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.

ThomasF1234

Trouble Viewing Cats Eye Nebula

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

So tonight I was out with my skywatcher 102 and eq3 synscan Mount with a x2 Barlow lens and I was trying to view the cats eye nebula. After looking at some pictures I think I found the stars which surround the nebula as it seemed to line up through my telescope as it did on the pictures. However, there was no nebula in sight! I played around the area trying to find it but had no luck all night! Is it the case that I would only be able to see it through long exposure images using a DSLR or should I be able to see it just through the eye piece? Any ideas would be appreciated on how to view the nebula

Edited by ThomasF1234

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see this object with my 100mm refractor so it is visible in your scope (which is why I mentioned it as a possible target).

At low power (which you would use to find it) it looks like a slightly bloated star. At 100x or more it is clearly a patch of condensed nebulosity with a tiny point of light shining from the centre of it - the central star.

Even if you can't quite make out the central star, the nebula itself is clearly not "star like" once you apply some magnification.

The sketch that I posted in your other thread (also below) is quite an accurate represention of the visual view although darker skies will make it pop out more readily.

Page Title

I didn't find that a filter helped with this one, other than loosing the central star.

Here is a more detailed finder chart:

NGC 6543 - The Cat's Eye Nebula - Planetary Nebula ...

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


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

I can see this object with my 100mm refractor so it is visible in your scope (which is why I mentioned it as a possible target).

At low power (which you would use to find it) it looks like a slightly bloated star. At 100x or more it is clearly a patch of condensed nebulosity with a tiny point of light shining from the centre of it - the central star.

Even if you can't quite make out the central star, the nebula itself is clearly not "star like" once you apply some magnification.

The sketch that I posted in your other thread (also below) is quite an accurate represention of the visual view although darker skies will make it pop out more readily.

Page Title

I didn't find that a filter helped with this one, other than loosing the central star.

Here is a more detailed finder chart:

NGC 6543 - The Cat's Eye Nebula - Planetary Nebula ...

 

Thank you, so would you recommend finding it without the Barlow then applying the Barlow when I find it maybe? Also I just remembered I was using a 25mm eyepiece so maybe using the 10mm would help?

Edited by ThomasF1234

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finding it was a bit of a challenge especially with the brightness of the moon.

I used the two pointers of Ursa Minor (Kochab & Pherkad) which took me to Dra, then Aldhibah in Draco. Further on down I drew a small imaginary triangle approx 3 degrees west of stars 27 & Omega which took me to the nebula.

Using my 31mm nagler I spotted a small fuzzy dot, I swapped over to my 14mm Delos which revealed a small grey / blueish blob.

Best view was with my 3 - 6 nagler zoom between x180 & 200 and very similar to @John pic without the central star.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, jock1958 said:

Finding it was a bit of a challenge especially with the brightness of the moon.

I used the two pointers of Ursa Minor (Kochab & Pherkad) which took me to Dra, then Aldhibah in Draco. Further on down I drew a small imaginary triangle approx 3 degrees west of stars 27 & Omega which took me to the nebula.

Using my 31mm nagler I spotted a small fuzzy dot, I swapped over to my 14mm Delos which revealed a small grey / blueish blob.

Best view was with my 3 - 6 nagler zoom between x180 & 200 and very similar to @John pic without the central star.

I’ll have another try tonight, I’m fine with viewing m44 and the double cluster but viewing nebulae and objects such as m13 are a really big challenge for me at the minute

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, ThomasF1234 said:

I’ll have another try tonight, I’m fine with viewing m44 and the double cluster but viewing nebulae and objects such as m13 are a really big challenge for me at the minute

I'm purely visual and I know finding fuzzies when you have a full moon is difficult and as far as M13 goes I would wait until the moon has done its bit and not visible.

I have a 4" refractor so you should definitely be able to see the Cats Eye nebula with yours, start off with a low power eyepiece then change to higher powers when you think you've spotted the target.

Not sure what references you use but I find books like Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas & Turn Left at Orion invaluable as well as free downloads like Stellarium, SkySafari, Star Chart and GoSkyWatch.

All I can say is keep on persevering and you will be rewarded!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, jock1958 said:

I'm purely visual and I know finding fuzzies when you have a full moon is difficult and as far as M13 goes I would wait until the moon has done its bit and not visible.

I have a 4" refractor so you should definitely be able to see the Cats Eye nebula with yours, start off with a low power eyepiece then change to higher powers when you think you've spotted the target.

Not sure what references you use but I find books like Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas & Turn Left at Orion invaluable as well as free downloads like Stellarium, SkySafari, Star Chart and GoSkyWatch.

All I can say is keep on persevering and you will be rewarded!

Thanks I’ll have a look into some of them books. When guiding I use stellarium and I also refer to these attached images.

847BC2BC-C7B4-4FCC-BEF5-B6710813034B.png

3AD74D0A-F612-4AE4-859A-CDD3D06F9CCA.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Give it another go tonight. Your top chart looks good for M13 but the Cats Eye in your bottom chart looks different to mine, mines a degree or so further north?

As I was saying start off with your low power 25mm eyepiece then up it to 10mm and barlow that if you don't lose sight of it whilst re-focusing.

Sorry I'm not familiar with your go to mount but assume that its accurately aligned, my set up is a purely manual alt az arrangement. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've prepared this from Stellarium. I find the Cats Eye by imagining a long thin triangle with the 2 mag 5 stars at the top end of it and the nebula at the bottom. I've marked my imaginary triangle in red.

The 2 stars at the top of the triangle are visible in a 30mm finder but can be a struggle to the eye unless your seeing conditions are good.

catseye.png.0da61f022308ac9598d5d5d40b1e4675.png

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, jock1958 said:

Give it another go tonight. Your top chart looks good for M13 but the Cats Eye in your bottom chart looks different to mine, mines a degree or so further north?

As I was saying start off with your low power 25mm eyepiece then up it to 10mm and barlow that if you don't lose sight of it whilst re-focusing.

Sorry I'm not familiar with your go to mount but assume that its accurately aligned, my set up is a purely manual alt az arrangement. 

I seem to get pretty well aligned as when I went to Vega it was more or less in the centre of the eyepiece. I’ll give it another shot tonight. Thanks!

Share this post


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

I've prepared this from Stellarium. I find the Cats Eye by imagining a long thin triangle with the 2 mag 5 stars at the top end of it and the nebula at the bottom. I've marked my imaginary triangle in red.

The 2 stars at the top of the triangle are visible in a 30mm finder but can be a struggle to the eye unless your seeing conditions are good.

catseye.png.0da61f022308ac9598d5d5d40b1e4675.png

 

So would it be a good idea to go to the bright star next to where it says draco then slew to them two stars on in the triangle and I’ll pretty much be there?

Edited by ThomasF1234

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ThomasF1234 said:

So would it be a good idea to go to the bright star next to where it says draco then slew to them two stars on in the triangle and I’ll pretty much be there?

The Cats Eye nebula (ie: the tip of my triangle) is around 3 degrees (6 full moon diameters) from that pair of stars. A 30mm finder has a field that is around 6 degrees wide and a 50mm about 4 degrees so that is a useful guide as to where to put the centre of the view in relation to the 2 stars at the top of the triangle.

Use a low power eyepiece in the scope and look out for a star that looks "bloated" compared with the others.

This image shows a wide view of the sky with the nebula in the middle. Under a dark sky this is the sort of view that you might get with a low power eyepiece in the scope. I see less background stars than this but you get the general idea I hope:

https://ssl.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000oXNcc6GIsjQ/s/1200/I0000oXNcc6GIsjQ.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, John said:

The Cats Eye nebula (ie: the tip of my triangle) is around 3 degrees (6 full moon diameters) from that pair of stars. A 30mm finder has a field that is around 6 degrees wide and a 50mm about 4 degrees so that is a useful guide as to where to put the centre of the view in relation to the 2 stars at the top of the triangle.

Use a low power eyepiece in the scope and look out for a star that looks "bloated" compared with the others.

This image shows a wide view of the sky with the nebula in the middle. Under a dark sky this is the sort of view that you might get with a low power eyepiece in the scope. I see less background stars than this but you get the general idea I hope:

https://ssl.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000oXNcc6GIsjQ/s/1200/I0000oXNcc6GIsjQ.jpg

Thank you! I’ll have a look out tonight if the weather is nice and I’ll get back to you with how I get on! :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only looked at the cat's eye through larger aperture, but if you have one, you could try popping an O-III filter into the eye cup and see if it stands out in averted vision.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, niallk said:

I've only looked at the cat's eye through larger aperture, but if you have one, you could try popping an O-III filter into the eye cup and see if it stands out in averted vision.

Just came in at what I can happily say was a successful viewing of the nebula!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, John said:

The Cats Eye nebula (ie: the tip of my triangle) is around 3 degrees (6 full moon diameters) from that pair of stars. A 30mm finder has a field that is around 6 degrees wide and a 50mm about 4 degrees so that is a useful guide as to where to put the centre of the view in relation to the 2 stars at the top of the triangle.

Use a low power eyepiece in the scope and look out for a star that looks "bloated" compared with the others.

This image shows a wide view of the sky with the nebula in the middle. Under a dark sky this is the sort of view that you might get with a low power eyepiece in the scope. I see less background stars than this but you get the general idea I hope:

https://ssl.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000oXNcc6GIsjQ/s/1200/I0000oXNcc6GIsjQ.jpg

Hi john just to let you know I was successful in viewing the nebula tonight. After finding with my 25mm I put in my 10mm and saw the little star above it to the right and I can happily say I saw the nebula which is the first time I have ever viewed a nebula. Thank you to you and everyone who has contributed to helping me find it! :)

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very pleased to hear that and well done !

You have obviously had better skies where you are than I have had tonight. Thin cloud restricted observing here to the brighter stars, Venus and the Moon. It was not a deep sky night !

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, John said:

Very pleased to hear that and well done !

You have obviously had better skies where you are than I have had tonight. Thin cloud restricted observing here to the brighter stars, Venus and the Moon. It was not a deep sky night !

 

I only got about an hour then the clouds rolled in. Weather forecast was way off!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ThomasF1234 said:

Hi john just to let you know I was successful in viewing the nebula tonight. After finding with my 25mm I put in my 10mm and saw the little star above it to the right and I can happily say I saw the nebula which is the first time I have ever viewed a nebula. Thank you to you and everyone who has contributed to helping me find it! :)

Great stuff! 👍

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, ThomasF1234 said:

Just came in at what I can happily say was a successful viewing of the nebula!

Glad you found it and well done! was all clouded out last night and looks the same today.

Edited by jock1958
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, jock1958 said:

Glad you found it and well done! was all clouded out last night and looks the same today,

Yeah only got 45 minutes in or so then I tried to go to M13 but the clouds came. Fingers crossed we get a clear night soon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ThomasF1234 said:

Yeah only got 45 minutes in or so then I tried to go to M13 but the clouds came. Fingers crossed we get a clear night soon!

I love M13! even with my light polluted skies its like an exploding box of diamonds through a high powered eyepiece! Good luck and hope you have clear skies soon. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jock1958 said:

I love M13! even with my light polluted skies its like an exploding box of diamonds through a high powered eyepiece! Good luck and hope you have clear skies soon. 

Thank you! Just to make sure should it look like a sort of fuzzy area like the attached picture?

0DC86334-1112-40AB-B158-49D19C4421B3.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, ThomasF1234 said:

Thank you! Just to make sure should it look like a sort of fuzzy area like the attached picture?

0DC86334-1112-40AB-B158-49D19C4421B3.jpeg

The brightness and extent of star resolution depends on the aperture of the scope. Globular clusters are one target that aperture makes a real difference with. Under a reasonably dark sky my 12 inch dob shows M13 pretty much like this at low power:

Hercules Cluster Messier 13 (M13) : Astronomy

And like this at 200x (my favourite view of these targets)

Messier 13 (Great Hercules Cluster) - Deep Sky Watch

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, John said:

The brightness and extent of star resolution depends on the aperture of the scope. Globular clusters are one target that aperture makes a real difference with. Under a reasonably dark sky my 12 inch dob shows M13 pretty much like this at low power:

Hercules Cluster Messier 13 (M13) : Astronomy

And like this at 200x (my favourite view of these targets)

Messier 13 (Great Hercules Cluster) - Deep Sky Watch

 

Thank you I’ll have a try next time there’s clear skies! :)

  • 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.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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