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Atlas for planetary nebula

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#1 Mick Christopher

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 10:44 PM

Is there a preferred atlas that lists most of the planetary nebulas in the AL observing program? I have the Cambridge and Tirion atlas’s but they don’t show all that many.
Thanks!

#2 Astrojensen

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 02:30 AM

Uranometria 2000.0 (latest edition) shows A LOT of planetary nebulae, including all NGC, IC, P-K, Abell, etc. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#3 Hyperion

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 05:28 AM

Uranometria 2000.0: 1144 planetary nebulae.

Interstellarium Deep Sky Atlas: 755 planetary nebulae.


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#4 bigdob24

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 08:44 AM

Planetary Nebula by Steven Hynes has some, expensive book though

 Visual Observations of Planetary Nebula  by Kent Wallace has tons of info


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#5 S_Jensen

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 11:12 AM

In addition to the above mentioned, the free TriAtlas (see various links on CloudyNights on where to download) will, certainly in its deepest "C" version , plot all the planetaries in the AL list.


Edited by S_Jensen, 15 November 2020 - 11:12 AM.

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#6 Mick Christopher

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 12:10 PM

Thank you everyone for the replies, I appreciate the help.

#7 BillP

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 12:52 PM

Here are some resources for the brighter ones...

 

https://www.info-que...taryNebulae.pdf

 

https://www.cloudyni...ae-spreadsheet/

 

http://www.atlasofth...m/plannebs.html


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#8 Feidb

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 09:47 PM

I'm using Megastar and there are hundreds in there. Of course, unless you have precision tracking, which I don't, when you get to those stellar ones, like down below 20 to 10 arc seconds, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. And, I don't care if that's a cliche. I've found some smaller, but geez, when you're talking 2 arcseconds? Come on now. That's an exercise in frustration unless you have mechanically accurate tracking. With a Dob that just gets you in the ballpark, unless you have images of all the fields of view and filters you can flash in front of the eyepiece, or a wheel, or whatever other technique you use, it's better to look for size rather than magnitude for a lot of them. I may have some of you that don't agree and that's fine but I've spent a lot of time out there and still do when I DO get out and it can be an exercise in frustration without precision tracking. Then again, who says a challenge isn't such a bad thing? With Megastar, I can print the starfield down to less than 1 degree, so that helps. It still isn't easy though. It sometimes depends on how many other bright stars are surrounding it comparatively. All part of the fun!


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#9 brentknight

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 10:43 PM

Yep...pretty challenging

 

IC 5117 AL Planetaries.jpg

SkyTools 4


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#10 Mick Christopher

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 11:37 AM

I'm using Megastar and there are hundreds in there.

<...snip...>

I tend to shy away from online tools but I did look up Megastar and it looks interesting. I use a manual 12” under pretty dark skies and have found most of the PN’s in the aforementioned atlas’s but they don’t come close to listing all those in the AL observing list. Although planetary nebula are my favorite object to observe, they can definitely be frustrating to find. But once they are found, I think they’re amazing and beautiful.


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#11 Starman1

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 05:56 PM

Is there a preferred atlas that lists most of the planetary nebulas in the AL observing program? I have the Cambridge and Tirion atlas’s but they don’t show all that many.
Thanks!

https://www.etsy.com...-steven-j-hynes

Over 2000 planetaries here.

Alas, the book is no longer in print.  You will have to really hunt to find an affordable copy.


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#12 Starman1

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 05:57 PM

I tend to shy away from online tools but I did look up Megastar and it looks interesting. I use a manual 12” under pretty dark skies and have found most of the PN’s in the aforementioned atlas’s but they don’t come close to listing all those in the AL observing list. Although planetary nebula are my favorite object to observe, they can definitely be frustrating to find. But once they are found, I think they’re amazing and beautiful.

Unfortunately, with the closing of Willmann-Bell, Megastar is no longer available.


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#13 Love Cowboy

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 08:40 AM

Yeah when did that program I created charts from MegaStar, but like Don said, no way to get it now.  There are other similar programs out there, I believe.  There's just not a printed atlas that goes into the depth you need to identify the smaller objects.  Of course, the smallest ones you will need a filter to identify them from the star field anyway, so that could conceivably help you if you are just trying to do it with Uranometria or something.  The other problem with Uranometria though is that it uses the PK designation for all non-NGC, non-IC planetaries, while the actual AL list refers to those objects by generally anything BUT their PK number, so you'll need to cross-reference them somewhere as well.  


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#14 andreww71

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:59 AM

I started my planetary nebula observing project in the early 90's. I picked up the Hynes book shortly after and use it primarily for creating observing lists. It's an excellent reference with a wealth of information about observing planetary nebula.

 

At the scope I have been using the first generation Uranometria charts. According to the Deep Sky Field Guide, there are about 525 planetaries plotted. I also have the newer, All Sky Edition that I use for planning sessions and it contains 1,144 planetaries, a little more than double the first generation. By comparison, the Hynes book includes a table with 1,340 objects. Picking up the latest version of Uranometria with the accompanying sky guide would give you access to information for a large number of these objects. This is more difficult due to W-B no longer operating but let's hope a new owner can take over the operation.

 

I did a quick search on SIMBAD for PN's with a declination > -37 and it returned more than 8 thousand objects! Unfortunately, not all data is available for the objects, such as diameter.

 

Except for the brighter planetaries in the NGC and IC catalogs, I typically create a finder chart for the larger, fainter planetaries such as those in the Abell, Kohoutek or Minkowski catalog's. I use the images from the Digital Sky Survey (DSS) for this. Once I have the field size I want, I save GIF to my hard drive and print a negative version for use at the eyepiece. The DSS images are not as useful for very small, <10 arc second planetaries if the object is not in the center of the FOV due to the over exposure of bright field stars. I haven't gotten far enough in my other projects to have the time to go after these small objects.

 

Andrew


Edited by andreww71, 21 November 2020 - 01:48 PM.

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#15 Starman1

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:56 AM

I have found that "blinking" an O-III filter into and out of the view will often reveal which object in the field is a planetary when it is quite small.

The stars dim, but the planetary does not.

Then I increase the magnification until the object appears non-stellar.  That is usually, but, fortunately not always, limited by seeing.

Some of the P-K planetaries I've sought are small even at 500x.


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#16 KidOrion

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 01:59 PM

http://faintfuzzies....ryNebula v2.pdf

 

Those in the AL program are marked with an asterisk in the catalogue (starting on page 6).


Edited by KidOrion, 21 November 2020 - 02:01 PM.

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#17 JimK

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 07:12 PM

The Astronomical League (AL) observing program for planetary nebulae is not an entry-level effort, thus basic paper atlas references are insufficient to locate all of the 110 objects (and 4 challenge objects).

 

There is also a "ringer" in the listing, specifically Pease 1, a planetary nebula within globular cluster M15 in Pegasus.  One must star-hop at high magnification within the outer parts of the globular cluster, then confirm that one "star" of interest does not dim when "blinked" by an O-III nebula filter.  No conventional paper atlas chart I know about has this level of detail -- home-brew star-hop charts from the the web are the only available resources that I know, and one is reproduced in Alvin Huey's free PDF download of globular clusters.

 

Nevertheless, from my notes I tabulated some information on the 113 objects in the program:

- the Pocket Sky Atlas is missing 50 objects in its charts
- the Toshimi Taki Mag 8.5 Star Atlas (a free PDF download of 146 charts) is missing 36 objects
- the José R. Torres TriAtlas set B (a free PDF download of 107 charts) is missing 2 objects (Vy 2-2 in Aquila and IC 4997 in Sagitta)
- the José R. Torres TriAtlas set BC [or Z] (a free PDF download of 218 charts) is missing 1 object (IC 4997 in Sagitta) -- the 561 charts of set C includes a plot of IC 4997
- the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas has all 113 objects plotted

 

I found I prefer using the Taki charts, so I just carefully pencil-plotted the missing 3 dozen objects onto the appropriate chart -- back then the Insterstellarum atlas had not been published, and I was unaware of Alvin Huey's planetary nebula guidebook.  When researching these objects, I also had to remember that one object often has several very different catalog identifiers.

 

Good luck on your observing adventure!


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#18 Love Cowboy

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:00 PM

The Astronomical League (AL) observing program for planetary nebulae is not an entry-level effort <snip>

boy ain't that the truth... definitely the hardest program I did on the way to Master Observer



#19 SNH

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:32 PM

boy ain't that the truth... definitely the hardest program I did on the way to Master Observer

Did you get a confirmed sighting of all 110 PNe on the list? I just finished it with my 10-inch and found, to my surprise, that all but about five of them were also visible in my 130mm reflector. I'm not sure exactly which ones it takes to become a Master Observer, so I can't say whether I agree with you or not on the difficulty - though finding the stellar ones took a little time and effort!

 

Scott



#20 Starman1

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 10:55 AM

Pease 1 is one of those objects that requires very high power and superb seeing, and even then, it's nearly impossible.

In comparison, IC4617, the galaxy in the edge of M13 is a cinch.


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#21 The Ardent

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 11:32 AM

Last year at dinner I asked the publisher of Uranometria why does it include so many planetaries beyond the reach of amateurs. The answer was it was meant to be comprehensive.

I made a list of all the PN’s in Uranometria Field Guide for the northern hemisphere. I’m slowly working thru it to see what’s visible and what isn’t. Since many of them don’t have a listed magnitude.

I believe Interstellarum objects were all screened by the authors for feasibility.

I have both atlases. I love the Galaxy plotting by magnitude of Interstellarum . I only wish it was at a larger scale like Uranometria.

Uranometria 2000.0: 1144 planetary nebulae.
Interstellarium Deep Sky Atlas: 755 planetary nebulae.



#22 Starman1

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 11:45 AM

If you think something is beyond the reach of amateurs, someone somewhere with a 32" scope in pristine skies will see it.

The average observer with a 20" doesn't see stars of magnitude 18.6, but it's been done.

After realizing that stars in M31 can be seen visually with modest scopes, people are going after stars in M33, etc.

So I would not conclude that there are any planetaries in Uranometria that are beyond visual reach.

 

What bothers me is that there are so many galaxies that are in visual reach that are not plotted while others that are not are.

It makes me wonder where the list came from.


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#23 The Ardent

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 12:13 PM

99% of amateurs using a scope <20” who live in populated areas, which is likely 99.9999% of all amateur observers.

So plotting an 18-19th magnitude PN with the same symbol as the brightest ones isn’t exactly helpful.

If you think something is beyond the reach of amateurs, someone somewhere with a 32" scope in pristine skies will see it.
The average observer with a 20" doesn't see stars of magnitude 18.6, but it's been done.
After realizing that stars in M31 can be seen visually with modest scopes, people are going after stars in M33, etc.
So I would not conclude that there are any planetaries in Uranometria that are beyond visual reach.

What bothers me is that there are so many galaxies that are in visual reach that are not plotted while others that are not are.
It makes me wonder where the list came from.



#24 Love Cowboy

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 12:23 PM

Did you get a confirmed sighting of all 110 PNe on the list? I just finished it with my 10-inch and found, to my surprise, that all but about five of them were also visible in my 130mm reflector. I'm not sure exactly which ones it takes to become a Master Observer, so I can't say whether I agree with you or not on the difficulty - though finding the stellar ones took a little time and effort!

 

Scott

It's not a required program for Master Observer.  It's just one of the ones I picked (because I like PNs), and the only really hard one.  There are definitely harder ones (like the Galaxy Groups & Clusters program, which I'm working now).  

 

Not sure what you mean by "confirmed" but I'm pretty confident I saw all of them.  Pease 1 I used a friend's 25" rather than my 16" that I used for the rest though.  You must have pristine skies if you did it in a 10".  


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#25 Love Cowboy

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 12:30 PM

99% of amateurs using a scope <20” who live in populated areas, which is likely 99.9999% of all amateur observers.

So plotting an 18-19th magnitude PN with the same symbol as the brightest ones isn’t exactly helpful.
 

What exactly would you find helpful?  If the atlas listed only objects visible in YOUR telescope?  There's only so much they can realistically be expected to do on a printed atlas to help you out.  Generally speaking, with these fainter objects you're going to want to research to know what to expect before you make an attempt anyway.  




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