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What would you observe with a 30" scope?

dso observatory observing
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#26 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 01:19 PM

I'd observe where I'm at on the ladder and how far it is to the ground....



The scope is a 30 inch Dall-Kirkham that once belonged to Paul Van Slyke.





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#27 Luca Brasi

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 10:38 PM

Great stuff here!  Wish the rest of the internet could be as enlightened as the folks on Cloudy Nights...

That’s a very long focal length scope, so unless they utilise 3” eyepieces, you are going to be limited to a small TFOV. 

The big showpiece objects of the sky lose context when you can only observe a small portion of them at a time, so I would stick to smaller targets you can frame well in the eyepiece.


The two classes of objects that benefit the most from increasing aperture are galaxies and planetary nebula. I would have lots of those on the menu.

I have been considering the FOV issue.  I am tempted to go for the heart of the Eagle Nebula, since I can only get a hint of the bok globules there.  But the limited FOV may hinder such a nebula.  Someone mentioned the Trifid M20, that may make for an interesting emission nebula within the limited FOV.



  Andromeda's Parachute  with the goal of seeing  A, B and C images resolved and distinct.  later when the seeing is steadier. 


  I'd also hit PGC 60004 and a few of the harder targets from the Distant Galaxies thread; ....but only a choice few.


  Then some small Planetaries, zoomed and resolved, for color.


  And a smattering of globulars....


  Storms in Jupiter's bands, Saturn's rings.


  A deep M42 rip...


  The 30" Veil Nebula tour. 

I like how you think!  Andromedas Parachute is at the top of my list, I would be impressed if I could see just one of them.  But I worry that it may be too low in the sky, since it will be about 33 degrees at the end of my session.   But PGC 60004 may make the list since it's in prime position.  I'm also considering Abell 2065 in Corona Borealis as a nice galaxy cluster...  For planetary nebula, NGC 6543 the Cats Eye seems like a good target.  Small in my scope but will it show detail in a 30"?  The Ring Nebula is an intriguing choice.  Its a really nice object in my 14", but it may put on quite a show with a larger scope?



I would mix it up. Go after your favorites and pick some difficult objects that are beyond the reach of your 14 inch.


I'd definitely do Stephan's quintet, it was pretty awesome in my 25 inch, should be better in the 30.


I find that in a 20 inch plus scope, I spend most of the time looking at faint galaxies, you might pick a few very distant galaxies, something beyond a billion light years. 



Stephan's quintet looks like a great option!  I was thinking M51 would be impressive, but it is already impressive through my 14" dob.  Does Stephan's quintet show arms/dust through a 25"? 



My list for consideration, I only have 3 hours so only one object per category...

-Jupiter and maybe Saturn, if my session begins before the sky is completely dark

-Globular Cluster     M22?

-Showpiece galaxy    Seyfert's Sextet?  Something with nice detail, but something beyond my 14" scopes ability.

-Planetary Nebula    NGC 6503, NGC 7662 or M57 Ring Nebula?

-Showpiece Nebula    M20 Trifid, M16 Eagle, or M27 Dumbbell?

-Nice Galaxy Cluster    Abell 2151?

-Distant Galaxy Cluster    Abell 2065?

-Challenger    Andromedas Parachute or PGC 60004?

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#28 quazy4quasars


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Posted 16 July 2020 - 12:14 PM

The number of stars that pop through the Huygens region with the 30" Lockwood is just astounding.  Aug is a little early for its full splendor.

Yes, August is really too early for M42, that occurred to me rather belatedly.

#29 George N

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 09:16 AM

I would skip the planets. With them as low in the sky as they are, the 30-incher won't show any more detail than your 14-incher. All it will accomplish is to ruin your dark adaptation and give you a false feeling that the 30-incher is a bad telescope.

I have a friend with a 36-inch F/4 (ATM scope - he needed a 'pro' to clean up the final figure on his home-made mirror) who I sometimes set up next to. One evening at Cherry Springs as we waited for dark I asked if I could use the 36 to view the thin crescent moon and Venus. The moon was -- just the moon -- but Venus almost blinded me!  ;)
While I personally would be going for the dimmest galaxy clusters I could think of - the owner likes to show 'eye candy' to people. I was pretty impressed scanning around M-31 in the 36 with an ES 30mm 100 degree 3-inch eyepiece. I did not bother to get in the long line the night Al Nagler had his NV gizmo on the 36 -- but others seemed impressed -- especially Al.
My first look thru a scope in that class was a 32-inch F/4 at Stellafane in 1995 (my first year there). The owner had the Veil in it - with O-III filter. I bought an O-III the next week - I did NOT buy a 30-inch Dob - however I do own a 20-inch!  ;) 

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