View Full Version : Coolest viewing

2003-Jul-19, 05:53 AM
OK, I am sure this has been posted before, but if so, I didn't see it.

What is the coolest thing you have ever seen with your telescope or binoculars, or even naked eye. Just keep it astronomy related! :D

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-19, 05:56 AM
Leonids. Boring, I know. Don't have a scope... :(

2003-Jul-19, 07:03 AM
I thought the occultation of Jupiter by the Moon a while back was very impressive in binoculars;
when it was half obscured, Jupiter looked like a gigantic artificial dome on the surface of the Moon itself.

2003-Jul-19, 07:05 AM
That woulda been pertty cool to see!

man on the moon
2003-Jul-19, 07:43 AM
a comet...check this link (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=114243#114243) for the whole story. (the second story in that post actually happened some years earlier, but was still pretty "cool").

2003-Jul-19, 07:46 AM
a comet...

Yeah, Hale-Bopp for me!!!

2003-Jul-19, 10:53 AM
Montes Appeninus at First Quarter.

2003-Jul-19, 03:29 PM
The Milky Way, naked eye.

M11 is one of my favorite telescopic targets, though.

2003-Jul-19, 03:49 PM
Sitting on Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman island with binoculars after dark, I stumbled across a fuzzy blotch - M31! I was about 12 or 13 - major cool.


2003-Jul-19, 04:22 PM
a full years ago, i was out in my driveway with my telescope (yea i know...driveway..its the only area where i clear that isnt all trees!) and it was a full moon...that was cool ,but next to the moon i saw this star, it looked misshapen, so i aimed my telescope at it. What was it? Why, it was Saturn!! my dad was like..what is that? and i was standing there like....im seeing saturn! The rings gave it away totally! even though it was solid white i dunno why though! :-k

2003-Jul-19, 04:48 PM
I don't have much time to really think about it, so this is the coolest thing I've seen in the last two days.

Thursday night I was out on my roof doing some binocular observing.
I found a sattelite, probably Mag 5 or 6 (not naked eye in my skies), that started up in Aquila, and proceded into Scutum. It passed within a degree of M11 (Wild Duck Cluster) and then proceded into Sagittarius, apparently the "local" :) for a decent number of the M-objects in that region. While still tracking it the following passed through the field of view:
M17, M18, M24, M20, and M8.
Quite a pleasant trip.

I tried heavens-above but couldn't find a satellite listed that matched that path.

2003-Jul-20, 02:30 AM
Saw the Ring Nebula last week and I'm still reliving the experience. My hands were shaking so much I couldn't turn the set screw on the eyepiece to change magnification!

Kaptain K
2003-Jul-20, 03:37 AM
Naked eye - 1966 Leonids :o Forget meteors/hour. This was meteors/second!!!!!!!!!!!!

Binoculars - M33. I've seen it with 7x35s from Minnesota, but have yet to find it from Texas with 10x50s. :(

Telescope - Sirius B. 12" f/15 refractor at 500X

2003-Jul-20, 07:56 AM
Naked eye - 1966 Leonids :o Forget meteors/hour. This was meteors/second!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh I'm jealous. But the 1998 Leonids was pretty spectacular with all the fireballs. I had my head outside the tent in the high Arizona desert, two sleeping bags, down coat on, and stayed up almost all night.

I saw a great fireball, on a parallel course with the ground, across the Texas desert night sky, while driving to the Mardi-gras from Los Angeles. That was really cool.

Seeing the really really long tail on Hale-Bopp when we got away from the city lights was a pleasant surprise.

2003-Jul-20, 07:18 PM
1) The Milky Way et al. from the Australian outback!

2) Jupiter from a scope "big" enough to see bands and the Great [not so]Red [anymore] Spot.

2003-Jul-21, 05:28 AM
The best things I've ever seen would probably be the first time I saw saturn's rings or the first time I saw surface detail on mars or the first time I saw the Milky Way with my naked eye in its best.


2003-Jul-21, 12:17 PM
The first time I saw Saturn with my small scope, and the first time I saw Jupiter throught an 8-inch scope all fall into my favorite moments.

2003-Jul-21, 12:25 PM
Definitely Comet Hyakutake (http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/comets_long/96B2.html)

I was following that thing when you still needed a telescope to see it in the early morning sky and then we had a week of bad weather. Finally it was clear again one morning. I grab a small refractor and walk out my back door which faced south, pluncked the tripod on the ground, swung the telescope around to the west where I knew Hyakutake was going to be looked up and reflexively said "Oh - my - god." It was incredible! Bright, long beautiful tail. It's pretty hard to put into words.

The only shame of it was that the Moon washed it out as it moved through the northern circumpolar portions of the sky. :cry:

2003-Jul-21, 01:29 PM
A tremendous aurora seen in Maine in the summer of (I think) 1973. It filled more than half of the sky; some of it was actually south of us.

Another nice site from the coast of Maine was Jupiter rising, so bright that it was reflected on the ocean.

2003-Jul-22, 10:44 PM
Our sentimental favorite.

The total eclipse of the moon on September 27, 1996 (evening of September 26 in eastern US), with Saturn nearby.

The night we got engaged to be married.

And yes, it was a naked eye event.

edited to correct year (oops)

2003-Jul-22, 11:10 PM
I hope you meant 2002!

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-23, 12:06 AM
It's that pesky time travel again!

man on the moon
2003-Jul-23, 12:13 AM
ahh...i see! i was going to say the same thing Canuck. the one this year isn't until the first week of November. i think it's the 8th if i'm not mistaken. :D

i'll finally show a picture of myself (ok ok...the real thing. you humans and your technicalities... :roll: in any case i promise a great show. 8) :D

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-23, 12:14 AM
Hehehe! I can read MOTM's mind! :P

man on the moon
2003-Jul-23, 12:19 AM
:o :o

darn time travel...you ran ahead, read my post, and went back to beat me to it didn't you. :wink:

just don't sneak ahead and view that eclipse! [-X

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-23, 12:20 AM
I knew you'd say that... but is it time travel? I'll never tell...

man on the moon
2003-Jul-23, 12:24 AM
I knew you'd say that... but is it time travel? I'll never tell...

TSC (on MOTM): :-$ :-# :-$ :^o

MOTM (thoughts on TSC): :evil: :evil: :evil:

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-23, 12:26 AM
Tee hee! :)

I'd better stop before my telepathic privliages are suspended...

Charlie in Dayton
2003-Jul-23, 05:14 PM
Too numerous to count...

"Green rippling silk' aurora...'searchlight beam' white aurora...just plain blue glow aurora...faint red glow aurora...first time viewing rings of Saturn...my first finding of the Andromeda Galaxy...numerous detail-filled views of the Moon...the Owl...the Coat Hanger...the double-double in Lyra...satellite passes, Mk I Mod 0 eyeball or with magnification...

It doesn't matter whether it's new, or I've seen it a hundred times...doesn't matter whether naked eye or with magnification...every time I look at the sky, it's always beautiful, and the heavy odds are I'll learn something...

Part of my spiel when the public comes by The Big Scope:
"What you're seeing didn't just happen. Light takes time to get here. You could be looking back in time at what happened millions of years ago. This is as close to time travel as humanity will ever get, and by looking through the telescope you are now officially Time Travelers."

I think this hobby has greater potential for personal satisfaction than any other one I've had.

2003-Jul-24, 02:36 PM
Gethen wrote:

Saw the Ring Nebula last week and I'm still reliving the experience. My hands were shaking so much I couldn't turn the set screw on the eyepiece to change magnification!

I know how you feel. M57 is my favorite object and I will never forget the 1st time I found it. Now if I could just get a good pic of it......<sigh>

2003-Jul-25, 03:38 AM
I take particular pleasure in watching moons orbit their primaries from night to night. Alas, my favorite is Neptune, but Triton is usually the only one I can pick out. It's rare that I have access to a big enough scope to find Nereid, and I haven't even attempted Proteus.

Trying to find Iapetus when the dark side is showing is a task, too. 8)

2003-Jul-25, 01:15 PM
I know how you feel. M57 is my favorite object and I will never forget the 1st time I found it. Now if I could just get a good pic of it......<sigh>

What does it take to see M57? One night with pretty good dark sky I managed to find the Dumbell, but not the Ring, even though it should be easy to locate halfway between two stars in Lyra. What is the minimum-size telescope required? Is it very faint, or very small?

Kaptain K
2003-Jul-25, 05:18 PM
M 57 is much smaller than M 27 (1.4x1.0 vs 8.0x5.7 arcmin). Although it is 1.4 magnitudes fainter (8.8 vs 7.4), it has a much higher surface bightness. If you can see M 27, you should be able to see M 57. You probably were not using enough magnification to distinguish it from a star.

2003-Jul-25, 05:26 PM
Thanks, K! It may have to wait until I get a better scope.

David Hall
2003-Aug-18, 07:47 PM
M31 has been my favorite object for some time. One night, while driving from Dallas to Houston I pulled off the highway onto a back road and got out my binoculars. Looking around I found the Andromeda galaxy, only, it was about twice as big as usual. Unless I was mistaken, I realized I must be seeing not just the bright core that is usually visible, but much of the surrounding disk as well. It was just too cool.

M33 is also one of my favorites, and I never pass up a chance to search for it. I've only definitely seen it once though, naked eye. My binoculars reduced the brightness too much to see anything with them at that time. I'd love some day to get a really good view of it.

I also saw a really big sunspot (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=2011) last year with my naked eyes.

Kaptain K
2003-Aug-18, 08:16 PM
I have seen M33 with 7x35 binoculars from Stillwater Minn. :o (suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul ). I have yet to see it from rural central Tx. with 7x50s. :roll:

2003-Aug-19, 02:05 AM
Just keep it astronomy related! :D

Damn....[scratches several things off the list...]

Telescope: saturn, Jupiter, gallilean moons, orion nebulae, a ver nebulae i cant remeber (was 3 years ago on a campus telescope)

Binoculars: Hale-Bopp

Naked eye: ISS, random Satelites, mars, Venus, Moon, Sun. Most constilations in Northern hemisphere, Leonids.