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Challenging Visual Observation List (Push your 'scope to it's limits!)


lw24
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Hi all,

I've been thinking of starting a new thread that I feel may be quite interesting. The idea is, that you post some challenging objects to find in the sky (DSO, Moons of planets, Craters on the Moon etc) for different apertures of telescopes. I feel that this could be very exciting for visual observations, spending hours trying to find something, pushing your telescope to its limits.

As an example; Telescope Aperture: 10 inch Object: Pluto Background info: It's apparently viewable with a 8 inch telescope with good seeing, so it would be a very tough and rewarding challenge.

^ Please structure your post like the above ^

I haven't been observing long, so that may not be a very good example (read it on the internet somewhere), but I hope some people can post some better ones that cover a large range of apertures.

The overall aim, is to hopefully build up a small database of objects that can be challenging to see in certain apertures, to provide visual observers some different (and hopefully rewarding) things to try and look for, instead of the obvious lists (Messier, Planets etc)

Challenging Visual Observation List

Naked Eye

0<50mm Aperture Instruments

51<100mm Aperture Instruments

B72 Snake Nebula - Dark Nebula - Requires clear, dark and transparent skies to see it

Dumbell Nebula Central Star - White Dwarf - Should be fairly tough in this small of an instrument

101<130mm Aperture Instruments

131<150mm Aperture Instruments

151<200mm Aperture Instruments

201<250mm Aperture Instruments

NGC891/Caldwell 23 - Edge on spiral galaxy - Faint elongated smear of light, especially tough from light polluted areas

251<300mm Aperture Instruments

_____________________________________________________________________

Thanks, and please feel free to post

Edited by lw24
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Have a look at the recently published Cosmic Challenges by Phil Harrington. It sets out to do just this. For UK amateurs you might want to add several(!) inches to the aperture ratings.... or a CCD camera. Covers, planetary, lunar, deep sky... a whole range with information and notes on each.

Cosmic Challenge: The Ultimate Observing List for Amateurs by Philip S. Harrington

I have a copy, it is a good book that outlines plenty of objects for people who think they might have "seen it all".

Cheers

PEterW

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How about 3c273, a quasar that is 2 billion light years (light travel distance) away. It shines at mag 12.8 and was just about there in my 8" dob at SGL6, it was much easier though in the 10+12" dobs in the adjacent pitches though :)

It is very rewarding to glimpse probably the most distant object that you can see visually.

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On a naked eye theme, I've still yet to see the gengerschein (sp?) or an aurora but fingers crossed. Obviously the longer days won't help for a while but the chance of seeing more noctilucent clouds is a positive bonus.

How about these objects for a challenge: Aintno Catalog

Mark

Those objects are crazy! :)

The book recommended by PeterW seems a much more realistic list of objects to look for.

I still feel that with the help of the members on this forum we should put together a database, that anyone can access for free, instead of buying a book.

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I think that's the point of the aintno database!!

If you are looking for challenging objects, I'll propose NGC891 through an 8" through an 8 inch scope from town obsy.

The challenge is that what's challenging to one observer mayn't be to another. Variations in experience, sky conditions and equipment will make quite a difference in making the faint or small objects appear.

I'll second Harrington's book. It is very good and full of descriptive details of a whole heap of objects from naked eye to monster scopes.

Mark

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If you are looking for challenging objects, I'll propose NGC891 through an 8" through an 8 inch scope from town obsy.

The challenge is that what's challenging to one observer mayn't be to another. Variations in experience, sky conditions and equipment will make quite a difference in making the faint or small objects appear.

Mark

I totally agree with you there, that what's challenging to one observer may not be to another, but I feel this can be overcome by putting together a list/database, as observers will have a variety to try.

I'll start making a list and see how much input we get from others.

Cheers

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