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The most impressive thing ?

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The most impressive sights for me so far are:

Saturn last summer, first ever time seen, amazing.

On a rare still night last year i observed M31, faint but easily recognisable.

M42 the other eve, stunning.

And of course our awesome moon.


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Good question, I cant really decide. I suppose there are 3 or 4 things for different reasons. Purely because they are stunning, the Pleiades take my breath away without fail every time. The scale and distance of Andromeda I find uncomprehendable, which for me is as special as something like M45. Then you've also got the beautiful things in our own solar system, such as the moon and Saturn. If I had to pick one though it would be M45. I think...

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Comet P17 Holmes in 2008/9(?) - it was one of the few objects which massively exceeded expectations - big, bright, structured - the kind of target I like ;) and I saw it under very dark skies.

Other than that, the moon in binoviewers :)

other than other than that, Virgo galaxies - just wandering about and picking up distant galaxies - unreal! :(

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From then on just about in awe of everything I can find in the eyepiece.. Now I'm on the start of my journey into astrophotography I'm even more blown away with what the camera reveals that the eye only see's as a grey fuzz if at all!!

The more I see the more I want to see and every time it's just amazing

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Everything up there impresses me, but what made me gasp out loud and still does (!) was seeing the Milky Way for the first time under a dark sky at Flookboruogh (South Lakeland) as a kid on holiday. It sparked a lifelong interest!


Edited by Eclectic_Mixer
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One WOW moment for me was some years ago when on holiday in Norfolk on a secluded mobile home site out in the middle of nowhere (Haveringland). I stepped out of the Caravan we were staying in and just happened to look up one night. I'd never seen the milky way before in a more or less zero light polluted sky. Absolutely took my breath away.

Of course Saturn, Jupiter, M42 and many others have since wowed me too. I particularly like viewing the Pleiades and Beehive clusters in a wide FOV. These are sadly not too good in my Skymax as the FOV is too narrow so I currently view these with Binos till I can afford a fast scope.

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I have just remembered something that happened to me in the mid 70's.

I used to do voluntary work teaching mountaineering to deprived children who lived in children's homes. On one occasion we were staying at an outdoor centre in South Wales and I had decided to do a night excercise with them due to there being a meteor shower.

In the centre were a lot of children from London and it was amazing to see some of the boys and girls who in the main were very hard cases coming from broken homes and often in trouble with law. They stood outside looking up at the sky with tears and some of them full blown crying totally amazed at what they could see. Virtually none of them had seen a star let alone the amazing site in front of their eyes on this very remote and dark location!

Best regards


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Mine was at a public viewing night near home last year ...

I was looking through a gigantic refractor (can't remember the size but it really was large/long). The owner focused it on Tuc47. I was totally blown away. The resolution, the pin-point dots of light. I was hooked.

The next night I spent about an hour trying to find it myself in my 4.5" newt. It took me two nights viewing to finally spot it. Clarity wasn't as good but I was very proud that I managed to find it myself.



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I've not seen very much yet (quite new to this) but M42 and the Pleiades are both great, however finally managing to get a smudge of surface detail on Jupiter last night has to be my biggest "wow" so far (closely followed by seeing soooo many craters on the moon).



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I think one of the first jaw dropping moments for me was visiting the Planetarium in Bristol - when the show started we all looked up and saw a mass of stars - fair enough - they then showed what that same piece of sky looked like with no light pollution and suddenly the whole "sky" became a different place it was truly magnificent and that moment really re awoke my dormant interest and is the reason I'm typing this now - seriously clear skies!

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For a city-dweller like myself the summer Milky Way in a truly dark sky is the ultimate wow moment - no optical equipment needed.

First sight of Andromeda through binoculars was also a moment of revelation.

And now I've just bought a Watec - my first view of spiral arms on galaxies - an awe-inspiring sight!


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  • 10 months later...

While I like hunting the faint fuzzies and learning my way around the constellations as I go, in terms of visual spectacle, then along with the Moon and the Pleaides, I'll add the Alpha Persei association, real nice group of stars with the switchback.

Oh, and the sky I saw in the Outer Hebrides, on the about one night it wasn't overcast. Amazing, compared to the city it's like being on another planet. It was freezing though, so I didn't look for very long.

Edited by cantab
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I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off theshoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain... Time to die.

The first thing to see should be the Moon or Saturn. Both are impresive in taht first time. Jupiter and its moons.

Some "easy and impresive" objects:

Diffuse Nebulae: Orion Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, Trifid Nebula.

Galaxies: Triplet of galaxies of Leo, M81-M82,

Planetary Nebulae: Nebula Ring, Dumbbell Nebula, Blinking planetary

Supernona remanent: Veil Nebula, M1 (M1 is not really impresive)

Open clusters: M35 in Gemini; M36, 37 and 38 in Auriga

Globular Clusters: M13, M22, M92, M5


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M42 is always good, always, as is M31 and M45 but as a rich field lover the Double Cluster gets my WOW vote every time I see it...Wow. Having said all that Hale Bopp back in 97 was fab. I observed through decent bins from my house half way up a mountian in North Co Leitrim, no light polution up there I can tell you. I also saw

aurora burglarious above Ben Bulbin in Co Sligo, very nice indeed!!!


Edited by Caldwell 14
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Have to go with Saturn.

The Moon

M13...................so many stars

"and finally just the joy of finding something you have been looking for, as eventually it drifts into the EP


Oh yes i go with this one... just seeing that special something your looking for the first time and seeing it come into the field of view!

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Has to be at my mum and dads on the Isle of Mull in Oct this year, we all went up to the top of the Hill Rd with my sons telescope and had a 360 degree view with no light polution at all. I've never seen so many stars as that night, the Milky Way was amazing. We hardly used the scope at all just our eyes.

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For me, the most recent impressive thing was observing M42 on a crystal clear moonless night a while back. The transparency was so good and the light pollution so weak that even with my 4.5" scope, I was able to see all the fine filaments and webbing in depth and all the dim nebulosity beyond the "wings", almost like in a picture, that was a true "wow" moment for me. The 12" dob I have ordered can't get here soon enough though :p

Anyway, it rather depends on your point of view - the most impressive object that could be seen from, their factual standpoint, might be actually rather underwhelming smudges and vice versa

Edited by assasincz
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Funny how you go back to your roots sometimes (I used to spend ages looking at the Moon through my dire Tasco scope in the 70's).

Plus, if you love the Moon, no problems with (so called) lunar light pollution! :p

Edited by Grunthos
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