Home Forums RAC Main Forum General Discussion Observing tonight? Re: Observing tonight?


    [quote author=Luka link=topic=233.msg2801#msg2801 date=1236196342]
    Are the other two galaxies right next to M65/M66 in the same category of really low surface brightness?
    And speaking of faint things, what is a good first planetary nebula to find?[/quote]

    The third galaxy of the Leo Triplet isn't terribly low in surface brightness, but I've never seen it from my backyard.  From Eagle Bluff, it was obvious.  I'd guess it's not terribly hard from Keller once it gets up high enough in the sky.  The ideal place for viewing any DSO is culmination – when it crosses the line from Polaris to the south pole.  There is a minimum of atmosphere to look through.

    For your first planetary nebula, I'd recommend NGC2438, superimposed on open cluster M46.  Since you already know how to find M46, all you need to do is crank up the power.  Look for the "star" that won't focus as tight as the others.  That's your nebula.  There are some beautiful ones out there, M57 and M27 being worth the price of admission.  But some are fairly plain and pedestrian-looking.  Saturn Nebula and the Ghost of Jupiter are both very interesting.  One of the best things about planetary nebula is that most don't require dark skies to see – I've seen a bunch of them from the city, though the view is often enhanced with a Narrowband filter.