Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_lunar_close-ups_winners.thumb.jpg.b5fb18580607a749e382266fe55a02a1.jpg

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Today my very first H-Beta filter arrived. I didn’t have immediate plans to purchase one but this one came up at a price too good to refuse. 

Now that I have a 10” dob, I should have the aperture to put it to good use. The Horse Head Nebula is the most famous target for this filter. I believe it actually nicknamed the Horse Head Filter! I’m also aware that it’s suitable for the California Nebula as well as the M43 region of the Orion Nebula. Dave Knisely’s well shared guide to filters and nebulae lists the H-Beta filter as the best filter for 16 different nebulae. 

I’m curious to hear of people’s successes with this filter, no matter how big or small! What do I have to look forward to with the humble H-Beta filter?

EB1B62F0-FF87-419A-9325-EAB482B4628D.thumb.jpeg.cf98929ad847f769dbe36061480394c8.jpeg

Edited by Littleguy80
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly congratulations for organising your filters, particularly for dark sky observing Neil. The H-beta filter is quite discerning and it will not make an immediate impact on your visual encounters, in the way that your other two filters will. It was the last filter I purchased following initially an OIII and much later including UHC both original Lumicon. My early impressions were that locating objects with my H-beta filter required a different mental approach in terms of expectations, views were often classed as 'underwhelming' and challenging - expect for perhaps profiling M43. Over successive seasons, I have gained in familiarity and experience when using this filter, exploring select and attempting new observations, I now consider the status of the H-beta in the same high esteem as I do my other two, for the nature of observational subjects that it specialises in and increasingly have enjoyed observations of certain subjects as much as any other filter assisted observation. It is not just applicable for larger aperture, I have used this filter with a 76mm refractor for observing the California. Full dark adaption is of course the means to engage and explore with this filter, as would be a period for allowing your eye to become increasingly sensitised to a period of faint observations whether or not with a filter, such as certain reflection nebula and galaxies.

In as far as objects are concerned, Cygnus will present a number of challenges, one such is the Cocoon Nebula, reflection emission nebula, quite difficult observation in which the outlying dark nebula B168 is key to its location, after which averted vision and jiggling the scope will assist to gain a hazy sense of the nebula. As you will be aware reading up on Dave Knisely's recommendation, there are quite a few targets each with varied degrees of difficulty and it may in time gain you B33. To begin with when you do have opportunities at a dark sky location and when the transparency is very good, gain time and experience to become accustomed to experimenting with the filter, perhaps alternating with others, it will modify your perception particularly in terms of structure and contrast for when observing emission nebulae. A useful reference is Interstellarium Deep Sky Atlas, which provides a symbol for a purposeful filter type along each included nebula. 

  

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just one other thought, you may in time wish to consider including a low power eyepiece with a larger exit pupil, such as Explore Scientific 30mm.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neil good luck with the filter. Iain @scarp15 has produced a brilliant explanation of this filter. I have seen the California Neb in my 15x70 Apollo Bins with H.Beta filters screwed into the eye lenses.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Iain. Excellent explanation. I feel quite aware that this filter and my new setup in general is something I will grow into. It’s going to take time for me to properly observe these challenging targets. Last spring/summer, it was a similar experience as I got to grips with the OIII filter and the Veil. That was before I’d made my first dark site trip. Hopefully I’ll manage a look at M43 before it moves on until the Autumn. I’ve not heard of the Interstellarium Deep Sky Atlas before so will definitely look that up!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, scarp15 said:

Just one other thought, you may in time wish to consider including a low power eyepiece with a larger exit pupil, such as Explore Scientific 30mm.

I have pondered an ES82 30mm at some point. I was thinking of the increased TFOV. I hadn’t considered a larger exit pupil for this filter. Another good point :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Neil good luck with the filter. Iain @scarp15 has produced a brilliant explanation of this filter. I have seen the California Neb in my 15x70 Apollo Bins with H.Beta filters screwed into the eye lenses.

Thanks Mark. I have to admit that your reports on seeing the California Nebula was part of the inspiration for getting the H-Beta filter :) 

Edited by Littleguy80

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Congrats - will be interested to hear how you get on! :thumbsup:

I don't have one of these, but have been considering getting one.  It might be my single astro purchase for 2018!

Edited by niallk
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, niallk said:

Congrats - will be interested to hear how you get on! :thumbsup:

I don't have one of these, but have been considering getting one.  It might be my single astro purchase for 2018!

Thank you. I’ll make sure and put an observing report or two up with my experiences :) 

Only one Astro purchase this year?!? Such willpower! You sure you don’t need just one more eyepiece in your case.... ;) 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... I suffered from a distinct lack of willpower last year, you see!

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, niallk said:

... I suffered from a distinct lack of willpower last year, you see!

I didn’t have much willpower last year either. I did pretty well from October onwards. Then I bought the dob in February and now my willpower has packed it’s suitcase and left. I don’t know if it’s ever coming back....

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Littleguy80 Neil, If your research into the Interstellarium Deep Sky Atlas makes you hanker after one, let me know...

I started out with the ‘Desk Version’ which has been fabulous for planning sessions and browsing on cloudy evenings. But I was bought a ‘Field Version’ for a recent birthday by someone unaware I already had a copy. 

If you fancy getting yourself a copy let me know. It’s an excellent atlas and I particularly like it’s scale and clarity. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 for Interstellarum - I have the field edition.

It is a thing of beauty! :)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Stargazer McCabe said:

@Littleguy80 Neil, If your research into the Interstellarium Deep Sky Atlas makes you hanker after one, let me know...

I started out with the ‘Desk Version’ which has been fabulous for planning sessions and browsing on cloudy evenings. But I was bought a ‘Field Version’ for a recent birthday by someone unaware I already had a copy. 

If you fancy getting yourself a copy let me know. It’s an excellent atlas and I particularly like it’s scale and clarity. 

Thanks @Stargazer McCabe! I’ll drop you a PM

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have two HBeta filters (both Lumicon) but I use them fairly rarely, mainly because of seeing. As you say, HBeta required for the B33 the Horsehead, or rather IC434, the background nebula and NGC1499 the California nebula. My personal observation is that on nights where there are high levels of moisture in the air the filter is less effective. On pristine nights with great seeing you will be able to see remarkable detail in NGC 1499 which is one of my favourite and most enigmatic DSOs. I have used them on other DSO , but have found it to be less effective than a UHC.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, JAO said:

I have two HBeta filters (both Lumicon) but I use them fairly rarely, mainly because of seeing. As you say, HBeta required for the B33 the Horsehead, or rather IC434, the background nebula and NGC1499 the California nebula. My personal observation is that on nights where there are high levels of moisture in the air the filter is less effective. On pristine nights with great seeing you will be able to see remarkable detail in NGC 1499 which is one of my favourite and most enigmatic DSOs. I have used them on other DSO , but have found it to be less effective than a UHC.

I’m really looking forward to the California Nebula. I’ve read reports on here of people seeing it with a Heritage 130 and H-Beta so it should be a good target with the 10” dob. The UHC filter does seem to be the Swiss Army knife of nebula filters. It seems to work well on the majority of targets even if an OIII or H-Beta gives a bit more detail 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The California is one of my favourite nebula. I can’t comment on h beta but for night vision I found getting a nice wide fov of 3 degrees or more really helped it pop out. Otherwise I was tending to ‘look through’ it and it was more difficult to see where it started and ended.

52DC24C4-1F31-49C4-87B4-9DC523BBD0AA.jpeg

Edited by GavStar
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, GavStar said:

The California is one of my favourite nebula. I can’t comment on h beta but for night vision I found getting a nice wide fov of 3 degrees or more really helped it pop out. Otherwise I was tending to ‘look through’ it and it was more difficult to see where is started and ended.

52DC24C4-1F31-49C4-87B4-9DC523BBD0AA.jpeg

Great shot. So you’re telling me I need to buy a widefield scope now?!? ;) I’ll only have about half that field of view but hopefully I’ll still be able to pick it out in sections. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I’m sure you will be fine with the dob Neil. 😉The two ‘lanes’ are the easiest bits to pick out in my experience.

 

Edited by GavStar
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, GavStar said:

I’m sure you will be fine with the dob Neil. 😉The two ‘lanes’ are the easiest bits to pick out in my experience.

 

My wife will be relieved to hear I don't need another scope ;) Thank you for the tip on the lanes. There'll no doubt be a report when I get a chance to try for it :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Littleguy80 said:

Great shot. So you’re telling me I need to buy a widefield scope now?!? ;) I’ll only have about half that field of view but hopefully I’ll still be able to pick it out in sections. 

The California is a big object with bags of detail, indeed it is a good test of the sky conditions. On the nights that I can pick out a lot of detail in it, I know I can hunt the faintest of deep sky targets. To get it all in I use my NP101, but only on the best of nights. That said my observatory 10" f12.5 Maksutov, which is a very high contrast scope, gives incredible views of the nebula all be it in small chunks. So no, you don't need a wide field instrument.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The California is certainly an object that as an interest may grow on you, through gaining in familiarity, yet will initially not reveal much. My first encounter, which was assisted by an experienced observer, was to determine the 'brighter edge' more so a faint grey passage and to cruise along its length. This was a few years ago and I have increasingly become more accustomed to observing this object. Now I can determine the nebula structure much more substantially and I can detect subtle details. I share with others that have commented, it has become a favourite object to seasonally observe and discover yet further subtleties in its features. As mentioned, the right conditions and placement of the object is necessary for a revealing observation. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, scarp15 said:

The California is certainly an object that as an interest may grow on you, through gaining in familiarity, yet will initially not reveal much. My first encounter, which was assisted by an experienced observer, was to determine the 'brighter edge' more so a faint grey passage and to cruise along its length. This was a few years ago and I have increasingly become more accustomed to observing this object. Now I can determine the nebula structure much more substantially and I can detect subtle details. I share with others that have commented, it has become a favourite object to seasonally observe and discover yet further subtleties in its features. As mentioned, the right conditions and placement of the object is necessary for a revealing observation. 

Thanks Iain. It sounds like the H-Beta filter on the California Nebula  will be a good tool for training myself on picking out detail on faint targets. It’s quite an exciting stage. I feel like I’ve got a great setup, with new eyepieces on the way, and now just need time and clear skies to start to properly exploit it! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck with the new filter. I use my UHC the most then an oiii and the H b the least but it is satisfying knowing you've got one in your arsenal for when you need it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.