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Andomeda ,,, or Not?


wiseman

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I had a great opportunity to stargaze ( unless you count niece and nephew playing with the red torch and switching it to white light by mistake)

Warm night, Milky way visible from garden, threatening clouds scooted away at sundown.

So, lets find Andromeda. Find the Andromeda constellation, up the arm, third star, go up, grimble around, and smudge-tastic in a 28mm e/p.

Or was it?

I couldnt see any elipse, it looked more like a squashed fuzzy football. There are supposed to be two other M's Just nearby

M32

and

M110.

So given that I couldn't see either of the other two, even with judicious scooting around with the Junk-o-matic, and given that TLAO seems to indicate that you should see 31 and 32 in 28mm at the same time, have I made a schoolboy error, was this 32 or 110, or was it something else?

Any ideas?

TA

Wise

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That sounds like it. The other two galaxies are a surprising distance from what is visible of the core. It takes a bit of practice (and not too much light pollution) to make out the dust lanes which are about a core width out from the visible part of the core. The other two galaxies are out beyond that.:)

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was this 32 or 110, or was it something else?

That was exactly my thoughts on my first viewing of M31. M32 is little more than a fuzzy star, M110 for me last night was very feint, little more that a grey haze just out of the field of view.

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it was probably andromeda...even thru an 8" newt with a decent eyepiece all you will see is a faint grey smudge.

Heck, I can make out an elliptical smudge in a SW 9 x 50 finerscope from middle of a town... in those dark skies in SW France he should be able to make it out naked eye :)

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Heck, I can make out an elliptical smudge in a SW 9 x 50 finerscope from middle of a town... in those dark skies in SW France he should be able to make it out naked eye :)

Definitely. In southern France it was really easy with the naked eye, and beautiful in both 15x70 bins and the 80mm at 22x. M110 is more easily distinguished from a star than M32 (at low magnification), but both were visible in the 80mm.

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The core of M31 is much, much brighter than the arms, and many photographs are very quick to deceive you into thinking what you SHOULD be seeing. Any kind of light pollution at all is bound to decrease the contrast between the arms and the background to almost unity !

As I mentioned in another post, I can almost make out the galaxy better with a pair of 7 or 10 X 50 binocs than I can with an 8 inch F:10 SCT. A real dark sky, where you almost cannot see your hand in front of your face, and the Milky Way arches overhead, is the ideal venue for seeing M31 and a host of other "dim fuzzies". Unfortunately, it is getting harder and harder to find conditions like that, both here, and there !

Clear skies, Jim S.

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