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

Favorite targets in a small refractor ?

  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 sipster

sipster

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 355
  • Joined: 20 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Pa. U.S.A

Posted 08 March 2020 - 12:42 AM

My most used scope  is a tv85. Just wondering  what everyones favorite  targets  are in a small  refractor. There is so much  to learn  and see, and I tend to favor the same 5 or 6 targets each season. I'm sure there are some beautiful  gems I have yet to appreciate.



#2 aa6ww

aa6ww

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,488
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2011
  • Loc: Sacramento, Calif.

Posted 08 March 2020 - 01:02 AM

How dark are your skies and what type of mount are you using?

 

...Ralph


  • jimandlaura26 and sunnyday like this

#3 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 88,925
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 08 March 2020 - 01:14 AM

Off the top of my head, some of my favorites would include Collinder 65, Collinder 69, Collinder 70, Collinder 399, Harrington 14, IC 4665, IC 4756, Kemble 1, Melotte 20, Melotte 25, Melotte 111, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7, M8, M11, M13, M17, M22, M24, M27, M31, M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M39, M41, M42, M44, M45, M47, M48, M71, M81, M82, M103, M104, NGC 457, NGC 752, NGC 869, NGC 884, NGC 2264, NGC 6231, NGC 6633, NGC 7000, NGC 7789, Picot 1, and Stock 2.


  • jimandlaura26, Jon Isaacs, sipster and 11 others like this

#4 clearwaterdave

clearwaterdave

    Aurora

  • ****-
  • Posts: 4,591
  • Joined: 27 May 2014
  • Loc: Western Maine

Posted 08 March 2020 - 03:24 AM

My fav's are the one's that I'm lookin at.,lol.,I like clusters.,big and small.,and fuzzies that I should not be able to see.,and gettin lost in the milkyway.,cheers.,


  • jimandlaura26, sipster, MarkGregory and 1 other like this

#5 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 83,098
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 08 March 2020 - 04:15 AM

It does depend on how dark the skies are. I observe from both a light polluted backyard and dark skies of high desert with more time spent under dark skies.

 

From my backyard, I spend a lot of time on double stars. These are numerous. In Orion some favorites,  Rigel, Zeta, Eta, 32. Sigma is a nice group of doubles, lambda is an association with a nice double. Nearby is the triple Beta Mons. Alula Australis is a favorite, it's in UMa towards Leo. Castor is fine double as is Polaris. Gamma Andromedae, gamma Arietis, gamma Leo (Albieba). Delta Cygni, Iota Cas. Of course there's the double-double and Albireo.  

 

To add to what Dave wrote, there's a nice little star hop that begins with IC 4665 in Ophiuchus. It's a sparse open cluster that looks like a bug with a tail. From there it's on to a triangle of stars with 70 Kph being a nice double. From there it's over to NGC 6572, a tiny but bright planetary that appears green. Nearby is NGC 6633, a bright open cluster and the nearby IC4756, a large cluster of tiny pin points.

 

Others I'd add, the 37 Cluster, NGC 2169. M46 with its planetary NGC2438, visible with a UHC filter from light polluted skies , M93, the Messier globs like 10, 12, 80, 92. 

 

I guess that's a start. From dark skies... I'll save that for later.

 

Jon


  • Dave Mitsky, jimandlaura26, sipster and 5 others like this

#6 Astrojensen

Astrojensen

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,753
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Bornholm, Denmark

Posted 08 March 2020 - 04:20 AM

My most used scope  is a tv85. Just wondering  what everyones favorite  targets  are in a small  refractor. There is so much  to learn  and see, and I tend to favor the same 5 or 6 targets each season. I'm sure there are some beautiful  gems I have yet to appreciate.

Some of my absolute favorites in a small refractor are small, bright planetary nebulae. Not only are they bright and can be seen from light polluted locations, they also show details even in very small telescopes. 

 

Some highlights, in no particular order:

 

NGC 6543, Cat's Eye nebula. Can take more magnification than almost every other planetary out there. I've used 536x on it with my 63mm Zeiss and 962x with my 4" f/11 ED. At 420x and 536x, it shows the central star in my 63mm with some difficulty. Some mottling is also visible. At 962x, the central star is easy in the 4" and the nebula begins to break up into ill-defined patches, with a faint loop at each end of the main, rectangular shape. 

 

NGC 6826, the Blinking Planetary. The central star is easy to see at all magnifications in my 63mm, but begins to stand out at 179x. At 420x, I've seen the two FLIERs on a particularly superb night.

 

NGC 7662 shows a darker center at 420x in the 63mm.

 

NGC 2392, the Eskimo Nebula shows an obvious central star at all magnifications in the 63mm. The dark center, bright star and bright outer rim is easy to see in even my 50mm Zeiss refractor at 185x. The outer rim is not quite round. 

 

NGC 7027 is extremely bright and small. At 179x in the 63mm, it is just an extremely small, slightly elongated, rectangular patch. At 420x, it starts to break up into irregular parts, with one corner being particular bright and the center somewhat darker. 

 

IC 2149 is a bit fainter than the others, but shows two extremely bright FLIERs that were visible in my 94/1300mm achromat at 742x. The central star is bright and easily visible in my 63mm Zeiss. 

 

PK 64+5.1, Campbell's Hydrogen Star has an extremely prominent central star, around mag. 9, which makes the extremely small planetary hard to see in a small telescope. The nebula itself is only 6" in diameter and completely round, so while it's quite bright, it's very hard to distinguish it from the star at normal magnifications, though it's quite apparent even at low magnifications that the star acts funny and brightens dramatically more than the other stars near it, when you use averted vision. At 420x in my 63mm Zeiss, I can *just* make out a small disk around the star, but the seeing needs to be *really* good. 

 

NGC 6210 is very bright and shows a bright, rectangular shape. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark 


  • Dave Mitsky, sipster, Alterf and 13 others like this

#7 Sasa

Sasa

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,487
  • Joined: 03 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Ricany, Czech Republic

Posted 08 March 2020 - 08:37 AM

I keep in my logbook a list of targets that I visited and that I considered as excellent

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~.../excellent.html

 

or interesting

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~...nteresting.html

 

I observe mostly with small refractors (60, 63, and 82mm are the most used), you should find plenty of candidates for your 85mm refractor.


  • Dave Mitsky, jimandlaura26, sipster and 8 others like this

#8 AndresEsteban

AndresEsteban

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 318
  • Joined: 28 Nov 2013
  • Loc: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Posted 09 March 2020 - 09:50 AM

Hi sipster. Here's a list of targets for 60 mm vintage achros, but it will suit perfectly your TV85.

https://astronomycon...erture-fever.73

- First Telescope Buy Guide - What Can I See With a 60mm Telescope?

http://buytelescope....-telescope.html

 

- Rapt in Awe - Archive for the ‘The 60mm Universe’ Category
https://raptinawe.wo...-60mm-universe/

 

- Espace L60 - Astronomy with a 60mm refractor
http://60mm.free.fr/...60_deep_sky.php

 

- Good test stars for a 60mm scope
https://www.cloudyni...r-a-60mm-scope/

 

- Star Splitters - Why Doubles?
https://bestdoubles....y-double-stars/

 

- Star Splitters - The 60mm Philosophy: Learn to Savor the View
https://bestdoubles....3c-60mm-double/

 

- The Opportune Astronomer - 60mm Sessions: Hunting for Doubles in Orion
http://www.theopport...n-doubles-60mm/

 

- The Opportune Astronomer - 60mm Sessions: Omnicron Cygni
http://www.theopport.../60mm-sessions/

 

Clear skies for us all and enjoy your scope!
Andy


  • jimandlaura26, sipster, MigL and 3 others like this

#9 LDW47

LDW47

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,247
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 10 March 2020 - 04:30 PM

My most used scope  is a tv85. Just wondering  what everyones favorite  targets  are in a small  refractor. There is so much  to learn  and see, and I tend to favor the same 5 or 6 targets each season. I'm sure there are some beautiful  gems I have yet to appreciate.

So why don’t you name as many of the ones that you keep going back to as you can, then the list of new ones can widen out from there ?  Clear Skies to the new ones !


Edited by LDW47, 10 March 2020 - 04:31 PM.

  • Jon Isaacs and sipster like this

#10 sipster

sipster

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 355
  • Joined: 20 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Pa. U.S.A

Posted 10 March 2020 - 09:10 PM

So why don’t you name as many of the ones that you keep going back to as you can, then the list of new ones can widen out from there ?  Clear Skies to the new ones !

I do kind of do that. I start the night with my 4 or 5 favorite  targets, then I feel compelled to view them in different  eyepieces, then I like to find something  new. But sometimes  clouds enter the scene, or I run out of time. Lol



#11 Jsquared

Jsquared

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 205
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2019
  • Loc: Duncan, Ok

Posted 10 March 2020 - 09:22 PM

Anybody like to look at carbon stars ?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  • jimandlaura26, NickWDavis and John Gauvreau like this

#12 sipster

sipster

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 355
  • Joined: 20 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Pa. U.S.A

Posted 10 March 2020 - 09:25 PM

How dark are your skies and what type of mount are you using?

 

...Ralph

 

How dark are your skies and what type of mount are you using?

 

...Ralph

They are fairly dark. Not country dark, but decent. 

With neighbors porch lights all off, on a clear night they are pretty  star filled. I use a ES twilight  one mount.



#13 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 88,925
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 10 March 2020 - 09:43 PM

Anybody like to look at carbon stars ?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

A number of CN members, including myself, discuss observing carbon stars from time to time.

http://www.skyandtel...-red1203201401/

 

https://www.theposta...ganic-existence

 

http://www.astrosurf...iar2/carbon.htm

 

http://www.nckas.org/carbonstars/

 

https://www.go-astro...arbon-stars.php

 

https://www.astrolea...bonStarLog3.pdf

 

https://sites.google...me/carbon-stars


  • Usquebae and sunnyday like this

#14 LDW47

LDW47

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,247
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 10 March 2020 - 11:22 PM

I do kind of do that. I start the night with my 4 or 5 favorite  targets, then I feel compelled to view them in different  eyepieces, then I like to find something  new. But sometimes  clouds enter the scene, or I run out of time. Lol

I mean name them on this post so we all know what they are, then we can give the names and location of new sights to zero in on !  Clear Skies !



#15 aa6ww

aa6ww

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,488
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2011
  • Loc: Sacramento, Calif.

Posted 11 March 2020 - 01:13 AM

if you go to this site and put in your observing address, then click on the thumbtack, what is your SMQ reading, that will determine roughly how dark your skies are, or at least give people a reference to how much an 85mm telescope can and cannot see.

 

https://www.lightpol...0FFFFFTFFFFFFFF

 

 

...Ralph



#16 paulsky

paulsky

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,323
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2004

Posted 11 March 2020 - 10:08 AM

I like the double stars territory..

Regards,

Paul



#17 Sketcher

Sketcher

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,244
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Under Earth's Sky

Posted 11 March 2020 - 01:12 PM

My favorite targets in a small refractor:  Everything!   

 

OK, so some objects I like re-visiting from time to time; but you have some of those as well.  I think any telescope deserves to be used to its limits -- on everything one can see with it.  Just because a telescope is "small" (which has different meanings for different people) doesn't mean it shouldn't be utilized as a general-purpose, observe-anything, kind of telescope.

 

Odds are, the person and their sky are going to place greater limitations on one's targets than the size of the telescope.  And I don't know enough about you nor your sky to justify making a list.  Besides . . .

 

Jay Reynolds Freeman observed all the Herschel 400 objects using a 55mm refractor.  The individual and their sky conditions shouldn't be ignored.  They're not only important, they're critical!

 

That being said, here are a few "favorites" observed with a 25.4mm (1-inch) refractor:

 

Sunspots 1 inch 50x April 13 2019 Sketcher 5
 
Arzachel Alphonsus Ptolemaeus 1 inch aperture 18 Oct 2018 67x Sketcher
 
Venus 1 inch aperture 19 Oct 2018 67x Sketcher   Text
 
M45 1 inch aperture 07 Dec 2018 20x Sketcher   text 1
 
M31 32 110  1 inch aperture 5 Dec 2018 20x Sketcher   text 1
 
Comet 46P Wirtanen 1 inch aperture 09 Dec 2018 20x Sketcher   text
 
Albireo   Gamma Delphini 1 inch aperture 67x Sketcher   text

 

An 85mm telescope has more than 3 times the resolution and more than 10 times the light-grasp of the 1-inch aperture used for the above observations/sketches.  But of course, sky darkness was of critical importance for some of those sketches; and most people don't have easy access to skies that are that dark.  On the other hand, two of those sketches were made in the daytime.

 

My suggestion:  Keep going outside.  Continue to re-visit your favorites (I'm sure they're worth it!).  And gradually add to your ever growing list of observed objects.

 

Think about how Charles Messier came about most of the objects in his "list".  Many were unknown to him before he "stumbled" upon them.

 

In all seriousness, there's nothing wrong with systematically sweeping the sky (much as C. Messier did) while keeping track of all the "goodies" one stumbles across.  In some ways, all of our Internet resources, DSO catalogs, star charts, go-to telescopes, etc. have removed a lot of the pleasures one might otherwise gain from owning an astronomical telescope.  Sometimes we rely too much on our 21st century technologies.

 

Some things are better coming from ones self than they are coming from the experiences of others.  Create your own experiences!  Make your own discoveries!  Life can be more meaningful and more enjoyable that way smile.gif


  • zjc26138, sipster, payner and 10 others like this

#18 kmparsons

kmparsons

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 262
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2007
  • Loc: Texas

Posted 11 March 2020 - 02:52 PM

I have to do most of my observing from my backyard in my badly light-polluted suburb of Houston. (Texans love their floodlights. Yee-haa!) With a 70-90mm scope, there is still plenty to see on a clear, moonless night. All of the well-known clusters are great, especially the Beehive, the Perseus Double Cluster, M6, M7, the Lagoon (M8), the Trifid (M20), The Pleiades, The Hyades (very low power), and NGC 6124 (an often overlooked treat IMO). All of the bright nebulae and the Moon and planets, of course. If you want a very user-friendly guide, I have always found Turn Left at Orion (now in at least its fourth edition) to be very helpful. 


  • sipster, Alterf and LDW47 like this

#19 LDW47

LDW47

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,247
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 11 March 2020 - 03:03 PM

My favorite targets in a small refractor:  Everything!   

 

OK, so some objects I like re-visiting from time to time; but you have some of those as well.  I think any telescope deserves to be used to its limits -- on everything one can see with it.  Just because a telescope is "small" (which has different meanings for different people) doesn't mean it shouldn't be utilized as a general-purpose, observe-anything, kind of telescope.

 

Odds are, the person and their sky are going to place greater limitations on one's targets than the size of the telescope.  And I don't know enough about you nor your sky to justify making a list.  Besides . . .

 

Jay Reynolds Freeman observed all the Herschel 400 objects using a 55mm refractor.  The individual and their sky conditions shouldn't be ignored.  They're not only important, they're critical!

 

That being said, here are a few "favorites" observed with a 25.4mm (1-inch) refractor:

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

An 85mm telescope has more than 3 times the resolution and more than 10 times the light-grasp of the 1-inch aperture used for the above observations/sketches.  But of course, sky darkness was of critical importance for some of those sketches; and most people don't have easy access to skies that are that dark.  On the other hand, two of those sketches were made in the daytime.

 

My suggestion:  Keep going outside.  Continue to re-visit your favorites (I'm sure they're worth it!).  And gradually add to your ever growing list of observed objects.

 

Think about how Charles Messier came about most of the objects in his "list".  Many were unknown to him before he "stumbled" upon them.

 

In all seriousness, there's nothing wrong with systematically sweeping the sky (much as C. Messier did) while keeping track of all the "goodies" one stumbles across.  In some ways, all of our Internet resources, DSO catalogs, star charts, go-to telescopes, etc. have removed a lot of the pleasures one might otherwise gain from owning an astronomical telescope.  Sometimes we rely too much on our 21st century technologies.

 

Some things are better coming from ones self than they are coming from the experiences of others.  Create your own experiences!  Make your own discoveries!  Life can be more meaningful and more enjoyable that way smile.gif

Well said, nothing wrong with a few tips, a few hints but first should come your own thoughts, your own initiatives ! Keep reading, keep looking at the sky maps, experiment because only you can witness, learn the black skies above your head on any given nite ! It can be fun and challenging to squeeze out and beyond the capabilities of ones scope !  Clear wonderful skys !



#20 kmparsons

kmparsons

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 262
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2007
  • Loc: Texas

Posted 11 March 2020 - 04:07 PM

These are VERY helpful replies. I have printed them up and will keep them with my other observing guides. 



#21 t.r.

t.r.

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ****-
  • Posts: 6,149
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008
  • Loc: 1123,6536,5321

Posted 11 March 2020 - 04:18 PM

In addition, get Sky and Telescope Publishing “ Celestial Sampler” by Sue French...a great companion to small telescopes broken down by season!
  • peleuba, sipster and eros312 like this

#22 desertlens

desertlens

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,609
  • Joined: 06 Dec 2010
  • Loc: 36°N 105°W

Posted 11 March 2020 - 04:36 PM

Unfortunately, Celestial Sampler is out of print. Sue's Deep-Sky Wonders is still out there. The latter is more in depth but I miss the concise approach of the former. Without thinking, I gave my copy of the Sampler to a friend. When I went looking to replace it... nada.


  • jimandlaura26 likes this

#23 Jsquared

Jsquared

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 205
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2019
  • Loc: Duncan, Ok

Posted 11 March 2020 - 05:09 PM

I’ll add another target ..... the sun. I’ve a Quark chromosphere h alpha filter on order. Scopes 80mm or less don’t require extensive energy rejection filters as larger scopes.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

#24 sipster

sipster

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 355
  • Joined: 20 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Pa. U.S.A

Posted 22 March 2020 - 02:57 PM

I mean name them on this post so we all know what they are, then we can give the names and location of new sights to zero in on !  Clear Skies !

I like to revisit open clusters  ngc884 869, m44, m35, m41, glob m13, also besides planets  and the moon, m57, m42, m31, albiero, m27, m8, m45. I think that about covers it off the top of my head.



#25 NYJohn S

NYJohn S

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,092
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Northport, NY

Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:06 AM

I just got back from darkish skies, a green zone and NGC 2420 really surprised me. I think the combination of a small scope, 4" refractor, and the dark sky made it a very interesting object. I was scanning the sky between Gemini & Cancer at 30x and came across what looked like a small round nebula to me. As I increased the magnification stars resolved across a background of nebulous haze. At 130x as the stars spread across unresolved haze it was quite striking. A little reverse star hopping and I realized I was on NGC 2420.

 

After a little research and I found this description by Stephen James O'Meara where he refers to it as the "The Twinkling Comet" cluster" He came across it while searching for comets and his description mirrors what I saw and my surprise when it resolved into stars.

 

I saw a round cometary form enter the field. My heart stopped; the diffuse object looked so stunning against the mottled starlight in the field - like a fuzzy snowball, But on closer inspection, I saw the "comet's vapors" twinkling with averted vision. When I increased the magnification, the "vapor" shattered into a myriad of tiny scintillating gems."

 

Because of it's location so close to NGC 2392 - Eskimo Nebula, I'm sure I must have viewed it before. It may have been the darker skies that allowed me to see the nebulous haze which made it look so interesting. Next clear night I'll check it out from home to see if that's the case. 


  • payner and daquad like this


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