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Thread: First Andromeda Sighting!

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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!



    Welcome to the forums; that'll stay in your memory for sure! Wow moments, gotta love 'em

    Mark

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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    to AF, Starynight7!

    Wonderful thing the first time, isn't it!

    I remember my first look at M31 too. No chance for me to forget really. M31 here in Australia is never high up, so I had never really made any attempt to find it, just conceding that it was just a no-chance object. But then at a star party a few years ago, it was mentioned that M31 was visible, so I took a ho-hum chance at it, swinging my 17.5" scope around, peeked into the eyepiece, and HOLY HECK!!!

    We chanced upon a night with great transparency and stable seeing, even along the horizon, and the view of M31 was just something flaming awesome! I expected a smudge, but instead got an eyeful of dark dusty lanes, mottled arms, two brilliant companion galaxies, and a disk extension that went on and on!

    It would be another few years before I came across the same good conditions to see M31. Extraordinary to think that with the same scope but poor conditions, M31 can be barely seen. And the years of waiting finally paid off last year when I got to sketch her from here in Australia. M31 is a bit of a horizon grazer for us here...

    Attachment 150074

    I can only imagine what M31 must look like through a scope like mine when the galaxy is high up in the sky, and not dragging is knuckles along the ridge tops...

    Alex.
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    Another good galaxy for binoculars is the NGC 253. Sculptor galaxy.


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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigzmey View Post
    Welcome to the forum and gratz on catching Andromeda galaxy!

    M51 might be tough to observe with binos. Face-on galaxies are actually harder to see because of lower surface brightness.

    With no moon around you could try for another face-on - Triangulum galaxy (M33). I was able to observe it relatively easy with binos under dark skies.

    There are a few other (easy) targets for binos visible now in addition to M31:

    Orion Nebula (M42), Pleiades (M45), Beehive (M44)
    Thanks for the suggestions! I'll definitely be searching for those too! Seeing M31 has been such a thrill, I'm still hugely excited that I saw it. Watching it through my binoculars, it looked like a misty, white keyhole with a slightly glowing center spot. So many thoughts filled my head as I watched, how far away it is, how long ago the light left it. Cloudy here now, but can't wait to observe some more! I suspect M51 was just too obscured by moonlight, and too far away for me to spot it clearly.
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    It was literally the first time I ever saw another galaxy with my own eyes, so thrilling! Almost emotional, even. And I was so proud and excited that after I initially saw it, I was then easily able to find it again! I'll definitely look out for NGC253 too.
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    Quote Originally Posted by starrynight7 View Post
    It was literally the first time I ever saw another galaxy with my own eyes, so thrilling! Almost emotional, even. And I was so proud and excited that after I initially saw it, I was then easily able to find it again! I'll definitely look out for NGC253 too.
    M81 and M82 make for a great pair too and should show up in the same field of view. Small with your 10x50, but doable if your sky is dark enough.

    M31 really struck a cord with me. I got bit hard by the galaxy bug. I'm 881 galaxies in so far.

    Beware the galaxy bug!
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    You need to come south of the equator one day and see the two Magellanic Clouds. The SMC is a fuzzy blob, with 47Tuc licking its western edge. The LMC being a dwarf barred spiral, its bar and faint arms coming of from the ends if the bar really is quite something. The massive Tarantula Nebula sits just off the end of the southern most end. Once you understand the geometry of what is going on, it becomes so blooming obvious! Like with M31, understand the spiral structure, and the dust lanes stand out even more, and the whole thing takes on a stunning 3D aspect.

    I was out bush a couple of weeks ago with my 10 year old son. He is now making sense of everything I've been rabbiting on about for the last few years. We spent a couple of hours looking upat the sky. I had pointed out the Milky Way to him many times before, but this night, the penny dropped with what he was seeing, made sense of the massive structure that the MW is, the concept of light years, stellar evolution, the path of our Sun's end, and the place of the Magellanic clouds. The most staggering couple of hours I've had for a very long time, with a 10 year old, and my best mate. Only occasionally did we use the binos, otherwise it was all naked eye. I went to bed a changed man that night I certainly understand how this stuff can become an emotional experience

    Alex
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    Hello and welcome to the Forum. Enjoy.
    Peter.


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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    When I show people M31, they are often surprised by it's appearance. Most seem to think it is bigger but dimmer than they expected. Like most galaxies, the darker the sky the better she looks. A true gem that I never tire of looking at.
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    Sounds like a great night!! For these fainter ones (galaxies), the moon makes SUCH a difference. So you'll have to go back once the moon disappears and see how much better M31 is. It's sorta cool naked eye. It's so much better with binos. With a scope -- yow! And with a larger scope -- OMG!!!
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