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albusdlx

Need some DSO advice

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I need to ask u guys a couple of questions. There are ALOT of threads on this. So this seemed some what easier. Creating a new thread for the equipment I have. It is as follows;

Celestron Astromaster 130EQ (650mm x 130mm) An F5 if i´m not mistaken.

Celestron 10mm & 20mm EP´s

Skywatcher SP 7.5mm & 32mm EP´s

Celestron Omni Barlow x2

Is it possible to see other things than the close planets, the moon and open star clusters?

Lets say, the great nebula in Orion, is this possible to see? I´m a total noob amateur.

I read some where that a scope like mine are good for DSO because of the big field of view. Is this correct?

Stupid question nr 3. Is total darkness an ABSOLUTE MUST?

I live at the edge of a city (Norrköping, Sweden about 120.000 citizens) So its dark in the east/south, compared to the north, over the city....

This got way longer then I wanted. Well well. Any pointers are good for me.

Thx

Edited by albusdlx
Type-O

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Hello albusdlx,

Having the same scope as you, I would say that you are certainly not limited to the close planets and star clusters.

To answer your questions directly..

The great nebular in orion is an easy spot, you should certainly be able to pick out the Trapezium (4 stars grouped together). It won't be in colour like you see on the web, just black and white.

Some DSOs are small and some are large so saying a large field of view is good is not quite correct. It will help for some and hinder others, depending on the EPs you are using.

Regarding darkness, I suffer from light pollution and have to hide behind the house to avoid street lighting. That said I was able to see the supernova in M101 down to about a magnitude of 10.4 which I was quite impressed with.

I would say, pick a few easy targets, look them up on Stellarium or on the web and then try and find them. Perhaps practice on stars as they are bright and easier than faint DSOs. Maybe choose double stars so that you can be sure you end up looking at what you think you are. The double-double next to Vega is a good start, and if I recall the is another double close-by in Lyra if you kind of follow the line from double-double to Vega. And if you are really keen you should be able to go to the other end of Lyra and see the ring-nebular.

Hope that helps

dag123

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A 130mm scope will show a very wide range of objects, including deep sky.

A perfect dark sky is something most of us only dream about, a lot can be done from a light polluted town. Try to find a place where local lights are not shining directly on you, and some great sights await.

Regards, Ed.

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the problem you have got is not the scope its you. mean that in a nice way what i mean by you is not being able to find them it is difficult i take it you use setting circles. if you do would reccomend a guide to eq mounts by ian littlewood. you can get it for £14 from rother valley optics and it explains how to find the objects you want. hope this helps

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Buy a red-dot sight like a Telrad and Turn Left at Orion. All of the Messier objects are within your reach (light pollution willing). It's impossible to know how light polluted your skies are, but google "Bortle Scale" and get a feeling for where you skies fall on this scale. Very, very, few of us has truly black skies. If you have a zenith limiting magnitude better than 6, than you're doing very well indeed.

EDIT:

I am trying to write some guides for how complete beginners can find DSOs and what to expect when they see them. So I really want to know what questions people like you have and what you find hard once you get searching. If you have more questions, let's hear them! Please either post on this thread, or PM me if you prefer.

Edited by umadog

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echo what all the others suggest really. that scope is not a toy, its a good scope and there will be plenty to see.

remember this, as i do (im a novice too)

1) most objects are nowt like pictures you see in books,usually very small indeed. for example many globular clusters through your appeture and some light pollution often look like smudged stars .

2) although alot of objects are hard to find for us beginers, i find it part of the challenge. very rewarding once you locate somthing. some objects are not to difficult.

my girlfriend thinks im a nutter ,for kneeling with my face nearly in the mud just to try and get a glimpse of a distant smudge at 2 o clock in the morning !

turn left at orion is a good starter book or even online maps can help.

enjoy the hunt and clear skies.

Edited by rory

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Hello albusdlx,

Having the same scope as you, I would say that you are certainly not limited to the close planets and star clusters.

To answer your questions directly..

The great nebular in orion is an easy spot, you should certainly be able to pick out the Trapezium (4 stars grouped together). It won't be in colour like you see on the web, just black and white.

Some DSOs are small and some are large so saying a large field of view is good is not quite correct. It will help for some and hinder others, depending on the EPs you are using.

Regarding darkness, I suffer from light pollution and have to hide behind the house to avoid street lighting. That said I was able to see the supernova in M101 down to about a magnitude of 10.4 which I was quite impressed with.

I would say, pick a few easy targets, look them up on Stellarium or on the web and then try and find them. Perhaps practice on stars as they are bright and easier than faint DSOs. Maybe choose double stars so that you can be sure you end up looking at what you think you are. The double-double next to Vega is a good start, and if I recall the is another double close-by in Lyra if you kind of follow the line from double-double to Vega. And if you are really keen you should be able to go to the other end of Lyra and see the ring-nebular.

Hope that helps

dag123

I just came gome again. My dog started to shiver.

Anyway..

Looked at the pleiads (think I need a spellcheck!) the cluster to the left of Jupiter. 4½/5 for the new SW 32nn s.plossl. Love it.

Have another noobie question. How to collimate without the black dot in the middle of the base mirror? R u supposed to guess where the middle is when using the laser? :rolleyes:

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Do not despair, as there is a LOT to be seen with your scope. I do not wish to promote my thoughts, but should you have a look at my observation report (link below) you might just get an idea what is there to see with even smaller scope than yours, namely 114mm/4.5":

http://stargazerslounge.com/observing-reports/157994-lot-stars-reasonably-priced-scope.html

As for the collimation, I too had no central mark on my primary mirror, and again, not promoting myself, I would refer you my post about collimating the damn thing perfectly in the following thread:

http://stargazerslounge.com/discussions-scopes-whole-setups/156446-celestron-collimation-114-eq.html

I hope that helps a bit.

Cheers :rolleyes:

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Hi albusdl. As dag123 said you're scope and equipment are fine. You'll be able to see a great deal of objects from our solar system and beyond.

A simple way to work out what to explore is though planetarium software such as Stellarium. You can become familiar with your local sky before you get out there with your scope. Some things to look for are the Messier objects: M57 (the ring nebula), M27 (the dumbbell nebula), M51 (the Whirlpool galaxy), M31 (the Andromeda galaxy) and of course M42 which you mentioned in your post.

You can see the objects I've listed in binoculars so a scope like yours should give you a lovely view.

Total darkness is not absolutely required. I image and observe in less than perfect conditions without problems as many members do but you many need to invest in light pollution filters to help your views improve.

Regards

Mark

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Buy a red-dot sight like a Telrad and Turn Left at Orion. All of the Messier objects are within your reach (light pollution willing). It's impossible to know how light polluted your skies are, but google "Bortle Scale" and get a feeling for where you skies fall on this scale. Very, very, few of us has truly black skies. If you have a zenith limiting magnitude better than 6, than you're doing very well indeed.

EDIT:

I am trying to write some guides for how complete beginners can find DSOs and what to expect when they see them. So I really want to know what questions people like you have and what you find hard once you get searching. If you have more questions, let's hear them! Please either post on this thread, or PM me if you prefer.

I would say that my night sky is a 5 or so, 6 perhaps, on the Bortle Scale. But it depends in witch direction I point my scope. Live on the far, south edge of the city.

Something I would want to see in a guide is a clear answer on what to expect. For a guy like me who draws inspiration from all the wonderful DSO pictures, that is important. I now know that it´s all in black and white. But still, that´s an important thing.

Also, why not include some things that the reader can go out and look for? You have probably already thought about all this stuff.

Off topic.

Uranus, is it possible to see that it is a planet. Or is it the same as a bright star? I have looked for it. But where it should be, I only find a bright star. So perhaps I´m way off course. :rolleyes:

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Your setup sounds fine for observing. Yes you will even be able to see some of the larger DSO's.

The trick is to know where to look for them.

A book called "Turn Left At Orion" is a very useful tool when learning where these DSO are. It is well worth getting a copy.

In time when you have learned to use your eyes properly (in the dark and using a telescope), you will even see distant galaxies. They can be extremely tricky to spot in the beginning but once you have learned to use you eyes (averted vision) these galaxies seem to pop out of the night sky at you.

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Some great advice here.

The first scope I bought was a 4.5" Newt and that kept me happy for a few years.

I often thought like you that I had exhausted it's potential only for it to prove me wrong, time and time again.

When I look back at my early observing logs I notice I often blamed my scope for my own short comings as an observer.

It is very easy to get aperture fever without really pushing your scope and yourself to the very limit.

Keep observing buddy and have fun.

Trust me when you do get a big scope many's the time you wish you could step back in time to the days when you had only seen the universe through a little one.

Regards Steve

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Some great advice here.

The first scope I bought was a 4.5" Newt and that kept me happy for a few years.

I often thought like you that I had exhausted it's potential only for it to prove me wrong, time and time again.

When I look back at my early observing logs I notice I often blamed my scope for my own short comings as an observer.

It is very easy to get aperture fever without really pushing your scope and yourself to the very limit.

Keep observing buddy and have fun.

Trust me when you do get a big scope many's the time you wish you could step back in time to the days when you had only seen the universe through a little one.

Regards Steve

Brilliant post Steve. I think nearly everyone here would agree with that.

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With low-power magnification (50x-ish), Uranus really resembles a bright star, albeit distinctly blue-green-ish one. However, if you look carefully or increase the magnification, you can clearly see that, rather than a pin-point star, it is actually a small marble. Colour it delivers seems actually pretty to me, but no surface details I am afraid.

With Neptune, the case remains the same, although it is a very very small marble (half the size of Uranus) this time and the colour is way more pale.

Actually Mars is currently a tiny bit bigger (in angular size by 25%) than Uranus, so I bet you that with good enough seeing and patience, you might be able to resolve some surface features. I did.

As for the Staurn, that is now out of question I am afraid as it is right next to the Sun. Pity :rolleyes:

Edited by assasincz

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What Steve says is very true. Premature aperture fever just leads to disappointment. Larger scopes show more, but not as much as you might think. Most of the benefits aperture gives you happen within the first 8" or 10". Get out there and use your scope! Travel to darker skies if possible.

Not all objects are better in large scopes. I've set up my 10" side by side with a 16" and I must say that the Veil Nebula looked nicer in the 10", even though the 16" showed more detail.

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I love this forum.

Quick and great replies.

In my new EP, SP 32mm the "seven sisters" or m45 (if I´m not mistaken?) looks awesome. I got to see so much more of the sky than before. Really happy with that one. Could see it/them even though the full moon made it nearly impossible to see with the naked eye.

I have a question, I have watched/read allot of collimating guides. The rings I´m supposed to see does not exist. When i turn the focus-er, in either direction, all I get is the spider. No more no less so to speak. Not the rings that can determine if its ok or not.

Why?

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Hi albusdlx,

Regarding collimation, here is a thread I started earlier in the year when it became apparent that my scope needed some attention.

http://stargazerslounge.com/discussions-scopes-whole-setups/149395-i-think-i-need-collimate-my-astromaster-130eq.html

Don't worry about any fancy gadgets, just an old 35mm film case, sheet of paper, scissors, and a bit of blutac and you'll be fine. Oh and a steady nerve. I was paranoid I was going to break my scope so I went very slowly and carefully. But the end result was worth it, much clearer/sharper images, stars even looking like points of light rather than comets.

When you talk about rings in your last post, so you mean the rings round bright stars when viewed at high mag. It was only after my collimation as detailed in my thread that I was able to see them properly. Well not eactly perfect rings, they sort of rippled a little, which I think is due to the seeing conditions, but on average they were circular. Certainly not on one-side-only that would suggest further colliminaiton being necessary.

You only need to defocus by a tiny amount to get these airy-ring-patterns. If you defocus too far you will see the outline of the spider, this image should be centred too.

dag123

Edited by dag123

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When star collimating and diffraction rings fiddling, this is what you are looking for

http://www.astrogene1000.com/DIY/artificial_star/scope_aber_f20_125ft.jpg

With average seeing conditions, you expect to see rigs as shown in lower part of the picture - I reckon you see what is the point of it.

Pick a very bright star to do the star collimation on (Vega should do fine), preferably near the zenith, the air turbulence should be at its minimum there. Go for something like 100-150x magnification, centre the star in the eyepiece and defocus either way - what you will see has to be similar to what is in the picture. Word of warning, planets like Jupiter are not ideal for this, as they are not pin-point dots of light and the diffraction rings are not as distinct as they can be.

As for the collimation itself, it is not as difficult as it might seem - you just need to keep the star dead centred in the eyepiece to get the best result. However, everytime you fiddle with the collimation screws, the star moves out of the field of view, so readjust it back in the centre after each collimation step.

I am given to understand that you have a shot-tube newton so collimating while looking through the eyepiece should be rather easy. When you finally have bullseyed rings, check them with defocusing both ways, in and out. Only when the diffraction rings are concentric when defocused both ways is the collimation spot-on.

I reckon that the star collimation is actually the most precise way to collimate the scope, as you deal with actual image and optical centre of the primary, and not with the geometrical centre of the primary mirror only (when for instance laser collimating) - they might be slightly offset. Furthermore, you might find it to be a rather quick process, which may be surprising. I actually do the star test everytime I am out.

It might be appropriate to metion than before doing the star collimation, you actually might want to check that your secondary mirror is properly aligned as it should be. To do this, there is one set of tutorials on YouTube that I find particularly helpful for not only adjusting the secondary, but for understanding the overall theory as well:

So do not fear and go fo it - it is easier than it seems. :D

Edited by assasincz

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Just to confirm the link that assasincz posted.

The rings seen on a slightly defocused star, with my 5mm EP, as viewed on my Astromaster 130EQ, are quite similar to these lower two images.

I tend to use Polaris as my target as I have already centred that during my polar alignment. That said, Vega being brighter and directly up at the moment might be a better target if you are not quite sure what you are looking for.

dag123

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Using setting circles might be OK for some, but how do you read the bloomin' things in the dark or with red light? :D

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As many have said, a 130 scope can show you a lot of DSOs. I would say it is probably a bit better at DSOs than at planets. Get a good finder and a good guide to the night sky or sky atlas (many have been recommended above), and be patient. BTW, the Ring Nebula in Lyra is an easily found target with your scope. The Andromeda Galaxy and its companions too.

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As many have said, a 130 scope can show you a lot of DSOs. I would say it is probably a bit better at DSOs than at planets. Get a good finder and a good guide to the night sky or sky atlas (many have been recommended above), and be patient. BTW, the Ring Nebula in Lyra is an easily found target with your scope. The Andromeda Galaxy and its companions too.

First. Thank you all for the great advice.

Second. I´m actually aiming for Andromeda tonight.

See what i can find. I´m going to watch the pics and guides now.

Get back to you all if I have any doubts. :D

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Well, my dog met at new friend. No Andromeda tonight.

But I wonder, if the primary mirror doesn´t have a mark at all. How do I know if the secondary mirros is allaigned? Is a laser possible to use. Maby i´m all backwards. I sent an e-mail to Astrosweden where I bought the scope. They have been nice to deal with in the past so.... Well. It might take 2 weeks before I can collimate for real. But it´s not un usable until then :D

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Just came home. Saw mars and Demios, the moon. Really cool stuff. The pleiads and jupiter as eall. And some other stuff.. Cold as ice though...................

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