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  1. #1
    vanislandmike's Avatar
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    Unhappy Beginner fail, fail, and fail again.



    I really thought I'd find something this time.

    Reasonable seeing.
    No clouds.
    Scope cooled.
    Eyes dark adapted.
    Stellarium.
    Nightwatch.
    Dressed warm for hours of hunting.

    I'm not sure what else I could have done ... except, of course, find something!

    I'm thinking the problem is a combination of not having a mental picture of what any DSO would look like through my scope, using the wrong EP's for the hunt, and finding the inverted, canted view difficult after years of binos. Or perhaps I have too much light pollution ... but surely clusters???

    I did get back up at 4:30am to catch the moon, and it certainly is far more '3D' at half phase then when I saw it full.

    I'm off to re-read bunches of beginner guides, I guess.

    Just venting disappointment in order to maintain enthusiasm.

    Cheers,
    Vim

    p.s. Saturn through my new Hyperion 17 sure made me smile tho. What a piece of glass that is!
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  3. #2
    EMarkM's Avatar
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    Glad you enjoyed Saturn.

    What about good old M31 to start off with? Once you have identified (by eye) Cassiopeia and, from there, Andromeda (constellation), it's not too difficult to find our nearest neighbouring galaxy!

    There's heaps of methods - try making a right-angled triangle with Almaak and Mirach (two very bright stars), or head on a straight line roughly from the top left "tip" of Cas down to Alpheratz (bright star shared between And and the Square of Pegasus) - M31 is on the way there, just over half-way down and to the left.

    Don't forget (I'm sure you already know) that DSOs tend to rely on good seeing conditions and low light pollution.

    To beat this, try going for a few that are more directly overhead instead. There's a few knocking about in Auriga, easily identified by bright star Capella.

    Good luck!
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  5. #3
    Shallbe's Avatar
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    Vim;
    Can you find something obvious, like the Orion nebula? Can you find stars? Have you tried finding objects that you already can find with the naked eye or with your binos?

    One thing we have done, but it takes having an assistant, is use our naked eyes to find a fuzzy spot, then have the assistant point the laser at that spot, then use the scope to follow the laser to the fuzzy spot. We don't do this often, but at first, when I was manually aiming the scope, it worked.

    I don't know where you are or what's in your sky right now, but one very fun object to find is the Perseus double cluster--if the sky is even reasonably dark, you can see it with your naked eye, then point the scope at it.

    I have found that my eye has gotten better at picking things out as I've kept working at it. I think it's important for beginner's to look for the easier things to see, first. M33 would have been impossible for me at one time. I did finally find it a few months after getting the scope, and having looked at a lot of objects over and over again (Orion nebula, double cluster, Jupiter, etc.).

    Here's hoping you have a great experience the very next time you're out!

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  7. #4
    carnevali's Avatar
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    The 6" aperture should show you quite a few DSOs. Make sure you're not looking toward a street or porch light, otherwise it's impossible to find anything. Also make sure that your finder is well aligned with the scope by testing it on easy targets (Moon, Saturn, Sirius, etc.). And use your widest field EP (the 25 mm EP, likely) to find the target first, although it may be difficult to recognize it at low power, so spend some time letting your eye roam around, relaxed, then slowly move the scope around in a tight circular motion. When you think you may have a fuzzy in the center of the eyepiece, go to the next higher power. As others have suggested, start out with the easiest targets first, the brightest ones, high up in the sky, and away from artificial lights. You'll become a pro in no time at all, I'm sure, hang in there.

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  9. #5
    Dublin sky watch's Avatar
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    Dont underestimate lp when viewing fuzzies Vim.
    Many dso I have seen from my dark location I can not see when I get back to the suburbs of Dublin. M31 is still prominent, once you know where to find it. This also applies to many other dso....so have patients with your observing developing skills...it will not happen in one night..
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  11. #6
    gbcarync's Avatar
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    Default

    I recommend "Turn Left At Orion" for learning to find objects suitable for viewing in a smaller scope in light-polluted areas.

    Also, you might consider getting a telrad and checking out some hte very nice telrad charts available online.

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  13. #7
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    I second the Telrad finder ...They are not expensive at all and the star charts for them are great ...Easy finds once you get the finder dialed in ... Link here =>Sky Maps
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  15. #8
    astronut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanislandmike View Post
    I really thought I'd find something this time.

    Reasonable seeing.
    No clouds.
    Scope cooled.
    Eyes dark adapted.
    Stellarium.
    Nightwatch.
    Dressed warm for hours of hunting.

    I'm not sure what else I could have done ... except, of course, find something!

    I'm thinking the problem is a combination of not having a mental picture of what any DSO would look like through my scope, using the wrong EP's for the hunt, and finding the inverted, canted view difficult after years of binos. Or perhaps I have too much light pollution ... but surely clusters???

    I did get back up at 4:30am to catch the moon, and it certainly is far more '3D' at half phase then when I saw it full.

    I'm off to re-read bunches of beginner guides, I guess.

    Just venting disappointment in order to maintain enthusiasm.

    Cheers,
    Vim

    p.s. Saturn through my new Hyperion 17 sure made me smile tho. What a piece of glass that is!
    Invest in a pair of binnoculars & your DSO problem is solved for the brighter ones anyway. In a darksky area once your eyes are adapted you can detect almost any DSO worth looking at thru binnoculars. Anything else will just be a small smudge in the scope anyway except some tiny DSOs like the ring nebula etc...those do require magnification. I ALWAYS use my binnocs first..to quickly locate objects, I have no go-to scopes at the moment.

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  17. #9
    neal_mlc's Avatar
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    Do you use some sort of setting circle? I could hardly find the moon and my star hopping skills are dismal. I set a large compass rose around the edge of the base of my dob and got an inclinometer. This has made the world of difference for me and my ability to find those faint fuzzies. There is a sticky somewhere that explains how to set it up.
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  19. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by astronut View Post
    Invest in a pair of binnoculars & your DSO problem is solved for the brighter ones anyway. In a darksky area once your eyes are adapted you can detect almost any DSO worth looking at thru binnoculars. Anything else will just be a small smudge in the scope anyway except some tiny DSOs like the ring nebula etc...those do require magnification. I ALWAYS use my binnocs first..to quickly locate objects, I have no go-to scopes at the moment. Dave
    Absolutely!!!!My bino's always come out first to get a feel for the sky and then I decide if a scope is coming out. I also use the bino's as an aid to helping find a target with my scopes. And sometimes I'm just content to use only the bino's without take out a scope

    Good luck!

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