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markclaire50

Most satisfying observations?

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If you had to pick three, only three which would they have been? 

I'll start. I've only just acquired proper telescopes so my list are before that. 

1. Naked eye- Hale-Bopp 1997. I remember being able to see its long tail even walking on streets with lamps! Spectacular! 

2. Seeing Saturn through an 11" sct whilst on holiday in Australia. Ayrs rock have an astronomy evening where public invited. Saturn looked spectacular - big and sharp against velvet black background. 1998.

3. Seeing the N and S equatorial belts through a £100 60mm spotting scope at 35x mag, much to my great surprise!

 

 

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1) LIke you, Hale Bopp in 1997. I was only in my early twenties and working hard so didn't get much time to do astronomy; so seeing it was a great fix - and it was extremely beautiful and awe-inspiring to see at the same time.

2) M42 through a 16" mirror in dark skies

3) 4th Feb 2019 - Monday night in remote location with 10x50 binoculars in one of those rare, clear, transparent and still skies (you get around two of these a year under UK skies   :D ).
Winter Milky Way stretched from horizon to horizon; something I had never seen before living in a small, lighted community. The open star clusters in Auriga looked amazing. Even M42 had a discernible shape! Will never forget that night. Do wish I had one of my massive light buckets with me, but you can't have it all.    :D

 

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40 minutes ago, Beulah said:

1) LIke you, Hale Bopp in 1997. I was only in my early twenties and working hard so didn't get much time to do astronomy; so seeing it was a great fix - and it was extremely beautiful and awe-inspiring to see at the same time.

2) M42 through a 16" mirror in dark skies

3) 4th Feb 2019 - Monday night in remote location with 10x50 binoculars in one of those rare, clear, transparent and still skies (you get around two of these a year under UK skies   :D ).
Winter Milky Way stretched from horizon to horizon; something I had never seen before living in a small, lighted community. The open star clusters in Auriga looked amazing. Even M42 had a discernible shape! Will never forget that night. Do wish I had one of my massive light buckets with me, but you can't have it all.    :D

 

Envious of 2 and 3. 👍

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Wow what a question, if I had to pick three they are:

1. Hale Bopp in 1997, the main reason I got into this hobby.

2. Cannot remember the exact date but I saw Saturn and 8 of it's moons in my 16" dob. I was amazed as they were all pretty much in a line and looked awesome.

3. Seeing G1 also known as Myall 11 in my 16" dob. G1 is a globular cluster within the Andromeda Galaxy. So I was observing a globular cluster outside of our own galaxy, even though it was only a very small faint smudge it was amazing. Read about it here: https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/79658-mayall-11-or-g1/?tab=comments#comment-775003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The clusters is Auriga with my ST80 - they were not particularly amazing but they were my first clusters. 

Halebopp like many others - once in a lifetime event

And of course Saturn.  14 years old, a terrible Tasco telescope. Awful tripod, terrible mount which I had held together with cellotape and a Barlow lens which I'm sure the optics were made of some sort of plastic - all of this balanced on top of a large white garden table. An incredible view of the planet at a great angle and showing a nice green colour. Once it drifted out of view I could never get it back, but I will never forget it...

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1. First time seeing Saturn. I was about 8-10 so about 30 years ago. It was through the large Newtonian at Salford Observatory.   Absolutely blown away.

2. Second time seeing Saturn in a scope. I'd let the hobby lapse in high school, one of my big regrets. About 5 years ago my wife surprised me at Christmas with a Skywatcher 130p on a EQ2. Took it out not really knowing what I was doing, pointed at a bright star. Saturn! Nowhere near as large as the first time around but very sharp. I was hooked all over again. 

3. I was about 5 years old walking home with the family after a Christmas visit to the grandparents. It was one of those still winter nights with stunning clear skies, and I couldn't stop looking up.

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Following would remain embedded in my memory. 

1. Saturn through my first home made 3" refractor which I made through rolled cardboard sheets in 1983. It was handheld without a tripod/stand. With great difficulty, i managed to glimpse saturn by balancing the scope against a wall. Luckily the scope was well focused and I was blown away with the sight.

2. M42 through the same scope. I called my Mom to have a look but she could not see as the line of sight shifted no matter how hard I tried to lock on to M42 when I moved to make place for my mother to see.

3, My first sight of M31. That was when I moved a Bortle 4 sky for the first time with my then recently acquired 10" dob.

 

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Hale-Bopp is up there, but as it revealed itself over time and got more and more visible, I wouldn't call it 'satisfying' as such, more spectacular!  Also , Saturn, Jupiter were all WOW moment, but satisfying is when I see something I've wanted to see for a long time and it's previously eluded me... In which case, in no particular order...

1) First sight of the Veil Nebula, both eastern and western through an OIII filter in my 12" Dob.  This is one object that can go from invisible to spectacular with the addition of an OIII into the mix.   Have seen it since in apertures down to a 102mm frac with the same filter. 

2) First sight of the Rosette Nebula with the same filter.

3) Getting boring now, but my first view of M42 under dark skies with the OIII.  Again, spectacular, but satisfying in that it was the first time I'd really seen it resemble the images - the most amazing complex nebular structure I've ever sat there and taken in - I was there for a few hours at least, just drinking in the views... A 'Chocolate Box' object agreed, but I never tire of that particular chocolate....

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Hard to isolate just 3 things from 35+ years of observing but I guess these stick out:

1. The 1999 total eclipse from Marazion beach in Cornwall. OK it was mostly cloudy but the atmosphere was amazing and my kids still go on about it all these years later.

2. Saturn with a C8 scope about 8 years or so ago when it was really high in the sky. Perfect seeing conditions and a simply breathtaking view of the planet at 250x - reminded me of the Voyager images. Again my family were able to share the views which increased the magic further.

3. Seeing the Horsehead Nebula for the 1st time from my backyard. It took many years of trying different equipment and even when I did manage to see it it was very, very subtle and underwhelming in terms of a target. Imensely satisfying all the same :smiley:

 

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1 hour ago, AstroAdam said:

Hale-Bopp is up there, but as it revealed itself over time and got more and more visible, I wouldn't call it 'satisfying' as such, more spectacular!  Also , Saturn, Jupiter were all WOW moment, but satisfying is when I see something I've wanted to see for a long time and it's previously eluded me... In which case, in no particular order...

1) First sight of the Veil Nebula, both eastern and western through an OIII filter in my 12" Dob.  This is one object that can go from invisible to spectacular with the addition of an OIII into the mix.   Have seen it since in apertures down to a 102mm frac with the same filter. 

2) First sight of the Rosette Nebula with the same filter.

3) Getting boring now, but my first view of M42 under dark skies with the OIII.  Again, spectacular, but satisfying in that it was the first time I'd really seen it resemble the images - the most amazing complex nebular structure I've ever sat there and taken in - I was there for a few hours at least, just drinking in the views... A 'Chocolate Box' object agreed, but I never tire of that particular chocolate....

Tempting me to buy an astronomik OIII! 

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Here are my 3.

1. Omega Centauri using an 18" Scope in California last April/May

2. Total Eclipse, Turkey 2006

3. Horse Head Nebula using a 16" Dob at SGL8 in 2013

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43 minutes ago, markclaire50 said:

Tempting me to buy an astronomik OIII! 

Just a tip - a mak-cassegrain 150 or 180 is not the best for the Veil Nebula. A wide field of view is optimum for that target (it's a huge object).

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2 hours ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Here are my 3.

1. Omega Centauri using an 18" Scope in California last April/May

2. Total Eclipse, Turkey 2006

3. Horse Head Nebula using a 16" Dob at SGL8 in 2013

I would love to see a total eclipse before I die. It would most likely be on my list! 

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2 hours ago, John said:

Just a tip - a mak-cassegrain 150 or 180 is not the best for the Veil Nebula. A wide field of view is optimum for that target (it's a huge object).

Thanks John. I have an 80ed which I would use for that. 😊. It'll also be my tool of choice for AP when I get an heq5. My big question would be, OIII or UV filter first and can I get away with a 1.25" rather than uber expensive Astronomik 2" versions..... 

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In 2014 I was given an unwanted 3" newt.  I was playing with it one summer night out of curiousity. It was frustrating in every way- everything was upside down and back to front, I more or less had to weld my eye to the eyepiece to see anything and I seemed to need to be a yoga guru to look through the finder. Then, whilst pointing at (I thought) a bright star it turned out to have stripes and moons. It was Jupiter- in my back garden!

5 years later I've spent thousands, but my life has been enriched immeasurably. I've had many, many views that have been the most wonderful experiences and I'm so excited by the things I've not yet seen (the horse head? Sirius pup? Stephen's quintet?), but I don't think anything will compare to the moment that I realised that the night sky was not just a pretty sight, but a window on the nature of our existence that I could look through in my own garden with an instrument as sophisticated as a shaving mirror in an oversized toilet roll tube.

Sorry- got a bit heavy there, but it was a wonderful moment!

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1 hour ago, markclaire50 said:

Thanks John. I have an 80ed which I would use for that. 😊. It'll also be my tool of choice for AP when I get an heq5. My big question would be, OIII or UV filter first and can I get away with a 1.25" rather than uber expensive Astronomik 2" versions..... 

OK. 80mm is pushing it a bit on the Veil but you will see traces of it with a UHC filter.

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17 minutes ago, John said:

OK. 80mm is pushing it a bit on the Veil but you will see traces of it with a UHC filter.

Hi John. How about with a 130 mm F5 newt. I've wondered about these as useful fast AP scopes but how do you think the veil would look, visually, with/without Uhc and/or OII filter? 

Thanks

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1 minute ago, markclaire50 said:

Hi John. How about with a 130 mm F5 newt. I've wondered about these as useful fast AP scopes but how do you think the veil would look, visually, with/without Uhc and/or OII filter? 

Thanks

Much better than with an 80mm :grin:

Lets not divert this thread though - the original topic is a good one !

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4 minutes ago, John said:

Much better than with an 80mm :grin:

Lets not divert this thread though - the original topic is a good one !

Thanks John. 

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1. Sombrero Galaxy in my 15"... just seeing that iconic galaxy with my own eyes ;)

2.   Io as a beautiful 3D ball transiting Jupiters limb one stunning night, also detecting varying colour within the GRS with all that turbulence trailing, plus white ovals.

3. 1st light with my 15" in my back garden, starting on M81/M82.  M82 showed wonderfully detailed mottling, but M81 was just huge - the sweep of the outer arms was visible to me for the 1st time and a 'wow' escaped out loud... 

Many close runners up:

The Needle Galaxy; one amazing night on Saturn detecting the dark polar region where the hexagon is and wondering if I was detecting the Encke minima & swinging over for my best ever Mars on the same night - stunning;  teasing out intersecting ovals in the Cat's Eye neb; M31 as a huge extended lozenge in the sky naked eye from Kerry; M27 in my 15" from the same dark place - a huge rugby ball; my first time sweeping Virgo and Coma B: all those galaxies & Makarians Chain with my 10"; Uranus one really steady night with 4 and maybe 5 moons (15"); detecting a tint of pink once in M42, on top of the usual green; finally catching E & F plain as day in the Trap :D

 

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Oh yeah forgot to add seeing a flare loop - a real bright concentrated horseshoe that evolved as I watched with my Lunt 50mm.  That LS50DS has wowed me many times over ;)

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9 minutes ago, niallk said:

1. Sombrero Galaxy in my 15"... just seeing that iconic galaxy with my own eyes ;)

2.   Io as a beautiful 3D ball transiting Jupiters limb one stunning night, also detecting varying colour within the GRS with all that turbulence trailing, plus white ovals.

3. 1st light with my 15" in my back garden, starting on M81/M82.  M82 showed wonderfully detailed mottling, but M81 was just huge - the sweep of the outer arms was visible to me for the 1st time and a 'wow' escaped out loud... 

Many close runners up:

The Needle Galaxy; one amazing night on Saturn detecting the dark polar region where the hexagon is and wondering if I was detecting the Encke minima & swinging over for my best ever Mars on the same night - stunning;  teasing out intersecting ovals in the Cat's Eye neb; M31 as a huge extended lozenge in the sky naked eye from Kerry; M27 in my 15" from the same dark place - a huge rugby ball; my first time sweeping Virgo and Coma B: all those galaxies & Makarians Chain with my 10"; Uranus one really steady night with 4 and maybe 5 moons (15"); detecting a tint of pink once in M42, on top of the usual green; finally catching E & F plain as day in the Trap :D

 

I'm very envious. Especially your m81. 

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If I could be allowed just 2 more (:rolleyes2:). Both happened at an SGL star party a few years back when someone came along with a beautiful 20 inch David Lukehurst made dobsonian. I approached the owner during a quiet spell in the evening. It was dark and clear and he kindly asked what I would like to look at. My choices were M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy in Ursa Major and M13 the great globular cluster in Hercules.

I was simply astounded how good these amazing targets looked with that massive photon-gulping aperture under a good sky. The spiral structure of M51 was right "in your face" with knots in the arms where the star forming areas are and the "bridge" that appears to join M51 with NGC 5194 beautifully defined. Messier 13 was a huge mass of thousands of stars, resolved right into the core which gave the appearance of "seething" due to the density of stellar cores. I'll never forget those views and can quite understand why some of our members own very large aperture scopes which they transport out to really dark sites :icon_biggrin:

 

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1) Sorry but another Hale Bopp experience here, what an amazing thing to see naked eye! I'll simply never forget it.

2) Jupiter through a C8 Edge from my home made obsy at my old house - I couldn't believe the detail I saw that night, really outstanding from most other planetary sessions I've had over the years. The seeing must have been so good. 

3) M51 through my new CPC800 HD - for years my favourite galaxy had eluded me visually, but only a few months back I saw both cores naked eye with a hint of connecting spiral arms, then with averted vision this became clearer and unmistakably M51. I was so happy to have finally bagged it, and it looked great for a DSO visually :) 

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Here's a few:

M31 in 16x50 binoculars from the Welsh valleys, structure plainly visible. And somehow I was holding the bins steady!

M82 at 135x in a small Maksutov from a city, mottling visible.

M42 from the mountains of Nepal with an ST80, showing wisps and whorls.

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