What to observe beyond Moon and planets

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Bigzmey United States of America
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What to observe beyond Moon and planets

#1

Post by Bigzmey »


For those getting into the hobby and recently acquired a new scope we usually recommend to start with the Moon and planets. They are bright, easy to find and rewarding targets. But what to observe beyond that? What would be good targets to ease in and build experience and confidence?

Here are a few ideas. They have been discussed before but no harm in revisiting.

When I got back into observing with my daughter we had lots of fun following Skymaps monthly Evening Sky maps. For each month they list a few easy targets for naked eye, binoculars and telescope. Good way to learn constellations to.

https://skymaps.com/downloads.html

Messier catalog is a great gateway into exciting world of Deep Sky Objects (DSOs). It contains slightly over 100 objects of all DSO types, with many beautiful, large, bright and easy to find targets. Yet it also contains enough fainter stuff and a couple of really hard targets to hone your observing skills. I like Astronomical League Messier list. They list targets by seasons and then constellations which I find convenient when planning observing sessions.

https://www.astroleague.org/messier-program-list/

If you go after Messiers don't forget to report your progress here on TSS and get the bling and frameable certificate for your efforts. :D

https://theskysearchers.com/viewtopic.php?t=950

Double and multiple stars are another rewarding category of targets. There are plenty for any aperture from small binoculars to light buckets. They stand well to the light pollution and can be observed even with full Moon out. There many beautiful and even more challenging pairs to keep you occupied for years. Again, I suggest to start with Astronomical League Double Stars Observing Program. They have 100+ carefully selected pairs observable with 3" or larger scope. To get to the printable lists scroll down and click on the yellow hyperlinks.

https://www.astroleague.org/double-star ... g-program/

and another list for multiple stars

https://www.astroleague.org/multiple-st ... g-program/

Astro League has many other fun and challenging programs

https://www.astroleague.org/alphabeticobserving/

Finally, last but not least, check monthly selections of fun DSO targets from our very own Alan (Kt4hx).

https://theskysearchers.com/viewforum.php?f=83
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Observing: DSOs: 3106 (Completed: Messier, Herschel 1, 2, 3. In progress: H2,500: 2180, S110: 77). Doubles: 2382, Comets: 34, Asteroids: 255
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Re: What to observe beyond Moon and planets

#2

Post by Lady Fraktor »


Carbon stars are fun to view.
Rubies on velvet :)
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Re: What to observe beyond Moon and planets

#3

Post by KingClinton »


I also have a soft spot for open clusters. If you have seen NGC 4755 or NGC 3532 in the southern hemisphere then you will know why, even IC 2602 is spectacular from dark skies and amazing through binoculars.
Eyeballs, binoculars, sketch box, Scopes n stuff.
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Re: What to observe beyond Moon and planets

#4

Post by Flyhigh7 »


Good advice. I love Globular Clusters as when you get them in focus you suddenly see this beautiful diamond in the sky that is almost sparkling.
'The only way to make it is to try!'

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Re: What to observe beyond Moon and planets

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Post by Unitron48 »


Great ideas, Andrey! Well done!!

Dave
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http://www.unitronhistory.com

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein
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Re: What to observe beyond Moon and planets

#6

Post by jrkirkham »


I noticed that you included several links to the Astronomical League Observing Programs. I find them to be a good resource for ideas. I look over all their programs and choose the ones I am most interested in.
Rob
Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 10" dob, 8"SCT, 11"SCT
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AL Projects Completed: Lunar #645, Outreach #0280, Universe Sampler #93-T, Binocular Messier #871, Messier #2521, Messier Honorary #2521, Constellation Hunter Northern Skies #112, Planetary Transit Venus #1, Galileo #26, Outreach Stellar 0280, Meteor Regular #157, Solar System Telescopic #209-I, Observer Award #1
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Re: What to observe beyond Moon and planets

#7

Post by gregl »


And don't forget asterisms. I like to show folks the coathanger, the swan nebula, and other such delightful goodies.
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Re: What to observe beyond Moon and planets

#8

Post by helicon »


The double cluster seen through a 10" equatorial mounted reflector at a neighbor's house in Southern California in the latter 70's hooked me. Gorgeous sight. Of course back then such large aperture scopes were quite rare. Either you could buy a Cave Astrola or a newfangled Meade "research grade" Newtonian featuring the scientist in a white coat in their print ads. This was all before the Dobsonian revolution which made large scopes affordable, or better yet you could build your own.
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Re: What to observe beyond Moon and planets

#9

Post by messier 111 »


thank you very much, these sites are very interesting.
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Re: What to observe beyond Moon and planets

#10

Post by Richard »


Living in RSA most of the time we have constant power cuts so people have installed their own lights , its like New York at times , cant even see planets , crazy but moon is ok , I have given up at home , we have a part share in a game lodge that is great so no big scope for now , but plan is to get a big scope on the lodge I hope to build an observatory with a 20inch newt , but no ones agrees , what do you say watch some game during the day and stars etc at night ?
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