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niallk

Detail in the Cat's Eye Nebula...?

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Hi,

Got my 15" scope out last night for the first time in ages due to the terrible weather, and had a nice look at:

Blinking Planetary neb

Blue Snowball neb

Cat Eye neb

Crescent neb

Ring neb

Dumbell neb

Nth America neb

Veil neb

Albireo

and globs M56/71/92

... then the clouds rolled in again :/

I've been repeatedly trying to pick out detail in the Cat Eye neb the last 3 or 4 sessions that I've managed to get out - and think I discern some structure, but it is on the limit of my visibility with my back garden stray light etc.

I think I see a couple of hints of arcs, within an elliptical bright neb glow, with a clear central star.

Hopefully I'll make it to the first night of the Skellig Star Party next week in the Gold Tier Kerry Dark Sky Reserve (it will be my 1st ever time meeting up with other stargazers!), so I plan to be trying again under really dark conditions, as long as those pesky clouds stay away.

So how much detail can you make out in the Cat Eye neb? I'm always afraid of averted imagination creeping in! :)

Cheers Niall

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Hi Niall,

I'll have to have another look now :) I can see the central star very easily, a hint of colour but I don't remember seeing any particular detail. It's always good to look at it. I seem to remember it can take a bit of mag.

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Nice report Niall :smiley:

I observed the Cats Eye just a night ago with my 12" dob and reported this:

"...This object was quite bright, small and rather irregular rather like a ghostly potato !. With a bit more magnification and my DGM NBP filter (a UHC type filter) I could see a little of the eliptical halo around the central brighter area. With the filter removed the central star of the nebula was quite easy to see...."

By "a bit more" I mean 200x magnification.

So more of a "Ghostly Spud" than a cat's eye with my 12" :smiley:

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Hi Richard,

Will be interested to hear about what you can see in your 16" :)

Yes I also see a hint of blue/green at lower mags, and was hunting for detail at 245x - without my O-III on that object last night.

On this - and particularly the Blue Snowball, I do see the colour predominantly at lower mags - bumping up the mag the image shifts to greyscale in my eyes at least. I guess its the drop of in light intensity at the back of the eye (?)

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From memory, there was some detail in the brighter central section with plenty of magnification and a good OIII (don't think that I could make out the dimmer outer area).

You certainty had a PN fest!

I'll have a look tonight. But am beginning to doubt my previous observations if you guys with proper scopes are struggling for detail.

Paul

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Hi Richard,

Will be interested to hear about what you can see in your 16" :)

Yes I also see a hint of blue/green at lower mags, and was hunting for detail at 245x - without my O-III on that object last night.

On this - and particularly the Blue Snowball, I do see the colour predominantly at lower mags - bumping up the mag the image shifts to greyscale in my eyes at least. I guess its the drop of in light intensity at the back of the eye (?)

I took this with my 16" standing on the EQ Platform in June, a 2 secs exposure at ISO1600. This is cropped of course, I was very surprised how well it came out, a pity it doesn't look like this through the eyepiece :)

post-20507-0-97075300-1439030158.jpg

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That is a beautiful pic!! The colour, the structure detail coming through...

I have a cheapo platform that can apparently take the weight of the Obs 15", so I really MUST have a go after seeing your post. If I got even close to your capture I would be really delighted.

I do think I was getting hints of sweeping arcs of detail, but with averted vision I find the slightest movement of my eye caused me to 'lose it' or that it would shift so that another part of the neb would reveal an arc.

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That is a beautiful pic!! The colour, the structure detail coming through...

I have a cheapo platform that can apparently take the weight of the Obs 15", so I really MUST have a go after seeing your post. If I got even close to your capture I would be really delighted.

I do think I was getting hints of sweeping arcs of detail, but with averted vision I find the slightest movement of my eye caused me to 'lose it' or that it would shift so that another part of the neb would reveal an arc.

Thanks Niall, it took a lot of time, had to focus on something else first, then find it with the camera in the focuser, don't think I could have without the Push to. Then snapped away and hoped! A bit off a fluke really.
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Good skies and 15" should be teasing detail out..saw M1 at SWSP last year and I never bother with it as it always disappoints..except this once,the amount of filerment detail was incredible! I've almost started again on the M list because of the dramatic difference under dark skies

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Good skies and 15" should be teasing detail out..saw M1 at SWSP last year and I never bother with it as it always disappoints..except this once,the amount of filerment detail was incredible! I've almost started again on the M list because of the dramatic difference under dark skies

I'm really loving the bigger scope - and intend to make more dark sky trips. Only thing is I'm definitely not over my aperture fever! Dreaming of an 18"/22"...

Really dying to use the scope under good dark skies - just afraid I'll never enjoy observing from my back garden again! :)

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Yup I don't bother anymore just go to Elan for a fix.....and you think a 18" cures the fever?...hahahahaha...;)

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From memory, there was some detail in the brighter central section with plenty of magnification and a good OIII (don't think that I could make out the dimmer outer area).

You certainty had a PN fest!

I'll have a look tonight. But am beginning to doubt my previous observations if you guys with proper scopes are struggling for detail.

Paul

It turns out that memory and averted imagination go hand in hand.

I had a crack at this one last night using my little 10" dob. The central section was bright and a pretty well formed pointy rugby ball shape that fluctuated with the air currents. The combination of 6mm SLV / ES UHC giving 200x seemed to work best. But the central section contained very little observable detail. There did seem to be a ghostly elongated outer halo at 90° is to the bright section. However, this was right on the edge of seeing and required several minutes at the eyepiece to gain glimpses.

I can see why it is called the Cat's Eye.

Niall, thanks for prompting a really enjoyable revisit.

Paul

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Me too, I had a look with the ethos in the 16". I was quite surprised how much colour I could see, much more than I remembered, but nothing like the pic of course. It was definitely blue and more than just a hint, really very striking. I couldn't see any detail, but I could see the wispy lips on the edge as the seeing allowed, although very faint, so that it looked a bit more than the oval.

I had a look through the Tak as well, in which at first it looked like just another star. As I stared however I could just tell that perhaps it was something else.

Thanks Niall

Edited by Scooot
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Great to read your reports & thanks for posting! I find this quite a beguiling target :)

I'm probably guilty of 'seeing' hints of detail because my mind has been polluted by images - but I'd swear I fleetingly discern arc structure.

I love to see others sketches at the EP - I often check out the wonderful library of DSO sketches that Mike73 created on his website using his 16" Canopus before selling on - I refer to it a bit like I refer to 'Turn Left at Orion' to compare against what I've seen. He caught some nice detail in there.

The thrill of the hunt ;)

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Me too, I had a look with the ethos in the 16". I was quite surprised how much colour I could see, much more than I remembered, but nothing like the pic of course. It was definitely blue and more than just a hint, really very striking. I couldn't see any detail, but I could see the wispy lips on the edge as the seeing allowed, although very faint, so that it looked a bit more than the oval.

I had a look through the Tak as well, in which at first it looked like just another star. As I stared however I could just tell that perhaps it was something else.

Thanks Niall

there's a good advert for a dob if I've ever seen one! :grin:

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Great to read your reports & thanks for posting! I find this quite a beguiling target :)

I'm probably guilty of 'seeing' hints of detail because my mind has been polluted by images - but I'd swear I fleetingly discern arc structure.

I love to see others sketches at the EP - I often check out the wonderful library of DSO sketches that Mike73 created on his website using his 16" Canopus before selling on - I refer to it a bit like I refer to 'Turn Left at Orion' to compare against what I've seen. He caught some nice detail in there.

The thrill of the hunt ;)

yeh funny how sometimes interest wains...I thought Mikes sketches were incredible ...

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yeh funny how sometimes interest wains...I thought Mikes sketches were incredible ...

Hopefully everything is ok with Mike and we'll see him posting here again sometime.

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there's a good advert for a dob if I've ever seen one! :grin:

Horses for courses lol :)

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Hopefully everything is ok with Mike and we'll see him posting here again sometime.

Here here. Mikes a great guy and a good laugh to observe with. I too hope he takes up observing again.

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IC4677 is part of the outer halo and probably visible through a 15" scope. :)

I was at a nice dark site on Friday night, but didn't get to look for IC4677 I'm afraid - next time - some cloud rolled in before I got a chance to get out my O-III. Thanks for the suggestion - I've googled it!

I definitely saw detail though in the bright core of neb - somewhat like two overlapping circles. I'm going to have to give sketching a shot.

This was my first trip to really dark skies with a scope - I intend it to hopefully be my first of many - it was so worth it ;)

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Good skies and 15" should be teasing detail out..saw M1 at SWSP last year and I never bother with it as it always disappoints..except this once,the amount of filerment detail was incredible! I've almost started again on the M list because of the dramatic difference under dark skies

Yep - I see what you mean :) - I've a taste now for packing the scope and the tent into the car and going off for the night!!

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as said by calv, dark skies rule, the centre star is easy to see but i find it does blink a lot. just drive to elan valley, its like having a "20

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