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First thing i tried to do when i got my first scope was look for the double stars in the Plough, Alcor and Mizar, which was great and easy enough for a first timer.

When i looked them up on the Starwalk app i had to zoom right in order to see them. They were still pinpricks however and there were very few stars around them - it was impossible to zoom past them. I assume this is because of a limit in its database but i assume i should realistically be able to see much more beyond this with my 4" refractor ? I appreciate this sounds daft but wondered why these stars seemed to define SW's limit

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There's very few stars around very few stars out there in space - and space is very big with vast spaces between each object. If you want to see a lot of stars concentrated in one area then try a few globular clusters. Also bear in mind that when you zoom in you are narrowing the field down to a much smaller area - so stuff will start to get very sparse. :)

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That's true, there aren't many other bright stars immediately in that area. HD116798 is mag 7.6 so should be easily visible. The others are below mag 11 so it depends upon scope and skies as to whether they are visible.


Don't forget stars will only ever show as pin points of light as they are so far away.

Other areas of sky are more richly populated, particularly in the Milky Way or open clusters. Examples below at the same scale for comparison. These are all from SkySafari 4 Pro which has a huge database.






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If you want to see lots of stars, try wandering about the Cygnus constellation.  There were sooooo many stars last night it's ridiculous, even at x78.  Although I do have a lot more aperture - the scope I was using is my 9.25".

I've just had a 3" ED refractor delivered, I'll let you know if I see as many starts in Cygnus after tonights' session :)

Edited by Commanderfish
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