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Thread: First Andromeda Sighting!

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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!



    I don't think you can beat your Nikon 10x 50 binos with any hand held monocular. The main advantage of a monocular is portability. They are half the size and weight of comparable binoculars, but like binos, there is a limit to practical magnification. Anything greater than 10x is hard to hold steady. You'd need a monopod, which kind of defeats the purpose of portability. At greater magnification, i.e. 15x or 20x, "monocular" morphs into "spotting scope."
    You could get a decent 15x or 20x with tripod for around $100. Probably someone here can suggest a specific brand or model.
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    I don't think you can beat your Nikon 10x 50 binos with any hand held monocular. The main advantage of a monocular is portability. They are half the size and weight of comparable binoculars, but like binos, there is a limit to practical magnification. Anything greater than 10x is hard to hold steady. You'd need a monopod, which kind of defeats the purpose of portability. At greater magnification, i.e. 15x or 20x, "monocular" morphs into "spotting scope."
    You could get a decent 15x or 20x with tripod for around $100. Probably someone here can suggest a specific brand or model.
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    Scopes: Vixen VMC200L, D=200mm, F=1950, f/9.75; Televue 2" Everbright diagonal. Coronado PST; AstroTech EDT 80mm, F=480, f/6. Mounts: Vixen SXW/Starbook (original); Stellarvue M2C alt-az. Eyepieces: Televue: 55mm Plossl, 22mm Panoptic, 17.3mm Delos, 13mm Nagler, c. 1980, 11mm Plossl, 7mm Nagler; Meade 15mm Super Plossl; VERNONSCOPE 2.4X BARLOW. Binoculars: Leica 8x32 Trinovids, circa 1997; Orion Megaview 20x80, Orion Paragon Plus mount.

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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    Quote Originally Posted by starrynight7 View Post
    I love my 10x50 Nikons, they give me great FOV and clarity, pretty good magnification too within focus. One day I'd like to get a telescope, but not a big fan of cumbersome things, so have been thinking about trying a large monocular to see if I can get better magnification and clarity. What's a good handheld mono or binoculars I should maybe try for astronomy purposes? Preferably under 100 dollars, thanks!
    Going above 10x in magnification would make things shaky and would require a tripod. You wouldn't be able to get a good binos/tripod combo under $100.

    But as Voyageur suggested, you can get a starter spotting scope/photo tripod package under $100. I have an old 12-36x zoom 60mm Bushell spotting scope with $40 photo tripod. It works. Still use it as travel/vacation package.
    Last edited by Bigzmey; 02-15-2017 at 10:13 PM.

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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    These Nikons are hard to beat! Tonight had a bit of a jackpot. Saw the Orion Nebula very clearly with the naked eye, no moon, absolutely amazing. Through bins, could make out two bright stars close together near the center, surrounded by a blue-ish white cloudy area apparently the star-forming region. Then I searched again for M51, I think I finally caught it, barely visible, cloudy glowing area. Extremely faint. Then looked for M81, and found it and could make out both it and M82 very close together. Both much more visible than M51, but harder to locate in fov. I also saw a white misty patch just north east of Casseopiea, thought it might be some kind of nebula, but appeared through bins to be an ordinary star cluster. Amazing what a black, cold clear night you can see! Bit of another milestone..saw M31 with the naked eye quite clearly. Very cool!
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    Great progress! Observing with binos is just a different kind of experience. I like it as much as observing with telescope, or just stargazing with my 1x eyes .

    Many smaller open clusters are not resolved in binos and look like small nebula. But then there are plenty which get resolved into stars and there are quite few very large, that are best viewed in binos. Perseus, Orion and Canis Major have a few large ones.
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    I am continually amazed at the amazing views I'm getting through these 10x50's! Seeing the Orion Nebula was easy with the naked eye, last night was very cold and clear, it was very vivid, milky, and hazy patch. So cool to see a clearly dynamic process going on from earth. I was also extremely excited to finally see M81 and M82. I had been searching for M81 for several nights, I knew the general area of the sky, and that it would be fairly visible if I knew where to look. That was the tricky part, but last night I finally found it. What I saw was one galaxy horizontal on the left, appearing to be face on, and another slither of a galaxy just to it's right, slightly tilted, but just a line. I assume the horizontal larger one was M81 and the one on the right that was more tilted was M82. They were clearly separate, but right next to each other, very cool! They had to be galaxies because they were smudges like M31, only dimmer and much fainter. Also, it was interesting to compare how M31 is on it's side from earth, while these two (M81 and M82 looked to be horizontal. I couldn't observe them too long because they were literally right above my head and my neck started hurting lol. But it was so cool to see!
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    Nice! The most comfortable way to observe with free hand binos is seating/laying in reclining lawn chair. You can raise back to observe closer to horizon, or low it down to observe near zenith.

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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    Very nice! Keep track of the Messier objects (and other stuff) for you logs. When you get to 30 you can put in for the forum's Messier Visual Award. If you want, that is.

    Plus, it's fun (to me anyway) to look back over your logs and see how you've progressed in the hobby.
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    So far I've seen: M31, M45, M42, M51, M81, & M82! My favorite is M31, seeing it's glowing center is thrilling every time. I can almost feel it humming away when I watch it. Last night, I got my best view yet of one of my current targets, M81 & M82. I found them initially the other night, but now that I know where they are, I was able to get a pretty good lengthy view. M81 is clearly face on, and obviously quite large! It appeared to me on the left, face on, and it's core barely visible. M82 was to the upper right of M81 in the sky. It's smaller, and just a slither, and somewhat tilted. It's so cool to me how the two galaxies are side by side. Evidently there was an observable supernova in M82 in 2014, that was visible through binoculars, wished I could have caught a glimpse of that! Aside from M31, M81 has been the most visible, clear galaxy I've viewed thus far.

    One note about the two bottom stars in Orion. Last night, while observing, not sure if it was Saiph or Rigel, but it was definitely one of the two. Anyway, the star was white/blue and was extremely bright. It really really glistened and I had a rather surreal experience where it seemed that the star was pulsing it was twinkling so furiously. And this was with the naked eye. I think it was Saiph because it was below the belt and just to the upper right of Sirius and it wasn't Sirius. The star was visibly twinkling and pulsating so much (probably somewhat due to earth's atmospheric interference) that I kept thinking, this star could be on the brink of going supernova. Anyway, just a fun footnote to a really productive night of observations.
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    Default Re: First Andromeda Sighting!

    The bright star in Orion I was noticing was Rigel. I pinpointed it. Extremely vivid, bright star, appears to me to burn even more furiously than Sirius to the naked eye. It gives the sensation of burning so intensely that you almost think it could explode right in front of you. Very vivid motion in that star. Gave me the odd sensation of almost recoiling at times when watching it because it was so intensely burning.

    Last night saw clear view of what I think was Jupiter, just above the eastern horizon, and to the southeast, what I think was Spica, a whitish star. I saw If it was Jupiter, I think I saw the spot on it, not sure if that would be visible through binoculars, but it appeared to be a large black spot in my binoculars. Very cool. Had a very light yellow tint to it. Thought it might have been Arcturus instead of Jupiter, not sure.

 

 
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