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About webboid

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    Star Forming

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    Norwich UK

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  1. Patience, practice & more practice. They are all up there finding them is best done with a star map like sky & telescope pocket atlas. I use a red dot or telrad type finder first to get in the right area. Then use a regular finderscope or low power eyepiece to star hop to your chosen target. Even if the Moon is up you should see a good few things with your scope. I was out last night with friends at a dark sky location. Even in an 85mm refractor of my friend we saw globular clusters, galaxies & nebulae. Allow your eyes to get adapted to the darkness by avoiding bright lights from
  2. You should be able to see NGC 3628 in an 8" scope from a dark site. Low magnification if you want to see all three. About 40' fov should get it. If you have the two brighter galaxies in view move the scope up a bit perpendicular to them & you should see a faint much larger edge on galaxy. Have seen it several times from mag 5+ dark site with my old 8".
  3. Martin Thanks for these maps. You can download them direct or download them to dropbox as cloud storage. I just download & store on my PC. I have 50gb for free in my dropbox so aparker must have a lot stored there
  4. Forgot to say. I don't use lp filters as they also dim the object you are trying to see. Optimum magnification as I recal was between 75 to 100x with my 8" & patience at the eyepiece. Also moving the scope in the location your looking sometimes lets you catch a glimpse of the faint fuzzy you're after. M3, M94 & cat's eye are nice objects. Why not try the eskimo nebula, not too tricky to find & can take a good bit of magnification. Happy hunting.
  5. Is It a smudge from my garden happens a lot. That is actually the most satisfying reward of all. I often say to myself how amazing it is that I can see dozens of galaxies from my urban location. It is a bit easier with the 12" now. That I use at home mostly & despite what some say it has revealed many more faint fuzzies.
  6. I now use a dictaphone at the scope. I can describe what I see without stopping observing. Then I write up my log & update my spreadsheet some time later.
  7. Sometimes it seems an uphill struggle to see dsos from urban locations. However what I have found is that the brighter skies have forced me to be more certain of my star hopping accuracy. Improved my observing technique along with reliance on averted vision to tease out the more illusive. But most of all when I do get to a dark sky location I truly appreciate what a thrill it is to see some of these spectacular objects in a totally different way. Only last night I was doing exactly that. Over 40 objects observed with the Moon up under dark skies. That was over three hours. At home I may see 10
  8. I agree Stu. When I had my 8" skywatcher I was amazed how much more I could see from a reasonably dark sky. At our local club which can be NELM mag 5.5 or better I could easily see M110 near the Andromeda galaxy but from home I rarely saw it. Also M33 impossible from home but visible at the dark sky site. Also M13 resolving stars nearly to the core.
  9. Looking at my records observing mainly from my back garden with my 8" under typically mag 4 skies I observed over 100 objects including 20 odd galaxies & several globular clusters & p/n over 16 months before I got a bigger scope. Loads more seen from a proper dark sky with the 8" too. Though surface brightness may be a limitation with brighter skies I still have a go as occasionally I have seen thing never seen again because it was a good transparent sky. Happy hunting.
  10. More aperture will always show more. But of all my scopes I love my st102 grab & go. Planets, lunar, double stars, clusters & some galaxies from my back garden. Set up in seconds & observing straight away. I use it more often than the others too.
  11. A good start would be M81/82. As a mainly urban observer myself I tend to hunt for targets at least 40 degrees above the horizon to avoid sky glow. M65/66 may be too low. Also try M94. If you can see any or all of these your skies are not so bad. It is useful referring to a resource that gives dso magnitudes. Keep a note of what you have seen as some nights the sky may be more transparent & show you dimmer stuff. After a while you will realise what magnitude range you can try for.
  12. Try looking at some open clusters or some of the wider double stars. Regarding ep stick with them as most alternatives are likely to be more expensive than your scope. I suspect the 4 mm is too much magnification.
  13. My solution to the local ambient lights was to build a temporary light shield. It has gone through several variations over the years. It is 3m square 2.1m high. Made with 75mm garden post in sockets in the grass & tarpaulins. It can be taken down but I leave it up from late autumn till early spring. No body complains & it works well. My big dob in the front only gets used at dark sites & wont fit, plus up the ladder I would be above the screen. But my other scopes work superbly well & when I am sat down the screens block the neighbours upstairs lights too.
  14. I have bought mostly second hand so hope that should I sell up I would get most of my investment back. However I like the idea of thinking of cost per session. So adding all my equipment up roughly & dividing by no of observing sessions since I started 3 years ago it costs about £25 per session. I don't think I will be buying too much more stuff so each year the cost per use will go down. So not so expensive if you look at it like that.
  15. I used to really get frustrated when the moon was up & hindering my hunt for those sometimes elusive galaxies from my modestly light polluted back garden. As my telescope collection has grown & my desire to observe when ever it is clear my thinking changed. So I look forward to clear Moonless nights for hunting galaxies & other faint fuzzies with one of my bigger scopes. The 18" is used from proper dark locations I use & the 12" from home. When the Moon is up I then focus my attention on Lunar, planetary & double star observation with my Mak or refractor. Very happy now whe
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