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I'm very pleased to report that I finally managed to see the Pinwheel galaxy (M101) from my back garden which is marginally Bortle 5 (SQM 20.04).

I was using the Skymaster 20x80 binoculars sitting quietly while the telescope was busy taking images of the Nova. I had only seen M101 once before from a dark location and tried many times from home previously. It appeared as a very faint grey smudge. I knew exactly where to look otherwise I doubt I would have spotted it.

Here is my star hop. Follow the trail of four bright stars in the direction from Mizar to Alcor to reach a 'square with spokes'. The Pinwheel is on the opposite side of the square. If you have SQM 20 sky or better give it a try on a moonless night! 


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Nicely done! 

That's one I've tried a few times in the past and have seen under bottle 3/4 with 70mm - but like you said, only because I knew exactly where to look..  it's not an area I go to that often , mainly because my best viewing is east, west and south - but I must give it another go using that starhop and maybe a pair of 80mms...

Clear skies 






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Nice. Your account reminded me that I thought I’d (first ever) seen M101 through bins as well, and I checked that indeed I had, on March 14th with my 12x50 Nikons, but I had a bit of an advantage! My sky that night was 21.94. I found it by knowing that m51 and m101 are roughly equally spaced each side of Alkaid, perpendicular to the “saucepan-handle”

Cheers, Magnus

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Well I must say, that is very impressive. Well done.

I live in B6 and never got even a hint of anything with my XT8.

Good job. Glad you had that success


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