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    smokesha's Avatar
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    Default what should I look for tonight?



    I want to go out tonight and look at something besides jupiter. I'm going to look at jupiter no doubt with my new eyepieces, but i want to see my first DSO. I'm not good at (have no experience at) locating things. I don't know what to look for at first, and how do I know I'm focused correctly.
    I live in a very light polluted area in New York. I was looking at stellarium and it showed M2 and M15 right above jupiter. Are those easy to see?
    My longest eyepiece is 20mm. I hope that's good. Any other suggestions? will be viewing around 11pm EDT
    Celestron Astromaster 130eq - 130mm f/5 Newtonian on an equatorial mount. Viewing from New York, USA

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    Hi Smoke, its good you planning through Stellarium. Both of those objects are a bit tough to see as they require a bit of magnification, but M2 and M15 are a bit brighter globular cluster so if you have good seeing (steady skies) you should be able to see them with the magnification up a bit.
    let us know all your eyepiece sizes, there is also a recently posted magnification calculator in Excel by Jarsinho.
    cheers
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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    Default

    If you have some serious light pollution head straight up. Albiero is a great double star you can see. One orange one blue. It is in cygnus. It should be in Stellarium. M29 and M39 are also in cygnus. My son always finds a double he calls the Baby Albiero close to the star sadir in cygnus. Happy hunting.
    name: Derek

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    Default

    Both M2 and M15 are mag. 6.4-6.5 I believe and should be easily seen. That depends on your atmospheric conditions and LP where you live.

    This time of year has limited DSO's for right now but it improves later on.

    Uranus will be available as well if you have never viewed it. It is an almost 6.0 magnitude at 40 degrees on the horizon at 11 p.m. EST.

    At that time the Saturn Nebula which is roughly a 8.0 mag is nice to see!

    Good luck!
    Name: Mike. Just hanging out here in God's country just watching the stars!
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    Default

    Hi smokesha,
    Just a few more that are nice and high in the sky right now, given your "white" zone..

    - M27 "The Dumbbell Nebula" in Vulcepula is at about 70 degrees in your location
    - M13 a magnificent globular cluster in Hercules
    - M92 a glob cluster also in Hercules
    - M57 another planetary nebula, this one in Lyra
    - the "Double Double", a star close to Vega that is actually 2 distinct double stars
    - M31 "Andromeda galaxy", a little lower at about 40(ish) degrees but quite bright

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  10. #6
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    Default

    Nice. I'll plan those as well.

    as far as eyepieces go, I have a 20mm, 12.5, 10, 9.5, 6.3.
    waiting on a paycheck for a new one.

    I should look straight up is right. even though the clouds are gone, there's like a thin layer of cloudlike stuff all around the horizon. LP is bad enough here. I can barely see aquarius at all.

    Albireo is a good suggestion. it's pretty bright too. i should be able to see it. and I've never seen a double star.

    Bah, forgot to post this earlier
    Celestron Astromaster 130eq - 130mm f/5 Newtonian on an equatorial mount. Viewing from New York, USA

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  12. #7
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    Default

    Well, I'm done for the night. I'm kinda frustrated as I didn't really see much. I'm new so I don't know a star from a hole in the wall. I was looking at Jupiter for a bit testing out my new high power EPs. I was impressed. Then I decided to look for Albireo. With my 20mm, I pointed at the star*s and I think I got extremely lucky. One turn of the RA knob and I saw what I think was it. The first star was really bright which is what caught my eye and sure enough there was a companion. But it wasn't as close as I thought it would be. It was elementary to discern the two even at 32x. There was even a decent size gap. So I might have been looking at just two stars. One was orange and one was blue like described. So either I was extremely lucky that I didn't have to "search" or I was just duped. Then I tried to look for M29 because I was in the area and it is mag 6.6. I wanted to find the center star in the cross cygnus, sadr, first and go from there but I could never get it into view. I was going back and forth with the view finder and never got a good bright star in my scope. This is where most of my time went. I was also getting confused because now my RA know moved things up and down. with my eye I couldn't see any of the stars I was seeing in the scope so I didn't know where the heck I was. I didn't have my laptop with me so no stellarium. my starchart didn't have the stars I was seeing either and there was plenty of them. So, I couldn't find my landmark so there was no way of finding the destination. I did look around aimlessly for a bit when I said "F it, I'm done"
    I'm sure most of you had this type of experience before. How did you get past this?
    Last edited by smokesha; 09-14-2009 at 04:29 AM.
    Celestron Astromaster 130eq - 130mm f/5 Newtonian on an equatorial mount. Viewing from New York, USA

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    Default

    I had many of those experiences, and it takes a lot of time and patience to figure things out especially with little help, poor charts/poor conditions - light pollution etc. I will admit GOTO has helped me a lot being in similar situation as yourself in a big city (Sydney & Newyork).

    My biggest issues without goto were always with my finder, it never pointed to where I wanted it to and it was hard to see things through it as the light pollution was so bad I couldnt point it anywhere except bright stars.

    What I can say (but there are many exceptions) is many of the people talking down about GOTO are usually in very dark skies, and can point their finder at most deep sky objects. I can never do that, so I have to rely on either Goto or an extremely good finder + knoweldge of the stars. Even then you can point at things smack on, like I often do and never see a thing.

    My suggestion is to invest in a green laser finder and bracket or a red dot finder, if you can see many stars in your skies, . You can point your scope EXACTLY at anything and it will be smack in the middle of your eyepiece. Even if you are in light polluted skies, at the least you can be pointing exactly at the stars you see with your eyes (hopefully you see more than i do). The other solution is to stick to bright objects like the moon, planets and deep sky objects like M42 and when you feel the itch in a few years, buy a good equatorial telescope with a bigger aperture, motor and goto.

    cheers
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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    Default

    thank you for your post admin. it made me feel better.

    I actually have a green laser pointer that came with my eyepiece set. how do you use it to center things in your eyepiecE?
    Celestron Astromaster 130eq - 130mm f/5 Newtonian on an equatorial mount. Viewing from New York, USA

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    Default

    Np i had many frustrating nights myself

    You can do several things like tape it to your finder, but the best way is to buy a laser pointer mounting that can be adjusted. So during the day-time you can point to a far away tree, or phone pole and viewing in your eyepiece, adjust it so that the object/light is centred in the eyepiece.

    Then at night, you can easily point it exactly at what you want to point at, (so with your charts or stellarium, check your direction ie N - see what constellation is there, then point at the star closest to your deep sky object - then you can star hop from there with your green laser pointer, and you can use your finder as well) with a great deal of accuracy.

    One question though, can you see your green laser pointer in the sky?

    Here is an example of a good laser pointer mounting:


    if you are handy at DIY and have the time, you may be able to make one. Either way if you move up to any other telescope, you can use this on them and it is still VERY handy. They won't ship green lasers here, but I am on a mission to find a few for astronomy and get a bracket mount or two for our 2 telescopes.

    cheers
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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