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Johnny666666

Am I expecting too much...? Frustration setting in

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blurry can be a number of things, mars is fairly low and a fair distance from us ( orbit wise )

so it becomes that little bit harder to capture.

we also have to remember weather and seeing is also a factor. 

scale is more why you can see saturn somewhat easy and make out its rings.

and jupiter looks all cloudy and banded, but because mars is a small planet in terms to saturn or jupiter

it is somewhat harder to see and wants the best seeing conditions.

being a somewhat newbie myself still, i can honestly say shoot for the bigger planets, those gas giants first.

saturns rings and jupiter with those lovely moons, then when you have those lovely clear crisp nights

and the stars do not twinkle as much you can go and have a bash at mars, 

from mars looking at earth, all you would see is a little small Blue dot, because we are slighly bigger than

mars itself, we could look back at ourself BUT the image you know as earth will not look like that from mars

it will look rather like mars does to us, a blue planet with a slight hint at what wonders it holds. 

Space is a vastness and size us poor humans have a hard time thinking about we think in miles but planets are huge

, if we could park beside saturn it would fill the sky and some more , we are like a tennis ball mars is like a pingpong ball 

and those gas giants they are like a Zorb 

Edited by Mr TamiyaCowboy
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These are great to view and very easy to pick out for beginners (like me....).

I understand how the OP feels, think we have all been there. M1 is my arch nemeses but day I will find and defeat it.

Mark

M1 took me ages to find Mark, and to me is all about a decent sky. I tried for years from home, then managed it in 15x50 binoculars from a good dark site. You will wonder how you missed it if you get somewhere dark.

Stu

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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M1 is quite a wow target from a very dark site. It's a let down from town. Everyone wants to see it if you explain it's history and what it is. Then you usually get either, "is that it ?" or " can't see a thing".

There are plenty of more realistic targets which will give the wow factor. M11 is probably a chart topper,

Nick.

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Funnily enough M1 was one of the quickest Messiers I've found. Using my quaint version of star hopping I just dropped straight on it with the TAL2. To be fair it fitted the "is that it.....??" category but appreciating what it represented gave an enormous buzz.

I really must find it again with the 200p!

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Again, such fantastic replies - thank you to everyone for taking the time out to encourage me!

Unfortunately, 4 out of 7 nights I'm working so I don't get much of a chance to get out there and try things - that is slightly offset by the amount of time I can spend out there when I have clear skies - 4am is no problem for me.

Yes, I do have a small finderscope on the tube (a 6x30 according to the website) and I probably don't use this as much as I should. I shall certainly try all suggestions regarding using it. What's been the major issue for me is moving the scope tube, say, to the right and the image in the EP moving to the left - it's distinctly disorientating for someone who is used to a normal view. Does anyone with a similar scope find good use of any of the diagonals/finders that are available that give a corrected view, or should I be using the finderscope more often to locate the area of sky or object I intend to look at, then switch to the EP view. I have already set up Stellarium ocular views with the various lenses and EP's I have to give a corrected view, but unfortunately my laptop battery lasts about 2 hours if I'm lucky so I've been trying to get along without it. I also find it very inconvenient to continually refer to Stellarium to compare the EP view with Stellarium's ocular view when trying to find objects, especially when gazing at what appears to be a completely featureless area of space!

I'm looking forward to receiving my books and because I live on the edge of a town I can drive to a relatively quiet dark spot and will probably go there a few times with the binoculars and learn how to follow the guidance in the books. At home I have quite a restricted view and can't see anything below Polaris in a Northerly direction, with a slightly less limited view in other directions.

So much to learn and take in for a newbie, then it'll become second nature. Like finding objects in the sky - you'll wonder how you missed them for all those years spent looking for them! :grin:

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Hi Johnny,

I would definitely say use a correct image finder or TelRad to find the object, or near enough to it then switch to the scope view. The devices to correct the image in a scope generally reduce the quality of the view so are best avoided.

Once you have found the right area, referring to a reversed star map will allow you to verify the star patterns and find the object. Avoid laptops and phones etc when observing as they generally trash your night vision unless you have a decent red transparent cover over it and the brightness turned right down.

Good luck.

Stu

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have the same scope and mount as you and one of the first things I bought was a Telrad quickly followed by a 9x50 RACI finder. For me they made a huge difference.

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Does anyone with a similar scope find good use of any of the diagonals/finders that are available that give a corrected view, or should I be using the finderscope more often to locate the area of sky or object I intend to look at, then switch to the EP view. 

Do this, and stick with it! I found my Newtonian confusing at first - upside down and backwards - but now the mental gymnastics involved are second nature.

Except, curiously, for the moon. I need to print and bind a reversed moon map...

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Thanks again for the information!

I've now received my two books and had a quick scan through them - 'Turn Left' appears at first sight to be eminently enjoyable and I look forward to spending some time working through it, both with and without 'scope or binoculars! The 'Sky Atlas' by contrast appears at first sight to be completely confusing and not at all user-friendly for a newbie, with too much information (a little like disabling 'atmosphere' in Stellarium whilst trying to compare it to the night sky viewed with the naked eye). No doubt when I get used to finding my way around the skies a little better it will be of use to me.

The 9x50 RACI finder sounds interesting, I assume it will give me the same orientated image through the finder as I would see with binoculars or indeed with the naked eye? However, I do quite enjoy the wider field of view of the 6x30 finderscope so I might go for the 6x30 RACI finder as a first option. But then again the 9x50 will presumably give me a brighter image and a more detailed view...? Decisions, decisions... Opinions, anyone?

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I guess I would just say that you can use a combination of a red dot finder or TelRad and a 9x50 finder and have the best of both worlds. With the RDF, the dot or circle is projected against the sky so it is easy to see it in context with a wider view and other stars around it. The 9x50 then gives you more detail and may even allow you to see the brighter DSO's if your skies are reasonable so you can line up the cross hairs more easily.

By all means try a 6x30 but I think the limited light grasp may not be ideal.

Stu

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Hi John,

Just some thoughts to add to the mix. It might be easier if your binoculars and finderscope have similar magnification - finding something in 10x50s may not help you find it at 6x30. (I suggest you upgrade your finder rather than downgrading binocs!) Also remember that a 50mm finder will not show things as well as 50mm binocs.

By all means try a RACI finder, but they have pros and cons too. I found the move to a RACI finder less of a benefit than I'd expected.

If you haven't been doing this already, choose an area of the sky and get to know it with binocs alone for a night or two.

Choose targets you can star-hop to really easily, so you can be confident you're in the right place even if the object itself isn't visible in the finder. M42 would be an obvious example; for this season, someone suggested M53 (it's in Turn Left), or there are showpiece doubles like Mizar, Algieba, Cor Caroli, Izar, etc. If you can get to a dark site, I'm sure there are galaxies that fit the bill ... I wouldn't know :(

I don't find star atlases very helpful either - the scale and the number of stars visible never match what you can see.

And, er, if all else fails ... have you tried looking at the Moon? :))

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Just to distil some of the wisdom from the previous posters.

1/ most people go through this and get disheartened. This is not helped when they read about the lucky few who "unboxed their fist scope and were flying around the sky bagging every DSO in Hubble like quality, all within about 3 seconds". This is not how it worked for most of us.

2/ it will get better very quickly once you get the hang of it.

3/ getting the scope pointing roughly in the right direction is paramount. Ie. so that you can workout what star is in your finder scope. The tel rad or a tin can with a hole in the end will do the trick (I made my own for £2.50 - don't need it now that I have had a bit of practice).

4/ Stellarium is great

5/ start with the bright targets close to recognisable bright stars (ie. M53 as Andy Suggests or M35 or Double Cluster)

6/ the SGL members are a,ways happy to offer advice and support.

Good luck, stick with it.

Paul

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Just a quick update - I did a little imaging of Saturn (not yet processed but I'm not expecting great shakes) and thought I'd have a quick scan through TLAO while I was out there. I'd checked on Stellarium what DSO's might be visible from where I plonked my scope (not in its usual place and not aligned) and decided on M13 for want of something to have a go at.

Bear in mind I had no idea which stars were Vega or Arcturus (I had to double check in Stellarium I was looking at the right ones) I followed the instructions in TLAO under the where to look section. Just using my eyes, within a few minutes of alternately peering at the book and the sky I had found all the pointers easily, although I failed to see M13 itself with just my eyes. I switched to binoculars and after a minute or so of getting my bearings amongst the many more visible fainter stars and the much narrower field of view I spotted what looked like a dim smudge exactly where TLAO said M13 should be!

I swung the scope around to find it, which I did more by luck than design because the position of the mount necessitated me using the tube with the finder located underneath (!) and after trying various combinations of EP's (2 x barlow and 17mm PLOSSL seemed to give the best results) I could just start to make out some of individual stars before it completely disappeared (along with everything else in the sky) under a total blanket of cloud!

I intend to bookmark the TLAO page (and all subsequent pages I work through successfully) and repeat the hopping procedures as quick exercises whenever there's a clear sky until I'm happy I know where most things are!

And yes - I've never met such a great bunch of people as I have on SGL!

:laugh:

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more by luck than design because the position of the mount necessitated me using the tube with the finder located underneath (!)

Simply loosen your tube rings and rotate the OTA so that your finder and focuser are in a comfortable position. (those 2 big silver thumbscrews 1 on each ring).

(just keep a hand on the tube until you tighten them again)

Good to hear that you are making progress.

Rich

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Fantastic! Well done. It's great to be able to resolve stars in M13 - I don't have the aperture for it myself. One day!

Did you notice the different colours of Vega and Arcturus? And if you're in the area of Vega you must stop off at epsilon Lyr (but TLAO will tell you about that).

have fun!

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Nice one Johnny, good to hear you are getting the hang of it.

M13 is one if my favourites, it used to resolve pretty much to the core in my 8" mak but looks great in almost any scope.

If you use averted vision ie don't look directly at it, you will find the individual stars begin to show up. In smaller scopes, I often look at it, then flick my eyes to one side and they really jump out at you more.

Cheers,

Stu

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Simply loosen your tube rings and rotate the OTA so that your finder and focuser are in a comfortable position. (those 2 big silver thumbscrews 1 on each ring).

(just keep a hand on the tube until you tighten them again)

Good to hear that you are making progress.

Rich

Hi Rich, I couldn't do this (I normally do) but the tube was upside down and if I'd rotated it in the rings to even get the finderscope halfway round then the EP would've ended up on the top! I couldn't quite reach M13 in it's 'normal' position because the tube fouled against one of the tripod legs. I wonder - did I just perform a 'Meridian Flip?' I think it was just a bad combination of M13 being in an awkward location relative to my hastily set up set-up.

Fantastic! Well done. It's great to be able to resolve stars in M13 - I don't have the aperture for it myself. One day!

Did you notice the different colours of Vega and Arcturus? And if you're in the area of Vega you must stop off at epsilon Lyr (but TLAO will tell you about that).

have fun!

Yes, I was starting to get my eyes around what I was seeing, I then swapped to one of the EP's that came with the scope to compare quality to the Plossl, and it was a complete blurry mess and hardly visible. I then looked at the sky and the only object I could see was Mars - everything else had gone! I did notice the colours, but I didn't notice the introduction section in TLAO which told me where they were in the night sky - hence having to refer to Stellarium! I was a bit confused by "find Vega and Arcturus" and simply stared at the sky and muttered "where...?" One more exercise to add to the list: Learn the names and locations of these pointer stars!

Frustration is definitely subsiding, thanks to everyone on SGL :laugh:

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Nice one Johnny, good to hear you are getting the hang of it.

M13 is one if my favourites, it used to resolve pretty much to the core in my 8" mak but looks great in almost any scope.

If you use averted vision ie don't look directly at it, you will find the individual stars begin to show up. In smaller scopes, I often look at it, then flick my eyes to one side and they really jump out at you more.

Cheers,

Stu

Cheers Stu - yes, I'm determined to not only work through LTAO but also to try and remember where these objects are. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time (or a comfortable enough position) to try using the finderscope so I'm still not sure whether a RACI finder will be more suitable for me - that's for another night. Averted vision worked well for me, but it's so tempting to look directly at  the stars, I feel almost 'cheated' that I have to look away from them to see them :grin:

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From what you have said about fouling the tripod and the position of the EP, then a flip was almost certainly due.

I may be using a bad habit, but when my counter weights are getting higher than the mount then I flip.

My standard position is set for observing North through East to South East, when then moving to South through South West to West I make a flip. (and generally a brew).

So I'll take a stab and guess that you are set the same, and were hitting M13 around 03.30 to 04.00 which would indeed require flipping and rotating.

PS I'm getting jealous, every time I have observing time available; at the moment it is always raining and cloudy. :(

Rich

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Hi Rich, I couldn't do this (I normally do) but the tube was upside down and if I'd rotated it in the rings to even get the finderscope halfway round then the EP would've ended up on the top! I couldn't quite reach M13 in it's 'normal' position because the tube fouled against one of the tripod legs. I wonder - did I just perform a 'Meridian Flip?' I think it was just a bad combination of M13 being in an awkward location relative to my hastily set up set-up.

Yes, I was starting to get my eyes around what I was seeing, I then swapped to one of the EP's that came with the scope to compare quality to the Plossl, and it was a complete blurry mess and hardly visible. I then looked at the sky and the only object I could see was Mars - everything else had gone! I did notice the colours, but I didn't notice the introduction section in TLAO which told me where they were in the night sky - hence having to refer to Stellarium! I was a bit confused by "find Vega and Arcturus" and simply stared at the sky and muttered "where...?" One more exercise to add to the list: Learn the names and locations of these pointer stars!

Frustration is definitely subsiding, thanks to everyone on SGL :laugh:

It takes some time, don't rush it. It helps to work outwards from stars or constellations you know. The Plough is a great help, as it's always in the sky and you can find a lot of stars by looking in particular places around it: Polaris famously, also Arcturus (follow the handle 'arc to Arcturus'), Cor Caroli ('under' the handle) and straight on to the Coma cluster ... in spring Leo is another major landmark, in summer Cygnus and the Summer Triangle, in autumn Pegasus, in winter Orion. 

Ah well, it's fun pointing out the low-hanging fruit but you'll find your own ways around. Oh, and after three years I still refer to Stellarium pretty much every time before I go out! There's no shame in it :)

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It takes some time, don't rush it. It helps to work outwards from stars or constellations you know. The Plough is a great help, as it's always in the sky and you can find a lot of stars by looking in particular places around it: Polaris famously, also Arcturus (follow the handle 'arc to Arcturus'), Cor Caroli ('under' the handle) and straight on to the Coma cluster ... in spring Leo is another major landmark, in summer Cygnus and the Summer Triangle, in autumn Pegasus, in winter Orion.

Excellent advice. Learn these marks and the sky really opens up.

Whoever invented the word patience was almost certainly an astronomer. Keep at it Johnny, you have so many wonderful sights ahead of you.

Orley.

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