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Which Messiers are you missing?


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I'm guessing almost every deep sky observer has had a go at Messier's list at some point, and I'm also sure that all of you have had the odd object that has been frustratingly difficult to observe. Sure as we all start with the wonders of M13, 42, 31, 45, etc, it seems the sky is full of rich pickings... then inevitably, within a few months we find ourselves staring furiously at the area of sky that we 'know' M97 is but even our imagination can't help us now! Persistence pays off eventually, and slowly but surely even the faintest of fuzzies are claimed for our observing journals. That is, until we meet our Messier nemesis (singular or plural!)... regardless of how often we try these stubborn face-on spirals and fiendishly low clusters remain invisible. Do we need more aperture? (possibly :) ), do we need darker skies? (probably), but either way, persistence must remain our greatest weapon. SO the question is... which Messiers are you missing? or more accurately, which Messiers cause you consistent trouble? I've still got a handful of southern OCs left (good excuse for a holiday to warmer climates me thinks!), but my 'arch-enemy' remains M101. Anyone similar?

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I think once youve pointed your scope there a few times and scanned the area, its safe to assume youll of seen them all, even if you didnt realise youd seen them.

I agree very much. I like the thrill of the chase so to speak. To find it manually then have the buzz that you found it yourself. I have thought about upgrading to goto with some unexpected money ive

Some Messiers seem to be invisible with the light pollution on the outskirts of London where I am, with a ten inch reflector. I have never managed to see any of the Leo Triplet or M51 either with or w

I'm down to just the one (all viewed from home). M83. I know it's possible from the mainland UK and I'm reasonably well south to start with, but it's beaten me thus far.

James

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Im upto a nice 49 at the mo. I always thought id rush through it, but when reality hit that ive only been out 11 times this so far, and it takes me most the night to find one, its going to be a while longer yet!

Although i did look at the Virgo Cluster last night so could be upto 60ish but want a better look before i count them - mainly as i have no idea which is which when looking at them haha.

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The first time I ever pointed a telescope at that part of Virgo I immediately had a galaxy in the eyepiece. Working out if it was a Messier object and which one it was may well have been harder than star-hopping to one from a known star.

James

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I managed to tick off all of them back in my late teens, but the one that gave me the most trouble was M33. My usual observing location (the back garden of my parent's house) did not benefit from a dark and transparent enough sky to catch it. Fortunately a dark sky visit I organised as part of the University Astronomy Society activities enabled me to tick it off the list. I agree with James about M83 but managed that one on a family holiday abroad.

Oh and I suppose the obvious challenge for me know would be to attempt the Messier Marathon in one night, but I have yet to give that a go.

Edited by DirkSteele
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Just about all of my remaining messiers lie clustered together in the spring constellations such as ophiuchus, virgo, etc so I should be able to bag many in one go from now on. I have one odd one in cetus which seems to have escaped my grasp. Many of my remaining caldwells are still scattered throughout the year - they seem to be more difficult than the messiers and good conditions needed to spot the fainter ones. Many a night I've ticked off all the messiers in a given constellation but then failed to get its fainter caldwells.

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Oh, yes, Messier 77 in Cetus. I found that quite tough. Had to try on several nights before conditions were good enough for it to be seen.

James

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I'm about half way through the Messier list at the moment. That's the good news! I have checked the rest, and I am wondering how many of them will be visible from my back garden as I am quite restricted with various houses, trees and the cursed street lights. I am in the process of checking out a few darker sky venues, so all is not lost. I should also put in a good nights observing from my girlfriends back garden in Somerset where thankfully they turn off the street lights at night!

Dave.

Edited by Astralstroll
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The first time I ever pointed a telescope at that part of Virgo I immediately had a galaxy in the eyepiece. Working out if it was a Messier object and which one it was may well have been harder than star-hopping to one from a known star.

James

Certainly true! It can be quite fun just pointing a telescope at this area and trying to spot as many 'random' galaxies as you can!

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I find since I've started Imaging I don't tend to "tick" them off. I mean, it's one thing to search the skies and find M96. It's another thing entirely to hit the goto and take an image of something you may never have found. for me, to tick off an object I need to see it through an eyepiece, preferably found without goto.

That's just my thoughts. Others may differ. In the end, only you can say if you've trully "found" an object

Scott

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I have nineteen left that I have not officially logged. All the most Southerly ones where apart from rare opportunities, my horizon is restricted.

Scorpius - M4, M6, M7 and M80 (all of them)

Capricornus - M30

Hydra - M68 and M83

Ophiuchus - M9, M19 and M62

Sagittarius - M21, M23, M25, M28, M54, M55, M69, M70 and M75 (I am pretty sure I have seen the OCs in the dim and distant past but have never logged them).

My back garden skies are reasonably dark and so most have not caused me a problem.

ps. I am hoping for a couple of clear nights when I am down in Cornwall at the end of May / beginning of June. With a bit of luck, I will see most of the remainder.

Edited by Double Kick Drum
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I agree very much. I like the thrill of the chase so to speak. To find it manually then have the buzz that you found it yourself. I have thought about upgrading to goto with some unexpected money ive just got, but until i start imaging, which wont be for a while yet, i would rather stay manual. I think i am going to get a dob, probably the 250, so i dont have to drag out the tripod, EQ etc, when i dont want to use the SLR, which has put me off going out before.

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I have nineteen left that I have not officially logged. All the most Southerly ones where apart from rare opportunities, my horizon is restricted.

Scorpius - M4, M6, M7 and M80 (all of them)

Capricornus - M30

Hydra - M68 and M83

Ophiuchus - M9, M19 and M62

Sagittarius - M21, M23, M25, M28, M54, M55, M69, M70 and M75 (I am pretty sure I have seen the OCs in the dim and distant past but have never logged them).

My back garden skies are reasonably dark and so most have not caused me a problem.

ps. I am hoping for a couple of clear nights when I am down in Cornwall at the end of May / beginning of June. With a bit of luck, I will see most of the remainder.

Same here about not logging them in the past. I worked my way through all of the messier galaxies in virgo a few years ago but I haven't checked them off my list yet because I hadn't started the list back then :grin:

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I have about 20 left. Most of these are in the Southery constellations but I had missed M102 which I thought was a duplicate of M101. I will try for NGC5866 which I believe may be M102 but not completely sure. I was pleased to finally see M104 (Sombrero Galaxy) last night. I had attempted to see this object before but it was always just below the rooftops. I worked out that if it was clear at 1.30 this morning then I should be able to see it. I set an alarm to wake me up and with my 12" dobo I starhopped from Spica and it was reasonably easy to find. The sky was much darker and clearer at this time of the morning so couldnt resist viewing M65/66 and NGC3628 which made a lovely sight. I then realised that if I moved the telescope to another part of the garden then M68 and M83 might be possible. I didn't want to wake up the neighbours moving the telescope about so will attempt this on another night.

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I think you'll have done exceptionally well to see M83 from Shropshire I have to say. Even here I think it's barely making nine degrees above the horizon at the moment.

James

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16 to go ! I'm not really worried as I'vs seen some beautiful objects, some are equal or better than Messiers.

NGC2903 is a bright galaxy in Leo.

NGC4565 , the needle galaxy is similarly impressive as is

NGC2392, the Eskimo planetary nebula,

NGC2371 , the bi lobed planetary in Gemini.

Best off is the sweep of the Milky Way across a dark sky.Nick.

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i've seen M83 from my back garden. of course my back garden was i australia at the time ;)

Edit: woops, misread my log. still missing :(

Edited by auspom
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Some Messiers seem to be invisible with the light pollution on the outskirts of London where I am, with a ten inch reflector.

I have never managed to see any of the Leo Triplet or M51 either with or without go to, visually, despite many attempts!

This is the main reason I began very lowly learning about imaging, so I can take a photograph and at least see the galaxy using a camera!

To look on the bright side I have seen M81, M82, M57, M27, M13 and a few more!

David

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Off to Spain in June to a fairly dark site. No scope but will be taking my beloved Zeiss 8x42s down... always amazed with what can be picked out with them. Perhaps a trip report is in order... hopefully going to bag a few more low summer clusters :)

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I started to record the Messier list again in 2006 but it took me until 2010 to complete it. The two that were the last to be seen were M69 and M70 the Globs in Sagittarius. The main problem was the position just above the horizon from my home location. I agree that M83 is tough and I note from my records that I viewed this spiral galaxy in March 2009.

Although I completed the Messier list back in August 2010 I still regularly revisit and I am now currently going through this list of 666 DSOs which includes the Messier objects - http://www.deepskywatch.com/deepsky-guide.html -

From Home I should be able to view 600 of these and from my signature I am about half way. It will interesting to see how I get on with M83, M69 and M70 over the next few months.

Mark

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