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Omega Centari

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#1 Andrekp

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 07:07 AM

I’ve lived in South Florida most of my life, yet I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Omega Centari.  At my house, I can see down to the bottom of Sagittarius, anything further south, is blocked by the house.  I don’t really bother trying to avoid that obstacle, since the view from the front yard is full various obstacles and facing into the light pollution anyway.

 

for whatever reason, I decided to give Omega Centari a try last night.  Using sky safari, I found a spot that appeared to show it in a gap between my neighbor’s palm trees.  With binoculars I quickly scanned and found it.  I went back in and grabbed my 6” Dob.  
 

that must be one bright globular!  Despite the brightly polluted sulphuric blue sky, the bathing light of three street lamps, my neighbors outside lights, and exactly zero dark adaptation time, this stood out as an obvious patch of grey with some resolution of stars with averted vision.

 

i may need to find somewhere with darker southern views one of these days...

 

every time I look at a GC, I imagine what it would be like if you were on a planet right on the outer edge of a GC (impossible perhaps, but just a thought experiment).  In one part of your year, your skies would be absolutely filled with very bright stars by the thousands, while in the other part of your year, you’d have the vista of the a galaxy spread out before you.  I don’t know if that’s what it would be like, but that’s what I always think about...

 

Andre


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#2 btschumy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:52 AM

Burnham’s Celestial Handbook gives a description of what it would be like to live on a planet orbiting a star in the center of a globular cluster.

 

The “night” sky would be filled with many bright, blazing stars much brighter than any stars in our night sky. Many thousands of stars ranging in brilliance between Venus and the full moon would be visible at all times, so their “night” sky would never be dark. It would be difficult for inhabitants of such a planet to see dim galaxies, even using a telescope.


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#3 Andrekp

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 09:00 AM

I was thinking about a hypothetical one way out on the outer edge, outside of the globular mass.



#4 Love Cowboy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 04:45 PM



(Snip)

that must be one bright globular! Despite the brightly polluted sulphuric blue sky, the bathing light of three street lamps, my neighbors outside lights, and exactly zero dark adaptation time, this stood out as an obvious patch of grey with some resolution of stars with averted vision.

i may need to find somewhere with darker southern views one of these days...

(Snip)


Omega is the brightest globular in the sky. It should be easily visible to the naked eye at a dark site even at your latitude (I know this because it is at mine and south Florida is even farther south than me). I can only imagine how bright it must appear from the southern hemisphere where it is high in the sky



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#5 stevenrjanssens

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 07:38 PM

every time I look at a GC, I imagine what it would be like if you were on a planet right on the outer edge of a GC (impossible perhaps, but just a thought experiment).

A telescope is capable of showing you this to some extent. ω Cen is 4.8 kpc distant and 26 pc in radius. Looking at it with 200x magnification brings you a factor of 200 closer—24 pc, just inside the outer edge.


Edited by stevenrjanssens, 23 May 2020 - 07:38 PM.


#6 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:35 PM

NGC 5139 (Omega Centauri) through binoculars looks about the same size as does M13 through a telescope at medium magnification.

 

I've observed NGC 5139 through a 22" Starmaster Dob at over 500x from Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.  It was one of the most striking telescopic views I've ever had.

https://en.wikipedia...ntaurus_IAU.svg


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#7 Andrekp

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:44 PM

A telescope is capable of showing you this to some extent. ω Cen is 4.8 kpc distant and 26 pc in radius. Looking at it with 200x magnification brings you a factor of 200 closer—24 pc, just inside the outer edge.

but an Earthbound telescope can’t give you the view of thousands of Venus-bright stars everywhere in the sky.



#8 chrysalis

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 04:19 AM

I had observed it from Bishop GA in Bortle 4 skies back in 2008. Very memorable!

 

I posted on it back then but I forget how to access the wayback archives - can anyone help me out?




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