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Wv18    1

I have the Celestron Newtonian reflector which has a 5.1" mirror so I was hoping y'all could give me some beginner, intermediate, and advanced things to find and look at during the spring and summer (besides the moon). As well as what magnification would be best to observe and see closely with plenty of detail. 



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Dave In Vermont    4,762

I'm certain you'll get plenty of different and very good replies here - but I'll start you off with the DSO Browser. This is an excellent website to bookmark and visit at your leisure for images & descriptions of many different objects viewable from your personal location. You can program it to show the types of things you like best - which you can change anytime. Have the link:


And, of course, it's totally free.

More will be on the way, and many more tomorrow I'm sure. Do keep in mind the time differences,


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ronin    3,718

As above Jupiter at say 60x to 100x and Saturn at 100x to 150x - all depending if the scope can clearly deliver these.

DSO's are more difficult, M3 now, later in the year M13, M92 and M57. There is the Leo triplet, will depend on how dark the sky is. Standards are M45,  The Hyades cluster, the double cluster. M31 is always a target but use binoculars for all of it a scope will show the central core only. Aim at Auriga and get M36, M37, M38.

Search out a few good double stars, Alberio, Almaak and others.

I find that a simple option is to load Stellarium, set your location then press F4 and set the DSO magnitude to 6 or 8 and see what is left as visible

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popeye85    300

As above Jupiter is a sight to behold! After that the easiest things to find are probably star clusters- have a look at the 'double cluster' in Perseus for something really breathtaking!

Not sure what you are using to find targets but recommend you get a star atlas or possibly the most recommended book in astronomy which is 'Turn left at Orion'-once you have that you will never be short of ideas of what to look at!!

As for magnification just try and see would be my advice!

P.s when selecting targets to aim at you get the best views of targets that are higher in the sky.

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Messier 104    18
On ‎20‎/‎03‎/‎2017 at 22:19, Wv18 said:

I have the Celestron Newtonian reflector which has a 5.1" mirror so I was hoping y'all could give me some beginner, intermediate, and advanced things to find and look at during the spring and summer (besides the moon). As well as what magnification would be best to observe and see closely with plenty of detail. 



HI. Im using a 5.9" Newtonian reflector and reasonably new to the star gazing scene so here's some of my favourite targets.

Jupiter has always been my favourite object, seeing the moons orbit it whilst observing over a couple of days can be a lot of fun. with Jupiter you really want to give it as much magnification as you can get, though sky conditions will limit the detail you get as you start getting to 250x or so. Jupiter is just on its way back out, in the sky for me at a decent elevation around midnight though I imagine your get a better view from Dallas.

M13 (great globular cluster of Hercules) is a great target. from my garden I get pretty polluted skies, so I generally use around 60-70x, and I get a pretty good outcome. I could make out a lot of the outer stars but closer to the middle tends to become one ball of fuzz. going out to a darker site I can use my 18mm EP and a 2x Barlow to get 83x magnification, this really makes the whole object look really good. you start to see stars a lot closer to the centre and the whole FOV  is basically M13.

The Andromeda galaxy or M31 is also very easy to find and can be a very good example of what you expect to see from deep sky objects. When I started I was hoping to see a huge spiral bursting with detail.. after reading into the challenges astronomers face like earths atmosphere.. and the unimaginable distances that come into play I knew It wasn't going to be as I thought, the faint fuzz I seen when I first observed it was amazing for what I was now expecting and I couldn't believe im actually peering out of our GALAXY. for this I would use my 25mm EP without a Barlow to give 30x magnification. the best advice I can give for M31 is to allow it to be as high in the sky as possible, this way your looking through as little of earths atmosphere as possible and getting the best view.

someone actually gave me this link today


this is Messiers list of "nuisance" objects, click on the target you want and up pops exactly where it is.

hope this helps, clear skies.

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