Jump to content

1564402927_Comet2021Banner.jpg.a8d9e102cd65f969b635e8061096d211.jpg

Observing Nebule and Andromeda


Recommended Posts

Hi, My name is Ben Rolfe, I recently brought a Celestron 130SLT Reflector Telescope, Last night was a really clear night, no clouds at all, I had aligned the telescope using Celestrons SkyAlign feature and that was sucessful I could ask the telescope to find jupiter and it would have no problem, but when i selected Andromeda I couldn't see anything, I tried the 25mm lens and the 9mm lens and neither of them could see anything, there was also no light polution.

can anyone help me find andromeda or have any tips?

many thanks,

Ben Rolfe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiya Ben,

Here is some general advice you may find useful for hunting out DSOs:

Gear & Stuff

i) Stellarium: download this free software. It is extremely useful for planning sessions, seeing what is about, learning about constellation and planetary motion through time and much more.

iI) Star Atlas: get yourself a decent star map. I find Star Atlas by Sky and Telescope indispensable. It's not that expensive, it's a piece of art in itself and it is extremely useful.

iiI) Viewfinder: a 9x50mm, right angled correct image viewfinder is the business. This delivers stars right down to about 8 magnitude, even if you're in a LP area, meaning you’ll be able to see every star plotted on the Sky Atlas and when you move amongst those stars, your left is left and your up is up.

iv) Red-Dot Finder: either a Telrad or Rigel finder will be a big help. These can’t deliver more stars than your eyes alone can see, so if you're in an LP area, you're relatively limited. But, they really do speed up your finding, really do help judge where you are, but it must be used in conjunction with the findercope. Whether in decent dark skies or a light soaked LP area, one positions the bullseye or the other two rings in the proper place against the stars and you’re done. If you're out a little you can work out where you are by either looking through your viewfinder or the three ringed cirlces of the red-dot finder giving you varying degrees of the sky you're looking at. If it helps, you can make a plastic red-dot finder overlay for the Star Atlas or just print one of the free Telrad maps on the net.

v) Long Focal Length EP: A long focal length, low magnification EP will be your star-hopping workhorse. The low mag EP should offer you sufficient sky to manage along with your star map and red-dot finder and ought to be able to pick out or hint at what you're hunting. I use an EP which offers about 1º true field, others may prefer a little wider. Your own 25mm should be more than sufficient for the job.

vi) Sketches: sketches are too often overlooked, but they ought to be viewed from time to time. These are generally produced by patient observers who are trying to get the visual image right, so the little drawings should give you a very good idea of what the DSO being hunted out will more or less look like.

vi) SGL & Books: there are so many books about it's hard to pick out any one of them and say, this is the best. There are those which give context and depth to what is being viewed, others a more practical working guide. On the latter front, many folk recommend, Turn Left at Orion. I never really bothered but others swear by it. The power of SGL goes without saying.

vii) Jumping Tricks: there are some little tricks you can learn to find yourself about the night sky. For example, find the plough in Ursa Major and look for Merek and Dubhe, the distance and angle between these two is one step. Now count that distance, in that direction another 5 steps and bingo, you'll be with Polaris. Now go back to the Plough and find its end star, Alkaid. Take a jump and dive from her and the next brightest star will be Arcturus, and so on. Learning the big stars and diving quickly between them makes hunting stuff easier.

A Little Guide

viii) Star Hop: Forget any goto for now and just do a little star hopping. Find the star Mirach in the constellation of Andromeda and follow it through to Nu Andromeda. Look through your finder and you should be able to see the haunting glow of M 31. I've included a little map to help you:

post-21324-0-55105500-1388627666_thumb.p

ix) Mirach Jumping: Use Mirach to also find NGC 404. If you look at Mirach there abouts should be its ghostly companion, a galaxy some 10 million light years away :shocked: . You can also use Mirach to dip down into Triangulum to dig out M 33 :grin: .

Final Thoughts

viii) Participation in the Virtues: if you can master patience you'll be a master of yourself and the night sky is a good teacher. She'll teach patience and careful watchfulness; she'll teach industry and care and above all the night sky teaches trust. Those stars and DSOs are not going anywhere quick. They won't desert you and they're not trying to deceive you. If you don't succeed one night, no worries. Don't be down hearted, you've probably already discovered something new about yourself, or perhaps your equipment, or the sky itself. And those stars and DSOs will be back to give you another chance, another day.

ix) Don't fight the clouds: stargazing can be a tiresome road and one can suffer for it and be grieved, but the worst we can do is add to this frustration and hit out and curse those things beyond our control. Cloudy, uneventful evenings are just that, nothing more and when we are older they will appear to us as a singular, non-descript event, yet shining from them like a host of gleaming stars will be those evenings where everything just seemed perfect and the universe at last could murmur to us its secrets.

I hope that helps a little. Good luck, and clear skies to you
:icon_salut:

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First obvious thing, when told to go to "Andromeda" the scope may think you mean the constellation in general, when I assume you wanted the galaxy. Ask it to go to M31, that's unambiguous.

Secondly, what were you expecting to see? M31 will look like a fuzzy blob of light. The whole galaxy, the outer parts of which are faint, probably won't fit in the field of view of the 25mm eyepiece either.

Thirdly, even after alignment GoTo accuracy can vary from one bit of the sky to another. So even though the scope found Jupiter fine, it could still have missed M31.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"there was no light pollution"  :grin:

where was that? If there "is no light pollution" you should be able to see andromeda with your naked eye just by letting your eyes get used to the darkness. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 5.1" telescope too and I live in an area with some light pollution... I saw M31 two nights ago, around 10pm it is quite high in the sky which makes it easier to locate (for me), it's one of my favourite DSO to view. I can see it with the naked eye (knowing where to look) and it even looks great through my 10x50 binoculars. I don't have a GoTo system so I have to locate it manually;

I use Cassiopeia which is an M or W type shape as an initial guide, with binoculars or the naked eye (getting to know constellations is really helping me in general). The square of Pegasus is below the constellation Andromeda which includes the bright star Mirach.

Image:Andromeda_Pegasus_Labelled_647.GIF

Using the Andromeda constellation, there are 3 sets of stars that make an arrow shape, the middle two adjacent stars are a good guide.

Image:Andromeda_Pegasus_to_M31_360.GIF

This article probably explains it much better and clearer than I have, here's the link: http://www.wikihow.com/Find-the-Andromeda-Galaxy

Also, when you do find M31 look out for it's satellite galaxies too, as I unexpectedly found M110 too, which was a wonderful surprise. It is smaller and fainter than M31, but still a great sight. I used a wide relief 20mm lens, the object will appear as an elongated, oval smudge with a bright centre (well it did to me anyway).

Hope some of that helps. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First obvious thing, when told to go to "Andromeda" the scope may think you mean the constellation in general, when I assume you wanted the galaxy. Ask it to go to M31, that's unambiguous.

Secondly, what were you expecting to see? M31 will look like a fuzzy blob of light. The whole galaxy, the outer parts of which are faint, probably won't fit in the field of view of the 25mm eyepiece either.

Thirdly, even after alignment GoTo accuracy can vary from one bit of the sky to another. So even though the scope found Jupiter fine, it could still have missed M31.

Thankyou very much, I understand that Andromeda looks like a fuzzy cloud, but i dont know how bright it is, like am i able to see it immediately? 

regards

Ben Rolfe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You should be able to see with the naked eye, the star hop from Mirach is the best I found to find it first as the star chart above shows, I struggled for a while but have LP here but go straight to it now with the bins. We have found ourselves about 45x give the best view from our garden with our LP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a very easy way to find Andromeda - it's a very faint smudge of light to the naked eye and is more distinct in binocs:

http://www.space.com/7426-starhopping-101-find-andromeda-galaxy.html

I extend a line from Markab through Alphertaz and look for where it crosses a line extended from Schedar in the direction pointed by the arrow shape on the end of Cas. M31 is just a nudge up and to the right of where the extended lines cross. You'll know when you see it in your scope - it's instantly recognisable. :)

Edited by brantuk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks paul, if i just look around the night sky with no light pollution will i be able to spot it with the naked eye?

Once you know where to look you can just make it out as a long faint oval smudge.

You should be able to make it out for the first time with a normal pair of binos.

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once you know where to look you can just make it out as a long faint oval smudge.

You should be able to make it out for the first time with a normal pair of binos.

Paul

I have a little light pollution but nothing serious. M31 is usually visible to the naked eye for me but it is faint. If it is really clear it does indeed look like a long (surprisingly long, it really is big!) faint oval smudge and you can't really miss once you know roughly where to look.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a little light pollution but nothing serious. M31 is usually visible to the naked eye for me but it is faint. If it is really clear it does indeed look like a long (surprisingly long, it really is big!) faint oval smudge and you can't really miss once you know roughly where to look.well, when l

Well, when looking at M31 with my Celestron NexStar 130SLT the moon was quite close to it, so observing was poor but i was able to make out the faint smudge,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.