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Andromeda in city (red to orange zone)


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I was wondering if it is possible to see the andromeda galaxy with my 200 dob in a light polluted city. It is a bit hard to find its location because there is only a few markers visible in the sky.

I can easily find orion's nebula, and can clearly see it, I am looking for some guidance in finding it if there is anything to see (I am in Ottawa, Canada).

Thanks.

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You should get a really good view of Andromeda galaxy in the 200P - even on my partially lit driveway I can see it by  eye - it's the only naked eye galaxy visible from Earth. Much better in bins (eg 10x50) and even better still at low mag from a scope.

Extend an imaginary line from merkab through alphertaz in the Great Square of Pegasus and extend another imaginary line from Cassiopiea in the direction pointed by the sharp end of the "W". Where the imaginary lines cross just pan around a little and it'll suddenly jump out at you - look for an oval shaped grey smudge with a bright center. This link may help:

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

Edited by brantuk
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It should be easy enough to see, once you are in the right area by following brantuk's instructions above.  If you have  a pair of binoculars this will help you spot it before using your scope. Don't expect too much - but the core should be fairly bright in your dob

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The 200P is "big" and the field of view will not cover all of M31, you will see the central core not the whole galaxy.

You need 3 degrees for M31 and that means 20x magnification on a 60 degree eyepiece which in turn means a 60mm eyepiece.

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In a light polluted city don't expect too much. Go for very bright globular and open clusters, planetary nebulae and planets. Galaxies and other wide nebulae will be disappointing if you get to see one. If you give me your time frame observation I can give you some concrete advice.

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From town Andromeda is going to be disappointing at best and only the very central core will be observable. Don't expect to see anything more than a small oval glow.

From London it's a don't even bother object. I only bother swinging my scopes towards Andromeda if the site I'm observing from is exceptionally dark. From anywhere else its just not worth it IMO. 

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From town Andromeda is going to be disappointing at best and only the very central core will be observable. Don't expect to see anything more than a small oval glow.

That has been my experience here in suburban Worcestershire. The views I have here with an 8" Newtonian are actually not an awful lot better than those I used to get at my old home in a fairly dark Dorset village with just a 60mm spotting scope - the core is brighter, but that's about all. The biggest difference is that M32 is clearer, and when it's high enough in the sky I can also just make out M110. But if I'm honest, the novelty value of that wore off pretty quickly.

As far as locating it is concerned, my method is similar to brantuk's - I imagine another 'W of Cassiopeia' extending from the point of the more prominent of the two 'V's. That gets me in the right area, then it's just a bit off from there. But after the first few times, locating it becomes pretty much second nature, as with most of these things.

LocatingAndromeda

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I live in the outskirts of London, still in the Red zone..but obviously not as bad as it would be standing under the lights of Piccadilly Circus! 

Anyway, I checked out Andromeda from my back garden tonight too, its a right pain as the light pollution in my garden is mostly in the west combined with high trees, its an observers nightmare. But doing some star hopping I managed to find it for the first time, and yes it was pretty dull in the scope (5") the core was there, and if you looked hard enough you could begin to see very VERY faint outer regions..only on the basis that I know they exist. 

Regardless of all that, I was still smiling! 

How did you get on? 

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Got too lazy that night, it was -27 with the windchill. Now, I am kicking my self because it looks like clouds for the next few days. Glad someone in the red zone found it, gives me hope!

Next clear night, I will find it :) I have got a 40mm eyepiece just for andromeda.

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While I'm sure Andromeda (and many other fuzzy sights) are much more striking under a nice dark sky, don't let that discourage you from hunting them down in the city. Even if you can't make out all the detail ... I mean, c'mon: you're looking at another freakin' galaxy for Pete's sake. You're looking outside -- way outside -- your entire galaxy and peering into the heart of another one an unimaginable distance away. If that isn't awe-inspiring, albeit a bit fuzzy, what is?

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While I'm sure Andromeda (and many other fuzzy sights) are much more striking under a nice dark sky, don't let that discourage you from hunting them down in the city. Even if you can't make out all the detail ... I mean, c'mon: you're looking at another freakin' galaxy for Pete's sake. You're looking outside -- way outside -- your entire galaxy and peering into the heart of another one an unimaginable distance away. If that isn't awe-inspiring, albeit a bit fuzzy, what is?

This!

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