Best DSO after Messier objects

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Best DSO after Messier objects
Posted by djeber2 on Friday, September 24, 2004 9:09 PM
Is there a list of the next best DSOs after the Messier list? I observe from relatively light polluted skies so many items on the NGC catalog would probably not be visible from my location.
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Posted by jballauer on Friday, September 24, 2004 9:53 PM
Actually, I think some of the best objects aren't even Messiers. While the Messier list is a good one to get started with, I wouldn't classify NGCs as being "next best."

Some of my favorite objects, all NGCs, are:

NGC 253 in Sculptor, great spiral galaxy
NGC 891 in Andromeda, edge on galaxy
NGC 4565 in Coma Berenices, edge on galaxy
NGC 6960, 6992, and 6995 in Cygnus, The Veil region
NGC 2903 in Leo, spiral galaxy
NGC 3628 in Leo, edge on galaxy
NGC 2393 in Gemini, the Eskimo
NGC 2024 in Orion, the Flame
NGC 2244 in Monoceros, the Rosette Nebula and cluster
NGC 2264 in Monoceros, the Christmas Tree cluster
NGC 7789 in Cassiopeia, open cluster
NGC 869 and 884 in Perseus, the Double Cluster
NGC 457 in Cassiopeia, the ET cluster
NGC 7331 in Pegasus, spiral galaxy
NGC 2793 in Aquarius, the Helix Nebula
NGC 1499 in Perseus, the California Nebula
NGC 6888 in Cygnus, the Crescent Nebula
NGC 7000 in Cygnus, the North America Nebula
NGC 5128 in Centaurus, Centaurus A radio galaxy
NGC 5139 in Centaurus, Omega Centauri
NGC 6231 in Scorpius, the Northern Jewel Box region
NGC 6334 in Scorpius, the Cat's Paw nebula

These are just a few, off the top of my head, and there's no doubt that I've left off tons of other great objects on the NGC list. I'm sure others will fill in some of their favorites as well.


jay
www.allaboutastro.com

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Posted by jballauer on Friday, September 24, 2004 9:58 PM
Oh, one more thing. There are even objects not on the NGC list that are great as well. Mel 111, Cr 399 (the Coathanger), and tons of IC objects like the Cocoon Nebula (IC 5146) come quickly to mind. The sky is FILLED with cool stuff, regardless of their catalog designation.

jay
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Posted by cooltech on Friday, September 24, 2004 10:27 PM
Jballauer gave you good advice. I just started keeping a log on the NGC's. Recently I observed NGC 6543 and could see an almost disc shape bluish/green in color. A wonderful view.
A good star atlas should give you a complete list.
cooltechCool [8D] Vince
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, September 25, 2004 12:15 AM
Under light-polluted skies, many of the galaxies and planetary nebulae are not visible in a normal telescope. But there are a lot of star clusters and multiple stars out there to look at. The double cluster in Perseus and the ET cluster in Cassiopeia, mentioned by jballauer, are both easy to spot and rewarding to look at. Start with them.

Besides the Messier list, which seems randomly organized, there are lots of other lists, often arranged in order of increasing right ascension or by season when most easily seen. An exception is the Caldwell list, which is arranged in order of decreasing declination.

The April 2003 Sky and Telescope had an article and a list by James Mullaney, entitled "111 Treasures for Light-Polluted Skies." There are several good books which feature lists including select Messier, NGC, and personal favorites of the authors. I like Philip S. Harrington's "Star Watch" and Guy Consolmagno's "Turn Left at Orion."

One book to avoid is "Visual Astronomy in the Suburbs," by Antony Cooke. It's mostly a guide to using image intensifier eyepieces, such as those made by Collins Electro Optics, www.ceoptics.com , which cost up to $2595.00 apiece.

The Astronomical League www.astroleague.org/al/obsclubs/dblstar/dblstar2.html has a list of 100 double stars, which I am currently going through (up to 67 at present). The U.S. Naval Observatory has an online list of every multiple star ever catalogued.

I bought a Sky Atlas 2000.0 and its Companion book and use it to plan my viewing sessions. I am learning what are viewable (for me) magnitudes of various DSOs. This summer, I've looked at over 50 clusters and several nebulae using this method. I also try to view the recommendations of Harrington, Consolmagno and various magazine columnists.

These are just a few examples, but there are many more options available.

Dark Skies.

Laird
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Posted by SN1987A on Saturday, September 25, 2004 6:26 AM
You can find a list of the finest NGCs here... http://www.rasc.ca/observe.htm

You can also find similar lists at http://www.saguaroastro.org/content/Things-to-view.htm
There is even one for urban skies.

Happy DSO hunting!
Clear Skies, Navneeth
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Posted by DaveMitsky on Saturday, September 25, 2004 11:09 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by messier13

ngc 4565 is on of my favourite DSO's, its an edge on galaxy with a long dust lane crossing the central bright bulge and with prolonged observation in a reasonable size scope and good skies it is stunning to view.
I think the name "messier list" is overrated, this does not apply to "messier objects", things like m27, 51, 31, 13 etc etc are amazing DSO's but not because they have the name messier connected with them but because of what they are.
These days i will look for DSO's no matter what the name, if they happen to be in the messier list then so be it but i wont go looking for them because they are in the messier list.
Just because some person called charles messier found all these objects does not mean they are top priority, but as far as beginners go they sometimes ask what to look for and then that is when the messier list becomes useful because of the bright obvious targets to get you started, but once you get started and begin to learn how to find things then there is no need to become obsessed with completing this list.
The most important thing is, no matter what you look for the catalogue name is unimportant, the object is and as long as you enjoy it then the catalogue name does not matter.


Charles Messier personally discovered only 40 of the objects in the Messier Catalog, some of which (M7 and M31 for example) were known from antiquity. Almost all the Messier objects are included in the New General Catalog so the Messier Catalog as an entity is perhaps more important to amateur astronomers as a rite of passage than to the professionals. Nevertheless, many of the Messier objects are among the best DSOs in the northern hemisphere sky.

There are numerous DSO lists that go beyond what the Ferret of Comets (as King Louie called him) compiled. In addition to the ones already mentioned, the Best Objects in the NGC list, the sci.astro.amateur 100 and 200 lists (to which I contributed), and the Deep Map 600 list of 537 best objects are good places to start.

http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/similar/sac110bn.html

http://www.astronomyboy.com/saa/

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/raycash/dmcon.htm

Dave MItsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, September 26, 2004 3:34 PM
I can't believe you all forgot the "C" catalog! Just kidding, don't want to start a war here, only a joke Big Smile [:D]

Seriously though, the best Objects to view are the ones that you can locate and enjoy the most. I can't really give you any ideas because 90mm of scope in light pollution don't show much. I have seen M31, M8, M31 (all three look like fuzz), The double cluster (stunning though binos) M45, M42, the moon and a few planets, need to bag the outer 3 still
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Posted by TheHarvester on Sunday, September 26, 2004 11:38 PM
Here is a list generator that you can customize by Constellation, IC & or NGC and mag limit . You can print out a list according to what Constellation is visible at the time you are observing.
http://www.ngcic.com/oblstgen.htm
8" LX200 classic Orion Atlas Stellarvue AT1010 Barska 9x63 Binos
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 21, 2005 2:19 PM
I was a little taken aback by the advice and opinion of Laird Scott that "one book to avoid" would be 'Visual Astronomy in the Suburbs', written by me. Not only do I provide extensive guidance on various means of viewing from light polluted sites, but one option, (The Collins Electro Optics I3) is only mentioned in a negative context: that of cost. Considering what this device can do to transform any telescope into something many times larger, the cost doesn't seem all that prohibitive; additionally, I never read any such remarks about the multitudes expensive imaging systems also available, which do nothing to produce a view in true real time. And expensive telescopes of highly limited apertures also never seem to gather much adverse publicity or reactions.

If people remain closed-minded to such devices, they only stand to lose. I have heard of some even refusing to look through a telescope with an image intensifier at star parties!
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Posted by jballauer on Monday, February 21, 2005 6:45 PM
Antony:

Thanks for popping in to defend your book, Antony.

For me, I choose not to use the I3 for aesthetic reasons. I simply don't enjoy the view, regardless of the depth it provides. The best views I've gotten with the I3 were on a 8" TMB triplet apo of M13...even so, I didn't feel the eyepiece was worth the money. I'd rather use my CCD cameras in focus mode, which yields an even better, somewhat real-time, result.

While I'm sure your book is a good read and a valuable resource for its intended market, I've never felt compelled to purchase it myself. Perhaps if you would give us reasons to purchase the book you could better persuade us as to its value.

jay
www.allaboutastro.com

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Monday, March 21, 2005 4:06 AM
I feel much the same as Jay does regarding the I3Piece, although through a 24" Tectron it produced spectacular high power images of certain planetary nebulae like NGC 6543.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 24, 2005 12:57 AM
One of my favorite PN currently, is NGC 3242 (ghost of jupiter). I think I am so attracted to it, because it appears almost a deep blue color to me.

i have also recently enjoyed reflection nebula NGC 1977, the running man, just north of the orion nebula.

i was able to see NGC 3242 with no problem in my light polluted back yard. NGC 1977 will probably require some darker skies.
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Posted by supernova5 on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 12:27 AM
Try looking around in the herschel and caldwell catalogs. Plenty of goodies in those!
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Posted by DaveMitsky on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 2:13 AM
For the sake of the novices out there, the Herschel Catalogue was incorporated into the New General Catalogue (NGC). Patrick Caldwell Moore's "catalog" is merely a list and has no more real significance than the many best of DSO lists that existed before it was developed as a commercial venture.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by jballauer on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 1:23 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by DaveMitsky

For the sake of the novices out there, the Herschel Catalogue was incorporated into the New General Catalogue (NGC). Patrick Caldwell Moore's "catalog" is merely a list and has no more real significance than the many best of DSO lists that existed before it was developed as a commercial venture.

Dave Mitsky


Why did I know you'd say that? Big Smile [:D]

jay
www.allaboutastro.com

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 10:58 PM
I've read somewhere that the Caldwell catalouge was inacurrate, is it true?
-Zack

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