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Alexandros

Can you see DSOs in colour just with your eyes?

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I can see color in nebulae rich in OIII and Hb using UHC or OIII filters. My scopes are too small and my eyes too old to see color in nebulae without the filter though. Filter brings the S/N up in OIII and Hb enough to faintly see some of the colors.

 

I strongly suspect I’d have to start observing from Bortle 1 skies to see more colors without filters or see the colors stronger than I do under light pollution.

 

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I found that the DMB NBP filter (a UHC type) bought out green and red / purple tints in the Orion Nebula when used with my 12 inch scope.

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Hello all! Following your suggestions I went on a stargazing adventure last night! I focused on Albireo and the easiest planetary nebula I could find, which was the ring nebula.

Albireo's orange and blue stars were great and as appeared in all their coloury glory.

The ring nebula however was not coloured. I had difficulty even noticing structure. With averted vision I was able to make out the ring, but that meant that no colour was available. Even that way however, the ring was a sight to behold!!

I tried viewing Bode's Nebula as well, but that was very faint as well. I think I have a severe light pollution problem at my house, sadly. 

I think I'll organize an excursion soon to another island with a better sky!

Is there anything else you think I should try to view?

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1 hour ago, Alexandros said:

Is there anything else you think I should try to view?

The brighter globulars, but don't go underestimating their size, a luminous sky extinguishes the outer stars and makes it seem as if the cluster is smaller than it truly is. The brighter open clusters because non-nebulous light sources (in other words, stars) compete very well against a light-polluted background. And the NGC 7662 nebula, by far one of the urban nebula chaser's best saving graces, it can be seen under the worst skies.

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1 hour ago, Ben the Ignorant said:

The brighter globulars, but don't go underestimating their size, a luminous sky extinguishes the outer stars and makes it seem as if the cluster is smaller than it truly is. The brighter open clusters because non-nebulous light sources (in other words, stars) compete very well against a light-polluted background. And the NGC 7662 nebula, by far one of the urban nebula chaser's best saving graces, it can be seen under the worst skies.

Thanks! I have had my seeings of open clusters, they were very nice! Especially the Sagittarius star cloud. I will check out the nebula now that you told me!

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And M27, I don't know how I forgot to say it, M27 doesn't boast the over-the-top surface brightness of NGC7662 but it's much bigger, so if you look for it close to the meridian you might see it. A 10x50 unveils it under a small city light-polluted sky but your light pollution or humidity rate could render the hunt tougher. 

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On 05/07/2019 at 18:26, Alexandros said:

With averted vision I was able to make out the ring, but that meant that no colour was available. Even that way however, the ring was a sight to behold!!

I've never seen any colour except from grey in the ring nebula and as with you I find averted vision is def. the certain way of finding it.

Edited by JOC

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I remember having observed the PN NGC 40 with my 12" dobsonian last year and I was amazed to see a somewhat strange reddish cast. I have read a report of John Graham afterwards who used a 16" and clearly saw red color. [OIII] emission is missing in this low excitation nebula, therefore, no green. This might be the only nebula which reveals traces of red.

Juergen

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1 hour ago, JuergenB said:

I remember having observed the PN NGC 40 with my 12" dobsonian last year and I was amazed to see a somewhat strange reddish cast. I have read a report of John Graham afterwards who used a 16" and clearly saw red color. [OIII] emission is missing in this low excitation nebula, therefore, no green. This might be the only nebula which reveals traces of red.

Juergen

Ahh thanks for sharing your experience! Sadly a 12" scope is way far from my budget right now, let alone a 16". I still want to get a good solid go-to mount first because while it is fun to star hop, when you are in light polluted skies, the experience is not that enjoyable!

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On 06/07/2019 at 08:34, JOC said:

I've never seen any colour except from grey in the rung nebula and as with you I find averted vision is def. the certain way of finding it.

Same, ive looked at it a lot recently since it so easy to find...but its grey all the way...lovely defined ring though, even under Bortle 5 skies with my neighbour's security light bathing my garden in photons.  😏

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A lot is already mentioned. In my 18" dob, I can see  colours of M42, M57, Eta Carinae region. For GCs and OCs, the stars colours are seen many times. Then faint colours of ghost of Jupiter.

But generally, the rest is black and white.

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The most colour I have seen is the green hues of M42, with my 14" dob. After reading this thread I have a few more targets now, such as Albireo.  Clear skies!

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I don't see DSO's in colour. The universe to me is shades of grey and white. The exception being the planets, and stars that are not actually white.

 

 

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m42 green. the veil a lovely shade of maroon with a oiii and of course the ring is green,blue and red

love it

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On ‎03‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 08:57, Alexandros said:

 What is the most colourful/ contrasty object you've ever seen?

Besides the accounts of deep sky objects, (and less so an object) the Aurora Borealis. 

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A few years ago, at Kelling Heath, I saw such a vivid blue Cat's Eye Nebula through my friend's 20" Dob, that a sharp exclamation was called for...:grin:

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I will have go with these suggestions with my new big dob and report back..

This has to be one of the best threads on here for a while 🌈

Mark

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21 hours ago, scarp15 said:

Besides the accounts of deep sky objects, (and less so an object) the Aurora Borealis. 

I wish I could see that but, seeing the aurora as south as down to Greece, that would be very disturbing! I am planning to see it at least once though it's on my bucket list.

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9 hours ago, mdstuart said:

I will have go with these suggestions with my new big dob and report back..

This has to be one of the best threads on here for a while 🌈

Mark

I am waiting impatiently for your report! :D Happy sightings!

Alex

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I remember when I got my first telescope being completely perplexed why I couldn't see with my eyes the amazing vivid colours that you see in pictures, it took me a while (and a few YouTube videos) to understand why!

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Detecting DSO colours depends on a range of factors: Sky conditions, nature of one's eye, quality of eyepiece employed, viewing experience.

- Sky conditions: Clouds or bad transparency, usually lead to no colour detection.

- Eye nature and experience: Older eyes detect less than younger eyes, but can make up by being used by a much more experienced observer that knows what they are looking for. Some women can see into the Ha red range, which men tend to not be good at.

- Quality of eyepiece: In my opinion, once one is an advanced amateur astronomer, quality eye pieces can make a difference.

In the Orion nebula: 

- Cheap plossl: black and white colour 

- Quality plossl ( Televue, Baader Ortho Classic): green minty/ blue colour 

- Top tier eyepiece ( Televue Delite/ Baader Morpheus): green minty/ blue colour plus hints of pink in the Orion Nebula wings.

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On 01/07/2019 at 10:30, Alexandros said:

We have all seen in the internet and many of the people in the forum have taken themselves, beautiful cosmic photos of many deep sky objects, like the deep red lagoon nebula or the colourful eagle nebula. However, from what I have learned here, when we are observing with a telescope and are fully dark adapted, the objects are so faint that our eyes are not great dark colour cameras and are unable to use cones and therefore use rods to sense the light coming from them. So my question is, is it possible to see deep sky objects in colour, especially nebulas, like they appear in photos? I'm refering to a scenario where you are at a very dark site, with very little atmospheric disturbance and with a very good telescope. If such a scenario exists, what are the requirements?

For sure: NGC7662-blue-snowball-sketch.jpg

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Posted (edited)
On 01/07/2019 at 05:00, Carbon Brush said:

Our eyes cannot see colours at low light level.

On a rural road without street lighting (there are a few left) there are no colours, but turn on a car headlamp and the colours show.

A simple test is to look at the plain boring colours in a dark garden, then take a photo with the camera shutter open for a few seconds. The grass is once again green.

Or fix your camera, with a wide lens, to a tripod pointing to the sky. Leave the shutter open for 30 seconds and you get see some different colour stars.

Hope this helps, David.

 

Not quite true. There are people who are tetrachromats who can see colour in small telescopes. It is most common in females though it can occur in males as well. However most males are color blind who have the gene. My brother in law is color blind but my wife can see color in my 120mm APO. As can my son. He is one of the rare males who can. Really grinds my gears since neither my wife or my son enjoy the hobby! 

Here is an interesting article on the subject:

https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/the-humans-with-super-human-vision

That said for us mere mortals unfortunately in smaller scopes it is unlikely unless it is a very bright object like a carbon star or the like. However in larger scopes, upwards of 55cm+ reflector's it is possible on brighter DSO under dark skies and good seeing conditions. 

Edited by Dr Strange
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Posted (edited)

Urban light pollution is so bad in my back yard there was a stage where I was asking how do I see any DSO, let alone one in colour.  Even M42 looked like a dusty fingerprint through an eyepiece.

I consequently spent a small fortune on £400 expensive eyepieces in an attempt to improve my optical train. I spent even more on travel to dark sky sites to be largely frustrated by cloud. My theory is many stay dark sky because nobody wants to live there permanently because of the weather!   Fortunately soon, I bought a T-Peice and hooked up my DSLR and was introduced to an entirely new and colourful world.

I now run a wireless 4K UHD system in my own backyard and observe electronically assisted from indoors and have not looked through an eyepiece for around two years. Sights like M51 are breathtaking, and can be seen clearly within around five x 2 second stacks if using Hyperstar at f/2. Yes, it does require patience and longer exposure/total integration times to produce award winning images, but EAA (EEVA) is the way to go if skies are poor. But cloud remains a nuisance. Can't beat that!

Edited by noah4x4

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I remember seeing a Orion nebula with a greenish tint in a c14 act at a bortle 2 location.

M57 also appeared a bit greenish but I doubt what I saw .

But I'm sure of Orion's green glow

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