Jump to content

1564402927_Comet2021Banner.jpg.a8d9e102cd65f969b635e8061096d211.jpg

Help me find ny first galaxy


PRICEMAN
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi guys.

Had my 8" dob for a month now and getting to grips with it quite well. I've got a real interest in DSO's and so far have found M13/57/103. However I am desperate to find my first galaxy. Not sure why, guess it's a milestone that I want to achieve.

Every time I'm out viewing I keep trying to (unsuccessfully) locate M51 - whirlpool galaxy.

Do I need perfect conditions to see galaxies ? Which, in your opinion are the easiest ones to find ?

Location wise im in Liverpool, observe from my garden (which is pretty dark despite my neighbours Blackpool illuminations of solar lights)

Any advice would be much appreciated

Regards

Leigh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Better if you can get to a darker site away from the city. M31 should be visible from your location in a couple of months (darker sky really helps with galaxies). I can see M51 on a good night but not now with the light evenings.

Edited by nightvision
Link to comment
Share on other sites

M51 is quite hard to see - it presents itself as two smudges next to each other one smaller than the other by about a quarter to a third. You need averted vision and a very dark site to see it by eye - I wouldn't make that your first galaxy as it demands experienced observing.

Try for M81 and M82 - both together in the eyepiece and relatively easier to find cos they're a bit brighter than M51. Ones side on and the other is face on - beautifull sight to see. A little later in the year Andromeda comes round and M31 is an absolute doddle - great in binocs or a scope with a wide ep it's even visible naked eye. Again easy to find. Your dob is well capable of both my suggestions but a very dark site and completely dark adapted eyes is a must.

Hope that helps. :)

Edited by brantuk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with previous comments. Later in the year everything will get much better for dso's, longer periods of dark and the earth will be in a much better position for us northern hemisphere observers. Andromeda was my first Galaxy when i started in feb/march. I have learnt so much since then that my viewing will be much better, thanks to all the peeps on this forum and their advice. Spend your time getting fully acquainted with your scope so when the time comes you'll be ready for some good viewing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Adamski. Yes, the viewing will get much better when it's darker. You'll be able to pick out many more stars. I have spent this season manily waiting for clear skies and upgrading my scope etc.

Good luck Leigh! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that M81/M82 is a good one to try and find. They are the only galaxies (other than M31) that I can see with my 10x50 bins from Dudley. M31 is brighter and perhaps easier but if you don't want to wait for M31. A good star atlas or software and pair of bins will be a big help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As said by night vision, dark skies and getting your eyes well adjusted to the dark are very important in being able to spot them. Galaxies are big but have low surface brightness ie the brightness is spread over a large area so they can be very tricky to spot if the skies aren't dark. Particularly at this time of year, you will need to be up late for full darkness regardless of the light pollution.

A low power eye piece will be best, you might want to consider a sky glow filter but they don't necessarily perform that well on galaxies, better on nebulae. Dark sky is far more likely to give you results I think.

I have always found m51 quite tricky to find and not that rewarding even when you do find it unless under a very dark sky. Maybe try m81 and m82, I actually find m82 stands out more easily of the two. M31 would be easier when it is next visible.

Check on stellarium for the star fields around the target and make sure you know the field of view you are using so you know what you should be seeing and then just star hop from a known star to where the galaxy should be. Took me ages to find my first galaxies without goto but very rewarding when you do find them finally. Your scope is definitely up to giving you good results.

Hope that's of some use.

Cheers

Stu

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Leigh

Some good suggestions there. Hunting down Galaxies with these light evenings is a late night operation.:)

However may I suggest you look for M94 in Canes Venatici. it has high surface brightness and therefore is an easier target for your first Galaxy.

It is relatively easy to locate too.

Regards Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the trick to observing is actually knowing where to look and re-visiting objects time after time.

When I started out a couple of months ago with a 130P it took me ages to find anything.. apart from lots and lots of stars. I spent a night looking for M51 and still wasn't sure I'd actually managed to spot it.

After the supernova I spent 3 nights imaging it and by the end of the last night, could actually make out the faintest of smudges with a pair of binoculars as I knew exactly where to look.

The same goes for Andromeda. Where I am in Hampshire it is semi-rural and I get it coming up over the trees at about 2:30am. Now I know exactly where to look it's easily visible with the naked eye, even so close to dawn.

How much of this is light dependent or your brain filling in detail I don't know but in all my years and all the nights I've been out in pitch darkness, I'd never seen anything in the sky that wasn't a star or the faint glow of the milky way spiral arm.

Now the sky appears to be positively cluttered with things to see. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Stellarium will greatly improve your chances in locating your first galaxy. My first was Andromeda since it actually can be seen with the naked eye but complete darkness is greatly needed which can be a little complicated at this time of year.

Isabelle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1 for M81/82 assuming you can see the area concerned from your viewing point.

M31 appears about 2am at my garden site in the north east approx.

the best thing of all for galaxies is dark skies. at home, even in the 12" dob, M51 is a faint pair of smudges. at a dark site it's almost (but of course not quite) photographic and a wonderful sight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must confess, when ever I'm out with my telescope I always have Distant Suns 3 running on my iPhone (about £5 but I use it all the time), I also have Stellarium on my phone but that is a bit clumsier to use on a phone than on a PC/laptop

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you search for something like messier list or catelogue by date, somewhere on this forum there is a very helpful document to let you find out the best time to see each DSO. If you can't find it pm me

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.