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I've Misplaced M101, sorry!


CKemu
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I've done a vague alignment tonight, as tonight was purely intended to be an observational night.

So centered Polaris, spun my scope around and it stayed fairly central! Next I align on two stars, and start exploring, seen M82, M13, Saturn and a few other interesting objects, decided to aim for M101, never seen it and thought it would be rather cool to see.

Scope slews, beeps and tells me it's ready, nothing, not even a fuzzy spot. Now I am in a light polluted city, so even considering I could see M82, I attached the camera and let it take a 3 minute exposure, nothing.

So I slew back to a few others, which appear dead bang central in my EP, slew back to M101, and still nothing. I start spiraling out from the original point, and try finding it, still nothing!

Even with Mizar and Alkaid as guides, I simply can't find it. Don't tell me, it's red shifted out of existence! :)

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M101 is quite tough to spot under a light polluted sky, so even if your scope

is pointing at it, does not mean you can see it !

Your 8" Meade should show it easily from a dark site, when the Moon is absent.

Best to use your lowest power/widest field EP.

Good luck, Ed.

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The problem with M101 is that it is a spiral virtually face on to us and it covers quite a large area of sky.

As a result the light is spread out over the same wide area of sky, so it appears a lot fainter than the magnitude quoted. An edge on or more compact galaxy of the same magnitude would be much easier to see.

Dave

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Hi

You were right. It's red shifted out of existence.:)

Seriously though as others have said it's surface brightness is low low low so any LP or Moonlight and it's washed out and gone.

Its a huge object covering around 22 arc-minutes or so, so low power is your best plan of attack.

With high power a scope just "looks through" it.

with low power your looking for a slight brightening in the sky background. If you have observed M33 then Its quite like that only smaller.

Regards Steve

Edited by swamp thing
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Is this difference in quotation called apparent brightness, or perhaps surface brightness?

Does anyone know of a list that has got the Messiers with their apparent brightness, as opposed to absolute magnitude?

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Is this difference in quotation called apparent brightness, or perhaps surface brightness?

Does anyone know of a list that has got the Messiers with their apparent brightness, as opposed to absolute magnitude?

Wikipedia gives this data but it is Wiki so nothing is certain but I guess the figures for apparent magnitude are close enough, M1 is given a figure of 9 whilst Stellarium gives 8.4 :)

List of Messier objects - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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