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Finding The 'Whirlpool' Galaxy


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I know it can be difficult to find certain objects like this. It could even be that you already had it in view but you were not able to see it due to its faintness.

I only found m51 for myself recently, but that was by pointing my dslr & telephoto lens at it.

I would probably have much more difficulty finding it with my scope. I'm always getting mixed up on directions with everything being upside down.

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this is how i find it, its a doddle. 1. Find Alkaid. 2. See two stars in a sort of line away from alkaid, go along the line to 2nd star 3. Below 2nd star see a group of 3 stars in a triangle. 4. Imagi

There we go.

i just drew it in paint. the hop is my own. just make them up looking at star atlas during the day and remember them. i have a good memory which helps

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M51 (Whirlpool) is a real challenge. From my garden, just a couple of fuzzy blobs are evident in my C9.25.

It needs dark skies!

Myself and Tich were able to pick up very faint structure around the two cores, at a nice dark sky, using the same scope. At SGL8, structure was very evident but no distinct dust lanes.

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M51 (Whirlpool) is a real challenge. From my garden, just a couple of fuzzy blobs are evident in my C9.25.

It needs dark skies!

Myself and Tich were able to pick up very faint structure around the two cores, at a nice dark sky, using the same scope. At SGL8, structure was very evident but no distinct dust lanes.

The darker the skies the better if you can find somewhere, as the following night I was able to make out structure at the CMS dark site with my modest 200P, M81 & M82 were the best I'd ever seen whereas at home I just get fuzzy blobs & that's it.

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The whirlpool is my next target so this thread is useful to me too. Found M81 M82 a couple of days ago and was very pleased with myself for finding them in spite of the LP of south Birmingham

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Recently here, it hasn't been whirly or pooly, just fuzzy and blobby! :grin:

Again, he waits patiently for a good transparent night.

But the weather man say cloudy, raining, cloudy, cloudy and raining for the next 5 days here.

Cheers

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Hi all, just joined the site. I looked at M51 for the first time last week and have to agree it is very difficult to see with light pullution. I must admit my Skywatcher 6 ins goto brought it straight into the eyepeice.

Whilst I was out I thought I would try a Samsung CCTV camera I had just purchased and this is what appeared on the laptop screen live! No processing. Im very impressed its the first galaxy I've ever caught.

post-30085-0-52468500-1365523079_thumb.j

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Nice pics guys - nice detail despite the quick picks. Nice detail evident.

Just makes me want to see it more! though, like bingevader I expect to see little more than fuzzy blobbiness :Envy:

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  • 3 years later...
17 minutes ago, rizwanahmed24 said:

will i be able to see the whirlpool galaxy with 10X40 binocular or ST80 ? 

That totally depends on your skies. The 10x40s will struggle, but the ST80 should show it as two faint fuzzy cores under a very dark sky. It washes out very easily with any light pollution though.

What are your skies like?

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On 9/16/2016 at 11:06, Stu said:

What are your skies like?

i don't know how to answer this as i am a beginner in stargazing. I will give it a try again in a week or two when the moon shrinks. I think i get a pretty clear and dark sky, i can easily spot Andromeda galaxy and 'great global cluster' 

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29 minutes ago, rizwanahmed24 said:

i don't know how to answer this as i am a beginner in stargazing. I will give it a try again in a week or two when the moon shrinks. I think i get a pretty clear and dark sky, i can easily spot Andromeda galaxy and 'great global cluster' 

Sorry, it probably wasn't a very helpful question!

If you can find Ursa Minor, which runs from Polaris that is a good indicator. Being able to see 7 stars in it means your NELM (or Naked Eye Limiting Magnitude) is around 5, which is ok.

Can you see the Milky Way clearly? If so I guess you are better than 5.5.

Did you say you can see the Andromeda Galaxy and M13 with your scope or the naked eye?

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I just tried the NELM from my garden , managed 5 stars, maybe a hint of a sixth but not helped by next door kids sleeping with light on and curtains open, maybe on another night i might just get 7, been trying to find whirlpool for a while and the light pollution might explain the lack of a sighting

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11 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

I just tried the NELM from my garden , managed 5 stars, maybe a hint of a sixth but not helped by next door kids sleeping with light on and curtains open, maybe on another night i might just get 7, been trying to find whirlpool for a while and the light pollution might explain the lack of a sighting

Moon probably won't be helping, but that puts you around mag 4.2/4.3 Jules. I get better than that down in the big smoke so perhaps just a bad night?

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