Besides the obvious targets of moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and M13 etc, what other "fun" targets do folks like to show to begginers or vistors at star parties? I am thinking of things like the Christmas Tree, E.T., the diamond ring etc.
Hi Dan, I usually like to try to hit the different type of DSOs so I will throw in M42 the Orion Nebula, M57 the Ring Nebula, M13 a nice star cluster, M31 an easy galaxy, and a nice open star cluster like the Pleadis or the double cluster. I really like the double cluster and the Pleadis with a nice low power wide view eyepiece.
I am going to pitch a vote for one of my favorite "fun objects" COMETS, they are really fun because they are so temporary. Here today, gone tomorrow. They are a little tough, but man you feel good when you find them, and its really cool to find them when they are real close to any other DSO.
One of my favorite fun targets for summertime visitors is the "Fairy Ring" in Cygnus. It's six pairs of stars, roughly in a circle, with another pair in the middle. I first learned about in the Sky-Spot "Overlooked Objects" Telrad chart book. I can't find too many references on line except that it's at RA 20h 4m and Dec 38d 20m. Some describe it as hard to locate, but I can usually go right to it even in here in the bright 'burbs of Chicago.