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Evening all,

I'm having some trouble finding deep space objects, dont get me wrong i have found some of the brighter ones, M13, M45 etc, but having trouble with M31, M81 etc.

I know where they are, but i think the problem is when i look through the finder scope, its slightly magnified, and you see alot more stars, so its throwing me off in terms of which direction i'm travelling in etc.

I thought that maybe a red dot finder or possibly a Telrad, so i know where i am looking through an unmagnified view. Does anyone have any ideas about these options or any other tips.

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Hi Matt.

When i am hunting DSO's (with my Dob), i dont use finderscopes or RDF's etc. What i do is star-hop using books,charts etc. I use my widest EP (30-32mm) and place myself in a well know location close to my target and then i slowly scan up/down/eft/right until i am in the local area of my tar4get and then i switch the magnification of the EP to gradually zoom in on my target.

If you dont already have a copy, then i would suggest buying a copy of a book called Turn Left At Orion. Its brilliant and is basically a road map of the night sky.

Also another thing worth considering is buying an erect prism for your scope. This shows the night sky in the same orientation as your eyes see.......so nothing is flipped or rotated.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Zero Magnification RDFs and Telrads are only useful if you can see the guide stars, if you can see them then a combination of a Telrad or RDF with the supplied finder would work well.

Using just an RDF is a little annoying for me I find, as I can't see many guide stars, so it often takes 20 minutes or so to find an object.

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I think that you just need to persevere and don't assume all Messiers are equally easy to find. It took me a while to find them when I was beginning. Once you know what you are looking for they begin to leap out at you. Luke is right about using a wide eyepiece to locate them. Once they are found you can centre them and move up to higher powers.

Simon

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I've just started using a telrad and so far its been a good experience (even under moderately LP suburban skies). If you are going to star hop with a finder scope then try printing maps out from Stellarium. There are various setting you can tweak which, with a bit of experimentation, should get you a picture which matches what you can see in your finder.

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I use a combination of Rigel Quikfinder, and straight through finder to find tricky objects. I also use Sky safari on my phone to find exact locations in relation to nearby stars and find things that way. I think a Telrad or Rigel would help you out, it did me.

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Well got a short session tonight, and i managed to find the Ring Nebula! Very Happy, tried to look for another Globular Cluster but couldn't find it, but its suppose to be hard to find, so will probably be next weekend now before i get a good session, but very happy for now

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If you're using a manual mount, a method that I've used with success is to count turns of the RA or Dec knobs. I know that one turn is 2.5 degrees of Dec or 10 minutes of RA (same for EQ5 I think). So if I was looking for the Ring Nebula I'd point at Vega and then turn the RA knob 1.5 turns and the Dec knob about 2.5 turns. It's much easier than using the scales on the mount. CdC now has a ruler tool that makes it even easier.

Rather than trying to figure out which direction to turn the knob, it's easier to watch the scope. If the scope moves away from where you know the thing is, turn the other way.

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I tend to use a combination of star charts, stellarium, low power ep and star hoping oh and lots of patience too. Under the light polluted sky in south birmingham I reckon that some things will just be too faint for my scope :sad: . But it doesn't stop me trying :p

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i think i give up too easily, like when i found the ring nebula, i was just scanning, and saw this tiny little thing, and thought hang on, is that an out of focus star or something else. So i think it just takes time and concentration. Im not good at that though :tongue:

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I know where they are, but i think the problem is when i look through the finder scope, its slightly magnified, and you see alot more stars, so its throwing me off in terms of which direction i'm travelling in etc.

It sounds like you may have a handle on it now, but just in case, I had the same problem, and a Telrad helped a lot.

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Perhaps the very popular book, Illustrated guide to Astronomical Wonders, quite a reasonably priced 519 page paperback, could be of use to you as it covers all Messier objects, with photos of what you can see and diagrams to locate them plus a lot of other interesting NGC and other targets, dealing with each Constellation at a time :)

John.

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Matt Where in Scunthorpe do you live. There are a few people in Scunthorpe that have got a webiste on facebook and you may be interested in joining us and you may be able to obtain local advice or even a get together.

I live in bottesford

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