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Thread: What's your Favorite sky object?

  1. #1
    Planetwatcher Guest
    How about a nice little survay of your favoritte planet, moon, asteroid, comet, Kupier object, or even all the above.
    Let's hear what your favoritte object is, why it is, and perhaps a few facts about it.

    My favoritte planet is Uranus, at a distance of 1.78 billion miles, or 2.87 billion kilometers. It takes sunlight 2 hours and 42 minutes (give or take a few) to reach this distant sentenal.
    It appears green in color because of methane gas in the upper atmosphere which absorbs red light. It has rings much like Saturn except they are much darker.
    A Uraniun day is 17 hours, and 14 minutes. It takes 84 years to circle the Sun once.
    The most unique thing about Uranus is that it's axles is a 60 degree angle which places it almost on it's side.
    That, it's remoteness, it's rings, and it's larger moons is why I like it best.

    Uranus has 24 (last I knew) known moons. It's largest, Titania is one of my favorite moons.
    Titania is 1578 Km. in diameter, which makes it the 17th largest object in the Solar System. Pluto is the next larger, and Saturns 2nd largest moon Rhea is the next smaller.

    My other favorite moon is Neptune's moon Proteus. Discovered by Voyager 2 in 1989. It displaced Neried as the 2nd largest. Even though larger, it is as dark as soot, and much closer to the planet then Neried and Triton, so it is often lost in Neptune's glare. It is 500 miles in diameter, and orbits Neptune in a little under 27 hours. It is my other favorite because I've always had a soft spot for the underdog, which Proteus is, having had another moon take it's position for 40 years.

    My favoritte asteroid is called Chiron. It orbits the Sun in a highly eliptical orbit, between Saturn and Uranus, coming close to the orbits of both.

    I find Quanor the most intriging of Kupier objects. Only Pluto is larger in the Kupier belt.

    I missed both Halley and Hale/Bopp comets. The only one I've seen is Kohootek (Proabley spelled wrong) discovered around 1973.

    Think I'll save some of the facts for other fans of the space bodies I favor the most.

  2. #2
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    I like this topic but I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite astronomical object. Many times it is the memories or associations that one has that makes something a favorite. Since the moon has played a role in my life beyond just astronomy, I guess the moon would have to qualify as my first choice. This is odd in that the sun is far more important but I just don’t initially think of the sun as a star.

    The moon has been one of my favorite celestial objects to observe. Years ago when I was much younger, I remember staying up all night watching the moon with my 8-inch telescope. The moon was at a quarter phase and I watched the shadows near the terminal moraine slowly increase during the night. I think it was the first time I ever imagined what it would be like to be in another place. With a rotational rate that is about 28 days, sunsets are 28 times longer. So I sat at night, by myself, and imagined watching the crisp shadows slowly extend across a white gray expanse filled with pockmarks and dusty chucks of rocks.

    snowflake

  3. #3
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    Oh lordy LOL

    I adore observing Jupiter and Saturn... and until this year I hadn't really seen Mars at all because for whatever reason, it just hasn't been practical. But if I could get views of Mars as I have this year, I'd be quite fascinated to watch the little red world whenever I could.

    In terms of moons, I'd have to say the moons of Saturn fascinate me. I know Jupiter has the Galilean satellites, but there are only four of those and the rest are pretty tiny in comparison. Saturn has a nice collection of decent sized moons, all visible in small scopes... that, plus Saturn's beautiful rings and the faint hint of patterns in the cloudtops, gives Saturn the edge for me

  4. #4
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    I dunno about you guys, but I really dig Earth.

  5. #5
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    Ok
    Well I really dig the Universe

    snowflake

  6. #6
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    Saturn was my favourite planet when I was in primary (I'm in high school) Mainly because of its magnificent rings! I also liked Neptune! The name of the planet intrigued me
    Right now Europa is my favourite moon

  7. #7
    Planetwatcher Guest
    Okay, so far we have
    1 for Earth
    1 for the Moon,
    1 sort of for Jupiter, :unsure:
    2 for Saturn,
    1 for Saturns moons, :P
    1 for Uranus (me),
    1 for Uranuses moon Titania (also me),
    1 sort of for Neptune, B) and
    1 for Neptune's moon Proteus (me again) :blink:
    And one for the whole universe,

    That's a pretty decent collection so far. And we haven't even heard from Phillip
    Slatter, Rocketa, or Frasier yet.
    Last time I did a survay like this, Saturn was the overwhelming trump over the all the others.

    I too am intrigued by Saturn's moons like Dippy said.

    But what impressed me was this. Even though Jupiter has way more total moons then any of the others, Saturn has at least one, and mostly several in each size range.

    That became very interesting when I was making a (somewhat scale in size) model of the solar system mobile that hung above my station where I work.

    My Sun was a painted beach ball, Jupiter was a 3 inch styrofoam ball, Saturn a 2 1/2 inch styrofoam ball with a cut out and painted butter dish lid as the rings.
    Neptune and Uranus were a pair of 1 inch styofoam balls. Earth, Venus and Mars were small cotton pom poms. And I used stick pins to represent moons. They had different color and different size heads, from big corsage pins for Ganymede, Titan, and Mercury, down to plain stick pins with the heads painted white, black or brown for Himilaia (of Jupiter), Phoebe (of Saturn), Puck (of Uranus)and Galitia (of Neptune) In the end, I had 45 bodies represented including a few asteroids I threw in. My boss pronoucend me as obsessed, but everyone had to check out my mobel model. <_< <_< <_< B) :huh: :blink: h34r: :unsure:

    Any way those moons are pretty neat.

  8. #8
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    As a part time astronomy educator, this is an easy one to answer.

    I use my "Oh Wow" meter, I record the number of "Oh Wow"s" I get per object.

    The moon through my telescope gets a number of "Oh Wows", closely followed by Omega Centuri (Southern Sky).

    The ALL TIME GREATEST OH WOW Object is: Saturn &#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;

    I often get asked have I glued a picture to the end of the telescope, it is a great object to finish a nights viewing on.

    Regards


    Rod

  9. #9
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    As a part time astronomy educator, this is an easy one to answer.

    I use my "Oh Wow" meter, I record the number of "Oh Wow"s" I get per object.

    The moon through my telescope gets a number of "Oh Wows", closely followed by Omega Centuri (Southern Sky).

    The ALL TIME GREATEST OH WOW Object is: Saturn &#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;

    I often get asked have I glued a picture to the end of the telescope, it is a great object to finish a nights viewing on.

    Regards


    Rod

  10. #10
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    The Universe is not a favourite planet or moon now is it?

  11. #11
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    This is a tough question, because there are a lot of wonderful objects in the sky. When it comes to planets, Saturn is quite spectacular, particularly when it&#39;s rings are tilted open toward us. But my favourite object has to be Comet Halle Bopp, because that is what got me interested in astronomy.
    The fact that you could see something that comes from the outer solar system in that much detail (it had a nice blue ion tail and a regular gas tail) amazed me and made me think of what else I could see in the sky with modest equipment ( all I have are a pair of not so great binos, and I really want a nice telescope, but as a student, money must go elsewhere).
    So anyway, that&#39;s my vote.

  12. #12
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    Doesn’t the Universe contain all the planets and all the moons? I dig them all. I just threw in all the stars, dust and black holes into the mix for fun.

    OK Im sorry, I am being an idiot. It is just that I thought that the question was kind of interesting, and that some would not only write what they liked, but why. I to remember going “wow” when I saw the rings of Saturn. The great extension of perception the telescope provided is an amazing experience.

    Forgive me Kashi?

    snowflake

  13. #13
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    Because of hometown bias and all, I&#39;d have to vote for Earth. B)
    Other then that, I&#39;d have to vote for Mars. This is mainly because I&#39;m doing a little research project on it (or at least so I claim) and it kinda grows on you. Where else do you get such a huge canyon, such a huge volcano, and so many other things that seem to be like Earth yet slightly different? I also like thinking that someday I can go there; I wouldn&#39;t care about the three year round trip. A faraway day to be sure, but I&#39;ll be patient.

  14. #14
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    The Moon.

    I look up and see it every night, and take it for granted.
    When I look at it thru a telescope, I realize how beautiful, how detailed, and how bright it is, and I realize how much people just glance at it and don&#39;t know what they are missing.

    Half-moons are the best, when the terminus between light and dark outlines all the craters and mountains. WOW.

  15. #15
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    I have several favorties:

    Saturn - wow, those rings are so awesome (and I own one too).

    Andromeda Galaxy - it&#39;s so far away, but so like our own home galaxy. I first saw it thru a scope at Palomar Observatory (one of the minor scopes), it was a sight I will never forget.

    Io - those volcanoes are great.

    The Veil Nebula - so whispy, so pretty.

    Orion - I see it and I know cooler days are coming soon, a welcome to Fall.


    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Karen M.

  16. #16
    Planetwatcher Guest
    So now we have

    1 more for Earth, making 2;
    2 more for the Moon, making 3; B)
    1 for Mars; :P
    1 for Comet Hale/Bopp; (was wondering when that was coming) <_<
    1 for Omega Centuri; (Is that anywhere close to Alpha Centauri?) :huh:
    4 more for Saturn making 6; (knew that was going to happen)
    1 for Jupiter&#39;s moon Io;
    1 for the Orion and Veil Nebulas;
    1 for the Andromeda Galaxy
    The rest remain unchanged.


    1 for Jupiter;
    1 for Saturns moons,
    1 for Uranus (me),
    1 for Uranuses moon Titania (also me),
    1 sort of for Neptune, and
    1 for Neptune&#39;s moon Proteus (me again)

    I had thought to do a serperate survay for stars and such. But if we are going to include them, I would say Epsilon Eridani, Lalande, and Sirius, followed by Procyon for me. Yes I have a few favorite stars.

  17. #17
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    Oh, we&#39;re doing things outside of the solar system as well? Very well then, my favorite deep sky object is the Ring Nebula, my favorite star is Vega, and my favorite constellation is Lyra. The great majority of my stargazing happens in the summer, so somewhere along the way this is what happened.

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Planetwatcher@Sep 2 2003, 03:59 AM
    How about a nice little survay of your favoritte planet, moon, asteroid, comet, Kupier object, or even all the above.
    Let&#39;s hear what your favoritte object is, why it is, and perhaps a few facts about it.

    My favoritte planet is Uranus, at a distance of 1.78 billion miles, or 2.87 billion kilometers. It takes sunlight 2 hours and 42 minutes (give or take a few) to reach this distant sentenal.
    It appears green in color because of methane gas in the upper atmosphere which absorbs red light. It has rings much like Saturn except they are much darker.
    A Uraniun day is 17 hours, and 14 minutes. It takes 84 years to circle the Sun once.
    The most unique thing about Uranus is that it&#39;s axles is a 60 degree angle which places it almost on it&#39;s side.
    That, it&#39;s remoteness, it&#39;s rings, and it&#39;s larger moons is why I like it best.

    Uranus has 24 (last I knew) known moons. It&#39;s largest, Titania is one of my favorite moons.
    Titania is 1578 Km. in diameter, which makes it the 17th largest object in the Solar System. Pluto is the next larger, and Saturns 2nd largest moon Rhea is the next smaller.

    My other favorite moon is Neptune&#39;s moon Proteus. Discovered by Voyager 2 in 1989. It displaced Neried as the 2nd largest. Even though larger, it is as dark as soot, and much closer to the planet then Neried and Triton, so it is often lost in Neptune&#39;s glare. It is 500 miles in diameter, and orbits Neptune in a little under 27 hours. It is my other favorite because I&#39;ve always had a soft spot for the underdog, which Proteus is, having had another moon take it&#39;s position for 40 years.

    My favoritte asteroid is called Chiron. It orbits the Sun in a highly eliptical orbit, between Saturn and Uranus, coming close to the orbits of both.

    I find Quanor the most intriging of Kupier objects. Only Pluto is larger in the Kupier belt.

    I missed both Halley and Hale/Bopp comets. The only one I&#39;ve seen is Kohootek (Proabley spelled wrong) discovered around 1973.

    Think I&#39;ll save some of the facts for other fans of the space bodies I favor the most.
    Io with out a doubt &#33; though I also have a fondness for our recently discovered co orbital companions 3753 Cruithne and 2002 AA29, and as far as mars is concerned 37655 Illapa old enough to have a name and recently dropped by 0.027 AU, but outside of the solar system I would have to say the distence between Sol and Proxima centauri ? Does that count ? if it doesn&#39;t the galactic center, my obsession

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by Planetwatcher@Sep 2 2003, 03:59 AM
    How about a nice little survay of your favoritte planet, moon, asteroid, comet, Kupier object, or even all the above.
    Let&#39;s hear what your favoritte object is, why it is, and perhaps a few facts about it.

    Jupiter, IMO, is the most interesting planet to observe for a variety of reasons. However, during its 2003 apparition Mars, the only planet that has surface features that are easily discernible through amateur instruments, has provided some fascinating views.

    My favorite moon is the Moon, the only extraterrestrial body that human beings have visited. Observing the Moon is always rewarding since phase changes and libration bring about a terrain that constantly changes in appearance.

    The minor planet that I&#39;ll remember the longest was asteroid 2002 NY40. This NEO moved with tremendous speed and was the fastest naturally occurring celestial object (other than a meteor) that I&#39;ve ever observed.

    Comet C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake), when it was nearest the Earth and after the Moon set, was the most spectacular comet that I&#39;ve ever seen. The record-setting performance of Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) was impressive (I was able to observe it from August 1995 to February 1998) but Comet Hyakutake&#39;s tremendously long and ghostly tail, as ephemeral as it was, impressed me even more.

    Dave Mitsky

  20. #20
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    It has helped me a lot to wait for a few posts before writing mine. I wouldn&#39;t have thought of many of those.

    1) Earth: it isn&#39;t obvious until you think about it. Yes it&#39;s a celestial body, only not from our point of view. It becomes clear when you see those full earth pics.

    2) Sun: ¿have you seen ""The Sun&#39;s Surface in 3D"? ¿And those solar flares? And now i read that it produces more antimatter that we could have ever imagined. Just when I thought it was *just* a massive nuclear fusion reactor .

    3) THE Moon: the first object I watched with my tiny telescope. It looks like a big ball of concrete. Watching it&#39;s surface in detail gives you one of those existencial moments. Full eclipses are great, and just "by coincidence" we live in an era when the moon is exactly at the distance where it appears to be the same size as the sun. Being the only object in space (besides earth ) that humans have walked on gives it some big extra points.

    4) Saturn: agreed on the "wow effect". After the moon, i used some interactive planetarium software to see what i could point at, and it came as the first obvious choice. In my little telescope it looks nothing like those proffesional or even the amateur pictures, but I could actually see the rings&#33; Amazing.

    5) The rest of our solar system&#39;s moons: i&#39;ve seen a documentary (¿have you seen it? the one with john lithgow&#39;s voice) where it says that life has higher odds of being found in one of those moons than in the of our solar system&#39;s planets. And their features are like those of sci-fi worlds.

    6) The other trillion of objects out there (from galaxy clusters to space dust): I didn&#39;t want to leave anything out

  21. #21
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    I THINK THE GREATEST PLANET HAS TO BE SATURN BUT CANT WAIT TO SEE WHAT PLANETS LAY OUT SIDE OUR SOLAR SYSTEM
    EUROPA IS MY FAVORITE MOON SO MUCH PROMISE OF LIFE

  22. #22
    Faulkner Guest
    If we&#39;re including stars, I&#39;d like to nominate Alpha Centauri A...it&#39;s our next-door neighbour & virtually identical to our Sun...which begs the question: Has it evolved a planetary system like our Sun & possibly even Earth-like planet(s)?? Does anybody know of any Hubble investigation of this star? Why aren&#39;t we looking for planets around this star? I can&#39;t find anything on the &#39;net&#33; We find planets around stars 50-500 light years away&#33; Wouldn&#39;t it be logical to examine our close neighbour (4.3 ly distant), especially because it is so similar to our sun (G2 type star)? Also if I was in charge of SETI, I would be targeting good ol&#39; Alpha Centauri&#33;&#33; Strange, I can&#39;t find much on the internet at all about our next-door neighbour&#33;?

  23. #23
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  24. #24
    Faulkner Guest
    Cheers for the great links&#33; According to these, Hubble looked at the Alpha Centauri star system around March &#39;02. Where/when can we find the results?

  25. #25
    Planetwatcher Guest
    My what great responses. Here are the totals as of this posting.

    Of the planets

    9 for Saturn,
    4 for Mars,
    3 for Earth,
    2 for Jupiter,
    1 for Uranus,
    1 for Neptune,
    and 0 for Venus, Mercury, and Pluto (so far)

    Of the moons

    7 for Earths moon,
    2 for Io of Jupiter,
    2 for Europa of Jupiter,
    1 for all of Saturn&#39;s moons,
    1 for Titania of Uranus,
    1 for Proteas of Neptune,
    1 for 3753 Cruithne (Earth&#39;s other moon),
    1 for 2002 AA29 (Earth&#39;s other moon&#39;s moon)

    Of asteroids, comets, and Kupier objects

    2 for Comet Hale/Bopp,
    1 for Comet Hyakutake,
    1 for Comet Kohutek,
    1 for Kupier object 2002 Ny401,
    1 for IIIapa,
    1 for Quanor,
    1 for Chiron,

    Of stars

    3 for Alpha Centauri,
    1 for our Sun Sol,
    1 for Omega Centauri,
    1 for Vega,
    1 for Sirius,
    1 for Procyon,
    1 for Lalande,
    1 for Epsilon Eri.

    Of Constalations, Nebula, and others;

    1 for Lyra,
    1 for Orion,
    1 for Andromeda,
    1 for Veil Nebula,
    1 for Ring Nebula,
    1 for the Galictic Center (Isn&#39;t that just a big black hole?)
    and 1 for the distance from our Solar System to Alpha Centauri.

    Wow, what a list&#33;

  26. #26
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    Planetwatcher,

    Omega Centauri, despite its designation, is not a single star. It is in actually the largest and brightest known globular cluster in the Milky Way (see http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n5139.html ). The second brightest, 47 Tucanae (NGC 104), was also given a stellar name. Two of my most unforgettable sights through an eyepiece were observing NGC 5139 through the Yard Scope, a 36" Tectron Dob, at the 1995 Winter Star Party (at sea level in the Florida Keys) and through a 22" Starmaster Dob at the 2002 Southern Skies Star Party (at an altitude of almost 13,000 feet in Bolivia). 47 Tuc was pretty spectacular through the Starmaster as well.

    Since deep-sky objects have been added to the discussion here are my favorites (with a bias towards observational rather than armchair astronomy):

    Star - the carbon star S Cephei (based on color - a very deep red)
    Binary star - Gamma Andromedae
    Trinary star - Beta Monocerotis
    Open cluster - NGC 3532
    Globular cluster - NGC 5139
    Emission nebula - the Eta Carinae Nebula (NGC 3372)
    Planetary nebula - the Ring Nebula (M57)
    Galaxy - the Large Magellanic Cloud
    Naked-eye galaxy - the Milky Way

    Dave Mitsky

  27. #27
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    3753 Cruithne isn&#39;t technically a satellite of Earth. Check out:

    http://www.astro.queensu.ca/~wiegert/3753/3753.html

  28. #28
    My favourite planet is Saturn. It certainly has a lot of &#39;wow factor&#39;. Everyone who looks at it says it&#39;s beautiful. The good thing about it is even through the smallest of telescopes Saturn&#39;s rings are clearly visible. Through my 4.5" Newtonian the image is very good. 1 more for Saturn

  29. #29
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    Favourite planet: Saturn. Not just great to watch with it&#39;s spectacular rings but I think our Earth,as well as Mars and Venus, were once moons of Saturn (father or mother planet?).
    My favourite object without question is the Sun (all hail), I can&#39;t get enough watching the movie clips of the Sun in different wavelengths, and the recent close-up of a sunspot is on my desktop ever since.

  30. #30
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    my favoriate planent is saturn because the fact that if there was a bath tub big enough saturn could float in it and it is that fact that I find so intresting and as for moons I would say eaither Europa because the idea of life under the sea there or the moon Titan it would solve our feul problems

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