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Spring is coming, so what is the best objects to view?

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#26 radiofm74

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 04:52 AM

I have nothing to add concerning night time viewing. 

But right now, and until March 7 or so, it's Mercury-hunting in the morning for me. If you have an open view to the East, and don't mind being out around 6 in the morning, it could be a lot of fun for you.

Added boni: Mercury and Jupiter will be in conjunction on March 4-5, and Saturn is close-by. 

I tried and "happily failed" today as I just recorded in another thread here on the beginner's forum.


Edited by radiofm74, 01 March 2021 - 04:52 AM.


#27 Bigal1817

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 12:23 PM

I find nebulae a challenge to locate. In part because I live in the city but also because it requires high magnification to observe. At low magnification, as I understand, they can be mistaken for a star. At this time, I prefer to recommend star clusters and galaxies. Star clusters are plentiful this time of year and can be found in Peseus, Auriga, Gemini, Canis Major, and more. The galaxies are harder to find and, as others have stated, you will need to wait until this moon passes. You can find a few near the bowl of the Big Dipper, more in Leo, and several more in Virgo. Even then, I'm unfamiliar with the resolving power of a 130mm telescope as it pertains to galaxies.



#28 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:20 PM

I find nebulae a challenge to locate. In part because I live in the city but also because it requires high magnification to observe. At low magnification, as I understand, they can be mistaken for a star. At this time, I prefer to recommend star clusters and galaxies. Star clusters are plentiful this time of year and can be found in Peseus, Auriga, Gemini, Canis Major, and more. The galaxies are harder to find and, as others have stated, you will need to wait until this moon passes. You can find a few near the bowl of the Big Dipper, more in Leo, and several more in Virgo. Even then, I'm unfamiliar with the resolving power of a 130mm telescope as it pertains to galaxies.

Planetary nebulae are quite small in apparent size with a few exceptions but because many of them have high surface brightness they can be observed from light-polluted locations.  Using the blinking technique with a nebula filter will help to differentiate planetary nebulae from field stars at low magnifications.

One neat trick for finding tiny planetary nebulae using nebula filters is to “blink” the objects by holding a narrow-band filter between the eyepiece and the eye.  The stars in the field will dim somewhat, but the planetary nebula will remain undimmed, thus standing out from the background stars. The OIII filter is often the best one for use on many planetary nebulae, with the “blinking” technique becoming vastly more effective, as the stars nearly vanish, leaving the planetary standing out like a sore thumb.

https://www.prairiea...ackground stars.


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#29 kksmith

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:57 PM

My bad. From now on I'll tell everyone that a 5" scope is wonderful for viewing nebula, but a 12" would be better.

 

I would contend that what turns people away are those that say that they spent their hard earned resources and still feel that they can't see anything meaningful with their new 5" scope.

 

Anyways the OP does not seem over joyed that he couldn't see the Rosette with his 5" scope. Maybe he assumed (for some reason) that he could expect to see something like this...

https://www.astrobin.../full/384810/0/

 

 

Miguel   8-|

 

 

.

Why does it have to be so drastic? There are plenty of things I can see from my Bortle 6 backyard with my 102/F5 frac. More if I drag out my C8. But I happen to like the concept of Grab-n-Go - so I most often go that route with my meager 102mm frac.  At a dark spot - I could probably nail the entire M catalogue rather easily and that's my goal this year.  No, the views won't be Hubble views or 12" light bucket views, but none the less - I will/can see them.  M57 and M27 are easy for my 102 from the yard.  

 

The thing is, a 12" Dob shouldn't have to be the price of admittance into the world of visual astronomy. I know a lot go that route - people buy more telescope than they know how to see through. I would never had learned to love the night sky if my 3" Edmund reflector hadn't shown me the wonders its 90mm little mirror showed me. 



#30 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 10:56 PM

Years ago the well-known observer Jay Reynolds Freeman completed the Herschel 400 with a 55mm Vixen fluorite refractor.  So detecting rather faint deep-sky objects can be accomplished with small apertures given a reasonably dark observing site.  Just how "good" those views will be, without electronic enhancement, is an entirely different matter.

 

 http://www.jayreynol...RRSaga.text.pdf



#31 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 11:01 PM

I've logged quite a few DSOs with my 80mm f/5 Orion ST80 refractor and many more with my 101mm f/5.4 Tele Vue refractor. 

The Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237-9) is displayed rather well from dark sites through the 101mm refractor and a narrowband filter or OIII filter.




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