupled with Night Vision technology)!

 

I will be scanning the Milky Way (with Night Vision and a 5nm Chroma Ha filter) using my push-to 20” Dobsonian which has encoders connected to a Nexus wireless multifunctional telescope adapter. I will use Sky Safari 5 Pro to check if the objects I find are designated any current name. I will avoid the Sharpless (sh2-) objects as they are already cataloged.

 

On locating a nebula of interest, I will use Sky Safari to find the name of a STAR at that location and use this as the “location” information. I will write a description of my observation for that object.

 

I will generate a reference for these objects, beginning from Ag1-1 thru Ag1-2, Ag1-3 etc. These names will be temporary but will allow anyone to communicate their own observations or issues with the objects to me…

 

In time, I will find and add the name of the nearest SAO star (with the aim of getting a GOTO location) for each object as not everyone uses Sky Safari.

 

After 12 months (and a full rotation of the night sky), I will re-order the identified objects based on their sky co-ordinates and generate an updated set of names Ag2-1, Ag2-2, Ag2-3 etc (at which point the Ag1 names will become obsolete).

 

 

Looks like I already started!

 

Over the last three nights I have had chance to make a start and have found and marked 44 areas of interest which have been added as the first entries in the Ag1- catalog.

 

Here are the details of the star locations and my observation notes taken.

ag00.jpg

ag01.jpg

 

Here is a screenshot of Sky Safari showing the locations on a sky chart.

ag1-x.jpg

 

 

Next Steps…

 

I will obviously be continuing to scan for additional objects in the sky above me (and add them to the Ag1- catalog).

I will also be revisiting the documented locations (on a long clear night) to confirm my observations. It should be a simple task to “push-to” them and verify my descriptions.

Once I have identified (and added) the nearby SAO references for the Ag1- objects, I will move to checking them out with the GOTO function on the Skywatcher AZGTi mount (via connected SynScan handset) and my Borg 107FL.

 

Wish me luck!

Alan


Edited by alanjgreen, 22 September 2019 - 04:44 PM.

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#2 TOMDEY

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 08:22 AM

Hi, Alan... great project! I have a similar set-up, will visit just a few of those... I'm too lazy to do "quantity viewing" anymore, but still love the Night Vision experience. Thanks for the profuse list. Where can your several reports be found? I hunted a bit but got lost.    Tom


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#3 PEterW

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 11:45 AM

Great to see how far you’ve come along your journey, 313is a lot more than I would have thought possible! Good idea to go see what uncatalogued stuff is out there, you might like to look at the Lynds LBN catalogue, thought the size/shape info isn’t a lot of use, might list some?
A new nebula mentioned ina recent magazine article might be worth a trawl…

https://apod.nasa.go...d/ap170303.html
Or
http://www.bbastrode...wings/WD-1.html
The MDW survey might prove a useful resource for NV observers, depending on how the data is scaled and how faint it goes (even NV has limits??) https://www.mdwskysurvey.org

Cheers

PEter
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#4 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 01:57 PM

Congratulations on visually completing (provisionally) the Sharpless Catalog. Quite an accomplishment!

 

Looking forward to the AG Catalog.


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#5 alanjgreen

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 04:32 PM

Hi, Alan... great project! I have a similar set-up, will visit just a few of those... I'm too lazy to do "quantity viewing" anymore, but still love the Night Vision experience. Thanks for the profuse list. Where can your several reports be found? I hunted a bit but got lost.    Tom

Hi Tom,

 

Here are links to my observing reports:

 

https://www.cloudyni...l-night-vision/

 

https://www.cloudyni...alog-continues/

 

https://www.cloudyni...avourites-list/

 

https://www.cloudyni...l-night-vision/

 

https://www.cloudyni...-night-vision…/

 

https://www.cloudyni...l-night-vision/

 

https://www.cloudyni...n-night-vision/

 

https://www.cloudyni...i-night-vision/

 

https://www.cloudyni...s-night-vision/

 

and my interim Sharpless "best of" posts:

https://www.cloudyni...rk-in-progress/

 

https://www.cloudyni...observing-list/

 

HTH,

Alan


Edited by alanjgreen, 22 September 2019 - 04:40 PM.

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#6 alanjgreen

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 04:37 PM

Congratulations on visually completing (provisionally) the Sharpless Catalog. Quite an accomplishment!

 

Looking forward to the AG Catalog.

Thanks for the encouragement Jeff!

 

Although do note that I am not claiming to have completed the full sh2- catalog. 

- I have observed 302 of 313 so there are still 11 outstanding.

- I am confident that I can bag sh2-172 (now I know where it is) but the other 10 are very low from my latitude - they may have to wait for a trip to Greece one summer when I will finally bag them (sometime in the future).



#7 TOMDEY

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 07:13 PM

WOW! Thanks, Alan... I'll spend a lot of time going thru your notes... but not as much as you did! Quite the Marathon...    Tom



#8 Gavster

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 02:42 AM

Alan, I hope you aren’t going to neglect your passion for galaxy observation with all this nebulae hunting you are doing? :)

Do you find that nv is generally more satisfying on nebulae rather than galaxies due to the lack of image scale that can be achieved with nv?


Edited by Gavster, 23 September 2019 - 02:58 AM.


#9 alanjgreen

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 03:25 AM

Alan, I‘m assuming you aren’t going to neglect your passive for galaxy observation with all this nebulae hunting you are doing?

Do you find that nv is generally more satisfying on nebulae rather than galaxies due to the lack of image scale that can be achieved with nv?

Hi Gavin,

You are correct when you say that I am a galaxy man at heart! 

 

I see no need to neglect my galaxy work (when galaxy season comes), luckily the Milky Way will have rotated away from my shed when the galaxies arrive so I will switch focus 100% to galaxies at that time and return to my “other” part complete project - the search for the best 100 galaxies with night vision ( I made good progress on this during the winter/spring but there are still plenty of targets left on my visit list before I can say I am complete ).

 

NV is revolutionary on nebula when paired with a high quality Ha narrowband filter but I would also be bold enough to say that NV can be revolutionary on galaxies too (just not all galaxies - there is an art to selecting the right ones and you need the right telescope).

 

Galaxy viewing falls into two categories and NV excels at each (if you go about it the right way)

1. Face on galaxies - must be bright and probably not too large. You need a higher concentration of light in the arms to see them.

2. Fuzzy smudges - there is no competition, NV wins every time in finding small fuzzy smudges. LEO is unbelievable with NV - so many small fuzzies everywhere. Hicksons are easy, even at tiny magnification.

 

The key for a revolution with galaxies is focal ratio of your system, for this you must use a reducer or 55mm plossl to get the focal ratio increased. Any system around f2 or faster is going to have fun with galaxies and to give the best chance of seeing the spiral arms.

 

My galaxy target list is based around the “brightest” face on galaxies and I have had great results with seeing arms in many many more galaxies than was possible before NV.

 

As you say scale (of galaxies) is also an issue so you need a scope with long focal length, a big dobsonian is perfect (to enable maximum magnification with a 55mm eyepiece). As nebulas are generally so much larger, a fast focal ratio refractor around 4” is all you need. Setup of a small scope is easier and quicker therefore targeting nebula will feel easier to the observer.

 

So to conclude, It’s certainly more straightforward to enjoy a revolution in observing with NV and nebula, but it is entirely possible to have a revolution on galaxies too (you may need to buy a long focal length, large aperture scope to achieve it though) - luckily for me, I have the 20” (so I am fortunate in that regard).

 

My task is simply to make the most of the wonderful sky that sits above me on any night that I am fortunate to have clear sky and to keep my desire to get outside. If I can create a purpose for my observing then I can keep the desire burning inside.

 

Here is a link to my galaxy project progress report from April 2019

https://www.cloudyni...r-night-vision/

 

Alan


Edited by alanjgreen, 23 September 2019 - 07:22 AM.

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#10 TOMDEY

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 08:30 AM

Hi Gavin,

You are correct when you say that I am a galaxy man at heart! 

 

I see no need to neglect my galaxy work (when galaxy season comes), luckily the Milky Way will have rotated away from my shed when the galaxies arrive so I will switch focus 100% to galaxies at that time and return to my “other” part complete project - the search for the best 100 galaxies with night vision ( I made good progress on this during the winter/spring but there are still plenty of targets left on my visit list before I can say I am complete ).

 

NV is revolutionary on nebula when paired with a high quality Ha narrowband filter but I would also be bold enough to say that NV can be revolutionary on galaxies too (just not all galaxies - there is an art to selecting the right ones and you need the right telescope).

 

Galaxy viewing falls into two categories and NV excels at each (if you go about it the right way)

1. Face on galaxies - must be bright and probably not too large. You need a higher concentration of light in the arms to see them.

2. Fuzzy smudges - there is no competition, NV wins every time in finding small fuzzy smudges. LEO is unbelievable with NV - so many small fuzzies everywhere. Hicksons are easy, even at tiny magnification.

 

The key for a revolution with galaxies is focal ratio of your system, for this you must use a reducer or 55mm plossl to get the focal ratio increased. Any system around f2 or faster is going to have fun with galaxies and to give the best chance of seeing the spiral arms.

 

My galaxy target list is based around the “brightest” face on galaxies and I have had great results with seeing arms in many many more galaxies than was possible before NV.

 

As you say scale (of galaxies) is also an issue so you need a scope with long focal length, a big dobsonian is perfect (to enable maximum magnification with a 55mm eyepiece). As nebulas are generally so much larger, a fast focal ratio refractor around 4” is all you need. Setup of a small scope is easier and quicker therefore targeting nebula will feel easier to the observer.

 

So to conclude, It’s certainly more straightforward to enjoy a revolution in observing with NV and nebula, but it is entirely possible to have a revolution on galaxies too (you may need to buy a long focal length, large aperture scope to achieve it though) - luckily for me, I have the 20” (so I am fortunate in that regard).

 

My task is simply to make the most of the wonderful sky that sits above me on any night that I am fortunate to have clear sky and to keep my desire to get outside. If I can create a purpose for my observing then I can keep the desire burning inside.

 

Here is a link to my galaxy project progress report from April 2019

https://www.cloudyni...r-night-vision/

 

Alan

Well, Alan... this has me excited! I've been using my newish 36-inch Dob mostly plain traditional visual, and sometimes with the Night Vision Gen 3 straight to the 18mm GaAs Photocathode, at F/3.75... which is spectacular on globular clusters. Have not tried galaxies yet!

 

But I do have the 55mm Plossl and TV afocal parts to use the system at an astounding F/2.04, with the ParaCorr in the chain... never tried that yet! That would give me an effective focal length of 1865mm at F/2, and a field of 38mm = 1.17 degree... think I did that right. Must try?!

 

Would you indeed recommend having the ParaCorr in? Seems to me it would benefit, because the so-configured  used field comes out to 38mm with the native feed of F-3.75, coming from the PM.    Tom



#11 alanjgreen

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 04:26 PM

Well, Alan... this has me excited! I've been using my newish 36-inch Dob mostly plain traditional visual, and sometimes with the Night Vision Gen 3 straight to the 18mm GaAs Photocathode, at F/3.75... which is spectacular on globular clusters. Have not tried galaxies yet!

 

But I do have the 55mm Plossl and TV afocal parts to use the system at an astounding F/2.04, with the ParaCorr in the chain... never tried that yet! That would give me an effective focal length of 1865mm at F/2, and a field of 38mm = 1.17 degree... think I did that right. Must try?!

 

Would you indeed recommend having the ParaCorr in? Seems to me it would benefit, because the so-configured  used field comes out to 38mm with the native feed of F-3.75, coming from the PM.    Tom

Yep, I do use the paracorr2 with the 55mm plossl with my 20” dob.

 

Televue have posted instructions on how best to setup the paracorr2 with 55mm plossl here:

http://www.televue.c...id=36&Tab=_work

 

(see the section “Getting the most night vision field with your telescope”)

 

HTH,

Alan


Edited by alanjgreen, 23 September 2019 - 04:30 PM.


#12 TOMDEY

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 04:42 PM

Yep, I do use the paracorr2 with the 55mm plossl with my 20” dob.

 

Televue have posted instructions on how best to setup the paracorr2 with 55mm plossl here:

http://www.televue.c...id=36&Tab=_work

 

(see the section “Getting the most night vision field with your telescope”)

 

HTH,

Alan

Thanks! GOOD! I'll therefore get that barrel extension that TeleVue recommends --- and try it!  Boy, that's a Loooong stack-up! My FeatherTouch focuser should be able to handle it.      Tom



#13 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:40 PM

Over the last few months I haven been wondering about sending my f/7 mirror back to Zambuto to be redone as a f/4.5. Or even f/4. (Why not go for the Gold?)

 

One of the issues is that suddenly I would need to get educated on coma correctors.

 

I'm wondering in the quest for speed if it might be worthwhile to replace the Paracorr with the Baader MPCC?

 

Not as good a correction, but no speed penalty either.



#14 alanjgreen

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 03:28 AM

Thanks! GOOD! I'll therefore get that barrel extension that TeleVue recommends --- and try it!  Boy, that's a Loooong stack-up! My FeatherTouch focuser should be able to handle it.      Tom

I use the Televue extender and it’s not that much longer as the paracorr is racked in on position A. Without the extender, I was using it out at H.

 

I recently increased the size of my secondary mirror to compensate for all that out focus smile.gif And I am seeing improved results at the eyepiece as a result!

 

Alan


Edited by alanjgreen, 24 September 2019 - 03:31 AM.



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