View Full Version here: : Most obscure object you've seen
16-06-2012, 06:09 PM
Perhaps for the sake of engaging in some visual DSO discussion, what is the most obscure/faint/hard/not well known object you've observed?
16-06-2012, 06:46 PM
Pluto in 1988. Only saw it twice, a month apart.
I've always wanted to catch a glimpse of some Terzan and Palomar globulars... one day may be... :rolleyes:
Great topic, by the way Sab :thumbsup:
16-06-2012, 07:55 PM
My toes after losing 23kg!
Uranus as a pale blue hazy blob jittering around in the ep. Not very obscure but I was looking for it but never expected to find it.
I'll be looking again at the end of this year.
16-06-2012, 08:38 PM
the horse head neb!!!!!!!!! i have seen it last summer faintly and averted vision my original thought was seeing it like all the images you see or even the head of black caviar!!! :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: only joking but yes seen faintly....also one day sirius b iv'e tried and tried!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16-06-2012, 08:39 PM
i also tried the 3 faint p/n in m7 last night.not seen but i will get them !!!!! thanks to alex.....
17-06-2012, 03:27 PM
Yeah the horse head is tricky. Only saw it one dark night through a 10 inch f4.5 scope using a deep sky filter. Couldn't see it without the filter. All I saw was a dark notch, no shape to it or anything. Have tried on many other nights using different scopes without success.
17-06-2012, 09:33 PM
I've managed one so far from home in my 17.5", Henize 2-295 (see chart below). It was my first "discovery" using the blinking technique. Brilliant how neat through the EP you don't see anything. Flick the OIII filter in front of your eye and a tiny ball pops up out of nowhere! Bloody awesome.
I suspect that the boarder shown below of M7 is smaller than the actual limits of M7 really are. Other charts I've seen have NGC 6444 wholely within M7.
The GC NGC 6453 is just visible in an 8" under urban skies (just). It makes for a nice wide field view with the core of M7, 6453 in the middle and 6444 on the other side.
The chart below is thanks to our mate NGCles. Ta Les.
17-06-2012, 09:42 PM
Apart from seeing my mother inlaw not talking once (only once) was Sirius B.
17-06-2012, 09:51 PM
For the last few months, the night sky!
18-06-2012, 11:13 AM
Horsehead and Pluto perhaps for me, though neither are really 'obscure', just tricky!
The one that sticks with me though is seeing some of Barnard's Loop with just my eyes and a UHC filter on an unbelievably transparent -25C night in the Highlands of Scotland. It was the same night I saw the Horsehead (8" and UHC), the only time I've seen the Horsehead, and it was easy that night!!
18-06-2012, 11:21 AM
I would vote for the Horsehead, as have others.
It requires a perfect sky, and the emission nebula vs dark nebula contrast on the two sides of the object is usually a matter of comparing a black section of sky with a section of sky which is a little less black!
I have also seen the brightest portion of Barnard's Loop, in 10x50 binoculars. Extremely hard, even in an excellent sky and with well coated optics.
18-06-2012, 02:42 PM
Now that is RARE ... :rofl: :rofl:
18-06-2012, 05:22 PM
Neptune is another for me. It's only identifying feature is its excessively intense colour - too blue to be a star or planetary nebula, as it is stellar like in appearance too as it really doesn't have a resolvable disk.
It is currently not too far from Uranus in the sky. Uranus is brighter & with a greenish blue colour & a tiny resolvable disk. It is observable with 50mm binoculars from urban areas as it glows at magnitude 6.
18-06-2012, 06:05 PM
Neptune Does have an Identifiable disc,that is how you can Identify it in comparison to a Star, and at 35 degrees separation is now quite far from Uranus.
Neptune rises at 21:57 and Uranus rises at 00:38 in the morning nearly three hours difference in time.
18-06-2012, 06:14 PM
for me it was The Ghost of Jupiter planetary nebula. It was recommended by Suzy to check out and i was not disappointed. Even though i viewed it in moderate light polluted skies, moderate seeing through an 8'' Newtonian at moderately low power, i was still amazed in that knowing what it was i was looking at. Having to star hop my way to it via skysafari on the Ipad to track it down made the thrill of the chase even better. Can't wait to try and view it again soon under really dark skies:astron:
18-06-2012, 06:34 PM
Documented proof of this event?? 'cause I don't believe you :lol:
19-06-2012, 12:33 AM
Barnard's Galaxy in Sagittarius. I only went after it because it's in the Caldwell Catalogue. I wan't impressed, either with the the object itself or the choice of it for the catalogue! :rolleyes: Why pick something with such a low surface brightness...? I wondered that about a number of objects in the Caldwell cat.
But the planetary nebula Shapley 1 is a fave, one of those smoke rings. :thumbsup: Worth the hunt.
19-06-2012, 01:53 AM
My most obscure obs would probably be Uranus' moons Titania and Oberon, and Neptune's moon Triton with the 8" dob from my backyard.
The Caldwell catalogue is nothing more than a hand-picked list of random objects.
19-06-2012, 02:54 PM
Obscure can depend a lot on what aperture telescope you have available.
I have a few that I have clocked over the years, all of which are aperture dependant.
1. Observing Murrell 1 in the 25" Obsession at Coonabarabran. Murrell 1 is a faint planetary nebula discovered by my observing colleague Andrew Murrell in 2004. It is located in Norma and dimmer than 15th Magnitude. The Central Star is ~18th Magnitude. Despite several attempts I have been unable to observe it in a <20" scope under pristine conditions
2. Observing the Cone Nebula in my 14" SDM from Coonabarabran. This target is a threshhold target in an 18" scope under pristine conditions.
3. Observing Mars satellites Phobos and Deimos during the 2003 Mars opposition in Andrew Murrell's 20" scope from Brisbane Waters National Park.
4. Observing "The Bridge" between the two components of M51 in a 7" Starmaster Oak Classic, at the 2007 Texas Star Party.
5. Observing "the jet" eminating from M87 in my 18" Obsession from Coonabarabran.
6. Observing M33 naked eye from Timor Rock at Coonababran when it was located only 20 degrees above the horizon
7. Observing NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) naked eye from Franz Joseph Glacier in the South Island of New Zealand.
These are some that stick vividly in my mind and will remain there forever.
19-06-2012, 03:27 PM
Great thread Sab. Interesting that obscure could mean the hardest to see or the most esoteric. My most obscure definite would be Henize emission nebula N70, a large supernova remnant in the LMC. Using my 16" under the dark sky at home it was quite a challenge. My other is the Aquarius Dwarf galaxy, but even though I checked against a DSS image, I still find it hard to believe that I saw it. Again 16" dob from Strangways.
19-06-2012, 07:41 PM
I came to the conclusion he picked them off photos. Disappointing, since I was under the impression he was a great observer. Some of them are nice gems but was disappointed with a lot of them.
19-06-2012, 07:44 PM
M16 through my bathinov mask. :whistle:
20-06-2012, 09:56 AM
Patrick Moore is more a lunar observer than a Deep Sky Observer.
To be truthful I don't know how much of an observer he is period. He has written a lot of books and his TV show "The Sky at Night" has run for several decades on the BBC for the simple reason he presents well to "the aristocrats" with his refined tones and monocle.
Looking at the omissions and inclusions in the Caldwell list it is obvious to most experienced observers that he has never observed a lot of the targets in the list. One notable exclusion is NGC 2808 which is a globular cluster in Carina and one of the most impressive globulars in the entire sky. It is indeed far brighter and more impressive than many of the Messier Globulars. Yet some how, Patrick Moore couldn't find a spot for it. On the other hand he has included some nondescript nothing targets which are very difficult in small telescopes.
20-06-2012, 11:27 PM
My most obscure object was planetary nebula MyCn18 in Musca using my 12" dob. Was a few years ago must try again sometime!!
22-06-2012, 12:08 AM
Apparently the list was created as a compliment to the Messier catalogue, basically an attempt to include bright objects particularly those at far southern declinations missing from the Messier catalogue. It even includes the same number of objects. That would give me the impression that the list is aimed at beginners which makes the inclusion of objects like IC 1613 over other far brighter targets all the more bizarre.
22-06-2012, 07:46 AM
Aha! that explains it thought my scope needed throwing out.
haven,t seen the shape either. :(
& I have a very dark site....
Next November "Snake Valey" party a group effort may be in order :thumbsup:
22-06-2012, 08:36 AM
From my location the Andromeda Galaxy just clears the murky atmosphere
So... Her Globulars are well hidden :} M31-G001 is the only 1 I can identify (Hint get Bigger Scope) Others are at my limit ....
I also Love Ophiuchus...
NGC6309 central star urgh!
NGC6572 central star urgh!
22-06-2012, 11:32 AM
the most obscure object i've seen was an irridium satellite. I thought it was UFO until I realised it was a satellite. :)
22-06-2012, 09:04 PM
Thanks, but I was already active as an observer, had done the Messier list and receiving S&T mag where he first published the list and gave his reasoning. Which is why I was all the more disappointed with what he had chosen. It doesn't complement the Messier catalogue in any way in my opinion and some of the objects are far too challenging for a beginner. They challenged me and some of my even more experienced friends as well (and they are hard-core about their faint stuff!).
23-06-2012, 12:07 PM
Me too Ibrahim...last week, as I was checking out Jupiter, something flashed 3 times nearby.
Was most groovy...:thumbsup:
I reckon whenever we turn our eyes upward we see something that is just amazing, it never ceases to amaze me, especially on a dark crisp clear night.
25-06-2012, 11:14 AM
Two obsure objects stay in my mind.
The first time i saw the horsehead nebula ic434, i remember the horse in the next field let out a neigh and trotted off just as i could make out the faint horsehead nebula.
Just last week i saw the 3 pillars in the eagle nebula M16 what i was more suprised about was that 3 complete newbies their first time viewing were able to see the middle pillar and described in detail what they saw.
I am always amazed by what we can see out there.
25-06-2012, 07:07 PM
The most obscure object/s I have managed are the group of ESO240-10, ESO240-11 and ESO240-13 all galaxies in Phoenix. The last one was right at the edge of visibility in my 12".
With regard to the Caldwells. I am still in the process of chasing down the last few that are visible. O'Meara book on the Caldwells contains a foreward by Patrick Moore in which he explains his reasoning. Firstly he admits he is primarily a lunar observer, but he makes the point that he has personally observed all these 109 objects. Secondly, he states clearly that they are not exclusively bright spectacular objects but include some dim and hard to get ones, but ones that are interesting from a scientific, astrophysical viewpoint. It is not a list of spectacular sights, nor is it a beginners list, it is a list of objects that one observers found interesting and maybe others will as well.
27-06-2012, 01:43 PM
Just checked these galaxies out on Wikisky and ESO240-11 is a very nice needle thin edge on spiral. How did it look in your scope?
27-06-2012, 06:59 PM
They were faint, but the needle of 240-11 was really obvious. The other were just smudges.
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