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  1. #11
    carnevali's Avatar
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    For anyone interested in this project, here's the link with directions to the quasar. You've got to try at least to find and see the quasar, don't be timid about it, it's really easy:
    Catch a light 500 million light years away

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    Antonino Carnevali
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  2. #12
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    Update: it WAS really easy to see this quasar a few weeks ago, when I first spotted it. It must have been as bright as Mag 12, which would be the brightest it's ever been. Now it's much dimmer and thus hard to see. I've been recording its brightness by comparing it with nearby stars of known magnitudes and my results are that its' at Mag 13.1 +/- 0.1. I can still see it consistently in my 10" reflector, but it's just barely visible. Hopefully it'll flare up again.

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    Antonino Carnevali
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  3. #13
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    I found the sucker through my 10" SC. I had the best view through a 15mm EP, second best through 32mm. It is indeed barely visible. I didn't compare it to any stars of similar magnitude, but according to Starry Night, there's a 12.75 magnitude star 2/3 of a way closer to UMa 51, and I couldn't see it, (maybe because UMa 51 is so bright?) I'm not sure how accurate that program is compared to recent maps though. Anyway, success! Thanks again for proposing the project Carnevali!!

    On a more sour note, my two month old Celestron 15x70s are already out of wack. Never dropped them or anything.
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  4. #14
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    Well done powervolume! You caught some very old photons indeed.

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    Antonino Carnevali
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    powervolume (06-17-2010)

  6. #15
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    I've tried to locate this object several times over the last few weeks and I've only seen it once, and that was a two nights ago. The sky was clear, low humidity, no wind, and most importantly, the moon gave me about 30 minutes of pitch black skies before it showed up and turned my precious little green zone into a red zone. Once again, very faint, only visible with averted vision or squinting and playing around with my built in focussing muscles.
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  7. #16
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    Right, I can only see it with averted vision now. It shows easier at higher magnification. I typically use an Expanse 9 mm eyepiece (140x) that has a field of view wide enough for me to see with averted vision) both Mk421 and a nearby Mag 13.3 star, which I use for comparison. I first wait until I can see two "brighter" stars in that vicinity, Mag 12.1 and 12.7, then I go for Mk421 and the 13.3 star. There is also a Mag 12.9 star that fits in the field of view of the 9-mm EP with Mk421 if needed, but not together with the Mag 13.3 star. I see Mk 421 definitely dimmer than the 12.9 but slightly brighter than the 13.3, and so I think it's at about 13.1 these days. It used to be definitely brighter, easy to see directly, but at the time I didn't know what to compare it to.

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  8. #17
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    I tried to find it through an 18 inch dob at a star party a few nights ago, but the scope didn't have the 8x50 finderscope that I'm used to, the eyepiece that was in at the time had a super wide field of view, and the scope picked up several more stars than I'm used to. I spent about 20 minutes, probably looking directly at it, but nothing looked familiar enough that I could say for sure.
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  9. #18
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    Yeah powervolume, star gazing and particularly quasar gazing is like bowling, it only looks easy but it rarely is! And just like bowling, every little change can mess it up.

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    Antonino Carnevali
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