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Dom1961

Am I aiming too high?

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Looks great, is it easy to read with red lights? If so may invest in one when I come back from Turkey :D

I've had the Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas since Christmas and I've managed to see a lot more deep sky objects this year than I have before. I managed 60+, mostly NGC galaxies, in one 4 hour session with just the star atlas and a 32mm plossl eyepiece in the scope not too long ago.

It does not make the darn things any brighter of course but they are clearly mapped and their position relative to other stars is accurate which helps make star hopping and optical finder location of them a more confident process.

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Easiest way to start finding targets is to locate the brightest stars, identify them, then use them to star hop using distance and angles.

A red dot finder or Telrad finder will put the stars in your fov. Using both eyes you can move the scope to the target by star hopping. Lots of the most familiar targets can be seen using binoculars to locate first.

I haven't got round to doing a chart star hopping to M11, but it's at the lower point of an equal sided triangle slung between Altair and Rasalhague.

Happy hunting !

Nick.

Really nice charts for star hopping, cotterless! I haven't ever reached M39 from there, but from Deneb. Anyway, it seems a good idea to have black sheets with depicted the major targets and how to get them. 

Also my northern horizon is always a really bright blue at night, why is this? I know I have the Humber bridge north of my garden about 1.5 miles north but is this enough to keep the sky looking like evening the whole night?

The northern horizon is brighter because here in the UK there isn't astronomical twilight in this period of the year. Basically, the Sun is about 12 degrees just below the horizon for all the night.

If you go further North, e.g. in Scotland, you will not even see the nautical twilight, but it will be simply a civil twilight. When I was in Newcastle I remember that in June you could just see the bright stars throughout the "night". Charic's photo is a good example! If you go further North, beyond the polar circle, you will see the Sun passing at North! :)

Even the darkest period of my night just seems like twilight, and by about 2am its almost light again, so this time of Year, the scope is under wraps  :mad:

Don`t despair too much, darker nights are ahead! Along with the colder weather.

That is really bright! Impressive, but also suggestive! 

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I've found that the printed Star charts are often  too detailed for my liking, because I'm not able to see everything that's displayed.  So to avoid any confusion, I favour dialling in some light pollution into Stellarium, setting the  level of detail to match as close as I can see outside, print the chart (inverted colour) and anything else I see outside is then a bonus.

From my Obsy, I have a limited view of the Sky so I only encompass an area around Polaris that takes in Ursa Major and Cassiopeia, often having to wait until my target is in my Zenith to reduce the effects of light pollution, even on a good night.

Edited by Charic
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Last night was the first clear night in ages. But when I was observing I couldn't find any of the ones that I planned to look at. I planned to look at the veil, dumbell, owl, M94 and M81. Are these too dim for my scope? Also could the wind be the reason why I couldn't find them? I know I'll probably need an OIII for veil but I thought I'd have a pop anyway, I'll be getting an OIII for my birthday in August. Also if these are too hard, any suggestions? Last night I found myself just going back to ring and M13 again.

Thanks

Your scope will see all those objects fine, given some darker skies and a bit of practise. Even with the Humber Bridge just north of you, the Dumbell, M94 and M81 are all doable - I can find them from London with two inches less aperture. The big problem at the moment is the fact it doesn't get properly dark - I've not done much observing this year since early May. I had one session the other day to take a look at Saturn, but apart from that the 'Scope has been sitting in the corner waiting... But with August round the corner, it's nearly time to get it collimated and go out on the hunt!

If I were you I'd concentrate on finding maybe one or two new objects per session. Out of the ones you list, I'd say the easiest to find is actually M94 - its surface brightness is high and it's relatively close to some bright stars. You can find it from Cor Caroli, itself a very attractive double star.

M27 is next easiest, but I always had difficulty finding it until recently - Cotterless' chart gives the best directions to it - use Sagitta to locate it. Again, it's bright - the OIII filter will bring out some structure. M71 in Sagitta is a quick win with dark skies - an open/globular cluster.

M81 would be my next target, along with M82. The star-hop for these is quite tricky though as they're miles from anything. I usually take a diagonal through the Plough until I find a little right-angled triangle of stars. I can view it from my doorstep with a street-light right next to me (Admittedly it's better to make the effort to go down to the park for it!)

The Owl Nebula I've only seen from darkest Cornwall, but your OIII will give you the "Eyes" on a dark night. The Veil is very hard with LP, but if you go somewhere dark it's very easy even without the filter. I viewed it from Northern Spain with my little 3'' refractor and it was clear even without a filter in.

Happy hunting!

Paul

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I feel u on the Dumbbell. I've had my 10" F/5 dob for over 8 months and I haven't found it yet and I have a telrad and 9x50 finder. I did the same thing with The Whirlpool galaxy. I spent a month looking, then one night,, BAM, there it was! Now I can got straight to it. I will have that BAM moment with the Dummbell soon.

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I feel u on the Dumbbell. I've had my 10" F/5 dob for over 8 months and I haven't found it yet and I have a telrad and 9x50 finder. I did the same thing with The Whirlpool galaxy. I spent a month looking, then one night,, BAM, there it was! Now I can got straight to it. I will have that BAM moment with the Dummbell soon.

I hope you find the Dumbbell soon - it's one of the most beautiful sights in the night sky.  Try to place the star Gamma Sagittae in your 9x50 and scan above that - it's only around 4 degrees above the star and bright enough to be seen in the 9x50 finder itself as a hazy patch.  It will be wonderful in your dob.

andrew

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The dumbbell is along the left end of Sagitta, go up a small chain of stars and boom! M27. As you find more things you will be able to impress your friends by finding a dozen or more objects without charts....

Keep looking!

PeterW

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I managed to find it last night! Along with Andromeda and it's companion, pleiades and m94 :D

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The Veil is very hard with LP, but if you go somewhere dark it's very easy even without the filter. 

+1 for this comment. One of my best views of the Veil was on a clear dark night with my 5" reflector. I'd been without light for about an hour, working by starlight. I actually tried a filter (granted, a gentle Baader UHC-s filter) with it too, and it made no difference - it was clear and obvious and beautiful.

2 days later, from a more light polluted site, despite being pretty clear I couldn't see it at all.

That said, an OIII will help a lot - but dark skies will help more!

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