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Do you think the targets in Deep-Sky Wonders are not so friendly?

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#1 Chen Sir

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 03:38 AM

I bought a copy of Deep-Sky Wonders by Sue French two years ago and have been reading it in last year. It is a source from which I choose objects when I intend to set out to a dark site. In a word, I read it before observing, in observing and after observing.

 

After one year's use, I have to say I don't think some of targets are desirable, some even not worth the effort you make to find them.

 

Some targets are so faint to us. For instance, I can't see Stephan's Quintet or five galaxies encompassing NGC524, and M74 is just a fluffy ball, with my Celestron C11 EdgeHD. But she distinguished spiral structure of M74 just using a 4' refractor.

 

Although her home is semirural, I believe that her observing condition is much better than most of us, besides her acuteness in finding details.

 

In addition, some open clusters, may be involved in catalogues of King or Berkeley, are so small and faint. You can't find it directly by your Goto mounting. After a star-hopping hunting, finally you just see some faint to extremely faint stars without an obvious edge. They are really not wonderful.

 

After spending some hours to drive to a dark site, you set up your instrument, then point your telescope to a never-seen-before object, looking forward to seeing some subtle details, but get nothing. I think most of you can understand this feeling of frustration.

 

I don't think this book is suited for me maybe due to my bad discernment or sky condition. I will look for some casually observing books, giving myself more sense of contentment and happiness.

 

Welcome to discuss.


Edited by Chen Sir, 08 December 2023 - 03:52 AM.

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#2 Astrojensen

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 04:09 AM

You've just discovered two things:

 

1: Observing conditions are hugely important.

 

2: Observing skills are hugely important. 

 

Additionally, what some consider interesting, such as faint galaxies and clusters, others consider boring. I think Sue does a very nice job of balancing the bright stuff and the faint stuff. Personally, I love the faint and obscure objects.

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


Edited by Astrojensen, 08 December 2023 - 04:09 AM.

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#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 06:57 AM

Greetings Chen Sir,

 

You have some very nice equipment there! "Little" galaxies and groups of are among my favorite targets. Sue includes some challenging targets to help fans hone their observing skills. Some hobbies are not necessarily always easy. A good adjunct to Sue's (very good) book would be Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge. You may also want to consider building or buying a "monster scope" that will more easily reel in those little fuzzies. It isn't Sue's or the Universe's fault --- just the nature of the avocation. Phil specifically lists targets in increasing order of difficulty.  Tom

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#4 Chen Sir

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 07:07 AM

Greetings Chen Sir,

 

You have some very nice equipment there! "Little" galaxies and groups of are among my favorite targets. Sue includes some challenging targets to help fans hone their observing skills. Some hobbies are not necessarily always easy. A good adjunct to Sue's (very good) book would be Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge. You may also want to consider building or buying a "monster scope" that will more easily reel in those little fuzzies. It isn't Sue's or the Universe's fault --- just the nature of the avocation. Phil specifically lists targets in increasing order of difficulty.  Tom

Thank you, Tom, I already have this one.

I will read this and NSOG in a few days.

And you're right. It's my fault-small telescopes, moderate conditions and bad skills.

 

Clear Skies,

Chen


Edited by Chen Sir, 08 December 2023 - 07:12 AM.

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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 07:33 AM

Thank you, Tom, I already have this one.

I will read this and NSOG in a few days.

And you're right. It's my fault-small telescopes, moderate conditions and bad skills.

 

Clear Skies,

Chen

Ehhh... my son and I got into this generic conversation last night. In some sense it's everybody's fault and nobody's fault. Just the pleasure of being alive and the struggles from minor to life challenging. The fun part is improving; something that we all aspire to. The beauty of hobbies is that we choose the challenges because we enjoy them!

 

"Imposter syndrome (IS) is a behavioral health phenomenon described as self-doubt of intellect, skills, or accomplishments among high-achieving individuals.    Tom


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#6 Illinois

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 07:35 AM

Good book! It don’t tell you that you should see it depends on how dark sky is and what telescope you use.  Book tell you what’s out there! I enjoy see tiny faint blob galaxy in my 16 inch in dark sky that make me see it is very very far away! 



#7 mashirts

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 08:46 AM

Why not considered observing with a focal reducer. Maybe your limiting factor is f10 viewing and F6.3 would bring dimmer objects into view.

Here is a CN thread about the issue, there are many others. Some people say they don't work for visual, others say they are only doing visual using them with their SCT.

https://www.cloudyni...for-visual-use/

#8 desertstars

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 09:39 AM

Thank you, Tom, I already have this one.

I will read this and NSOG in a few days.

And you're right. It's my fault-small telescopes, moderate conditions and bad skills.

 

Clear Skies,

Chen

Not bad. Merely undeveloped. It's a learning curve, for sure, and we're all still climbing it to one degree or another.



#9 BrentKnight

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 10:04 AM

Both Sue French's and Scotty Houston's Deep-Sky Wonders are great books and great resources.  Have you considered doing EAA?  Your list of hardware seems to indicate that you have everything you need for it.  Perhaps just add a larger sensor camera...


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#10 Sketcher

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 03:36 PM

Some targets are so faint to us. For instance, I can't see Stephan's Quintet or five galaxies encompassing NGC524, and M74 is just a fluffy ball, with my Celestron C11 EdgeHD. But she distinguished spiral structure of M74 just using a 4' refractor.

 

After spending some hours to drive to a dark site, you set up your instrument, then point your telescope to a never-seen-before object, looking forward to seeing some subtle details, but get nothing. I think most of you can understand this feeling of frustration.

Discussing what can be seen with various apertures, while ignoring sky quality and observer experience is pointless.  Sky quality and experience are that important.

 

The frustration part, for me, has more to do with people ignoring my words when I've pointed out the importance of one's sky and experience.  All that (many) others are interested in is spending more money on better equipment and larger apertures mistakenly thinking that will allow them to see more than a more experienced someone else using half the aperture under a much better sky.  This happens in these forums over and over again.  It's reached the point where I've mostly stopped trying to educate people in these areas.  They don't listen to myself and others who point out such things.  All they hear is:  "Go with the largest aperture you can afford and handle."  So, if you want to see more, go out and buy a larger telescope.  That's what most people around here do and recommend.

 

It's gotten to the point where I have little sympathy when these situations crop up.  They come up so often . . .

 

It's like when I suggest that those starting out start out with relatively small and inexpensive equipment -- even specifically stating that one reason (of many reasons) is so that one doesn't end up making potentially expensive mistakes when using higher quality equipment -- and then I see yet another thread where someone has ended up with moisture on inside surfaces of an expensive refractor objective.  So, why should those who know better even try to educate others?  Frustration.

 

We might as well let others make their own mistakes and learn from them first-hand.  It's the only way that some will learn.

 

There's nothing wrong with Sue's target choices.  If there's any problem, it lies with the inexperience, and/or lack of knowledge of some of her readers.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The below comet sketch was made with a 1-inch aperture, under a "seriously dark" sky, by a visual observer who's been a visual observer since the 1960s:

 

Comet 46P Wirtanen 1 inch aperture 09 Dec 2018 20x Sketcher   text

 

At the time, another CN member was unsuccessful in seeing the same comet with an eleven-inch telescope -- that's eleven times the aperture -- more than 100 times the light-grasp.  That's the same as someone being able to see something with a 10-inch telescope that someone else is unable to see with a 110-inch telescope.  In both cases, we're talking about 11 times the aperture and more than 100 times the light-grasp.

 

Sky quality and observer experience can be that important.


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#11 geovermont

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 05:57 PM

Sketcher is correct, but I want to encourage you to continue. It takes a long time to see deeply into the night sky. It is an art. You appear to have much fancier equipment than I and many others--and that's good. As you spend time under the night sky you will indeed see more and more. And as some have suggested, sometimes it can be better to spend the money on getting to a dark place than on fancy telescopes.

 

I do love looking through larger telescopes when I get a chance, but my normal observing gear is a homemade 6 inch f/8 reflector and a pair of 6 x 30 binoculars--those open the universe to me.

 

For objects that are not faint and fuzzy in your telescope I will, in all seriousness, recommend Phil Harrington's Touring the Universe Through Binoculars. View those objects with your great telescopes and you'll see some wonderful sights. I love Phil's book!


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#12 TOMDEY

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 05:58 PM

How old are you? Another often overlooked possibility is one's eyesight. Some perception deficiencies first manifest as scatter and inability to see dim objects. Even medications, alcohol, tobacco, and the biggest debilitators --- unprotected sun exposure, genetics, and age --- can degrade, overwhelm and crucify one's success at the eyepiece, despite effort and practice --- something to at least consider and ~look into~. A good ~full service~ optometrist can check for these conditions. provided the retina itself is OK, such enhancers like cataract surgery and vitrectomy can gain a full magnitude of recovered clear and contrasty brightness. We all suffer some of this to greater or lesser extent... the main variably being when to get it addressed (50, 60, 70, 80, 90, never?)  My optometrist noted that he sees average geriatric degradation in patients starting (to be noticeable to him, the examining/evaluating doctor) around age 35. It finally advances to annoying or debilitating a few decades later. The optometrist will most likely not bring it up unless the patient is gratuitously complaining about scattered light or night time perception difficulties... or the exam specifically reveals "severe" occlusions. If you feel generally OK and seeing well --- might just ask (cringe!), "Doctor, is there any evidence whatsoever of the beginning of cataracts?" At least you will be seated when he offers... "Well, yes, of course,... consistent with your age... does it bother you?" So he bounces the ball back into your court, ready to discuss the typical progression and (hopefully) assure you that it may be years or decades before he would recommend you grope your way into an ophthalmologist's office.   Tom

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#13 The Ardent

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 06:25 PM

I lived in the city for years with streetlights and trees.

I learned to observe what I was seeing in the telescope, and not worry about what was not visible.

Even in small apertures, there is no shortage of good night sky views. Master the obvious . Then when you do get out to darker skies, look for the things that have eluded you.

Welcome to discuss.


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#14 Chen Sir

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 06:44 AM

Good book! It don’t tell you that you should see it depends on how dark sky is and what telescope you use.  Book tell you what’s out there! I enjoy see tiny faint blob galaxy in my 16 inch in dark sky that make me see it is very very far away! 

I like faint galaxies too.

However frequent failure to view them give me nothing but being dispirited.

Like what others said, my local condition may be not suited for such faint objects, so I should read some books including more simple targets.



#15 Chen Sir

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 06:46 AM

Why not considered observing with a focal reducer. Maybe your limiting factor is f10 viewing and F6.3 would bring dimmer objects into view.

Here is a CN thread about the issue, there are many others. Some people say they don't work for visual, others say they are only doing visual using them with their SCT.

https://www.cloudyni...for-visual-use/

Thank you for suggestions.

I will try my F0.7 reducer.



#16 Chen Sir

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 06:54 AM

Both Sue French's and Scotty Houston's Deep-Sky Wonders are great books and great resources.  Have you considered doing EAA?  Your list of hardware seems to indicate that you have everything you need for it.  Perhaps just add a larger sensor camera...

I used to be an enthusiast of visually observing and astrograph. So, I have had some cameras to capture planets and DSOs.

 

About 2 years ago I gave up astrograph and concentrated on viewing only.

 

I just like to see mysterious cosmos by myself instead of a monitor.


Edited by Chen Sir, 09 December 2023 - 06:56 AM.

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#17 Chen Sir

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 07:12 AM

Discussing what can be seen with various apertures, while ignoring sky quality and observer experience is pointless.  Sky quality and experience are that important.

 

The frustration part, for me, has more to do with people ignoring my words when I've pointed out the importance of one's sky and experience.  All that (many) others are interested in is spending more money on better equipment and larger apertures mistakenly thinking that will allow them to see more than a more experienced someone else using half the aperture under a much better sky.  This happens in these forums over and over again.  It's reached the point where I've mostly stopped trying to educate people in these areas.  They don't listen to myself and others who point out such things.  All they hear is:  "Go with the largest aperture you can afford and handle."  So, if you want to see more, go out and buy a larger telescope.  That's what most people around here do and recommend.

 

It's gotten to the point where I have little sympathy when these situations crop up.  They come up so often . . .

 

It's like when I suggest that those starting out start out with relatively small and inexpensive equipment -- even specifically stating that one reason (of many reasons) is so that one doesn't end up making potentially expensive mistakes when using higher quality equipment -- and then I see yet another thread where someone has ended up with moisture on inside surfaces of an expensive refractor objective.  So, why should those who know better even try to educate others?  Frustration.

 

We might as well let others make their own mistakes and learn from them first-hand.  It's the only way that some will learn.

 

There's nothing wrong with Sue's target choices.  If there's any problem, it lies with the inexperience, and/or lack of knowledge of some of her readers.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The below comet sketch was made with a 1-inch aperture, under a "seriously dark" sky, by a visual observer who's been a visual observer since the 1960s:

 

 

 

At the time, another CN member was unsuccessful in seeing the same comet with an eleven-inch telescope -- that's eleven times the aperture -- more than 100 times the light-grasp.  That's the same as someone being able to see something with a 10-inch telescope that someone else is unable to see with a 110-inch telescope.  In both cases, we're talking about 11 times the aperture and more than 100 times the light-grasp.

 

Sky quality and observer experience can be that important.

 

Sketcher is correct, but I want to encourage you to continue. It takes a long time to see deeply into the night sky. It is an art. You appear to have much fancier equipment than I and many others--and that's good. As you spend time under the night sky you will indeed see more and more. And as some have suggested, sometimes it can be better to spend the money on getting to a dark place than on fancy telescopes.

 

I do love looking through larger telescopes when I get a chance, but my normal observing gear is a homemade 6 inch f/8 reflector and a pair of 6 x 30 binoculars--those open the universe to me.

 

For objects that are not faint and fuzzy in your telescope I will, in all seriousness, recommend Phil Harrington's Touring the Universe Through Binoculars. View those objects with your great telescopes and you'll see some wonderful sights. I love Phil's book!

I accept heartily your suggestions.

 

After a daily work, I don't have much time to go a further site and then return. So the sky condition may be just moderate and can't bring me the wonder of those faint DSOs.

 

Now I have stopped purchasing new instruments. Just take full advantage of what I already have, and read some books about more simple targets, exercising my observing skills.


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#18 Chen Sir

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 08:27 AM

I learned to observe what I was seeing in the telescope, and not worry about what was not visible.

Even in small apertures, there is no shortage of good night sky views. Master the obvious . Then when you do get out to darker skies, look for the things that have eluded you.
 

It's a good idea.

 

Just enjoy what we have had and look forward what we may have in the future.



#19 Chen Sir

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 08:35 AM

How old are you? Another often overlooked possibility is one's eyesight. Some perception deficiencies first manifest as scatter and inability to see dim objects. Even medications, alcohol, tobacco, and the biggest debilitators --- unprotected sun exposure, genetics, and age --- can degrade, overwhelm and crucify one's success at the eyepiece, despite effort and practice --- something to at least consider and ~look into~. A good ~full service~ optometrist can check for these conditions. provided the retina itself is OK, such enhancers like cataract surgery and vitrectomy can gain a full magnitude of recovered clear and contrasty brightness. We all suffer some of this to greater or lesser extent... the main variably being when to get it addressed (50, 60, 70, 80, 90, never?)  My optometrist noted that he sees average geriatric degradation in patients starting (to be noticeable to him, the examining/evaluating doctor) around age 35. It finally advances to annoying or debilitating a few decades later. The optometrist will most likely not bring it up unless the patient is gratuitously complaining about scattered light or night time perception difficulties... or the exam specifically reveals "severe" occlusions. If you feel generally OK and seeing well --- might just ask (cringe!), "Doctor, is there any evidence whatsoever of the beginning of cataracts?" At least you will be seated when he offers... "Well, yes, of course,... consistent with your age... does it bother you?" So he bounces the ball back into your court, ready to discuss the typical progression and (hopefully) assure you that it may be years or decades before he would recommend you grope your way into an ophthalmologist's office.   Tom

Hi Tom,

I'm 34 years old.

I doubted that I have some degree of astigmatism because rays of light will bother me when I peer at some brightest stars, Vega, Capella, Mirach, Sirius and so on.

I indeed visited an ophthalmologist, and he told me that my astigmatism was so slight that there was no need to treat.

 

Clear Skies,

Chen



#20 BrentKnight

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 10:11 AM

I used to be an enthusiast of visually observing and astrograph. So, I have had some cameras to capture planets and DSOs.

 

About 2 years ago I gave up astrograph and concentrated on viewing only.

 

I just like to see mysterious cosmos by myself instead of a monitor.

I've been visual for almost 50 years.  After seeing the WOW objects a couple times each, I concentrated on just finding the fainter stuff.  I enjoyed that immensely - just the challenge of it really.  I think seeing globular clusters in M31 with a 14" telescope was one of the biggies for me.  If you stick with visual, your interest may go in a similar direction.  I share views of the WOW objects with others at outreach events, and collect faint fuzzies at the house.  I like EAA now because I can still collect those fuzzies, but I can also get a pretty darn good look at them.


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#21 yuzameh

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 11:34 AM


"Imposter syndrome (IS) is a behavioral health phenomenon described as self-doubt of intellect, skills, or accomplishments among high-achieving individuals.    Tom

What's the more prevalent converse condition called?  Politician?

 

 

[overconfidence in low achieving dogmatic individuals]

 

But you are correct, there's a lot of emphasis on blame and personal fault nowadays which isn't always applicable, oft times effort would be better applied to the why and wherefore, not the who did what.  Not that the latter doesn't apply at times, but the why and wherefore still apply there (someone hired the guilty party, so the hiring method is inadequate, or training is not sufficient, or procedures weak, etc, etc, except for folk elected into office meritocratic systems should avoid hiring of a someone who will end up being blame-able.  Unless of course they are something of a crook).



#22 TOMDEY

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 01:08 PM

At work, my official job title was Tom Dey ~guru optique extraordinaire humilibus~ Historians later debated whether the title connoted extraordinarily humble or extraordinary yet humble. They proper concluded that both interpretations were equally correct. I humbly agreed.    Tom

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#23 astrophile

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Posted 11 December 2023 - 07:46 PM

What's the more prevalent converse condition called? Politician?

[overconfidence in low achieving dogmatic individuals]


Dunning-Kruger effect. Seems ever-increasingly prevalent of late ☹️

#24 astrophile

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Posted 11 December 2023 - 07:51 PM

Greetings Chen Sir,

You have some very nice equipment there! "Little" galaxies and groups of are among my favorite targets. Sue includes some challenging targets to help fans hone their observing skills. Some hobbies are not necessarily always easy. A good adjunct to Sue's (very good) book would be Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge. You may also want to consider building or buying a "monster scope" that will more easily reel in those little fuzzies. It isn't Sue's or the Universe's fault --- just the nature of the avocation. Phil specifically lists targets in increasing order of difficulty. Tom

My goodness, so my 16” is in actuality a ‘monster scope’?! Move over Tom, you’re no longer alone on that pedestal!… 😉

Edited by astrophile, 11 December 2023 - 08:11 PM.


#25 TOMDEY

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Posted 11 December 2023 - 09:27 PM

My goodness, so my 16” is in actuality a ‘monster scope’?! Move over Tom, you’re no longer alone on that pedestal!… 😉

True --- apparently monsters come in different sizes...    Tom

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