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Well Saturn is the obvious answer to us but I reckon many non-astronomers would say "nice but isn't it tiny !" which is a comment that many newbies make on 1st seeing the ringed planet through a scope. SO that might dilute the "wow" a bit.

I think a very impressive object, or objects, is the double cluster in Perseus knows as the "Sword Handle" and also AKA NGC 884 + 869.

At 50x these objects fill the field of view each having many tiny stars including some with strong colours. The fact that each pinprick of light is a sun and the clusters lie around 7,000 light years away reinforces the scale of the view.

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a lot of saturns but the first planet i ever looked at was jupiter and to me it was a humbling goose pimpleing!!?? moment,

i,ll never forget it so i think i,d show most people this when its in the sky...

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BTW i vote saturn, the moon you can see with your eyes (unless you're really myopic/blind) but saturn someone tells you it exists, but you cant see it unless you look through a scope...that's what i'd go for.

Banner I love you reason "because someone tells you it exists" and that is why we all do this

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I have never observed the sun...Whats it like?

I don't think anyone in the UK ever has. It is reported to be a bright yellow thing that is supposed to appear in the sky every so often, but I don't believe a word of it:D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Moon or M42, i have to agree that Saturn is beautiful, but might be a bit disappointing for people as a first time object if they were expecting massive close ups like you see in them text books - "Why not just google it?" :)

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is bigamy still illegal?

Lads, lads! Brush up on your gravitational theory a bit, will you? Any good astronomer knows that trinary systems are inherently unstable - one of the three always gets ejected after a short time. :)

LaPlace proved that the three-body problem is impossible to solve in a Newtonian system, and LeMaitre reconfirmed the results in Einsteinian - Minkowski space. :hello2: Don't know who LaPlace and Minkowski were fooling about with, Mrs. Henderson got huffy when I asked and told me she "Wasn't that old!" :)

By the by, my vote depends much on what scope I'm using, but Saturn is definitely #1, followed closely by watching sunrise change the appearance of craters on the lunar terminator. (sunrise on another 'planet' always wow's 'em!) Orion's nebula comes in a close 3rd, and gets bumped to the top when using a large Dob.

Dan

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When I showed my wife Jupiter, it go a coo - Saturn obviously got a wow but when i pointed to that vague smudge (to the naked eye) which is Pleiades and she then saw hundreds of stars burst into life through the scope she really went WOW!!!

Don't forget those clusters guys

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got to be Saturn ... never yet encountered anyone who hasn't had a WOW moment when they first see it.

My wife just shrugged her shoulders and walked off, mind you she is an accountant so that might explain it :)

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I judge how spectacular an object is by how much my teenage son swears when he sees it for the first time through my telescope.

The Beehive Cluster got a mild curse. Saturn got a bit of profanity. But, you should have heard him when he saw Jupiter!

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