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  1. #1
    Quantum Finish's Avatar
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    Default M57: Not hard to find, but hard to see! (and I did it)



    This is my sixth night out with the XT8 (which I'm unofficially naming Arcturus) so I tried my hand at finding a Messier. Other than the Pleiades I haven't had much luck. Some of it is because the finder scope on the XT8 kind of sucks and it's difficult to centre. Some of it is because I only have the default 25mm EP, so if something is faint I'm probably barely seeing it, if it all. A large part of it is I'm still learning the sky.

    Tonight I found a Messier that really wasn't that hard to find (thank you, Star Walk app!) but was difficult to see: M57, the ring nebula. Couldn't make out the "donut hole" part but did see it as a faint "smudge." Was quite proud of myself because I don't have a goto/push-to and I'm limited to the cruddy finder scope.

    I figure a different EP, like maybe a 17mm or an 8mm, would make a huge difference to see a bit more detail.

    Still have no luck finding M31. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or I'm just plain unlucky. It can't be that hard to find, I found a magnitude 9.5 nebula for crying out loud. Oh well, maybe another night.

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  2. #2
    gcbryan's Avatar
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    M31 isn't that hard to find once you've done it once Before then it's harder just like anything else.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Finish View Post
    Couldn't make out the "donut hole" part but did see it as a faint "smudge." Was quite proud of myself because I don't have a goto/push-to and I'm limited to the cruddy finder scope.

    I figure a different EP, like maybe a 17mm or an 8mm, would make a huge difference to see a bit more detail.
    My 10mm (101x) and 7mm (145x) give my best views of M57. I can clearly see the hole at both of those mags.
    The International Gun Plumber

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  6. #4
    dmatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Finish View Post
    This is my sixth night out with the XT8 (which I'm unofficially naming Arcturus) so I tried my hand at finding a Messier. Other than the Pleiades I haven't had much luck. Some of it is because the finder scope on the XT8 kind of sucks and it's difficult to centre. Some of it is because I only have the default 25mm EP, so if something is faint I'm probably barely seeing it, if it all. A large part of it is I'm still learning the sky.

    Tonight I found a Messier that really wasn't that hard to find (thank you, Star Walk app!) but was difficult to see: M57, the ring nebula. Couldn't make out the "donut hole" part but did see it as a faint "smudge." Was quite proud of myself because I don't have a goto/push-to and I'm limited to the cruddy finder scope.

    I figure a different EP, like maybe a 17mm or an 8mm, would make a huge difference to see a bit more detail.

    Still have no luck finding M31. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or I'm just plain unlucky. It can't be that hard to find, I found a magnitude 9.5 nebula for crying out loud. Oh well, maybe another night.

    CS to all!

    Same here Quantum. I bought a non goto/push to just for the fact that I feel a certain satisfaction of finding the target myself (and that I would have gotten less scope for the same amount of $$$). I myself had trouble locating M31. Turns out I was looking in the wrong place. My light polluted skies made it hard to see the exact place I needed to look. I was off probably about 5 degrees or so in the sky. But yeah, I found m57 much easier probably due to the fact that I just had to scan between two relatively bright stars in a small area of the sky. It can be very frustrating, I know. But don't give up. Once you find a hard target, you are rewarded well with that "I did it all by myself" feeling.

    By the way, what finder are you using on the XT8? Also, try using a pair of binocs to find M31 first. It really helps with the wider FOV. Binocs beat a finderscope everytime IMHO for a scan of the sky.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Dave

    Zhumell Z8 Dob , Zhumell Wide Field 30mm,20mm, 10mm, 9mm Plossl, GLP and mount

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  8. #5
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    So, if you can locate an object, or its position with binos, how do you transfer that info to the scope? I get very confused with the upside down view of the finder scope, and can't seem to get it between those two stars where "ring" sets. So, I have not yet seen it. I decided I needed a telrad or a Go To.
    I ended up getting a 5SE. BUT----I want to train the 8" Newt onto it too.
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  9. #6
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    As the owner of an XT8 myself I understand your challenges. There are a couple of things you can do to make finding your targets easier, first look at part one of this thread, here is part two My new "PushTo" system (part 2). I use this system and it is not unusual for me to land within a degree of my target which puts it well within the FOV of my finderscope and alot of times, within the FOV of my 25mm EP. The second thing I would do, and this is a little more expensive, is get a 9X50 RACI finderscope. I don't have much of a budget for my hobby so I am really particular when I buy something and my RACI was worth every penny I spent on it. Just a couple of things to think about and clear skies!
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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Finish View Post
    I figure a different EP, like maybe a 17mm or an 8mm, would make a huge difference to see a bit more detail.
    Yes, they may show you more detail once you have found the object. However, it will be harder to find DSOs with them. The more you magnify the image, the dimmer it gets, because you are spreading the same number of photons out over a bigger area. You probably want to stick with the 25mm for locating them.

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  12. #8
    vj.arjun's Avatar
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    I know man who exciting it is to finally have a look at m57 !! I searched it for 2 days. But got it finally when the night was clear ..

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  14. #9
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    found M31 in my binoculars this weekend out in the desert. It was mind blowing to say the least.

  15. #10
    vj.arjun's Avatar
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    Yeah Man.. m31 looks cool ..

 

 
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