Author Topic: Deep sky list planning advice  (Read 9813 times)


  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Activity:
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Deep sky list planning advice
« on: December 24, 2017, 07:40:04 PM »
Ok so I have been to a dark skies sites with my 8 inch inteliscope dobsonion.  I am fairly new to the hobby (two years).  Next month I will be moving into the darkest skies I have ever been around with my range.  Bortle dark skies 2-3 I think.  It's a fairly long drive from my house several hours.  So I wish to make up a list of objects and have a plan because this opportunity does come together to often.  Any information on where to start or plan wpuld greatly be appreciated.


  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 98
  • Activity:
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Deep sky list planning advice
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 01:51:03 PM »
Are you planning to observe all/most of the night or only for a few hours after sunset? What sort of objects have you already observed? If you have already been through the full Messier list and/or some others then folks might have different suggestions. What is your lowest power and widest fieldeyepiece? What sort of nebula filters do you have? You might want to provide the ~latitude of where you are going to observe so that responses can be tailored to that.

A dark site will give you some opportunity to target galaxies and nebulae that are poorly seen in light polluted skies. For a first trip you will likely want to target easier things that are not hard to find and are well placed in the sky for the season. Make an early list and a late night/early morninglist. Stuff you are already familiar with from brighter skies you can make short work of to warm up or just enjoy.

As far as non DSO objects go, with an 8" Neptune's moon Triton might be detectable at very high power close to the planet. It will be worth a quick look to see if it is visible. It is something I successfullytargeted several times early on with my 8" SCT as a newbie in only moderately dark skies. It does help if the seeing and transparency are decent.