21 deepsky tips

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John Baars
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21 deepsky tips


Post by John Baars » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:58 pm

21 deepsky observing tips
by John Baars

A list of 21 deepsky tips that will make you a better observer 1. You have to make sure that the viewfinder and telescope are aligned with each other. But almost everyone will undoubtedly have done that already and we assume that. There are also amateurs who swear by a Red Dot Finder: a small red dot...
Telescopes in Schiedam : SW 150mm F/5 Achromat, SW Evostar 120ED F/7.5, Vixen 102ED F/9, OMC140 maksutov F/14.3, SW 102MAK F/13 on Vixen GPDX.
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Astronomical Rijswijk observatory telescopes: Astro-Physics Starfire 130 f/8 on NEQ6, 6 inch Newton on GP, C8 on NEQ6, Meade 14 inch SCT on EQ8, Lunt.

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Re: 21 deepsky tips


Post by Gordon » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:11 pm

Thanks for posting this article John!

Lot's of great information!
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
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Re: 21 deepsky tips


Post by helicon » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:45 pm

Thanks John, excellent tips and tricks.
Various scopes, 18" Obsession Dob, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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Re: 21 deepsky tips


Post by Michael131313 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:51 pm

Thanks John. Appreciate it very much.
ES AR 102 102mm, f/6.5, Orion Starblast 4.5 114mm,f/4 , Celestron 10x50, GSO SV 30mm, ES 68° 20mm, ES 82° 14mm, 11mm, 8.8 mm, 6.8mm, 4.7mm. Twilight 1 mount.
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Re: 21 deepsky tips


Post by Lady Fraktor » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:28 pm

An excellent article of practical viewing tips John, thank you for posting it.
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
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Re: 21 Deepsky observing tips


Post by Bigzmey » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:20 pm

Nice refresher John!
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 8" SCT F10, Omni 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3, Mak 127mm F12; Meade: ST80 F5. Mounts: ES Twilight I, Bresser EXOS2, SW SkyTee2, AzGTi, UA MicroStar. Binos: Orion 15x70, 10x50, Nikon 8x40. EPs: Pentax: XWs; TeleVue: Delites, Plossls & barlows; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Meade: UWAs & Plossls. Diagonals: Baader: BBHS mirror, Zeiss Spec prism, Clicklock; TeleVue: Evebrite. Filters: Lumicon, Baader, Astronomik. DSO tally: 1564 (Completed: M110, H1, H2. In progress: H3: 179, H2,500: 1156, S110: 77). Doubles: 859, Comets: 13, Asteroids: 62
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Re: 21 deepsky tips


Post by smp » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:31 pm

Much appreciated! Thanks very much.

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Re: 21 Deepsky observing tips


Post by bladekeeper » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:09 am

Great write-up, John! :)
Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; ES AR127 f/9.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; ES AR102 f/9.8; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Unitron Model 142 f/16; Meade NG60 f/10
Mounts: Celestron AVX; Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen Polaris
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Re: 21 Deepsky observing tips


Post by notFritzArgelander » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:54 am

Definitely a recipe for success.
Scopes: Refractors: Orion ST80, SV ED80 A f7; Newtonians: Z12 f5; Catadioptrics: VMC110L, Intes MK66. EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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Re: 21 Deepsky observing tips


Post by kt4hx » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:01 am

Thanks for putting some good advice out there for the beginning observers John. Lots of info to consider and put into practice in order to become a better observer. I would like to make a couple of comments if I might, for your paragraphs 13 and 14.

"13. You can also think of a deepsky filter, but do not expect the difference of day or night. Usually it is a subtle difference. And sometimes surprising. UHC filters and OIII filters are commonly used. Be sure the exit pupil of your telescope to be at least 2-3 mm. Those filters eat light. Sometimes even 5 mm is necessary."

Having narrow-band UHC or O-III filters of both narrow and wider bandwidths can be useful. Something in the range of 12 to 15nm bandwidth are excellent for use at lower magnifications as you indicate. They dim the field noticeably but at the wider exit pupils enough light is gathered to compensate. When using small apertures or high magnification then a wider bandwidth filter in the 20 to 30nm range can be beneficial. These do not reduce field brightness as much while still boosting contrast of the target object. For instance, if you are observing a planetary nebula using a narrow-bandwidth O-III and want to increase to high magnification, the field severely darkens due to the smaller exit pupil. By switching out the narrow-bandwidth filter for one of larger bandwidth, this will counteract the impact of an overly dimmed field and still yield visible contrast increase.

Also, thank you for pointing out the issues of the wide-band deep-sky filters often marketed as light pollution reduction filters (LPRs). Visually the impact is subtle as you stated. Having used them in both light polluted conditions and dark sky conditions, they can indeed boost contrast, albeit minutely. It takes a trained eye to really see their benefits, and even so, it is not significant. In fact, in areas with a lot of LP, they are pretty much useless because high levels of sky glow will swamp the filters rendering them totally ineffective. I have never seen an object using the wide-band LPR filters that I could not already see without it. However, imagers can get good results from the use of LPRs because imaging sensors are far more sensitive than are our eyes.

"14. The best deepsky filter is the jokingly called "gasoline filter": a long drive to a place where it is really dark. After several hours in complete darkness the sky looks less dark than when you started. It is not the sky. It is you own completely adapted eyes that take care of that. A look at the limiting magnitude of your telescope will prove it. A long forgotten ability of our eyes from the times we were hunters."

I am glad you mentioned the gasoline filter axiom. I definitely subscribe to this thinking. Darker skies are the great equalizer, more so than aperture alone. For instance, when comparing our suburban backyard to our dark site house, I have found consistently that the 10 or 12 inch dobs used at the dark site keeps pace with the 17.5 inch used in our more light polluted home backyard. It simply is a day and night difference between the two locations, and that truly makes the bigger difference. :)

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Re: 21 Deepsky observing tips


Post by OzEclipse » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:08 am

Rreally sound advice John.

Excellent article.

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Re: 21 deepsky tips


Post by The Happy Parrot » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:38 pm

Good information as always JB, especially for beginners like me. Worth reading over and over.

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