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Dom1961

Pitch black to see DSOs?

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Does it have to be completely pitch black to be able to see DSOs through a 130mm telescope? I am wanting to do use it in my garden which has a little bit of light pollution.

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I have the astromaster 130 and can see a few nebua such as M41,m42 in orion,  and clusters such as pliedes and hyades

Star clusters are quite easy to pick out but i have yet to observe a galaxy

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I have the astromaster 130 and can see a few nebua such as M41,m42 in orion,  and clusters such as pliedes and hyades

Star clusters are quite easy to pick out but i have yet to observe a galaxy

Forgot to add i have quite bad LP surrounded by motorways ect

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Was it pitch black when you saw the nebulae?

No it was as normal bad LP . but made out faint nebulosity

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as mentioned, clusters (both open and globular) will be easily seen with your scope. there are a few galaxies that will be visable too, andromeda, m81/m82 to name a few. also some nebulae (all depending on the extent of your light pollution) hth

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Two sodium lampposts, one behind my house, on the opposite side to where I'm viewing from and one to the east of where I'm viewing from, but about 20m away

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Two sodium lampposts, one behind my house, on the opposite side to where I'm viewing from and one to the east of where I'm viewing from, but about 20m away

do you live by emad ? :smiley:

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Emad is one of the guys on the forum. I guess he must have a few lights near by.

Yes, a 130mm scope can get DSOs under light pollution - but mainly the brighter ones, and they're not a patch on what you'll see somewhere darker.

What I'd suggest are:

  • Open clusters seem to cut through light pollution a bit better, so they're a good bet.
  • Consider a filter for emission nebulae. I got a Baader UHC-S and it definitely helps. There are other filters, though, which might be more aggressive.
  • Galaxies are tricky - they really do seem to need somewhere dark. The brightest should be available, though - M31, M81 & M82, M104 etc..

If you do get the chance to take it somewhere darker, though, take the opportunity. My 5" scope somewhere dark beats my 10" scope at home.

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Plenty to see with a 130mm scope. If you feel you are losing out to LP from a couple of lights then a light pollution filter is in order. They do work, even the cheap Skywatcher one which i use.

Galaxies (even the biggest) really need to be viewed from a dark sky location to appreciate them. Ive seen plenty with a 130mm scope and LPF from my observing locations where i used to live but they were just faint grey fuzzies.

In my new location, the skies are darker (much darker) and i can see them better and i dont need to use my LPF.

Make the most of what you have and enjoy it. Filters certainly DO help be it (UHC,OIII,LPF) etc.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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You do not need pitch dark but it helps.

You will have to select the DSO objects to some extent.

M42 will be easy as will M45, between the two are the Hyades, Caldwell 41, they are not so easy.

Most Messiers are galaxies and clusters - they should be possible with a scopes, the nebula, emission and reflection, will be a problem.

Ones such as M57 (ring nebula) will be difficult to see by eye but a scope should collect enough light for it to be visible.

One point I will ask is what do you mean by "see" ?

None really stand out, Messier recorded them as they were fuzzy patches that were not comets, and fuzzy patches is what they are.

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Emad is one of the guys on the forum. I guess he must have a few lights near by.

Thought he wore factor 30 when outside looking at the night sky.

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I used to use my 150p on a balcony next to the road with street lights in a very light polluted area. There were certainly a good amount of visible DSOs. Certainly M15, M3, M92, M13, M27, M57, M31, M42, M41, M35 are a few of the bright ones that spring to mind as fairly easy targets.

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Darker *is* better under city skies, certainly, but not the be all and end all...due to the success I had with one eyepatch looking at Jupiter, I started using two...but ah still caint see no DSOs! :D

I'll get my coat......

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Excellent post Acey, very informative! :smiley:

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Where do i know the name Emad from?. Must be from here.

Emad Moussa. Haven't seen him post on here for a while though.

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Yes, great post, really clearly explained

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I can't really add anything to what has already been said. What I will say thought is you will find that a well collimated 5" scope will show most the Messier DSO's and a good few NGC objects on transparent nights.

What I found over the past few years is that sky transparency is a big player in the quality of objects we can see. This is not to be confused with a clear night sky though. For example: at a recent star party I experienced a couple of poor but "clear nights" against a couple of superb and clear nights. The skies were the same dark skies but the transparency made all the difference to what details could be seen in fainter objects. I may see an abundance of stars under the darker skies but even from my LP back garden I have seen objects pop on nights of excellent seeing far more so than on an average night at dark site.

Light pollution as you will know is a result of light bouncing off dust, moisture etc in the atmosphere so those nights where the skies are exceptionally clear the effects of LP is drastically reduced. The subsidence in LP and a clean atmosphere means the door way to the heavens is open wider than usual. I guess my advice would be to get out as often as you can and don't get to disheartened on those nights where you just can't seem to find stuff and when you do they are underwhelming.

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On that note, a clear night after it has rained is often very good as all the muck has been washed from the atmosphere and the LP has less to reflect off

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