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eye pieces to see nebulae

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#1 Diloo

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 01:50 PM

Good evening everybody,

 I have an  Orion Dobsonian 8 inch telescope,which came with a 1,25"-25 mm, and I acquired a 8 mm too.

 

1) I am very frustrated when it comes to search for nebulae  like the Trifid, Swan, or the Lagoon nebulae in Sagitarrius, or the Crab nebula in Taurus, can't see them with the eyepieces I have-

So I am looking for a widefield of view eye piece (and an Ultra high contrast

filter. I am being told to get a 1,25"x 15 mm ultra wide angle (Omegon). And some people rave about a 2"x 30 Superview eyepiece. 

 

Your opinion?

 

Thank you!!



#2 Astrojensen

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 01:55 PM

Your 25mm is plenty good enough to see the bright nebulae you've listed, the real reason you're not seeing them is (most likely) your light polluted skies and your lack of experience. A filter will help quite a lot, but dark skies will be far, far better. 

 

A new eyepiece will be only a small improvement. Sorry, but that's the brutal truth. Dark skies are overwhelmingly the most important factor.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#3 sg6

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 01:57 PM

How much is the budget?

Has to be the first question. Are you talking Paradigm budget ($60) or Ethos budget (Lots of $$$).

 

How big are the nebula, then work backwards so they fill half the field, maybe a third of the field.

Crab is small you need magnification for that, bigger nebula you need width and the 2 are in opposition to each other = one or the other.

 

Off to find out how big each is.

 

And drive somewhere dark. If you have LP don't expect a filter to solve all problems.


Edited by sg6, 16 September 2020 - 01:59 PM.


#4 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 01:59 PM

I can't speak regarding the quality of the 15mm Omegon UWA personally but, coupled with a narrow-band filter, a 15mm eyepiece might provide fairly good views of M1, M17, and M20, depending upon how badly light-polluted your skies are.

https://www.prairiea...common-nebulae/


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#5 KTAZ

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 02:01 PM

It is VERY hard to select eyepieces for individual targets, not to mention expensive.

 

A UHC filter is a good choice to bring out detail in many (not all) nebulae. Higher FL, low power eyepieces will allow you to see some of the largest objects out there, while lower FL and higher magnification eyepieces will be better for smaller targets. Bear in mind that higher power results in dimmer views, so there are diminishing returns at some point.

 

Install Stellarium on your computer, it's free. Use the Oculars plug-in to enter your telescope info, and then you can plug in the details on a dozen eyepieces and compare what the targets look like through them. Then make a choice. Just bear in mind that it is a computer simulation; many objects may be far dimmer in reality when looked at in the field.


Edited by KTAZ, 16 September 2020 - 02:02 PM.

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#6 phillip

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 02:03 PM

Will add sky conditions vary alot as well, but definitely as mentioned a dark sky site is really a must.

 

Veteran observors have pulled in with some light polution, but takes loads of experience for That! 

 

 

See others are posting sure load info for u

 

Only the best...

 

Suggestion try the easiest nebula, even larger Galaxy at the start,Orion Nebula is easier, get adapted to catching eye detail. M57 Ring Nebula, tho small is compact with some brightness practice magnification as it will take it Here! Eventually work up to the challenging ones, likely help alot for You! 

 

Good Luck! 


Edited by phillip, 16 September 2020 - 02:15 PM.


#7 M11Mike

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 02:32 PM

Have to agree pretty much with Thomas from Denmark.  

 

You probably will have to try observing from a darker location. 

 

The "Lagoon" nebula is a NAKED EYE object from any decent observing spot.

 

With a 8" scope it is quite apparent from like any reasonably dark location.

 

M11Mike


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#8 BrooksObs

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 02:50 PM

Diloo - There is no such thing as any eyepiece that specifically brings out the visibility of nebulae. The best that can be done is to use a low magnification, wide field type. Your 25mm should do the job.

 

As others have already expressed, you difficulty in spotting them so far likely arises from light pollution at your location. Other than the Orion Nebula, most others require dark skies to reveal their full beauty. However, don't expect to see views like those in photos - that's almost impossible. If you manage to get to a dark sky site you will quickly learn that nebulae usually appear mostly as ill-defined patches of light and little more...even though some you mention in your original post are quite apparent to the unaided eye in a dark sky!

 

BrooksObs


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#9 sg6

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 02:50 PM

A right range of sizes:

Trifid = 28 arcmin say 0.5 degree

Swan = 11 arcmin say 0.2 degree

Lagoon = 90x40 arcmin, using the biggest say 1.5 degrees

Crab = 7 arcmin just over 0.1 degree.

 

The Lagoon will need a 2 degree field or more, using a almost normal 60 degree eyepiece that means 30x.

If the scope is f/2, 1200mm then you need a 40mm eyepiece and for 60 degrees that is the 2" format. No idea whose. But low power and wide.

If f/5 and 1000mm then still 30x but that means a 35mm 60 degree eyepiece and again you are in the 2" formats.

If you wanted to just squeeze it is the widest is a 24/68 and you can work out if one would manage 1.5 degrees.

 

Group Swan and Crab together say 0.5 degree field, that is 120x on a 60 degree eyepiece and on a 1200mm that is a 10mm eyepiece. Could try a 12mm Paradigm for around 0.6 degree field or an 8mm for 150x and 0.4 field - suggest a bit tight.

 

Trifid at 0.5 will need a 1 degree field and that is 60x and if 1200mm scope that is a 20mm eyepiece..

 

So seems like a 2" eyepiece up around the 40mm mark for Lagoon, a 10mm for Swan and Crab, and a 20mm for Trifid.

 

As eyepieces never come in exactly optimum you will have to will have to determine the best for you.

Most are described as HII regions, except the Crab. So if you go for a filter find out the optimum for HII regions, or as we call it Ha. So I guess that an OIII filter is useless, as could be some Nebula filters - they are for OIII emission nebula.

 

Have fun, but find somewhere dark.

Also Ha and eyes tend to not work exactly as people hope/expect. Ha could fall in you night vision sensativity so will be mono not a "red" polychromatic (grey).


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#10 MellonLake

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 02:56 PM

These; Trifid, Swan, or the Lagoon nebulae, and the Crab nebula, are very bright DSOs and are easily visible from dark skies with no filters in an 8".  Bellow are my recommendations for better DSO viewing.  

 

 

Steps to take for better DSO viewing. 

 

1) Dark skies.   The darker the better.  In Bortle 2-3 I can find 40 or so galaxies in Virgo with 10" dob.  In Bortle 1 skies it is closer to 70 galaxies.  More and more objects become visible in dark skies.  View DSOs well after the sun has set and when the moon is not up (near the new moon)

2) Dark adaptation.  Our eyes have two types of sensors.  Rods and cones.  The cones are our colour vision sensors and the rods are our night vision sensors.  While the cones are active, a chemical is produced which inactivates the rods.   Thus, when looking at bright coloured light, our night vision sensors are shut down.  It takes up to 30 minutes for the chemical to dissipate from the retina.  Thus, not looking at bright lights for more half an hour will make faint DSOs far more visible. Using a red gel for a phone or laptop when looking at software will also help greatly. Dark adaptation is more important than most beginners think. 

3) Averted vision.  As noted above, our eyes have cones and rods.  The cones we use for normal daytime vision are located in the centre of our retina.  The rods are located on the periphery of our retina.  Because of the peripheral location of the rods we can't actually see faint DSOs if we look directly at them.  We have to kind of look slightly above or below the DSO to see it.  This is called averted vision. You might have noted that the DSOs are more visible when scanning back and forth with telescope or binoculars but when you stop to look at the DSO it kind of disappears.   This is because when you are scanning the light is falling on the rod cells at the periphery of the retina but when you try to focus on the DSO the light is not falling on the sensitive rod cells but on the less light sensitive cone cells.  Averted vision takes practice.  I could not see any detail in galaxies when I started out, now with practicing averted vision and properly dark adapting, I can see the spiral arms in many brighter galaxies.

4) Filters (Discussed above). Emission and Planetary nebulae can be more easily seen with filters.  Specifically UHC filters really improve many nebulae (Oiii and H(a) filters also help but on fewer objects).  UHC filters allow the nebulae light through but not any other light increasing the contrast of the nebula (the nebula is not bright but the background is darker).  Objects like the Veil nebula, North America nebula, rosette nebula, helix nebula (all very very large DSOs) become visible with a UHC where they are difficult to detect without a UHC. 

5) Aperture. The bigger the telescope aperture the more light that is gathered and generally the easier it is to see the DSOs.  I can find bright DSOs in my 90mm telescope, most of the Messier objects are visible from dark skies but beyond the really bright DSOs the 90mm does perform well.  I can easily find hundreds and hundreds of DSOs in the 10" dob.  Larger and larger apertures open up more and more objects.

6) Magnification. For galaxies and emission nebula, start with low magnification, this will make the light from the DSOs concentrated in a smaller area that is more easily identified by our dark adapted eyes.  M33, the Triangulum galaxy or M101 (both spiral galaxies) are great examples of this effect, they are much harder to detect at higher magnifications but become more obvious at lower magnifications.  Once detected increase the magnification to see if the view improves.

9) Practice, Practice, Practice.  I had a difficult time finding DSOs when I first started out.  Now many that I thought were difficult to find, I find obvious so much so that they seem very bright.  Where an object was just a blob it now has detail.  A great example is the whirlpool galaxy.  I thought it was just a fuzzy blob when I started,  now I can see the spiral arms and it looks like the main galaxy is stealing stars from its companion.   I had a really difficult time finding M110 and M32 near Andromeda, now they are just plain obvious to me.  It sounds funny but we need to learn how to see DSOs (seeing is something we don't normally think of as taking practice).


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#11 havasman

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 03:06 PM

As Thomas indicates above, eyepieces are not the cure. Dark skies, transparency and experience are what will show you more of everything. All those nebulae you mention are easily observed via unfiltered 10x50 binoculars from a good dark site.

 

Narrowband nebula filters are VERY effective at increasing the apparent contrast of properly selected emission nebulae and they work by darkening everything in the field that is outside their passband. A nebula emitting in that passband will appear with greater apparent contrast.

 

Here are the two standard references for nebula filter usage - https://www.prairiea...ep-sky-objects/  and   https://www.prairiea...ommon-nebulae/ 

 

Different nebulae are best observed at differing magnifications. Generally larger nebulae will be better served by the large exit pupil of a low power eyepiece while smaller, brighter planetary nebulae with their high surface brightness are best seen via higher and sometimes very high magnification.

 

Buying eyepieces is best done with planning based on a progression of exit pupils anchored at the large exit pupil and extending down to a point below a 1mm exit pupil with narrower spacing at the higher magnifications. Population density is subje ct to budget. Eyepiece type is well governed by individual preference, eye physiology and budget.


Edited by havasman, 16 September 2020 - 03:10 PM.


#12 gus1989

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 03:33 PM

I have an xt6 and have had no issue seeing the ones you mentioned with the stock 25mm (no filters).  I’m in bottle 4/5 skies. 


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#13 MellonLake

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 03:37 PM

P.S. I have seen all of these objects with a very inexpensive 25mm Plossl so there is no real need for a specialized eyepiece to see them.   They are faint and fuzzy (the look like grey/green fuzzy bright spots against the dark background of the sky).  They do not look like a lot like their astrophotographs (other than maybe the Swan).

 

Rob   



#14 The Ardent

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 03:43 PM

What finderscope are you using? 
What star atlas are you using? 

 

Good evening everybody,

 

1) I am very frustrated when it comes to search for nebulae  like the Trifid,

Your opinion?

Thank you!!



#15 Diloo

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 05:18 PM

Thanks everybody, if the DSO I mentioned I can't see while all of you can, even with the naked eye, then my basics are not covered and I will have to see to that..

I particularly liked Viking's explanations on averted vision and dark adaptation. Cheers!


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#16 Sketcher

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 06:44 PM

Your 25mm is plenty good enough to see the bright nebulae you've listed, the real reason you're not seeing them is (most likely) your light polluted skies and your lack of experience. A filter will help quite a lot, but dark skies will be far, far better. 

 

A new eyepiece will be only a small improvement. Sorry, but that's the brutal truth. Dark skies are overwhelmingly the most important factor.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Thomas is absolutely, 100% right in everything he said above.

 

If you can't see those objects with the eyepieces you have, you won't see them with any eyepiece.  If you buy another eyepiece that allows you to see any of those objects, substituting one of the eyepieces you already had will also reveal that object.

 

Gaining more experience will help.  Observing from darker skies will help.  Both together will help even more -- immensely more than buying another eyepiece, regardless of what eyepiece you buy and regardless of how much money you waste spend on it.

 

To an experienced eye, under a seriously dark sky, with an 80mm telescope (and an inexpensive eyepiece), those objects are "showpiece" objects -- some of the best of the best.

 

I've seen M1 with an inexpensive eyepiece (from a dark sky) with a 1-inch telescope.  Those other nebulae are even easier to see.  All those people who constantly beat the "aperture is everything" drum are simply wrong.  The same is true of those who say you need better and/or more expensive eyepieces.


Edited by Sketcher, 16 September 2020 - 06:49 PM.

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#17 spaceoddity

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 07:07 PM

It would help to know what kind of light pollution you have at your observing site. It will be tough to see any DSO's if you are observing from a city or suburbs. Darker the better. Find a location as far away from city glow and street lights as you can reasonably get to. Your equipment is good enough to easily see all those nebulae. My eyesight isn't good enough to see any naked eye but pretty easy in the finder scope. A UHC or OIII will help see finer detail if you want to really study the object, but not necessary for those mentioned. I like the swan nebula best of those mentioned. It's more concentrated in brightness and looks like check mark to me. Good luck.


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#18 Zavijava

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 08:48 PM

Here are some variables to consider before shopping for new eyepieces.

 

1. How light-polluted is your site? Go to https://www.lightpollutionmap.info, find your location and click on the map. It will say your Bortle class in the popup. This is the main factor that will define what you can expect to see.

 

2. Just as important is the current transparency, doubly so if your site is light-polluted. In low transparency not only the objects are dimmer, but also light pollution is worse, so more things get washed out. You can use Astrospheric.com or Good To Stargaze to get an idea of what the transparency is like. After a few sessions you'll be able to just walk outside, glance at the stars, and get an idea if today is a good day.

 

3. What is the moon doing? Moonlight is natural light pollution, and again the lower the transparency the more bad news it is.

 

4. What is your latitude? You have to be far enough south to have Sagittarius in a decent position at the best time of the year, which it isn't anymore. Low above the horizon = more atmosphere = more light pollution = less contrast. Roughly, 30 degrees above the horizon is double the air mass compared to the zenith, 20 degrees is triple, and 10 degrees is 6 times. Also, do you have lots of city lights to the south? That's again more bad news everything else being equal.

 

All of these contribute to one thing: glowing air mass. If you are aware of them, you know when the cards are stacked against you and when they are not. You may be tied to your primary site and its light pollution, but when to observe and what to observe is your choice.


Edited by Zavijava, 17 September 2020 - 12:48 AM.

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#19 vtornado

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 10:00 PM

Hello you need to get a UHC filter if you have light pollution.  I have the orion ultra block and am happy with it.

I have not seen that many nebs, but the ones I do see are greatly enhanced.  IIRC, the filter works best at

exit pupils of 3mm to 6mm.  So for your scope that is somewhere between 18mm and 32mm.  Any reasonable

quality eyepiece is capable of seeing the nebs.  A wider field eyepiece might make it easier to find and get into the field of view.

I use a 25mm 60 degree eyepiece for this purpose.

 

Dark adaptation is very important.  If you live in light pollution (I'm in bortle 6).  There is enough ambient light that

your eyes never dark adapt.   To help. wear sunglasses while setting up, and getting your scope pointed in the

right direction, then use a towel over your head and only remove the glasses when looking through the eyepiece.

You never look around with out the glasses.


Edited by vtornado, 16 September 2020 - 10:10 PM.

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#20 gnowellsct

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:29 PM

Your 25mm is plenty good enough to see the bright nebulae you've listed, the real reason you're not seeing them is (most likely) your light polluted skies and your lack of experience. A filter will help quite a lot, but dark skies will be far, far better. 

 

A new eyepiece will be only a small improvement. Sorry, but that's the brutal truth. Dark skies are overwhelmingly the most important factor.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

And smoke.  This is a big deal here now.  It is ruining the sky even for those of us who are on the opposite coast from California.


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#21 Corcaroli78

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 06:37 AM

Your opinion?

 

Your 25mm is plenty good enough to see the bright nebulae you've listed, the real reason you're not seeing them is (most likely) your light polluted skies and your lack of experience. A filter will help quite a lot, but dark skies will be far, far better. 

 

A new eyepiece will be only a small improvement. Sorry, but that's the brutal truth. Dark skies are overwhelmingly the most important factor.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

 

Hi Diloo,

 

Being a long term newbie, and as Thomas mentioned, -and as i read from Sketcher in another thead- the path to observe more and better is:

 

  • observe from dark (or darker) skies
  • Experience and practice = expectations
  • the scope / eyepiece

 

In my case, i can confirm that my skills have been developing more when i started studying the objects beforehand and creating right expectations, then moving to a dark spot (not necessarily a super dark place!) and finally realizing that i should improve the equipment (e.g. buying an O-III filter). 

 

Said that, my best EP´s for nebulas are two: a cheap gold line 20 mm plossl and the amazing ES 2468 coupled with the O-III filter. I do not need to go deeper in magnification ( i use a cheap 4 inch f/5)

 

Carlos


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#22 gene 4181

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 07:18 AM

 With the smoke and haze  i have trouble even seeing the planets  ....   my heart goes out too the left coast  and their loss


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#23 SloMoe

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 07:58 AM

It's very possible that the UHC filter you have isn't letting enough of the filtered light pass for you to see it.

 

you can send your filter to Lumicon/Farpoint and have it checked for free, takes a couple of weeks but then you know just how good what you've got is.

 

And they won't tell you it's a bad one to try and sell you a new one,, there are a LOT of junk ones out there. 



#24 rhetfield

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 01:14 PM

Have to agree pretty much with Thomas from Denmark.  

 

You probably will have to try observing from a darker location. 

 

The "Lagoon" nebula is a NAKED EYE object from any decent observing spot.

 

With a 8" scope it is quite apparent from like any reasonably dark location.

 

M11Mike

I can see Lagoon from bortle 7 with a UHC filter through a 5".  Pretty much a lost cause without the filter.  I use my 10mm which gives 65x.  Can be seen without the filter if I am in a really dark area.

 

As far as eyepieces go, if you have a 2" focuser, you want one 2" eyepiece that maximizes field of view - since 2" eyepieces give much more field of view than the 1.25" eyepieces.  This will let you see the big stuff and make finding the smaller stuff easier.  After that, it is just a matter of having the right eyepiece for the object.  From a seeing standpoint, most DSO's will max out at between 100x-200x on your scope due to how dim they are - you loose brightness as you go higher in magnification.  Get Sky safari or a similar app and set it up to display the field of view of your eyepieces so you can get an idea of which eyepiece is right for the object.


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#25 Diloo

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 02:12 PM

Thanks everybody for your honest advice and info.

I live in a Bortle 8-9 area (city of Porto, Portugal, by the ocean, not only LP but haze from the ocean..).

 

But I sometimes can take my scope to a Bortle 3 area (thanks Zavijava for the very useful website which helped me to figure those numbers out).

 I also believe that I have to allow far more time for my eyes to adapt to darkness, I tend to take short cuts with that, so hopefully from  I can start observing those nebulae with the naked eye first. So thanks for insisting on this.

I invested in a UHC filter and see if it helps when I go to darker skies areas with the scope.

 

Viking: Thanks for suggesting the 2", it may be my next purchase for the future... Once I find darker skies to live under!.

 

Cheers


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