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Triangulum Galaxy query

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I have recently started using my telescope and believe a couple of times I have seen Triangulum Galaxy.  However I am now doubting my self because the sketches I find are not commensurate with what I have seen.  However I think it highly unlikely I am looking at anything which would have this structure.

Using a 2" 35mm EP on 10" dob the galaxy fills the view.  I cannot see any nebulosity but I have light pollution even late at night i.e. now.

Bearing in mind I am describing this from a newtonian view it is not the right way around.

The very centre is dark expect for a number of bright stars making a Y shape.  This is surrounded by a large circle of many stars.  From the north (bottom) extends a long arm of stars and at the tip a nebulous region of fainter stars.  There is a more fragmented arm shape to the east (left side) with one or two red/orange stars.  Around the top of the circle (south) is one star which is particularly bright.

If I zoom in to the centre there is still no obvious central bright area, just the Y shape.

 

Does this sound about right?

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Sounds more like M31 if it fills the FOV but the core should be the brightest part of any galaxy.

What focal length is your scope ?

Dave

Edited by Davey-T

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Unless you are observing from very dark skies, M33 is very indistinct even with a 10 inch scope.

 

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I have always found m33 shows more distinctly with binoculars e.g. 17x70.  I have never been able to see stucture though.

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I doubt even a 10inch dob will show much structure in the Triangulum galaxy under light pollution, it is a very faint object. I've seen it in 20x80 binoculars on moonless nights in Bortle 5 skies, but never seen any structure to it, just a large grey smudge.

Also bear in mind that any stars seen in the view are in our own galaxy, the only way to see a star from another galaxy is when it goes nova.

Edited by Nik271

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PS. Here is a Stellarium screenshot with a 2degrees field of view centered on the Triangulum galaxy. I have removed the photos of the nebulosity leaving only stars up to 12 magnitude. This should help to check if you were in the right area.

stellarium-000.thumb.png.4d5547a034f41cbe881baf6e38fd0fac.png

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Funnily enough It was an unforecast clear night last night just before I went to bed, so I took my 12x50s out. One of the objects I looked around for was M33, and was able to notice it quite easily. It sits nestled in a little triangle of stars. But there's no structure on view, you really need AP for that, and it's such a low-contrast object that only the big FoV that binoculars give you will show enough contrast to notice it. A telescope spreads the contrast over such a large area that it becomes impossible to notice.

Cheers, Magnus

Edited by Captain Magenta
typo
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8 hours ago, John said:

Unless you are observing from very dark skies, M33 is very indistinct even with a 10 inch scope.

 

I may have misled you.  It wasn't distinct as in no nebulosity.  I was looking at stars only.  Based on what you have all said I am even more confused.  I have looked at some photos on here such as: 

Look in the image off centre left and downwards and there is a pattern of stars in a Y shape.  That looks like what I have seen.

It is also confusing if I am looking at a ring of stars and then some stars following paths of arms but the consensus is I can only see stars in the Milky Way.

I am definitely looking at the right area (it is not Andromeda) based on star maps and repeated viewings with both telescope and binocular (a faint ring of stars only).

So if it is not M33 could anyone suggest what it could be that is in that area with a Y shape of stars surrounded by a ring of other stars and some arm shaped groups of stars coming out of it 🥵

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2 hours ago, Nik271 said:

PS. Here is a Stellarium screenshot with a 2degrees field of view centered on the Triangulum galaxy. I have removed the photos of the nebulosity leaving only stars up to 12 magnitude. This should help to check if you were in the right area.

 

Thanks for this as it triggered me to work out how to do the same and I have attached a picture exactly of what I am seeing.

Just some kind of asterism then unhelpfully in exactly the same place? 😆

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-11-13 at 10.56.54.png

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You're more or less in the correct spot, turn on deep-sky images in Stellarium to exactly see where the galaxy is located.

Messier 33 is just a large, dim patch of light, no individual stars visible.

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M33 visually resembles an indistinct patch of light sitting between 4 stars in a rough rhomboid formation. This is the nearest image of what it looks like though a scope that I could find at short notice:

M33.jpg

This would be under a pretty dark sky. As you can see the object is large and low power is used.

I have seen M33 with 7x35 binoculars and my 11x70's show it on a decent night here. A little away from the faint galactic haze is a slightly more condensed small spot of light close to a foreground star. That small patch is NGC 604 which is a vast star forming region within the galaxy M33. NGC 604 needs about a 130mm or larger aperture to detect.

Edited by John
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Thanks for all the input. So certainly I haven't seen the galaxy.  However what ever it is I am looking at is interesting in its self due to the shape, colours and placements of stars.  I will keep looking at it anyway.

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For me, movement is the key to spotting it. If you're dead centered on it you may look straight through, so to speak, and not see it. If you nod the scope past it and back, though, it may pop. It has an extremely even surface brightness (though 'brightness' is hardly the right term!) I agree with Martin that bins may be the best bet.

Olly

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I had fabulous views of this through my 10x50s at the pitch black skies of Kelling Heath recently. But through my scopes back in my less dark back garden.....hard to spot and pretty underwhelming when (and if) found,

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To add another side of all this talk of how hard M33 is etc I'll say that a 10" scope under dark and transparent skies will show 2 nice spiral arms buried among the glow of the galaxy. It is a great object and well worth pursuing, along with M101 which will also reveal its features under the same conditions.

Our H130 will show M33 much brighter than Johns supplied image, much brighter. Moral of the story- get to dark skies when possible.

Edited by jetstream
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I have had pleasing views of M33 with good extent of two spiral arms...but that was in very Dark skies on a new moon with 18" of mirror...has been caught in 15x70 bins also.

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I think Olly is right - it pops out as you rock the scope even with my medium aperture (180 Mak). On exceptional nights, I've seen it by eye without scope or bins, and on those occasions it was clearly a galaxy with some structure I was looking at through the scope. 

Chris

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21 minutes ago, chiltonstar said:

I think Olly is right - it pops out as you rock the scope even with my medium aperture (180 Mak). On exceptional nights, I've seen it by eye without scope or bins, and on those occasions it was clearly a galaxy with some structure I was looking at through the scope. 

Chris

I've never managed it naked eye even from here. In the next life I'd like good eyesight!

Olly

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23 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

I've never managed it naked eye even from here. In the next life I'd like good eyesight!

Olly

It has been when M33 is nearly at the zenith, after rain. My location is small village, with low LP to the E, S and SW, but I'm sure some evil developer will soon sort that for me.

My eyesight is no longer what it was, particularly when I'm tired, but my grandson could see it easily - he is 9 though. He could also spot cargo vehicles next to the ISS when I could only see a white dot.

Chris

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On 14/11/2020 at 10:26, chiltonstar said:

I think Olly is right - it pops out as you rock the scope even with my medium aperture (180 Mak). On exceptional nights, I've seen it by eye without scope or bins, and on those occasions it was clearly a galaxy with some structure I was looking at through the scope. 

Chris

I used to live right in the middle of nowhere next to Hadrians Wall and could see M33 with naked eye...Amazing 😮

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