What Am I Looking For?

Don't be shy! If you're just starting out, here's the place to ask that first question

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Joop
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What Am I Looking For?

Post by Joop »

Is there anywhere I can obtain images or information of what exactly deep space objects, such as M31, will look like using a small (130mm) telescope? I'm having difficulty finding M31 and M32, even with a go-to mount, and I suspect that it's just me not recognising what's there. I've see the usual photographs but I appreciate that astrophotography provides much more detail and colour than the eye can see, so it would help if I knew exactly what I was looking for.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
David Frydman
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Re: What Am I Looking For?

Post by David Frydman »

Joop
M31 is large.
You would probably be better off finding it in say a 10x50 binocular if you have one. Or any binocular. It may look like a 2 degree long ellipse, although the full extent is 5 degrees in very dark skies.
There will be no colour just a vague dim grey maybe.

Try star hoping using star maps.

At high power in a 130mm scope the whole field may be nebula.

If you only have the scope use the lowest magnification.

It helps if you have a dark sky where with average eyes it is easily seen with no optical aid.

Find M31 before bothering with M32.

It is best to learn the constellations first without optical aid.

If you have to use go-to maybe try M81 and M82 with a low power eyepiece. They are smaller.

Also M27, M57, M13 and when visible M42.
Not sure when these are visible.
Try to get them high in the sky.
With some you need higher powers.

Regards,
David
Brian
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Re: What Am I Looking For?

Post by Brian »

Hi Joop :)

Have a look at the DeepSky Watch site, especially the Astronomical Sketches section, where there are many sketches of deepsky objects made at the eyepiece. I think they were made with a larger aperture than you are using, but they are much more true to reality than the usual Hubble Images :lol:

http://www.deepskywatch.com/astronomy-sketches.html

Bear in mind though that the observing site (seeing and light pollution especially) can make a difference to the appearance of DSOs at the eyepiece,

regards,
Brian
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Wellingborough UK.

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David1952
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Re: What Am I Looking For?

Post by David1952 »

Joop,

I understand your problem . To help me, I am building a glossary of Messier object. Here is example of M31. I have tried to make it look as though a small telescope under low mag. I probably get too much colour. I hope that helps.

David D
Attachments
M31_M32_M110.jpg
M31_M32_M110.jpg (178.23 KiB) Viewed 3668 times
Joop
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Re: What Am I Looking For?

Post by Joop »

Thanks all for your advice.

It's been most helpful and I'm now looking forward to the next clear-sky night.

Joop
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