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Thread: Andromeda

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    Default Andromeda



    can someone tell me if i'm doing something wrong or wasting my time...?
    i can see Saturn beautifully and did see 3 of its moons all in the view of the 5mm EP.. i can see orions 4 tightly grouped stars (trapezium i think its called) and 3 stars above to the right, but i cant find the Andromeda nebula?
    i thought on a clear night you were supposed to be able to see it with your naked eyes.. or am i mistaken?
    on stellarium it looks massive. and i've followed the line up of stars to find where it should be? have i missed it?
    i've tried for 3 clearish nights to find it.. and the best i get is a sort of very very faint smudge? is that it?
    i am looking at it from my back garden over a town..
    am i expecting to much from my 700mm 76mm telescope?

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    Default

    Hi Jack

    Yeah you can see the Andromeda Galaxy by naked eye on a clear dark night. The issue for you is that it is so big (about 3° across), so even though it is at Mag 3 or so its surface brightness is spread over a large area.

    What this means to you with a rather small scope is that if and when you find it you will only be able to see a portion of it, its large size won't fit into the Field of View of your scope and so you won't get full advantage of the total light available.

    Use the lowest magnification EP that you have. Assuming that that is a standard 25mm plossl that will give you a field of view of about 1.6° in your scope. On objects like this higher magnifications are working against you, lower mags are going to admit more light over a wider field

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    Default

    see i thought i was doing something wrong.. (us beginners.. tut)
    I just couldn't see how something that big could be missed ...
    i probably missed it with the 12.5mm, anything is possible with me at the controls, and thought it must be smaller an object so went for the 5mm... thats my excuse anyway.
    thanks once again Vinnie

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    Default

    To see Andromeda with the naked eye you need a really dark site (I saw it once from my in-laws farm 15 miles away from the nearest artificial light). Even then you had to know exactly where to look, and it was still pretty faint.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zap&jack View Post
    see i thought i was doing something wrong.. (us beginners.. tut)
    I just couldn't see how something that big could be missed ...
    i probably missed it with the 12.5mm, anything is possible with me at the controls, and thought it must be smaller an object so went for the 5mm... thats my excuse anyway.
    thanks once again Vinnie
    LOL

    The biggest trap for beginners is to go for maximum magnifications, when in reality quite low magnifications will reveal a lot more of the "Faint Fuzzies"

    You still wont see M31 like in a book but you will actually see it at low mag.

    The times when high mags come onto the scene are for the planets (very bright and close objects where you want detail) or for splitting doubles (which is a rather strange past time of many of us old hacks)

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    Default

    Yeah, Vin I made that same mistake. Now I very rarely use high magnification unless looking at the moon or a planet. I can spend an entire evening using just the 30mm eyepiece, and ocassionaly combining it with a barlow.

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    Default

    I need to be better prepared or get different equipment or something (like a different technique). I was able to see M81 and M82 in my 32mm, but when I tried to up the magnification by using my 13mm I couldn't find them before I gave up (the temps had really dropped and I was getting cold).

    I don't know what the problem was as I had my Rigel and Orion 10x50 RACI perfectly aligned so if I spotted Saturn it would be right there in the FOV in my 9mm.

    I am beginning to think I want to get a computer for my encoders.

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    Default

    I have to agree with everybody here, been there done that.
    Low power wide views rule!!

    26mm to 32mm are our fav EP's and like powerwindows1985 says occasionally we will drop in the barlow, but that's rare.
    Jim

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    Default

    Hi zap&jack. I have seen M31 naked eye from my yard on a good night, and I'm in a Red Zone. In my ST80 or the 8" SCT, either one, it looks pretty much as what you saw, though. Only the core shows up as a smudge. My best view of it ever was in the Blue Ridge Mountains in a Green Zone. It covered about 60% of the 3.125-degree true field of view in my ST80 at 16x with a 25mm eyepiece (not the entire extent of the whole galaxy, though). I mean, I could see the spiral arms as well as the center, but there was no definiton in the arms. Pretty impressive, though. Low power is indeed cool. That's why I'm into richfield refractors.

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    Default

    i'm gonna have another go tonight . out with the barlow and the 5mm and gonna stick with the 25mm.. maybe the 12.5mm
    bit hazy outside at mo. suns just setting. but with a bit of luck,
    ya never know..
    mind you the temp has dropped below zero here for the last 3 nights and found myself thinking "what am i doing, oh just 5 more mins, its got to be there...?"
    then again.. trying to see with watering eyes and the shivers... isn't the best conditions.. hehe

    "Doesn't it help when you can ask what your doing wrong?"
    Great forum
    Great help
    cheers
    Jp

 

 

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