Author Topic: DSO in urban areas  (Read 287 times)

ulatimhan

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DSO in urban areas
« on: December 30, 2017, 04:12:20 PM »
So I have my new scope now. An Orion XT8. I have a wide variety of eye pieces including some with to wide FOVs. I am in Gilbert AZ so I have a fair amount of light pollution. Are there any DSOs I may be able to see from my house in favorable conditions? I do plan on heading up north soon for some seriously dark skies and awesome viewing but for every other day of the year I want some good targets besides planets. I have also looked atAntares which was pretty darn cool as well as Vega. Thanks all!



Mario Evans

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 08:47:53 PM »
I do all of my observing from my red-zone backyard and to be honest the number of deepsky objects that I can observe are too numerous to list. The objects described in Turn Left at Orion are a great place to start.

Have fun!

plicoptorol

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 05:31:20 PM »
Look to the Astronomical League "Urban Astronomer" List. There are 100 objects that should be obtainable from the city. As a matter of fact, the rule is that you cannot observe this list (for their club award purposes) if you can see the Milky Way from your observing site. Of the 100 objects, many are doubles and such---so not really "deep sky," but you will get an idea of what can be seen from the city.

​Alex

heelmiliso

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 09:32:17 PM »
Hi

An advice : use high power for DSO in city
If target has enough light, it make image contrast better a lot .

i live in red zone also
in low power , Orion nebula is completely invisible but
i use 250X on my SW200P , (exit pupil less then 1mm) and result is great,
nebula is clearly visible and with adding a UHC filter , even it would be greater !

Gregory Station

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 03:40:48 PM »
I grew up in Chicago and you can see DSO in or near City. Best view is open clusters! You might see some galaxies like M31, M81&M82, even NGC7331. Few Nebula like M42 Orion Nebula, M27 Dumbbell Nebula, M57 Ring Nebula, M17and not easy M8 Lagoon because I have hard time to see M8 because its just above of streetlights. Go out and have fun!

Marvin Neboet

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 07:46:16 AM »
Quote
So I have my new scope now. An Orion XT8. I have a wide variety of eye pieces including some with to wide FOVs. I am in Gilbert AZ so I have a fair amount of light pollution. Are there any DSOs I may be able to see from my house in favorable conditions? I do plan on heading up north soon for some seriously dark skies and awesome viewing but for every other day of the year I want some good targets besides planets. I have also looked atAntares which was pretty darn cool as well as Vega. Thanks all!


Double stars are the first option to come into mind, with a 20cm aperture there is an almost endless amount to observe; if you are not very fond of them, may try the planetary nebulae (again, quite a number).
I like the latter very much and did a brief list for the last summer, you may try some of these:

NGC
40
1501
6210
6302
6309
6369
6543
6567
6751
6778
6781
6804
6826
6891
6905
7008
7009
7027
7662

M
76
97
27
57

Sean Schaefer

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 03:25:46 PM »
Well, I snagged M3 and M53 last nite, was waiting for M5 and M13 to rise but the sky clouded over. Urban white zone, San Diego...

teirazaro

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 05:28:53 PM »
Especially for backyard urban observing I love the tonightssky.com website. You just key in your coordinates and it'll give you whats up and order it by magnitude!

http://tonightssky.com/MainPage.php

Also,the Indiana Astronomical Society also has a Urban Novice Observing list monthly. Here's the May one if you would like to give it a go. Levels ordered by magnitude

Novice/Urban Observing List – May 2016
In May, the zodiac constellation Virgo is high in the evening sky. The objects in this month’s observing list lie between the celestial coordinates of Right Ascension = 12h and RA = 14h. This section of sky includes 27 Messier objects (one double star, 3 globular clusters, and 23 galaxies)!
LEVEL 1
Mel 111, the “Coma Star Cluster”, open cluster in Coma Berenices, 12h 25.0m, +26° 00', mag = 1.8, size = 275' (Use your binoculars for this one – it’s big!)
Delta Corvi, double star in Corvus, 12h 30m, -16° 31', mag = 3.0, 9.2, sep = 24"
24 Comae Berenices, double star in Coma Berenicies, 12h 35m, +18° 23', mag = 5.2, 6.7, sep = 20"
Gamma Virginis (“Porrima”), double star in Virgo, 12h 42m, -01° 27', mag = 3.5, 3.5, sep = 3.6"
32 Camelopardalis, double star in Camelopardalis, 12h 49.2m, +83° 25', mag = 5.3, 5.8, sep = 22"
Alpha Canum Venaticorum, “Cor Caroli”, Double Star in Canes Venatici, 12h 56.0m, +38° 19', mag = 2.9, 5.5, sep = 19.4"
Zeta and 80 Ursa Majoris, “Mizar” and “Alcor”, Double Stars in Ursa Major, 13h 23.9m, +54° 56', 2.3, 4.0, 4.0, sep = 14.4", 709". It is sometimes rumored that being able to split Mizar and Alcor naked eye is a test of your eyesight. But actually, it is really a test of how dark your sky is! At magnitude 4.0, Alcor is easily washed out by light pollution.
LEVEL 2
M94, the “Cat’s Eye Galaxy”, spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici, 12h 50.9m, +41° 07', mag = 8.1, size = 11' x 9.1'
M53, globular cluster in Coma Berenices, 13h 12m, +18° 10′, mag = 8.3, size = 13’
M3, globular cluster in Canes Venatici, 13h 42.2m, +28° 23', mag = 5.9, size = 16.0' (Located about a third of the way from Arcturus to Cor Caroli. It’s bright enough to be seen as a small smudge in binoculars from suburban skies.)
M104, the “Sombrero Galaxy”, Spiral Galaxy in Virgo, 12h 40.0m, -11° 37', mag = 8.3, size = 8.9' x 4.1'
LEVEL 3
M84, galaxy in Virgo, 12h 25m, +12° 53', mag = 10.1, size = 6.5' x 5.6' (look for M86 in the same field of view)
M86, galaxy in Virgo, 12h 26m, +12° 57', mag = 9.8, size = 8.9' x 5.8'
M87, galaxy in Virgo, 12h 30m, +12° 24', mag = 8.6, size = 7.2' x 6.8'
M64, the “Black-Eye Galaxy”, spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices, 12h 56.7m, +21° 41', mag = 8.5, size = 9.3' x 5.4'
M51, the “Whirlpool Galaxy”, spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici, 13h 29m, +47° 11′, mag = 8.4, size = 11′ × 7’. The companion galaxy NGC 5195 can often be seen in close proximity to M51.
NOTES:
To qualify for the Novice/Urban Observing List, you must observe at least 6 of the objects.

wellbanstubars

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 12:42:04 PM »
I'm in north Phoenix, surrounded by streetlights.

Using a 5" Mak since December, I'd seen 50+ Messiers and over 250 NGC objects (mostly open clusters)
Using a C8 for the past three weeks, I've added another 20 M's and another ±80 NGC's.

It can be done, just don't expect a lot of detail in many of the galaxies. Open Clusters are best, and Globulars can be good if they're brights ones like M3, for example. Even M53 will give up a little detail under city lights.

On the list that Jon provides in the above post, the only ones I haven't seen are the double stars Delta Corvi and 32 Cam, and that's only because I haven't gone there yet. Next session out, they will be on my list.

Good hunting!

Jeffrey Hunter

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 12:54:18 PM »
Joe2Chillo,

I live in the suburb of a metropolitan area of about a quarter million persons. On the best of nights, the transparency allows a ZULM of magnitude 4.0 or 4.5 maybe.

Knowing how to star-hop and having an atlas which allows me to print off accurate star charts with stars and galaxies down to magnitude 9.5, I am regularly able to see a good dozen of the twenty or thirty brightest galaxies in the Coma/Leo/Virgo/Ursa Major area, and detect. I can always see both parts of M51 and the M81 M82 pair, the M65 and M66 pair, the M95 M96 pair, etc. On two nights I was able to see the quasar 3C-273 in Virgo as well.

This is using a four inch refractor, with 60+ year old eyes filled with floaters.

The important keys is having a night of good transparency, having an accurate star chart with stars faint enough to serve as guideposts to the DSOs, and knowing the size of the FOV seen in the finder and in my lowest power eyepiece and in my middle magnification eyepiece, as projected onto the star chart.

Otto

byhodete

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2018, 10:14:18 AM »
So with my 8" dob, what eyepiece would be recommended for some of these objects? I would assume I would want a wider FOV. I have a 32mm Optiluxe and I aslo have a 13mm Stratus with a 68* FOV . Then I have a 25MM and a 17MM. My other 2 are higher mag but much more narrow.

Ethan Gechem

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2018, 06:22:42 PM »
Find them with the 32 or 25, then up the magnification depending on the object and what seeing conditions allow. You'll quickly figure out what works best for you and for each type of object.

Most double stars will allow you to go high on the mag, but too high and the manual tracking starts to become a task.

Speaking of which, how are the motions (azimuth and altitude) of the scope? If there's too much 'stiction' (stickiness/friction), peruse the Reflectors Forum for many helpful hints, upgrades, and fixes for dobs.

obinspumtou

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2018, 07:32:00 PM »
I did some galaxy hunting tonight. I tried for M104 and M84. I may have found M84 but I'm not sure. I think I need someone who knows what they are looking for to show it to me first so I know what to expect. I am going to a star party on Friday so hopefully I will get some help.

Marquise Nation

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2018, 02:23:31 AM »
Quote
So with my 8" dob, what eyepiece would be recommended for some of these objects? I would assume I would want a wider FOV. I have a 32mm Optiluxe and I aslo have a 13mm Stratus with a 68* FOV.
Those will do nicely -- the 32-mm for star-hopping and the 13-mm for closeup views. For globular clusters, you'd want something a bit higher. Once you've found an object, FOV isn't much of an issue except for really big objects such as the very biggest open clusters.

Chad Shepard

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Re: DSO in urban areas
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2018, 03:06:52 PM »
Hi, Joe. I do nearly all of my observing from my home in the middle of a red zone a dozen miles from downtown Charlotte and a couple of miles from a small town called Matthews. With a 5" achro refractor, I'm able to see and observe plenty of deep sky objects from this location. This time of year, it's "open season" on galaxies, and even with the "little" 5" scope I have, I'm able to pick up a good handful of them. Three of my favorites are the "Leo Trio," M65, M66, and NGC3628. I start off by finding Theta Leonis (I think its also called Coxa) in the hind quarter of Leo, then go down a degree or twoor so to find an asterism I call the "boardroom chair." These three galaxies are just a degree due east of the "head rest" (northern part) of the boardroom chair. You might be able to double team with your finder and 32mm eyepiece to get to the Leo Trio, and then study them at length with your 13mm eyepiece. Last year, I also picked up another trio, M95, M96, and M105 under Leo's chest. Other galaxies positioned for prime time viewing this time of the year and within the reach of my achro and yourDob include M81 and M82 in Ursa Major (actually are fairly bright for galaxies), M64, M63, M94, and M91.

Also, a passle of show case globulars are on their way and some of them may be in a good position for viewing. These include M3 (Canes Venatici) and M53 (Coma Berenices). Even better ones will be showing up including M5 in Serpens and M13, the Great Globular in Hercules. With your Dob, you should be able to resolve at least the brighter ones to the core. Your 13mm eyepiece (92X) will work well with them, but you'll want to get up to around 200X (a barlows lens in tandem with your 13mm eyepiece or get a 6 or 5mm eyepiece).

A nice set of resources that you can find right here are the "Small Wonder" articles that Tom Trusock wrote. These essays discuss the show case objects in various constellations, most of which are within the reach of my achro and certainly your Dob. These articles include nice tips for star hopping to find your targets.

Clear skies and starry nights....