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salas

Help with a sky tour

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Hi all, I'm primarily an imager but as a result of posting a couple of my images on facebook and the feedback received I've kind of committed to a tour of the night sky! So feeling a little bit like I've been caught with my pants down with my drastic lack of observing experience I don't really know what are great targets to go for from a purely observational perspective.

So far from experience the best and frankly brilliant observing targets I've viewed are of course the moon! love Jupiter - I love Jupiter did I say that twice? and my favourite star cluster target the Pleiades - beautiful.

I have an 81mm triplet, what can I realistically expect to see observational with this aperture? I only have stock quality lenses supplied with skywatcher scopes.

Any recommendations would be much appreciated. I will do my homework when it comes to what the targets are, but I am after star clusters, double stars, something with a little colour (if possible). I should have tried by now to visually observe some DSo's but just haven't, is this possible at this aperture?

I run Stellarium so finding objects is pretty easy.

Thank's folks!

Steve

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Double stars with colour are Albireo and Almaak (Gamma And). Albireo may be getting low depending on the time.

Possibly the Double Cluster in Perseus, Caldwell 14 - you could point out that "Caldwell" was SPM as in Sir Patrick Caldwell Moore.

GT81 is 578mm say 580, 25mm gives 23x so 2 degrees, which is a bit too narrow for M31 (can you borrow a 30/32mm or something like a BST 25mm - even then a bit narrow.

Pleiades are just reasonable at about 10:00pm.

I suspect that Lyra and the double double and M57 will be a bit too low.

Where in the UK and how dark will you be.

Always remember that bane of astronomers - The Moon.

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It's worth showing the Orion Nebula even though it's not a star cluster.  

Carole 

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There is M15 in Pegasus, about the only reasonable globular cluster I can see and being around.

Nebula depends heavily on where you are and how dark, and for Orion the time as when I recently saw it the time was after 10:00 so could be later then some people expect.

Except for Pleiades and Hyades the open clusters look not great - maybe M103 in Cass.

Edited by ronin
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Hi Thanks, I'm north east Scotland a good bit north of Aberdeen so light pollution is not too bad. Will give those targets a try next time I am out. I have a 40mm plossl but it's intended for selling and have never used it, would this be good? - I may claim it for my own collection :)

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Try the 40mm, it may just get all of M31 in the view, makes people realise how big M31 is.

You are well North so may not get these, especially if late:

M2 Gl Cl in Aqu.

M15 Gl Cl in Peg

Albireo in Cyg.

Almaak in And

M57 Ring Neb in Lyra

M56 Gl Cl in Lyra or Cyg (sort of midway)

M45 Pleiades in Tau

Hyades with Aldebaran in Tau

Mizar and Alcor in UMa (Binoculars are good).

C14 Double Cluster in Per.

If they make an appearance then M42 and the belt stars are always good, even Betelguese on it's own is worth while.

If you have a pointer then show people how to find Polaris, M32 and how the belt stars "point" to Hyades and Pleiades, even down to Sirus if possible.

Tends to be good to pass on information.

Taken from Stellarium with a time of 20:30 and Cambridge, so at Aberdeen and if later I expect Lyra and Cygnus to have crept too low.

There are a few galaxies around The Plough that may be worth trying for.

I notice that there are no posts (seen none anyway) of the Moon and Uranus being right next to each other tonight.

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Try the 40mm, it may just get all of M31 in the view, makes people realise how big M31 is.

You are well North so may not get these, especially if late:

M2 Gl Cl in Aqu.

M15 Gl Cl in Peg

Albireo in Cyg.

Almaak in And

M57 Ring Neb in Lyra

M56 Gl Cl in Lyra or Cyg (sort of midway)

M45 Pleiades in Tau

Hyades with Aldebaran in Tau

Mizar and Alcor in UMa (Binoculars are good).

C14 Double Cluster in Per.

If they make an appearance then M42 and the belt stars are always good, even Betelguese on it's own is worth while.

If you have a pointer then show people how to find Polaris, M32 and how the belt stars "point" to Hyades and Pleiades, even down to Sirus if possible.

Tends to be good to pass on information.

Taken from Stellarium with a time of 20:30 and Cambridge, so at Aberdeen and if later I expect Lyra and Cygnus to have crept too low.

There are a few galaxies around The Plough that may be worth trying for.

I notice that there are no posts (seen none anyway) of the Moon and Uranus being right next to each other tonight.

Thanks for taking the time to type this out - think I may have even found a couple of new imaging targets in the process! :grin:

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if you are using a celestron scope they ussually come with a copy of SkyX, i ussually use that to find things that im looking for, its very helpful

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also, nobody mentioned the crab nebula (m1), it's right above alheka in the constellation taurus.

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