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What is the easiest Galaxy to find/see ?

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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 :)

Do I need to have a level surface to use a Wixey digital angle gauge?



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Lol Ken, you're more eager than me.

I read it is important to be on level sturdy ground as it will move.

it moves on 2 axis. i think (please say if im wrong). but the wixy will just show the angle of the tube. if the gound is moving then so will the tube.

I usually have mine on my decking, when my missus or kids come out, it starts wobbling all over the show.

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not necessarily as you can 'reset' the angle to nil as required. better if you can though.

what you do need to do is use alt azimuth co-ordinates and not declination / right ascension.

I "think" i read that i can convert Stellarium stats to line up with the (angle / declination) i would get from wixy?


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I had the very same problem - I bought a compass, a planetsphere, a star map app on my windows 7 phone and was reading Turn left a orion like crazy. No luck -

Then I downloaded Stellarium and found 4 Messier objects in the first night (which is good for me) It is a great program and sooooooo easy to use.

If you can have your laptop near your scope- and you know which way N/S/E/W is your laughing.

Good Luck

Edited by costeveol
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@12inchDoB, first up start to look for the open and globular clusters, they are numerous and easy to see this time of year, i suggest M35, M36, M37 and M38 as they are clustered together (pretty much)...i can see them with my crappy 4.5" reflector and **** EP's...you will get a much better view.

you can buy a wixey from first light optics (Misc’ - Wixey digital angle gauge) for £27.06.

if you download Stellarium and click on a star it will show you the following "Az/Alt:" then it has a series of numbers, i.e for arcturus at about 22:30 tonight from my location it says:-

Az/Alt: +119° 02'10''/+46° 41'40''

that means that you would angle your tube to (remember to convert from minutes into degrees) +46.7° from the horizontal and then you would need to twist the base until you are pointing at +119° (i.e. about SE), Az/Alt moves relativly quickly, already in the time its taken me to write this you would need to be at Az/Alt: +120.5/47.5 but at a 20mm EP size the amount of difference is small.

Edited by banner001
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You need to callibrate the Wixey first before sticking it to the scope. Any surface that you know to be level will do (eg kitchen worktop). It only needs to be told what level is once. When in the field - I level the dob base using a spirit level, then set the Wixey using that. :)

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