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_globular_clusters_winners.thumb.jpg.13b743f39f721323cb5d76f07724c489.jpg

David Levi

Messier list completed

Recommended Posts

It was a good start to 2019 last night with my first visit to a dark sky site since October. I took both my telescopes but having started with the 200mm reflector in order to view my last two remaining Messier objects I couldn't be bothered to change set up to the refractor. Orion was already high in the sky by the time I arrived about 9pm. As I hadn't used the telescope for at least a month I was slightly worried about collimation but a quick check showed that only the usual slight adjustment to the primary was required.

As a test of the conditions the Orion Nebula M42 was my first target of the night and even at my lowest magnification x41.6 I could make out the E star in the trapezium. That seemed pretty good to me. At x77 magnification using the 13mm Ethos eyepiece the view was incredible. It's the first time that I have viewed M42 at a dark sky site with this eyepiece and I could have lingered on it all night. It was amazing. The Fish's Mouth was blacker than I have ever seen it before and the nebulosity was brighter and extended further.

I then located M78. This reflection nebula was a Pierre Méchain discovered object. I could just about make out some fuzziness in my finderscope before observing it through the eyepiece. The two nucleii were clear and there was a small amount of diffuse cloud extending back from them.

Then down to the constellation Lepus. The dense compact globular cluster M79 is quite bright and was a fairly easy spot not far from the double star h3752.

I spent the last hour of the session failing to find comet 46P Wirtanen. It was practically straight up at the zenith and even with my brilliant impersonation of a limbo dancer (on a very muddy surface) I couldn't hold my posture long enough to locate the star 15 Lynx from where I was hoping to find the comet. There were too many stars in view as well to add to the confusion.

So with M78 and M79 that's the Messier List complete for me. All that's needed now is to do it all again.

 

  • Like 16
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant, David. I still have a few Messiers to get. Congratulations! Do you have another list you want to target? 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations David, that seems like a great start to the year.
Good luck for the rest of the year.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on completing the Messier Challenge! Now you need to attempt the Messier Marathon - all 110 objects in one night... we are approaching the ideal time of year for an attempt - the New Moon at the end of March! Good luck!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Littleguy80 said:

Brilliant, David. I still have a few Messiers to get. Congratulations! Do you have another list you want to target? 

Thanks Neil. I have thought about the Lunar 100 for a while now as a way to get interested in the Moon and also increase observing opportunities. The list that has recently caught my eye is the one that @cotterless45 highlighted, the Astronomical League 100, as I really enjoy double star observation. Once I print these out I'll be up and running.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, PhotoGav said:

Now you need to attempt the Messier Marathon - all 110 objects in one night... we are approaching the ideal time of year for an attempt - the New Moon at the end of March! Good luck!

That sounds like quite a task. I'll look into it. My dark sky site is certainly good enough with regard to horizon to horizon panoramic views.

Edited by David Levi
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant David - it always feels great to complete the Messier list. I must admit that I enjoyed going through the Herschel 400 list although I still have 3 to go. I think whatever you choose it gives an incentive to get out and observe.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

I think whatever you choose it gives an incentive to get out and observe.

Thanks Mark. I totally agree. It's not the list that is important (although hopefully you find the objects interesting), it's a tool to get you out and observing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on completing the messiers, David.

Plenty of other DSO lists if you want to go back to them. Caldwell, Hidden Treasures, Secret Deep, or (if you really want a challenge) The Magnificent 1000!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations -a really proud moment and a great report. It's interesting to hear which objects are the last to find. I'm surprised at M78 as it's so close to where all the winter action is. There's always something that gets overlooked. 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done! It requires patience to bag them all from the UK. It is a great feeling when that last target drifts into view.

Hershel 400 next! That’ll need some dark sky. I believe that there is Hershel 400 for northern observers (lots of targets in the original list are way too low for UK observing).

All of the planets in one night is a nice challenge. More a feat of patience and planning than observing acuity.

Paul

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the list, but will need to track down the link. Will get back to you later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Paul73 said:

@Demonperformer the “Magnificent 1000”?

That is a new one on me. Got a link?

Paul

www.messier.seds.org/xtra/similar/m1000.txt

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Paul73 said:

All of the planets in one night is a nice challenge

Mercury is the challenge from my experience. I've seen all the planets bar Mercury in one night but I have only seen Mercury twice, I think, through my telescope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good work David.  I've still got a few to go, but there's always something else to divert my attention!

Doug.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For deep sky try the RASC Finest NGC objects.  Chosen for visual appeal.  A step up in difficulty from the Messier list.

The H400 has many unappealing objects. 

Good luck 

Paul 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some cracking lists in this thread.

Good point re. The Herschel 400! Boring title too!

the SEDS.org website is a great resource with loads of lists.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done. I haven't counted recently but am still a way off. Not enough dark sky trips!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @bish. Considering my light polluted, view restricted, suburban location, yes, dark sky trips have been essential for me to see a lot of the Messier list. Like they say, one of the best things you can do for your astro set up is to put petrol in the tank (for those of us lucky enough to be able and have the means to this).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, which one was the toughest to see? toughest to find? longest to search for? first one without a famous name? surprisingly great? When did you start trying to complete the list? How many of them have you only seen once?

Hopefully I'm not being too nosy, I'd just be interested to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are good questions Dom @domstar. It can be good to review an achievement especially to strengthen memories. I have my atlases out in front of me now and I have realised that it would take quite a while to review all the Messier objects. I don't take notes and in the Messier list case I used to underline the objects at the back of Sky & Telescope's Pocket Star Atlas after each session. Therefore to answer your questions I am going to go with the objects that immediately spring to mind.

Toughest to see for me was the Seashell Galaxy M83, low down in Hydra. It was also probably the one I found hardest to find. A special mention on hard to find has to go to the open cluster M29 in Cygnus. At the zenith when I was looking for it, it was a physical effort to get under the EQ5 mounted Newtonian and there were so many stars visible at the dark sky site that it was really difficult to find.

First one without a famous name? I can't remember. Probably something like the globular cluster M56 in Lyra. I was using Turn Left At Orion as my observing guide when I started observing in August 2016 and this would have been well placed for me to view after looking at some famous ones like M13, the Ring Nebula M57 and The Dumbbell M27.

The non famous ones that I found brilliant are the globular clusters in Ophiuchus, M10 and M12. They struck me as spectacular from a dark sky site and I remember thinking that they should be lauded more. They were really nice and grainy i.e. individual stars could be resolved. 

I think I read someone on Stargazers Lounge saying that they were in the 90's on their way to completing the Messier list. When I then counted the ones that I had seen it came to about 70. I realised that completing the list was a possibility especially as I had started to go to the Brecon Beacons to observe quite regularly.

What about you Dom? How about answering those questions for my and others interest.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's great. I think sharing things like that are what's great about SGL. I totally agree about M10 and M12. I'll have to get back to you on the rest. Thanks for that. It's important for me that I can be inspired by people who are of roughly similar experience as me as I'm sometimes in awe of the experts (although I learn a lot from them too, of course)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, domstar said:

I'm sometimes in awe of the experts

I know what you mean. I don't think that I will ever get to be at their level especially with the experience they have from the use of different equipment. I aim to have one reflector and one refractor.  I intend my first refractor, which I bought 3 months ago, to be my only one. It was bought with old age in mind (mainly size and weight considerations). With regards to a reflector, I intend to get one with a larger aperture probably a 12" (Dobsonian mount) and that will be the end of my telescope purchases. That reflector will only be my second one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, domstar said:

I'm sometimes in awe of the experts 

On the subject of experts, I recently saw the quote below and I really like it. When I think of my own struggles with finding targets, particularly in the first few months, even my small experience level has been earned through a whole bunch of failures!A7DC6687-9AE1-48CA-BF66-DD54D0830D66.thumb.jpeg.4ba712d315318806c73557fbf82b6367.jpeg

Edited by Littleguy80
  • Like 1

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.