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What is the easiest Galaxy to find/see ?


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Haven't had much luck with Galaxies and find i just sit up waiting for saturn or the moon when i am able to view..

I know i need to get one of those devices which give me the location im looking at as to adjust to where i need to be as i cant make head nor tail of what im seeing and which way to move..

Currently have a 6.5mm & 25mm Plossl, tried the m51 but without luck and just get fed up..

I start with the 25mm obviously then move in with 6.5

Apart from amdromeda which is too low for me by night, what is the closest biggest to be able to view plz?

Thanks

Stu

Edited by 12inchDoB
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Galaxies can take a bit of time to find and see. In theory M51 should be well visible with your dob and a 25mm ep. Are you seeing the right pattern of stara in the region of M51, stellarium and it's occular plugin helps a lot here. Once you've configured it for your scope and ep's, it will display the view you're supposed to see in the correct orientation (upsidedown etc.), check the star patterns with the view in your scope but be patient, the moon and planets are relatively easy to view, the faint fuzzies are called that for a reason.

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Hi Stu

You will be able to see quite a few galaxies with a 12" dob but they will vary from fuzzy and faint to extremely fuzzy and faint. wonderful to see though.

the easiest to see current are M81 and M82 which are right overhead in Ursa Major (the plough). The moon will wash out any faint DSOs like these so if you can. look on a moonless night but you should see these two at least even when the moon is half full or less.

generally lower power is better for galaxy hunting but you can sometimes move in with more power. you'd get M81 and M82 in the same feld probably with your 25mm.

to find M81 and 82, you can start with binoculars. they are often easy to see with these first and get your bearings. this gives good maps Messier Maps and UMa is on map 4. M65/M66 in Leo are in an easy position and also fit in the same field but are somewhat fainter. see these and you'll then know what to look for. any hint of light pollution is not great for galaxies but I see quite a few (even some NGC ones) from home near Manchester (9 miles) and Stockport (3 miles) with even a 6" dob (I have a 12" too) and with a half full moon. I could even see M51 and the associated NGC the other night but they where very faint.

Edited by Moonshane
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I'd go with M81/M82 as they are as far away from moon interference you can get at the moment. They can just be seen in the same fov with my 32mm plossl so maybe with your 25mm will not be seen together. Good luck

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Thanks Guys,

I need a view finder and was hoping my f5 with a decent barlow would get in close enough to see it as plain as day..

Ill check out M81/M82, im still hounded by bright street lighting (still Herts county council haven't fixed it) and badly pitted mirrors..

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What kind of finder have you got? A straight through finder which inverts AND presents an object back to front is not the easiest tool to use let alone find anything. I guess on a dobsonian, a straight through type will also prove uncomfortable during a whole nights viewing as your head will have lie next to the scope and create neck strain. I find a right angled viewer an improvement as it presents only a back to front image a little better. Alternatively, you could try a Telrad finder (red dot/circle) which allows you to place the scope intuitively very close to the target area by allowing you to have one eye on the sky (as it might appear in a sky map) and the other on the 'gun sight' to place the scope just where it is needed. At that point I would then start going through the eyepieces till you secure the object in view.

Clear skies

James

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Unfortunately Items including my finder were lost in the house move.

I'm basically lining up the 3 screw caps which gives me a close proximity but

I can't see what I'm looking for.

That laser device is my best option I think.

Yea I use Stellarium which if accurate suggests I should see

M51 on the basis I can see the gap in the ring on Saturn

with a 6.5mm EP. I just can't seem to find any Fuzzy ones, just plain White dots as though I'm looking up myself.

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I've seen a post here a few weeks back where someone used a light/torch set over the eyepiece as a pointer. It turns your scope into a big spotlight, you just point the beam at the bit of sky you want to see and hey presto you're all lined up. I'd suggest trying it with a fairly dim red light rather than a bright white torch mind you, no sense blinding those vulcans!

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Hi Stu - for around thirty quid you can add a setting circle to the base of your dob and a "Wixey" angle guage. Then you can read the co-ordinates from Stellarium or Cartes du Ciel and point the scope straight at your target. It's a surprisingly accurate system :)

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I like M81 and M82 because you've got 2 different shaped galaxies in close proximity. I can get both galaxies in view together and they make a nice contrast.

When the moon disappears you've also got M95, M96 and M65,M66 in Leo.

Also in Virgo there is a cluster of galaxies.

Simon

Edited by cyborg421
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Hi Stu - for around thirty quid you can add a setting circle to the base of your dob and a "Wixey" angle guage. Then you can read the co-ordinates from Stellarium or Cartes du Ciel and point the scope straight at your target. It's a surprisingly accurate system :)

Hi Brantuk, where can i buy one of these setting circles please?

Al

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I'd go with M81/M82 as they are as far away from moon interference you can get at the moment. They can just be seen in the same fov with my 32mm plossl so maybe with your 25mm will not be seen together. Good luck

Agreed.

Olly

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Until you sort your finderscope (even better In combination with a red dot) you're going to continue to be frustrated.

The moon at the moment will make galaxy hunting very difficult, but there's plenty to see besides which IMO offer better views: open clusters, glob clusters...

Regarding setting circles: if you search the forum you can find links to websites where you can download templates. But if you have a wixey and you can point your dob in the right ballpark, slowly sweeping the AZ makes finding objects very easy. So much so I stopped using mine as it removed all the challenge, with a wixey and an iPhone I found about 20 messiers in an hour.

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I also suggest M94 which can be found using the two bright stars of Canes Vanetici. It is a third of the way up between the stars and a bit left...technical I know..

Its a round galaxy but very bright and high ish at the moment to the SE so perhaps another to try for..

Good luck!

Mark

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Hi Stu

First thing to do is get yourself a finder.

Optical or a Telrad you won't find diddly without one.

Then wait till the Moon gets dimmer.

Second is get your scope out from under those pesky street lights Galaxies hate street lights. As do all scopes.

Make sure your eyes are fully dark adapted too.

With a combination of Finder, Dark skies, star atlas and a 12" Dob you should have no problems observing countless Galaxies.

Regards Steve

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