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Thread: Trying to see Andromeda

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    Default Trying to see Andromeda



    I was out last night and found Andromeda, I'm pretty sure. But it looked like a small blur, so I am wondering if it is supposed to appear as more than that. I used my 25mm eyepiece and I was in a clear place. This is on my Skyquest XT8. Am I doing something wrong as to why this didn't detail a little better? I guess I was hoping to see a slight swirl but thus far I haven't been able to see any DSO's. The only thing I have seen are stars of different colors but nothing else, even as I scan the sky slowly, and reading my star chart. Even looking at Orion's belt, I didn't see anything at all, just a bright dot that is a star.
    My 38 mm eyepiece is coming in today, so will that really make a difference? I guess I was hoping to see something clearer than what I am currently. I'm sure the scope is fine, so I believe there is something wrong with my own setup. Any advice?

    PJFrank

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    Default

    You want see DSO like you do in pictures I'm afraid. That comes with astrophotography.

    What you saw would be what we would all see . Its best to use low power so you're ew EP coming would help. Try using averted vision , thats like using your perifioral vision to observe, don't look directly at the image in the ep, rather to the side of it.
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    I knew I wouldn't see it up close, but thought I would see more than a blur. I kinda expected to see what this website shows: Can I See a Galaxy?

    There 's a picture lower down on the site of Andromeda using an XT8. I didn't see this though.
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    pj....I like the descriptions and photos on that link you posted. Very interesting to see the telescope differences.
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    A lot of factors can come into play Pj , seeing being a particular one. Focus is another. One is out of user control , the other is user dependant.. Good focus , good seeing conditions and some detail , with averted vision, can be seen. You're eye's need to be dark adapted as well, that can take about 30mins, you're '' looking '' will improve with each session you do .
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    Thanks Pete. I'm still working on this. I will need to find a darker area, I believe.

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    Hi pjfrank,

    You are probably better off comparing what you see to other amateur astronomer's sketches and not to any photographs:

    Astronomy Sketch of the Day

    - click "Previous Entries" half way down the page to see others. Cheers!

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    Hi Pj ... A good book to get is "turn left at orion" It has description's and sketches of what stuff will look like through different scopes and how to find them season by season ... The seeing conditions also have a lot to do with what things look like as well ...What brand of eyepiece is your 38mm ?...
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    Just got the Q70 from Orion Telescopes page. Haven't looked yet. Hope it helps me see what I am looking for.

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    I came here today to ask about viewing Andromeda in my XT8 telescope. Kind of sad to here is looks like a blob... 25mm eyepiece? Light polluted skies you live in? Did you use a filter?

    I know where I live, filters dramatically (I mean, DRAMATICALLY) improve nebula and planatery viewing. Unfortunately I have never seen a galaxy yet... or I looked at one and had now clue it was a galaxy because it was small and non-distinct.
    I agree with what someone else said here about your eyes dark adapting. When I first got into telescope using, I had a very difficult time seeing anything in the sky other than planets, even through the telescope. After sitting outside night after night for 30 minutes, staring into deep space with the 25mm eyepiece and some filters, I can pick out any unique objects in the sky in an instant! Planets come in with greater detail and I am starting to master my telescope.

    Also (again like someone else said), using your peripheral vision; some days, I see dozens of stars through my peripheral vision but then when I actually look into the spot, I cannot see the object at all. Depending on the pollution in the sky, what you were looking at with your eyes during the day (staring at bright computers, lights, and working in sunlight can spoil your night vision for days), and how patient you are, you can see many deep space objects clearer.
    The eyes are like a telescope. They need to adapt to the environment and viewing conditions around you. Also, when looking at objects, keep focusing in and out on the object. Bring in the magnification more and move your eye farther back from the object. Sometimes, more detail will come through. Playing with the magnification constantly can sometimes assist you in catching that sweet spot and the perfect time.
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