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Olli

Finding my first galaxies: Leo triplet and Andromeda

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After the warnings this week about the snow  I didn’t have much hope for clear skies but today I got a lucky break. I was in the middle of heavy showers and cloud but luckily was going in the opposite direction of where I am located. Anyway after having a extremely helpful discussion with @Stu earlier in the week about what galaxies should look like through my scope I was determined to find andromeda and also m81 and M82. I’d taken notes of what he told me Andromeda should look like as before in my previous report I thought I had seen it but I was wrong and way off the location.

 In the beginning of the session I always start with m45 and m42 as they are the easiest for me to locate and are some of my favourite objects to look at. After looking at them for a while a decide to show my parents  ( who actually gave me the scope as a gift) who both haven’t looked through a scope before and decided to show them m45 as it’s quite a nice bright and easy target to look at and both of their reactions were priceless. It’s always nice seeing people’s reactions when looking through a scope for the first time.

After they’d had enough, it was about 8:15pm and I turned my attention to Andromeda this has been teasing me since I’ve got my scope I’ve been determined to find it and have been getting slightly frustrated but thanks to Stu I managed to find it within about 10-15 minutes. It was still abit of a struggle locating it as I know it’s near the star Mirach but there are several bright orange stars and it confuses me sometimes. But wow, I may have gotten a bit over excited when I found it nearly knocked the whole set up over!. It was near the star I thought it was but a bit further away than I first looked. I suddenly saw a massive smudge of grey which was sort of diagonal covering the eyepiece. It was quite hard to see detail at first but my eyes still weren’t adjusted properly but when they gradually did I could see more detail. I’ve never been so excited and relieved at the same time to find something before. It was truly remarkable to see another galaxy.

Now after my emotions had settled I decided to look for m81 and m82 but for some reason I was struggling badly trying to locate these two. I was following  “ the tail” but after that I got completely lost there were to many stars and didn’t know which one to hop to next. I think I need to do a bit more reading up on that one.  However while star hoping I did see something strange. In the middle of the constellation I saw a orange light that quickly disappeared I tried to look up on stellarium to see what it was but I couldn’t. It was basically like a quick pulse of orange light. And then I saw it agin later on near Leo going the west to east.

So I didn’t want to give up  as it was around about 9pm and call it a night so I decided to find the Leo triplet. This constellation was simpler to work out compared to the one before. And I could easily find the Leo triplet. It was quite incredible. I couldn’t spend as long as I could as I did on m31 as it still took be about a few minutes to locate the galaxies near the constellation . However after seeing m31 I knew what the galaxies should look like, grey smudges. And there they were 3 small smudges. I could see two near each other and then one slightly higher up which was slightly out of view but I was very impressed on how they looked. Now I know where they are I’m definitely going to go back and have a proper look at them.

It was quite a long session  but rewarding I am definitely getting better now and getting to know the constellations. I’ve realised that I understand them more if I use geometry. I can’t make them out if try to see the animal or object from them ( apart from Orion).

Many Thanks for reading looking forward to my next session.

Clear Skies :) 

 

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A lovely report and great that you could share part of the experience with your parents :icon_biggrin:. What scope were you using?

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Hurray! Well done Olli :) 

A very entertaining read :) 

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1 minute ago, geoflewis said:

A lovely report and great that you could share part of the experience with your parents :icon_biggrin:. What scope were you using?

Thank you, 130p on az pronto :) 

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2 minutes ago, Stu said:

Hurray! Well done Olli :) 

A very entertaining read :) 

Thanks Stu, have no idea how happy I was when I found it haha.

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3 minutes ago, Dinoco said:

Thank you, 130p on az pronto :) 

A nice starter scope, you should have a lot of fun with that - as you already found out :wink2:

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11 minutes ago, Dinoco said:

Thanks Stu, have no idea how happy I was when I found it haha.

Oh I do, believe me :) 

I well remember the elation after finally finding M57, my first DSO, after many hours of searching! :) 

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Nice write up. Really enjoyed the read.

Yes. It doesn’t matter how many galaxies that I’ve seen; it always makes me marvel at the sheer scale of the cosmos. Other Galaxies! Stellar Nurseries! Exploded stars! How cool is that!!!!

Enjoy the show.

Paul

 

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16 minutes ago, Swoop1 said:

A very satisfying feeling isn't it? Well done!

Yes it is :) thanks.

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9 minutes ago, Paul73 said:

Nice write up. Really enjoyed the read.

Yes. It doesn’t matter how many galaxies that I’ve seen; it always makes me marvel at the sheer scale of the cosmos. Other Galaxies! Stellar Nurseries! Exploded stars! How cool is that!!!!

Enjoy the show.

Paul

 

Thanks for reading glad you enjoyed it, I’m sure I wil :) 

Edited by Dinoco

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Great work and awesome report, Olli. It took me months of failed attempts before I finally got my first galaxy. You’ve done very well. You’ll recognise more and more of the constellations with every session.

I think there’s an awful lot of us on SGL who have had successful sessions as a result of conversations with @Stu:) 

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Great report , Olli ... a very productive observation !

Think it's safe to say you're hooked on DSOs ?

I found M104 last weekend after trying for weeks -

Spent an hour on it with 3 different refractors and could even see it in a slow 70mm f13 ?‍♂️

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4 minutes ago, Littleguy80 said:

Great work and awesome report, Olli. It took me months of failed attempts before I finally got my first galaxy. You’ve done very well. You’ll recognise more and more of the constellations with every session.

I think there’s an awful lot of us on SGL who have had successful sessions as a result of conversations with @Stu:) 

Very true - @Stu helped me find the Eskimo nebula after numerous failed attempts ... a very memorable first light in an ES 18/82 

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6 minutes ago, Littleguy80 said:

Great work and awesome report, Olli. It took me months of failed attempts before I finally got my first galaxy. You’ve done very well. You’ll recognise more and more of the constellations with every session.

I think there’s an awful lot of us on SGL who have had successful sessions as a result of conversations with @Stu:) 

Thanks Niel glad you enjoyed the read. Yes hopefully I’ll get to know them more, I planned my session properly  as well this time which seemed to help a lot. I’m not surprised he was very helpful :) 

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9 minutes ago, Red Dwarfer said:

Great report , Olli ... a very productive observation !

Think it's safe to say you're hooked on DSOs ?

I found M104 last weekend after trying for weeks -

Spent an hour on it with 3 different refractors and could even see it in a slow 70mm f13 ?‍♂️

Yes I think I am :) it’s what I’m most interested in as well. Wil  try and find some nebulae I think next session. Looking forward to seeing the planets though especially mars even if is a red dot! It’s a great feeling when you finally find something.

Edited by Dinoco
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Great report!  Stick with M81 and M82.  Once you find them, they are easy to get back to and always rewarding.  They are two of the objects I look at almost every time I go out.  Congrats on bagging some new DSO's, and keep practicing!  The more you look at galaxies, the more detail you'll start to pick out.

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13 hours ago, Dinoco said:

there were to many stars and didn’t know which one to hop to next

I had this exact same problem using a similar scope. With a finder scope it would help as you have less magnification. I find with the charts in S&Ts Pocket Sky Atlas, and really paying attention to the layout of the stars in the chart against what you see in a finder scope, hopping around gets easier and you'll never have to cheat and get a GoTo scope. ;) 

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11 minutes ago, elliot said:

I had this exact same problem using a similar scope. With a finder scope it would help as you have less magnification. I find with the charts in S&Ts Pocket Sky Atlas, and really paying attention to the layout of the stars in the chart against what you see in a finder scope, hopping around gets easier and you'll never have to cheat and get a GoTo scope. ;) 

Good to know I’m not the only one :) I keep forgetting to bring the pocket atlas out. I’m glad I didn’t get a goto scope as it would have taken the fun out of finding stuff and probably wouldn’t have the same experience I did yesterday. If I was going to get one would only be if I went to the imaging side of things 

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I agree. Spend the money on the scope, not the electronics. The hunt is half the fun.

I find that a quick scan of the target area with a pair of binoculars first, really helps.

Paul

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6 hours ago, Paul73 said:

Spend the money on the scope, not the electronics. The hunt is half the fun.

yes the skill of star hopping is very rewarding...The hunt for me is 90% of the fun, frustrating fun at times but tracking down faint stuff with fellow Dob mobers is fantastic and then we compare views.

Congats on the Galaxies, book a campsite near say Dartmoor and then your scope will start hovering them up....clear skies!

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Nice read. :) It's great when you can quickly set up and get out there when there's a brief opportunity!

7 minutes ago, estwing said:

yes the skill of star hopping is very rewarding...The hunt for me is 90% of the fun, frustrating fun at times but tracking down faint stuff with fellow Dob mobers is fantastic and then we compare views.

Congats on the Galaxies, book a campsite near say Dartmoor and then your scope will start hovering them up....clear skies!

Honestly, it's amazing how well a small scope can perform in dark skies. I have been very pleasantly surprised.  :)

 

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thing is Sam most people on here don't realise how good small scopes are in True Dark skies....that's why I keep taking mine...:hiding:

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14 minutes ago, estwing said:

yes the skill of star hopping is very rewarding...The hunt for me is 90% of the fun, frustrating fun at times but tracking down faint stuff with fellow Dob mobers is fantastic and then we compare views.

Congats on the Galaxies, book a campsite near say Dartmoor and then your scope will start hovering them up....clear skies!

Thanks, my sky is fairly good but still not a completely dark sky since I’ve got my scope I’ve been wanting to do a camping trip to one maybe in the near future :) 

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10 minutes ago, Beulah said:

Nice read. :) It's great when you can quickly set up and get out there when there's a brief opportunity!

Honestly, it's amazing how well a small scope can perform in dark skies. I have been very pleasantly surprised.  :)

 

Thanks I’ve been really impressed with my 130p I didn’t really know what to expect but it’s been a pleasant surprise.

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