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Simms

Trouble finding the M101 (Pinwheel galaxy).

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Caught M101 from a dark site in the New Forest. Very pleased with the view in 15x70 binoculars. Like M33 this is a dark sky target to get the most out of

Nick.

Edited by cotterless45

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I agree with all that's been said. M51 is a lot brighter than M101 in the eyepiece. from home even with the 16" it's only possible to glimpse the core, from a dark site, it is really quite bright relatively speaking of course!

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I could actually see M101 through my 9x50 finder at the SGLX star party. Thats a first for me !

I've seen it vaguely from by back yard with 10" and 12" scopes but it was starting to look really interesting in the dark Herefordshire sky :smiley:

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Easy to find: Suppose Mizar  and Benetnash (eta u.majoris) are diagonally opposite corners of a square. M101 is then on one of the other corners of the same square. It is easy to use a red-dot finder to line up on this spot.

From my moderately light polluted garden, I can only ever make out M101 under exceptional conditions: M101 near the zenith, excellent transparency and no moon. In my TV101 it is not much more than a smudge. I always look for it in decent conditions because it is easy to  point the scope at and on the odd occasion that I can actually see I know that the conditions are truly top notch. For comparison, if the conditions are exceptional and M31 is near the zenith it is just possible to discern the core with direct vision.

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Interesting stuff in this thread! 

I was able to find M51 with my scope too at 15x, 4.0mm exit pupil. From the notes in my log: "Whirlpool Galaxy. From UMA-Alkaid, move south to 24CVn. Continue on that direction until HIP65768. This forms a triangle with HIP66004 and HIP66116. They are all 7mag stars. HIP65768 is the brightest in the area. M51 lies externally of the line between HIP65768 and HIP66004. Averted vision for 10min is required. You will see a grey patch. No structure."

I tried but have not found M101 yet!

Look forward to trying again! And thankfully tonight is clear here! Yippie!  :rolleyes:

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