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.

Paul73

Over Optimistic Observing Lists

Recommended Posts

This evening I sat down with a cold beer and my monthly copy of the excellent Astronomy Now magazine. I was surprised to see M1 (Crab nebula) listed as a binocular (10x50) object. Granted, they did say that it could be a challenge, but has anyone seen M1 with a humble pair of bins?

If I were a beginner with a pair of binoculars I could become quickly disheartened on failing to find targets listed in the observing section as visible with my bins. Maybe expectations could be managed a little better?

Paul

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That does seem a bit over-optimistic for most observers Paul.

I'm not sure that I've clearly seen M1 with 11x70's let alone 10x50's.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Under Bortle 6 skies I can’t see M1 in my 200PDS!!😥😥

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When SGL first decided to use Lucksall Caravan Park for its star parties I was asked to make a site visit. The site was closed but I parked the car looking over the site. I was using some Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binos. My task was to view M1 and M33 and I am pleased to say I saw both in the binoculars.

Although I mainly now use my Helios Apollo 15x70 binos from home I can easily see M1. I have a pair of 7x50 binos and I will try and view M1 tonight - hopefully transparency will be better than last night.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So not beyond the realm of possibility. I’ll have to give it a try.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul it will be interesting if you are able to observe it with smaller binos. I just looked back and found that the Lucksall site visit was made in 2008 prior to SGL4 the following spring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I just managed to get a very slight hint of what I think might have been M1 in my ED120 from home the other night, but not convincing enough to be confident that I've seen it.

Our skies at home are probably about Bortle 6.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've spotted M1 with my TV60 a few times.

The only issue is light pollution really.

Years ago in Devon I observed M31 with 15x70 bins. It was almost larger than the FOV, plenty of detail to see, M32 and M110 were trivial and also showed detail.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll be out there with my 10x50’s and high expectations this evening!

Paul
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Paul73 said:

I’ll be out there with my 10x50’s and high expectations this evening!

Paul
 

It’ll be interesting to see how you get on but I think the important thing is where you are on the Bortle Scale 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The skies at Lucksall can be rather good. I can remember a night there when M101 was clear and quite extensive in my 50mm finder. From here it can be a challenge with my 12 inch dob !

I still think Pauls original post is valid though - M1 is really not a regularly seen 10x50 binocular object for many folks.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have great North Norfolk dark skies and have never seen M1 with 50mm's.... Although last night I did see it as the smallest of smudges with my st80 at x26 - that was a first for me... But now that I've located it maybe I'll have another go with the 50's

I always find magazine/ online challenges overly optimistic - but there's always that determined part of you that wants to prove them right....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I undertook the review and here are my findings - I would add it was not the best for transparency only just managed to see all the stars in Ursa Minor.

Helios Apollo 15x70 - easily observed M1

Celestron Cometary 12x70 - just about viewed 

Russian 7x50 - could not see M1

Altair 80mm finderscope - easily observed M1

I don't own any 10x50 binos but noting the Celestron 12x70 above I doubt I would have seen M1

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No luck here.

Definitely one to try next time I find myself under some properly dark sky.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24/03/2020 at 20:01, Paul73 said:

This evening I sat down with a cold beer and my monthly copy of the excellent Astronomy Now magazine. I was surprised to see M1 (Crab nebula) listed as a binocular (10x50) object. Granted, they did say that it could be a challenge, but has anyone seen M1 with a humble pair of bins?

If I were a beginner with a pair of binoculars I could become quickly disheartened on failing to find targets listed in the observing section as visible with my bins. Maybe expectations could be managed a little better?

Paul

When I first started out in astronomy at the age of 18 back in 1980, the skies were much more transparent. I had a pair of 12X60 binoculars that I'd bought second hand for £12 and a 60mm Astral refractor that I'd bought from Dixon's camera shop for £120, (a fortune for me at the time!) The refractor gave me my first real look at the Moon and ok views of the planet's, but the 12X60 binoculars were the instrument that really gave me the most joy.  I was fortunate enough to meet a local astronomer who took me under his wing and showed me how to observe. He had a pair of Swift 70mm binoculars mounted on a concrete pier inside a flip top observatory. With those binoculars I saw every Messier object that dared to rise above our local horizon. And after I'd spent an evening at Derek's observatory, I'd get home and immediately set up my own 60mm binoculars on the back patio and find for myself everything Derek had shown me. M1 for me back then was no trouble at all, as I had young eyes and dark, transparent skies. I still have good eyesight thankfully, but my skies are now polluted with satanic contrails. I genuinely think I'd struggle to see M1 today in a pair of 60mm binoculars, but that's because of pollution and not because 60mm binoculars can't show Messier objects. Given clear, transparent skies and a dark site, I honestly believe a good pair of binoculars are one of the best instruments a beginner could equip themselves with, and even better than a telescope in some ways. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

When I first started out in astronomy at the age of 18 back in 1980,

Typo alert. Surely that should be 1990, Mike?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


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

Typo alert. Surely that should be 1990, Mike?

Sadly not Jeremy!  Although I haven't aged beyond 18 (on a good day) mentally, I fear the dry rot and woodworm has already set in physically. I can still walk for miles at a fair pace, and even up hill, without puffing and panting, but after a day at work my back lets me know I'm not as fit or as strong as I used to be. 

Edited by mikeDnight
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24/03/2020 at 21:46, Jiggy 67 said:

Under Bortle 6 skies I can’t see M1 in my 200PDS!!😥😥

I am also in B6 and can just about make out the slightest blurry fuzz with my XT8.

You are not missing much. 😂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this a great thread and original question.

I started observing with 10x50s and used them exclusively for several months with great enthusiasm before getting my first telescope. I observed all manner of targets with them, because it was a case of at least trying in binos, or definitely not seeing the target at all. It was incredible to see colour in the stars, galaxies, clusters, binaries, planets out or Neptune, moons, craters and asteroids for the first time! Oh and the rings of Saturn! 🤘

I’ve ticked M1 in my 10x50s. Sadly I didn’t make any observing notes, but I recall bagging quite a few tough Messier objects on the same evening. It was excellent transparency and M1 was high in the sky. I had to use a star map to pinpoint it even after star hopping to the precisely the right place - it did not jump it out and was visually not impressive. I’m assuming I would have been using the tripod which absolutely supercharges the capabilities of the binos. On other evenings, it has not been visible. It was probably on my second or third winter season I saw it, so not quite a beginner.

The astro league puts its as a “challenge” (toughest of the three categories) in 50mm binos - but there’s also an omitted/implicit 4th category of "don’t bother" so at least it’s not that! In larger binos, they upgrade it to the slightly easier category of “tough”.

So I think it is tough but doable. Would we see things differently if the article talked of a tough object in a 10" scope (or pick the largest scope in the quiver)? We spend a lot of time at the eyepiece trying to push the large scope to the absolute limit, perhaps because the largest scope gives the best chance of success and the best view. If the binos or small scope doesn’t quickly deliver, is there a tendency to simply try the larger one rather than keep trying in the smaller one? I believe M1 in binos is somewhat easier than the hardest targets we report on in our larger scopes (assuming reasonably dark skies).

Was the article aimed at beginners? If so, maybe some expectation setting is needed. If not, I think it’s a fair challenge. Sometimes it’s nice to go for challenge targets, and it’s good to have tough lists to push us. Sometime it’s nice to just cruise around though - and it’s nice to have articles with easier options for that too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 25/03/2020 at 22:33, Paul73 said:

No luck here.

Definitely one to try next time I find myself under some properly dark sky.

Paul

Give it a go, and good luck with it. As per the above, I think it’s doable with dark transparent skies. Tripod/mount will improve the odds a lot too I think. 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds ridiculous. Just barely visible in my 8inch under bortle 4 last night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve seen M1 in my 20x80mm bins, but other than saying I saw it, I can’t add anymore. I agree that including M1 as a binocular object could to say the least cause frustration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Shaun VS said:

I’ve seen M1 in my 20x80mm bins, but other than saying I saw it, I can’t add anymore. I agree that including M1 as a binocular object could to say the least cause frustration.

It’s all about the skies really. I’ve seen it oin Canon 15x50is Binoculars from a dark site in Dorset quite a few years ago, but struggle with it in any scope from home or I can’t see it at all!

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.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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