TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

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TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

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Post by kt4hx »

This month we will be following along (for the most part) the primary plane of our own galaxy, the Milky Way sampling some of its riches. The northern summer and southern winter is rife with delightful nebulae of various types and myriad star clusters of both the open and globular variety. You will see we are heavily weighted into the objects of Charles Messier for this edition, as he has some of the finest in the skies within his short list. They make excellent visual and imaging objects and are frequently re-visited even by the most experienced members of our hobby simply because they are that good. So let’s get into this month’s selections for your viewing, sketching and/or imaging pleasure. I hope you like the journey whether you’re seeing these for the first time or the hundredth; they never get old.


Northern Celestial Hemisphere:


Messier 27 / NGC 6853 (Vulpecula, planetary nebula, mag=7.1, size=8.0’x5.7’, SBr=11.0):
This stunning planetary was discovered by Messier in 1764 and is the first planetary nebula discovered. It was independently discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1782 during only her second sweep as she was looking for comets.

Nicknamed the “Dumbbell Nebula” due to its bi-lobed interior structure, it is one of the premiere objects sought out during the northern summer nights. Bright and large (for a planetary) it is one of the first such objects (along with M57) viewed by beginners who are building their observing and/or imaging skills. With its higher surface brightness it is easy to pick up with all sizes of instruments, and clearly recognizable as a non-stellar object. With moderate aperture and scrutiny, it reveals its tell-tale dumbbell, apple core or hourglass (whichever you prefer) interior structure. The planetary visually responds very well to a narrow-band nebula filter, as well as an O-III line filter. Its mag 13.5 central star may be glimpsed, plus there are several imposed foreground stars that may be picked up as well. This is truly an amazing object.

Messier 57 / NGC 6720 (Lyra, planetary nebula, mag=8.8, size=1.4’x1.0’, SBr=8.9):
The famous “Ring Nebula” is another northern summer staple for observers. Conveniently located nearly half way along a line from Beta Lyrae (Sheliak) to Gamma Lyrae (Sulafat), it is viewable by apertures small to large, though small scopes will not reveal much detail. At a minimum it appears as a small ghostly orb, but with more aperture it turns into a smoke ring, with a strong annular structure and gauzy veil filling in its doughnut hole. With larger scopes, a keen eye and steady seeing its mag 15.4 central star may be glimpsed and poses an excellent challenge.

Like most planetaries it responds well to both narrow-band nebula and O-III line filters. It was discovered by Messier on 31 January 1779 while looking for Bode’s Comet (the great comet of 1779). Sometimes we see references to discovery by Antoine Darquier in mid-February 1779, but his was an independent discovery and Messier deserves full credit. Regardless, give this perennial favorite a careful study and see just how much detail you can pull out. For those with larger aperture and darker skies, see if you can pick up the small barred spiral galaxy IC 1296 (mag=14.0, size=1.1'x0.9'; SBr=13.8) just 4’ northwest of M57. It presents an excellent challenge.

Messier 71 / NGC 6838 (Sagitta, globular cluster, mag=8.4, size=7.2’, SBr=12.4, class=11):
Sagitta the celestial arrow lies in a very rich Milky Way field between Vulpecula and Aquila. It is home to this very loosely structured globular cluster. Discovery credit for this object goes to Philippe de Chéseaux in the 1745-46 time-frame. Whether this is an unusually dense open cluster or a particularly loose globular cluster has been the subject of speculation and much debate. Initially classified as the former, a study in the 1970s determined it was actually more akin to the latter type of object.

Regardless of all the confusion surrounding its true physical nature, it is indeed a curious object worthy of our attention. This beautiful cluster appears as a hazy concentration within a rich Milky Way field using smaller apertures. But as one increases aperture and magnification, it resolves nicely into a concentrated scatter of stars, well detached from the field and overlaying a hazy backdrop of deeper members. While it is not the rival of some of the more majestic globulars well known to observers and imagers, it is still an entrancing object that should be studied more closely, and I encourage you to do so.


Southern Celestial Hemisphere:


Messier 8 / NGC 6533 (Sagittarius, bright nebula, mag=5.8, size=90.0’x40.0’):
The infamous “Lagoon Nebula” is a thing of beauty and many parts. The designation of NGC 6533 is the whole complex which was first noted by Giovanni Battista Hodierna sometime before 1654. The whole of M8 is comprised of NGC 6523 (northwestern brightest section), NGC 6526 (southeastern dimmer portion) and NGC 6530 (open cluster in the eastern portion). There are also some dark nebulae present that give it an uneven texture. Additionally there are two smaller portions of nebulosity that may or may not be part of the greater complex. IC 1271 is a small bit of nebulosity illuminated by the mag 6.9 star HD 165052 east of the cluster NGC 6530. Another is IC 4678, which is a small halo of nebulosity less than a degree northeast of the center of M8. These last two sections are not typically considered when one thinks of the larger nebular complex however.

But any way you slice it, M8 is an outstanding visual and imaging treat. Bright and showy at any aperture level, it responds very well to a narrow-band nebula filter, which boosts its contrast significantly. Using an O-III filter is also rewarding. While it dims some of the fainter outer portions, it enhances the darker central regions nicely. If one has both, it is always an interesting comparison to apply each and compare the changes in the view. Even if you’ve seen this object numerous times, it will never disappoint. If you observe from a darker region you are in for a fine display through the eyepiece, and be sure to look for it with the naked eye.


Messier 20 / NGC 6514 (Sagittarius, bright nebula, mag=6.3, size=29.0’x27.0’):
This object is quite unique, as its nickname of “Trifid Nebula” would seem to imply. Noticeably smaller than Messier 8 and a bit dimmer, it still is a beautiful nebula complex, consisting of emission, reflection and dark elements. Discovered by Messier in 1764, he noticed the central star cluster (known to us as OCL-23). William Herschel is the one who noticed “three nebulae” while his son John was the first to utilize the name “Trifid” to describe the nebula. Less than 1.5° NNW of M8, it is easily seen in small apertures within the same field of view. If you have a narrow-band nebula filter in your kit, give it a try to bring out some more contrast.

From darker locations it shows up wonderfully through the eyepiece and is visible with the naked eye just above M8. Also from darker locations, see if you can spot its dimmer reflection portions, predominantly in the northern section of the complex. While it is not quite the showpiece that M8 is visually, M20 is no slouch and presents an interesting visual and imaging target.

NGC 6183 (Ara, bright nebula, mag=, size=20.0’x12.0’):
NGC 6193 (Ara, open cluster, mag=5.2, size=15.0’, class= II3p):
This nice complex is sometimes called the Firebird Nebula and Cluster. Located in northwestern Ara near its border with Norma, the discovery of this field is split between James Dunlop and John Herschel. Dunlop discovered the cluster, later designated as NGC 6193, in 1826 but did not mention any nebulosity in his notations. Herschel formally discovered the nebula in 1836 and also observed the cluster, mentioning both in his discovery notes.

Though the cluster is swaddled in nebulosity, the brightest portions of the nebula lie immediately west of the bright young cluster, which is an OB1 association. Like many such nebulae, it consists of both emission and reflective elements, and images also reveal strands of dark obscuring matter traversing the field. The complex provides a beautiful combination of young hot stars still wrapped in their womb of nebulosity, and one that I’ve had the pleasure of observing a couple of times. I hope you enjoy it as well.


I leave these beautiful objects in your capable hands. Whether you observe, observe and sketch, or image, any of this month's objects are very worthy of your time and effort. Some of the true showpieces of the night sky, they are dressed to impress, and provide lasting memories of their heavenly beauty.
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
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"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"No good deed goes unpunished." (various)
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?” (Scarecrow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
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John Baars Online Netherlands
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

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Post by John Baars »

Very nice objects for the Northern Hemisphere. Good choice. For new observers too. Thanks!
I have seen and sketched them all of course. I hope to renew them this month! I'll report back.
Refractors in frequency of use : *SW Evostar 120ED F/7.5 (all round ), * Vixen 102ED F/9 (vintage), both on Vixen GPDX.
GrabnGo on Alt/AZ : *SW Startravel 102 F/5 refractor( widefield, Sun, push-to), *OMC140 Maksutov F/14.3 ( planets).
Most used Eyepieces: *Panoptic 24, *Morpheus 14, *Nagler 11, *Leica ASPH zoom, *Zeiss barlow, *Pentax XO5.
Commonly used bino's : *Jena 10X50 , * Canon 10X30 IS, *Swarovski Habicht 7X42, * Celestron 15X70, *Kasai 2.3X40
Rijswijk Public Observatory: * Astro-Physics Starfire 130 f/8, * 6 inch Newton, * C9.25, * Meade 14 inch LX600 ACF, *Lunt.
Amateur astronomer since 1970.
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

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Post by helicon »

Great objects Alan. My first view of M27 through my 10" Dob took my breath away, it was so bright and large. I also enjoyed M71 the loose globular. Now Sagitta was only partially visible naked eye from my previous locale but formed a nice asterism in my 8x50 finder. Setting the crosshairs I zeroed in on the cluster's spot and wow what a sight because of the rich star field behind it. I also had a nice view of the faint and loose M56 in Lyra on the same eve, another of those rich star field globulars.

M57 just happened to be the first object I looked at after a 20 year hiatus back in 2012.
-Michael
Refractors: ES AR152 f/6.5 Achromat on Twilight II, Celestron 102mm XLT f/9.8 on Celestron Heavy Duty Alt Az mount, KOWA 90mm spotting scope
Binoculars: Celestron SkyMaster 15x70, Bushnell 10x50
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

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Post by sdbodin »

Just imaged M71 with my Rokinon 135mm telephoto. Accidentally, got the whole Arrow asterism of Sagitta in the image too. So, a wide field view of M71 and the Arrow. Exposed just 5 minutes in 30 second subs thru the Rokinon at f2.0 and Asi1600MC-cool camera w/Baader FK filter, just raw data cropped, about 30% and about 50% full frame size. M71 hiding in plain sight in a sea of stars.
m71_135f2full.jpg

Clear skies,
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Scopes; Meade 16 LX200, AT80LE, plus bunch just sitting around gathering dust
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

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Post by kt4hx »

John Baars wrote: Mon Jul 01, 2024 5:22 pm Very nice objects for the Northern Hemisphere. Good choice. For new observers too. Thanks!
I have seen and sketched them all of course. I hope to renew them this month! I'll report back.

Thank you John. I not surprised at all that you have observed them (numerous times) and sketched them as well. Some things are certainly worth revisiting from time to time.

helicon wrote: Mon Jul 01, 2024 6:21 pm Great objects Alan. My first view of M27 through my 10" Dob took my breath away, it was so bright and large. I also enjoyed M71 the loose globular. Now Sagitta was only partially visible naked eye from my previous locale but formed a nice asterism in my 8x50 finder. Setting the crosshairs I zeroed in on the cluster's spot and wow what a sight because of the rich star field behind it. I also had a nice view of the faint and loose M56 in Lyra on the same eve, another of those rich star field globulars.

M57 just happened to be the first object I looked at after a 20 year hiatus back in 2012.

Thank you Michael. Sagitta is one of those constellations that can become lost in the star field. At home, it is easy to see because the richness of the MW is absent for the most part. The first time we went over to the dark site area, I had trouble finding it because it was simply lost in the profusion of stars. Eventually I figured it out and got used to the difference from home to there and could adjust my eye/mind to the view at hand.

I recall you mentioning that M57 was your first upon returning to the hobby. A fitting welcome back indeed! Without a doubt, M27 can be stunning, particularly if one isn't certain what to expect.

sdbodin wrote: Mon Jul 01, 2024 11:11 pm Just imaged M71 with my Rokinon 135mm telephoto. Accidentally, got the whole Arrow asterism of Sagitta in the image too. So, a wide field view of M71 and the Arrow. Exposed just 5 minutes in 30 second subs thru the Rokinon at f2.0 and Asi1600MC-cool camera w/Baader FK filter, just raw data cropped, about 30% and about 50% full frame size. M71 hiding in plain sight in a sea of stars.
m71_135f2full.jpg

Clear skies,
Steve

Very nice image Steve, and thank you. M71, does not rise to the level of something like M13, but it still impresses. Despite being swamped by such a star rich field, it still holds its own and once you find it and really delve into it, it is quite beautiful set within its surroundings.
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"No good deed goes unpunished." (various)
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?” (Scarecrow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

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Post by Graeme1858 »

That's a great list of everybody's favourite Messiers Alan! M57 was too my first ever proper astro image and I was proper proud of it even though it was rubbish! And I remember the first time I captured M27 was a bit of a wow for me too. M71 is ticked in my Messier Contest list But it's not a great image. So I'm going to have a go at all three again with my new Grab and Go rig on the next clear night, which is tonight! The field of view will go from Sulafat to Sheliak so M57 will look quite small but not as small as NGC 6210 from last month!
Graeme

──────────────────────────────────────────────
Celestron 9.25" F10 SCT, CGX Mount.
StellaMira 110mm ED f/6 Refractor, AVX Mount
ASI1600MM Pro, ASI294MC Pro, ASI224MC.
ZWO EFW, ZWO OAG, ASI220MM Mini.
APM 11x70 ED APO Binoculars.
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

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Post by kt4hx »

Graeme1858 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 9:40 am That's a great list of everybody's favourite Messiers Alan! M57 was too my first ever proper astro image and I was proper proud of it even though it was rubbish! And I remember the first time I captured M27 was a bit of a wow for me too. M71 is ticked in my Messier Contest list But it's not a great image. So I'm going to have a go at all three again with my new Grab and Go rig on the next clear night, which is tonight! The field of view will go from Sulafat to Sheliak so M57 will look quite small but not as small as NGC 6210 from last month!

Thank you and good luck Graeme, looking forward to your results.
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"No good deed goes unpunished." (various)
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?” (Scarecrow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

#8

Post by Graeme1858 »

Here's my submission, captured using my new Grab and Go StellaMira 110mm ED APO on an AVX Mount. I just did 60 x 30 second exposures on each one because I haven't sorted out the guiding yet. No calibration frames. I used Vega to focus with my 9.25" Bahtinov mask and it was close but was starting to drift by the time I got to M71. There were clouds drifting by and I stopped the sequence a couple of times. The brighter stars were twinkling well.

M27

M27.jpg


M57

M57_01.jpg


M71

M71.jpg
Graeme

──────────────────────────────────────────────
Celestron 9.25" F10 SCT, CGX Mount.
StellaMira 110mm ED f/6 Refractor, AVX Mount
ASI1600MM Pro, ASI294MC Pro, ASI224MC.
ZWO EFW, ZWO OAG, ASI220MM Mini.
APM 11x70 ED APO Binoculars.
──────────────────────────────────────────────
https://www.averywayobservatory.co.uk/
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

#9

Post by kt4hx »

Nicely done Graeme. Certainly does show the vast difference in angular size between M27 and M57. Your M71 image really does bring out the richness of the larger field in which it lies. Appreciate your response and support of the challenge and I only hope we can get some others posting as well.
Alan

Scopes: Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob ||
ES AR127 f/6.5 || ES ED80 f/6 || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian
Mounts: ES Twilight-II and Twilight-I
EPs: AT 82° 28mm UWA || TV Ethos 100° 21mm and 13mm || Vixen LVW 65° 22mm ||
ES 82° 18mm || Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm and 5mm || barlows
Filters (2 inch): DGM NPB || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow || Baader HaB
Primary Field Atlases: Uranometria All-Sky Edition and Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt." (William Herschel)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"No good deed goes unpunished." (various)
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?” (Scarecrow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
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Re: TSS Monthly DSO Challenge for July 2024

#10

Post by Graeme1858 »

kt4hx wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:55 pm Nicely done Graeme. Certainly does show the vast difference in angular size between M27 and M57.

Cheers Alan

Yes, it's interesting to see the difference in angular size of objects in images using the same equipment. I'm looking forward to seeing what my new grab'n'go can do when I do some calibration frames. I might put it on the pier, retire the CGX/SCT and have a summer of bigger targets!
Graeme

──────────────────────────────────────────────
Celestron 9.25" F10 SCT, CGX Mount.
StellaMira 110mm ED f/6 Refractor, AVX Mount
ASI1600MM Pro, ASI294MC Pro, ASI224MC.
ZWO EFW, ZWO OAG, ASI220MM Mini.
APM 11x70 ED APO Binoculars.
──────────────────────────────────────────────
https://www.averywayobservatory.co.uk/
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