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Unable to view galaxies and deep sky

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Hello everyone I was wondering if I can get some help and advice please. I am very new to astronomy and purchased a Skywatcher 130p Explorer Goto Telescope. This is the first telescope I have ever had so am not sure on how to set it up and use it properly. I have managed to view the moon and Jupiter and the 4 moons. I am using the stock 2x deluxe barlow lens with 25mm eyepiece then the 10mm eyepiece. I have tried to locate various deep skyobjects i.e galaxies around the plough but cant see anything just the odd star or 2. Can anyone give me some advice on what to get to be able to view these objects. Many thanks

Mark :smiley:  

Skywatcher 130p Explorer GoTo System with stock 2x Deluxe Barlow lens 25mm Eyepiece and 10mm eyepiece.

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At the minute, the galaxies around the plough are proving difficult for me too and I'm using a 250p dob. A mixture of bad weather, bad transparency and a very bright moon mean you won't see much just yet. You should be able to catch andromeda before the moon comes up and M42 is still an easy catch.

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Hi thank you for your reply if you don't mind what would you recommend I should use to be able to see these objects many thanks for your advice. :smiley:

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Start with the easy ones. The ones close to the Plough main stars aren't easy to see until you really get your eye in.

M31 through your 25mm is the first target. Use the bigger V of Cassiopia to point to Andromeda and go from there. This is the biggest brightest galaxy up there.

Then maybe try the Bode's little group M81 & 82 (not far from the plough). Then you'll be set for anything.

Good luck.

Paul

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Galaxies are tough with a moon out washing out the sky. You could try M81 and M82 near the plough, they are reasonably bright, but obviously much better with dark skies. Is your scope alighted properly? If so, then it's just the moonlight. Faint galaxies need your eyes to be 'trained' what to look for, you'll get better as you progress. They don't really jump out at you, but they are beautiful!!

Barry

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Hi paul Many thanks for your reply as soon as its clear I will try and have a look. I am using the telescope manually at the moment as I am struggling to set up the scope i.e the alignment process (typical newbie)  :grin:

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M81 and M82 in Ursa Major are possibly the nicest to view of the easy ones (not many of those !). I "discovered" them with a 60mm refractor so they are well within reach of a 130mm scope. But do use your lowest power eyepiece when trying to find them. M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy) and it's neighbours M32 and the fainter M110 are not too difficult either, once you know where to look. There are a few brighter ones in Leo too, when it's rising higher in the sky. Galaxy viewing needs as dark skies as possible as any light pollution or moonlight makes even the brightest ones very hard to spot. Most will only look like faint patches of light at best but the fascination is their immense distance and the huge numbers of stars that each galaxy comprises  :smiley:

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You are welcome :grin:

I only just got back from trying to play with my toy (similar to your 130 in size) - wasn't as good as I was hoping for - a lot of hazy stuff despite the fact that I am in pretty dark location.

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Hi Barry thank you for your help and advice I am really struggling to align the scope at the moment instructions are not very clear to a beginner. I suppose when the scope is aligned properly the telescope will find the objects I want to view automatically. :smiley:

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You are welcome :grin:

I only just got back from trying to play with my toy (similar to your 130 in size) - wasn't as good as I was hoping for - a lot of hazy stuff despite the fact that I am in pretty dark location.

View from my telescope seems to be pretty clear the planets don't seem to be as good as I was hoping for could be using my 2x barlow and 25mm eyepiece.

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Hi John thankyou for your advice I am using the standard 2x deluxe barlow lens and 25mm eyepiece which came with the telescope. I do live on the outskirts of Bristol though possible light pollution not helping?

Thanks Mark

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Rough data for your scope will be:

Longitude: -2.6, or, -2  36', or 2.36W. or, 2  36'W. They are all the same just not sure what the expected format is.

Latitude: 51.45, or, 51 27', there may be an N (North) the go on.

Timezone is: 0

DST is: OFF or NO, (probably OFF).

Alignment is usually 2 star, 3 star seems to be problematic.

Simple advice is to level the mount, reduces errors that the scope has to compensate for.

As a start point level the scope tube and aim it due North. Not I think essential but it is a sensible option.

Then follow the manual.

There is (may be) a Polar Alignment.

I assume for this you would level the mount then point scope tube North and aim the OTA at Polaris, then this is your start position. Half suspect this is a good option as the aiming at Polaris gives the scope a fairly well defined initial position.

I gave Longitude first as your mount may expect it first.

Edited by ronin
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For galaxies the one most important factor is the darkness of the sky. At a dark site (where the Milky Way is clearly visible to the naked eye) a large number of galaxies can be seen with binoculars or a small scope. At a badly light polluted site (where less than 6 stars of Ura Minor are visible to the naked eye) very few galaxies may be visible, no matter how big a scope you use. The easiest are M81/82, best seen when highest in the sky (which is when they are on the meridian - the line from Polaris to your southern horizon). I don't have my planisphere to hand to check what time that would be at present, but it will be quite late night. Also observe when there is no moon (it currently rises around midnight or later). M31 is the other very easy one, but now out of season, setting too soon after sunset so that it cannot be seen high in the sky.

If you're having trouble with GoTo then my advice would be switch it off and use the scope as an alt-az. Once you've got used to looking at stuff then worry about GoTo again.

To find galaxies the easy way (i.e. with an an undriven alt-az mount at a dark enough site), just use a map that is sufficiently detailed to get you to the exact spot - don't sweep around expecting something bright and obvious to swing into view. I recommend the S&T Pocket Atlas, other people prefer Stellarium - take your pick. Make sure your finder is properly aligned (check on e.g. Jupiter or a streetlight). Start on a naked eye star and use your map to star-hop to the desired location - make sure you know your directions: in the main scope at high power, the direction in which stars drift across the field is east to west, and this is left to right on a star map when north is at the top. Stars drift similarly in the finder, but much more slowly, and the view in the finder will likely be rotated a bit relative to the main scope. Once you've got the location, view at low power - something like M82 should be obvious. Then raise the power as much as you can, until the view isn't getting any better. At each power, see whatever detail you can pick out (shape, variation of brightness from centre to edge, etc). The most detailed views of galaxies are at high power, but sky brightness (light pollution) will put a limit on how high you can go.

Edited by acey
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The chaps are spot on,

                When you need to get your eye in, the great galaxy in Andromeda M31 and the Great Nebula in Orion M42 Aare perfect.

A. You can see them with binos of your finderscope easily enough, and....

B, They Both have objects that are dimmer/smaller very close to them to extend your practice in picking these out.

One problem has been the big fat moon, which always makes deep-sky viewing harder, but we have had moist (Nay wet) air around

us for months and with all this moisture in the air what looks to the naked eye like a dark clear one ends up a bit pants for fainter objects

as they have little contrast against the backgound sky.

Dew can also cloud up your eyepieces in only small amounts.

This has been made worse by moolight refracting around the wet sky, but the moon is further down, smaller and rises later now so the

next clear night should be much better.

Like Tiny says, use your 25mm only to find objects, then use the 10mm and/or the Barlow to magnify once you have the blighter,,,

Clear Skies all

Mick

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Thankyou for all of your help guys sorry I haven't replied earlier as my modem packed up so haven't been able to get online. I am very grateful for the time you have taken to help a beginner out. Thank you very much

Mark

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hi Mark, M81 and M82 in Ursa Major are an easy sopt in 15x70's and my ED80 i am imaging them as we speak and they were easy to find in the ED80 with a 26mm eyepiece.

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I have a 130p with the standard eq2 mount,  with the 25mm I can see the Andromeda,cigar and bodes as a faint smudge but still see them even with a bit of LP. I had to search for them by star hopping and using stellarium app on my iphone.

Orion nebulae  I can see well with 10mm and barlow.

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