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Struggling to find M13


kris7125
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unfortunately, every time you look at a phone or pc you 'damage' your night vision. best to just use a star map if possible and a dim red torch.

can you see the keystone in Hercules? It's almost overhead currently. look approximately east and high up and you see Vega, the brightest star in that direction. this is shown on the map below and Hercules is to the right (south) of Vega. the keystone is the four stars in which M13 is place. it's an obvious fuzzy blub in a finder scope. good luck.

540px-Hercules_constellation_map.png

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It's been known for people to mistake the keystone of Hercules for other "box-shaped" asterisms before now (or vice-versa) so do be sure you're actually looking at the right constellation to start with. Use the longest focal length eyepiece you have to start with, to give you the widest field of view. I think it's fairly obvious, but if your sky isn't dark it might be more tricky. In Cheshire I'm guessing you won't get a huge amount of dark sky at this time of year regardless of any external factors such as light pollution.

James

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it's very obvious in the finder scope and if it's in any eyepiece it will also be unmistakable in an 8" dob. I have just been looking with my 16mm Nagler in a 1200mm focal length scope and it's really obvious and well resolved into many stars. when you have it (and you will) there'll be no doubt. I'd start with the 16mm and then use a bit more power if you can once in the eyepiece.

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Perhaps the easiest way to be sure you're looking in the right place is to find Arcturus. If you're facing south-ish then Arcturus is probably the brightest star you can see at the moment. It will be at the bottom of a kite-shaped asterism that is Bootes. Immedately to the "left" of Bootes is a cup-shaped constellation, Corona Borealis, and immediately to its left and slightly "up" is the keystone of Hercules.

As Shane's chart shows, M13 is about a third of the way down the side closest to Corona Borealis.

James

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As a fellow newbie this was my first DSO I went for and is a good one to get started with. Once you find that one you'll soon find many of the others DSOs :)

I clock lots of time on Stellarium, practice, and memorise the sky before going out. I never used the planisphere so far, and had no issue doing it this way, though it may be handy to have it while out to double check, just in case you forget exactly what that bit of sky looks like.

The approach I took, find Vega and arcturus, ( you can sort of draw a line or arc more like it from the handle of the plough to Arcturus. Both of these are easy to pick out as they are very bright, practice this bit in Stellarium, then draw an imaginary line in between Vega and Arcturus, the keystone is about a third away a along from Vega, and bisects that imaginary line between Arcturus and Vega.

I found that in a light polluted area, such as where I am, the keystone only shows the three brighter stars clearly, only clear nights, like last nights could I see the fourth more easily.

In a way I love the red dot finder for the method that seems to really work for me, you can sort of do geometry in the sky looking through it, drawing lines moving the scope and hop around the sky. I don't know how or what method would be best with a finder scope, but I find that the stock 25mm in my modest scope covers quit big chunks of sky as it only gives 26x magnification, so that makes it easy to find things.

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I managed it last night but it was tough. I think that given the light nights, it is harder to star-hop as some of the stars just aren't visible in the sky. Had to go through Boötes and Corona Borealisto spot the keystone in Hercules.

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We saw it by eye last night as well as M101 high in Ursa Major.

Using a Telrad or similar and downloadable charts makes spotting targets easier. Star hopping using angles, clock face or compass directions.

I think that there must be a lot of folk especially newbies turned off by trying to find anything through supplied finder scopes. All for which we need

clear skies, Nick.

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We saw it by eye last night as well as M101 high in Ursa Major.

Using a Telrad or similar and downloadable charts makes spotting targets easier. Star hopping using angles, clock face or compass directions.

I think that there must be a lot of folk especially newbies turned off by trying to find anything through supplied finder scopes. All for which we need

clear skies, Nick.

Your skies must be quite good to have that luxury :) No hope of seeing any of those things from back yard by eye. My back garden is spoiled by one street light about 20 - 30 meters away. If I position myself in a good spot, I can keep it out of my direct view anyway, but it still spoils a large part of my viewing. I've been tempted to throw a stone at it :D Nevertheless I am surprised/happy to have been able to find quite a few of the Messiers by now from the suburban parts of Bristol that is pretty heavy on LP, not as bad as the city center luckily, but not ideal, when I do see the Messiers they are rather faint though. Staring at them for a long time, and practising with averted vison has helped though.

Can't wait to see them from a dark site to see what that's like, hopefully making a shroud mod for my scope will help a bit too :)

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As several people have already pointed out, the June twilight makes it quite tough to locate some of these asterisms and Hercules is quite dim in these conditions. Last night I couldn't easily locate the marker stars for M13 and M57 naked eye until after 11 p.m., but once it was dark enough these were easy spots.

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As several people have already pointed out, the June twilight makes it quite tough to locate some of these asterisms and Hercules is quite dim in these conditions. Last night I couldn't easily locate the marker stars for M13 and M57 naked eye until after 11 p.m., but once it was dark enough these were easy spots.

Yes, might be best to travel if you can, to a location more or less free of light pollution at this time of year. I visited M13 and M92 twice on Saturday night. The second time when Hercules was much higher after 1am, they each appeared to be very impressive. So the later the better and as mentioned use Arcturus as a starting point to locate Hercules.

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You'll need to get out after about 11.30pm. Point south, south east. Find Hercules and isolate the right hand side of the square of the constellation and it's about a third of the way down from the top if you form a straight line from the two stars that make the top and bottom corners.

I found it using a planisphere, a book of constellations and a red torch. Like you, this is all new to me too!

Cheers N.

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Its worth the effort..when you find it up the power to an 8 / 6 mm eyepiece and count the stars!!!!

Mark

I was looking at this little beauty again tonight, up the magnification a bit, great sights :)

When you have a bit of a whopper like yours it's all good perhaps, but for me I found less magnification, even the 25mm barlowed to give the nicest views in my modest scope, when you have a mere average size burger with 130 mm aperture :D

When I use that high magnification in the 6mm I have in my LP area I did not think it added that much, not that I clearly could start counting the stars in it anyway, I wish, or perhaps I need to give it another go :)

Now I could really do with a good night sleep, that is three in a row nights gazing up the sky 'till 1:30 AM.

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Feeling a bit frazzled myself this morning, for exactly the same reasons. Repeated 2am+ nights is tough on a chap, especially when he has to be up to help get the kids to school. And there's this other thing. Werk? Wonk? Something like that. Can't even remember if it's been three or four now. Still, the next four nights are forecast to be clear. I'll be fine as long as the hallucinations don't get out of control.

James

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Well guys I found it last night and was absolutely blown away!! Wasn't expecting an image like that! Lets get hunting for more DSO (not tonight though as I'm pretty damn tired myself)

Happy hunting guys

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Its worth the effort..when you find it up the power to an 8 / 6 mm eyepiece and count the stars!!!!

Mark

I must say I take back of what I said regarding high mag on M13 in a smaller scope such as mine in my previous post and thanks for the tip :). I tried the 6 mm tonight, and while conditions were not that steady tonight, and skies not getting dark now approaching the solstice.

Nevertheless, M13 through my 6mm UWA was quite a surprise. Okay my scope will never reveal that much detail, but all the same after a lot of staring and concentration ( 'till my eyeballs nearly fell out :D ) I could make out some of the finer structure in it rather well, like a sort of fine caster sugar if you like sprinkled around it with grains of various sizes, I wanted to lick it, though I'd need a rather long tongue to reach it :D

I suppose it shows the better quality of my UWA 6 mm eyepiece compared to stock eyepieces, with the 2xBarlow and 10 mm nearly giving the same mag ( only slightly higher ) I could not see that level of detail, even the 10mm stock by itself wasn't that impressive, but then the lower magnification with the 25mm with and without barlow were nice in their own way too.

I am actually pleased with that 6mm sky-watcher UWA as my first extra eyepiece for < 30 quid, which I got mainly for planets, moon etc, but it showed its colours on this DSO too. it is not really true UWA ( 66 degree FOV ) but I like it all the same.

Can't wait to get some of those BSTs now, or will it be one of the Maxvision eyepieces, something soon anyway :)

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