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AlexF

Could someone suggest some targets?

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Hello again.

I'm probably not going to be able to afford any accessories for my new scope for a little while, but until then, could you guys suggest some targets?

Right now I only have a 25mm EP with a 6" 750mm scope (30x). No filters, no barlow, nothing else.

I was hoping to see IC1805 (the Heart nebula) tonight with the break in the clouds, but I'm worried that I won't be able to see it without a narrowband filter.

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Good places to start are always the planets.

Try Jupiter - unmissable as the bright 'star' due south at about 9pm BST. Also, the moon when it shows it's face is another excellent target. Get a copy of the virtual moon atlas that comes from the same site as Stellarium and drink in all those gorgeous craters.

M31 in another good target, although it can be frustrating if you have light polluted skies. Not much more than a grey smudge, but it's a galaxy and it's 2.2 million light years awat IIRC.

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hi i found the cluster in hercules very easy to find, but i agree with "the thing" planets and the moon are the best places to start im still a beginner and finding the planets were much easier to begin with, do you have stellerium i found that a huge help to me , but yeah take a look a jupiter amazing planet.

kelly

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Hello Alex,

There are plenty of things you could be getting on with just your telescope and 30x mag - it'll give you the perfect opportunity to practice finding objects. With my telescope + 25mm EP, I get 26x mag, so I will let you know what looks good through my 25mm EP :o

First off, Jupiter would be a great place to start. You'll be able to see a small, slightly flattened looking disk and the 4 largest Jovian moons. You can use this link to work out which moon is which - enter in the details and you'll get a labelled diagram.

M31 is another good object and you will definitely need a wide FOV for this. Use a star map to locate it. You'll just see the bright core, but it is an awesome sight.

M81 and M82 are a favourite pairing of galaxies for me. Some people find them a tad tricky to find although with a little practice (and that all important wide FOV) you should be OK. They are quite well placed this month too, higher above the horizon than they have been. They should appear in the same FOV giving you a perfect opportunity to compare the contrasting shapes and brightness.

Kelly's suggestions of M13 in Hercules is another beauty. You'll pick it up a third of the way down the right side of the Keystone asterism. It'll be a fuzzy white blob. You may not be able to make out any individual stars but it is well worth the effort.

M57 is a fairly easy target to locate that will benefit from a view in a wide FOV - it can be tricky to find at higher mag (IMHO). Use the bottom two stars in Lyra, position your finder half way an dlook out for the grey, elliptical smudge. With averted vision you may be able to make out the doughnut shape.

How about some open clusters? Your wide FOV gives you ample opportunity to soak some of these up. Here's a few you can try out:

M52 in Cassiopeia

Double cluster in Perseus (you can use Cassiopeia to find this, always found that route a little easier)

The coathanger cluster - you can find this in the Summer Triangle

M45, the Pleaides

I hope this helps :)

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hey ashenlight m81 m82 whats that like might try and find it tonight if the sky is clear , its tricky to find, how trickey im up to that challenge

kelly

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Andromeda Galaxy is easy to find lying between Cassiopiea and Andromeda. Have a look at at Albireo in Cygnus ( a very nice double), Mizar (see if you can split it, there are actually 4 stars), M45 Plieades is now nice and high at about 3am to the South (see how many stars you can count), Explore Orion which is now rising in the East at about 3am. Mars is also rising in the East at about 2.30am. that should keep you busy for a while,

Carl

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Hi Kelly :o

Some people - as I was - seem to just get lucky with M81 and M82. I didn't find it tricky to find at all, although others have struggled with getting in the right place. Have a look at this:

File:M81 3.png - AstroPedia

The constellation in the lower left hand corner is Ursa Major, you can see the pan of the Plough asterism. This will be near enough lying flat across the NE horizon tonight and so M81 and M82 are fairly well placed to find. Trace the diagonal through gamma to alpha and then out for the same distance. Position your RDF (or whatever finder you have) over the spot and use the lowest mag you have - that's the highest number eyepiece. I am usually successful with a 25mm EP. Make sure you are dark adapted, this'll help you pick them up. Use averted vision and look out for an elliptical smudge and a streak of light near by, they should fit nicely into the FOV given by a 25mm EP, if you have one :)

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Hi i have just got a 5" scope and asked the same question a couple days ago this list was given to me (appologies i cant remember who gave it to me :D)

M31

M27

M57

M13

M45

Alberio

Hope this helps :o

:)

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If you don't already have it, buy Turn Left At Orion, a great book which will help loads, worth it's weight in gold. If your lucky nip down to your local library as they may have it in, if not, ask them to obtain it for you. Amazon is also worth checking for a copy.

carl

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In fact, it should be a mandatory package with all new scopes!

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My copy finally arrived yesturday! i got it off amazon they have some in at the moment. :o

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Hey guys.

I was looking for that nebula for about 45 minutes last night with no luck. I believe I was in the right area, but it just wasn't there. I would've stayed out longer, but a roach flew onto my leg and kind of ruined it for me (bleh).

I've looked at Jupiter and can make out 2 bands, and I'm still waiting on the Moon to come around. I've seen M31 as well. :o Just a smudge here.

I've looked in 3 different bookstores and none of them carry that Turn Left at Orion book. Trust me, I was looking for that book before I even got my scope. :) I got the Sky&Telecope Atlas instead. I'm finding that a little difficult to navigate when I see something in the sky and want to look it up in the book. The whole coordinate system is whacked to me seeing how one part of it is constantly changing, and there's no way to convert it to what you see on the charts.

So far I've only mastered finding Polaris, Ursa Minor/Major, Pegasus/Andromeda, and Cassiopeia. I'm working on Draco and Hercules now. :D

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I borrowed TLAO from my local library and, just to buck the trend, I found it too simple and a little patronising. It'd be great for a complete novice, but if you already know the basics it'd be one of those books you just 'flick through.'

I'd just recommend a good star map (like S@N magazine's monthly starmap). Although YMMV.

It sounds like you're off to a great start Alex and you are finding your way around the sky with relative ease. Those are excellent constellations to learn first, they will get you almost anywhere in the sky you want to go to. I took a year to learn the sky - you get to see everything from your own location then. Observe inbetween by all means but just take your time, season by season :o It'll set you in good stead for all those years to come - astronomy is a lifelong hobby, IMO.

Mick (Doc) has linked you to a fantastic resource there, written by his own fair hand :) How about printing off a chosen constellation and having a hop around with your scope? Cassiopeia would be a good place to start :D

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Amanda,

I think you're on your own there! The exception that proves the rule maybe? Still the world would be a boring place if we all agreed and I see your point of view.

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It sounds to me to be pretty hard to see the nebulosity of IC 1805 in anything smaller than 12" - and probably you will need something bigger to see the heart.

The open cluster Melotte 15 should be achievable in a 6" - i expect.

I must admit i have not tried to see it, but will attempt if there is a good night...

/callump

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I prefer Sue French's Celestial Sampler and Robert Garfinkles Starhopping to TLO - personally.

/callump

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I borrowed TLAO from my local library and, just to buck the trend, I found it too simple and a little patronising. It'd be great for a complete novice, but if you already know the basics it'd be one of those books you just 'flick through.'

splutter splutter ...spits tea over monitor ... TLAO is THE BEST (and I don't put things in big green caps lightly...). I still love to browse through it because as well as the 100 main objects, there's at least another hundred little interesting bits'n pieces. mine is all dog-eared and covered in grass and dew stains... maybe if you went back to it you could increase your M count to 10 :)

sorry :o

is it cos it's written by a jesuit monk ?

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Firstly, the targets provided so far are great. :o And I would like to add that I would imagine the Plaedies are great to study at that sort of power and arpeture (if your prepared to star up fairly late atm), as are the Cassiopia clusters.

Secondly, I'd like to add that I think your own copy of TLAO is a worthwhile investment, best £15 I ever spent.

Thirdly, what the heck does YMMV mean?! :)

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