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Kainushi

Desperately seeking M57?

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Kainushi    51

Good evening!

I've made it my assignment, weather permitting, to locate M57 in Lyra, but all of my attempts thus far have ended in failure.  At my latitude, 40 degrees North, Lyra is in a position that allows me to observe for extended periods of time without damaging my neck.  I know that I've been staring at the correct spot:  between Gamma & Beta Lyrae, but I haven't detected any fuzziness even with averted vision.  Using the information in Stellarium, I compared its magnitude, surface brightness, and size with other objects that I have located, and at 3 minutes, M57 seems rather small.  Would this explain why I miss it? 

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barkis    3,983

What Instrument are you using, specs. and eyepiece.? This should give  us a starting point.
The Ring Nebula is a small object, but even so, quite easily recognised as a planetary when located. 
It is 76 Arc Seconds in diameter, so not a difficult one.
Sweep slowly in the area in which it resides, and depending upon the magnification you are using, you will locate it. 
High mag. is not recommended to find it, it will appear brighter at lower powers.
I would say that you have already seen it, but not recognised it.
 

 

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Kainushi    51
19 minutes ago, barkis said:

What Instrument are you using, specs. and eyepiece.? This should give  us a starting point.
The Ring Nebula is a small object, but even so, quite easily recognised as a planetary when located. 
It is 76 Arc Seconds in diameter, so not a difficult one.
Sweep slowly in the area in which it resides, and depending upon the magnification you are using, you will locate it. 
High mag. is not recommended to find it, it will appear brighter at lower powers.
I would say that you have already seen it, but not recognised it.
 

 

Barkis,

Mea culpa.  m(_ _)m.  15x70.

I've also tried to pick it up when looking at Lyra in 10x50, but without much hope if I can't see it in 15x70.

Edit:  It's unexpected to learn that lower power will improve the visibility of a target.

 

Edited by Kainushi

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Stu    14,433
2 minutes ago, Kainushi said:

Barkis,

Mea culpa.  m(_ _)m.  15x70.

I've also tried to pick it up when looking at Lyra in 10x50, but without much hope if I can't see it in 15x70.

 

In binoculars it looks almost stellar so you need to know where you are looking to recognise it as it is very small. It will appear as a slightly fuzzy star. I've seen it in 15x50 Canon IS binoculars so you should be able to do it.

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Kainushi    51
4 minutes ago, Stu said:

In binoculars it looks almost stellar so you need to know where you are looking to recognise it as it is very small. It will appear as a slightly fuzzy star. I've seen it in 15x50 Canon IS binoculars so you should be able to do it.

 

4 minutes ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

My 15x70s do not show M57 as a fuzzy blob, it just looks like a (slightly fuzzy) star. You need more magnification to see its shape

Stu & Michael h.f.,

A fuzzy star.  Based on your description, barkis is probably correct in supposing that I've already seen it without recognizing it!

Thank you! 

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kev100    238

Hiya,

I've seen M57 using my 20x80s ... very small, but the ring clearly visible (surprisingly). I also tried with my 10x50s but couldn't find it ...

Kev

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spike95609    230

I got it in my 15x70s when I last looked a couple of years ago, but it really is very small and hard to separate from the stars around it. You really need to know precisely where to look to be sure of it. Funnily enough I had a quick glance at it in my 10x42s the other night - not a hope! Well I'm sure it was there, but with wobbly arms and the small magnification I couldn't call it.

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Kainushi    51
On November 8, 2016 at 20:45, LukeSkywatcher said:

Cant say ive ever looked for it with bins of any size. Ive seen it with 5" and 8" scopes.

 

On November 9, 2016 at 01:33, kev100 said:

Hiya,

I've seen M57 using my 20x80s ... very small, but the ring clearly visible (surprisingly). I also tried with my 10x50s but couldn't find it ...

Kev

 

On November 11, 2016 at 02:36, spike95609 said:

I got it in my 15x70s when I last looked a couple of years ago, but it really is very small and hard to separate from the stars around it. You really need to know precisely where to look to be sure of it. Funnily enough I had a quick glance at it in my 10x42s the other night - not a hope! Well I'm sure it was there, but with wobbly arms and the small magnification I couldn't call it.

Luke, Kev, & Spike,

Thank you for your responses, and please pardon my belated response.  I've not given up completely on M57; I've taken to pointing my binoculars at Lyra secure in the knowledge that M57 is present, even if I can't see it.

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spaceboy    1,533

Not much to add that hasn't already been said really. I can say though is once you do figure out which of the tiny fuzzy blobs is M57 you will pick it out easily each time thereafter. This is where experience comes in to play with this hobby. You learn to pick out those almost indiscernible light patches that beginners would not even know where there. Bins are great fun for brushing up on these skills as you can cover a huge patch of sky in one go so that if you know roughly where to point there is a good chance the object is there to be teased out from the background.

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John    17,077

M57 can be overlooked with a scope and a low powered eyepiece so it's not surprising that it's a challenge to see with binoculars.

With 11x70's mounted steadily on a tripod I can see M57 but hand held it becomes almost impossible to separate it from the surrounding stars I find.

A larger and more obvious planetary nebula is the Dumbell Nebula M27 in Vulpecula. I can clearly see that one even with my 6x30 finder scope.

Edited by John
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Kainushi    51

"With 11x70's mounted steadily on a tripod I can see M57 but hand held it becomes almost impossible to separate it from the surrounding stars I find."

Steadiness is indeed a problem:  I have a monopod, but its performance has underwhelmed me.  Perhaps I'll buy a chair.  I may as well be as comfortable as possible.

Thank you for your responses.

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spaceboy    1,533

I have one of these for observing with bins. http://www.poundstretcher.co.uk/rocking-recliner-garden-chair cheap and cheerful but surprisingly comfortable and an almost perfect angle with out having to slouch too much. The trick is to tuck your elbows in to your chest and use your arms like a tripods and rest the bins against your eye sockets / brow. You have to shallow your breathing but you will find it far more comfortable and rewarding that hand holding or using a tripod at angles higher than 30°

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Nyctimene    364

There is a rather easy way to get to M 57 with bins.

Start from Beta Lyrae. About 20 arc min North-East, you will find  a 8.7 mag star, from which, running South-East, a chain of four more stars, all about 8.5 mag to 9 mag, points to M 57. They are like stepping stones with a distance of 10-15 arc min. from each other.The last one will show itself not pinpoint sharp, but somewhat "defocused"; that's M 57. Really easy in my 14x100 Wachter vintage binoculars, but should be doable with (mounted) 10x50.

I've attached the Uranometria 2 map with pointers.

Good luck for hunting down M 57!

StephanDSC_0478.JPG

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