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First night using new scope


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So I managed to get outside for an hour tonight with my new scope. After polar alignment I quickly worked out how to move the EQ1 mount to look at stars that I wanted to see, but I did struggle a little looking for things that I couldn't see with the naked eye, like M31. I guess that will come with practise. I found it eventually and it looked a lot brighter than it does through my 10x40's. I also looked at the stars in Mel20 and around Perseus and Andromeda. Still can't find M33 though, hopefully one day. I also ended up with the eye piece in a couple of awkward positions (mostly when looking at The Plough), but I was warned about this so I was expecting it.

All in all a good (albeit short) nights viewing. Does anyone have any good tips for looking for things that aren't visible to the naked eye (like galaxies and so on) or is it just a case of practise until I get it right?

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.... Does anyone have any good tips for looking for things that aren't visible to the naked eye (like galaxies and so on) or is it just a case of practise until I get it right?

Glad your 1st session went well. M33 is much fainter than you would expect - easily drowned out by any light pollution or moonglow. Wait for a really dark sky and don't expect much - a faint patch of light really.

To find the fainter objects I'd suggest a red dot type finder (preferrably a Telrad) and a low power eyepiece. You can then get the scope pointing in generally the right spot with the RDF and use the low power eyepiece to actually locate it.

Also research on what the object you are looking for actually looks like with a scope of the type you are using if you can - with some objects it's easy to be looking straight at them without realising it !.

Edited by John
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Hi Pete - good to hear your first report with the new scope. A good way to find stuff is to use the main stars in constellations. For M31 I take the top left corner star of the great square in pegasus. Hop two to the left and slightly up, then sharp turn up at 90 degrees to scan for M31. Alternatively the sharp point of the "W" in cass points directly down to M31.

Takes a while to get used to finding stuff that way - but persevere and it'll come eventually. Use Stellarium to pick your pointer stars. :)

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Hi jahmanson. I do have a red dot finder and a 25mm eyepiece. I think I just need more practise with it. Hopefully if it's clear tomorrow night I'll have another go.:)

Hi brantuk. I'm definitely liking the 1145p so far. I did want the 130p, but lack of funds meant I had to get the smaller model. It still seems a good scope though, so I think it was money well spent. I'll have another try at M31 and M33 using your method tomorrow night if it's clear.:mad:

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If you can find M31 then you should also be able to make out M32 as a nearby "fuzzy star" (should be in the same field of view) and the fainter M110 also very nearby. Actually you may well be able to get all 3 in the same field of view with your scope. M110 is much fainter than M31 and M32 though. They are all galaxies (sorry you probably knew that !).

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I use Stellarium and a RDF - i use stars that i can see with the naked eye as a guide and then, say "well according to stellarium, the object i want is half way between those two stars and right a bit" and then aim my RDF in that area. Sometimes I find the object straight away, sometimes I need to have a little scan around that area before i find it.

W

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