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This is a really good thread packed with great advice.  I got my 5in Mak six months ago - not the ideal galaxy hunter’s scope - and have been on the same journey with regard to galactic frustration,

... not alone, I think there's a badge and T-shirt for that one now.   Could be an excuse to wheel out this one again:    

Hi and welcome to SGL. You now have about 4h of astronomical night (based on your location in Luton), so start observing around midnight (at least after 11pm). In fact - don't try to observe

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15 hours ago, Zermelo said:

... not alone, I think there's a badge and T-shirt for that one now.

 

Could be an excuse to wheel out this one again:

 

image.png.bb88c02c572adb91ea258043b75969b8.png

 

Great chart - & likewise on M33, I’ve managed to track down 20 or so up to now but this isn’t yet one of them. 

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6 hours ago, John said:

Those charts are useful but we also need something similar for NGC objects. Many NGC's don't have Messier classifications but are brighter and better objects for small scopes / novice observers than some of the Messiers :icon_biggrin:

The Caldwell Catalogue is helpful in this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caldwell_catalogue

 

The Caldwell catalogue is apparently tied in to a book Moore wrote , and there seems to be less freely available info on it, perhaps there is some copyright issue with it ? I did find this a while back

https://www.go-astronomy.com/caldwell-objects.htm , but it is an online set up, not a nice downloadable / printable PDF, and you have to wonder a little about a site whose initial blurb confuses north and south ...

I'd highly recommend The Loughton list as a realistic set of targets for those of us who have as a limiting factor any permutation of  kit , experience , and light pollution . It divides targets into three levels, starting with the easiest, bronze .

https://las-astro.org.uk/docs/Loughton_List_v2_0.pdf

Heather

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Unless you have dark and clear skies most galaxies are tricky other than M31/M81 and the Leo Triplet.  Photogenic ones like M33 and M101 have very low surface brightness.  As others have said, I think you may be suffering from expectation vs reality.

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30 minutes ago, BCN_Sean said:

Caldwell-Catalogue.pdf 1.76 MB · 4 downloads

Here's the copy of the one I keep on the mobile, just waiting patiently until it's possible to be useful again.

I've seen that one before, found it here :https://www.ukcloudmagnets.co.uk/learning-section/ along with many other links.

Here https://www.messier.seds.org/xtra/similar/caldwell.html it says

'The Caldwell Catalog is copyrighted © 1995 by Patrick Moore and Sky Publishing Corporation. This list just gives the objects for all 109 catalog entries in the catalog, linked to our object pages when applicable. '

Which is probably what I'd recalled reading that led me to think there was some copyright reason why the list is less well represented online than you might expect.

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18 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

I've seen that one before, found it here :https://www.ukcloudmagnets.co.uk/learning-section/ along with many other links.

Here https://www.messier.seds.org/xtra/similar/caldwell.html it says

'The Caldwell Catalog is copyrighted © 1995 by Patrick Moore and Sky Publishing Corporation. This list just gives the objects for all 109 catalog entries in the catalog, linked to our object pages when applicable. '

Which is probably what I'd recalled reading that led me to think there was some copyright reason why the list is less well represented online than you might expect.

That's a new one on me.
It's possible to copyright a list of objects that appear in the sky? With no added original content?
Or is it the name "Caldwell" itself that's copyrighted?

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6 minutes ago, Zermelo said:

That's a new one on me.
It's possible to copyright a list of objects that appear in the sky? With no added original content?
Or is it the name "Caldwell" itself that's copyrighted?

Who knows 😉 ,here was, according to the author of one book of the list , a 'Cauldwell controversy' which he outlines here:

http://www.deep-sky.co.uk/observing/caldwell/caldwell.htm

If there's someone out there with a grievance and a lawyer, I can understand why the Cauldwell  list doesn't get as much online documentation as it might .

Heather

 

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5 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

Which is probably what I'd recalled reading that led me to think there was some copyright reason why the list is less well represented online than you might expect.

I don't know if it is the copyright, but could just be that because it was later than the Messier, NGC/IC, Hershell that it was overlooked somewhat; and then whilst we've a idea to some degree on it and by relation Patrick Moore and The Sky at Night, to one of my astronomic friends here it may be totally overlooked as there's not the same associations.

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In last month's Astronomy Now there was a five page spread about observing the Caldwell Catalogue, which just rubbed salt into the wounds for an imager like me.

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43 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

http://www.deep-sky.co.uk/observing/caldwell/caldwell.htm

If there's someone out there with a grievance and a lawyer, I can understand why the Cauldwell  list doesn't get as much online documentation as it might .

Well, that's very intriguing.

If this thread has vanished by tomorrow morning, we'll all know why 🙂

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3 minutes ago, Zermelo said:

Well, that's very intriguing.

If this thread has vanished by tomorrow morning, we'll all know why 🙂

I think the OP is the only part of the thread that has vanished! 🤣

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5 hours ago, SuburbanMak said:

...
I’ve found the GoTo (AZ GTi) less useful for finding galaxies than for other targets, better to use the GoTo to land on a nearby notable star or asterism and navigate from there - I have a Telrad, 9x50 finder and use my widest, most crisp eyepiece to hop by overlapping fields of view from a known object to where the galaxy should be. I’d say my success rate on first time of looking for an object is now up to about one in three - I expect to not find more than I find on any given evening. It’s a game of persistence! 
...

My conclusion exactly. Cheap GoTo is not a panacea. You should learn working with star charts and actual visual telescope pointers anyway. As every (semi)automatic method of telescope pointing (except for the Celestron StarSense Explorer to date) is prone to a plethora of potential mishaps which may land you in a totally random patch of the sky. If you can't positively ID stars in your FOV you can't tell if it worked correctly or not. I stopped using GoTo ~12 years ago. Waste of time. As with Telrad and the proper star chart app I can point to anything marked on the chart in under 10 seconds with 100% reliability.

The first most important precondition, the EDA (Eyes Darkness Adaptation), has been well covered earlier as well. That's a skill too. Everything else is actually very secondary to that missing.

Edited by AlexK
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