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After seeing a couple of easy DSO's I wanted to start finding and observing some Messier objects, galaxies in particular.

However, I can't seem to find anything.

Recently, I was trying to spot M51 and M101, which are (apparently) quite easy objects. I knew where to look so I pointed my scope at them (or where i thought they were) and looked. Nothing. Has anyone got any advice on finding things?

Thanks

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personally id say go for m42 orion nebula, everytime i look out my window im like aahh there she is the great orion nebula, its easy to realise where it is and what do you mean you cant see anything do you mean that there is no 'star' visible through your ep? or you just cant see the full detail of what you are really looking at?

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It will be difficult to observe any DS0s tonight as the Moon will wash out the sky with its shear brightness. I recommend a software package called STELLARIUM a lot of people on this forum use it although there are others.

Alan, North Lincs

Celestron CPC 925

Celestron Nextstar 6se

Vixen LV 40

Tele Vue Radian 18

Tele Vue Radian 12

Tele Vue Nagler T6 9

Canon 1000D

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I suspect that the Messiers that make up the Orion nebula you have already located. It is simply very easy being big and relatively bright.

For the others wander round the net and locate a list of Messiers (Wikipedia has one but there are a few). The RASC and the Irish Astro Soc have a observation program for Messiers so may be worth locating. Pick the brighter ones.

After that make sure that the finder scope is aligned with the main scope. The scope will have a narrow field of view. I presume that you are starting out with the 28mm EP first? Remember though that with the 28mm the image will be "brighter" but also smaller, it's a trade off.

Get a book that gives a good guide to the constellation and the messier objects located within it.

If possible have a look with a set of binoculars first. I find that they compare well to a finder scope view. Also it give an idea of where and what you can expect to see.

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Unless you have dark skies I wouldn't class M51 and M101 as easy. For starter galaxies, try M81 and M82 instead, quite a bit easier I reckon.

Regards

Richard

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It will be very difficult to find much with the moon being so bright at the mo, if you are star hopping to find your targets then you will need to move the scope around slowly to find the object, remember you are seeing a very small portion of the night sky and in looking for faint fuzzies it is very easy to go right by them without spotting them.

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M101 is really trying in my opinion, M51 less so. M81. M82 are way easier, and all are high up in the sky. Of course, early on you might still get a peep at M31 (easy) and M32 (trickier). Later at night M65/M66 are OK but at the moment too close to the moon. M1 (Crab nebula) should be OK, small but decent surface brightness.

Later in the year you have the smorgasbord of the Coma/Virgo cluster to scan through. I often don't bother too much about which objects I get (except M87) and just trawl through the region picking up galaxy after galaxy. Even with my old 6" Newt I sometimes had 4 or 5 DSOs in a single field of view.

Good hunting!

Michael

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