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Deepsky challenges

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Deepsky challenges was created by spculleton

I spent a bit of time recently looking through the Messier and Caldwell catalogues. While doing this I was considering arbitrary lists of Deep Sky objects and wondered, why not make one? Messier's has 40 galaxies, almost 40 open clusters and over 30 globulars, &c., so I wondered about following his pattern. In the end I figured that the best thing to do is the following:
How about compiling a list of favourite objects of the posters to the IFAS bulletin board? Favourite double/multiple stars, galaxies, globulars and so on. At the very least it would make a nice article for Arcturus and could make a nice entry in the resources section.
Any one interested then make a quick list, which I'll compile into a top ten of each, but also try to add a sentence explaining why you like it.
EG - M33, the Triangulum Galaxy. I like it 'cos I searched for it with an 8" scope to no avail, 10x50 binoculars, to no avail, and finally spotted it in September with the naked eye!
Shane Culleton.

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19 years 2 months ago #1171

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Replied by voyager on topic Re: Deepsky challenges

That is a cool idea! I must look up some of my favourite NGC and IC objects and post here at some stage.

As for M33, I have only seen it with a Telescope (6.25" Dobson) a few times at low magnification (50X) and in perfect seeing. I have however taken some AMAZING CCD images of it. It fills the entire frame and the spiral structure is amazing.

Just have a look at:
www.irishastronomy.org/user_resources/fi...-M33-Day3-Group2.jpg

This image was taken by School kids at the NUI Maynooth Science Summer Camp (I run the Astronomy Sessions) using the 14" TIE (Telescopes In Education) Telescope on Mount Wilson. The image was only exposed for 30 seconds and is un-processed!

I have never seen M33 with the naked eye YET but have seen it in Binoculars many times. I find it very rewarding to see sometihng with Binoculars that is all but invisible in a telescope!

Bart B.,
IFAS Webmaster.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
19 years 2 months ago #1172

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  • michaeloconnell
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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Deepsky challenges

M33- very difficult due to it's size. You need a very clear light-free sky irrespective of what instrument you use. I've seen it in my 8" alright but needed a clear night, focal reducer and long focal length eyepiece to see it. Nudging the telescope a little can help. Good challange.
M51 - another great challange for an 8" scope. On very clear nights with it up near the zenith I've seen the spiral arms. Lovely colourful effect.
M57 - Spectacular! Never get tired of looking at it. Apparently 8/10" scopes and very good skies can result in seeing the central star - tried many times but never succeeded yet though. Still, the ring itself is very nice.
M104 - one of the most rewarding objects to view through a telescope. To me, it's one of the few objects where the visual image in the eyepiece closely resembles the results obtained through a photo.
M97 - very nice. Eyes easily seen in an 8". Very unusual object.
Albeiro - need i say anymore!
30/31 Cygni - my next favourite double/triple. Main stars are orange and turquoise - mags 3.8 & 4.8. A telescope shows a mag 7 blue star near the orange one also. Very nice.
Veil nebula - only saw it once in my own scope - nothing fantastic. However, I've seen it twice at Birr through a large dob with a UHC or OIII filter - jaw-dropping experience! Really interesting whispy effect.
Alcor & Mizar - These two stars are actually 6, Alcor is a spectro binary. Mizar is a binocular double and each star is also a spectro double. And for good measure, in between Alcor and Mizar is Ludwig's star - once thought to be a planet by a not-so-talented astronomer who was a little too hasty to declare his find and name it after his local prince!
Pleiades - nebula effect can be seen around the brighter stars - very nice.
M1 - very unusual. Adverted vision shows that it has a strange not-so-sharp edge and doesn't form the normal circular shape.
Double cluster - I can just fit the two clusters into the scope's FOV. A real beautie!
M13 - another obvious one. A truly astonishing object which reveals more stars than you shake-a-stick-at.
M92 - Smaller fainter version of M13 but still very nice.
M3 - Ditto.
There is one object I've seen which is really cool but can't think of the name of it. If consists of a cluster which appears to have a little nebula stuck in the top corner of it. One of the most unusual objects I've seen - can't think of the name of it though - anyone know what I'm talking about??
M52 - nice triangular-shaped cluster with a lovely ruby-red star just off the centre. With it's shape and red colour, it always reminds me of a triangle of snooker balls - at least to me it does!:)
I've deliberately left one out- M31. I reckon it would need large apearture and wide FOV in order to appreciate it fully. My 8" even with focal reducer doesn't show the entire thing cause it's just so bloody big! A little disappointing in comparision to all the photographs we've seen of it.
19 years 2 months ago #1174

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  • johnflannery
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Replied by johnflannery on topic Re: Deepsky challenges

hi Michael,

re: your comment on identifying a cluster associated with a nebula, was it a Winter sky object? The ones I'm thinking of are the "Christmas Tree" cluster in Monoceros which has the Cone Nebula at the tip, or, if it was a planetary nebula, I think one of the Puppis open clusters (M46 or M47) has a little one embedded. Gordon Nason is the deep-sky guru and would know straightaway!

John F.
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19 years 2 months ago #1287

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  • michaeloconnell
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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Deepsky challenges

Thanks for that John. I had a feeling it was one of the Messier objects but couldn't remember which one. When you mentioned M46 is rang a bell. Just to confirm, I checked the web to see if there were any websites which had images of all the Messier objects. Found these two which are very nice:
www.3towers.com/messier.htm
and
www.seds.org/messier/data2.html
Nice colour images on the first one and the seds.org has useful info on each of the objects.
Oh, and yes, M46 does have a planatery nebula in it. From looking at the photos I reckon that was it.
Thanks John,
Michael
19 years 2 months ago #1294

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