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19 minutes ago, Stu said:

The Observer Pro app is quite good for this. These snaps show how it shows visibility changing with the Moon phase.

SkySafari is another good option, you can craw custom lists of objects including by location or constellation, brightness, time etc and highlight them on the map, again some snapshots included here.

3A454644-01EB-4591-8895-57B0AC1B35DF.png

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60B2F303-DC0A-418F-8875-74E425DF55F3.png

F341967A-1AAF-46D3-A8BE-81A7D1AA8534.png

1CB64426-A9D3-4059-B60B-9E0FEB0AEBDD.png

DF72123C-871F-4CDE-AF99-25B7FE7E2B3D.png

9CC6E95A-D6F8-42BD-81E5-AF5DC88911CD.png

Thanks Stu, looks just the job. Have meant to look to see whether there's a "what apps do people use" thread, probably is, just speaking as I type. I've been doing things the old fashioned way of printing off start charts and heading out with an idea of what I want to see. Was using Star Chart but waving the phone around in the sky was a PITA. Did take the laptop out the one evening with Stellarium but much simpler printing a couple of charts off to help keep the focus. 

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One of the good features about the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas (not an app but a book !) is that it has a clever system of indicating the visibility of the targets shown on the maps. It's not cheap but it is one of the best out there. This is from the FLO description:

"...It is an innovative, practical tool to choose and find stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Usually, deep sky objects are shown with just a standard symbol in the star charts. This atlas is different: all objects are shown according to their actual visibility. Four main visibility classes separate out objects that can be seen through 4-, 8- and 12-inch telescopes. Within each visibility class, the objects are labeled in different type weights and using graduated shades and colors for the symbols - the bolder the label or the darker the symbol, the easier it is to see the object...."

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/interstellarum-deep-sky-atlas-desk-edition.html

The challenge is (which the above addresses) is that the stated magnitude figures are not always a reliable guide to whether an object is easy or difficult to see. Face on galaxies such as M101 and M33 are classic examples of this.

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25 minutes ago, John said:

Face on galaxies such as M101 and M33 are classic examples of this.

It’s an excellent book John, need to use mine more.

Observer Pro will rank objects by surface brightness which is handy, the usual suspects appear in at the bottom of the list.

E1F7C3A6-D23B-4B20-9447-3FF566FE7DE5.png

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Went out at 2.30am this morning, Had a look around Ursa Major and spent a bit of time on Mizar & alcor. I always enjoy a look at these stars as they were the 1st double I observed. I was extremely optimistic and had a hunt for M81, 82 and the Owl Nebular. Suffice to say with that moon light I found none of them. It was extremely bright this morning! 

If you cant beat them joint them. A bit of low power lunar viewing next with a filter on!

Then some naked eye viewing of Jupiter and Saturn as they started to rise out front. If the weather stays clear I might get up early tomorrow and check them out in the 200p - I an not expecting much as SkySafari has them at little over 15 degrees, However just to see them in the eye piece again will be nice!

 

Baz

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You are keen Baz - 2:30 am !!!!

Moonlight does drown out a lot of DSO's even if the moon itself is on the other side of the sky. Sometimes you can see just about that they are there but they are far from their best.

The Owl can be tough to see even when it is dark. It is another nebula that a UHC or even better an O-III filter works wonders on though.

 

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9 minutes ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

Went out at 2.30am this morning, Had a look around Ursa Major and spent a bit of time on Mizar & alcor. I always enjoy a look at these stars as they were the 1st double I observed. I was extremely optimistic and had a hunt for M81, 82 and the Owl Nebular. Suffice to say with that moon light I found none of them. It was extremely bright this morning! 

If you cant beat them joint them. A bit of low power lunar viewing next with a filter on!

Then some naked eye viewing of Jupiter and Saturn as they started to rise out front. If the weather stays clear I might get up early tomorrow and check them out in the 200p - I an not expecting much as SkySafari has them at little over 15 degrees, However just to see them in the eye piece again will be nice!

 

Baz

Hi Baz,

I was just finishing my session at 2.45 am after a night of double stars and I looked up at Ursa Major and thought I will just see if I can spot M81 & 82, but I was tired and decided against it, just as well I did not bother.

Earlier, just after Moonrise I looked at M13 & M92 and of course they were pretty washed out already.

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1 hour ago, John said:

You are keen Baz - 2:30 am !!!!

Moonlight does drown out a lot of DSO's even if the moon itself is on the other side of the sky. Sometimes you can see just about that they are there but they are far from their best.

The Owl can be tough to see even when it is dark. It is another nebula that a UHC or even better an O-III filter works wonders on though.

Hi John,

This lockdown is starting to play havoc with the body clock! I was wide awake so thought I would get outside and have a look, I knew the session was going to be less than ideal as the moon was lighting up the whole garden. I mainly just had a "No real plan" general look around.  I thought I would push my luck on the Nebula and galaxies as Ursa Major was in a nice position and its going to get better. I have an O-III filter so will give the owl another crack when conditions are better. It is now on my summer list with the Veil 🙂

 

1 hour ago, Saganite said:

Hi Baz,

I was just finishing my session at 2.45 am after a night of double stars and I looked up at Ursa Major and thought I will just see if I can spot M81 & 82, but I was tired and decided against it, just as well I did not bother.

Earlier, just after Moonrise I looked at M13 & M92 and of course they were pretty washed out already.

How did you find the seeing on doubles Steve? I had a look at x240 x375 & x150 - None of these powers gave a great view to be honest, The stars were quite fuzzy for me. Not really a very good session in all honesty but it sure was calm and quiet out which was nice. A sneaky fox jumped our fence and gave me a heart attack!

 

Baz

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Hi Baz,

The seeing last night here was really very good. I split Xi Bootes and Epsilon Bootes at 476X with lovely diffraction patterns ,in my 5" f15 refractor. They did split beautifully at 200X but with the seeing so good I thought I would push it and see.

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Morning all,

Some great time at the eye piece last night and this morning so I though I would share.

10pm to 11.30pm

Had to start with the favorite doubles in Hercules to get things going they looked great as always!

M92 globular next, i though I would have trouble finding this but managed to spot it quite easily, I viewed this at x150 as it seemed to be giving a better image than x200 - An excellent globular which seemed to be smaller than most other globes to my eyes at least, When the stars pulsed in and out of view they didn't seem as compact as some of the other globes I have viewed. it still amazes me that sometimes you can see a smudge of light and others a huge number of stars!

M13 as its just up the road from the M92 🙂 Again viewed at x150 and it provided spectacular sights, An excellent 20mins or so looking at this target watching the tight collection of stars come and go from view.

My final target of this session was the Cat Eye Nebula. I found this fairly easy in Draco at x66 mag then went up to x150 this gave excellent views of the green looking nebula. at this power it reminded me of viewing Uranus as the size and colour were very similar. As it was showing very well at x150 I thought I would push my luck, Armed with the kids lighting McQueen blanket over my head 🙂 I went to x240 and was surprised how well this nebula showed. It was a bit fuzzy but with averted vision the Green colour really popped and I an certain I had brief views of the central star!

Now being 11.30pm I decided to end on a good note and get some sleep, For now...

 

3.45am

Up to go to the little boys room. A look out the front and The Moon, Jupiter & Saturn all shining brightly. out we go..

I wasn't hoping for much as they are both so low. I started on Jupiter, SkySafari had this at a little over 17 degrees!

Jumped straight in at x375 x240, No chance! Dropped down to x150 and had a very pleasant view under the circumstances. I could make out the two central belts but no other detail. 3 moons were also out, One of which was just appearing from behind the planet. It like a small spec attached to Jupiter, poor phone pic attached.  I will take that!

Saturn now at a whopping 18 degrees and its getting very light out. I went for x150 again and was very happy to get a fairly clear view, the rings stood out wonderfully and I could see the split between a & b? wonderfully. I would say it was probably my best views of Saturn to date actually, The most detail I have seen in the rings for sure!

I also got my best phone pic, It is still poor but until now I have only ever managed to capture Saturn as a oval blob! This pic shows the rings and if zoomed in even shows the split!

Roll on when these two gems are higher up in the sky!

By now its coming up to 5am and getting very light out. Saturn had vanished from the naked sky but was still showing in the eye piece. I called it a day at this point. I was hoping for a peek at Mars but it got to light before I could see it over the houses. Another time. 

A great bit of viewing, The only down point was standing in the fox muck, You cant have it all.

Thanks for reading.

Baz

 

 

 

 

Jupiter 2 .JPG

Saturn 2 .JPG

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Sadly not to much to report on, Managed to get out at 3.45am and was shocked to see that to the North it was almost light on the horizon. Fortunately to the South Jupiter & Saturn were visible. However a combination of very low altitude & un-cooled mirrors made these two gas giants look very unflattering!

At x150 All for main moons looked beautiful on there journey around Jupiter 3 of them at 9 o'clock and the remaining moon on the opposite side at 3 o'clock all parallel to each other. One point of observation that really amazed me was when I was lining Jupiter up in the finder, What I assume to be a meteor slowly passed across the FOV it was a very bright point of light which looked to be a similar size to the 4 moons. I didn't get to look at it in the eye piece as I had my x240 BST in the focuser at the time and it came as a surprise.   I bounced between Jupiter and Saturn for a while, When I came back to Jupiter it happened for a 2nd time! Another meteor clearly visible in the finder passed through the FOV with Jupiter & the moons. I have not had this happen before when looking at Jupiter, I am wondering if there was a meteor shower in that region early this morning. I will have to check and see.

Saturn was pretty poor seeing aswell. I could just make out the split in the rings and see one moon (Titan) at this point I had a brief look and called it a night, Erm Morning.

Still whatever the conditions the gas giants are a real pleasure just to look at. Mars Is still evading me at the moment though!

Roll on Uranus & Neptune!

Cheers

 

Baz

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21 minutes ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

Sadly not to much to report on, Managed to get out at 3.45am and was shocked to see that to the North it was almost light on the horizon. Fortunately to the South Jupiter & Saturn were visible. However a combination of very low altitude & un-cooled mirrors made these two gas giants look very unflattering!

At x150 All for main moons looked beautiful on there journey around Jupiter 3 of them at 9 o'clock and the remaining moon on the opposite side at 3 o'clock all parallel to each other. One point of observation that really amazed me was when I was lining Jupiter up in the finder, What I assume to be a meteor slowly passed across the FOV it was a very bright point of light which looked to be a similar size to the 4 moons. I didn't get to look at it in the eye piece as I had my x240 BST in the focuser at the time and it came as a surprise.   I bounced between Jupiter and Saturn for a while, When I came back to Jupiter it happened for a 2nd time! Another meteor clearly visible in the finder passed through the FOV with Jupiter & the moons. I have not had this happen before when looking at Jupiter, I am wondering if there was a meteor shower in that region early this morning. I will have to check and see.

Saturn was pretty poor seeing aswell. I could just make out the split in the rings and see one moon (Titan) at this point I had a brief look and called it a night, Erm Morning.

Still whatever the conditions the gas giants are a real pleasure just to look at. Mars Is still evading me at the moment though!

Roll on Uranus & Neptune!

Cheers

 

Baz

Are you still enjoying your new 3.2mm EP, Baz?

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Good stuff Baz. I’m struggling to motivate myself to get up for these bad boys because I am fully expecting the views to be quite disappointing 😔😔.

Is it not more likely that it was a satellite you saw? Meteors travel pretty quickly across the FOV. Quite possible it was a couple of Starlink satellites, plenty up there already.

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1 hour ago, merlin100 said:

Are you still enjoying your new 3.2mm EP, Baz?

Hi Merlin,

I have used the 3.2 on Venus mostly and had some very pleasing results. On good nights It has provided some very clear images. I have also tried it on doubles but in truth it has been quite poor at providing a clear view of these.

I am really looking forward to giving it a go on Mars when its at a decent height later in the year.

I am also quite keen to see if it will give a slightly larger disc to Uranus without compromising the clarity. And if all goes well, A good loo at Neptune with it also!

The planets are definitely emerging as my favorite objects to observe so far! Planetary Nebula is not far behind though!

 

Baz

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Stu said:

Good stuff Baz. I’m struggling to motivate myself to get up for these bad boys because I am fully expecting the views to be quite disappointing 😔😔.

Is it not more likely that it was a satellite you saw? Meteors travel pretty quickly across the FOV. Quite possible it was a couple of Starlink satellites, plenty up there already.

So far I have managed to crawl out of bed and had a look at the giants on two occasions at 3.30-4am The 1st on May 12th was very good much to my surprise. Some lovely details and clear at x150 This morning not so good unfortunately! so 50/50 so far 🙂

Regarding the "meteors" I thought I had seen. The best way I can describe them is when looking through the finder scope  They were both around the same size as the 4 large moons. One traveled diagonally from 1 to 7 o'clock the other went from around 11 to 4 o'clock. Both objects were not visible in the sky when I stepped back from the finder. They were both moving at a reasonable pace but I could track them in the finder with slight movement, They seemed like they were certainly a very long way away. kind of out with Jupiter. 

I have located starlink in the finder before and watched around 15 of them pass through the eye piece at low power and they were very big and bring. It didn't seem like what I saw was a satellite to be honest, But I dont think my description of them being "meteors" is correct either?!

 

Edited by Barry-W-Fenner

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21 minutes ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

Hi Merlin,

I have used the 3.2 on Venus mostly and had some very pleasing results. On good nights It has provided some very clear images. I have also tried it on doubles but in truth it has been quite poor at providing a clear view of these.

I am really looking forward to giving it a go on Mars when its at a decent height later in the year.

I am also quite keen to see if it will give a slightly larger disc to Uranus without compromising the clarity. And if all goes well, A good loo at Neptune with it also!

The planets are definitely emerging as my favorite objects to observe so far! Planetary Nebula is not far behind though!

 

Baz

It'll be interesting to hear your thoughts on the 3.2mm for lunar observation... 

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23 minutes ago, merlin100 said:

It'll be interesting to hear your thoughts on the 3.2mm for lunar observation... 

Oh yes, how could I forget Mr Moon! I will also try it out on that as the phase grows 👍

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1 hour ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

So far I have managed to crawl out of bed and had a look at the giants on two occasions at 3.30-4am The 1st on May 12th was very good much to my surprise. Some lovely details and clear at x150 This morning not so good unfortunately! so 50/50 so far 🙂

Regarding the "meteors" I thought I had seen. The best way I can describe them is when looking through the finder scope  They were both around the same size as the 4 large moons. One traveled diagonally from 1 to 7 o'clock the other went from around 11 to 4 o'clock. Both objects were not visible in the sky when I stepped back from the finder. They were both moving at a reasonable pace but I could track them in the finder with slight movement, They seemed like they were certainly a very long way away. kind of out with Jupiter. 

I have located starlink in the finder before and watched around 15 of them pass through the eye piece at low power and they were very big and bring. It didn't seem like what I saw was a satellite to be honest, But I dont think my description of them being "meteors" is correct either?!

 

I believe the Starlinks move up to higher orbits after first launching, so will appear quite different. I’m pretty sure they would have been satellites. Can you check the date and time on Heavens above for passes?

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11 minutes ago, Stu said:

I believe the Starlinks move up to higher orbits after first launching, so will appear quite different. I’m pretty sure they would have been satellites. Can you check the date and time on Heavens above for passes?

I sure can, I will try to have a look later when the work load eases off. You are more than likely correct Stu as you are far more experienced than me at this game. I really hope you are wrong though as I dont want them to be pesky satellites AGAIN! I want something more exotic 🙂🙂 

 

Cheers

 

Baz

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3 minutes ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

I sure can, I will try to have a look later when the work load eases off. You are more than likely correct Stu as you are far more experienced than me at this game. I really hope you are wrong though as I dont want them to be pesky satellites AGAIN! I want something more exotic 🙂🙂 

 

Cheers

 

Baz

Agreed on that score!

Putting my location as Maidstone, I found four close passes, only one of them a Starlink. Plenty of stuff up there!

8DACE292-F656-40B5-B510-F4E2B73A494F.png

7A27E0A3-25BD-4EEF-8BDE-FFB03358CF4D.png

0F95336A-7856-4B8B-AC2D-17A454DE987A.png

FECC5239-50DF-4312-9B8E-904B38C69056.png

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