Author Topic: Top things to obeserve in the sky  (Read 788 times)

nisatourpo

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Top things to obeserve in the sky
« on: December 23, 2017, 11:23:33 PM »
As a newcomer to the hobby, I was wonder what is my top things to see first.  I've already seen all the Winter Trianglestars, the Orion nebula, Venus, and Jupiter but I am still fine with them being in your own lists.  I thinkwit would be a terrific idea for somebody like me to set a few goals for things I need to see as well as others who want a boost when they're stuck.



Tarence Allen

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 05:22:19 AM »
So far my top five would go as follows:

5. The Winter Triangle
4. Venus
3. The Pleiades
2. The Orion Nebula
1. Jupiter

FYI, you don't have to leave a description if you don't want to.

Gregory Plummer

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 02:10:34 PM »
What are your observing tools and conditions? It makes a big difference in what suggestions are appropriate.

noneanoncrag

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 05:18:02 PM »
How about the Andromeda galaxy? Or M81 and M82 near the Big Dipper?

suctoleshe

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 02:38:31 PM »
Just from what you have seen with your equipment, you can leave what you saw it through next to the post if you want, but this list is mainly just to give people something to hopefully see.

presarersweet

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 07:55:03 AM »
If your site is dark enough (and maybe have access to an UHC-type filter), the Rosette Nebula is one of the finest target of the season (the related star cluster is nothing special, but still nice); if Cassiopea is high enough, the "White Rose cluster" (a.k.a. Caroline's cluster, from Herschel's sister, the first female professional astronomer in the modern meaning) is for sure worth a look, as are the open cluster in Auriga (3 of them are "Messier", the 36-37-38) and the glorious M35 in Gemini and Praesepe cluster in Cancer (m44).
Most interesting, if for no other reason for its historical value, M1 in Taurus, the Crab nebula (a star remnant); in A.D. 1054 the hugely bright supernova was recorded worldwide.
Hyades is another interesting target, but may be better in the finderscope/binocular or by naked eye since it is too large for the vast majority of telescopes.
Another fun target is the "Christmas Tree cluster" in Monoceros

Sean Lee

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 06:17:32 PM »
Well, OK. My most exciting observation last year was probably Gyulbudaghian's Nebula (HH215), a variable Herbig-Haro object around the pre-main sequence star PV-Cep that was available to medium-large scopes during a flare. That is likely to be irrelevant to most observers as they may have neither the interest, the site, the equipment nor the experience to see the object.

Runner-up was likely M51/NGC5195 appearing almost photographically in the Starmaster on a really great night. Both arms were evident, detailed and quite extended and the halo north of the smaller galaxy clearly had three hazy extensions to it. Happily others were at the site to share the view and we were all pretty shocked by it.

Earlier in the year a halo planetary nebula, Haro 4, that is superposed over the Coma galaxy cluster was observed. That was pretty special, a real threshold object that night. But again, not much of a target for many observers.

More general attractions can easily be found with a Pocket Sky Atlas and a decent planisphere. The list is literally endless.

Louis Sullivan

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 01:50:07 PM »
All of them.

Bob Meade

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 01:05:03 AM »
Quote
If your site is dark enough (and maybe have access to an UHC-type filter), the Rosette Nebula is one of the finest target of the season (the related star cluster is nothing special, but still nice); if Cassiopea is high enough, the "White Rose cluster" (a.k.a. Caroline's cluster, from Herschel's sister, the first female professional astronomer in the modern meaning) is for sure worth a look, as are the open cluster in Auriga (3 of them are "Messier", the 36-37-38) and the glorious M35 in Gemini and Praesepe cluster in Cancer (m44).
Most interesting, if for no other reason for its historical value, M1 in Taurus, the Crab nebula (a star remnant); in A.D. 1054 the hugely bright supernova was recorded worldwide.
Hyades is another interesting target, but may be better in the finderscope/binocular or by naked eye since it is too large for the vast majority of telescopes.
Another fun target is the "Christmas Tree cluster" in Monoceros

This is really a great part in the sky right now! Lot's of clusters, nebula, in these 3-4 constellations. Di the OP ever say what scope he has?

pamasluocon

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 07:39:31 AM »
I don't know how far into this hobby you are or what scope you have but assuming you are brand new and have at least an 80mm, there are plenty of things to see that roll into view throughout the night. Download Stellarium to your PC if you haven't already. That's a pretty good tool to plan your observing. Also, put Google Sky on your phone. That shows you where things are by holding your phone to the sky. You can search for objects you want to see and it guides you to them. Another tool I use is Night Sky Tools app on my phone. It shows you what they ideally look like (keep your expectations in check) and gives detailed info on the objects. If you have at least an 80mm and reasonable skies, most of the Messiers are doable.

Best advice is join a club if possible. You'll learn much faster. Plus, you get to try out lots of different scope designs/sizes. I made a lot of new friends with a passion for helping when I finally did. Now, I have access to a 16"R/C, an 18" Dob, several smaller dobs in the 10-12" range, and SCT's of all sizes. I take my modest gear out to our site but get to spend a lot of time on other bigger scopes.

Jeremiah Greer

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 134
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 10:40:40 AM »
I would also like to hear some recommendations for the "best" objects at this time of year. Stellarium has a large database but it's hard to know which ones to choose. Based on my research, this week I am shooting for:

M1 Crab Nebula
Double stars: Albireo, Almach, Achird
Double Cluster
M31, M33 through M38

I've been trying to emphasize double stars and open clusters because I'll be observing from light polluted locations.

Paul Kasilowski

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 94
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 01:53:39 AM »
Thanks for all the great recommendations, can't wait to check them out when the weather clears up here (We're expecting clouds and snowstorms for a few days!)

erexgila

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2018, 01:03:19 AM »
Yeah, I'm going to write these down.  I second the open clusters in Auriga. esp M37

Edward Johnston

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2018, 03:54:40 PM »
At this time of year, the following planets, binary/multiple stars, carbon stars, and deep-sky objects that you have not yet seen are reasonable targets (some of them early in the night, some much later): Uranus, Neptune, Almach, Beta Monocerotis, Castor, h3945, Sigma Orionis, Struve 761, R Leporis, W Orionis, M1, M15, M31, M32, M33, M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M39, M41, M44, M46, M47, M48, M50, M67, M76, M78, M79, M81, M82, M93, M103, M110, NGC 457, NGC 752, NGC 869, NGC 884, NGC 2158, NGC 2169, NGC 2244, NGC 2264, NGC 2360, NGC 2362, NGC 2301, NGC 2392, NGC 3242, and NGC 7789. Some of these will be easier than others, both to locate and to detect.

Here are a number of resources regarding observing deep-sky objects, binary/multiple stars, and carbon stars. Some of them will be tough targets for small apertures or from light-polluted locales.

http://messier.seds.org/indexes.html (the Messier Catalog)

http://messier.seds....r/sac110bn.html (the SAC's best objects in the NGC list)

http://messier.seds....r/rasc-ngc.html (the RASC's finest NGC objects list)

http://www.tyler.net...pot/saa100.html (the sci.astro.amateur 100)

http://www.taas.org/...00/taas200.html (the TAAS 200)

https://www.astrolea...00/h400lstn.pdf (the Astronomical League's Herschel 400)

http://www.stpeteast...ces/thelist.pdf (Vic Menard's list of 400 objects)

http://www.cloudynig...-best-dso-list/ (Don Pensack's Best 500 Deep Sky Objects list)

http://www.raycash.org/dm600.htm (the Orion Deep Map 600)

http://www.clarkvisi...appendix-e.html (Roger Clark's catalog of 611 deep-sky objects)

http://messier.seds....lar/BElistA.txt (the Boyd Edwards list of 884 objects)

http://messier.seds....milar/m1000.txt (the Magnificent 1000 by Tom Hoffelder)

http://www.1000plus.com/2000plus/ (the Tomm Lorenzin 2000+)

http://www.astroleag...r/dblstar2.html (binary stars)

http://www.skyandtel...h/double-stars/ (binary stars)

https://www.astrolea...bonStarLog3.pdf (carbon stars)

http://www.eaglecree...eco/carbon.html (carbon stars)

http://www.astrosurf...iar2/carbon.htm (carbon stars)

http://www.1000plus.com/redstars.htm (carbon stars)

http://www.nckas.org/carbonstars/ (carbon stars)

The following are the monthly top ten DSO lists from my Celestial Calendar:

Top ten deep-sky objects for January: M1, M36, M37, M38, M42, M43, M78, M79, NGC 1501, NGC 2024

The objects listed above are located between 4:00 and 6:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for February: M35, M41, M46, M47, M50, M93, NGC 2261, NGC 2362, NGC 2392, NGC 2403

The objects listed above are located between 6:00 and 8:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for March: M44, M48, M67, M81, M82, NGC 2654, NGC 2683, NGC 2835, NGC 2841, NGC 2903

The objects listed above are located between 8:00 and 10:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for April: M65, M66, M95, M96, M97, M105, M108, NGC 3115, NGC 3242, NGC 3628

The objects listed above are located between 10:00 and 12:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for May: M3, M51, M63, M64, M83, M87, M104, M106, NGC 4449, NGC 4565

The objects listed above are located between 12:00 and 14:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for June: M5, M101, M102, NGC 5566, NGC 5585, NGC 5689, NGC 5746, NGC 5813, NGC 5838, NGC 5907

The objects listed above are located between 14:00 and 16:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for July: M4, M6, M7, M10, M12, M13, M92, NGC 6210, NGC 6231, NGC 6543

The objects listed above are located between 16:00 and 18:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for August: M8, M11, M16, M17, M20, M22, M24, M27, M55, M57

The objects listed above are located between 18:00 and 20:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for September: IC 1396, M2, M15, M30, NGC 6888, NGC 6946, NGC 6960, NGC 6992, NGC 7000, NGC 7009

The objects listed above are located between 20:00 and 22:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for October: K12, M52, NGC 7209, NGC 7293, NGC 7331, NGC 7332, NGC 7339, NGC 7640, NGC 7662, NGC 7789

The objects listed above are located between 22:00 and 24:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for November: M31, M32, M33, M76, M103, M110, NGC 40, NGC 253, NGC 457, NGC 752

The objects listed above are located between 0:00 and 2:00 hours of right ascension.

Top ten deep-sky objects for December: M34, M45, M77, NGC 869, NGC 884, NGC 891, NGC 1023, NGC 1232, NGC 1332, NGC 1360

The objects listed above are located between 2:00 and 4:00 hours of right ascension.

Dave Mitsky

pregdefciato

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Top things to obeserve in the sky
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2018, 05:09:16 AM »