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I recently bought a Skywatcher 150, second hand, I posted in another part of the forum about it.

Of course, it's been shocking weather since I got the scope, and when it wasn't, I wasn't at home etc.  But I have managed to get out on a couple of nights.  I had a look at Jupiter andSaturn, and saw what i expected to see.  Also looked at Mars the other night, which was really to bright to get much detail, I got around that by just using the small hole in the cover to reduce the light (always seems a bit of an irony that; get a large aperture, and then cover it up  :)  ).

So, I've looked at the obvious, and then a had a roam around the sky.  What i do find quite fascinating is the massive number of stars i see looking almost vertically up, I suspect that I'm looking at the milky way, sadly the light pollution here is too bad to see it with the naked eye as i did as kid 50+ years ago.  But it's still WOW.

Perhaps not one for the purists, (and definitely not one for the 'imagers' I guess), but I'm thrilled when I see a satellite go through the field of view.  I started taking more notice of the night's sky over summer, when there were all the Starlink launches and the resulting 'sky-trains', so i like to see them through the scope, and actually managed to keep one in the eyepiece last time, albeit briefly.

Now, I'd like to have a look for some galaxies, but as Orion is not around yet, I think I'd find them difficult to locate.  I understand there's M31 near Cassiopeia, is that easy to find? Other recommendations are welcome.

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2 hours ago, Capt Slog said:

I recently bought a Skywatcher 150, second hand, I posted in another part of the forum about it.

Of course, it's been shocking weather since I got the scope, and when it wasn't, I wasn't at home etc.  But I have managed to get out on a couple of nights.  I had a look at Jupiter andSaturn, and saw what i expected to see.  Also looked at Mars the other night, which was really to bright to get much detail, I got around that by just using the small hole in the cover to reduce the light (always seems a bit of an irony that; get a large aperture, and then cover it up  :)  ).

So, I've looked at the obvious, and then a had a roam around the sky.  What i do find quite fascinating is the massive number of stars i see looking almost vertically up, I suspect that I'm looking at the milky way, sadly the light pollution here is too bad to see it with the naked eye as i did as kid 50+ years ago.  But it's still WOW.

Perhaps not one for the purists, (and definitely not one for the 'imagers' I guess), but I'm thrilled when I see a satellite go through the field of view.  I started taking more notice of the night's sky over summer, when there were all the Starlink launches and the resulting 'sky-trains', so i like to see them through the scope, and actually managed to keep one in the eyepiece last time, albeit briefly.

Now, I'd like to have a look for some galaxies, but as Orion is not around yet, I think I'd find them difficult to locate.  I understand there's M31 near Cassiopeia, is that easy to find? Other recommendations are welcome.

Hey!

Here is a list I found on Reddit with all the Messier objects and their difficulty.ORkHxIIWtxwJyiMjtx0tg_ATK41LJOI8me9-8EG6

 

With a 7 inch scope. Keep in mind that this chart should only be used as a guide (it depends on level of experience, Bortle, etc).

M31 is pretty easy to find if you're in Bortle 1 or 4-5 skies. I recommend driving to the country side because it is definitely worth it!

You can see the Orion Nebula starting from 12 or 1 AM till morning. So if waking up early is not a problem, you could take a look at M42 too! :)

Good luck and clear skies!

Edited by Astrid
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13 minutes ago, Astrid said:

Hey!

Here is a list I found on Reddit with all the Messier objects and their difficulty.ORkHxIIWtxwJyiMjtx0tg_ATK41LJOI8me9-8EG6

 

With a 7 inch scope. Keep in mind that this chart should only be used as a guide (it depends on level of experience, Bortle, etc).

M31 is pretty easy to find if you're in Bortle 1 or 4-5 skies. I recommend driving to the country side because it is definitely worth it!

You can see the Orion Nebula starting from 12 or 1 AM till morning. So if waking up early is not a problem, you could take a look at M42 too! :)

Good luck and clear skies!

I have seen this table before.  What is crucially missed off it was that the ratings were based on a specific observing latitude.  Anyone who has been quite far south will know clusters like M6 and M7 are visible naked eye and would be V Easy.  There are also a few messier objects missing.  But generally it points you in the right direction.

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hi capt slog and welcome

first off, if you find mars to bright increase your magnification this will reduce your exit pupil and take away the brightness. its amazing in my 20 not to bright

also own load stellarium or skysafari on your phone or laptop/tablet this will give you a good ball park figure were m31 is, if you go somewere dark you can see it naked eye.

those apps will help you find lots of things easier

good luck

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Thanks for the advice all.

Just as an illustration of what i don't know, I looked up the top left DSO, M45 on the table as a starter and found it was the Pleiades.  Although they are very familiar to me, I never realised that they were an 'object' as such, any more than any other constellation in the sky.  Everyday is a school. day.

I've downloaded and set up Stellarium, and i'm sure I'll find it really useful once I get used to it.  It's evidently a  very powerful tool, and like most things of the ilk, has much more than the average person needs.  I was trying to work out what the bright row of stars were right on the horizon, turned out to be the building windows, DOH!  No chance of that ever going onto my phone though, my phone is just that, a phone.

I will also look out for that book, a new hobby is always a good source of Christmas presents.  :)

 

I'm now considering taking the spider out of the telescope to fix a bent vane.  The secondary mirror doesn't sit right at all, and is at a very strange angle to compensate for the bend.  Collimation seems good though, I almost tempted to think "don't fix what isn't broke", but it bugs me.

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It bugged me to the point that yesterday, it had to be done.  I took out the entire spider and removed the bent vane so that I could give it some careful taps with a hammer in the vise.  All back together and still working, although i haven't checked it on a star yet.  But it does look better.

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