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A bit of a newbie question again, I was in my back garden last night and was looking around Ursa Major with my 130p and managed to pick up on what I think was M81. Sky conditions were not perfect and it was quite low in the sky. M81 if it was, just looked like a large oval greyish smoke patch and almost filled the F.O.V in my 26mm E.P. Looking at Stellarium I think I was in the right area. Could not see M82 but I think that may be asking a bit much. Was this M81 ???? I really hope so because I have not seen many things from Mr Messier yet.

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Hmmmm... Do you mean M31?

M81 is pretty small, it won't "almost filled the field" of your 26 mm eyepiece. The 26 mm will yield a magnification of 25x which means a true field of view of 2 degrees (if it's a 50 degree AFOV eyepiece). M81 has an apparent size of about 10 or 15 arc minutes (depends on light pollution and aperture). Your 2 degree field of view would have included both M81 and M82 and looked rather a lot like Neil's photo.

Not sure what you saw, but there aren't a lot of bright celestial objects that would fill a 2 degree field. The only one in the area that makes sense is M31.

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Hmmmm... Do you mean M31?

M81 is pretty small, it won't "almost filled the field" of your 26 mm eyepiece. The 26 mm will yield a magnification of 25x which means a true field of view of 2 degrees (if it's a 50 degree AFOV eyepiece). M81 has an apparent size of about 10 or 15 arc minutes (depends on light pollution and aperture). Your 2 degree field of view would have included both M81 and M82 and looked rather a lot like Neil's photo.

Not sure what you saw, but there aren't a lot of bright celestial objects that would fill a 2 degree field. The only one in the area that makes sense is M31.

Gotta agree with this. Sounds more likely that M31 is the culprit.

If you saw M81 you would almost certainly see M82 as well. I can get both in the same field in my 16" at low power (59x(larger scopes are not noted for huge fields or view)).

Regards Steve

Edited by swamp thing
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Hi I have the same scope as you. I have been looking for M81 for a while on and off and I can not find it. I was even discussing it on this very forum in a thread I started only yesterday.

I would doubt it was M81 you saw for reasons others suggested.

Now tell me if I am wrong but M31 is Andromeda galaxy and that is quite big yes but I am almost sure ( and again I could be wrong as I am a complete novice) that M31 is in a different place in the sky to M81

To change the subject slightly but to ask you a question, Have you looked at Jupiter through your scope yet? I am dying to but it is obscured by my house till around 3am! I would just like to here from someone with the same scope what its like. I just upgraded my eyepieces to Meade 4000's in preparation for Jupiter.

Good luck with the Messier objects. The great cluster in Hercules is a good one to find and quite easy.

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M81 and M82 are small and bright. They are some of the few galaxies which will easily punch through light polluted skies. In fact, experienced observers from really dark, steady, sites have reported seeing them naked eye.

The only issue right now is that they're fairly low in the sky. The other problem with them is that they are a little hard to find from light polluted skies because there are few guide stars in the area. They're definitely there, though :)

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I`ve seen Jupiter in a 130P, 150P and 200P and its a stunning sight in all of them. What Meade EPs do you have? I was playing the other night and looked through it wil a 26mm Meade EP with a 3X TAL barlow and it was the best combination I used - the 4 moons were incredibly bright - but it was just the overall viewing experience that blew me away.

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Hi canyouguesswhoitisyet, I intend to look at Jupiter this weekend as it gets above my back garden at about 2am. I too upgraded to Meade 4000 sp`s A slight improvement on the supplied ones. The last time i looked at Jupiter was with my meade 9.7mm and x2 barlow it looked great but very bright so could not pick up detail as such, but got 4 moons too. I have recently bought a TMB Planetary E.P 5mm and hope to put it to the test over the next few days. But Saturn looks great through the same EP & Barlow configuration. I may try a filter for Jupiter, so I will be asking for advice on that too. On the M31 thing, I have a rough idea where it lies, so not too sure what I saw. Happy gazing and clear skies all.

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I`ve seen Jupiter in a 130P, 150P and 200P and its a stunning sight in all of them. What Meade EPs do you have? I was playing the other night and looked through it wil a 26mm Meade EP with a 3X TAL barlow and it was the best combination I used - the 4 moons were incredibly bright - but it was just the overall viewing experience that blew me away.

Hi, I bought Meade 4000 series 26mm super plossl and a Meade 4000 6mm plossl. Both of the well known auction site. Used the 26mm but as Jupiter is blocked my my house the 6mm is on standby. I only have the stock x2 Skywather barlow which by all accounts is pretty basic. Would really like a x3 though.

Ideally I now want a 10mm & 32mm plossl to complete my needs.

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