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Thread: Galaxies and how to view discussion

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Galaxies and how to view discussion



    Practicing by observing various galaxies will get you familiar with their shapes. Spiral galaxies if they are face on can be roundish, if they are edge on they look like faintish needles of light. Elliptical galaxies are usually slightly oblong and won't reveal any features. Start out with galaxies 10th magnitude or brighter as they will be easier to see.

    I use both the eyepatch and the towel over the head trick to screen out neighbors' lights. I live in a Bortle 6-7 zone so dark nights are not very frequent, but I find a modicum of galaxies to be visible in my conditions especially if they are brighter than magnitude 12.

    After awhile you will get used to the appearance of galaxies and will be able to detect their presence much more easily.

    And, galaxies are my favorite class of object to observe. The vast distances involved and the fact that they are each made up of billions of stars kind of blows the imagination. Good luck with you observations!
    bladekeeper and Bigzmey like this.
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  2. #12
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    Default Re: Galaxies and how to view discussion

    You forgot to mention money and common sense.

    Common sense is important because you already wasted money on 1.25" accessories despite (my) advice to go for 2" equipment instead. You simply had to get more bling before your scope even arrived and now realize you made the wrong choice.

    Money because once you start listening to advice you may be spending a ton on eyepieces or refractors while you could have bought a 25" Obsession instead. Go to star parties before you buy and decide what has higher priority. In this hobby you have to make a conscious choice because it is real easy to spend money piecemeal that add up to large amounts while still going in the wrong direction.

    I once commented how I thought my Z12 was a better visual scope than my ES ED127CF Apo and it was questioned if there were issues with eye sight. I think not. You have to watch out for scope and eyepiece religions here. For sanity check out Cloudy Nights, it is much more rational than the AF just not as much fun.

    You just bought an excellent scope for the money and are rightfully complaining about its limitations already. There are two ways out. One is astrophotography, the other is to buy a large Dob. Since you seem to have good vision I would choose the latter if you are persistent in this hobby.
    ... Henk. Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

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  3. #13
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    Default Re: Galaxies and how to view discussion

    No, no, APO scopes tramp DOBs hands down!
    Nothing wrong with having 1.25" EPs. Besides if you rush in buying something wrong (and who didn't?). It is easy to unload them on classifieds, and buy something else.
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    Default Re: Galaxies and how to view discussion

    Mike there is absolutely nothing wrong with 1.25" eyepieces. Most of mine are and I've been purely a visual observer since the 1960s. You can see my scopes in my signature. There is simply no need to use 2" eyepieces in the shorter focal length eyepieces unless you go super wide and super expensive. Below 18mm, the ES 82s are all 1.25". There simply is no need for 2" barrels in the 14, 11, 8.8, 6.7 and 4.7mm focal lengths. But at the longer focal lengths, 2" are indeed great to have to allow for wider views depending of course upon the eyepiece design.

    I can tell you that dark skies are the primary factor with galaxies. Aperture is also a key factor, but dark skies still make the true difference. For example, I can use my 17.5" at home under typical suburban light pollution and I can use my 10" or 12" dobs at our dark site, which is exponentially darker than at home. Either of those scopes under those conditions can pretty much keep pace with the 17.5" used at home. However, if you have them all together at the same location, of course the larger one will easily win because of light grasp.

    I have been a hardcore galaxy hunter since the early 1980s, and I keep my 17.5" at the dark site full time so when I travel there, I will have it at hand fully assembled and ready to roll out of the garage. Doing so gives me the best of both worlds - dark skies and aperture. I have observed (very faintly of course) galaxies of nearly 16th magnitude. Aperture is definitely your friend, but dark skies are the real deal.

    Lastly, your 12 inch has the potential to reveal a vast number of galaxies to you. You simply need to put in time behind the eyepiece, learning how to see, not merely look. Seeing is not an intuitive thing, but rather a skill that is built up over time with experience and training. The more time you spend observing dim and threshold objects, the better your eye becomes at picking up the sometimes very subtle changes between light and dark that may signal the presence of an object in the field of view. Not everyone gets off on chasing these denizens of the deep, as it can be a frustrating experience. But, if one has the desire to learn it is a very rewarding skill to acquire. Pondering upon the time and distance those photons had to travel to reach your eye can be mind bending.
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  6. #15
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    Default Re: Galaxies and how to view discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by CamelHat View Post
    You forgot to mention money and common sense.

    Common sense is important because you already wasted money on 1.25" accessories despite (my) advice to go for 2" equipment instead. You simply had to get more bling before your scope even arrived and now realize you made the wrong choice.

    Money because once you start listening to advice you may be spending a ton on eyepieces or refractors while you could have bought a 25" Obsession instead. Go to star parties before you buy and decide what has higher priority. In this hobby you have to make a conscious choice because it is real easy to spend money piecemeal that add up to large amounts while still going in the wrong direction.

    I once commented how I thought my Z12 was a better visual scope than my ES ED127CF Apo and it was questioned if there were issues with eye sight. I think not. You have to watch out for scope and eyepiece religions here. For sanity check out Cloudy Nights, it is much more rational than the AF just not as much fun.

    You just bought an excellent scope for the money and are rightfully complaining about its limitations already. There are two ways out. One is astrophotography, the other is to buy a large Dob. Since you seem to have good vision I would choose the latter if you are persistent in this hobby.
    I think we had a miscommunication. I bought the 1.25" eps because my other scope takes them as well so if I needed to go to 2" eps then that would be fine because mine son uses the other scope. I have absolutely no complaints on the ad12 lol thing I'd amazing. I just wasn't impressed with the 9mm and was wondering was it the magnification reduction in brightness or the 1.25 vs 2 as the primary factor was all my other post on the other thread was about. I've taken every word of advise people have given and am absorbing it all. The reason I started this thread was simply to explore and share specifics of what we all do to get the best in galaxies. I have absolutely no regret in buying my scope and my next purchase will be an apo for Astro. Then eventually yes I would love to have a monster dob. :P
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    Default Re: Galaxies and how to view discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Nomma View Post
    I think we had a miscommunication. I bought the 1.25" eps because my other scope takes them as well so if I needed to go to 2" eps then that would be fine because mine son uses the other scope.
    Possibly, it was this post that made me think you got the 1.25" Barlow because it works with your moon filter. But your posts are not always unambiguous so I may have misread something.

    Anyone with an ad12 plz read

    Quote Originally Posted by Nomma View Post
    I have absolutely no regret in buying my scope and my next purchase will be an apo for Astro.
    Astro what? Do you mean astrophotography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nomma View Post
    Then eventually yes I would love to have a monster dob. :P
    By all means! I may buy one some day myself. Still as others have noted, the other ingredient is dark skies so it would have to be transportable to a dark site or else it can still be a waste of money. Right now I am focused on astrophotography, which is more easily transportable.
    ... Henk. Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

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  8. #17
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    Default Re: Galaxies and how to view discussion

    When I was discussing the filters yes that was discussed as using the filter on the bottom of the the Barlow or the adapter or ep. But that was about filters not eps. And for sure the monster dob will come if I can ever build in a dark site lol.
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    Default Re: Galaxies and how to view discussion

    Yes to what he said with some additions and personalizations.....

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Depends on personal taste to some extent, and exit pupil (not eye relief).

    For myself, I do like a wider apparent field of view with galaxy hunting, hence my preference of my ES 82º series for this endeavor, but I don't use those exclusively. I also like to employ my orthoscopics as they yield better contrast and transmissivity vs. the ES.
    I prefer the 70 degree format of the Panoptics. I've tried hard to like the 82s but just don't. Ditto on the orthoscopics and Plossels are dandy too. My maximum transmissivity is provided by TV Plossls but my maximum internal contrast is with BCO and KK orthoscopics.

    Exit pupil: for me, I like starting out with an exit pupil of around 5mm and then work my way down to around 2mm for most galaxies. This equates, with my AD12, to eyepieces in a range between a 24mm to a 9mm. Occasionally, if the sky supports it, I will use a smaller exit pupil on really small galaxies. For the larger, broad, and face-on low-surface-brightness galaxies, a larger exit pupil is helpful to me.
    For those objects that can take it varying the exit pupil by a little often gives interesting differences in detail.

    No, no filters required for galaxy observing. They don't really help, and they cut the light down too much.
    Yep. But I think JG might use some sometimes?

    Very few galaxies will offer views of dust lanes and structure. The brighter Messier galaxies can, on nights of excellent transparency, sometimes offer up these views. However, these may not be readily apparent. With practice and experience, one can begin to pick this stuff out, but it is quite subtle. Of course, the larger the aperture, the easier this can be, and the darker the sky, the better also. This is also a case of the more you observe, the more you begin to see.

    Nothing wrong with vitamins for overall well-being, but I don't think eyedrops would be especially beneficial. No alcohol to constrict blood flow. Seems like I've read that even smoking can have a bit of a negative effect too.
    Alcohol is also a nervous system depressant so it decreases the firing rate of rods and cones in the eye. Caffeine and hyperventilation can help improve acuity but as I get older and am more careful about blood pressure I no longer practice or recommend these tricks.

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    Default Re: Galaxies and how to view discussion

    Soo about a case of red bull and good to go haha
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    Default Re: Galaxies and how to view discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by not_Fritz_Argelander View Post
    Yep. But I think JG might use some sometimes?
    Yeah, he does. IIRC he has utilized a narrow-band nebula filter and O-III to accentuate HII regions. Also I believe he has used a blue filter as well with galaxies. He may even have tried an Ha-B I seem to recall as I know he likes to experiment a great deal. But of course he needs to verify all that.

    Personally I have utilized the first two for HII regions. M33 is a good candidate but there are other galaxies with brighter HII regions (relatively speaking) that are also benefited. I have also tested an LPR filter, such as the Orion Sky Glow, at both home (suburban) and dark site (country). The result was a very, very subtle contrast boost with some galaxies and nebulae. Nothing earth shattering of course and using such a broadband filter one would not see an object they couldn't already see without it. Low SBr galaxies such as NGC 6822 and NGC 6946 were given just a smidgen of contrast boost.
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