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Hi everyone.

Yesturday i was out with my new Skyliner 200p dob. I had driven a few kilometers to a very dark place. No buildings or trees blocked my view.

I started up by watching at saturn, first with the 25mm EP, and then with the 10mm EP. It was so beautiful.

Next i wanted to see M81 and M82. I looked for 20 minutes and was only able to see stars. I gave up and started looking for Ngc 4449 and M106. I also looked for this for about 20 minutes. Did not find anything there either.

I was about to give up and decided to look M36. After another 20 minutes i finaly found it.

I was quite disappointed that i could not find any of the objects that i really wanted to see :D

So here comes my questien. Are the objects i was looking for still to small even in my 8" dobsonian? If so, what am i able to see?

Edited by AstroLuke
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Define what you were expecting to see ? If you are looking for DSO's then it's best to start with a low magnification such as your 25mm, and then some objects will still be seen as fuzzy grey/green blobs streaks or smears. Some of the globular clusters like M13 look amazing even at low power, but don't expect hubble like images when viewing

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I was quite disappointed that i could not find any of the objects that i really wanted to see :D

So here comes my questien. Are the objects i was looking for still to small even in my 8" dobsonian? If so, what am i able to see?

This link may help Star Hopping Guide

it shows how to 'star hop' to find objects without goto.

At first, it seems hard to do, but once learned, it works very

well indeed, and is great fun. This is not to 'knock' goto

technology. It's just another way to do astronomy.

Your 8" scope is capable of lots of fine sights, especially from

a dark site. From a light polluted site, then the objects least

affected are the Moon, planets, double stars. Thats not to

say you cannot do 'faint fuzzies' from the town, just that you

will be more restricted in what you see.

And of course you won't see objects visually like those fine

pics in magazines and books.

When I started visual astronomy (1979) an 8" scope was

something I could only dream about !! So have fun :)

HTH, Ed.

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A good aid to pointing for a dob is an Azimuth setting circle for the base and a Wixey angle guage for the tube. These are surprisingly accurate and you can get the object coordinates from Stellarium or Cartes du Cielle. The whole lot will cost no more than about £30 and will transform your searching.

Some of the objects you're looking for there are very faint and require very good seeing, total darkness, and selection of the right eyepiece. Some may require averted vision. :D

Edited by brantuk
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I was not expecting to see magazine pictures at all. I was just hoping to see different objects than all of the stars around it. Smudged out galaxy is fine with me. I think its amazing to just see objects so far away.

@UTMonkey: I alligned it to Saturn making it pretty akkurate.

Some of the things that made it extra hard was that the finder scope was upsite down. When looking into the finder scope, loads of extra stars appeared, making it very hard to actual see where i was pointing the scope.

Also, could anyone reccomend any of the brighter objects? I will be going out again today and have a look, but i will not be going to the dark site so i am expecting quite a bit of pollution. I will not be able to watch the moon tho, as it rises very late.

/Thanks

Edited by AstroLuke
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It's the view in the scope that's upside down - also reversed left to right. Can be confusing and takes a little getting used to. I use a right angled correct image finder which makes a bit easier for me - but it's more to save my back from awkward bending to see through a straight through finder. What mount are you using btw? :D

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It sounds like one of your problems is with using the finder, many dob users also use a telrad finder, one nebula that is quite recognisable is the ring nebula in lyra not the easiest to find find straight off. but once you are looking at it you will know what it is, it can be seen in a much smaller scope in a fairly light polluted sky so if you can find it you will definately see it

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I have the 10" Skyliner and have had nights like this. Massive frustration and you feel like you have wasted your time and should give up.

Here is my advice:-

Vent! and try again another night. I tried for 3 nights and a total of 2 hours before I found M81 & 82 and even then I needed averted vision.

I have since learnt more tricks like telescope tapping, averted vision, star hopping, sky scanning and have also learn to not over tighten the handles.

You will get nights like this and the best thing to do is to record what you did to try and find whatever it was, then try something different on another night and when you do find it remember to record how you found it for future reference.

@Brantuk - I will look into SC/Wixey mod as it sounds like a great time and stress saver.

Be safe and warm,

Neil

Edited by Venus_is_my_friend
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Ive got the same scope and it took me two days to find m13 and i knew where it was heh as you said the finder scope is pretty hard as you see a lot of extra stars in it especially at A dark site, gonn get a telrad/red dot finder and sell the supplied finder and swap it for the corrected right angled one (eventually) also as was stated im taking it as a learning experience can't expect to be a sky wizard from day one

theres a link to setting circles mod in the dob user group and link to a setting circle generator

Edited by ZEbbEDY
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Thanks for all the anwsers. Got some good advice already.

Im still looking for good objects to see while under light pollution.

Am also looking for some good star charts. I have 2 books already but they are not that good since they only show the brightests stars. Preferably charts i can print out from the pc.

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Thanks for all the anwsers. Got some good advice already.

Im still looking for good objects to see while under light pollution.

Am also looking for some good star charts. I have 2 books already but they are not that good since they only show the brightests stars. Preferably charts i can print out from the pc.

I can nearly always see M13 in Hercules in heavily light polluted skies so you should have no problem with it. The beehive cluster is also very easy to see and at the moment is a favourite of mine.

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I don't know if this will help, but my approach is to have a list of targets I want to see. Then I use Stellarium to figure out where they will be and use that to starhop. Turn Left at Orion is another resource I use too.

The 9x50 finder was confusing so I swapped that out for a simple red dot finder, which is more intuitive :)

Good luck :D

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I have a 5 inch scope and look at what I’ve seen with it in my sig. That’s all in a few months. You just need to prepare by knowing the FOVs of your eyepieces, having a list of objects to observe, using the ocular function in stellarium or copying out sketches of star hops to the objects.

You also need to fine tune your observing eye to be able to pick up the faint smudges. I expect from a dark sky with an 8 inch scope though you will be able to see all sorts of detail like faint spiral arms of galaxies and detail in planetary nebulas.

Good luck.

Edited by Ursa Major
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I think this is a very good example where an idea of doing something meets with reality of delivering it, be it observing or imaging.:D

One of the difficulties that I experienced starting off was the finder being inverted and reversed. It was as if finding this stuff was difficult enough now there was something else to overcome so AstroLuke, I know the feeling! You have two choices to avoid doing things the hard way. First, accept the equipment you've got but use a sympathetic map like those found in Turning Left at Orion, which breaks it all down into bite sized pieces. Or, change the finder for a right angled one (my preference) easier on the neck and more intuitive to use though, it is likely to still be reversed. It does sound like you are in need of a better map than you have already which will show a bit more detail, as it's surprising how many more stars you see when looking through the finder. I would scan the internet for this as there are plenty of resources that are free and by printing off what you need for that night, everything then becomes more manageable. Whilst the wallet is out,:) do think about a Telrad or similar device which really does put you in the right spot to start with, especially if you are now observing from a dark site and then use the finder scope to close right in and then it should be in your eyepiece!

Just to echo some of the comments above, it is a little tricky at the start, but if you take some time to find an object you are less likely to forget where it is for next time!

James

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Am also looking for some good star charts. I have 2 books already but they are not that good since they only show the brightests stars. Preferably charts i can print out from the pc.

Do you have Stellarium? If not get it here

To print from Stellarium put a copy on the clip board by pressing PrintScreen and then copy this to your graphics program. To show black stars on a white background invert from the tools menu.

HTH

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I was out yesturday and succeeded in finding M13, and M53. I was very pleased when i found them, especially M13 was great and quite big compared to M53.

I found that i could not really see that M53 was a globular cluster. If someone had told me it was a galaxy or a nebula i would have believed them. Hercules was great but here i couldnt see the stars in the middle of the cluster. Only the stars around the centrum of the cluster were sharp and really visible.

Is this because of the big amount of stars, making it hard to get sharpness or is something wrong with the mirror? o:

I found a red dot sight from my old M4A1 softgun that fitted perfectly on the telescope. This made it alot easier to point it to a bright star and star hop from there.

Im already looking forward to next weekend :D

Edited by AstroLuke
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Luke

M13 is a showpiece object and it is physically nearer to us than M53, 25000 light years and 58000 light years respectively. This means that in a scope the apparent size of M13 is almost 20 arc minutes and M53 is only 13 arc minutes across. Even in much larger scopes M53 can appear a bit of a smudge where as M13 easily resolves into individual stars. Try M3 next time and M92.

Red dots and Telrads do make starhoping easier!

Hope this helps

Adrian

Edited by JAO
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Dob is right seeing conditions play a big part but also the density of stars towards the centre appears to increase so resloving them is tougher.

Adrian

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