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Newbie questions

  • Turlock
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17 years 5 months ago #39156 by Turlock
Newbie questions was created by Turlock
Hi folks,
I have myself a celestron C6N with 10mm,20mm and 25mm lenses. What I'm wondering is what sort of detail should I be seeing when looking around the night sky?

I've seen Saturn which although amazing is still tiny and detail-less through a 10mm lense, tonight I had a look at M42 in Orion and although I was impressed to see it, it looks nothing like images I've seen on the net, e.g. small group of stars with the tiniest of fuzz's round them can't make out any pattern (if ye know what I mean)

Also after spending a while looking for Andromeda I didn't have any joy in finding it :( Can you see it with the naked eye? What magnitute is it?

Finally I am living in South Dublin so suffer from light pollution, would going to a dark site make it any better?

Cheers!

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  • DaveGrennan
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17 years 5 months ago #39158 by DaveGrennan
Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Newbie questions
Hi,

Well going to a really dark sky will make ALL the difference. However, and this is a BIG however, do not expect to see through the eyepiece, what you see in photos. Even with the biggest scope in the world that is simply not gonna happen. You see film is a lot more sensitive to colour than your eye so all of those lovely coloured images you see can only be seen like that in photos.

A light pollution filter will help a lot. You should lookout for a broadband light pollution filter which will help. In fact I have a decent 1.25" filter which you can borrow if you like. This will help but again is no substitute for dark skies.

What experience will give you is the ability to see detail in objects which you just cannot see at the moment. Tricks like 'averted vision' that is looking to the side of and object and sort of just noticing the side of your vision is amazing. (The outer parts of your retina is more sensitive to faint light)

Short advice: Keep your expectations in check and learn to appreciate the very subtle detail you see through a telescope. Take your time observing objects and you will be amazed at what you can see. A dark sky makes all the difference. Come along to the South Dublin AS meeting on Thursday next in Gonzaga college, Ranelagh. The SDAS arrange field trips to Cloon Wood. It's a lot more fun, and a lot safer, to go out with a group.

Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here

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17 years 5 months ago #39162 by stepryan
Replied by stepryan on topic Re: Newbie questions

Hi folks,
I have myself a celestron C6N with 10mm,20mm and 25mm lenses. What I'm wondering is what sort of detail should I be seeing when looking around the night sky?

I've seen Saturn which although amazing is still tiny and detail-less through a 10mm lense, tonight I had a look at M42 in Orion and although I was impressed to see it, it looks nothing like images I've seen on the net, e.g. small group of stars with the tiniest of fuzz's round them can't make out any pattern (if ye know what I mean)

Also after spending a while looking for Andromeda I didn't have any joy in finding it :( Can you see it with the naked eye? What magnitute is it?

Finally I am living in South Dublin so suffer from light pollution, would going to a dark site make it any better?

Cheers!


like dave says you'll never see anything that looks like the images on the net. images accumulate over several hours and your eyes cannot do that neither are the sensitive enough. having said that with averted vision and pratice you can actually see a fair bit even in dublin. at a dark site you will see objects more clearly as you don't have the light pollution and the atmospheric pollution over dublin. as for m31 you'll see it only in binoculars or a telescope and then it is only a faint glow about mag 6.the problem with m31 is that it is very large and fairly bright but the light of the galaxy is spread over a large area so it appears faint. as for the light pollution on the southside, don't tell me about it we have to look through it to see all the good stuff in the south skies so turn off those lights pls ;).

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17 years 5 months ago #39163 by lunartic_old
Replied by lunartic_old on topic Re: Newbie questions
Hi Turlock

Welcome to the sometimes confusing world of observational astronomy. You are not alone when it come to expectations, "if it looks like that in the magazines then why am I looking at this blob in the eyepiece?" It's all about building up the experience at the eyepiece and the more you observe the more details you will be able to pick out. So, get out and get out often.

I also live on the southside of Dublin, with a backyard surrounded by three streetlights, as my main interests are the moon and planets light pollution is less of a problem. I restrict my deep-sky observations to my 10x50 and 25x100 binoculars.

As to M31, I have actually managed to see it with the naked eye from my backyard, that was an exceptional time early in the morning when the sky was clearer than I could ever remember.

A dark sky sight is always better, I remember the first time I was on a dark site, there were so many stars in the sky that I found it difficult to find my way around, I've never had more fun getting lost before.

It may seem daunting at the moment, but the rewards more than outweight the problems.

Keep observing.

Paul

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook

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17 years 5 months ago #39213 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Newbie questions
Hi Turlock,
When observing, forget all the hubble space telescope images of every object you have ever seen, forget all colour except for the planets and the brightest stars.

The Orion nebula needs a big aperture to see its shape, a 6" will show you detail, but you'll need to be under a dark sky. The planets are always small, I have only seen the planets look fairly sizeable in the bigger SCTs and when I say sizeable, I mean Jupiter's disk is about the size on an old pound coin held at arms length.
The Andromeda galaxy is a smudged blob through almost every telescope, the best I've seen it is with binoculars.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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17 years 5 months ago #39562 by fguihen
Replied by fguihen on topic Re: Newbie questions
im a newbie to astronomy also, and at present i live in south dublin, with a street light at the front of my house and 2 at the back. but with my 6" i can see andromeda pretty ok. fair enough it seems like a white smudge, but look long enough, use the tricks mentioned earlier in the thread and you will begin to pick out much more detail. the trapeseum looks very nice also from here, even in light polluted skies. saturn is always a job to look at, and when i saw it first i was a bit disapointed at its tiny size, but that fades away pretty quickly. ive said it before on these boards, get binos, you can see all these things through binos, and a few more that look better through binos, such as the pliades. im still waiting for a night when im back home in the country and it is clear and as black a night as you can get ( they do happen, but not since i got my telescope!). keep it up. i find that reading up on objects, seeing what they are, and learning facts about them gets me interested, then to be able to see them with my own eyes ( and a bit of help from a scope) is what it is all about!

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