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robbieboy

cannot find The Leo Triple.

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With nice clear skies and being a weekend, i thought id try and find the Leo triplet for the first time. I viewed m81/m82 early in the week and was really impressed, so i thought seeing three galaxies would be even better. Unfortunately after trying for over an hour i had no joy. Is it just me or is it really hard to see? I was using turn left at Orion for directions and everything in the finderscope matched up with the diagrams. In the end it turned cloudy so i gave up. Better luck next time hopefully.

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It depends on how much light pollution you have to contend with and what scope you are using.

M65 and M66 are pretty tolerant of poorer skies but NGC 3628 has a lower surface brightness and is more difficult to detect. Leo is still rising at the moment and so the galaxies will not yet be at their best.

Try again later, you should pick up at least two. You could also have a go at M95, M96 and M105 (also Leo) which are all close together too.

Happy hunting!

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Both of the leo triplets will be less bright than the very fine Ursa Major pair, but still great to observe - perhaps when leo is better placed. Just be prepared as they are more smudge like objects in small telescopes than M81 M82.

andrew

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What's your aperture? From a really dark site they are all easy in 80mm but LP, the moon or haze do kill them dead.

Olly

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Hi robbieboy, I saw the messier pair of the Leo trio last night. The NGC was too faint to pick up in my 4" frac though. I'll try with my 6" reflector next time, although I doubt the newt would have found it either given the dodgy transparency last night... What aperture have you got to play with?

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Fairly easy to find, just go to back leg of Leo, half way down his thigh is the triple.

better still and brighter is NGC 2903, where his tongue would be sticking out. Seeing last night was pretty bad for fainter galaxies,

Nick.

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Ive tried loads of times find the trio and failed just waiting for favourable skies now to try again with new eyepieces i.e the 32mm plossl maybe this time i will bag them.

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Hi wookie, I had the messier pair (M65 & 66) in the same fov using my 18mm BST in the 4" frac, so about 55x. They were fairly faint and any significant LP would have killed them. In your SW 150P I guess the 32mm plossl will give you 23x mag and a brighter sky background which might wash them out. I think you may have the best chance with your 18mm EP and a reasonably dark sky :)

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I have a 200p Dob, so id of thought it should be fairly obvious. I think ill just wait for Leo to get higher in the sky and hopefully ill have more luck.

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I have a 200p Dob, so id of thought it should be fairly obvious. I think ill just wait for Leo to get higher in the sky and hopefully ill have more luck.

My five inch refractor can easily pick up M65 and M66. NGC 3628 is a large elongated ghostly glow just to the North of these on an East - West plane. If you are viewing from town, the NGC will be quite testing despite having an eight inch scope. Quality of sky makes more difference than aperture. That said, aperture helps!

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Hi wookie, I had the messier pair (M65 & 66) in the same fov using my 18mm BST in the 4" frac, so about 55x. They were fairly faint and any significant LP would have killed them. In your SW 150P I guess the 32mm plossl will give you 23x mag and a brighter sky background which might wash them out. I think you may have the best chance with your 18mm EP and a reasonably dark sky :)

Thank you for that i will try that i was going to try the 32mm to get get all three in the fov but i will go with the 18mm and report back when i get clear skies that is.
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Keep at it - you'll ID them eventually. With my 4.5" scope the M65/66 were a challenge unless in clear/dark conditions...and NGC 3628 was a prestine conditions only target with a 4.5" scope. With a 10" scope the triplet is much easier to eye-ball...but NGC 3628 remains a faint target for visual observation. Under prestine conditions you'll tease some detail out of it...but it's a dim ghost most of the time. Once you know where they are it's far easier to get back to them.

Happy hunting.

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the moon is only just out of the way so observing conditions haven't been their best but they will be better this week if you get a cloudless night

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Yes they are a tough lot to find. Try finding the bottom right star of the triangle at the back of leo. This is Chertan.

Look down for another relatively bright star.

Now half way in between look for a little vertical line of three stars. Should be easy in a pair of bins...

Line up your scope on the bottom star of the three with your lowest power eyepiece.

Now go left the same distance as the length of the three star line.

You should now see M65/66 and you will probably say...my goodness they are very faint...

Let Leo get up in the sky before trying. Maybe midnight at the moment in the UK.

Good luck..

Mark

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I found the right area on Saturday night after spending some time star hopping and double checking. However we had a haze situation so I gave up. But good to know where they are when skies are clearer.

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I found the 2 messier ones the other night for the first time from my garden, very faint in my LP skies. First time out since changing my telrad for a Rigel quickfinder, not sure if this was the reason but the fact it doesn't dew up in nano seconds helps.

also went straight to the Crab Nebula first time, not sure if this is an 'easy' find but for some reason I've never looked for it before but found it within seconds.

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Thanks mdstuart. I did exactly what you said and can visualize the three stars in a row. I should have looked the scope instead of the finderscope. I just thought i should have seen them through this but it sounds like you can't.

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