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mattnedgus

SW200P First Observation - M13 and M31 different to "Left Turn at Orion"?

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Hello again,

So I finally got out last night (30th July) for my first ever observation with the Skywatcher 200P I've had collecting dust for about 2 weeks now!

The sky was cloud-free but with urban light pollution.

I really struggled to use the standard straight finderscope - I don't know how people cope with those:  I needed yoga positions Back Bend, Table Top and the Camel just to get my eye even close!  I'll try it some more but I imagine I'll be purchasing a RACI finder asap!!

By scanning with the main scope though I'm fairly sure I managed to find M13 at first.  It didn't look quite like it does in "Left Turn at Orion" though - to get a similar-sized view of the Cluster I had the magnification set at 133x which is nearly double the view in the book for a Dobsonian under medium power (75x or 40').  I wondered whether this was more likely because the ambient light was drowning much of the size of the cluster out?

It was really impressive to see nonetheless!

Then I tried to find Andromeda... Which I thought I had, but it wasn't nearly as large or impressive as the book suggested.  I was far more impressed with the Hercules Cluster through both viewfinders, in terms of size and clarity.  Is there a chance that I hadn't in fact found Andromeda but some other Galaxy, or could it be a problem with the urban lighting/ difference in direction I was looking that made the difference?

 

Edited by mattnedgus

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Hello. And well done I am glad the clouds parted for you and got some good views .

A new scope is all about finding out its capabilities and what works for you and what does not , so a straight through finder is obviously not working, which is not a surprise so an up grade to a diagonal type you will find so much easier and comfortable to use.

Obviously what you see and are told in books is a good guide, but depending on telescope, eyepiece and seeing location, conditions, depends on what you precisely see through your own eye's in your scope.

It sounds like you are suffering with light pollution problems., A sw200p is a manageable scope to transport. So when you get the tiime and correct weather condtions then take a little ride to a dark site location and you wil see a lot more targets in greater detail. Well worth a trip IMO

I hope the above helps?

 

 

 

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Thank you for such a quick response Timebandit.  I thought that [the ambient light etc] might be a large factor.  In the wider lense there's a definite orange hue to the sky.  I live only about 35 minutes away from a Peak District Dark Skies site so I reckon the next time there's a clear sky I'll make a trip out there!

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Hi mattnedgus, I guess unless you have really dark skies you will only see the central bright region of M31. I have not been able to see much more than that under my 4.5 to 5 limiting magnitude location with an 11 inch scope.

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Pleased you managed t get out at last.

Not only does the amount of light pollution limit what you can see but the transparency of the sky has a significant effect.

I also couldn't get on with a straight through finder and now use a RACI in combination with a Telrad. 

Once you get the hang of using your scope you're in for some great views.

Good luck and clear skies.

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Sounds like light pollution, I'm yet to see Andromeda from a dark site*, but I can say that how you describe it, is about how well I feel about it from home, so I'm pretty sure you were looking at the right thing. The peak district is pretty dark, I go out there sometimes. Sounds like you had a reasonable first night though, and bagged a couple of Messiers.

 

* Side note: this isn't quite true, I have seen it at a dark site through a 22" scope, and it still wasn't as impressive as you read about, the conditions weren't great though and it wasn't very dark, due to being very near the shortest night of the year, but I could make out the other 2 which I'd never been able to identify before.

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beka; I think that's what I was seeing: just the bright central part!

Cheers Alan, I managed to get out a little last night between clouds for another look at Andromeda - When the sky was clear by-eye there were still moments where the visibility through the scope varied.  I was amazed by how much!

rockystar; yeah I feel quite privileged having seen what I have so far considering people might go their entire lives and never see them - but I'm craving more. On the first clear night after obtaining a RACI/telrad I'll be off out to a dark skies site! :-)  Have you ever used a light pollution filter?  I was wondering whether these could help with the ambient for home-observing?

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I never got on with an LP filter, I never felt it made much difference. Then the lights on the road behind me changed to LED and I think that help - and also made the filter even more redundant.

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Don't forget with your scope and say a 26mm Wide EP you are still only going to fit a quarter of M31 in your field of view. Picking up the bright core is the best you can hope for.

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15 hours ago, Owmuchonomy said:

Don't forget with your scope and say a 26mm Wide EP you are still only going to fit a quarter of M31 in your field of view. Picking up the bright core is the best you can hope for.

I hadn't considered that!  I can see 1 degree and Andromeda looks to be over 3. I'll be happy just to see more of the disc though in a dark sky than the core I have seen - for now!

 

15 hours ago, rockystar said:

I never got on with an LP filter, I never felt it made much difference. Then the lights on the road behind me changed to LED and I think that help - and also made the filter even more redundant.

I'll give those a miss for now then and put the money towards everything else [on this growing list of things!] I want to buy.

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I sometimes enjoy mag 5.5 skies and still have only seen the core even with my 12" Dob when I had it.

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don't expect that list to get any smaller, I'm now 12 months in, many purchases and there are as many things on it now as there was when I first started

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don't expect that list to get any smaller, I'm now 12 months in, many purchases and there are as many things on it now as there was when I first started

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58 minutes ago, rockystar said:

don't expect that list to get any smaller, I'm now 12 months in, many purchases and there are as many things on it now as there was when I first started

That's one thing I've discovered so far: the more I see the more I want to see, so I justify what I need on the thinking that I'm buying an 'experience'!

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On 31/07/2016 at 12:21, mattnedgus said:

Thank you for such a quick response Timebandit.  I thought that [the ambient light etc] might be a large factor.  In the wider lense there's a definite orange hue to the sky.  I live only about 35 minutes away from a Peak District Dark Skies site so I reckon the next time there's a clear sky I'll make a trip out there!

are you talking about surprise view near hathersage,if so ive been,its very dark and very remote.great for a viewing session.

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