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  1. #1
    TUNATOO's Avatar
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    Default DSO's around Ursa Major



    I was hoping to swing around and take a look at more than the visible planets (although still need to view Saturn) the other week, so hauled out my Z10 to look for the following objects:

    M81 and M82 Double galaxies
    M51 Whirlpool galaxy
    M63 and M94 Spiral galaxies
    M108 Spiral galaxy (edge on)
    M97 Owl Nebula

    Aggressive list, I know, but I was unable to locate or view any of them. I kept looking at the planets to make sure my Telrad and collimation were good, but scanning the skies around the Big Dipper I could find none of the DSO's I was targeting.

    Are these just too faint for a 10'' DOB? Or was I just missing them?

    Thanks!
    Zhumell Z10 with 30mm and 9mm, Zhumell 2x Barlow, Telrad, Selsi 7x-15x35 zoom binoculars, Nikon D40 with 18-55 and 55-200 zooms.

  2. #2
    KathyNS's Avatar
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    Default

    How bad is the light pollution where you are? Under moderately dark skies, you should be able to see most of them. For sure M81 and M82 - they are relatively bright. I have seen them in 50mm binos. M51, being face-on, has low surface brightness and can be hard to see. I have seen most of those in my 8", so your 10" should get them all.

    Is the issue perhaps unrealistic expectations? None of them is going to look like more than a smudge of fuzz, a slightly paler shade of black than the background of space. You shouldn't expect to see Hubble-like images through the eyepiece.

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  3. #3
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    Default

    Hello Tonatoo,

    M108 is at the end of aloose star chain off Beta UMa, the Owl Nebula is slightly below.

    The Bode's galaxies M81, and M82 are tricky to hop in with a Dob, the same holds for the Whirlpool Galaxy M51. Best, you take a binocular to fix them, inspect the surrounding star fields, and then go there with your Dob.

    Regarding the other galaxies in CVn, have a look at the thread

    Easy star Hopping to 15 Galaxies in Spring

    Clear skies

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  4. #4
    TUNATOO's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the quick replies. I have seen Andromeda a couple of times, and the Orion Nebula always impresses, so was not expecting to see much more than something fuzzy. Our neighbors had their outdoor garage lights on, so even though the sky looked dark, there was light around the tube.

    I will check out the link, and go to an area in town where there is NO surface light to try again.

    Thanks for the tips! Even something fuzzy is incredible to view, given the distances.
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  6. #5
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    Default

    I put this up last year, it might help.
    Uploaded the image, it's big, lets try this.
    Take a look over here.
    Name - Verne / Call sign - KF7UHL

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  8. #6
    TUNATOO's Avatar
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    Great visual there Pederv, thanks!
    Zhumell Z10 with 30mm and 9mm, Zhumell 2x Barlow, Telrad, Selsi 7x-15x35 zoom binoculars, Nikon D40 with 18-55 and 55-200 zooms.

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    Default

    Instead of uploading the image I pointed to the thread where it's located, the image with M51, M101, M81, M82 labeled is towards the bottom of the page.
    Name - Verne / Call sign - KF7UHL

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TUNATOO View Post
    I was hoping to swing around and take a look at more than the visible planets (although still need to view Saturn) the other week, so hauled out my Z10 to look for the following objects:

    M81 and M82 Double galaxies
    M51 Whirlpool galaxy
    M63 and M94 Spiral galaxies
    M108 Spiral galaxy (edge on)
    M97 Owl Nebula

    Aggressive list, I know, but I was unable to locate or view any of them. I kept looking at the planets to make sure my Telrad and collimation were good, but scanning the skies around the Big Dipper I could find none of the DSO's I was targeting.

    Are these just too faint for a 10'' DOB? Or was I just missing them?

    Thanks!

    I see according to the most recent LP map I have access to, you are in a Bortle 5 area (orange for those that like the color designations). I am also in such an area. Your list is not too aggressive at all. I have seen all of them with my Z10 from my backyard. Granted they may not all knock your socks off, but they are within reach. A few things to remember:

    1) Try to shield yourself from any ground lighting as any light that sneaks into your observing eye will rob you of some of your night vision as well as weaken the contrast. I have gone as far as draping a black cloth over my head and focuser to eke out all the contrast I can.

    2) Be sure not to start your hunt with too much power - start lower (I start around 50 to 60x) then you can bump it up when you find the object.

    3) Scan very, very slowly when you are close to the target area as the objects can appear as faint mists against the background, so moving too fast will cause you to pass over them if you are unfamiliar with how they will appear. If you suspect you see a faint brightening in the background sky, try tapping your tube. If the object moves with the surrounding stars, you likely have found your quarry. Remember, our eyes are more sensitive to faint objects that are moving than those that are motionless.

    4) Given your location, I highly recommend you use your normal 8X50 finder in conjunction with your Telrad because trying to use a unity finder alone under moderate light polluted skies is limiting your star hopping ability. Use the Telrad to get you in the ballpark, but use the 8X50 to locate the star field of the object, and often times you might actually spot the object in it first. With the magnified finder you will see more stars which you can compare with your atlas in order to do more effective star hopping.

    I will add one challenge object to your list (though it isn't too much of a challenge). Try for NGC 2841, a bright galaxy near Ursa Major's front paw. The Ursa Major and Canes Venatici area is my absolute favorite for galaxy hunting because there are lots of targets and it gets high in the sky for most of us. Good luck, and hope you find success your next time out.
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  12. #9
    TUNATOO's Avatar
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    Thanks for ALL the helpful tips. Now to just get out of this full moon phase, and I'll be at it again, including NGC 2841
    Zhumell Z10 with 30mm and 9mm, Zhumell 2x Barlow, Telrad, Selsi 7x-15x35 zoom binoculars, Nikon D40 with 18-55 and 55-200 zooms.

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    yeah, if you were out recently the moon kills DSOs. Once its gone you should be good to go.
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