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5haan_A

Tried to find M13 instead found M92- a real amateur's report

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Hello,

For those that don't know I am very green when it comes to star gazing. However, I have a great enthusiasm to try and bumble my way across the sky and see if I can stumble across something whether accidentally or intentionally.

So my session on 12th September 2018 started out like all my 5 previous sessions started, collimating unnecessarily and checking the weather looking for a gap in the clouds. I got lucky, there was a window between 9 and 11 shown on the app, it actually turned out better than the app initially suggested which goes to show that even when we know a lot we don't always get it right. I placed my 200p dob outside 30 mins before at 830, went back in and started planning my session. I was determined to finally find M13, I haven't seen it yet, and in all my previous sessions I have dedicated almost an hour in each one to unsuccessfully finding it. I made a list of some others in my app including the double cluster in Perseus.

 

I went outside, popped the dob on my shoulder and walked about 50 m to the bottom of my garden to a spot that provides the best views of the night sky. I sat down and got ready. The sky at this point was still in that end of twilight period where it's not yet fully dark but some of the brighter stars are beginning to show up. Not to worry I thought I'll get the finder scope on Vega and then gradually start working my way across to M13. So the way I do this is to make sure I'm at a place in the sky I know, like Vega, and then gradually looking through the finder scope star hop slowly matching the constellations I see with my sky safari app. I'm painstakingly working my way toward M13 and it's slow work, 20 minutes later I'm still there moving my telescope cm by cm. Through my finder scope I see a fuzzy glow. Strange, I thought to myself, it's what I thought M13 should look like but not where I thought M13 was supposed to be. Not really caring too much what it was I dived onto my 21mm lens and had a look through. It was a site to behold, the more I looked the more I could see. The density of stars was spectacular, I loved being able to stare into the middle and try pick out individual ones. This for me was a big moment because deep sky wise I have only ever been able to see Andromeda, with my star gazing confined to lunar and planetary. I checked my app, and discovered that I had stumbled onto M92, not purposefully but accidentally because it was on the way to M13. What's that saying about destination and journey?

I got back down to my telescope to carry on my quest. Unfortunately I Knocked the telescope with a wayward elbow and went out of position. Not having the heart or resolve to carry on I decided to try a different target. So M13 remains to be ticked off for now. 

 

Onto the double cluster. This was a comparable walk in the park to find. Finding it only 15 minutes. I first started trying to find the W in the sky and I was going to work my way down. I struggled. I probably saw one of the stars from cassiopeia plenty of times through the finder scope but because it is so dense there I never really know for sure if its one of them or something else. I opted to approach it from the bottom. Mirfak is much easier for my to find so I started from there, and very quickly worked my way up to the double cluster. Again I was amazed, the view was spectacular, the stars looked crisp and I was really happy with the variety of stars I could see. I could make out some reds which was really cool. Lens wise, I was using a Baader Hyperion 68 Degree 21mm Eyepiece, the FOV was just about perfect, and the brightness was where I wanted to be. Here is where I started experimenting, I thought I would try out my 9mm Takahashi Abbe Orthoscopic eyepiece. I thought I would magnify onto one of the clusters and see them one at a time. I was disappointed, the brightness was less and I found the image I was seeing a lot less crisp. I don't know but I assume that such eyepieces are for mainly planetary observing. I popped back in my other eyepiece and carried on observing. 

By this point I was happy, and also cocksure. I thought i'll go tackle a Nebula next. I saw that the soul nebula was nearby and listed as a bright nebula, which made me think there was a chance I could see it. I failed miserably even with being in the right place with the right FOV and an Olll filter I couldn't see anything. Not too sure why, I just assume that nebula's are tough to see. 

I finished off going back to Andromeda in a way a child hood sweetheart of mine being the first deep sky object I ever  found. I gazed at it's fuzzy obscure shape and reflected on my session "How far have I come, and how much further have I got to go." 

 

Attached are some really poor quality photos I took on my smartphone of the double cluster. They are incidentally some of the first images I have ever captured of the universe. Who knows I might be better in a years time, or I might not!

 

Thanks and good luck with your observing,

Shaan

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Depending on conditions sometimes I find M92looks better than M13 for some reason I have yet to fathom. What size finder scope are you using? 30mm one or 50mm one? 

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Great report, you are not alone on your experiences! I've given up on targets that are too tough to find the location of and have found targets only to discover they are impossible to see plenty of times but as time goes by this will happen less and less.

Like you I find the double cluster much easier to hop to from Perseus than from Cassiopeia.

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A great report. I really enjoyed it and a lot of it was similar to my experience two years ago. 

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Stay away from galactic nebulae, then tend to be faint and red.. many have nice names, but are torture for even big scope users. Star clusters, planetary nebula, globular clusters all fair game! An experienced observer friend  recently had a session where “someone had stolen M92”... M13 was still where it should have been.

Keep up the observing, there’s plenty more to learn and find.

PeterW

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18 minutes ago, PeterW said:

An experienced observer friend  recently had a session where “someone had stolen M92”... M13 was still where it should have been.

Tee hee! That observer friend was me, and yes, I tried at least three or four times to find M92 the other night under very good skies and it was nowhere to be seen. I was in ‘exactly’ the right place, it had clearly gone although from your report it seems it may have returned now ;)

 

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1 hour ago, Knighty2112 said:

What size finder scope are you using? 30mm one or 50mm one? 

It's a 50mm one. 

 

38 minutes ago, PeterW said:

Stay away from galactic nebulae, then tend to be faint and red.. many have nice names, but are torture for even big scope users.

Thanks for the advice I'll stay away from galactic nebulae for the time being.

Thanks for the reply guys. It's heartening to hear that I'm not alone in the struggle.

Shaan

 

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OK, with a 50mm finder you should be able to see M13 pretty easily in it when you are in the right area in Hercules. :) 

Edited by Knighty2112
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.... and don’t even think about looking for the Horsehead nebula either for that matter!

My first book was the Observers Sky Atlas by Erich Karkoschka, the multizoom finder charts were really useful in the early days.

PEter

 

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Great hunt around the sky!!  We’re all learning our way around and picking up new things so you are amongst friends!!  I agree that M92 is a fantastic globular and it’s pretty cool that M13 is yet to come. A nice bright Nebula is M57 in Lyra which will look really nice in your 200P. 

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Invest in a telrad got one on my dob makes things much easier and quicker

As said M13 is viewable in the 50mm finder its faint but there was viewing it last night as it happens and got my first pics of a dso

enjoyed your report btw

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On 13/09/2018 at 20:59, PaulM said:

Invest in a telrad got one on my dob makes things much easier and quicker

As said M13 is viewable in the 50mm finder its faint but there was viewing it last night as it happens and got my first pics of a dso

enjoyed your report btw

 

Cheers Paul, 

Got myself a rigel which will hopefully arrive in the next couple of days. I went for the rigel because I heard the telrad is quite heavy, is that the case? If so it would add too much weight to the front of my scope.

 

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