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    Default Ursa Major Galaxies



    I decided to go galaxy hunting the other night. Searching around the M81 M82 area of Ursa Major...I'm pretty sure I spotted M82 but could not find M81....the seeing was not great, but it was definitly a feint cloud the right shape.

    Is it possible to have seen M82 but M81 be invisible, or was I seeing a similar galaxy in the same area?
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    I think, but don't know for sure that you need a larger scope. I was told by someone that in an 8" its just possible to see some galaxies. I haven't see any but the center of andromada because i live in a heavily light polluted area.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JPWallace View Post
    I decided to go galaxy hunting the other night. Searching around the M81 M82 area of Ursa Major...I'm pretty sure I spotted M82 but could not find M81....the seeing was not great, but it was definitly a feint cloud the right shape.

    Is it possible to have seen M82 but M81 be invisible, or was I seeing a similar galaxy in the same area?
    It is not that likely if you were in the neighborhood as M81 is even brighter--there is a faint mag 9.9 galaxy nearby that could sort of be mistaken by M82 based on a shape: NGC 3077

    I think both M81 and M82 are doable with your scope.

    Give it another try--M81 is very bright and round.

    Ursa Major is loaded with galaxies--will be headed there shortly myself--"the bowl of plenty" I call it.
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    Thanks Mark

    My finder is bordering on c**p and this area of sky was almost overhead - thus was not too sure just how close i was. If this was another galaxy that heartens me that the scope is up to galaxy spotting - I suspect you are right as this was feint but definitely there. Now if I could get a really clear night please?
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    Agree with Mark , you should be able to 'see' them . LP would be the killer at that mag/focal length , so darker skies will deff help you out .

    Aye , I would be happy with cloudless skies atm , never mind dark skies !
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    I live in an orange zone and i can get both M81 & 82 in the same FOV with my 25X100 binos so you should be able to see them with your scope. M81 is the brighter of the two so it would surprise me that you would be seeing M82 without seeing M81. If you are looking at the two in the same FOV you should be able to see a faint red star between the two (leaning more towards M81). They almost resemble a pair of cats' eyes when viewing them.

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    I've gotten them a few times with my 120mm achro in my orange zone. I've also had a night where the seeing was such that I could get M81 but not M82. Have also caught M51 a few times as well. Still working on M108. In my situation it is more an issue of seeing conditions than the scope.
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    I'm also going to agree with Mark. M81 is brighter and a little bigger than M82. Both should be in the same field of view at say, 50X magnification. So you shouldn't have been able to see 82 without seeing 81, unless something was in your way. You could have been off a bit and focused on something else. I do that all the time. It may also be that you did see M81 and didn't recognize it. M82 is sort of cigar shaped and looks more like what a galaxy might look like. M81 is a little rounder and looks like it could be a star with some nebulosity. M81 is 6.9 mag and M82 is 8.4 mag. On a good night with dark skies, I think your scope should be able to pick up both of them. Being bright isn't everything. They are in a portion of the sky where it is easy to get lost if you are star hopping. I spent some time looking for them in the early morning hours this past fall and kept getting turned around. This was a pair where low magnification and wide angle helps.
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