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M31 core?


jetstream

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I just came in from a good session, going back to many recently seen objects to help my object recognition. The scope was swung over to M31 for a break from the faint stuff and a point of light was seen in the galaxy core using a zoom eyepiece. I've looked at M31 many times but for some reason this feature riveted my attention.

Does anyone know what this is called if anything? The scope was a 15" dob and conditions were vg.

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Interesting that you mention this! I observed M31 for the first time in my 15" the night before last, and I too was struck by the compact concentration of light from the central core. The last time I observed M31 would have been more than 2yrs ago in my 10".

I looked up Andromeda on good ol' Wikipedia, and there's an interesting section 'Nucleus' specifically discussing the bright core, if you haven't seen it? It has a sentence: "In a large telescope it creates a visual impression of a star embedded in the more diffuse surrounding bulge" - which resonated with what I saw :) In terms of naming, it has an interesting Hubble pic, and refers to two bright concentrations as being designated 'P1 and P2'.

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Hey Gerry

O'Meara refers to the very compact and almost stellar core as well, so I think it's common to perceive this.  I'm usually scouring the disc for features, however, so if you're like me then you may have overlooked just how concentrated the nucleus is!

Paul

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Thanks everyone!

I hadn't looked up any info on this feature but I looked at a couple of images before bed last night trying to see if they show it. I must have seen it before :hiding::grin: Whatever the case it really stood out well last night. So this is the nucleus! The dust lanes usually have my attention- I must expand my horizons on this object.

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8 hours ago, niallk said:

Interesting that you mention this! I observed M31 for the first time in my 15" the night before last, and I too was struck by the compact concentration of light from the central core. The last time I observed M31 would have been more than 2yrs ago in my 10".

I looked up Andromeda on good ol' Wikipedia, and there's an interesting section 'Nucleus' specifically discussing the bright core, if you haven't seen it? It has a sentence: "In a large telescope it creates a visual impression of a star embedded in the more diffuse surrounding bulge" - which resonated with what I saw :) In terms of naming, it has an interesting Hubble pic, and refers to two bright concentrations as being designated 'P1 and P2'.

I find the 15" shows so much more and better than my other scopes (except where large TFOV is needed). The Pacman shows its interior structure very similar to images, but smoothed out a bit and is another good warming up object.

Do you find this with your 15" too Niall?

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Interesting stuff Gerry. I've been spending a bit of time on M31 recently so your post is of real interest. I happened to read about the double nucleus in O'Meara recently too but I don't always assume his observations are going to possible to replicate (and if I recall correctly, he referred to it as a Hubble feature rather than something he saw himself). You say it stood out well - do you think it was well enough to be worth a shot in a 10"?

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Embarrassingly enough I have a 10" that I don't recall seeing this feature in it. But, I must say that when I observe I kind of get blinders on for the feature I'm looking for... this means dust lanes for me in M31 pretty much. I stumbled across this last night zooming/panning around. If the sky holds here the 10" is out and is going to be on it with the zoom, it seems to like a mag range- around 150x-200x in the 15". I really think that my faint nebula observing just before viewing M31 really made the galaxy look bright- the whole core was very bright and the point of light stood out well.

I would think, but don't know yet, that it is do able in a 10".

Give it a try Paul!:thumbsup:

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6 hours ago, jetstream said:

I find the 15" shows so much more and better than my other scopes (except where large TFOV is needed). The Pacman shows its interior structure very similar to images, but smoothed out a bit and is another good warming up object.

Do you find this with your 15" too Niall?

Hi Gerry,

Yeah I just love the aperture increase! Immediately impressive on globs, and on my first look at M81 in my 15", I muttered a 'wow' it was so big :) Must give the Pacman neb a go - always enjoy your reports. I find everything noticeably better in the 15", and like the greater light gathering for using an O-III.  Even on the moon, Jupiter, Saturn (7 moons one night I think), and Uranus just the other night with 4-5 moons, it is giving me lots of joy.

I just need to get the chance to get out more, and I want to travel with it to much darker skies more regularly.  I think the 15" is a pretty convenient and practical size, but of course I do lust after those big 18"-22" dobs :)

-Niall 

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I feel the same Niall, this aperture is an excellent size and it still maintains a reasonable FOV. They do work very well with OIII's for sure, last night the Crescent was filled with nebulosity and unfiltered, Carolines Rose swirled with lanes. Yes, getting a chance to go to dark skies is always a challenge, but worth it.

Looking forward to your reports!

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