What is the most interesting astronomical object you have observed through a telescope?
I know I've asked this question at an astronomy forum before, but I don't think I had asked it here. The purpose is to find other things to look for when using my telescope.
One of the neatest things I have seen is a geosyncronous orbit satelite that had seemed to have fallen out of orbit. It appeared in the telescope as a faint blinking light (probably light reflected from the sun) that you could not view with your naked eye. It was moving very nearly the same as the night sky, but drifting slightly. Imagine my surprise at seeing a light blinking at me from 22,000 miles up!
When I bought my first telescope at age 13 and was observing the moon, I could make out a 1 mile wide deep rift that looked like a piece of hair on a dirty mirror. Craters 5 miles wide are marked on maps that I have and can be seen but not one 1 mile wide. I thougt it was pretty neat to be able to see such a small detail so far away. If not for its length it would not be visible with a small telescope, at any rate it is not visible anymore to me as my eyes are getting worse.
Have you ever seen TLP on the Moon?
I don't know if this really counts as an astronomical object, but one time while I was looking at the andromeda galaxy through the telescope a fireball meteor flared up in my field of view. Very interesting sight.
My first sight of Saturn, through a small 'scope, at a very young age ... I just couldn't believe something so beautiful would seem just like any other (bright) star when seen without a telescope.
This is cool. I have seen that happen as well, one flared right in front of my eyes in the scope.
I still love to look at the moon in its various phases.
Saturn also still impresses me.
Rader, what is "TLP"?
My all time favorite was not something I saw through my telescope, but something I saw while setting up my telescope. I was setting up my new JSO 5" (VERY nice scope, if you can find one used) one August night (1980, I think) and was tightening up the tripod braces when the ground lit up and the shadows of the tripod legs started sweeping across the ground. I looked up to see a HUGE Perseid bolide that split and flared repeatedly, like fireworks. When it faded out, I kept staring at the sky, dumbfounded, and noticed that there was a bright streak in the sky in the path of the bolide. At first, I thought it was "retina burn-in", which I soon dismissed because it was bright, not dark. As I watched the streak, it slowly drifted off to the east and faded, and several minutes later it was gone. It drifted and dissapated very much like a jet contrail. I've seen and photographed lots of stunning stuff through my scopes (now have a 6" Astro Physics refractor), and have witnessed two total solar eclipses, but that Perseid is my "all-time" best.
Short for tansite luna phenomona. That the translation but what it is, only heavens knows. I have spent almost 40 years looking at the moon with a number of different telescopes. The suns rays enter into the many thousansds of craters on the moons surface on a constantly changing angle, due to the moons movement, N=S and E=W, thats why you can see some of the darks side of the moon, sometimes. They are light flashes that appear to come out of the craters. You can observe for years before seeing one.
Andromeda galaxy. An awesome sight even through my tiny 6" scope.
I saw a similar thing, but we missed the initial break up. I posted a question here about it a long time back.
Strange sight in night sky
Absolutely. Even pretty good in a 4-1/2" scope.
That's why I still find it great to observe the moon, you never know what you might see. It is afterall an alien landscape.
Okay. I also didn't see this through my telescope but whilst sitting out one night with my friends, this amazing shooting star type thing plummeted through the sky coming from apparently nowhere then disappearing after about 2 seconds. I've seen normal shooting stars but they've never been that bright nor that fast. It was quite spectacular. Two other of my friends also saw it so I wasn't seeing things. Still haven't figured out what it was though!
The most interesting thing I saw through a telescope was Saturn. Number tow is looking at the Lunar surface.
Years ago when I first got my first telescope, an Edmund Scientific 3" reflector, I saw something moving slowly across the sky. It was day time and I was outside looking at trees for birds with my scope (a reflector scope is not the best for this, but you use what you have) and this huge rock like thing came flying high across the sky. I was able to get it into my scope and follow it, that's how slowly it was moving, but I could not bring it into sharp focus. It just looked like a big rock flying high in the atmosphere (because it was white with blue shadows on its surface, kind of the color of a high flying plane but with no wings). It flew along for a while then just disappeared. To this day I don't know what it was.
It a bird its a plane its superman. :surprise:
So beat this who saw the biggest bolloid? On September 10, 1966 at 7:40 PM CST, while standing north looking towards Canada from the Chicago Subburbs, I saw, with my brother and two other witnesses. A bolloid the aparent size of the sun rip though US airspace in a near horizontal angle. It was dark and lite up, half of the entire sky, as if it was day. It lasted 20 seconds, no sound was heard but it was really big and seemed so close, with a nice fire tail, orange color, just like the sun. We were out in the neigborhood looking for UFO to spot, as 1966 and 1967 were good vintage years for that kind of stuff. If I remember right, that was the year Betty and Barney were abducted, close encounter of the third kind. Three large pieces landed between Mexico to northern Canada. Ronald Regan saw it when he was in a plane over the Chicago area. I immediately did my duty, nobody really wants to be invaded by Martians and called J. Allen Hyneck the foremost expert on UFO´s and told my story. He kindly reminded me, son that was a big bolloid. :tongue2:
Hmm...okay brain freeze...can someone remind me what a bolloid is again?
Do you mean bolide? As in very bright meteor (that leaves a trail)?
Yep correct, it was so large it gets a doble L. My memory is better than my spelling, its been a long time away from home.
As tipical as it could seem, I still vote for the Pleiades, but my telescope is really bad, so perhaps I have missed some other sights
Also, the light pollution in my city doesn't help very much
One bonus about living in a heavily light polluted area though: when you actually get away from the city and get a chance to really see the night sky, you sure appreciate it a whole lot more
I think that the open clusters, especially those with nebulosity, such as the Peiades, are great objects to observe. Things like double stars and triads and small systems are underestimated as well. I like to point out the Big Dipper to first timers and aim at Mizar and say "Do you see the bend in the handle, this is what is really there." I always get a "Whoa, that's cool when they see the four bright stars there."
One of the real "kickers" that I show people with my 6" Astro Physics is the double-double in Lyra. I have them look in the 3" APO finder, then through the main scope at moderate magnification, then drop in a nice high-mag ocular and listen to them gasp or say "wow!" Of course, then it's time to hit the Ring Nebula. Another stunner (for the other half of the year) is the Orion nebula. The skies here are very dark and the nebula is beautiful. Then I show them the Trapezium under high magnification. When the sky is hazy, Jupiter and Saturn are great targets. These are objects that are so visually stunning that everyone appreciates them. You can bore a non-astronomer to tears showing them faint galaxies, etc, but you can hook 'em good with the great stuff. It's nice to remember the objects that were so impressive the first time we saw them, because they'll have a similar effect on other folks that are new to astronomy. I remember showing Comet Bradfield to a neighbor one night, and he was still mentioning it years later.
These are some of my favorites. The Ring and Dumbell Nebulas are also high on my list.
I'd say M13 (hercules glob. cluster) or the Orion Nebula thru a 16" LX200 SCT :)......or Saturn thru that scope (i work at an observatory ;)).....also the moon thru the 5" APO piggybacked on the 16" SCT we have is awesome.
So, lucky, working at an observatory
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