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SiriusB

Hardest Messier object?

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M108 is a lovely object from a dark site, nice edge on galaxy and can be nicely framed with M97. But like most galalxies, becomes a complete nightmare from an light polluted garden.

M101 from the garden with 15x70's......wish i could do that! :)

Only managed that once, well after midnight (some city lights dimmed), when the sky was very transparent, and it was high up in the north-west (meaning I was looking away from the city). I was rather surprised myself, but (with averted vision) I could definitely see it.

After that, I bounced around the garden a bit, had another look, and jump up and down some more. :eek:

I did manage not to go YEEHAAH!!!!! because the neighbours and the missus would complain.;)

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As I have said before, I found M108 to be very difficult to observe from my back garden (LM ~4.5) with my 8" dob on a good night. I only ever got the faintest hints of it with averted vision and couldn't hold it for long, the surface brightness is quite low and there is no distinct core which explains why I found it tricky to observe because the brightness is spread out quite a bit.

Edited by Hypernova
spelling mistake

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As I have said before, I found M108 to be very difficult to observe from my back garden (LM ~4.5) with my 8" dob on a good night. I only ever got the faintest hints of it with averted vision and couldn't hold it for long, the surface brightness is quite low and there is no distinct core which explains why I found it tricky to observe because the brightness is spread out quite a bit.

It certainly a tricky object and a really dark sky is key. It's an easy object from our dark site with LM 5.5 skies. But from home impossible, my skies are 4.0 on a good night, 2.0 on a bad night (all dependent on the railway yard).

Edited by russ

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Dark nights are key to any galaxy. On bad night even M31 is underwhelming even though still visible. This is why I like to take my C8 out of the city whenever I have time (not enough of course :eek:).

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Dark nights are key to any galaxy. On bad night even M31 is underwhelming even though still visible. This is why I like to take my C8 out of the city whenever I have time (not enough of course :)).

indeed, more dark sky time would be most welcome :eek:

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I normally do my viewing from the western edge of Swindon and my nemesis is M97, this planetary nebula is hard for me to find, even with an OIII filter fitted. Probably my eyes are not as good as they use to be?

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I find M97 is a bit more of a challenge (ranging from quite hard to near impossible) from the garden and really good conditions needed or else i can't see it. The OIII really helps no end but those skies have to be good. From the dark site it's impossible to miss with the OIII. :)

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M97 is a difficult one for me from my suburban garden. I suppose I should get an OIII or UHC filter at some point

Certainly worth the expense. :)

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Certainly worth the expense. :)

I think I am going for the O-III later, as I first want to replace my Celestron LPR filter, which does not work nicely with my 2" back-end.

Which would you prefer: CLS, UHC, or some other LP filter

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I am a total beginner and have not even completed messier catalogue but the hardest object to find was the crab nebula ( using a 4.5 inch telescope with medium or less than medium light polluted skies)

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All things being equal.  Light pollution, equipment and altitude of object...

...M74.

Others may have similar surface brightness e.g. M108, however the lack of brightish nearby stars doesn't help.

Observing them all using star hopping technique is a great way to learn the sky and your equipment.

Cheers

Paul

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A dark site makes all the difference.

From Seething I struggle to see M108 until I've been out for a while, and Ursa Major is quite low too. M74 has been a tough one, it's low enough to be in the murk, but do-able once with my 3 inch 76mm. I'm off to the AstroFarm again in March for another attempt at them all, though M30 will be mission impossible.  M72 was a pain in the backside to see, it needed high power and yet to see the asterism of M73.

The skies in rural France were so much better than here in South Norfolk. 

Good luck all who are trying, saw M79 last week and rejoiced at finding the faint little fuzzie - it's a horizon hugger too from South Norfolk.

Chris

Edited by Cjg
typo
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I'd say the most difficult messier objects for me personally are those furthest south.

M30 in Capricornus, M68 and M83 in Hydra proving elusive still, meaning I'm going to have to travel to a more southerly latitude to view.

I wouldn't say any were particularly difficult (as most I've viewed with an 8" newt or smaller aperture scope) especially once you have become more accomplished in your viewing techniques and the accuracy of your star hopping. 

There are so many wonderful objects that messier missed I just seem to forget most of the time to hunt out the ones I've not viewed.

Edited by mapstar
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Messier 83 was the hardest for me. It just doesn't seem to get above the murk.

Messiers 69 and 70 probably should've been hardest, but I got a lucky clear sky and found them both. I also tend to trawl round Sagittarius a lot during the summer. 

Messier 68 was my last. It seemed to take lots of planning, and I didn't get lucky with a crystal-clear atmosphere. When I did find it, it was pretty clear, though.

M74 wasn't too bad, under a dark sky.

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despite using photography and visual I have still yet to see any sign of M101.....im starting to think it exploded and dissolved into translucent gas!

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The most southern Messiers are very tricky for us in the Northern Hemisphere , M68, M83, M6, M7, M69 and M70.  They also happen to appear when it doesn't get fully dark in late Spring / Summer. M101 gets an honorary mention for having such a low surface brightness. In the past I have spent weeks hunting for these objects ?

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I recently bagged the last one on my list (M83, the southern pinwheel). Even with a southerly sea horizon it was tricky (took me a few years to get it!).

Kev

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6 hours ago, kev100 said:

I recently bagged the last one on my list (M83, the southern pinwheel). Even with a southerly sea horizon it was tricky (took me a few years to get it!).

Kev

Congrats on getting M83, M68 was a tough one to find. Where were you when you saw M83? Am hoping for a holiday to the Greek Isles this year and hope to capture the 5/6 I missed from France. 

Chris

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31 minutes ago, Cjg said:

Congrats on getting M83, M68 was a tough one to find. Where were you when you saw M83? Am hoping for a holiday to the Greek Isles this year and hope to capture the 5/6 I missed from France. 

Chris

Hiya.

I was on the Dorset coast, just to the west of Swanage. Seeing wasn't the best, and the horizon was a bit hazy, but definitely got it.

Kev

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I actually think M101 is quite hard, it is so faint and diffuse and the slightest high level cloud obscures it.

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On 04/01/2011 at 14:16, Hypernova said:

As I have said before, I found M108 to be very difficult to observe from my back garden (LM ~4.5) with my 8" dob on a good night. I only ever got the faintest hints of it with averted vision and couldn't hold it for long, the surface brightness is quite low and there is no distinct core which explains why I found it tricky to observe because the brightness is spread out quite a bit.

M108 was a direct vision object for me. M101 was really difficult due to an extremely low surface brightness.

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Its surprising what a really dark sky with a lower latitude can make to viewing some of these difficult Messier objects. I have only seen M83 once from home with a latitude of 52 degrees North.

A few weeks ago I visited California and was able to view from a dark site on a mountain top. The view of M83 in 12x70 binos was so clear and easy as was M101. 

We deserve a medal sometimes observing in the UK.

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5 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Its surprising what a really dark sky with a lower latitude can make to viewing some of these difficult Messier objects. I have only seen M83 once from home with a latitude of 52 degrees North.

A few weeks ago I visited California and was able to view from a dark site on a mountain top. The view of M83 in 12x70 binos was so clear and easy as was M101. 

We deserve a medal sometimes observing in the UK.

Yes a lot of objects are a lot tougher in the UK, but then again we have objects, such as the Double Cluster that can't be seen from the Southern Hemisphere. Having Polaris as the North Star and the objects we get in the North, we can count ourselves lucky, even if light pollution is a big problem.

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