Jump to content

Sketches

what to look at?


popeye85

Recommended Posts

After a few months in I have noticed a pattern forming when I am observing.

I find myself observing the moon for a bit, then Jupiter for a while-turn towards M42 and stand in awe with that before trying, and as of yet, failing to find M31. After that I tend to stand wondering what on can I look at next. In the end I just give up and go back to the moon and start the cycle all over again and to be honest it is starting to get boring now! anyone suggest some exciting targets for me next time I head out ( whenever the good lord gets bored of clouding out East Lothian!)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try M45 Pliades, M44 Beehive, M31 Andromeda of course, Leo Triplet, M81/M82, M13 glob, Hyades open cluster - all popular starter objects. Tip - start with the dso's - planets and moon tend to wreck your night vision so leave those till last - better still observe on a new moon. :)

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure what equipment you have, but M31 is an easy binocular target, so if you have access to some 12 x 50 binoculars, or better still some 15 x 70's then M31 will jump out at you quite easily, especially in a good dark sky. If you have a scope then use the largest EP you have to try to locate. Once you do find it you will find it easier every time to find once again at later viewing sessions.

Edited by Knighty2112
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a better picture from Skysafari to show where your star lies within the crosshairs in the centre of the picture. Skysafari doesn't show this star, so it is greater than magnitude 18+, which is extremely faint, and unless in a very dark location with a very good telescope of 10 inch diameter or more you won't be able to view the actual star itself. It lies roughly halfway between the bright star Spica in Virgo, and Arcturus in Bootes. The star itself lies in the constellation of Virgo.

 

image.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep trying m31, most of the targets I would suggest are harder to find than it.What equipment do you have? With bins it should be relatively easy - it's probably harder to find it with a scope. If you're using a telescope try finding it it the finder first, it will be visible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm fairly new to this, and have had somewhat similar thoughts, but am waiting for better conditions and am determined to make progress.  

At different times, I have also had success with Venus, Mars, Saturn, and even Uranus (with the help of Stellarium!).

I had a hunt round Auriga and managed a good view of the M36 cluster, confirmed by online images.  

Also had another bash at M31, but no luck.  I did however see its satellite galaxy, the M32 - a fuzzy blob, but progress nonetheless!  I think M31 is quite dull, and unless you have good dark skies (and maybe also a wide aperture) it can be elusive.  (Or, as has been said, binos with low mag and wide angle can reveal it.)

I'm finding that small steps increase my confidence and knowledge of how to track down and confirm objects.

Hang in there!

Doug.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There are a few threads on how to find M31 on SGL - here's the first one I found that may help. I use Pegasus as a guide and it's pretty easy once you've found it (ain't everything! Lol). I've only seen it through bins from my garden (it is just a smudge) but now it's westerly and fairly low from my aspect it gets drowned out by lp/sky glow)...

Good hunting!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, cloudsweeper said:

I'm fairly new to this, and have had somewhat similar thoughts, but am waiting for better conditions and am determined to make progress.  

At different times, I have also had success with Venus, Mars, Saturn, and even Uranus (with the help of Stellarium!).

I had a hunt round Auriga and managed a good view of the M36 cluster, confirmed by online images.  

Also had another bash at M31, but no luck.  I did however see its satellite galaxy, the M32 - a fuzzy blob, but progress nonetheless!  I think M31 is quite dull, and unless you have good dark skies (and maybe also a wide aperture) it can be elusive.  (Or, as has been said, binos with low mag and wide angle can reveal it.)

I'm finding that small steps increase my confidence and knowledge of how to track down and confirm objects.

Hang in there!

Doug.

 

You probably saw M31 as M32 is quite close but dimmer.  M31 large  fuzz M32 smaller fuss and I think M110 small fuzz , will have to check

PSX_20160211_165620.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Nigel G said:

You probably saw M31 as M32 is quite close but dimmer.  M31 large  fuzz M32 smaller fuss and I think M110 small fuzz , will have to check

PSX_20160211_165620.jpg

Good point - the image was small, about the size expected.  Also GoTo and Identify said M32.  I was assuming M31 was so thin and faint that I wasn't seeing it.  So you reckon I was viewing the core of M31?  I'll try again and see if I can sort it out!  

Thanks!

Doug.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think probably you can see the core of Andromeda.  This photo was taken from a light polluted Rayleigh Essex, 30 second exposure.

Through my 8" dob M31 is a small fuzzy blob. M32 barely visible.  The bright moon does not help one bit.

Happy hunting 

Nige. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome from me I,see you have the I do not no what to look at syndrome , so you brought a scope  set it up and then boom ! Where to point and what to look at ,it's the biggest mistake people make in my eyes they never learn the constellations  on those cold wet nights , ( please do not be offended by this  every one makes this mistake )because if you did you would never be lost when you look and point you scope up wards ,learn the constellations and see what they have to share Leo is nice at this time of year and there's many galaxies doubles and clusters. Auriga is close by,do you own any star atlas's? Here's two easy ones  Cassiopeia  and Auriga  have a go at these spend you next night looking around these two ,most apps,have a  best to look at  enjoy it it's part of the thrill of owning  a scope and looking for the goodies in each constellation 

pat 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have Stellarium, a great free planetarium program:- http://www.stellarium.org/

Use this in conjunction with tonight's sky already mentioned:- http://tonightssky.com/MainPage.php

With these two programs you will have more than enough to keep you busy.

Viewing the moon is OK but unless you know the features you see is a bit pointless, use the free Virtual Moon Atlas:- https://sourceforge.net/projects/virtualmoon/

To make observing the moon even more interesting try the Lunar 100.

HTH 

Good luck and enjoy.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a beginner too. When I started I bought a book called Turn Left at Orion which is basically a list of interesting things to look at and how to find them. It gives views for small telescopes and dobsonians. It also gives a description of the objects. I think it's a good book to start with and I'm slowly working my way through it. You have to work slowly because what you are able to see changes as the year progresses. It covers the moon and planets as well as deep sky objects.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, popeye85 said:

After a few months in I have noticed a pattern forming when I am observing.

I find myself observing the moon for a bit, then Jupiter for a while-turn towards M42 and stand in awe with that before trying, and as of yet, failing to find M31. After that I tend to stand wondering what on can I look at next. In the end I just give up and go back to the moon and start the cycle all over again and to be honest it is starting to get boring now! anyone suggest some exciting targets for me next time I head out ( whenever the good lord gets bored of clouding out East Lothian!)

I was kind of doing the same thing.  Therefore, I decided to join some of the Astronomical League observing programs.  I'm currently doing the Globular Cluster, Planetary Nebulae, and Herschel 400 programs.  When you complete these you get a certificate and lapel pin.  If your astronomy club is not a member of the astronomical league, you can join as a "member at large".  Please see the link for a list of the programs.  Now when I go out to observe I have a plan and purpose on what to see.  

https://www.astroleague.org/observing.html

Like others mentioned, "tonight's sky" is a good site to help plan on what to see.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, woodblock said:

I'm a beginner too. When I started I bought a book called Turn Left at Orion which is basically a list of interesting things to look at and how to find them. It gives views for small telescopes and dobsonians. It also gives a description of the objects. I think it's a good book to start with and I'm slowly working my way through it. You have to work slowly because what you are able to see changes as the year progresses. It covers the moon and planets as well as deep sky objects.

 

Yeah I have heard a lot of good things about this book-might give it a go!

 

4 minutes ago, skfboiler said:

I was kind of doing the same thing.  Therefore, I decided to join some of the Astronomical League observing programs.  I'm currently doing the Globular Cluster, Planetary Nebulae, and Herschel 400 programs.  When you complete these you get a certificate and lapel pin.  If your astronomy club is not a member of the astronomical league, you can join as a "member at large".  Please see the link for a list of the programs.  Now when I go out to observe I have a plan and purpose on what to see.  

https://www.astroleague.org/observing.html

Like others mentioned, "tonight's sky" is a good site to help plan on what to see.

sounds good! might have a look into this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, popeye85 said:

this is all great stuff! no excuse to be bored now! Although might find myself starting another topic in a couple months time about how to narrow down what to look at!

I think you may find a niche is you may decide to concentrate on double,stars or may be clusters or such like then again you may want to keep,a,log book on what you see it's a great way to re visit  old fans and compare your notes  this also stops you looking t the same thing ,I try not to have a of the cuff night I take a look at what's available write a few down then I no what am doing going out just makes my scope spin in circles 

pat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, popeye85 said:

Yeah I have heard a lot of good things about this book-might give it a go!

 

sounds good! might have a look into this.

I'm having a ball with these programs.  There are no time frame to complete.   Just observe at your own pace.  Those that are interested may want to download free observation log templates to help record findings.

http://www.astromax.org/aa02801.htm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please don't loose faith and keep trying. The beginning is difficult. One day it will say click and you will see your objects.

Sometimes it helps to look with binoculars first, to recognize the star hop. In your scope you might have left and right swapped, which is something you need to remind yourself of all the time when searching.

It also helps to use both a red dot finder and a finder scope.

You could search the web for starhopping. There are good explanations to be found.

You could also search the web or ask us on how to starhop to certain objects.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, popeye85 said:

That's all fantastic! had a at that night sky and that looks like just the ticket! Although can someone pleas explain what 'Local Horizon' means?

Local horizon is simply the term for your horizon at your latitude in Scotland. Stars that are below your local horizon are not visible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.