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Slightly annoyed hoping it's just my rubbish navigation of the night sky clear sky observing from back garden so there is light pollution just wondering if any 1 has a pick of andromeda through a 250 scope as if it was the thing I was looking at it was just a blur about 1cm 

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Hi, 

It would help if you provide some information about the location from which you observed, and equally important, the conditions at the time. 

From a sheltered location in Surrey, UK on a typical crisp an clear winter's night, M31 is quite clear in my former c-9.25-XLT SCT (235mm), a little less bright and less detailed with my NexStar-6SE-XLT (152mm) and still very present (perhaps even contrasty) in an AP130-EDFS and even SV105. 

Depending on your own conditions, it may START OUT looking like a smudge (or stain?), but with continued focus and attention, more details and form should reveal themselves as time goes by. 

Hope that helps.., 

Best.., 

bsdsgl84 

 

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Scunthorpe UK from my back garden with a skywatcher skyliner 250 I used a couple of different lenses including the es14mm 82° even tryed to use them with barlow 

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6 hours ago, R.frankish said:

Scunthorpe UK from my back garden with a skywatcher skyliner 250 I used a couple of different lenses including the es14mm 82° even tryed to use them with barlow 

M31 is a big beast but not bright all. If you are in a location with light pollution then this will not help. Trying lowering the magnification of the eye piece and do not use the Barlow. Less magnification is the key as in my 150 newt a short photo clearly shows the galaxy filling the whole frame.

Half the battle with these dim objects is finding them in the first place. Once you find it, it will become much easier because you will know what you are looking for. If light pollution is a problem then stick the scope in your car and go somewhere dark. You will find it much easier and it will then give you a frame of reference for when viewing from your garden.

Word of warning! Once you have gone dark sky site your back garden will no longer be good enough.

Marvin

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I was using a range of eyepieces from 30 to 6 mm all with and without barlow I don't drive so makes it a lot harder to get about but one of my mates are in to astronomy and has said on  a clear night one weekend he shall take me out some where dark we are also looking at going to a club in cleethorpes should give us a bit more understanding just wish I bought my mount with synscan now 

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Please accept apologies for assuming you have access to a vehicle, that does make things more difficult. Don’t despair at not having Goto, at the beginning of your journey it can add many unwanted problems and distractions. The Club night is the best thing you could do, so many helpful people to show you how.

With the kind help of your friend get somewhere a little darker and relax... let your vision adjust... with the help of Cassiopeia pointing the way move west about a hands width held out at arms length.
Andromeda is much more faint than you think and under my Bortle 4 skies if I look directly at it, it disappears. Look a few degrees off... hold it and without moving eye position do you pick up a light area in your peripheral vision???

I will say right now, that what I am describing might seem very difficult. But once you know where it is and what it looks like you will know for the rest of your life.

Just so you know my first attempt at M31 took a few attempts without light pollution. I found the Pinwheel galaxy instead by mistake. Next night got M31 then couldn’t find the Pinwheel for another year! It’s a long learning curve to be enjoyed, and I hope I see you on here enjoying it in the years to come.

Good luck and happy M31 hunting, start with the 30mm ep.

Marvin

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It was the first DSO (fuzzy) I saw with my 4” Tal many years ago using the lowest powered eyepiece I had at the time (25mm I think) 

As Marvin says the pointers of Cassiopeia are good or the corner stars of the Great Square of Pegasus. 

I would be starting off with your lowest powered eyepiece 30mm? and to make things even easier get a red dot finder and good star chart? 


Another thing I do is sweep the telescope backwards and forth in the general area and it will eventually pop into view!  
 

Cheers and good hunting 

 

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18 hours ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

Please accept apologies for assuming you have access to a vehicle, that does make things more difficult. Don’t despair at not having Goto, at the beginning of your journey it can add many unwanted problems and distractions. The Club night is the best thing you could do, so many helpful people to show you how.

With the kind help of your friend get somewhere a little darker and relax... let your vision adjust... with the help of Cassiopeia pointing the way move west about a hands width held out at arms length.
Andromeda is much more faint than you think and under my Bortle 4 skies if I look directly at it, it disappears. Look a few degrees off... hold it and without moving eye position do you pick up a light area in your peripheral vision???

I will say right now, that what I am describing might seem very difficult. But once you know where it is and what it looks like you will know for the rest of your life.

Just so you know my first attempt at M31 took a few attempts without light pollution. I found the Pinwheel galaxy instead by mistake. Next night got M31 then couldn’t find the Pinwheel for another year! It’s a long learning curve to be enjoyed, and I hope I see you on here enjoying it in the years to come.

Good luck and happy M31 hunting, start with the 30mm ep.

Marvin

Thankyou for the help 

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16 hours ago, jock1958 said:

It was the first DSO (fuzzy) I saw with my 4” Tal many years ago using the lowest powered eyepiece I had at the time (25mm I think) 

As Marvin says the pointers of Cassiopeia are good or the corner stars of the Great Square of Pegasus. 

I would be starting off with your lowest powered eyepiece 30mm? and to make things even easier get a red dot finder and good star chart? 


Another thing I do is sweep the telescope backwards and forth in the general area and it will eventually pop into view!  
 

Cheers and good hunting 

 

I shall invest in to the red dot finder or tape a lazer per on the top lmao 

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M31 subtends an angle equivalent to 6 full Moons in the night sky.  Therefore you want to aim for the widest field of view possible with your set up.  Even then it is likely you will predominantly see the core only.  The darker skies you can find the better.

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1 hour ago, R.frankish said:

I shall invest in to the red dot finder or tape a lazer per on the top lmao 

I have a Telrad RDF on my 4” refractor and without doubt my best finder and they are relatively cheap, also consider the Rigel Quickfinder which has had very good reviews. If you are on a budget they crop up second hand fairly regularly on Astro Buy & Sell for £30 ish! 

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2 hours ago, Owmuchonomy said:

M31 subtends an angle equivalent to 6 full Moons in the night sky.  Therefore you want to aim for the widest field of view possible with your set up.  Even then it is likely you will predominantly see the core only.  The darker skies you can find the better.

Thankyou I bought the 14mm 82° explorer scientific so when I find it hope that helps 

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33 minutes ago, R.frankish said:

Been looking at the skywatcher one £30 on Amazon 

Sorry can’t help with the skywatcher one but there’s an interesting thread on this forum that’s worth a read before you pull the trigger “Which red dot finder?” 

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39 minutes ago, R.frankish said:

Thankyou I bought the 14mm 82° explorer scientific so when I find it hope that helps 

That won't help much. You need something like 30-40mm in scope with such focal length - 1200mm to be able to see anything more than core.

image.png.ce7d73b762311da4fbbbf6ad0d1a8230.png

Inner yellow circle represents what your field of view will be like with 14mm ES82. Red circle is what it will be like with GSO 32mm plossl.

In your case, you will only see central smudge and M32 at edge of the field. If you are very lucky and don't have much of light pollution and M31 is positioned overhead - you will see first dust lane. That happened to me only once with 8" scope and 32mm plossl in my red zone back yard (very transparent night).

If you want to have any chance of getting almost whole andromeda into field of view with your scope - you will need widest possible 2" eyepiece - something like

Vixen LVW 42mm or ES68 40mm

image.png.9f7607778b7aa3e68839455c1ffee66c.png

Each of which will cost more than half of what you paid for your scope - £250+ (unless of course, you find second hand item).

Problem with either of these eyepieces will be exit pupil - very large and I doubt you have pupils that dilate ~9mm so there will be light loss because of that.

Maybe best solution for observing M31 would be to get yourself second scope. Seriously, something like ST102 will probably cost you like one of those eyepieces but it will be much nicer to use on M31:

New will be £330 (don't be tempted to get it on AZ3 - it is very unsuitable mount for this scope and intended role):

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-startravel-102-az5-deluxe.html

and you will be able to get it cheaper second hand of course (although probably without a mount).

Here is what this scope gives with 25mm stock EP and 32mm GSO Plossl:

image.png.1760e1b295890bf3b3320b15a8b70abe.png

 

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If it's any consolation, it took me 5 nights specifically targeting Andromeda before I first caught it - it was my first galaxy!  I only saw some fuzz, but was chuffed.  Now with the same scope,  same location I can see detail in 2 dustlanes... as I read here on SGL, you do indeed learn to see, which seems like a strange concept at first!!

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PS from a very dark site it is big and obvious naked eye!! Quite a sight ;)

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Yes I am going to go to a convention thing in grimsby on the 13th this month hopefully 

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Biggest factor is lp how good bad your location  is

Really all dso need dark skies for best results  but u can over come some of it by getting bigger scopes to a point, nebula filters help and blocking all light from street  lights houses etc.

But best views are country skys

joejaguar 

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