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I've completed the Messier list

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I've done it. I've ticked the last box- M30 the Jellyfish cluster in Capricorn. A slight anticlimax as a health niggle slightly interfered with my tranquility but I'm quietly proud. I never finished a Pannini sticker album and this is up there with my triple play at a parents vs kids baseball match. I know at 50 degrees I have my location to thank for the opportunity to see the southernmost ones.

My first one without a common name was M71 in Sagitta in Spring 2016. There were some toughies. M1 the Crab and M77 Cetus A galaxy took me three days each on the balcony with my 70/700. I still have a soft spot for these three. M74 in Pisces was a killer-easy to find but a devil to see. M108 the Surfboard galaxy has beaten me many times before and after the one time I managed it. My favourites? It's hard to look past the Orion nebula on a freezing clear night but I have to choose the Virgo galaxies together, perhaps M49 as the most beautifully framed. Then Bodes and the Cigar are right up there as is M51. Of course, if I had a different telescope, my preferences might be different.

So some reflexions- I'm glad I did it. At least as a relative newcomer, finding something in the sky is an important part of the hobby and finding NEW things was my main drive until recently. Ticking off a list is not the most important thing in the world but it does add a bit of focus and direction to my observations and the Messier objects are reliable in suggesting interesting targets that are within the reach of a 4 inch refractor under decent skies.

What next? New list? New scope? New hobby?

Thanks for reading,

Dominic

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Congratulations, Dominic.

There are a number of lists like this that you can move onto. The Caldwell list is an obvious one, but Steve O'Meara has produced another couple of lists of similar length. At least one of these can be downloaded (as a simple list) in pdf format. Then there is the rest of the Herschell 400 (& 400 part II). There is nothing wrong with going through a list as long as ticking them off does not become the be all and end all. Great way of seeing what is out there.

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Well done Dominic! I’ve been at this nearly 20 years and still have a few to go. Must work out what I’m missing!!

As said, Herschel 400 next? ;) 

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Well done, it takes good organisational skills and determination to complete lists like this. I keep records of my observing but I've never tallied up how much I've seen of any lists, it would be a good exercise to do one cloudy night.

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Well done Sir... It's M30 that still eludes Susie and me.

M74 and M75 were almost imperceptible and I was glad Susie was there to confirm it wasn't a case of "averted imagination" with those two. 

Hopefully a forthcoming trip to La Palma will give us the chance to confirm the indistinct ones and to get M30 :thumbsup:

Edited by Stargazer McCabe

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1 hour ago, Stargazer McCabe said:

Hopefully a forthcoming trip to la Palma will give us the chance to confirm the indistinct ones and to get M30 :thumbsup:

I was a bit unsure of the Butterfly cluster and it was nagging at me but I was on holiday by the sea in Egypt last week and I confirmed it in a 21mm monocular. It was nice to see more of Scorpius too. I couldn't help feeling surprised to see Sagittarius and the planets that much higher. Hope you have a great holiday. (I sometimes use my kids as confirmation).

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5 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

Managed to find the hidden treasures listing.

Thanks very much. Most of them are under 10 mag too. Onwards and upwards.

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Congratulations Dominic. I hope to complete the list when Orion comes back into view and I can observe M78. I've got a few others to see but they are mostly high elevation objects. You can be sure that I'll add to this thread when I do it.

I agree with you, I don't think that it's just a list ticking exercise. It's a great way to get to know the sky especially for someone starting off in the hobby.  Lot's of the objects are famous for a reason and worth seeking out to view.

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8 minutes ago, David Levi said:

I hope to complete the list when Orion comes back into view and I can observe M78

I like M78- it was one of my 70mm finds and a nice star hop. It was when things started taking off for me stargazing-wise. I always have a look when Orion is about.

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This list!!

RASC Finest NGCs

https://www.rasc.ca/finest-ngc-objects

http://www.messier.seds.org/xtra/similar/rasc-ngc.html

http://www.astrosurf.com/mmorin/finest_ngc_en.html

Fainter than Messiers but selected for their visual appeal (unlike Herschel list).

I hope you find whatever you choose next is fulfilling.

Paul

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Excellent!!!  I’ve not finished it but would be nice to round them all out for completeness’ sake.  

I was looking at the Herschel 400 Cambridge atlas today. That’s a large undertaking!  

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