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Night Hawk

Some simple help needed to find easy Messiers

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Hi, I'm very new to astronomy and need to help to find what I'm looking at outside of our solar system. I have no trouble with spotting what I need to with the naked eye. (The moon and Jupiter look great), however the problem comes when spotting with my finder scope as obviously your view is narrowed and suddenly you can see more stars in the sky. 
 
I've tried looking for m33 and 32/33 however the trianglum is on about 20 degrees above the horizon just above nearby housing and lighting is just to bright in the early leaving before it slowly drops below the houses and horizon. So I'm going to leave that unitl its in a better position
 
So I thought I'd aim for m51 as Ursa major it's quite high and easy to pick out along with polaris and ursa minor. Still had no luck spotting M51.
 
Do anybody have any tips on the best way of spotting the conselltations through a finder scope so I can then find some easy to spot messier?
 
I've got starcharts printed and use starchart app I just have trouble getting in the right direction with finderscope(FS is setup corectly as I can view Jupiter). Any pointers would be great? Trial and error I guess, but any help would greatly be appreciated.
 
Thank you

Ps tried dl stelarium, but my laptop wouldn't let me install due to possible malaware.

Sky-Watcher Skyliner-200P Dobsonian - 10mm & 25mm EP - 9x50 Finderscope - SW 2x Barlow - Filters

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Hi and Welcome,

I see you are using the standard finder, which most peeps find to be lacking....   I may be better to invest in a simple laser finder, or better still a Telrad finder 

Julian

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Hello night hawk plus one for the telrad. I also have the 200p and struggled with the finder scope. With the telrad I have found it much easier and sometimes don't even use the finder scope once I've locked on with the telrad. If you have a look at www.atmob.org you will find star charts designed to be used with a telrad which are downloadable and can be printed off. Good luck in your choice.

Edited by Sirius Starwatcher

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Hi night hawk, have a look at setting circles for your dob. Makes finding faint objects quick and easy.

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The two targets you've mentioned are actually both quite tricky and easily washed out by light pollution. I would suggest picking a few easier ones to start with. M42, M45 and perhaps the double cluster spring to mind.

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M51 is a bit dim, Mag 8.4. So it is not going to be overly easy.

If you put "messier list" into google one of the first records is Wikipedia.

Open that link and there is a list of all Messiers and you can reorder them,

In the Galaxy line M33 is brighter as is M81 and M83.

After that they are all similar to M51.

Galaxies are simply not exactly bright, owing to the nature of how Magnitude is determined.

Answer is: Leap in a car and get to a darker location, there is really no realistic option these days.

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I have the standard  9x50 finder and use it more than the Telrad from my normal observatory.

Keeping both eyes open will help enormously when looking through the finder scope. Although you will see more with one eye than the other, the Stars will align in both eyes when finding and on target.

I find the Telrad  useful when  I cant see the 9x50 reticules against  darker skies 

Don't give up on Stellarium, its a brilliant program. http://www.stellarium.org/en_GB/

Edited by Charic
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Thanks for your comments. I'll try to find some easy Messiers as you've advised. I've also treated myself to a Telrad. This hobby is just getting more expensive as it is difficult  :shocked:

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If as I suspect you are suffering with light pollution try some of the open clusters which are easier to see under those conditions. A couple to get you going, M44 between Jupiter and Castor and M103 in Cassiopeia, both easy to find and attractive, there are loads more but to start try finding one or two new objects each session.

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I have the standard  9x50 finder and use it more than the Telrad from my normal observatory.

Keeping both eyes open will help enormously when looking through the finder scope. Although you will see more with one eye than the other, the Stars will align in both eyes when finding and on target.

I find the Telrad  useful when  I cant see the 9x50 reticules against  darker skies 

Don't give up on Stellarium, its a brilliant program. http://www.stellarium.org/en_GB/

I'll 2nd. getting Stellarium. I don't know from where you tried to download it, but the following is the official link that uses SourceForge:

http://www.stellarium.org/

Just click on your operating-system at the top of the page and you will be directed to the proper version. If you encounter any further trouble, please let us know here. Alex Wolfe, one the the developers of Stellarium, is a member here and would like to know about it.

Aside from that I, too, recommend a RACI finder-scope.

Clear Skies,

Dave

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Hi Nighthawk.

Your main problem is that you've picked some of the more difficult Messiers to start with.  M33, in particular, is a tough visual target, since it has a very low surface brightness. In general, galaxies are much harder to see, and thus to find, than clusters or nebulae.  I suggest you start with some less-challenging DSOs - it will reduce frustration, and give you practice in finding fainter objects as you build up toward the hard stuff.

This list of easier-to-find targets, with finder instructions, might give you a good start.

- Richard

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The Rigel finder is also worth a look (no pun intended): similar concept to the Telrad, implemented differently.

Depending on the degree of light pollution in your area, you may find that open clusters and double/multiple stars are easier to find than galaxies and nebulae (Andromeda being a notable exception) and personally I find them at least as rewarding. It's also a good time to start getting familiar with the constellations if you aren't already: they're easy to learn and once you start to recognize them they make a useful "roadmap" to the sky.

Have fun! -- Joel.

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Just want to give an update and to say thanks again for everyones input. I purchased a telrad, dl stelarium for laptop and phone along with some telrad finder charts.I also purchased turn left at orion which is great. 

I finally got out in garden last night, the first time in 10 days or so and went hunting.I thought I'd try M1 but I had no luck in finding that, maybe I need to get to a darksite rather than my back garden? I'll keep giving it a go though.

However I settled down and I did mange to find M35 and M38 which made a nice change from the moon and Jupiter. But my fave of the night was M44 which was the easiest to find as it was near Jupiter and through my FS I could see alot of faint starts together but once I looked through my EP I was amazed by how many and all the bright stars I could see. It was the highlight of my evenings viewing

I did try and find some more messiers around Ursa Major but had no luck. Got a stiff neck here as my scope was just about vertical!

I was pretty pleased with my effort. Many thanks for everyones help again.

Ps the amount of dew on everything is unbelievable. Luckily had charts protected. Going to make a dew protector for my telrad asap and maybe my scope at a later date which hopefully stop a little LP aswell. I also found it frustrating with neighbours using their bathrooms and ruining my night vision for a few moments, lol.

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Well done on the Messiers you found last night. You're right M44 is a cracker, I always have a look when its available, M35 is also very attractive. If you had the same sky conditions as I had last night (loads of high level whispy cloud) you would find M1 very difficult as well as the majority of the galaxies in Ursa Major.

Unfortunately the skies haven't been very cooperative lately but things can only get better.

Good luck for the future.

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Nice one, glad you had some success, sounds good.

Have a look for M67 while you are at M44

M1 is a dark site object really, never had much success with it at home

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