My first ever interesting object
Posted 22 May 2020 - 11:41 PM
Today was mostly cloudy all day and I figured trying out my new scope (circa 2000 5" reflector) for the third time was out. After watching a movie it was about 11:20 when I took a peek outside and was surprised with mostly clear skies! I rushed in, grabbed the mount and proceeded to set everything up. By 11:35 I was doing star alignment for the goto system. I am still learning it so everything is still not pinpoint accurate but getting close. After alignment I went back to the first star to see how close it was and it was in view although not centered but better then the previous time. I then tried to find M57 (ring nebula) but did not see it, I was using a 25mm eyepiece which gives me about 40x, so I went searching for a few more bright stars and then switched to my 12.5mm and just did some scanning. Viewing was bad and I thought I had bad collimation but it turned out fog was rolling in. I quickly switched back to my 25mm and grabbed my phone to pick an interesting patch of sky. That is when I seen a whole clump of objects with M90 about in the center. I figured I should be able to see something interesting there, it was a virtual no miss as long as the fog held out. I quickly punched in M90 and everything started to whirl where it was suppossed to go, the time, 00:03 (12:03 am). The scope stopped, I put my eye up to the eyepiece and right then, I had a bright object zoom througb my fov from top to bottom,. I instantly got a tingly feeling and the hair stood up on my arms and a big smile ran across my face. I quickly lifted my head up to look at the sky, seen nothing, grabbed my glasses next to me and looked again, nothing. I am pretty sure it was a sattlelite and not a meteor but the fog must have obscured my view from seeing it. It was a 1 in million chance and although probably nothing earth shattering it still was extremely special to me.
Sorry about the long drawn out post over this but I just had to share with someone.
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Posted 23 May 2020 - 12:29 AM
You saw a satellite. They always surprise me. You'll see several per night if you're looking through your optics.
Posted 23 May 2020 - 02:23 AM
It will be a satellite.
Odd little creatures. As astronomers we complain about them, then we get excited when one crosses our view. At outreach we regularily point them out to people during the evenings.
If you want an idea of the assortment up there: http://www.stuffin.space/
We are in the ball in the middle.
Was always a good night when a bright Iridium occurred but they are basically no more
You could find out if/when the Starlink pack passes in your view. Sort of procession ion 30+ satellites crossing the sky for half an hour or so. Different at first, boring after a while (20 minutes).
If you do any outreach worth checking for bright ones.
If you just want to look and count, get a laid back chair, good jacket (+/-blanket), sit there and just gaze. Eventually you will start to pick them out. Possibly better things to do, but also there are worse things to do. If you wanted to do it "technically" write down time and direction of travel.
Posted 23 May 2020 - 06:14 AM
The scope stopped, I put my eye up to the eyepiece and right then, I had a bright object zoom througb my fov from top to bottom.
When you say "zoom", do you mean that it took perhaps a half second, or did it truly zip across, gone almost before you registered its existence?
If the former, it was a satellite. If the latter, a meteor. They are both overwhelmingly common.
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Posted 23 May 2020 - 06:26 AM
I then tried to find M57 (ring nebula) but did not see it, I was using a 25mm eyepiece which gives me about 40x
Chances are you did see it, but didn't recognise it! M57 is still pretty small at 40x. At higher magnifications it really shows its true nature.
It was a 1 in million chance
Unfortunately, due to the amount of satellites up there, this happens much more often than you think... But it always catches you by surprise when they suddenly zip through the field of view.
Posted 23 May 2020 - 06:49 AM
I actually had a landing airliner unexpectedly cross my field once. That was jarring.
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Posted 23 May 2020 - 06:48 PM
While viewing the full moon twice with my telescope ( which is not really the best time to view the moon ), once I had a jet fly across the face of the moon, it was fast, but I could actually make out the wings, and the hot air from the motors actually blurred the view of the moon for a second or two. Then when just looking with a low power eyepiece, a bunch of bats got in front of the moon, and just flew around in that one spot for about 5 minutes. Now that was really something, looking at a full moon just coming up, then have bats swarming in front. It was like seeing a Dracula movie or something like that. I will probably never see that again, and I would think that many people will never see that, I sure was not expecting anything like that.
Then when once viewing Saturn with my 127 mak with binoviewers at about 250X, I saw something seem to move very close. It was about the size of one of the visible moons of Saturn, and that is what I thought I was looking at , until it started moving. It was moving so slowly, about the only way I could tell it was moving, is to look away for a minute, then look back, and see how far it moved. I followed it for about 45 minutes, and it finally got out of the FOV, but I still watched it as it moved away. I know that is was probably an asteroid between us, but it seemed like something in orbit around Saturn. I even pretended that I was looking at a space ship flying around Saturn ( what I would have thought it really was if I was a kid again) loved stuff like that, remember the old Flash Gordon movies.
Edited by grif 678, 23 May 2020 - 06:53 PM.
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Posted 25 May 2020 - 01:25 PM
I then tried to find M57 (ring nebula) but did not see it, I was using a 25mm eyepiece which gives me about 40x, so I went searching for a few more bright stars and then switched to my 12.5mm and just did some scanning.
M57 was a real challenge for me when I was just starting out with a small reflector. At 40x, it'll look like a fuzzy star. If you can pin it down, switch to the 12.5. At 80x, you should be able to make out the ring.
I can't remember the last time I observed when a satellite didn't cross the FOV sometime during the night. Now a meteor or airplane, that's rarer and it always does startle me.
Edited by vdog, 25 May 2020 - 01:26 PM.
Posted 27 May 2020 - 12:11 AM
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