Showing posts with label Deep Sky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deep Sky. Show all posts

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Viewing Deep Sky Objects and Comets

Cygnus Wall - Photo: Wikipedia
Deep sky objects are usually located outside our solar system.  The listing includes star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and multiple stars.  There is also a list of 110 objects on Messier's list that you can try to locate.  The key to viewing all these heavenly bodies is to go outside on a really dark night and you must have a large telescope (one which an aperture that is greater than six inches).  Light pollution filters may also help improve your view.

What looks like one star in the sky actually becomes two or three when looking through your telescope.  There is a four-part star in Orion's Nebula.  There are also stars that brighten and dim as you watch them over time.  These are called Variable Stars.

Star clusters are thousands of stars grouped together.  They create a spectacular view when looking through a small telescope.  An example of this is the Pleiades.  This is a group of seven bright stars in the Taurus constellation that can be seen with the naked eye.  But once you view them through the telescope, you will find there are thousands of stars in the cluster.

Large gas and dust clouds in space are called Nebulae.  An emission nebula will produce light where a dark nebula will absorb the light.  They can be a challenge to find.

Galaxies have massive numbers of stars that are held together by gravity and are usually found in clusters.  They come in many shapes and sizes – spiral, barred, elliptical, and sometimes irregular shaped.  They appear as faint, fuzzy patches of dust.  

Comets are fascinating to watch as they travel across the sky.  They develop tails and can change brightness as they get closer to the sun.  Not all comets will look the same either.  They may brighten or darken depending on where in the sky you locate them.