Help with M51 please

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Help with M51 please

Postby clipperride » Sat May 06, 2006 3:50 am


Hi all,

Just got back in from a nice nights observing. One thing I had planned on looking at but couldn't find was M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy.

I was using a 8" F6 (200mm) dobsonian with a 2" 26mm Super Veiw eye piece. Am I miss aiming my scope, or is the 8 day old Moon along with the good old light pollution to blame? Should I wait till the Moon has set?

Any feedback would be most welcome as it's a new scope so I am ver much still learning what to expect in different conditions.

Thanks

Mark
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RE: Help with M51 please

Postby jsc248 » Sat May 06, 2006 11:53 am

Hi Mark,
M51 has a high surface brightness to it and so requires low magnification in the scope to show details in the "whirlpool" part of the galaxy.
John.
To me astronomy is looking up and thinking "What the heck is going on up there!!"
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RE: Help with M51 please

Postby clipperride » Sat May 06, 2006 2:23 pm

Wasn't so much the detail I was missing John, more the entire object!

Mark
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RE: Help with M51 please

Postby drvibe » Sat May 06, 2006 2:56 pm

It can be tricky to locate even though it's close to Alkaid. The image shows the field of view of 8x50 finder encompassed by the circle. It's the right way up so rotate the image 180 degrees if your finder is inverted. If you get Alkaid to one side you should see a reasonably bright star cose to the middle M51 will then be roughly 120 degrees from Alkaid on the opposite side.

Colin



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RE: Help with M51 please

Postby clipperride » Sat May 06, 2006 3:46 pm

Cheers for that Colin. I will be trying again on the next clear night.

Mark
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RE: Help with M51 please

Postby mrkrigdon » Sat May 06, 2006 9:53 pm

Hi Mark' The scope what i use is a 200mm F5 reflector and i have found M51 by useing a 2'' 30mm eyepiece quiet easy if you know where to look.What helps is a star atlas and a red touch and star hope until you get to the area where M51 is by. Good luck Mark.R
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RE: Help with M51 please

Postby clipperride » Sun May 07, 2006 1:30 am


Thanks for the help - I think I have worked out my mistake. I am more familiar with an equitorial mount than a dobsonian and I think I was hopping from Alkaid to Asellus Tertius rather than my intended hop to 24 CVn. It's a case of getting used to a new finder scope and new mount I guess. I don't mind not finding an object first go as long as I can figure out [i]why[/i] I missed it. The clouds here tonight have prevented me from trying again just yet. Hopefully I will be able to get more practice in tomorrow night.

Thanks again

Mark

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RE: Help with M51 please

Postby drvibe » Sun May 07, 2006 4:00 am

I,ve done that, I hop to the wrong side of Alkaid and then I scratching my head because the galaxy isn't there! The orientation of the plough changes over the year and you get used to it in that position, then when you return for a look a few months later the routine you used seems wrong.
Colin
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RE: Help with M51 please

Postby clipperride » Sun May 07, 2006 2:33 pm


Hehe, with my old mount I knew which way to turn the slow motion controls for East and West, but moving by hand needs a little practice. I just wanted to check that it [i]should [/i]be visible with an 8 day old moon in the sky. I was sure it should be, but then again I was also sure I had hopped the right way [:D]. But it convinces me that I don't want a "goto" mount as it will be really satisfying to see M51 when I do get it right and I am sure once located I won't soon forget how to get there.

Regards

Mark B.
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RE: Help with M51 please

Postby drvibe » Wed May 10, 2006 6:56 pm

I've seen it with a near full moon (well at least the central bulges) using the Meade SN10 on the homebrew dob mount, so I don't see why not. All the best

Colin
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