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Finally found my first galaxies


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Well after a few months ownership of my 8"dob I found M81/82 last night. They really are faint fuzzies. Used a book called left turn at Orion to help me star hope there.

Stayed up until 1am (kept the mrs up too for her to see)

I've read that with an 8" scope you can barely make out the spiral arms. I could barely see the galaxies themselves. What would help me with this. Higher or lower mag EP's ? I'm just about to order a 5.5mm and a 32mm EP but have read recently about 12/13mm EP's and how good they can be.

Any thoughts / advice for me would be much appreciated

Leigh

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What always helps with galaxies is darker skys.

Right now the skys are not terribly dark, if you can wait until septermber you should find things are much better.

You may also find that you can train your night vision to be more effective.

I'd keep the money in my pocket right now.

Derek

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Congratulations on finding M81 and M82 - the best galaxies to view - more interesting than M31 in my opinion.

Though a fainter objects than M81 / M82 , the spiral structure in M51 is better defined than with M81 / M82 (the latter does not actually have a spiral structure, at least from the angle we see it). It still needs very dark skies to see it. I've been viewing M51 a lot recently with my 10" scope (there is a supernova in it at the moment) but can't make out spiral structure under these summer skies.

Edited by John
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Personally I find lower magnification good for tracking down a galaxy / nebula but often a bit of magnification helps to darken the background sky making a faint object (which most of these things are !) stand out more. I was using 150x on M51 last night for example with my 10" newtonian. The extended objects like M31 are exceptions to this but sometimes it's fun to "zoom in" even with those :)

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I've been viewing M51 a lot recently with my 10" scope (there is a supernova in it at the moment) but can't make out spiral structure under these summer skies.

I've heard that this was / has happened in M51 - What can I exect to see if if I look at this supernova

Leigh

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Congrats on your finds. I found my first DSO's on Sunday night and its a great sense of achievement aint it

M51 was one of them. In my 6" I couldnt see the SN but it is there. Doesnt it just appear as a bright star? I think it will fade over serveral weeks.

Arrow shows its position. See the before and after pics

post-27026-133877625624_thumb.jpg

Edited by Nova
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.I've heard that this was / has happened in M51 - What can I exect to see if if I look at this supernova

Leigh

A faint star glowing against the galactic disk in the position indicated in the pics. It's around magnitude 12.5 at the moment (my estimate based on last nights viewing) so pretty faint but doable. I just about glimpsed it with averted vision with my 6" a few nights ago. You need as much darkness as possible and fully dark adjusted eyes.

Edited by John
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For galaxies and nebula you need dark skies, And this must be the worst time for dark skies.

Things willl be better in 2 months, and you will have longer spells of dark to look.

As to eyepieces I would go for an 8mm, reasonable magnification, but not too much. I assume the scope is f/5?

If the object is already faint excessive magnification just spreads the gathered light out into a bigger image.

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Congratulations on your first galaxies. If you're nudging around with a dob, a lot of the pleasure is in the finding. I wish you many more successes. As you see more of the fuzzies the more you will perfect your techniques of averted vision and refine your choice of EPs, etc.

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