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Thread: Messier109 - Very Difficult!

  1. #1
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    Default Messier109 - Very Difficult!



    Hi Everybody!

    Here's my experience trying to find M109 last night. After setting up the scope and letting my eyes dark adapt for about 20 minutes ( and waiting for the moon to mostly set in the West) I started slewing around in Ursa Major.

    M109 appeared as a very fuzzy and faint ball to the Southeast
    of Phecda. It was only visible with averted vision and it seemed to blink in and out of visibility. When I stared directly at it it disappeared. I would really like to view this one from a dark sky location. Very faint and it seemed to be at the telescope's limit on this night. Now its on to M97 and M108, which I could not locate last night. Similarly I had no luck searching for M81/M82 even though I know they are brighter but am determined to catch them tonight. Any tips on viewing the fainter galaxies would be appreciated. I think I am ready to go to start hunting in Virgo and Leo!




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    Default Re: Messier109 - Very Difficult!

    Good job on M109! Even here in the country on a reasonbly dark night I observed and logged it back in November as "a very faint indistinct gray smudge."

    As far as advice I really cannot offer you anything there. I will say that M81/82 is possibly my favorite multiple galaxies in the same FOV that I have observed so far, and I have gone back to look many times since first observing months ago.

    I went on a galaxy binge two nights ago (a total of 15, with 10 of them first timers) and was REALLY aching to see something that wasnt faint by the time the night was over. To be honest I am really impressed with any city dweller who can see them at all considering how faint a lot of them are to me out here in the boonies.

    Keep up the good work....and hopefully get to a dark site once in a while if needed.
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    Default Re: Messier109 - Very Difficult!

    Nice to see that you're following my suggestion
    But reading this i'm not to sure if I will be able to find anything in Ursa Major apart from M81 and M82, my scope is only 4"...


    Happy hunting, I'm looking forward to your M70 reporting!
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    Default Re: Messier109 - Very Difficult!

    Hi Helicon,
    A great challenge! With the moon making views of faint objects increasingly difficult now, I'm impressed you could see it at all! If I get out later tonight, I may give it a shot, though my XT6 may not grab enough light to see it.
    Cheers.
    John


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    Default Re: Messier109 - Very Difficult!

    M109 can at times be problematic. It is easy to be deceived by the listed apparent magnitude of 9.9 (depending on the source of your info), but it has a surface brightness is at 13.7, so combine that with the glare from Phecda, and it can be challenging. One thing to try is to keep Phecda out of the field of view, because the galaxy can disappear in the glare of the star. Good job tracking it down.
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    Default Re: Messier109 - Very Difficult!

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyscanner View Post
    Nice to see that you're following my suggestion
    But reading this i'm not to sure if I will be able to find anything in Ursa Major apart from M81 and M82, my scope is only 4"...
    One I can recommend that you might be able to pull down with your 4 inch is NGC2841. I have always found it one of the easier galaxies in Ursa Major to find after M81/82. It will appear as a faint, elongated slash of light. Check out this article about objects in Ursa Major and good luck!

    Small Wonders: Ursa Major - Article
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    Default Re: Messier109 - Very Difficult!

    Sounds like my experience i found m97+108 finally. It looks like
    there is a hockey stick coming down from Merak towards Phecda. M108 will be right before the blade m97 just past it. Takis 8.5 mag map had just the right detail.

    M81+82 are out away from it all. I often go to the 2stars in UMa above the big dipper. Go halfway in between those 2 and draw a line from that point to N. Star.

    Use binocs to familiarize yourself with that area then go in with scope.

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    Default Re: Messier109 - Very Difficult!

    Quote Originally Posted by KT4HX View Post
    Check out this article about objects in Ursa Major and good luck!

    Small Wonders: Ursa Major - Article
    Great article, Alan - thanks for the link!
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    Default Re: Messier109 - Very Difficult!

    Quote Originally Posted by KT4HX View Post
    One I can recommend that you might be able to pull down with your 4 inch is NGC2841. I have always found it one of the easier galaxies in Ursa Major to find after M81/82. It will appear as a faint, elongated slash of light. Check out this article about objects in Ursa Major and good luck!

    Small Wonders: Ursa Major - Article
    I agree - when I first started using my 100mm F/4 Skyscanner (the same scope that "Skyscanner" uses) in an urban borderline "white-red zone" site, I was able to pick up NGC 2841 without much difficulty. However, I spent many nights trying to find M109 at the same site but couldn't, even though I knew its exact location.

    Once I found a slightly better "orange-zone" site further away from the city (also called suburban or semi-dark sky), I pointed my scope to the same location where I had searched before and bang - it was there. Didn't need averted vision to see it.

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    Default Re: Messier109 - Very Difficult!

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyscanner View Post
    Nice to see that you're following my suggestion
    But reading this i'm not to sure if I will be able to find anything in Ursa Major apart from M81 and M82, my scope is only 4"...


    Happy hunting, I'm looking forward to your M70 reporting!
    Me either. 3.5" refractor.... I will give it the old college try...
    billy

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