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We've had one sighting in a 12" Dob on the last page. So it's deffinitily do-able in a 12". The challenge is now for us with 10" & 11" scopes :eek: Not sure that's gonna happen but I will give it a few more stabs before it gets too low in the sky to be a realistic possibility.

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right fellow SGLer's...'tis the season for this. I know this is an old thread but with a lot of new members on here it makes an interesting read for those hunting for M57. I'm off to Elan in a couple

I think one of the problems with observing it is contrast, the centre of the ring nebula isnt quite dark it glows slightly this makes picking out this star notoriously difficult.

I was pretty sure that I was getting glimpses of M57's central star a few nights back at high magnification. I was using a Pentax XW (454x) with my 12" dob. These glimpses were fleeting though - I cou

Well just having a rest.

First light on the 8mm Ethos and I am happy to report I am sure I saw the center star, it wasn't sharp but what is at X 381 mag. It was not there all the time but I am sure it was there, but my, it's difficult. It is hard to even focus at this magnification on 11th and 12th magnitude stars. The strange thing was I first saw it with my right eye, something I don't do very much change eyes, but to-night it worked. I think I saw it more with my right than left which is the eye I use most of the time.

So was it just luck or was it the Ethos effect, I would not have said it was the best of conditions that I have tried to see it in.

Alan.

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Congratulations Alan !

Conditions are good at the moment here and M57 looks fabulous but no joy with the central star for me as yet. I've gone up to 343x with the 10" Orion Optics newtonian (3.5mm Pentax XW). It is tough to get sharp focus on dim stars at that magnification though !

Still, I'll keep having a go while the clear skies last - you never know when a patch of freakily good transparency will show up !

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I went back and had another go at it. The centre star did not show like a star as such, it was more like a brighter spot in the centre of the Ring itself. I think to see it as a star as we know it would need a very large scope maybe 18 or 20 inches. But I am sure in my own mind I saw it and it was very pleasing indeed. Apart from the time I was in England this must be more than 15 hours solid looking at the one object over a period of 3 months or so. It is just as well I don't give in easily.

The second time out last night I would say was better seeing and I was able to really confirm what I saw, maybe it was darker too.

Alan.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I do not know what the limit of a 150mm GSO RC is but I was looking at the Ring last night with this scope and a 10mm Delos . This is a magnification of X137, I could see the stars around the nebula coming in and out using A / V, I believe these are around Mag 12.8-13.2, not bad on a night with the Moon nearing half illumination of the face.

Alan.

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Alan

Friday night past (19th), I had a few hours observing in the most awesome conditions I have had in some time. When I arrived home from work the sky was wall to wall blue, so I set up the dob, left it to cool while I had my tea and proceeded back out around 8.30. To my amazement the sky had remained clear and I could see straight away, without any dark adaption, the conditions were stunning.

After tweaking the collimation, I split a few doubles and observed a few of my favourite Messiers while I let my eyes dark adapt, then I had another shot at M57's elusive central star. I have had quite a few possible sightings but couldn't be 100% sure its wasn't my minds eye telling me it was there, until now! With a combination of the 7mm XW/GSO 2x barlow (418x), I can now confirm, without a shadow of a doubt, I have bagged this difficult target! It wasn't there all the time, and did pop easier with averted vision, but once I knew where it was, it was unmistakable. So, I can now conclude, under optimal conditions, this target is within the reach of a 12" scope.

Another target in Lyra I want to have a proper go at is the Mag 14.8 galaxy IC1296. Its easy enough to get in the right position as its only approx 4° NW of M57, but its another thing to actually see it. Its right on the limit of the resolving power of a 12" though, and will require a completely moonless night as well as perfect seeing if I'm to stand any chance!

Happy hunting :-)

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I can tell you that the central star is not a 'gimme' in even an 18 or even 30" telescope. Seeing/transparency are critical... and high magnification is required. That said... detecting it with 12" of aperture is a fine accomplishment. I know a fellow who claims he saw it in his 10" reflector, but sometimes I wonder what he's seeing, hah.

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As I have said before I spent at least 15 hours on this one target over a 3 month period and I hand picked my nights so it is a difficult object for sure in a fair size scope. I am sure it is possible to own a 16 inch within a built up area and never see it .

I want to get out early morning and try it, this is the time when our sky is best, clearest and stillest, oh and coldest.

Alan.

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We get a zenith SQM of 21.7 and about mag 7 for the young, though for me it's a lot less these days. We often see the central star in the 20 inch but we certainly don't always see it. Being on the zenith at almost any site is a big, big factor in critical observations.

Olly

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  • 7 months later...

I'm gonna have another go this season too. Gonna give it a big effort with my 10" from a good dark sky (in Wales). If I can't do it in the 10", then I'll give up and get the big glass on it.

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I'm keen to have a shot at this. With the EQ platform I can hold M57 still in the FoV for some time at 400x or so which should make careful examination easier.

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Good luck guys! I logged some serious time on this object before I could confidently confirm the sighting. I tried a few times after but never managed a repeat performance. One thing I forgot to mention is that I used a home made light shroud over my head to help with dark adaption. The only light I was seeing was through the eyepiece. I'm looking forward to having another round or two with this elusive character, but from memory, its going to take almost perfect conditions and a lot of luck!

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I'm keen to have a shot at this. With the EQ platform I can hold M57 still in the FoV for some time at 400x or so which should make careful examination easier.

The EQ platform should give you a great advantage John. At 400x mag, there is a fair bit of nudging involved, even with widefields.

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