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Thread: Trouble finding deepsky objects

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    SuitedHound's Avatar
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    Default Trouble finding deepsky objects



    I'm having trouble finding nebula and deepsky objects in general. Whether it be finding them in the sky or aiming at them (telescope and sight are well collimated) I still can't seem to find them. For example, I've been attempting to see Andromeda (easiest galaxy to see) yet even after following the nebula to it, when I point my telescope at it, nothing. My magnification isn't a problem (Orion XT8 Plus) and my eyepiece is fine (Meade 5000 14mm UWA) so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong apart from not aiming my telescope correctly or something.

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    Default Re: Trouble finding deepsky objects

    I'm thinking your magnification might be the problem. For Andromeda you want a low mag wide field of view. It's a BIG target and might overwhelm your 14mm EP. You say you are following the nebula and I am not quite sure what you mean by that, you could possibly be looking at the big A and not know it. You are not going to see much detail except a very bright core and a couple of smaller fuzzies (M32 & 110) off to either side. If you have something in the range of a 25mm EP you might want to try that instead of a 14mm.

    Have tried looking at M42? it's big bright and easy to find.

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    Default Re: Trouble finding deepsky objects

    Yeah, you will want to use your widest EP for Andromeda. I also am not sure what nebula you are talking about, sounds like you found Andromeda and didn't realize it.
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    Default Re: Trouble finding deepsky objects

    It takes practice.

    Your XT8 is more than capable, given a decent level of light pollution in your local area. As the other guys said, a low power eyepiece is best. Once you are finally on the target, then you can crank up the magnification to see what additional details are revealed.

    Right now though, the Moon is big and bright and getting brighter, and galaxies do not play well in the moonlight. M31 is still visible, but will be much more difficult to the untrained eye with the moonlight in it's present state.

    Star hopping is your friend here.

    Star hopping n00b, help me (and everyone else) out! :)

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    For M31, my star hop typically begins at the brighter yellow star Mirach in Andromeda. I then move over to Mu Andromedae, then to Nu Andromedae, then right over to M31.

    You might also, if you haven't already, download Stellarium and practice your star hopping with this free program. When I first started out with my binoculars, I used Stellarium a lot to facilitate my star hopping and I got pretty darn good at it. It makes for good practice on cloudy nights when you can't take the scope out.

    Also, what finder do you have on your XT8? Some come with a red dot finder, others with a RACI finder scope. The addition of a telrad or a Rigel QuickFinder to your OTA makes things much easier with the star hopping.
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    Default Re: Trouble finding deepsky objects

    A 32 works great in the xt8 for andromoda as long as it is wide field
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    Default Re: Trouble finding deepsky objects

    Quote Originally Posted by SuitedHound View Post
    I'm having trouble finding nebula and deepsky objects in general. Whether it be finding them in the sky or aiming at them (telescope and sight are well collimated) I still can't seem to find them. For example, I've been attempting to see Andromeda (easiest galaxy to see) yet even after following the nebula to it, when I point my telescope at it, nothing. My magnification isn't a problem (Orion XT8 Plus) and my eyepiece is fine (Meade 5000 14mm UWA) so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong apart from not aiming my telescope correctly or something.
    EDIT: I mean following the constellation to it not nebula.
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    Default Re: Trouble finding deepsky objects

    Do you have binoculars? M31 is a perfect binocular object.


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    Default Re: Trouble finding deepsky objects

    Scott hit the nail on the head, Andromeda screams "BINOCULARS!!"
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    Default Re: Trouble finding deepsky objects

    Andromeda is roughly 6 times wider than the width of the full moon. But everything except the core will be washed out by light pollution. So you'll need a dark location on a moonless night.

    If you have much light pollution you wont see anything that resembles the disk of a spiral galaxy. Instead you'll just see a fuzzy patch with no apparent structure.
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    Default Re: Trouble finding deepsky objects

    I usually wait next supernova to see an individual start among the trillion that comprise the Andromeda Galaxy. The haze you see is light of billions of individual starts too far and faint to resolve into individual pinpoints. Binoculars help in distinguishing the core.

 

 
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