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Easy DSO Advice Needed


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Hi All! 

According to Clear Outside there is 0% of cloud cover for me tomorrow from 16:00 to about 06:00 Thursday morning (I live in Bristol).

With that in mind, does anyone have any suggestions for a DSO I can try to find visually, and observe? And then maybe try to take a photo of?

I'll be trying to find it manually, so preferably spomething in Turn Left at Orion as I have it here.

If it helps my equipment is Skywatcher 200p with EQ5 Pro Goto (I know it's a bit big foir the mount, but it's primarily for observing), and I have a NikonD3300 which I connect directly to the telescope.

All suggestions gratefully received!

 

 

Edited by Jm1973
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There are plenty of DSOs around at this point in the year. Your EQ5 Pro Mount handset can take you on a tour of them. If you want a few more ideas after that you could visit www.telescopius.com and enter your locality and equipment details. 

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That’s a big question!... there are literally thousands depending on environmental conditions such as your level of light pollution. M57, The Ring Nebula is quite well placed in Lyra at the moment, not far from Vega and is always a good object to view, the dumbbell Nebula is close by as well. 
Can I ask why you are looking manually with a GoTo? I only ask as an EQ mount can be really awkward to star hop manually 

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Hello. If you already have "Turn left at Orion" then there are plenty to have a go at. Turn left is a great way to start learning around the night sky. One point to keep in mind is light pollution if you are in a big city , this really does effect the faint fuzzy DSO. For really good faint DSO then a true dark site is needed. So well worth putting the kit in the car if needed and travelling to  true dark Sky's, where faint DSO just pop to the eyes

 

 

 

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If you are wanting easy DSO to find manually. You can't get much easier than M57 (the Ring Nebula). It's small and bright, so easy to see (and image if you are into that sort of thing).

Also - M13, the hercules Cluster.

M81 and M82, Bode's Galaxy(ies) are a simple star-hop too:

 

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I would suggest M13 - if you have a pair of binoculars, use them first so you know where to look in relation to the 4 stars forming the Keystone in Hercules. 

This is relatively easily identified due to its 'fuzziness' and the stars on either side making a distinctive broad arrow shape. 

Once you have it in the binoculars, you should be able to find it in the finderscope, and then get it centred in the eyepiece.

As for photographing it - that may be more tricky*, but it's certainly worth trying. 

 

* Newtonian scopes often have problems with getting prime focus on the dSLR sensor, as they are designed to be used with an eyepiece which uses a longer focuser. 

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Some good suggestions so far.

Manually finding....beginner... I'd say anything that shows up in your (9x50) finder will be easier to find initially than something that does not.

The sword handle/double cluster in Perseus is another one, fairly bright & worth finding.

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Thanks for all the sugestions. The reason why I am asking about finding them manually, when I have a goto mount, is that I haven't been having much luck with the goto so far. I put in my alignment stars, and it just plops me down in the middle of a bunch of stars, which I have no idea about. There usually isn't one massively brighter than the others visible in the finderscope, so I just guess. Then it miraculously says successful, but it never seems to take me very close to what I am trying to goto. So I figured I would be better trying to learn some basic stuff manually first. The goto isn't much good if you don't even know enough stars to be able to do the star aligment. :D

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25 minutes ago, Jm1973 said:

Thanks for all the sugestions. The reason why I am asking about finding them manually, when I have a goto mount, is that I haven't been having much luck with the goto so far. I put in my alignment stars, and it just plops me down in the middle of a bunch of stars, which I have no idea about. There usually isn't one massively brighter than the others visible in the finderscope, so I just guess. Then it miraculously says successful, but it never seems to take me very close to what I am trying to goto. So I figured I would be better trying to learn some basic stuff manually first. The goto isn't much good if you don't even know enough stars to be able to do the star aligment. :D

That is a reasonable approach - GOTO can be its own world of frustration, and doesn't always make life easier. 

However, I would expect that the stars that are suggested for alignment would be sufficiently bright to stand out in the Finder. Have you confirmed that your finder scope and your main scope are aligned?

It can then be worth practising on pointing the finder at bright stars; sometimes sighting along the finder tube can be a useful technique - or alternatively get yourself a Telrad to sit alongside the finder. 

 

Edited by Gfamily
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Thanks for all the replies.

I actually managed to get proper star alignment, and all it took was a bit of planning. I used Vega, Dubhe and Deneb. All pretty bright stars so easy to hone in on when doing the alignment. After that I checked by going back to the same stars and calibrating with PAE. That seemed to do the trick. I went straight to ring nebula using goto, and it was right there.. just off the centre with a 25mm EP.

After that I had a look a Hercules nebula which I could see, but not very well, as the skies were quite bright. 

I tried the blue snowball as well, but it was so faint and small I could not really see it.

I feel I am making progress though.

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4 hours ago, Jiggy 67 said:

You’ll need a bit of power on the Blue Snowball, not the 25mm which will only give you X40 mag, 

Yeah, I used the 25mm to locate it. Then I switched to a 10mm, and even a 6mm, but still couldn't really see it properly. Whereas with the ring nebula it was quite clear.

I have quite cheap plossls for my 10mm and 6mm though, so maybe they weren't quite up to the task?

 

 

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