Andromeda galaxy viewing

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Andromeda galaxy viewing

Postby cwardlaw » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:26 pm

As a fairly new 'astronomer' I have been exploring much of the new information I have gleaned from magazines and sites like this one.
Over the last few nights my goal has been to work my way through all combinations of barlow x 2 lens and eyepieces to find out all of the properties of my scope- a celestron 9.25 evolution.

It does seem that I can see a fuzzy blob of cotton wool like stuff but this does not seem to become any clearer regardless of which combination I use???
I wonder if my scope is not able to see it or the viewing conditions are not perfect. it has been super hot where i live all day for a good while so perhaps conditions are not perfect. i do hope that is the reason and not that my brand new scope is not up to the task?? I will keep trying.
Many thanks
cw
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Re: Andromeda galaxy viewing

Postby Aratus » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:40 pm

The Andromeda Galaxy is a huge object in the sky. What you are actually seeing is the bright centre of the Andromeda Galaxy. You won't see any detail there. What you need is to get the widest view you can and concentrate on the 'arms'. A focal reducer will help, and an eyepiece with large focal length. I have an 8" SCT and a 0.6x focal reducer and a 32mm eyepiece works, but a 9.25" might be too large for that. Buy the focal reducer, and try to borrow eyepieces from 25mm upwards to see how wide you can get it without the central obstruction appearing.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: Andromeda galaxy viewing

Postby Gfamily2 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:48 pm

The Andromeda galaxy is quite notorious for being a bit of a visual disappointment, so I wouldn't worry about your telescope being 'not up to the task'.

The main issue with trying to see M31 is it's sheer size. If you've ever looked at the Moon through your scope you'll have some idea of the field of view that it gives you - well, the full extent of the Andromeda Galaxy is something like 6 widths of the full moon.

One of the links at the top of the page under Astro Tools is a field of view calculator that will show you that your 40mm eyepiece is likely to give you a field of view that is less than 1 degree- so you're really only going to see the central third of the galaxy - which is mostly the fuzzy blob region. Using a Barlow or any of your higher power eyepieces is going the wrong way about it.

The only time I've seen anything that looked like detail was about 15 years ago using a 4.5" Newtonian under a fairly dark sky when I thought I could make out a hint of the dust lane. More recently I've not really ever seem as much as that - I think that's because our skies have just got murkier.

If you want some targets to demonstrate the capabilities of your scope I'd suggest you search for M13 (Globular Cluster) in Hercules or M57 (the Ring Nebula) in Lyra.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
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Re: Andromeda galaxy viewing

Postby Supercooper » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:28 pm

Hi,

I agree with all said above. See pic1. What you can see immediately is what's contained in the red oval (I put that on!) So, looking for spiral arms there is a waste of time.

See pic2: I suggest having a look at M51. You can get some spiral detail quite easily and it's always fun to spot the little (Little !!!) whirl on the end ...

Good luck, Barry
Attachments
M31.jpg
M31 central bit
M31.jpg (16.82 KiB) Viewed 3679 times
m51-10inch-c50d-050309pm-v3-crop[2].jpg
M51 with a 10"
m51-10inch-c50d-050309pm-v3-crop[2].jpg (37.28 KiB) Viewed 3679 times
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Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
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Re: Andromeda galaxy viewing

Postby cwardlaw » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:14 pm

As always that is all really helpful. I was outside again last night and finding so much more to look at and for as i learn more. It is great finding things myself too without my GoTo tracker switched on.

Many thanks

CW
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Re: Andromeda galaxy viewing

Postby cwardlaw » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:15 pm

Aratus wrote:The Andromeda Galaxy is a huge object in the sky. What you are actually seeing is the bright centre of the Andromeda Galaxy. You won't see any detail there. What you need is to get the widest view you can and concentrate on the 'arms'. A focal reducer will help, and an eyepiece with large focal length. I have an 8" SCT and a 0.6x focal reducer and a 32mm eyepiece works, but a 9.25" might be too large for that. Buy the focal reducer, and try to borrow eyepieces from 25mm upwards to see how wide you can get it without the central obstruction appearing.


What is your Pulsor 2.2 observatory and did it cost the earth...oops sorry about that
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Re: Andromeda galaxy viewing

Postby Aratus » Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:08 pm

Almost as much as the earth! :D

Here is Pulsar's web site.
http://www.pulsarobservatories.com/products.php?category=observatories

Basically I have shoulder problems which meant I could no longer carry the telescope outside. It was either 'get an observatory', or 'become an armchair observer'. After 45 years of observing I figured that I took the hobby fairly seriously, and I didn't want to stop now!

I bought the 2.2m full height observatory dome. The price is pretty good for this kind of observatory, but there are cheaper options, and much more expensive options. The one I chose works for me.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: Andromeda galaxy viewing

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:59 pm

My best visual views are through 15x70 binoculars.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

My website: http://www.philippughastronomer.com/

My blog: http://sungazer127mak.blogspot.com/

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/philippughastronomer/
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Location: Wiltshire but can be just about anywhere up to 41 000 feet


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