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C9.25HD - Galaxy/Messier Object viewing help


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2 hours ago, AstroMuni said:

Have you tried the Live Stacking option available in the ASI tool. Some of the brighter objects will begin to show colour after a while. Orion nebula is one such object.

Nope, don't know how to do that.  I find myself in Sharpcap and haven't really used ASI's software.

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2 hours ago, AstroMuni said:

Try this https://www.stelvision.com/en/telescope-simulator/

It shows realistic images of what to expect visually.

What a great site!  What I thought of is that I don't really own any filters...would any of those be beneficial to attach to the EP when viewing nebula/galaxies or is that really only for AP?

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The UHC and O-III type filters help improve the contrast of many nebulae. There is no filter that works for galaxies though. Dark skies and observing experience are the best way to get the best views of galaxies.

 

 

Edited by John
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On 19/08/2021 at 15:58, Maideneer said:

I think tonight I'm going to try a different method...last night I was playing around and trying to learn all sorts of new stuff - ASPA, CPWI etc. - things I had never done or used before so maybe I was just overloaded and could not think straight.  By the way, using CPWI isn't the easiest thing in the world as it disables my hand controller and I actually like the hand controller.  I think maybe later on I'm going to stick to my HC and StarSense only and see if that works for me.

If you want to carry on using your handset alongside CPWI, you can do that by buying a SkyPortal wifi device - this means your laptop doesn't disable the handset through the USB connection.

Another alternative that still gives a tactile approach is to use a Xbox controller with CPWI - it's straightforward and the support is already built into the software. Use one joystick for controlling slew/slew speed, and the other controls an electronic focuser if you have one fitted. Controller buttons can be assigned various functions as well. I find it really easy for standing at the telescope and controlling the telescope wirelessly.

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  • 1 month later...
On 20/08/2021 at 12:12, John said:

The UHC and O-III type filters help improve the contrast of many nebulae. There is no filter that works for galaxies though. Dark skies and observing experience are the best way to get the best views of galaxies.

 

 

I think this is my problem now, since I still haven't had any luck viewing anything other than planets, stars and the moon.  It's been a frustrating month 🤣

Looking into the Lumicon OIII and UHC narrowband filters now, I think that will help.  Is there a handy cheat sheet that shows popular targets that each filter is best used for?

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1 hour ago, Maideneer said:

I think this is my problem now, since I still haven't had any luck viewing anything other than planets, stars and the moon.  It's been a frustrating month 🤣

Looking into the Lumicon OIII and UHC narrowband filters now, I think that will help.  Is there a handy cheat sheet that shows popular targets that each filter is best used for?

It's not really a cheat sheet and takes a little reading but this article is an often linked and excellent resource:

https://www.prairieastronomyclub.org/filter-performance-comparisons-for-some-common-nebulae/

 

Edited by John
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DSO’s are a tough find especially from light polluted spots. From my suburban garden on a good dark night I can just about find distinct ones like m13 etc. I can just about get those even with a 4.5” newt. If the moons out and full you’ve not got much chance. 
 

seeing really makes a difference too. I had a go last night as the cloud forecast is bad for the next couple of weeks. Full moon. Windy. Couldn’t even resolve the double double into 4 stars with a 10” dob…. Just into 2 fuzzy eggs. 

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On 23/09/2021 at 04:57, Sargares said:

DSO’s are a tough find especially from light polluted spots. From my suburban garden on a good dark night I can just about find distinct ones like m13 etc. I can just about get those even with a 4.5” newt. If the moons out and full you’ve not got much chance. 
 

seeing really makes a difference too. I had a go last night as the cloud forecast is bad for the next couple of weeks. Full moon. Windy. Couldn’t even resolve the double double into 4 stars with a 10” dob…. Just into 2 fuzzy eggs. 

Managed to get out for an hour last night.  I'm VERY confused at something, particularly with M31.  Popping this into Astronomy Tools I get a view like the one attached which is obviously ridiculously close up.  The problem is, it doesn't match reality, like...at all.  I slewed to M31 and used this exact setup described and it looks far away...too far away.  I know it's what I was looking at because my alignments were bang on with other objects - so I saw the M31 core and the grey smudges and all that but I really don't know why it looked like it was about an eighth the size of the picture attached.  I feel like such a disparity means I'm doing something wrong and I can't identify what it might be.

Capture.JPG

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2 hours ago, Maideneer said:

Managed to get out for an hour last night.  I'm VERY confused at something, particularly with M31.  Popping this into Astronomy Tools I get a view like the one attached which is obviously ridiculously close up.  The problem is, it doesn't match reality, like...at all.  I slewed to M31 and used this exact setup described and it looks far away...too far away.  I know it's what I was looking at because my alignments were bang on with other objects - so I saw the M31 core and the grey smudges and all that but I really don't know why it looked like it was about an eighth the size of the picture attached.  I feel like such a disparity means I'm doing something wrong and I can't identify what it might be.

Capture.JPG

M31 is hard work as it’s so dispersed. You can usually only see the bright centre and a bit of a smudge around it. The better the conditions and  the bigger the scope the more you can see. Most nights I can’t see much or anything at all. 
 

if you get out to a good dark site though you can see andromeda naked eye. 

Edited by Sargares
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2 hours ago, Maideneer said:

Managed to get out for an hour last night.  I'm VERY confused at something, particularly with M31.  Popping this into Astronomy Tools I get a view like the one attached which is obviously ridiculously close up.  The problem is, it doesn't match reality, like...at all.  I slewed to M31 and used this exact setup described and it looks far away...too far away.  I know it's what I was looking at because my alignments were bang on with other objects - so I saw the M31 core and the grey smudges and all that but I really don't know why it looked like it was about an eighth the size of the picture attached.  I feel like such a disparity means I'm doing something wrong and I can't identify what it might be.

Capture.JPG

Your scope is not necessarily ideal for observing M31, as it is such a big object. The outer regions are very faint, so need dark skies to observe them properly. I had similar views to you in an f20 8” Mak, just seeing the core.

I favour widefield refractors under dark skies for M31, with a 3 or 4 degree field of view and good dark adaptation, you really start to see the outer parts of the galaxy and the two satellites M32 and M110. A relatively fast big dob also does a good job though, showing you more detail but at higher mag so a smaller field of view.

So, I think you are seeing what you should see, if that helps?

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9 minutes ago, Stu said:

Your scope is not necessarily ideal for observing M31, as it is such a big object. The outer regions are very faint, so need dark skies to observe them properly. I had similar views to you in an f20 8” Mak, just seeing the core.

I favour widefield refractors under dark skies for M31, with a 3 or 4 degree field of view and good dark adaptation, you really start to see the outer parts of the galaxy and the two satellites M32 and M110. A relatively fast big dob also does a good job though, showing you more detail but at higher mag so a smaller field of view.

So, I think you are seeing what you should see, if that helps?

I know what you're saying makes sense.  It's a big object, my scope theoretically should be zoomed in on the core and nothing else, but what I'm saying is that my reality was the total opposite.  The thing couldn't be further away, almost like the below (nevermind the specs) or even smaller than that.

I was expecting to see something up close even if just a core and what I got what something zoomed out and tiny - and I can't explain why

Capture.JPG

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That’s normal. It’s much much bigger than that but unless you’ve got the right conditions the rest of it isn’t even a smudge. It’s just not even there. With my little newt in my front with even worse light pollution due to the street (south facing back garden) during the summer I can’t see ANYTHING. Not even the centre bit. If I look where andromeda is it’s just prominent stars and that’s it. 
 

the grey smudge will get bigger and bigger with better viewing. M13 which is probably the best globular cluster looks like a faint cloud to me  from my garden. Even doubling the aperture size only slightly improves it. 
 

if you can,one night with a good forecast drive out to the darkest spot you can. Bortle 3 is usually about as good as you’re gonna get unless you’re in The middle of nowhere. I guarantee you won’t be able to fit m31 into your field of view. 

Edited by Sargares
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27 minutes ago, Sargares said:

That’s normal. It’s much much bigger than that but unless you’ve got the right conditions the rest of it isn’t even a smudge. It’s just not even there. With my little newt in my front with even worse light pollution due to the street (south facing back garden) during the summer I can’t see ANYTHING. Not even the centre bit. If I look where andromeda is it’s just prominent stars and that’s it. 
 

the grey smudge will get bigger and bigger with better viewing. M13 which is probably the best globular cluster looks like a faint cloud to me  from my garden. Even doubling the aperture size only slightly improves it. 
 

if you can,one night with a good forecast drive out to the darkest spot you can. Bortle 3 is usually about as good as you’re gonna get unless you’re in The middle of nowhere. I guarantee you won’t be able to fit m31 into your field of view. 

So strange lol. I'm in Bortle 6 so I really need to try that.

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12 minutes ago, Maideneer said:

So strange lol. I'm in Bortle 6 so I really need to try that.

It’s quite an interesting effect, LP just shrinks it down to the core and you were viewing at moderately high power with a smallish exit pupil which would dim the fainter outer portions, making it appear smaller.

A smaller scope with bigger exit pupil and darker skies and it would look huge, although even then the outer parts are subtle.

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