Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_dslr_mirrorlesss.thumb.jpg.5b348d6a5e7f27bdcb79e9356b7fc03b.jpg

AlexF

Another hunt for Andromeda

Recommended Posts

I just got my new scope this past weekend and finally got a break in the clouds so I could look at something other than Jupiter with my stock 25mm EP. I surprised myself by finding Cassiopeia and then Polaris to position my mount. Just last month I couldn't tell you where it was. Again I used Cassiopeia as a reference and BAM! There's Pegasus. I had no idea it would be that big in the sky.

I've known since installing Stellarium that the Andromeda Galaxy was at the tip of one of Pegasus' legs. So I pulled out my binoculars and gave it a shot. Again, I surprised myself by star-hopping to the end, and what's that? I couldn't focus on this thing above the last star. Maybe?

Getting to that spot with the telescope was a lot harder as it seemed like ages between stars, and it didn't help that it was inverted. I got to it. It was very faint, but it was there. It still seemed too small to be Andromeda as Stellarium portrayed it. After consulting Stellarium with some of the stars I was seeing.

Turns out it was M32 I was looking at. I guess I have too much light pollution to see any kind of glare from Andromeda. Would it help if I got some kind of filter, or are galaxies and nebula only meant for cameras with long exposures?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Alex, if you can see M32 you should definitely see Andromeda Galaxy (M31). M31 is much bigger and brighter in the eyepiece, but will still only really appear as a smudge. Try using low power eye pieces to start with.

This link may also prove useful,

eSky: Andromeda Galaxy

carl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that you were looking at M31 - In a 'normal' size telescope it is very faint

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alex, all you will see of M31 is the core with M32 and M110 close by but a lot further out than you would think looking at the picutres of the galaxy. M31 is a bit of a disappointment through a telescope and probably best observed through binoculars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was using my only EP (25mm) at mag 30. And didn't see any thing other than the small smudge. I definitely didn't see anything other than a very faint, small smudge in my binoculars. I'm right next to a moderately-sized city (see here), so I'm going to chalk another loss to light pollution.

Fortunately I have a membership to a field in that blue pocket to the west. I can't wait for that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

M31 is naked eye here.....

It would be an oval smear in bins or small scope to you... so sounds like you may have got there.... rather than m32..

you have to remember the images you see here and elsewhere are nothing like what you will observe visually.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of people dont realise that when they are observing M31 it is infact filling up the whole field of view (and further). However visibly, you just see the core which makes the object seem much smaller than it really is. In my 10" reflector I tend to only start seeing parts of the outer structure in the Autumn when its high overhead (it fills up the whole FOV of my 2" 32mm eyepeice then.

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked at it again last night and drew it in my new journal (w00t?). It was a terrible sketch and after taking it inside and comparing surrounding stars to those on a star chart, I STILL couldn't confirm it.

Then I took a picture I found on the net and inverted it. Well there's my problem! :) I'm going to have to get an erecting prism. Perhaps this is why I feel so lost when using my telescope compared to binoculars.

Also, a point of light I marked as a star seems to be M32. Thanks for the motivation, guys!

Any tips on how to sketch fuzzies with a pen?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would advise against an erecting prism - there is no need as in space there is no 'up' The images you have seen on the web will just have been rotated to give the most pleasing look to the image. Also an erecting prism will loose some light due to it not trasnmitting all the light that hits it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'll just have to read a star map upside down when looking through the scope? Ehh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it is a bit of an art. I find Andromeda by using one of the bright stars behind Pegasus then going up to a bright but slightly fainter star up again to another obvious but fainter star and the blob off the right and up a bit is Andromeda...

Not very descriptive but it works for me...

M32 should look like a small fuzzy star on the far side of a pair of "normal" stars which are at the edge of the main M31...

Have you tried looking at the double cluster yet. It is under the left side of cassiopea and even in polluted skies should be awesome in your 25mm lens and 150mm scope..

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would advise against an erecting prism - there is no need as in space there is no 'up' The images you have seen on the web will just have been rotated to give the most pleasing look to the image. Also an erecting prism will loose some light due to it not trasnmitting all the light that hits it.

Yes, actually there is a need. Some of our brains are wired differently, and we find it impossible to do the mental gymnastics needed when using a 'regular' diagonal.

This may sound very strange to those of you who don't have this problem, but my brain absolutely refuses to flip things for me. For example, when i drive somewhere, i need to write out two sets of directions.. one to get there, and another one to get back home.

It's something i've learned to cope with in my everyday life. But when navigating the night sky, i honestly couldn't care less if what i'm using is less than perfect for someone else. For me, a correct image diagonal is a godsend and i'd advise anyone with my problem to purchase one asap. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, actually there is a need. Some of our brains are wired differently, and we find it impossible to do the mental gymnastics needed when using a 'regular' diagonal.

I quite agree with you - I don't want to be sexist here, but I know women can have more of a problem with spatial awareness than men - because of the different ways our brains work. I know I really struggle to picture the flipped image of what I am seeing in my EP. :)

Steph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you heard the song 'You should never let a woman drive?' Very funny ina light hearted way!

Contains the lines: -

'If you ever let a bird revers, you're going to end up in a hearse' and;

'If your driver's name is Cherly, you're in grave and mortal peril, if you want to leave the car alive, never let a woman drive.'

I am qualified to say these things, as I readily accept SWMBO is a better driver than me (not a better navigator, just a driver). This is bourne out by her 2 accidents to my 15 and counting (I do a lot of miles a year though, in my feeble defence!)

Back on topic, if it works for you, then get a correct image for your scope. I often have to llok at which way the RA and Dec controls move the scope to remind myself, before putting an eye to the EP!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always located M31 by using Cassiopeia rather than pegasus or andromeda...

Look for schedar at the right (to me anyway) hand point of the 'W' and follow the direction it points out about as far as the length of the full 'W'...

jiggle (technical term) a bit to the right and you are in the right area.

Perseus' sword is also pointing approximately at M31

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can do the backwards directions most of the time, but not all the time. I'm still considering on getting it. Pay day is tomorrow! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve I also use Cassiopeia the same way you do, I believe you can also draw an imaginary line from Polaris through the centre of Cassiopeia out towards Andromeda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you draw a line 2 million light years long then you will be standing next tow it and it will be awesome...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am talking about locating by eyeball or bins really, but a finderscope will be fine just the same and if aligned to main scope correctly you should be there...

I think if we were to wait long enough M31 will swallow us up! Or is it us swallow M31 up? (Maybe i made that up!!)

to become an even bigger galaxy.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cassiopeia method works for me. I spent most of last winter looking for M31 and failing. I spotted it for the first time with my binoculars while waiting for meteors in the Perseid meteor shower. Nailed it with a telescope this week - sadly the clouds rolled in 5 minutes later. It helps to have a short focal length telescope. A WOZS66 does the job well despite it's small size. No doubt something with a bigger aperture will show more detail. It appears as a surprisingly large smudge in the ZS66.

Talitha I sympathise with your problems. I don't have any problems 'flipping' but can't make the jump between what I see in a finder scope, the sky and the telescope. They just look so different I can't make sense of it, the RDF was invented for me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.