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ashenlight

M57 problems!

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Hi, I have terrible problem with M57, please help. :D

I've been trying to find it 4 times with no luck. And last two times the sky was purely perfect. It was pitch black and I was able to see a very sharp image of Saturn at 180x (EPs that give me better magnification haven't arrived yet). And my sis that doesn't have crappy eyes as I do was able to see Saturn rings and split Double Double with naked eyes. So I was really hoping to find anything with skies like that. :)

I found Lyra constellation and can without any doubt find M57 area with naked eye. Then I insert my largest EP (25mm) and try to point scope to that place with the help of my default 5х24 finder. The problems start here because the finder is rather inconvenient and in the end I only hope that I pointed to that location. Then I look in EP and start wandering around that area with no luck.

My new EPs are arriving soon and I'll have 40mm among them. Is it a good idea to repeat the same process but with 40mm EP? Will it be of help or I'll just won't be able to see M57 with 40mm EP (my scope is 900m/130mm reflector)? Or do I need to replace the finder afterall? I've been thinking of this but decided to buy EPs first. Will a good finder make a big difference?

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You won't see it in your binos, its too small. Try something around x50 and look for an unfocused star rather than a large object.

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Crovax, have you ever tried using a red-dot finder? It's non-magnifying and makes it a lot easier to get into the area of your intended target. :)

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Wow, yeah, now I am considering it. I don't understand why I didn't get one before. I guess somewhere deep inside my head I've been thinking about finderscope as a next level tool after red dot finder. So the idea that it will help didn't cross my conscious part of the mind. Now I am starting to see that red dot is most probably much easier to deal with when you're hunting invisible targets. And finderscope is better for visible targets (after I've perfected the aligning of finderscope I was able to start viewing Saturn with 10mm+barlow without going through 25mm etc) :)

Thanks for the help! I'll write back as soon as I get one and find my first DSO.

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Have you found it yet, Amanda?

I've recently decided to leave the goto mount alone and find everything manually - and I've really been enjoying it.

Strangely, even in my light polluted skies, I've had no trouble finding M57. It's half way between Sheliak and Sulafat, south of Vega. Perhaps I've been lucky.

More likely, it's the Quikfinder that really makes the difference. I can't recommend them enough. The blinking circular sight is even better than a red dot, IMHO.

The other night I had a list of a dozen DSOs and found them all. I'm not that skilled, but with the combination of Turn Left at Orion, Starmap (iPhone) and Quikfinder, it's hard to go wrong. I also find the 38mm Panaview very useful for finding stuff.

For real precision, I've recently purchased a scope mounted Celestron laser finder. Although shunned at starparties, I find this amazingly useful. No problems knowing where you're pointing the scope with one of these...

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I have a red dot and an optical finder mounted all the time. The red dot is good for getting into the general area AND also making sure on GoTo slews that the scope is in fact in the right area (its very useful during the alignment phase I find) - the optical finder is better for centering and more precise stuff plus you can make out some fainter objects with it.

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Amanda, I didn't like to say it earlier but now Mick has spilt the beans, I found it no problem in the 12 inch. Mind, I did cheat and use the argo navis, but the point I'm trying to make is that it was easily visible and fairly large in the 12.5mm EP.

Mind I understand your frustration, I struggled for a while with M51, and then when I saw it for the first time, I was asking myself how I had missed it so often. It's all down to experience, I can put M31 in the EP every time now I know where to look.

Crovax, have you considered a Rigel Quick finder ? Flo do them for about the same price as a standard RDF but I find them much easier to use as they stand higher up on the OTA than the old RDF.

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Uhhh....it's the first time I see such a thing so no, I haven't considered it yet. :D Actually I am a little lost...how does it work? From the description I found that it cretes red circles on its screen and I don't get what makes it different from red dot finder then.:)

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Have you found it yet, Amanda?

Nope, been cloudy cloudy cloudy. Beautiful during the day, but horrible low grey stuff after about 11pm. Tonight is looking good though taken the scope downstairs already:)

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Update: clouds have cleared and it's looking gooooood!

Reckon you'll find it tonight, Amanda.

Only trouble is, 11:30 and it's still not dark. And I've got work tomorrow, so need an early night.

I think this really is a winter sport...

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Basically the Quickfinder projects 2 circles of 1/2 a degree and 2 degrees onto te sky. This makes it easier to star hop from a given object if you know the seperation angle between the two objects.

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Oh, I see. And does it make a big difference? I found out that my local shops don't have this thing. Also I wasn't able to find it at ebay. This means that I'll have to google a lot to find a shop that ships to my country and then I'll have to wait for it around two weeks. On the other hand I can go and buy red dot finder right away. So I wonder if the quickfinder is much better then red dot?

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Crovax, if the red dot is properly aligned with your eyepiece view, you'll get into your target area easily enough... just use whatever one of your eyepieces gives you the widest field of view. If the target isn't in the field, just slowly scan around a bit. :)

Here's how i use the red-dot. I begin by locating my target on a star chart (like the Pocket Sky Atlas) and study the pattern of some of the brighter stars in the area. There's usually a geometric shape like a triangle or rectangle that i can visually lock onto. Then i hold the chart up to the sky, and using that star pattern, i find the spot in the sky where the red dot needs to go.

It took a bit of practice, but i can get the target into my eyepiece's field of view about 90 percent of the time using that method. My scope's an f/10 8" SCT, and the eyepiece used is a 32mm Plossl which gives me a 47' field of view (the Moon is 30').

Btw, what kind of scope do you have, and how's your sky.. light polluted, or fairly dark?

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Thanks much for the help! I have a netbook and laptop with star software so locating the approximate area is not a problem. While I've been trying to find M57, M13, and M31 I perfectly studied the geometry of that areas and I am sure I know where the objects are. All begins when it comes to finderscope. It's very inconvenient to look in it and it does some magnification so I simply don't recognize the sky in it.

I believe my skies are perfect. I am viewing from my country house and there is around 10-20 dim lampposts on the whole village (and it is a large one). I am not sure how to measure the quality of skies but last time my tests on sis (I have too bad eyes for checking that myself) indicated that she sees Saturn rings and Double Double without any tools. A bit later I'll check if she sees Jovian moons and Venus crescent. Also at around 1am Milky Way becomes visible as a big line crossing the whole sky.

My scope is skywatcher 1309 (900mm focus length and 130mm primary mirror). I believe I shouldn't have problems with seeing such objects in the scope however I don't know which EPs make sense. I've finally got my ebay order today and now I have a set of 6 EPs and Barlow but I am not sure if I manage to recognize that objects in 40mm for example. Also I am not sure if my 40mm wins vs 25mm widefield but I'll check that on the moon this weekend.

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Oh, I see. And does it make a big difference? I found out that my local shops don't have this thing. Also I wasn't able to find it at ebay. This means that I'll have to google a lot to find a shop that ships to my country and then I'll have to wait for it around two weeks. On the other hand I can go and buy red dot finder right away. So I wonder if the quickfinder is much better then red dot?

I got my Rigel Quikfinder from FLO. Also got the extra battery pack. They are incredibly efficient and generally deliver the next day in the UK. Not sure where you are, but hopefully wouldn't take too much longer.

Finders - Rigel QuikFinder Compact Reflex Sight

Another advantage of this that you can adjust the brightness, but also the blink rate of the reticule. This is really useful. It's very easy to align a targeting circle that slowly pulses, because you get a clear view of what you're looking at.

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Well, unfortunately I am located in Ukraine. That's eastern europe and the only normal way for buying things that I can't find in local shops (or things that are super-overpriced) is ebay. For example I've been waiting 2 weeks for my EPs from China and with my impatience that's eternity. :) And in this case when I can't find them on ebay, I'll also have to sum up time and effort that I'll spend on finding a rare shop that ships worldwide. So if this device makes a big difference I'll gladly go through that in order to get things fixed but if red dot finder does almost the same work, I'll better go this way because I can just go to the shop and have it in 15 mins. Then I'll be able to start hunting for objects this weekend already!:D

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Hope you have clear skies in the Ukraine!

If it's so difficult getting stuff posted to you, I'd go with a red dot finder.

It's all down to personal preference.

Personally, I find optical magnifying finders awkward to use.

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Yeah, after the month of rains we at last have cool skies and I can't wait till next weekend! :)

Actually I thought red dot does not magnify...or am I mistaken? From what I currently understand the difference between the devices is that quickfinder creates circles and red dot creates a don only.

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Cool, I've contacted FLO and they seem to be willing to ship to Ukraine. They even guessed my nickname on this forum lol :D

By the way I don't see any kind of screws on the quickfinder. How do you align it then? :) I mean the process when you point scope at some distant ground object and center the finderscope. Also will I be able to attach it to my skywatcher reflector with the things supplied with the scope or finder? Or do I need to buy some additional thing?

Also I am a little confused about the optional "Finder with AA batt-holder & 2x baseplates (+£6.00)". What is actually a batt-holder? Is it the battery that can be seen in the image?

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Hi Crovax

The quikfinder has 3 knobs on the front which allow you to align the reticule. It's very easy to use.

It comes with two bases into which the finder clips. One is for small diameter scopes, the other is for larger ones. They are attached to the OTA with sticky pads.

If you align them carefully so that the bases are parallel to the OTA, you won't have a problem. In fact, i can swap the finder betwen my two scopes and the reticule is perfectly aligned on both scopes and needs no adjustment.

You are correct - traditional red dot finders don't magnify the image. i was talking about optical finders eg. 5 x 30. I think they work well on dobs. On my equatorial mount, I never seem to be able to be able to get a clear view through them without being a contortionist!

The guys at FLO are very good. They won't let you down. :)

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I was able to find M57 quite easily a few nights ago, but I was surprised how small it appeared at 53x magnification. However I was still able to distinguish its ring shape.

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Oh, I absolutely forgot to return here and thank everyone for quickfinder advice. It's pure awesomness. :) Now I can't even hold in my head all the objects I usually find per session :grin: I already saw M57 and many many other stuff

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