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M44 first sight


SacRiker
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Tonight was my first time finding and viewing M44.  I'm not 100% sure i was looking at M44, but I took a sketch and compared it to the real deal...I'm pretty sure it was M44 (at least I hope!).  

Finding it was pretty difficult...managed to hop from orion to procyon, then to cancer...finally found it after scanning around forever. Jupiter helped as well.

edit:  I tried attaching the sketch...but files are limited to 1mb?

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You can reduce the size of the sketch - without affecting what you have drawn - using a free software program like Gimp or Paint. Cancer can be tricky to discern for it is the faintest constellation. However. if the skies are reasonably okay, and there's no bright Moon about, you can make out M 44 naked eye, from here it looks like a misty cloudy patch.

Look forward to seeing the sketch and any problems drop me a line :smiley:

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Tonight was my first time finding and viewing M44.  I'm not 100% sure i was looking at M44, but I took a sketch and compared it to the real deal...I'm pretty sure it was M44 (at least I hope!).  

Finding it was pretty difficult...managed to hop from orion to procyon, then to cancer...finally found it after scanning around forever. Jupiter helped as well.

edit:  I tried attaching the sketch...but files are limited to 1mb?

M44 is a great sight, even under dodgy skies. 

From my light polluted backyard, I can see with the naked eye a mag 4 star that's about 1 degree southeast of M44, I use that to find the cluster.

Trust me, it does get easier with practice.

Regards, Ed.

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It is entirely possible that you were looking at M67 rather than M44. If it was M44 you would be saying "Wow, Stars Everywhere!!" whereas M67 is a smaller more muted cluster just to the right of the star below Asellus Austrlis. An easy mistake if you had the moon interfering.

You will probably pick up M44 in the finder scope. It is like a slightly fainter version of the Pleades through the eyepiece.

Paul

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I love it too, it is one of my favourite targets! As Paul said, I also wonder whether you saw M67 instead. M44 should be relatively easy to find particularly with your binos since it is large and full of stars. 

Anyway, what matters is that you enjoyed your evening, and if you didn't detect it, you will next time!  :smiley:

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I never quite understood why people opt for 8x?? bins. I always imagined that the magnification would be a bit weak for astronomy, but your sketch of M44 proves me wrong. Your sketch is very obviously M44.

Haha -- when I bought the bins I had no idea what I was buying.  I just read enough reviews to feel like these would show me something.  I've had them for nearly 2 years now, but only just bought a tripod last week.  What a difference!  

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Haha -- when I bought the bins I had no idea what I was buying.  I just read enough reviews to feel like these would show me something.  I've had them for nearly 2 years now, but only just bought a tripod last week.  What a difference!  

Just goes to show that even small bins benefit from being mounted.

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Yup! Also to me that is likely to be M44! 

Your binos (8x56) have an exit pupil of 7mm, which can be a good thing particularly under dark skies. However,  if the moon is up, the contrast with the background sky is reduced quite a lot. I believe you have been very good at finding it. Congratulations!

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