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Things to find around the plough


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Hi all,

i'm just starting out in astronomy and as im trying to learn i spot of sky at a time!

the plough is the area i am interested in and tonight is going to be a good night so am defo out, any suggestions of things to look out for in this area that i will be able to see with my little scope! :)

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i only have a celesron firstscope with standard eps (H20,SR4mm)and i just brought a 12mm celestron omni plossi and celestron x2 barlow with moon filter,

forgot to mention!!!! lol

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Tricky with it bring so light, you'll struggle with galaxies but might be worth trying to find M81 and M82.

Definitely have a look at Mizar and Alcor, they are a lovely double, and Mizar itself splits into a pair through a scope. It's the second star in from the 'handle' end

Stu

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Did you have any luck?

To be honest, I didn't suggest the targets above because I doubt you will see them as the skies really don't get dark at the moment and you need dark skies for galaxies, even more so with a little scope. You should certainly manage M81/2 with it when skies get a bit darker, and no harm in orientating yourself with where all these objects are even if you can't see them! I can see M81/2 in a 66mm refractor so they should be manageable.

Stu

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morning stu, no i didnt get to see anything last nite!!!!! damn high cloud ruined my nite!!!! well annoyed but hey there is allways tonight fingers crossed really need to get out under the stars there is only so much i can learn from books and software. need the real thing!!! :)

How did your night fair? stu, better than mine i hope!!

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As pointed out it's not great for finding objects as it's not very dark. A good book/ sky chart is a very useful guide if you don't already have one. This is a link from another post showing what's around in that area but many of the objects will be hard to find in a small telescope until it starts to get a bit darker. The fun is in the finding though !

Messier 51 - M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy) | Free Star Charts

andrew

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Shame, tonight and tomorrow are looking promising though. I didn't get out last night but hope to over the weekend.

I would definitely give Mizar/Alcor a go, it's very nice to see. Perhaps head over to Cygnus and Lyra too. Alberio is a lovely double star. M57 (Ring Nebula) should be visible to you in Lyra. Then there is M27 (Dumb bell nebula) and the Coathanger asterism, all around this area. They should all be within reach once it gets darker (after about 11.30!) I presume you have downloaded Stellarium or have some form of star chart?

Cheers,

Stu

Edited by BigMakStutov
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Hi Andrew,

thanks for the link, always looking for good astro sites, and your right the fun is defo in the finding,

i have done camping for years growing up in devon, spending hours lying in a field looking up at the stars,

its only now that i am taking an intrest in names, postions, alt, azmth, ra and dec, its a steep learning curve as i guess you all knw!;)

This web site is great and am well glad i joined. Cheers for the advice Andrew

Hi Stu,

yes i have downloaded Stellarium its a great program and looks amazing when zooming around, the kids love seeing me zoom into different objects and reading about them! also i have a program called night vision.

i will give Mizar/Alcor a try tonight weather permitting! my star hopping abilities are still developing and find myself wondering miles off track lol

end up seeing loads but ufortunatly never really learning names and positions so am trying to give myself some goals each nite but find it hard understanding what my little scope is realisticly going to see! Thanks again for your suggestions

Clear skies all!!:)

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Have a go at Cygnus , you'll see it in the eastern sky as soon as it gets dark. As well as being The Swan , it's the Northern Cross, so look for a large cross shape.

There's plenty clusters and targets here as the Milky Way flows along it's length.

Ursa Major is sinking as other constellations rise at the moment.

Further north from Cygnus you'll find the W of Cassiopeia and to the east the great square of Pegasus.

All provide easy targets under

clear skies,

Nick.

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Thanks nick will have to take a look! i am only looking at the plough area as its the area i remember the best, but i take your point about riseing falling constellations,

mabe i should try and plan a little more and work on learning the constellations better! must say i love the pic! :) Clear Skies

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Thanks for starting this thread Timbo,

The Plough is possibly in the most easy patch of sky for me to see as my back garden is a bit closed in, so all this information is very relevant for me too, and gives me something to look out for.

Here's hoping we get some cloudless skies again very soon :smiley:

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Shame, tonight and tomorrow are looking promising though. I didn't get out last night but hope to over the weekend.

I would definitely give Mizar/Alcor a go, it's very nice to see. Perhaps head over to Cygnus and Lyra too. Alberio is a lovely double star. M57 (Ring Nebula) should be visible to you in Lyra. Then there is M27 (Dumb bell nebula) and the Coathanger asterism, all around this area. They should all be within reach once it gets darker (after about 11.30!) I presume you have downloaded Stellarium or have some form of star chart?

Cheers,

Stu

More like September!

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No, don't be so pessimistic :-). You'd be surprised, by early August Nautical twilight happens an hour earlier than now, it's fully dark by around 11.30pm with over 3 hours of full Astro darkness.

I go camping every year in August and the skies do get wonderfully dark; looking at the Milky Way running through Cygnus overhead on a dark, late summer night is one of my favourite things.

Stu

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Hi all, Glad that you found the thread interesting and relevant Sky Clad. And thank you everybody that has commented, just to let you all know that i have had the best few nights in my life!!!!! I split mizar and alcor, m51 whirlpool galaxy also looked at andromeda galaxy! and i think i could pick out bode's nebulae m81 and the cigar galaxy m82! can't wait to see what tonight will reveal! i have just brought a celestron X2 barlow lens/TAdapter and a 12mm celestron omni plossi ep and it has made an amazing difference. just need to upgrade my little firstscope, i was amazed at the difference the ep made, cant wait to see the difference a new scope will make!:) Clear Skies!

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Hi Timbo. I'd recommend M13, M92 nice and high up in the sky at the moment as good starters, once you have found them in Stellarium. Use Vega and Arcturus as a guide, the keystone, ( Hercules ) in between is an easy target to find, with a little bit of practice even this time of year.

When I started I too was sort of hooked on the idea starting around the plough, just because it is so easy to see, and one of the few bits of sky I knew and could recognise straight away, but for finding the actual DSOs I found it not to be the easiest.

M13 will impress you I hope :)

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