Viewing Deep Space Objects

  • Antony Cooke
Part of the Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)


Deep space is our ultimate and grandest destination. It can also be the biggest challenge and disappointment when inappropriate equipment, circumstances, or approaches are used. Although shortage of time and opportunity may limit successful observations to just a few objects during any given session, this will prove more than enough! However, because most of these subjects are so inconceivably distant and faint, they seem to hide at the very threshold of visibility. Indeed, deep space destinations will always keep some of their characteristics shrouded in a veil of secrecy, whatever we do. We will always be limited to knowing only a tiny part of the total reality of any object; even the term “object” is strangely inappropriate to describe such vast and complex entities. It would be comparable to an extraterrestrial life form across the universe describing the entire Milky Way Galaxy, and all that it encompasses, as an object!

The visual vagueness of these destinations (a better choice of words), and the time it takes to chase out each one is why success in deep space is usually an issue. The good news is that the difficulties of succeeding need not be insurmountable these days, if we take proper advantage of what is available. It is possible to carry out some very worthwhile observing, even if we only can do it in short bursts, and from less than ideal locations. Nevertheless, it would be foolhardy to suggest that you should not seize each and every opportunity to relocate to dark sky country, even if doing so must be a rarity. Assuming that virtually everybody has the chance at least once in a while to relocate to a favorable viewing place, there is nothing like it to reinforce all your other viewing.


Globular Cluster Image Intensifier Star Cluster Deep Space Planetary Nebula 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antony Cooke

There are no affiliations available

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