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Better at the Eyepiece - Which Ones?

Started by barryfernelius, 07/06/2003 08:54AM
Posted 07/06/2003 08:54AM Opening Post
I've just returned from three nights of observing under dark skies in Wyoming. The seeing was very good on one of the nights, and about average on the other two nights. There were no clouds, and the air was very dry and transparent. On all nights, the sky was very dark, with a beautiful summer Milky Way overhead.

After observing lots of great deep sky objects, I began to compare the view at the eyepiece of my 12.5" Newtonian to the photographs that I've seen in books. Through the eyepiece, I see spiral structure in M51 and its companion galaxy, but I have to admit that the best photographs of this galaxy are fantastic, even better than what I could see with my telescope.

On the other hand, I greatly prefer the view through the eyepiece for M8, the Lagoon Nebula. To me, the photographs of this region tend to wash out the subtle details.

So, the question is, which objects do you prefer to view live at the eyepiece, and why?
Posted 07/06/2003 12:39PM #1
Any bright globular is far better in the eyepiece of any medium to large scope - not only because you can see pinpoint stars both at center and at the edges, but because of the "dancing" effect of all those stars at the threshold of vision.
Posted 07/08/2003 11:13AM #2
While visual viewing seldom if ever portrays the detail of astrophotos, the question was which do you prefer to view live, not which can you see more of.

My answer is "all of them". Otherwise, I'd just sell my scopes and spend time looking at photos in books or on the web.