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I did it! M57 found (in awful, cloudy, skies + a streetlamp and a mall)!

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#1 Noto

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 01:49 AM

Hi everyone,

 

First and foremost, I'm in an awful place to view anything aside from Saturn, Jupiter, and the brightest stars in the major constellations. My immediate area always has some artificial light source beaming into my eyes, and I've been pretty limited to viewing the southern skies upwards to the summer triangle (I have large shopping plaza about 1/4 mile to my north...).

 

Since my viewing overhead hasn't been too bad, I decided to concentrate on Lyra for a few nights, and on my first night I was able to split the double-double of Epsilon.

 

Next, I decided to hunt down M57, but I kept losing my orientation on the way to Sheliak and Sulafat; the Orion EZ Finder II I was using was just too bright, even at the lowest setting, and I kept losing both stars due to artificial light shooting in sideways into my peripheral vision. I was able to see both stars well with averted vision, but I really couldn't line up the scope to either star without a streetlamp killing me softly (did I mention it was directly overhead, and I was contorted just trying to look through the finder??).

 

However, I received my 9x50 RACI in the mail the other day, and that has made all the difference; I was able to easily hop from Epsilon to Zeta to Sheliak without losing where I was (or breaking my neck). Once I got to Sheliak, I popped in my 2" 28mm Orion DeepView EP that came with the scope, and then gently slewed towards to Sulafat. About halfway there, I discovered a very noticeable, greyish ring. I then used a Celestron 8-24mm Zoom EP, but was losing the ring shape around 12mm (I spent the next 30-min with my 17mm EP, and had a wonderful time).

 

Anyway, I just wanted to post my experience here, and to thank the CN community for all of the wonderful posts and articles addressing similar conditions and wonderful solutions.

 

On another note, is there some astronomical anti-cloud dance I can learn? Maybe a zodiacal prayer, or perhaps a magical stellar wand? Any help in that department would be greatly appreciated. smile.gif

 

Clear skies to all, and thank you!

 


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#2 chrysalis

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 03:50 AM

Congratulations - well done :waytogo: !!!


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#3 pdenning

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 04:30 AM

I feel your pain.  I need to travel 45 minutes to get to a decent sky.  And even then I have limited sky.  The ring is a difficult target in good sky so congrats.  As far as a cloud dance, there's none.   You can only sacrifice a human or Astro equipment.  And us astronomers respect astro gear.

Clear skies


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#4 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 04:59 AM

:goodjob:

 

Congratulations on finding M57.  It will be the first of many deeps sky objects you find and observe and it will be the first of many times you observe M57.. 

 

:waytogo:

 

Jon


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#5 1SYZYGY1

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 07:32 AM

What’s doubly cool is that despite your surroundings you’re still going for it instead of using it as an excuse not to. 

Hoodies are great to block out peripheral lights in your eyes and some folks may use a towel that covers their whole head + the eyepiece all at once, creating a bit of artificial darkness.
 

Even just cupping around your eyes with your hands while at the eyepiece can work wonders. 

 

Keep up the good work and thanks for reminding people like me who although their surroundings may not be ideal, have little to complain about compared to some situations. 


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#6 flt158

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 07:58 AM

Many congratulations on finding and observing M 57 for the very first time, Noto!!

 

I am noticing you split Epsilon Lyrae too. 

Do you know what magnification(s)you used? 

 

Also you might check out Sheliak (Beta Lyrae) the next time. 

Because it too is another quadruple star - easily split at 40X. 

 

Very best regards from Aubrey. 


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#7 phillip

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 09:49 AM

Congratulations, other than the Orion Nebula that was my very first deep sky object so many years ago. 

 

And your litup area that's a nice Accomplishment! 

 

My youth days had a small Refractor, but the rather concentrated makeup of M57 makes it a great first target, as well as the targeted placement. 

 

Loads more out there, just eventually go to a dark site for alot more Fun! 

 

XT10

6 inch achro f/8


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#8 Jethro7

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 10:15 AM

Hello Noto,

Congratulations with your endeavours,  M57 is beautiful. You have set yourself up well in your choice of equipment that will serve you well. Next time you are out under the stars, check out M13, the Great Globular Cluster in the constellation Hercules. It is just West of Lyra, and easy to locate.This bold Globular cluster will just pop in your eyepiece when you locate it. If you have not bought the book "Turn Left at Orion" buy Guy Cosomagno and Dan M. Davis,  yet, I reccomend that you do. This book will help you learn to navigate the nights skies and is fun to use. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND GOOD STAR HUNTING Jethro.


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#9 Noto

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 01:46 PM

What’s doubly cool is that despite your surroundings you’re still going for it instead of using it as an excuse not to. 

Hoodies are great to block out peripheral lights in your eyes and some folks may use a towel that covers their whole head + the eyepiece all at once, creating a bit of artificial darkness.
 

Even just cupping around your eyes with your hands while at the eyepiece can work wonders. 

 

Keep up the good work and thanks for reminding people like me who although their surroundings may not be ideal, have little to complain about compared to some situations. 

I definitely have to cup the eyepieces, but the hoodie/towel recommendation totally makes sense - Thank you!

 

Many congratulations on finding and observing M 57 for the very first time, Noto!!

 

I am noticing you split Epsilon Lyrae too. 

Do you know what magnification(s)you used? 

 

Also you might check out Sheliak (Beta Lyrae) the next time. 

Because it too is another quadruple star - easily split at 40X. 

 

Very best regards from Aubrey. 

I was able to see the first double with 12x binoculars, but it took some time to resolve the doble-double. I used a 2x Barlow with 10mm EP giving me a 240x magnification; it just fit inside my FOV, which was a nice bonus. I'll definitely check out Sheliak, now that I'm able to easily find my way there - Thank you!

 

Hello Noto,

Congratulations with your endeavours,  M57 is beautiful. You have set yourself up well in your choice of equipment that will serve you well. Next time you are out under the stars, check out M13, the Great Globular Cluster in the constellation Hercules. It is just West of Lyra, and easy to locate.This bold Globular cluster will just pop in your eyepiece when you locate it. If you have not bought the book "Turn Left at Orion" buy Guy Cosomagno and Dan M. Davis,  yet, I reccomend that you do. This book will help you learn to navigate the nights skies and is fun to use. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND GOOD STAR HUNTING Jethro.

I purchased Turn Left at Orion last year, so I've gotten myself familiar with getting from 'here to there' and what's in the sky during each season. As for M13, I'll definitely try that out, but I've been battling fast-moving clouds, and haven't been able to really see Hercules without binoculars (I bet the RACI will help!) - Thank you!


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#10 Echolight

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 02:19 PM

Woo hoo!

 

It was my first identified Messier object.


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#11 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 02:24 PM

Some of the information on astronomy, amateur astronomy, and observing presented in my post (#22) at https://www.cloudyni...mers/?p=5184287 may be of interest, Noto.  There are sections on various books, observing guides, stellar atlases, planispheres, planetarium programs, astronomy apps, deep-sky object observing, binocular astronomy, and urban astronomy.


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#12 chrysalis

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 04:34 PM

My best friend in 1969 when I was 14 years old, who was the same age as I, was also heavy duty into astronomy. He had a 2.4" refractor; I, a 4.25" reflector. We were both locked in a life and death contest to be the first to find the Ring Nebula (M57).

 

I truly think the only reason I succeeded first was because of larger aperture.

 

Neither of us really knew what to expect to see; and our only guidance came from an illustration from a Sam Brown booklet included with my telescope:

 

100X.JPG


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#13 jpengstrom

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 08:38 PM

Congratulations on finding M57.  It was only a couple of weeks ago that I first found M57 and I remember the rush of seeing the smokey ring.  And from the sounds of it I was finding it in much better conditions - congratulations again!


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#14 Noto

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 01:01 AM

Hello Noto,

Congratulations with your endeavours,  M57 is beautiful. You have set yourself up well in your choice of equipment that will serve you well. Next time you are out under the stars, check out M13, the Great Globular Cluster in the constellation Hercules. It is just West of Lyra, and easy to locate.This bold Globular cluster will just pop in your eyepiece when you locate it. If you have not bought the book "Turn Left at Orion" buy Guy Cosomagno and Dan M. Davis,  yet, I reccomend that you do. This book will help you learn to navigate the nights skies and is fun to use. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND GOOD STAR HUNTING Jethro.

Hi Jethro,

 

New-guy-mini-Messier-marathon tonight! (very mini; M57, M13, and M30 within about an hour)

 

I found M57 within minutes of viewing, which was still pretty cool. I'm definitely losing it around 10mm/120x magnification, but I'm chalking that up more to the artificial light than the increased magnification (I love the counter intuitive aspect of zooming in and objects become dimmer - I totally "get it", but still).  smile.gif

 

Soon after, I decided to take your advice and look up M13. I could easily see the Keystone asterism while shielding my eyes from the surrounding light. However, I found it quite difficult to align Eta with the Telrad, due to what I believe is a military-grade streetlamp that was, again, killing me softly. I found Zeta easier to align, and then slewed to Eta using the RACI. Once I was there, it was easy to find the grey, fuzzy patch of M13 and begin the process of slowly zooming in (my God, it's full of stars!).

 

But wait, there's more!

 

After M57 and M13, I moved on over to Saturn and Jupiter (380x mag was nice on both - very distinct features) . While in the neighborhood, I noticed on my phone app that M30 is hanging out just south of Capricornus. It took a little bit of time, as my southern sky was a little on the bright side. No worries though, I was able to hop along to it using the RACI, and then boom; nice cluster (albeit dim).

 

I think tomorrow I'll try my hand at M27, although I hear it's recommended to have some type of filter (I don't have any in my arsenal, yet).

 

Thanks again!


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#15 chrysalis

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 03:02 AM

Hi Jethro,

 

New-guy-mini-Messier-marathon tonight! (very mini; M57, M13, and M30 within about an hour)

 

I found M57 within minutes of viewing, which was still pretty cool. I'm definitely losing it around 10mm/120x magnification, but I'm chalking that up more to the artificial light than the increased magnification (I love the counter intuitive aspect of zooming in and objects become dimmer - I totally "get it", but still).  smile.gif

 

Soon after, I decided to take your advice and look up M13. I could easily see the Keystone asterism while shielding my eyes from the surrounding light. However, I found it quite difficult to align Eta with the Telrad, due to what I believe is a military-grade streetlamp that was, again, killing me softly. I found Zeta easier to align, and then slewed to Eta using the RACI. Once I was there, it was easy to find the grey, fuzzy patch of M13 and begin the process of slowly zooming in (my God, it's full of stars!).

 

But wait, there's more!

 

After M57 and M13, I moved on over to Saturn and Jupiter (380x mag was nice on both - very distinct features) . While in the neighborhood, I noticed on my phone app that M30 is hanging out just south of Capricornus. It took a little bit of time, as my southern sky was a little on the bright side. No worries though, I was able to hop along to it using the RACI, and then boom; nice cluster (albeit dim).

 

I think tomorrow I'll try my hand at M27, although I hear it's recommended to have some type of filter (I don't have any in my arsenal, yet).

 

Thanks again!

Depending on how severe your light pollution is, M27 should make a fairly easy target even without a filter.

 

Darker skies would help you tremendously; but a narrow band filter like a Lumicon UHC or DGM NPB will serve you well. The more aggressive filters - like Lumicon OIII or DGM OIII - are nice to haves but for my eyes remove too much light, resulting in an overall dimmer field. Lumicon filters impart a cyan cast to stars; DGM filters, a pinkish one. I find the pinkish cast to be more pleasing, YMMV.


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#16 Noto

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 03:31 AM

Depending on how severe your light pollution is, M27 should make a fairly easy target even without a filter.

 

Darker skies would help you tremendously; but a narrow band filter like a Lumicon UHC or DGM NPB will serve you well. The more aggressive filters - like Lumicon OIII or DGM OIII - are nice to haves but for my eyes remove too much light, resulting in an overall dimmer field. Lumicon filters impart a cyan cast to stars; DGM filters, a pinkish one. I find the pinkish cast to be more pleasing, YMMV.

Hi Mark,

 

I've been reading quite a bit about different filters and how they affect various wavelengths of light. I recently joined an astronomy club in my area, and I'm hoping to run into a few people that will allow me to test various pieces of equipment and filters they've employed in their viewing. I'll be in my current area through January, as I'll most likely be moving for work (and hopefully to an area with far less light pollution). I'll be sure to add these to my list of items to research.

 

Thank you!


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#17 Jethro7

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 04:48 AM

Hi Jethro,

 

New-guy-mini-Messier-marathon tonight! (very mini; M57, M13, and M30 within about an hour)

 

I found M57 within minutes of viewing, which was still pretty cool. I'm definitely losing it around 10mm/120x magnification, but I'm chalking that up more to the artificial light than the increased magnification (I love the counter intuitive aspect of zooming in and objects become dimmer - I totally "get it", but still).  smile.gif

 

Soon after, I decided to take your advice and look up M13. I could easily see the Keystone asterism while shielding my eyes from the surrounding light. However, I found it quite difficult to align Eta with the Telrad, due to what I believe is a military-grade streetlamp that was, again, killing me softly. I found Zeta easier to align, and then slewed to Eta using the RACI. Once I was there, it was easy to find the grey, fuzzy patch of M13 and begin the process of slowly zooming in (my God, it's full of stars!).

 

But wait, there's more!

 

After M57 and M13, I moved on over to Saturn and Jupiter (380x mag was nice on both - very distinct features) . While in the neighborhood, I noticed on my phone app that M30 is hanging out just south of Capricornus. It took a little bit of time, as my southern sky was a little on the bright side. No worries though, I was able to hop along to it using the RACI, and then boom; nice cluster (albeit dim).

 

I think tomorrow I'll try my hand at M27, although I hear it's recommended to have some type of filter (I don't have any in my arsenal, yet).

 

Thanks again!

Hello Noto,

This is just the start of your wonderful Journey. I am very happy that you are excited and enthusiastic, this is just how the addiction to this marvelous hobby starts. believe me it just keeps getting better and better as you get experience with the night skies and get to know your equipment. Start keeping a journal of your sessions. This will be a good reference for the future. Record what object you are viewing, time, Date temperature humidity  Location, equipment used, your seeing conditions and Transparency during the viewing sessions  and the sky coordinates of the celestial artifact ( you can derive these by using the free SkySafari or Celestrons Skyportal Apps) and most of all your own personal comments about the viewing. 

 

Like you I had the best skies ( The only skies) that I have had in a month tonight. I started out with M13 then on to M57. Then it was on to the southern skies, this area of the sky is really busy with Celestial artifacts, with lots of Star Clusters and Nebulae. Because you are viewing towards the galactic center. I poked around here for several hours these DSO's were all still there where I left them. Then about 0230 hours With the Moon Rising and Jupiter and Saturn high in the sky. I swapped out my Starwave 152 F/5.9 for my AT102ED F/7 for some Lunar and Planetary vieing. I did not have the best skies tonight, with my last session May 30th due to weather I will take what I can. It was a good night.

 

HAPPY SKIES AND GOOD STAR HUNTING, KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Edited by Jethro7, 02 August 2021 - 10:59 AM.

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#18 therealdmt

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 07:02 AM

New-guy-mini-Messier-marathon tonight! (very mini; M57, M13, and M30 within about an hour)

You’re making great progress already!

 

Sounds like you’ve done your research, too. Happy hunting with M27 


Edited by therealdmt, 02 August 2021 - 07:03 AM.

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#19 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 10:51 AM

Thank you for posting your experience! It is inspiring!


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#20 RalphMeisterTigerMan

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 02:27 PM

Congradulations! Even though M57 is supposed to be one of the "brighter" Messier objects, light pollution doesn't care. It is the killer of Astronomical expectations and can destroy someones faith in amateur astronomy faster than a broken primary mirror. The fact that you found M57 and enjoyed the view and decided to share it with all CNer's. That, is beautiful.

 

I have seen M57 in everything up to a 17.5" and everything depends on light pollution and sky conditions. I recall many, many years ago I showed my new father-in-law M57 in my 6" F/5 reflector. He looked and said,"That little thing". That little thing indeed. I could have spent the time to tell him how this was the result of a caticlysmic stellar explosion that spread out a wide distance and the light had been travelling many, many years to his eye just so that he could insult it. I did not for I knew he would not understand. Sad.

 

Luckily, I also remember a far different encounter not long afterward. On a great night at our R.A.S.C. official observing site one of my observing buddies had his 17.5" doby trained the very subject being discussed. The reason for this memorable view was not only the excellant sky conditions, the large aperture was the filter and the magnification being used. BTW, it was an O-III and close to 500X. One of those once in a life time views, the size of M57 and the COLOUR, yes, the Colour. Seriosly, you really had to see it to believe it. 

 

I am not trying to upstage you or one-up you. On the contrary, the fact that you saw M57 under the conditions you were forced to view under is a testament to your perseverance and observing skill. 

 

No, your report took me down memory lane to the mid 1980's and to a time when the view I had was possible. Too bad it hasn't been possible since. Be proud of your accomplishment. Who knows how much longer before the domes of light and dust covering our cities makes finding places to make observing a pleasure extremely difficult to find.

 

Let's hope we can keep observing for a long as possible.

 

Clear skies and keep looking up!

RalphMeisterTigerMan


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#21 Noto

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 03:36 PM

Congradulations! Even though M57 is supposed to be one of the "brighter" Messier objects, light pollution doesn't care. It is the killer of Astronomical expectations and can destroy someones faith in amateur astronomy faster than a broken primary mirror. The fact that you found M57 and enjoyed the view and decided to share it with all CNer's. That, is beautiful.

 

I have seen M57 in everything up to a 17.5" and everything depends on light pollution and sky conditions. I recall many, many years ago I showed my new father-in-law M57 in my 6" F/5 reflector. He looked and said,"That little thing". That little thing indeed. I could have spent the time to tell him how this was the result of a caticlysmic stellar explosion that spread out a wide distance and the light had been travelling many, many years to his eye just so that he could insult it. I did not for I knew he would not understand. Sad.

 

Luckily, I also remember a far different encounter not long afterward. On a great night at our R.A.S.C. official observing site one of my observing buddies had his 17.5" doby trained the very subject being discussed. The reason for this memorable view was not only the excellant sky conditions, the large aperture was the filter and the magnification being used. BTW, it was an O-III and close to 500X. One of those once in a life time views, the size of M57 and the COLOUR, yes, the Colour. Seriosly, you really had to see it to believe it. 

 

I am not trying to upstage you or one-up you. On the contrary, the fact that you saw M57 under the conditions you were forced to view under is a testament to your perseverance and observing skill. 

 

No, your report took me down memory lane to the mid 1980's and to a time when the view I had was possible. Too bad it hasn't been possible since. Be proud of your accomplishment. Who knows how much longer before the domes of light and dust covering our cities makes finding places to make observing a pleasure extremely difficult to find.

 

Let's hope we can keep observing for a long as possible.

 

Clear skies and keep looking up!

RalphMeisterTigerMan

Hi Ralph,

 

Dark skies, large aperture, and a filter. All on my wish list smile.gif  I know if I showed some of my friends, they wouldn't have been impressed at all, and in fact, would have strained to see what I could see. Of course, I may just need different friends! I'm having better luck late at night when these are overhead. Once I get myself out to a dark sky site (or really anything less than Bortle 8/9), I'm sure picking these things out will be easy. In regard to my perseverance and observing skill, I'm assuming I'm doing something right based on the replies I've received thus far. It can take me anywhere from 15-30 minutes to zero-in on these DSO; I don't know if that's good/bad/average, or whatnot. Thanks for the messages, and clear skies to you as well!


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