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Andromeda ... Where are you??

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Hi ,

I'm about to complete my 2nd month since I started looking at the sky with a telescope. Since I started I was trying to locate Andromeda Galaxy but all my tries were not successful. Is it a hard target to locate? or is it lack of experience?

I have watched many youtube guides and read many articles on how to locate Andromeda  and I believe I am looking at the right part of the sky but still didn't see it! I am using Cassiopeia constellation as a guide to look in the right direction.

Can you please advise?


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It's not an easy time of the year to find it as it is low in the west and probably washed out by the twilight sky.  I'd wait until it's better placed.

Take a look at Stellarium (free download).


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Once you know where it is you will find it every time Start off with a pair of binos. Don't expect a hubble view you will see a faint grey and white image. When using a telescope start off with low power, let your eyes get adjusted before going to a higher power.

If you have not got any books to help try 'turn left at orion' and 'sky&telesccpe pocket star atlas' also  do download Stellarium as advised above to be found here :--- http://www.stellarium.org/   ... Also have a look at http://www.12dstring.me.uk/fov.htm

Edited by damnut
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Apologies for suggesting this, but you did say you're quite new at this.  You understand that you will not see any kind of spiral structure such as you've seen in photos, right?  What you'll see in a small telescope is a round, dim, fuzzy splotch of light, nothing more.

Something like this: 09-finder.jpgk

With really good conditions and experience, you will see more of the halo, and will eventually be able to detect two satellite galaxies, something like this:11-4inch-labels.jpg

- RIchard

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Oops, hit "save" too soon.  I meant to add:

M31 is huge, so use the lowest-power, widest-field setup you can: a very low-power eyepiece (like a 22mm or 30mm).  Even a magnifying finder or low-power binoculars.  If you use too much magnification you'll see nothing because you won't have enough of a field of view to see the edges of the light from the core.

- R

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