Sunday, June 06, 2010
Observing deepsky objects with a binoviewer......
I finally had a chance to test my new binoviewer on some deepsky objects, and I must admit, it did not disappoint me. Of course the binoviewer is not very useful on the larger open clusters or on double stars, but on objects with some kind of "surface" like planetary nebulae and globular clusters, it is definitely an improvement over the view with just a single eye. I had a look at three globulars, M13 and M92 in Hercules and M56 in Lyra. All objects were viewed at a magnification of 217x.

M13 was simply stunning, watching it drift across the field like a giant spider with several legs of stars stretching out from the crowded centre, a very large and attractive globular cluster. M92 was a very different story. Compared to M13, M92 is very compact, with not so many outlying stars, but with a very bright core. M56 surprised me. Until now, from my suburban backyard, it looked very dim, a faint smudge of light with little or no detail. But now, even during the period we call the grey nights (it doesn't get really dark), I saw M56 partially resolved in individual stars, thanks to the observation with both eyes.

Below you see a comparison of the three globular clusters from the POSS-1. The National Geographic Society - Palomar Observatory Sky Atlas (POSS-I) was made by the California Institute of Technology with grants from the National Geographic Society. All three images cover an area of 1 degree by 1 degree.


After the globular clusters I had a go at a few planetary nebulae, The Blinking planetary (NGC 6826) and Hidden Treasure 78 (NGC6210). The sight of the blinking planetary amazed me. For the first time ever I saw this small nebula in full color, right at first site. A small blue-green patch of light. During earlier observations of this nebula, I always had trouble to see the color. NGC 6210 in Hercules was jumping at me with a bright blue color. Is it easier to see color with two eyes?

After tonight I definitely know that the binoviewer will be used for observing smaller deepsky objects like globulars, planetary nebulae and galaxies. But I am also very curious what this binoviewer will do on extended nebulae, like M42 or M17.

Posted by Math on 06/06 at 06:21 AM | (0) Comments | filed in: Equipment | Deepsky observing | Print